The Time Is Near

It has been preached for nearly 2000 years that Jesus would be returning soon.  The nature of that teaching, and what that exactly entails, has been intensely debated in church history.  As a kid growing up in church, I remember there being a lot of talk about Jesus’ return and end-time Bible prophecy.  Sadly, that is no longer the case as the focus of most churches, at least here in America, has been around building God’s kingdom here on earth, or trying to reach people with a “gospel” built on love and acceptance without offending anyone in the areas of sin, holiness, and judgment.  With such a watered-down and sugar-coated “gospel” that is promoted and taught in most churches, it is no wonder that there is little to no talk of Jesus’ return or end-time events.


I recently read that the Barna Group found that 51% of church goers have no clue as to the what the Great Commission is, and of the remaining 49% only about 17% know what it is and where in Scripture it comes from (Matthew 28:9-20 and Mark 16:15-18).  This could explain why most churches are not even actively engaging in and being obedient to it, but instead are looking to either build God’s kingdom here on earth or to see how many people they can gain in their congregations without offending people through a watered-down sugar-coated “gospel”.  Could this also explain why there is so little preached or taught in churches about Jesus’ return and Biblically prophesied end-time events.  A gospel preached absent of the future return of Jesus and prophesied end-time events, as well as the necessity to be living right and free of sin in the sight of God, is not the complete or balanced gospel found within Scripture.


For the first time in Israel’s existence since it was formed 70 years ago, an Arab leader has acknowledged Israel and their right to their own land.  That same leader has also been in private conversations with Jewish leaders, working with President Trump to push a peace treaty between Israel and their neighbors.  I will add that it was reported several years ago that Saudi Arabia had plans for a 7-year peace treaty with Israel, one that had been on the “back-burner” waiting for the right time to promote.  Could this be the 7-year peace treaty the Bible talks about, the one that starts the Great Tribulation period found in Daniel 9:27?  Only time will tell, but I wonder how many people in churches across this nation know of the Bible prophesies regarding a 7-year peace treaty, or are even watching the signs pointing to its fulfillment?  There are several things that have transpired within this past week or so, things that are pointing to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy as it relates to the last days and the Great Tribulation period.  Things like the forming of alliances between specific countries in the Middle East, the growing intensity in and around the city of Damascus, just to name a couple.  Oh, and let us not forget that Israel turns 70 next month, a very significant event to be mindful of as we continue into the days ahead of us.


So, how many Christians are paying attention to the signs, knowing that their fulfillment point even stronger to the return of Jesus for His Bride in an event known as the Rapture?  Again, sadly, not too many.  In the midst of watching Bible end-time prophesies being fulfilled before our eyes, and the apparent ignorance of church goers of what is going on and what it means to them as Christians, there is a growing concern among some who study Bible prophecy regarding pastors being held accountable for not teaching and preparing their congregations about these things and the times we’re in.  I believe their concern is a valid one, knowing that if people in their congregations are not aware of the signs or ready when Jesus returns, they can find themselves left behind and having to face a period that will be the worst ever experienced in world history.  I pray that these pastors, these shepherds, will wake up and start making their congregations, their flocks, aware of the times we’re living in, as well as the need to be ready when He returns and what that means.


I was listening to someone the other day, someone that doesn’t understand what the Bible calls the “good news”, and some of what he was prophesying regarding future events for America.  Among the many things that concerned me with what he was saying, he made it clear that any Christian that doesn’t embrace what he’s prophesying is a weak and immature Christian who doesn’t know the voice of God.  He further indicated that Christians who speak of things in the world getting worse, along with a hope of escaping them (probably referring to the Rapture), that they are defeatist, gloom and doom Christians who are not hearing the voice of God.  When he mentioned that, I immediately thought that those who don’t subscribe to his vision of what is ahead probably know the Bible and Bible prophesy better than he does.  A lot of people are really embracing the things he’s saying, excited to hear from him more of what God is telling him.  In 2 Timothy 4:2-4, the Apostle Paul tells us that in the last days Christians will turn away from sound doctrine because they have itching ears for teaching that supports their desires.  Paul also tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that many will depart from the Christian faith to follow deceiving spirits and doctrines inspired and promoted by demons.  Is this just one example of what the Bible warns us will be taking place in these last days?


