Back From The Future: End Times Today With John Claeys // Episode 14

Back from the Future: Incredible Examples of Living for Jesu

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Broadcast 14

VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, Back From The Future 

We’d like to remind you what’s available at End Times Today Dot Org. You can sign up for notifications concerning upcoming episodes, watch previous broadcasts, and even send in your own questions for John. 

In addition you can get copies of John’s books by going to End Times Today Dot Org. 

We’ll take a look at Back From The Future in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys

What in the World Is God Doing?

Viewer Screen: Antisemitism in the World Today

The event that launches the Tribulation period is the confirmation of a 7-year treaty of “pace and security” between Israel and leaders of ten other nations. The inauguration of this treaty starts the clock ticking on the 7-year Tribulation period and begins a 3½-year period of peace for the Jewish state. Though the expectation for Israel, regarding this treaty, is for a 7-year era of peace, Bible prophecy reveals that this treaty will be broken after 3½ years. 

This breach is connected with the arrival of the beast of Revelation who will rule the world for the last 3½ years of the Tribulation period. He will be empowered and controlled by Satan. 

Viewer Screen: Satan: The Leader of Antisemitism 

Because the Jews are chosen by God in a very special way for a special purpose, Satan is totally anti-Semitic; and, so, Satan’s man, the beast, will also be antisemitic. During the last half of the Tribulation, Satan, through the beast, will especially seek to eliminate all Jews who believe in Jesus during that period of time. Thus, antisemitism will hit a new zenith in the history of mankind. During that era, the beast will strongly incentivize people worldwide to turn in Jews who have believed in Jesus. When that call is made, to the authorities the beast’s troops will arrive to arrest Jewish believers, after which, they will be condemned to death. 

While the Great Tribulation will showcase a level of anti-Semitism even higher than what was showcased under Nazi Germany, Satan is prepping the world even now to reach those heights of hatred toward the Jews.

One way Satan is propelling antisemitism is through the BDS movement—boycott, divest, and sanction the state of Israel. 

Viewer Screen: After 15-Year Hostile BDS Campaign, Israel Has Only Become Stronger – David Mayand Benjamin Weinthal (Washington Times)

On July 9, 2005, Omar Barghouti, then a graduate student in philosophy at Tel Aviv University, launched a campaign to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the State of Israel. In a May 2020 podcast in Arabic, Barghouti confirmed that BDS seeks to eliminate the “Zionist state.” Yet, after 15 years, Israel has only become stronger economically and diplomatically.

BDS has notched successes among American academics, church groups and campus organizations, although many U.S. lawmakers have condemned BDS. 

BDS is simply another form of antisemitism. 

Antisemitism is also promoted through the media. For example, a recent article cited the NY Times as a promotion of antisemitism. 

Viewer Screen: New York Times Claims Internationally Embraced Anti-Semitism Definition Is (C “Disputed” – Tamar Sternthal  (CAMERA)

After citing a specific example, the writer of this article stated that “ as the lone Jewish state in the world, the NY Times believes it is fair game to attack [Israel] . . . as being Hitleresque, and as being an occupier of land that doesn’t belong to it simply because it is Jewish.”

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The author of this article goes on to provide examples of antisemitism found in the media, as well as those portrayed in academics regarding Israel include: “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” “Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions,” “Applying double standards by requiring of it behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” and “denying Israel the right to exist.” 

As the next article points out, Satan’s antisemitism is alive and well on college campuses:

Viewer Screen: Today, the Real Rebels Defend Israel – David Suissa (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)


These days, many feel it’s cool to go against Israel and take the side of the Palestinians. . . . On college campuses especially, piling on the attacks on the Jewish state is the safe [and conformist] choice. 


    Anger at Israel has become the world’s default position. You can never get in trouble today for bashing Israel. . . .


