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“Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” (Revelation 6:11 NKJV).

The entire history of this age will soon be written. While many attempt to pacify the fearful, the wise are taking note of God’s signs. Modern pastors reassure their unsettled flocks with the promise Jesus will return “prior to” Antichrist’s appearance. “Peace and safety” are implicit. Their sheep repeat: “Great Tribulation is coming, but thank God I won’t be around to see it!”

Satan has deceived many so-called “Bible-believing” Christians into declaring “any moment Jesus will come and we’ll escape.” Can Christ come on any given day or will he arrive on a set day with accompanying signs in the sky? Does resurrection occur, as they say, while we are taken up in the rapture? And what of all the unfulfilled signs?

There are definite signs for which we need to look. In 2nd Thessalonians, we have lots of signs. Paul reminded his former students what he had taught. As a fellowship they had swallowed the false teaching the Day of the Lord had come and gone. The Apostle was clear: This day cannot come until the apostasy (the falling away or rebellion) occurs (cf. Matthew 24:10) and the man of sin is revealed (2:3). The man of sin or son of perdition will take his seat in the temple of the LORD claiming to be God (2:4) (In Part 1, we discussed this sign’s fulfillment at the 70th week’s midpoint.)

We learn in Revelation 13 that at the 42-month mark, the Antichrist will be revealed by demanding universal worship. Those who resist him will be forced to take the beast’s mark. This sets the stage for our sign of the end.

God’s people will stand firm in their resistance. Those remaining true despite the beast’s power are spoken of in Revelation 12:11“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (NIV).

God’s resisters are a major sign of the end. Saints always oppose the beast, even to the death. For some, their refusal to take the beast’s mark will cost their head (Rev. 20:4). These martyrs are the souls heard under the altar when the 5th seal is opened (Rev. 6:9). Together they appeal for vengeance (i.e. the Day of the Lord’s Judgment). They are comforted with a promise that God will bring the wicked to justice, but only after the full number of their brothers are likewise slain (Rev. 6:10-11).

This will be a sign of Christ’s coming. Once the last martyr sheds his blood, then the beast’s power will be broken. The beast’s last publicly guillotined saint will set off a series of prophesied signs that directly precede Jesus’ coming in the clouds.

In 2015 a live video feed picked up radical black-clothed Muslims beheading faithful Christians. This is a “can’t miss sign”. It presents evidence of how close we are to the end. Those serving Antichrist will make an example of elect martyrs. Those who hold to the testimony of Jesus and obey God’s commands are already being decapitated.

Prepare now. When the full number of the faithful lose their heads, then look to the east. Redemption will be drawing nigh. EJ.

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In understanding the dynamics of a conflict, I’m fond of using examples from a well-played game of chess.

Let’s say we have a chess game in which white and black have equally developed their position. It’s mid-game with no one able to claim a clear advantage. Then one side strikes by employing major strength (queen, bishop, knight) to threaten the opponent’s defenses. It is all but certain that if the attack does not succeed in keeping the pressure on until victory is won, the side that committed their resources will lose. Except in rare instances, poor aggressive strategies result in over-exposure and all but guaranteed defeat.

With the above in mind, a news item should catch our attention: The U.S. Commander in the Pacific (PACOM), Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, speaking on the record, warned that China is gaining dominance in the Pacific. What qualifies this as an “ominous” warning is that the Obama Administration placed Adm. Locklear in charge of the U.S. military “pivot” away from Europe toward the Asian-Pacific rim. It was a high-level power play to show U.S. strength, provide security to America’s trading partners in the region (other than China) and pressure China into a more cooperative or docile posture. Now after three years to evaluate their military policy, it appears this strategic move has backfired. This week, Chinese government news sources are reporting the U.S. has lost its grip in the Pacific. 

Recent developments indicate the Chinese are more aggressive, not less. Their military production machine is in high gear. Their advancements are no longer countered by superior American technology. In what might have been termed a back and forth between strong opponents, the tide has turned. The U.S. has been left over-exposed, over-extended and guaranteed vulnerable to a well-planned counterattack. From a U.S. commander’s point of view, this newly declared pivot of power is ominous.

Of course, these events support my contention that with America’s relegation to a footnote in history, it will give rise to global chaos and the pre-ordained emergence of the Antichrist. The clock is ticking, not on the end of the United States, so much as on the end of the age. It was Jesus who declared three times within the last fifteen verses of Scripture: “I am coming soon!”  Does that catch our attention?

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