As I thought about this person and the confidence he has in hearing the voice of God, and how that what he’s telling people is contradictory to what Scripture has to say, ignoring or discounting the fact that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes, I was reminded of an account recorded in 2 Chronicles 18:1-34; 19:1-2.  In a summary of what transpires in this portion of Scripture, two kings are looking to enter a war with another king and are inquiring if the Lord will go before them into battle.  Four hundred prophets’ prophecy that they are to go to war, and that they will be victorious because God will give them the victory, but one of the kings wants to hear from a prophet of the Lord.  A prophet of God is summoned, one that the king of Israel doesn’t like because he never tells him anything of prosperity or good things.  The prophet of God arrives on the scene, and when asked by the kings what God would say to them regarding this battle, the prophet says something very interesting.  This prophet, Micaiah, tells them that God wanted them to go into battle where the king of Israel would be killed, and God inquired of those surrounding His throne as to who could persuade the king to go into battle.  Micaiah recounts that one of those around the throne said he would persuade the king to go forward in this battle, and when God asked him how he would do it the answer was that he would cause the prophets to believe a lie and tell the king to do so.  God approved of this, and that is why all four hundred prophets were prophesying that he should go to war.  The king didn’t like what he said and chose to follow with the answer he got from the four hundred prophets, and despite his attempt to disguise himself got shot by an errant arrow that caused him to die later that day.


Is it possible that the same thing is happening now, where people are claiming to hear one thing from God as to what is ahead for America, bringing America into judgment and exposing where the hearts of many Christians really is?  The Holy Spirit will never contradict Scripture, but so many Christians choose to embrace what people say they are hearing from God instead of searching the Scriptures, and not just the ones they are using, to verify if what is being said truly is from God.  Is our focus more on the future of America, or on eternity in Heaven with Jesus and reaching the lost with the good news of the gospel?  I fear for the pastors that choose to not preach and teach about Jesus’ return and the future of the world through the eyes of Bible prophecy, knowing that they will be held accountable for those under their leadership that find themselves eternally lost because they were not told the complete and balanced Word of God which includes Jesus’ return and end-time events.  Many pastors try to avoid preaching about anything that might offend someone and keep them away, things like sin, holiness, and a coming judgment, and God will hold them accountable for that.  Sometimes what is edifying to the body of Christ is not always pleasant or good to hear, or feel, but the edification comes when the person accepts it and makes the necessary changes to grow in their faith and live as God would have them to.  On the flip side, not everything that is good is from or of God, and anything that is good from God can become something that is not good if it gets in the way of what God has for that person in their relationship with Him.


The time is near, near for the return of Jesus for His bride, and near for the start of Jacob’s trouble when God pours out His wrath and judgments upon the earth.  Pay attention to the signs and take the necessary steps to be ready when Jesus does return, which is very soon.  The time is near.


John Johansson


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Signs.  We see them every day.  We see traffic signs that help us to safely navigate through traffic to our intended destination.  We see signs that warn us of dangers ahead, whether it is going down the road or entering a building or room, they are there to warn us.  We see signs that identify places of interests, whether it’s a restaurant we’re looking for, a hospital, a tourist attraction or a place of historical significance, or even where restrooms are located, among other places.  Signs even tell us where we can locate things like a fire extinguisher or first aid kit.  What about signs for life itself, especially signs of eternal significance?