Antisemitism is discussed in a personal way in the following article:

Viewer Screen: I’m Glad We’re Finally Talking about Anti-Semitism – Arielle Tchiprout (Cosmopolitan-UK)


I’m a 25-year-old British-Israeli Jewish woman, and I have experienced anti-Semitism my whole life. Anti-Semitism . . . continues to exist now, although now it’s often skillfully disguised behind criticism of Israel.

In school, . . . Kids would sing “Throw the Jew Down the Well” song when I entered a room. . . . , while another boy . . . whispered “synagogue monkey” into my ear with such venom I felt faint.

My parents received late-night phone calls saying, “die Jew, die.” 

The final article,

Viewer Screen: An Israeli Responds to Criticism from American Jewish Comedians – Shany Mor (Forward)


describes how it is trendy to . . . call the Jewish state racist, even by American Jews. This article provides an example of American Jewish comedians who do just that. 

Antisemitism is alive and well in the world today. In fact, it appears to be growing in terms of physical attacks on Jews, as well as a growing acceptance of anti-Israel positions. It appears that Satan is preparing for the antisemitism that will control the world in the Great Tribulation.

God is allowing this building of antisemitism to prepare for the coming Tribulation period. He will use it to bring Jews to faith in Jesus, He will glorify Himself as He protects and delivers Israel from extinction, and He will demonstrate to the world at large that He is a God of loyalty, love, and grace as He uses antisemitism in its climactic form to usher in the coming kingdom of God.

And that is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”

VOICEOVER: Thanks John! It’s amazing to see what’s going on in the world right now. Now, we’d like to connect that to what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look THE prophets of power: Back From The Future. Here’s John to explain.

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

“Back from the Future: Incredible Examples of Living for Jesus”

Viewer Screen: Back from the Future: Incredible Examples of Living for Jesus

As we have learned in past broadcasts of End Times Today, God will raise up two Jewish men through whom He will reach Israel with the good news of Jesus Christ during the first 3½ years of the Tribulation period. The very first fruit of the ministry of these two prophets of God will be 144,000 Jews believing in Jesus for eternal life at the very beginning of the Tribulation. 

In our last broadcast, we did an overview of these144,000, finding that they will be faithful, trustworthy, and truthful. As such, they will be entrusted with the gospel as God’s special ambassadors into the global mission field and will be used by God to reach the nations for Christ. 

In this week’s broadcast, we want to see the 144,000 for who they are, incredible examples of living for Jesus. Before we examine their examples, I want to show that the primary reason the 144,000 are presented in the book of Revelation is because of their examples to us.

Viewer Screen: Purpose of Revelation: Encourage believers to remain faithful through tough times in order to obtain awesome, eternal reward.

I believe that the book of Revelation has a very practical purpose; it was written to encourage believers in Jesus to remain faithful to Him through difficult times in order to obtain awesome, eternal reward. That reward will be co-ruling with Jesus in God’s future kingdom. 

This is a very similar purpose to that of the book of Hebrews. However, while Hebrews encourages believers by going back into the past to portray examples of believers who finished faithfully for the Lord (such as in Hebrews chapter 11), Revelation launches us into the future to show believers there who will finish faithfully for Christ. The examples of faithful believers in Revelation are those who will live through the most difficult time in human history to remain faithful to Christ—the Great Tribulation, the last 3½ years of the Tribulation period. As a result of them remaining faithful to Christ during difficult times, they will rule with Christ in His kingdom, which is particularly shown in Rev 20:4-6.

So, that is why the 144,000 appear in Revelation; they are there to serve as examples for us to emulate. Though the beast—the world ruler for the last 3½ years of the Tribulation—seeks to hunt them down to torture them and kill them, they don’t hide to protect themselves. Instead, they go global, seeking to reach people for Christ. 

Viewer Screen: The 144,000 will be trained by God’s two prophets.

Undoubtedly, after the 144,000 believe in Jesus for eternal life, they will be taught from God’s Word for some time prior to going out as evangelists. Since they are Jewish, they may already have an understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures, what we call the OT. So they will particularly be trained from the NT. 

