Subtitle: Have You Been Looking At The Prophetic Storm Clouds Lately?

The Book of Hebrews contains this important exhortation to Christians:

"And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities; not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing—warning, urging and encouraging—one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

What is this "day" referred to in verse 25? Most conservative Bible commentators agree that it is a reference to the "Day of the Lord"—that time during which Jesus Christ will come back to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords! It is also generally believed that this period of time will encompass both the Tribulation Period as well as the Millennial Kingdom. The exhortation, therefore, is for Christians to be faithful in church attendance and to "warn, urge, and encourage" one another—especially as they see events taking place which are clearly precursors to that "day". For many years the expression "signs of the times" has been an oft-used one in prophetic sermons and refers to those various precursors—events which must take place in order to "set the stage" for ultimate prophetic fulfillment. Chuck Missler, a well-known Bible commentator and teacher, has quipped that we are living in the "times of the signs"! So much of prophetic significance and interest is taking place around the world that it is almost impossible to digest all of it.

Because of the monumental implications of these fast breaking developments, the words of the Old Testament prophet Zephaniah should arrest our attention:

"[The time for repentance is speeding by like chaff whirled before the wind!] Therefore consider, before God’s decree brings forth [the curse upon you], before the time [to repent] is gone like the drifting chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you, yes, before the day of the wrath of the Lord comes upon you! Seek the Lord—inquire for Him, inquire of Him, and require Him [as the foremost necessity of your life]—all you humble of the land, who have acted in compliance with His revealed will and have kept His commandments; seek righteousness, seek humility—inquire for them, require them [as vital]. It may be you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger" (Zephaniah 2:2-3, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

A related passage is found in Isaiah:

"Come, my people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you: hide yourselves for a little while until the [Lord’s] wrath is past. For, behold, the Lord is coming forth out of His place [heaven] to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also will disclose the blood shed upon her, and will no longer cover her slain and conceal her guilt" (Isaiah 26:20-21, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

Notice that God’s people are exhorted to enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you! Could this be a reference to our heavenly mansions prepared by the Lord Himself for our use after the rapture, during the Tribulation Period, and for all of eternity? I realize that the primary thrust of these passages is directed toward the Jewish people, but like the rest of the Bible they have relevance for us today.

Just as sure as the sun is going to come up tomorrow morning, God’s wrath is going to be unleashed upon this earth very soon. The events of the Tribulation Period (in which His judgment is going to be poured out upon Israel in particular and the rest of the world in general) are now taking shape in an unmistakable way. It is breathtaking to contemplate the magnitude of the satanic forces now arrayed against Israel and the "collateral damage" which is certain for the rest of the world. God said in Zechariah 12:2 that Jerusalem would be to the rest of the world "a cup of trembling"—and it already is and will be more so in the future. The lights burn all night in the capital cities of the major powers as men try their best to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable by removing the fuse of that political and religious powder keg called Jerusalem. But all of their best efforts are going to be futile, because God Almighty has decreed that Israel will be the focal point of the entire world during the Tribulation Period. As this spiritual scenario unfolds—as Bible prophecy declares that it must—man will reap not only the fruit of his own depravity, but God is going to turn all of nature loose at the same time! Natural disasters will become more and more commonplace—adding to the consternation and misery of all involved. Jesus Christ Himself tells us in Matthew 24 that this world has never seen anything like it:

"For then there will be great tribulation—affliction, distress and oppression—such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now; no, and never will be [again]" (Matthew 24:21, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

In our opening text from Zephaniah, we should note with particular interest that its primary emphasis of repentance is directed toward the nation of Israel, but is secondarily addressed to the "humble of the land, who have acted in compliance with His revealed will and have kept His commandments." These righteous people (referred to throughout Israel’s history as "the remnant") are directed to continue to vigorously seek righteousness and humility that they might be hidden during the day of the Lord’s anger. Thus this verse will be especially relevant to those Jews who will be saved during the Tribulation Period and will try to hide from the wrath of the antichrist. But the phrases of particular importance are those referring to the "time for repentance"—"The time for repentance is speeding by like chaff whirled before the wind!" and "before the time [to repent] is gone." The prophet is urging his people to avail themselves of the opportunity to repent before it is too late. God has allowed him to "see" what is coming in the future and to warn others about the dire consequences of their sin.