In Matthew 16:1-3, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day because they knew how to interpret signs relating to the weather, but they could not interpret or discern the signs of the times.  Jesus told us what signs to look out for regarding the end-times and when He will return, both His return for His Bride and when He returns to establish His kingdom here on earth.  In Mark 13:32-33 and Luke 21:34-36, Jesus lets us know that only the Father knows when He will return for His Bride, the Church, and then tells us to be watching for Him.  In the parable of the ten virgins mentioned in Matthew 25:1-13, in verse 6 we’re told that a cry went out that the bridegroom was coming, and that the virgins representing the bride were to go out and meet him, of which only five were prepared to do so at that time.  I believe the cry going out is the fulfillment of the signs given us in Scripture pointing to His return, and I believe that cry is taking place even now.


In Mark 13:37, not only does Jesus make it clear that everyone is to be watching, but His command for us to watch is strong and with emphasis so that we will know how serious He is in this.  In Revelation 16:15, Jesus accentuates the need for us to be watching by us that those who do will be blessed, and then rebuking those who didn’t and were left behind when He came back for His Bride.  Jesus’ command to watch and pray regarding His return is not a casual suggestion, nor is it something that can be negotiated if we don’t think it necessary or vital.  Jesus does something that too few of us do, yet it is something that we all should be doing, and that is the fact that He means what He says, and He says what He means.  If He tells us to watch and pray regarding His return, then He means just that and nothing less or more.


I’ve had Christians tell me that they don’t need to be watching for Christ to return, citing the belief that when He returns they will automatically be ready and caught up to be with Him.  This is a very dangerous position to have on three accounts.  First, those that believe this way are saying they know better than Jesus as to whether or not they need to be watching for Him, much less praying that they’re ready when He does return.  Second, they are, in essence, in rebellion to Him if they are choosing to disobey His command to watch and pray.  And third, they are under the false assumption that all professing Christians will be caught up to meet Christ in the air, something that Scripture very clearly states is not the case.


I remember one Christian, a pastor, tell me one time that we don’t need to be watching for the return of Christ, and this on the basis that just living the Christian life as we ought to be is the same as watching.  If living the Christian life as we ought to be is good or sufficient enough, then why would Jesus speak so strongly about us watching and praying that we’re ready for Him when He does return?  Again, this way of thinking discounts Christ’s commands to watch and pray, and that is a very dangerous position to be in.  I should add, however, that this particular pastor doesn’t even believe in the physical and literal rapture of the Church to Christ, much less a tribulation period, but rather an emotional, euphoric experience.


Some Christians take another approach to the subject of watching for Christ’s return.  When they see and hear the news, or even some of what is happening around them, they get so angry or depressed that they stop wanting to know more of what is happening.  In many ways, it’s as if they are choosing to stick their head in the sand so they don’t have to see or hear anything more.  These Christians are dealing with a gloom and doom perspective, having no real hope of better things ahead for them in Christ.  Even though what we see and hear can be very disheartening and depressing, if we see these things as not only signs of the times, but also signs pointing to His very soon return, then we can see these things with excitement and joy knowing that our Redeemer is soon to return for us.  This doesn’t mean that we are to be insensitive to what is happening, but that we need to keep a right and proper perspective of what is happening so we can be a light to those around us.


The other night while watching television a thought crossed my mind.  Christians in America, for the most part, are very distracted in what they are focused on.  Instead of maintaining a healthy perspective of watching the signs pointing to the soon return of Christ for His Bride, many Christians are caught up with watching several other things.  Some are watching news and politics to see how it will impact them and their standard of living, or even how it will impact them living as Christians.  Some are caught up with looking for the prosperity and material gain they think they are entitled to as Christians.  Some are caught up with spiritual manifestations and the feelings associated with them, even if false doctrine is present and promoted alongside such manifestations.  Some focus on building the kingdom of God here on earth and establishing a strong Christian presence in the “seven mountains of influence”, forgetting that this is not our home to create a “Christian Utopia” in.  Some even focus on and take the role of what I’ve called for years, the doctrine police, focused more on identifying and exposing false doctrine than pointing people to truth and the need to be prepared for Christ’s soon return.  Amid such distractions, Christians in America seem to lose sight of what we are to be focused on, and that is to live a life pleasing to God while actively watching the signs for His imminent return for us.