This training will be necessary in order for them to be fully prepared to make disciples of Jesus—that is, to not only lead people to believe in Jesus for eternal life, but to also baptize and to teach them, as Jesus mandated in Mt 28:

Viewer Screen: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ ” (Mat 28:18-20). 

Note the command to “make disciples of all the nations.” Did you know that in 2,000 years of existence the Church—the universal body of believers in Jesus Christ—has never accomplished this? But, in 3½ years of the Tribulation period the 144,000 will accomplish this mandate. Note what is revealed in Rev 7:9-14:

Viewer Screen: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, . . . . ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ ” (Rev 7:9-14).

These verses are linked with a lengthened description of the 144,000 which precedes verses 9-14. Thus, the 144,000 will be used of God to reach “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amazing!  

The 144,000 will be special instruments to fulfill Jesus’ words in Mt 24:14: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’ ”

Notice that when the 144,000 complete their ministry, “the end will come.” “The end” refers both to the end of the Tribulation period and to “the end of the age.” Jesus uses the term “the end of the age” (particularly in Mt 24 and 25) to refer to the end of the period of mankind’s history from Adam to the end of the Tribulation period. Jesus will return to the earth to end this age and to inaugurate a new age—the kingdom of God upon the earth.

Let’s return to Mt 28:19-20 where we see the term “the end of the age” once again:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ ” (Mat 28:18-20).

The indication in this injunction by Jesus is that believers are to be making disciples of others, by baptizing them (after they believe in Jesus for eternal life) and by teaching them; and they are to do that till “the end of the age.” That is exactly what the 144,000 will be doing, that which we should be doing now.

So that these 144,000 will be devoted and effective followers of Christ in a most difficult age, they will sit under training by God’s two prophets. Following that period of time (which could be most of the first half of the Tribulation period), they will go out from Judea (southern Israel where Jerusalem is located) before the midpoint of the tribulation period. (We know this timing by some definite and major clues given to us in the book of Revelation. For time’s sake, I will simply refer you to my book, The Impending Apocalypse where I explain those clues.)

Viewer Screen: “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Rev 14:4).

Last week we noted that descriptions of the 144,000 present them as wholeheartedly faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ once they believe in him for eternal life. To underline that truth, they are also presented as being free from spiritually adulterous relationships with the pagan world system. That should be especially challenging to us and should move us to ask the question: How has the world gotten ahold of us? In other words, have the constant bombardments of media, including social media, and of those who have been affected by media gotten to us—the barrage of messages encouraging pride, anger, greed, lust, and the constant encouragement for Christians to lower, or even change, their standards? 

Perhaps we need to fight those assaults with even more fervent prayer, asking God to mold us in the example, who is the model for the 144,000; we need to do battle by spending concerted time in God’s word, asking Him to use His word to transform us into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus.

We also learned this about the 144,000:

Viewer Screen “And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev 14:5). 

In other words, they speak the truth. They will not compromise God’s word, including the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

How are we doing in the area of truth-telling? How are we doing in refusing to compromise God’s word. 

And, as we have touched on, the 144,000 will be given:

Viewer Screen: “. . . the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6).

Do we seek to reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ? Are we asking God to use us to clearly and boldly present the amazing offer of Jesus—that He gives eternal life, life with God forever, to anyone and everyone who simply believes Him for it?

As we think about the 144,000, think about how their examples might encourage us to become even more serious about following Christ from their example. Certainly, we should be encouraged by their example of great faithfulness of “following the Lamb wherever he goes”—that is, of complete obedience no matter what the cost might be. And, we should be encouraged to imitate their boldness in holding to the truth by proclaiming Christ to many others. In addition, they encourage us to remain faithful to Christ through our most difficult times, as they will continue in great faithfulness during the most difficult time in the history of the world. If they can live faithfully for Christ during the Great Tribulation, we can live faithfully for Christ today.