At the present we are living in a time of relative peace and unparalleled prosperity. The "Dow Jones Average" continues to climb into the financial stratosphere and the attitude of the general public seems to be one of complete preoccupation with amassing wealth. They go about their daily activities with blinders on, blissfully ignorant of the dark and menacing storm clouds gathering overhead. Yet the Lord predicted just such an hour when He said:

"As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark, and they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man" (Matthew 24:37-39, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

In other words, people were going about the routines of life—it was "business as usual"—before the torrents of rain began to fall upon them. An interesting point about this incident, and one that is often overlooked, concerns the fact that this antediluvian (pre-flood) civilization had never seen rain before! Up until this time the earth had been watered by dew, or condensation: "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground" (Genesis 2:6).

When Noah warned them about the impending flood (120 years of fruitless preaching!), can’t you just imagine the kidding he received? Those people probably doubled over laughing at the very idea of water "falling out of the skies"! "Why, we have lived hundreds of years and nothing of that sort has happened!" Noah was probably tempted to smile along with them, because of their complete lack of prior knowledge of such a thing—but God had predicted that it would happen and Noah believed Him. As we know today—from both the biblical account and fossilized remains—the earth did experience that cataclysmic flood and only eight people survived it!

Another very interesting thing is that Noah and his family were in the ark seven days before the flood actually occurred. (Genesis 7:10). The New Testament parallel (antitype) is that the church will be in heaven with Christ 7 years (the duration of the Tribulation Period) before His final judgment falls at Armageddon. However, unlike that seven day period of relative inactivity which Noah and his family experienced prior to the flood, the Tribulation Period will be characterized by ever increasing chaos and disasters around the world—which the Lord compared to the labor pains of a woman about to have a baby. They start out relatively mild and then steadily increase in frequency and intensity.

As I mentioned earlier, the men of Noah’s day probably scoffed at Noah’s warnings. I say "probably" because we are not specifically told that they did, but after 120 years of grace and the preaching of Noah, only eight people were on the ark (out of a world population estimated by some Bible scholars as being near 2 billion!). Human nature being what it is, I think we can safely assume that men thought that he was crazy! By way of comparison we do know from 2 Peter 3:3-6 that there will be scoffers during the "last days" saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?" "Where is this Jesus Christ that you keep saying is going to return?"—As they elbow each another in the ribs, smile and wink in a teasing manner. This is understandable coming from unbelievers, but many professed "Christians" do not believe it either! While still others profess to believe it, but the way that they are living tells us that they do not think that it will be any time soon.

Because of the unmistakable signs that the return of the Lord is near, (the ongoing "peace" negotiations between Israel and her neighbors, just to name one) the time for repentance is at hand! The dark storm clouds are gathering overhead and the animals are climbing aboard the ark, just waiting for Noah and his family to join them. In Genesis 7:1 we find that God Himself gave the command to enter the ark and in 7:16(b) we find that "the Lord shut him in and closed round about him." I believe that this may be a picture of the Rapture when God "slams the door shut" on all who have heard the warning and rejected it (see 2 Thessalonians chapter two and specifically verses 10 and 11).

As Zephaniah said, in our original text, the time for repentance is speeding by. As a Christian are you ready to meet your Lord and Savior? As an unbeliever are you prepared to stand before the Sovereign Judge of the universe to give an account of your life? In either case, are you absolutely certain of what you believe and why you believe it? Upon what, or I should say Whom, are you resting your eternal soul?

What I am about to say is not original by any means, but I feel that it bears repeating: If I am wrong and my beliefs are completely without basis, in the end I will have lost absolutely nothing. My life has been one of indescribable blessing and joy and my sixty years have passed with few regrets to mar the memories. On the other hand, if I am right, (and I am!) nothing I have experienced thus far can even begin to compare with the blessings that await me and the rest of God’s redeemed. Talk about a "win-win" situation! Yet there are those who stubbornly refuse to believe and are literally "betting their lives" that they are right! Stumbling and groping through the spiritual darkness of this present world, they seek that which they know not. Their lives are spent trying to find a black cat in a totally dark cave, which is not even there! Nothing they do is really satisfying and life itself becomes an endless circle of futility. When pressed about their meaningless existence, they defiantly insist that belief in Christ and total commitment to Him is not an option for them. All I can say to them is, "Look out, because it definitely looks like flooding rain!"

The "umbrella of repentance" is also a wise choice for those who understand that they are believers but out of fellowship with the Lord. At any given moment you may find yourself face-to-face with Jesus Christ and have to give an account of what you have or have not done for Him. The time for repentance is now—tomorrow may be too late. I urge you to consider the lateness of the hour, confess your failures and prepare yourself to meet Him in the air!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

  If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.

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God bless you.