We are clearly living in the last days, and the signs we’ve been given in Scripture to be watching for are clearly converging together for their ultimate fulfillment.  It is imperative that we be paying attention to them.  Some see the signs but have become desensitized to them because their fulfillment is not happening as quickly as they want or in the manner that they anticipated, and that is something we need to be guarded against happening within our own heart and mind.  We’re told in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that in these last days’ people would mock and scoff of the fulfillment of God’s promise to us because that’s all we’ve heard about since the beginning but nothing has happened so far.  We live in a “microwave” society, where we think things should happen quickly and in a preconceived manner, and because of it many are becoming disillusioned to the reality of the days we are now living in.  Unlike any other time in history, all the signs we’re given pointing to the last days are happening all at once, and we need to be aware of them and making sure we’re prepared as we ought for when Christ returns for His bride.


Are you watching the signs, or are you distracted with other things of life, or have you been choosing to “stick your head in the sand” because you don’t want to see or hear them being fulfilled.  Jesus makes it very clear, that those who are not watching but are otherwise distracted with life and other pursuits will be left behind when He returns for His Bride, and I don’t want that for you.  That doesn’t mean we stop living and sit in a chair watching and waiting, but that rather in all we do it is with the awareness that the signs being raised all around us are pointing to His very soon return, and our life needs to reflect that as we live in a way that is pleasing and honoring to Him in every way, not being ashamed to live for Him even if it means offending those who don’t understand or feel the same way.  Our eternity hinges on it.


Mark 13:37 – WATCH!


John Johansson (Pastor John)


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Is It For Itchy Ears?

Over the years I have heard many proclaim from the pulpits of local churches and on TV and radio that there was a great revival coming to America. Oh, wouldn’t that be awesome if that were to happen!  I’ve been in places where God was moving in a powerful way among all those in attendance, I’ve heard of the great revivals of the past, and I would love to be a part of another one.  Wouldn’t you?


When I first heard these people proclaim a great revival yet to come, I was one that was excited and looking forward to it. But in recent years I’ve begun to view things from a different perspective, wondering if the great revival some are talking about would be post-rapture.  When I look at the Biblical description of the end times, the last days, I don’t see a great revival taking place before the rapture.  Instead, the Bible is very clear that those days will get bad, and it’s not just referring to the world at large.  We also read that there would be a great falling away from the faith (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12), not the revival that is so often times promoted.


Several years ago it was easy to believe for a great revival coming to America, partly because America appears to be absent from Bible end-time prophecy, and partly because no one would ever think that the persecution experienced in other countries would ever come here in any form. Well, we live in a very different America now compared to just 10 years ago.  We’re seeing the very liberal, anti-Christian movement infiltrate every aspect of our society more and more all the time.  The very real threat of both domestic and foreign terrorists is growing every day, not to mention that there have been reports of ISIS within our borders.  We’re experiencing an exponential increase of illegal aliens cross over into our country relatively unhindered, tremendously increasing our vulnerability to terrorist’s attacks within our borders, greatly increasing the threat of uncontrollable and incurable diseases to our citizens, creating an overwhelming demand on our economic system and financial stability, all of which could mark the end of America as we have known it to be since its inception in more than 200 years ago.  This doesn’t take into account all the other aspects that seem to be tearing away at this great nation we call America, chipping away at it with greater enthusiasm than we’ve ever known before.


Despite all these things, I find it interesting and disheartening at the same time that many not only proclaim great revival is on its way, but also that things are going to get much better. They proclaim that things are going to get better, prosperity will increase for the believers, and that the threats facing America will suddenly be defeated by God before America is destroyed.