In our next broadcast, we will discover a mysterious and shadowy character from the Middle East, one who could be alive today. Join us here at End Times Today as we confront “The Rise of the King of the North.” 

VOICEOVER: Thank you John for helping understand these incredible characters of Bible Prophecy. Before we go let’s take a look at some questions from viewers just like you.

Questions / Answers

Our first question comes from Vickie in Beaumont Texas. She writes: My niece asked me about the fate of Jews when they die. She is confused by the fact that the Jews are God’s chosen people and that we worship the same God so she thinks they will be taken care of. Do you have anything that I can share with her concerning this? Thank you. —Vickie Beaumont, TX

A: It is true that the descendants of Abraham, the Jews, are God’s chosen people; however, the apostle Paul, who is Jewish, explained that only those “of faith” are “sons of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). In the context, he means that only those who have believed in Jesus as the Christ—as the Giver of eternal life—are the Jewish descendants who will be experiencing God’s promises to the Jews, including being in God’s kingdom. In addition, Paul explains in Romans that a “true Jew” is one that is “circumcised of the heart” (Romans 2:28-29), meaning one who has believed in Jesus for eternal life. Paul continues this explanation in chapter 3 and 4 of Romans; then later—in chapter 9—he shares that Jews as a whole have missed out on being justified before God because they have sought to be justified by their works (by trying to keep the law), instead of by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 9:30-33). But the good news is that one day the Jews who are alive will believe in Jesus, as Romans 11:26 tells us; yet that does not change the fate of those who die without believing in Jesus. 

As Paul tells us in Romans 4, only those who have believed in Jesus are justified before God; this includes Jews and Gentiles. Therefore, only Jews who have believed Jesus for eternal life are God’s chosen people.

Our next question comes from Belinda in Texas. She writes: In your book, you state the two prophets will be the only believers in Jesus at the very beginning of the tribulation period.  Does this mean they will be the ones who ultimately bring the 144,000 to Christ?  I absolutely loved the way you presented these topics! I especially think you did great presenting the 144,000. The way you presented the meaning behind the expression “virgin” was incredibly insightful. Nevertheless, I do believe that these 144,000 will not be the only ones calling to repentance during the seven years of Tribulation.  I think many will mourn and repent after they realize that they were left behind. Many of these will be people like us that are studying the Word and that will know what exactly is happening.  I believe that they will turn their heads to God at that time.  —Belinda, Jefferson, TX

A: After removing the Church (all believers in Christ alive on the earth), God will begin the seven-year tribulation period with two Jewish prophets who will believe in Jesus at the very moment the rapture takes place (as God has never left Himself without a witness upon the earth–from the time of Adam onward). As Daniel 9:24-27 (see my two chapters on this passage) shows, that seven-year period is a time of God’s focus upon Israel (as Jer. 30:7 states, “a time of Jacob’s trouble”). Thus, God will use these two Jewish prophets to reach many thousands of Jews during the first three and a half years of that seven-year era, but the 144,000 will be the first ones who will believe in Jesus, as Rev 14:4 reveals that they are “fisrstfruits” of the ministry of the two prophets. Those 144,000 will stay around Jerusalem to learn from the two prophets, but will then fan out across the globe prior to the midpoint of the tribulation period in order to reach the nations with the gospel. 

I don’t believe the world will even notice that the rapture has occurred, because at the moment the rapture occurs, the seven-year treaty with Israel will go into effect, world leaders will proclaim, “peace and security,” then sudden destruction will hit (a nuclear attack, most likely). This will result in global warfare (cf. Matt. 24:6-7; Rev. 6:3-4; etc.). Thus, though millions will be missing due to the rapture, the world will believe they may have become casualties of the global warfare. There will be so much going on at that point, that the world will not put it together with the rapture for some time. (However, I believe that the beast of Revelation will have an explanation of the missing Christians that will involve the rapture–but that is not till three and a half years have passed following the rapture.)