I’m reminded of Hananiah the prophet in the Old Testament. Do you remember him?  In Jeremiah 27, God told Jeremiah to put yokes upon his neck to signify the bondage and captivity of Israel under King Nebuchadnezzar.  We also read that God spoke with the kings, the priests and all the people that they were to be under Nebuchadnezzar’s rule until God said otherwise.  God also told them that if a prophet, or someone else, were to tell them the time for them to break the bonds and come out from under the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar had come, that they were not to listen to them because that was a lie that did not come from Him.  In Jeremiah 28, the prophet Hananiah came to rest of the prophets, the priests, and all the people telling them that the time of their bondage would end within two years.  Because he was a prophet everyone took notice of what he had to say, including Jeremiah.  Hananiah went even further by breaking the yoke that was around Jeremiah’s neck to symbolize that the time of bondage was about to end.  It wasn’t until Jeremiah left and went his own way that God spoke to him letting him know that the words of Hananiah was not His words.  So Jeremiah went back and confronted the prophet Hananiah, telling him that because he misled the people of God into thinking a lie as though it came from God, God would take his life within a year.  I say that to say this, it doesn’t matter who it is that says it (a pastor, a teacher, a prophet, etc.), if they are proclaiming things that are contrary to what God says in His word, then it’s not from God and we ought not to listen to it.


Whether you look at Matthew chapters 24-25, the book of Revelation, or even some of the prophets of old who prophesied regarding these last days, and we are in the last days, you will find that the days we live in only get worse as time goes by until Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation period to defeat His enemies and establish His reign here on earth. The people that promote the idea that things are only going to get better are either “sticking their head in the sand” regarding what is in the news and happening all around them and how it all relates to Bible prophecy, or they’re reading from a different Bible.  The difference between what they are promoting and what the Bible foretells about these last days is great.


I’ve recently became aware of a theology embraced by some that says it is the churches responsibility to overcome the enemies of Christ in any way they can, primarily through the government system, and that Christ cannot return until they do so. Obviously this group of people seems to think that things will get better because it has to in order for Christ to return, but there is a problem with this way of thinking.  To begin with, they are not referring to the rapture, or the catching up of the Bride of Christ, because they don’t believe in it.  So when they talk of Christ’s return, what they describe lines up with what we know to be Christ returns at the end of the tribulation period.  Second, their idea that the church must first overcome the enemies of Christ before He can return is faulty and flies in the face of scripture.  In Revelation 13:1-10, in the midst of the tribulation period, the Apostle John tells us that when the beast arises from the pit he was going to be given power and authority for 42 months, and with that he will be given the power and ability to not just make war with the saints, but also to overcome them.   Third, in Revelation 17:12-14, John also tells us that when Christ returns the beast and those who are with him will make war against Jesus, but when they do Jesus will overcome and defeat them.


When the disciples asked Jesus regarding the signs of His return to set up His kingdom, and the signs of the end, the first thing He told them was to not be deceived (Matthew 24:3-5). A lot is said in the New Testament about being deceived, but for Jesus to indicate that is the first thing to watch out for tells us how bad the deceptions will be in these last days.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 that people will not listen to sound doctrine, but instead their own desires and because of their itching ears they will heap upon themselves teachers, turning their ears away from the truth and to fables.  When I think of some of the things that people are saying in the times we live in, how that things are going to get better and things will be restored, including America, I can’t help but wonder if it is merely wishful thinking and having itching ears to those who support that wishful thinking. Yes, I would love to see God stop the surge of wickedness in all its forms and restore us into what He would have us to be, individually and as a nation, but the Bible tells me that is not the case for the days we now live in.


What does this mean for Christians? What this means is that we are in for some very rough days ahead, but we also have that blessed hope of His return for us, and if not then most assuredly on the other side of eternity.  Some people like to scoff or attempt to discredit what the scriptures say about a rapture of the church, saying it is a doctrine of escapism, and I would like to know what is wrong with that?  Jesus told us in Luke 21:34-36 to watch and pray that we’re counted worthy to escape that which is coming to pass.  In Revelation 22:12-20 we read that the Spirit and the Bride both say “come quickly!” to Jesus, which must be a cry made before the rapture since the Bride will be with Him forever more from that time on.  What we need to remember, though, is even though we are watching for His return to escape that which is coming to the earth, it is also important for us to be about the Father’s business while we’re here.  Be mindful of the signs pointing to His return, and reaching out to others as His ambassadors until He returns.  This is what we must be doing, both to be watching and praying and also to be working for the Father.


The good things that we’re hearing promoted and proclaimed regarding revival and the restoration of America, is it for itching ears?? I wonder.

Edge of Eternity

“People have been saying that for more than 2000 years.”  How many times have you heard someone say that about the rapture?  Or, perhaps you’ve said that yourself.  There is a mindset among many that since people have been saying that for so long then surely He’s not coming, or at least not any time in the immediate future.  This mindset is based simply because Jesus hasn’t already come, but is that one argument, in and of itself, enough to discount His coming back?  I don’t think so.

When Israel became a nation in May 1948 the dynamics changed.  In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus tells a parable of a fig tree, a parable that many believe points to the rebirth of the Jewish nation.  In this passage of scripture Jesus indicates that the generation of people that see Israel become a nation will not pass away until the rapture and the tribulation comes to an end.  There are many differing views as to what Jesus is alluding to in regards to a generation, whether it is 40 years, 70 years, or even 80 years.  There are even differing views as to whether this period of time started with Israel becoming a nation, with the six-day war in 1967, or even with the Yom Kippur war of 1973.  The point is that we are now living in the time of that generation of people, and that means unlike 2000 years ago, or even 100 years ago, we are on the ‘edge of eternity’.  Yes, we are on the edge of eternity because at the moment of our last breath we go from life here on earth and into eternity, whether that is in heaven or in hell, but I’m not talking about that edge of eternity.  The edge of eternity I’m speaking about is for all humanity.

What does this tell us?  It tells us that the rapture of the Church, the Bride of Christ is imminent.  Is it safe for us to say that?  We have entered a period of time where the final positioning of Biblical end-time events surrounding the tribulation period and the anti-Christ are climaxing before our very eyes, literally setting the stage for this to take place at any moment.  We see this in the ever increasing descent of America both domestically and abroad, in world economies and in the many changes taking place in the Middle East.  Keep your eyes on Jerusalem.  With all that is going on we see America turning its back on God and falling into a moral collapse.  America today is not the America many remember it being from even 50 years ago.  The world is waiting and looking for a one-world government, a one-world economy and one person to lead it, but the only thing currently standing in the way of that is America.  That is until America becomes meaningless in the eyes of the world for one reason or another, but nonetheless it has to decline very significantly, something that is happening rather quickly before our very eyes.

So, what am I trying to say?  I’m trying to say that we are on the edge of eternity, and that we need to make sure we are ready and in right relationship with Jesus before that trumpet sound calling His bride to meet Him in the clouds on our way to heaven.  Are you ready?  I hope so.  If not, I strongly encourage you to make yourself ready with no delay.  It will require more than just saying a prayer or walking down an aisle, it will require surrender to Him of our lives for His purposes.  Are you ready to do that?  Think about it!

A Wake-up Call to Prepare

I just recently heard that Russia has practically bailed out the economies of Greece and Cyprus, which I admit was a surprise for me.  This apparently was done through the acquisition of some of these countries natural resources.  The European economy is struggling with the financial collapses of some of its member states, and some even predict its collapse within months.  The United States economy is teetering on the brink of collapse as well, with various city and county governments declaring bankruptcy, the increase of unemployment and the spiraling, out of control debt we are experiencing nationwide.  I’ve even heard some experts to say that if the European economy collapses so will the United States that is how much the two economies depend on the other.