Those who mourn in repentance will be Jews in Israel, as Zechariah 12 shows. And in the context of Zechariah chapters 12-14, that will take place right at the end of the tribulation period. For they will call to God for deliverance, and He will respond by sending Jesus to the earth to deliver believing Jews. (This is all in my book.)

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR OUTRO VOICEOVER. 

VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating program. Don’t forget, If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, get copies of John’s books, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys. 

144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus: End Times Today With John Claeys // Episode 13

Description: 144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus

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Description: 144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus

VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, 144,000 ultimate followers of Jesus 

We’d like to remind you what’s available at End Times Today Dot Org. You can sign up for notifications concerning upcoming episodes, watch previous broadcasts, and even send in your own questions for John. 

In addition you can get a copies of John’s books by going to End Times Today Dot Org. 

We’ll take a look at the 144,000 ultimate followers of Jesus in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys

What in the World Is God Doing?

Viewer Screen: Iran launches first underground ballistic missiles in a drill

On Wednesday, July 29, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched underground ballistic missiles in a military drill in the Strait of Hormuz. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the IRGC’s aerospace division said this was the first underground launch of a ballistic missile. 

Iran is getting bolder as it progresses toward developing nuclear weapons. Its stated purpose for the development of nuclear weapons is to prepare for global domination, beginning with the elimination of Israel, followed by the conquering of the Middle East, the domination of Europe, and, finally, by the conquering of the United States. The Iranian regime will not be swayed in its determined path; yet we know from the Bible that God will not allow the destruction of Israel. In addition, Bible prophecy tells us that God will provide for a Mid-East treaty with Israel, a treaty that Iran desperately seeks to stop. So, what will happen? 

It seems clear that the Iranian regime will be taken down. It could be that God is, even now, using President Trump to prepare for that.

In an article entitled:

Viewer Screen: Trump Imposes New ‘Hard-Hitting’ Sanctions on Iran, Including Supreme Leader

President Trump said he signed an executive order imposing “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions would “lock up literally billions of dollars of assets.”

These sanctions will strike at an already hurting economy and could destabilize the Iranian regime. At the very least, these sanctions may serve to give further impetus to the underground green movement in Iran that seeks to overthrow the current government. 

Suppose Israel responds to the calls from Middle East leaders, such as leaders from the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, to strike Iran. And what if Israel coordinated that strike with leaders of the Iranian underground movement? Might the Green Movement utilize the resulting chaos of a strike on Iran to bring about a coup of the current regime? That scenario is not far-fetched. It is a scenario that could open the way to the 7-year treaty with Israel that starts the clock ticking on the coming Tribulation period. 

This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”

VOICEOVER: Thanks John! It’s amazing to see what’s going on in the world right now. Now, we’d like to connect that to what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look 144,000 Ultimate followers of Jesus, Here’s John to explain.

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus

Viewer Screen: 144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus

A barber who believed in Jesus for eternal life was so excited about receiving eternal life that he decided he was going to try to share this good news with each of his customers. The next morning, when his first customer came in and crawled into his chair, he approached him with his sharpened straight razor and began his approach into the gospel with: “Are you ready to die?” 

No doubt that barber had the rapt attention of his customer. In a similar vein, the two future prophets of God will have the fully absorbed attention of Jews in southern Israel—particularly 144,000 of them. 

Previously, we were introduced to two prophets of God who will powerfully prophesy to Israel for the first half of the future tribulation period, 1,260 days. The very first fruit of their ministry will be 144,000 they lead to faith in Jesus Christ and teach them to faithfully follow Jesus for the rest of the Tribulation period. 

An angel’s command in Revelation chapter 7 provides a clue as to when these 144,000 will believe in Jesus. 

Viewer Screen: “Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed: One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel weresealed”  (Rev 7:2-4). 

That particular angel directs four other angels not to harm the earth, sea, and trees until God has set his seal on the 144,000. 