Here in America we are experiencing some extreme weather conditions that have threatened our economy, our energy resources, and our food supplies significantly.  The price of so many things, including food, has begun to rise as a result.  The cost of obtaining an education has also begun to skyrocket which either prevents some from pursuing an education, or for others obtain financial assistance they may never be able to repay because of the cost and lack of employment opportunities we are now facing.  We are also facing an election in November that will determine the future of our country in ways that it may never be able to recover from.  A lot is at stake with this election not just on a federal level, but also in the varied levels of government.  A lot is happening.

All eyes are on the Middle East right now.  Can’t say it is for any one particular reason as there are many.  For quite a while there has been a focus on Iran and its nuclear pursuits coupled with their determination to wipe Israel off the face of the world.  We’ve seen how different countries have gone through what has been labeled as an “Arab Spring”, using force to remove the current leaderships of those countries, and how the Islamist extremists are seizing power wherever they can.  Just these two issues alone scream out for attention, creating instability to the region, but it doesn’t end there.  Currently a lot of attention is on Syria and its neighboring countries.  Syria is going through a civil war between the established government regime and rebel forces made up of Syrians and others from other countries, including various terrorist groups.  Syria has the attention of the world right now not only because of the violence and loss of life that has been experienced there, but also because they possess possibly the world’s largest stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.  There are a number of reasons for the concern in that there is a fear Syria’s government will begin to use them against their own people, or perhaps against Israel or one of its other neighbors.  The fears don’t stop there as many fear these weapons of mass destruction will fall into the hands of the rebels, of terrorist groups like Hezbollah which can then use it against others.  If that isn’t enough, Russia, China and Iran have made it clear that they will defend Syria if there is any attempt by outside forces to undermine or replace the current Syrian regime.  Needless to say, there is a lot going on in that region.  Even now various governments are looking and preparing for a major war to break out in the region in just weeks, not months or years.  Some even believe it is very possible and maybe even probable, that this war will turn nuclear because of the issue with Syria’s chemical and biological weapons.

All of these things, as well as others I haven’t mentioned, have gained the attention of many.  People are wondering what is going on, and more importantly what is in store for us within the next several weeks.  Remember I told you that there is the preparation of a major war in the Middle East within weeks, only to be followed by the elections in November?  Well, I’m noticing something that I want to briefly share with you, something that could have eternal ramifications for you.

I want to start off by reiterating the fact that no one knows when Jesus will return for His bride, and to declare a date for His return is foolishness.  However, Jesus does tell us to be watching for His return pointing out many different signs that would indicate His return being extremely close.  I notice that not only do the signs we currently see scream that His return is very near, but I find it interesting that many of these same signs point to a climaxing period of time that coincides with a particular event.  What is that event?  It is Rosh Hashanah, the fifth of seven feasts the Jews remember each year.  Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets.  For 30 days preceding this feast a trumpet is blasted once each day.  The day before this feast no trumpet is sounded so people will know Rosh Hashanah is next, but on Rosh Hashanah there are 100 blasts of the trumpet with four different sounds.  Three of the four sounds are blasted 33 times, and the fourth sound is only blasted on the 100th blast.  The trumpets being used for Rosh Hashanah and the preceding 30 days is not a metal trumpet, but instead a shofar which is made from an animal horn, usually a ram.  These 30 days are set apart by the Jews as a day to repent, remember their sins and to prepare for the judgment.  The Rosh Hashanah feast has many parallels to what we refer to as the rapture, but I’m only going to highlight a few.  This feast is known as the day of the awakening blast, the day of the resurrection.  It is also identified as the day of the coronation of the King; the King takes His bride, and the day of the Kings wedding.  The 100th blast of the shofar is known by Jews as “the last trump”, the same one that the Apostle Paul referred to when addressing the rapture of the saints.  This is also the day that God divides mankind into three groups, the wholly righteous, the wholly wicked, and those who are in the middle.  There is one more element to this feast that has my attention and screams out to me, and perhaps it will for you as well.