In our last broadcast, we saw that the plagues brought upon the earth by the two prophets are the trumpet judgments, described in Revelation chapters 8 and 9, and occur during the first half of the Tribulation period. These judgments will harm the earth, the sea, and the trees in significant ways.

Viewer Screen: The 144,000: Receiving Eternal Life at the Beginning of the Tribulation

The seal of God placed on their foreheads implies that the 144,000 are being specially protected by God, and it also indicates they belong to God as his servants. Of course, the 144,000 cannot become God’s servants until they enter into a relationship with him by faith in Jesus Christ. So, if they believe in Christ—and are sealed—prior to any harm done to the earth, they would need to receive eternal life at the onset of the first half of the tribulation period. 

One other important clue from Revelation chapter 14 shows this same truth. 

Viewer Screen: “These were redeemed from amongmen, beingfirstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4).

Revelation 14:4 announces that they will be the “firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” of those “redeemed from among men.” The concept of “firstfruits” stems from the Old Testament, referring to the first of all the harvest. Thus, these 144,000 will be the first of many other Jews from Israel who will believe in Jesus for eternal life via the ministry of the two prophets of God. This means they will be converted at the very beginning of the day of the Lord.

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed: One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel weresealed”  (Rev 7:2-4).

Revelation 7:3 announces that the 144,000 will be servants of God. They will serve God as faithful followers of Christ. 

In addition, they will be Jewish. In fact, Rev 7:4-8 reveals that the 144,000 will consist of 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Clearly, the 144,000 will believe in Christ as a result of the ministry of God’s two prophets. After all, the two prophets will be the only two believers in Jesus at the very beginning of the tribulation period when the 144,000 receive eternal life.

Viewer Screen: The Rapture of the Church, Followed by the Tribulation Period

As we saw in past broadcasts, Jesus will take all believers off the face of the earth at the rapture of the Church, which will occur at the very moment the Tribulation period begins. In addition, the two prophets of God will believe in Jesus at the very moment the rapture takes place. 

Viewer Screen: God has never left Himself without a witness.

It is important to realize that God has never left himself without a witness on the earth since the time of Adam onward. This will continue to be true as the two prophets receive eternal life at the moment all other believers are being removed from the planet. 

It is likely these two Jewish individuals will be serious students of the Hebrew Scriptures in Jerusalem similarly to the apostle Paul who sat “at the feet of Gamaliel” (cf. Acts 22:3). 

Then, suddenly, in God’s perfect timing, their eyes are opened to the fact that the Jewish Scriptures they had been diligently studying testify of Jesus, just as is proclaimed by Jesus Himself in John chapter 5, verses 39 and 46.

Viewer Screen: “ ‘You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  . . . For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me’ ” (Joh 5:39, 46).

The prophets will proclaim the good news of Jesus from Jerusalem. This indicates that the 144,000 are not only Jewish but they are from Israel. This makes sense since the Bible indicates that the salvation of Israel will occur in the land of Israel. This is why, according to Ezekiel 37, God has been drawing Jews to the land of Israel—to prepare for their salvation.

More critical information about the 144,000 is presented in Revelation 14:4-5:

Viewer Screen: “These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God”  (Rev 14:1).

We observe that they “are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins.” It is possible that this description is metaphorical in nature. For examples, note the following verses where the term “virgin” is used: 

Viewer Screen: “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘. . . The virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing’ ” (Jer 18:13).

This verse refers to Israel as a whole. Then, in Amos 5:2, again referring to Israel as a whole:

Viewer Screen: “The virgin of Israel has fallen . . . . She lies forsaken on her land . . .” (Amos 5:2).

Finally, in 2 Cor 11:2, referring to the believers in the city of Corinth, we read:

 Viewer Screen: “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2).  

The word virgin in these sample verses is used in a spiritual sense. In these verses, the term portrays those in a relationship to the Lord who are expected to remain faithful to him. This is likely the sense in which the 144,000 are stated to be virgins. 