When referring to Rosh Hashanah, the Jews knew it by another name.  Before I tell you what that name was let me give you some background.  Of the seven feasts God instituted for Israel, this is the only one that the Jews never knew when it was to take.  They were able to pinpoint a 48 hour period of time each year for when it was to start, but that was it.  They knew it was to start with a new moon, but they didn’t know which of two days that would be.  As a result, they would be watching for the new moon, and when it was seen then two witnesses had to go and testify of this to the priests who would then declare the start of the feast.  Because of this what was instituted by God as a one-day feast turned into a two-day feast referred to as one long day, but that is not the name I’m referring to.  With the uncertainty of when it was to start, the feast became known by ancient Jews even in Jesus’ day as “the day no man knows the day or hour”.  Do those words sound familiar?  They should be.  This is the words of Jesus that people use to argue that we can’t know when Jesus is returning.

So, when is this feast?  Well, in 2012 it starts on the eve of September 16th and extends to September 18th.  Whether or not Jesus is returning during that time only God the Father knows, but I find it ironic that it seems things in our world seem to be climaxing around the same period of time, and it behooves us to make sure we are ready if that is the case.  Just as the Jews are using this time to prepare themselves and make themselves ready, so must we.  There’s more I could share but in the attempt to keep this from getting too long, if it isn’t already, I’m going to go ahead and finish this.

The fact is that Jesus is coming back, and all indications are that it is very near, perhaps nearer than we realize.  Make sure you are right with God and ready for Jesus’ return.  Let go of any unforgiveness of any kind.  Rid yourselves of any sin or sinful thinking, and embrace Jesus and His word as never before, more than just the standard by which we are to live by.  Make sure He is your one and only and not your one of many.  Be a follower of Jesus and not just a passionate fan.  BE READY!!!!!

The Harbingers

One of the many uses of the shofar was to sound an alarm of something coming.  While we at The Resounding Shophar focus on sounding the shophar to prepare for the return of Christ, it would be wrong to not sound it in regards to a judgment to come.  I realize that many believe that God doesn’t judge people because He is so full of grace and love, but is that consistent with scripture?  No, it is not.  We can read from Genesis through the book of The Revelation how that the loving God of all creation executed judgments on people, families and nations.  When God brings judgments it is a result of disobedience to or rejection of God and His ways.  To only focus on God’s grace and love and to say that God won’t bring judgment to people is to be naïve of who He is and what He is all about, not taking into account all the different facets of who He is.

Some people believe that God will never judge this awesome country called, The United States of America.  They say that since we are the one country the world looks up to, or at least used to, and that we are the most Christian of all countries who even sends the most missionaries to other lands, surely God wouldn’t judge us, but that is pride which provides a false sense of security.  While this country was founded on Christian principles and the Word of God, the Bible, in the past fifty years it has turned its back on God, His ways, and even now His people the Jews.  How can we be so bold as to think that He won’t judge us?  That is a scary place to be in, thinking that we are exempted and protected from Gods judgments simply because of who we are.  We as a country have strayed far from God, and if we don’t repent of our ways, turn from our wickedness and seek His face, God will judge us.  Is there any reason to believe that an impending judgment is on its way for our country if we don’t repent and return to the God of our fathers?  Yes there is.  I am including a link to a couple videos of a rabbi, Jonathan Cahn, teaching on harbingers, what they are, and how they apply to the United States, all based on scripture.  One is a shorter video that briefly touches on this, and the other one is a full video that goes into much more detail that is sure to grab your attention as he goes through nine (9) harbingers.  I hope you will take the time to view these as he “sounds the shophar” of warning to this country of a judgment soon to come.


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John Johansson

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