Since the book of Revelation has more allusions to the OT than any other NT book, then we should look in the OT for help to understand terms in Revelation. It would make sense, then, that the meaning of virgins in Rev 14 would be the same as that used of Israel in the OT.

That is, they will be wholeheartedly faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ once they believe in him for eternal life. 

Another key phrase describing the 144,000 in Revelation 14 is the phrase not defiled with women. This can be explained by the concept of fornication presented, for example, in Jer 3:6: 

Viewer Screen: “The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: ‘Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot’ ” (Jer 3:6). 

In this verse, the nation of Israel is pictured as playing the harlot in their relationship with God, referring of course to Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness to God. 

Notice, also, the description in Rev 17 of the city of Rome in the future tribulation period, and those who do business with her: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘The great harlot [Rome] . . . with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication’ ” (Rev 17:1–2). 

This great city (see Rev 17:18) is pictured as a harlot, due to her great abominations against God, and all who take on her standards in order to do business with her are described as committing fornication with her. 

This metaphoric depiction within the same book as the contrasting description of the 144,000 provides the same sense in which the 144,000 Jews will not be defiled with women. They will remain faithful to the Lord by resisting the seductions of the great harlot, Rome, with whom others will spiritually fornicate—by participating with her ungodly orientation. 

These examples help us to better understand the description of Rev 14:4. The latter part of Rev 14:4 helps to clarify it, as well:

Viewer Screen: “These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev 14:4). 

Clearly, then, the statement that the 144,000 are “not defiled with women, for they are virgins” means they are faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus and are thus free from spiritually adulterous relationships with the pagan world system. 

In v 5 of Rev 14, we also learn this about the 144,000: 

Viewer Screen “And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev 14:5). 

In other words, they will speak the truth. They will not compromise God’s word, including the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

In Zep 3, God announces that through his judgments upon the nations in the tribulation period, He will provide a remnant of Jews in Israel who have believed in Christ for eternal life. Here is how he describes them in verses 12–13: 

Viewer Screen: “I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth . . .” (Zep 3:12-13).

This description is similar to that of the 144,000 in Rev 14. Both passages describe a remnant of Jews in Israel during the Tribulation period who will be very faithful to the Lord, including the revelation they will not speak deceit. 

Their faithfulness to Jesus and their willingness to only speak the truth show why they will be used by God in a very special way to reach others during the tribulation period. Immediately following the description of verses 1-5 of Rev 14 is this connection to the 144,000: 

Viewer Screen: “. . . the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6).

Rev 14:6 indicates how the 144,000 will be used as God’s instruments during that period of time—to reach the entire world with the gospel of Christ. 

After describing the coming 7-year Tribulation period, Jesus reveals this:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come’ ” (Mat 24:14).

This will be the role of the 144,000. Another indicator that the 144,000 will reach the world with their evangelistic efforts is this presentation from Rev 7:9-14, which immediately follows the description of the 144,000: 

Viewer Screen: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, . . . . ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ ” (Rev 7:9-14).

These verses describe Gentiles from all over the world who will believe in Christ for eternal life during the Tribulation period. According to Rev 7, the 144,000 will spread out globally to reach an innumerable multitude of Gentiles with the gospel of Christ. 

The 144,000 will be special instruments to fulfill Jesus’ words in Mt 24:14: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’ ”

 “The end” will come when the 144,000 finish their ministry of evangelism. That is when Jesus will return to end the present age and to begin a new one—the kingdom age. 

Next time we learn how the 144,000 serve as incredible examples for us. If you are serious about your relationship with Christ, you don’t want to miss our next episode of End Times Today as we look at “Back from the Future: Incredible Examples of Living for Jesus.” 

VOICEOVER: Thank you John for helping understand these incredible characters of Bible Prophecy. Before we go let’s take a look at some questions from viewers just like you.

Questions / Answers

VOICEOVER: our question comes from Todd in Wisconsin. He Writes:

Day by day it appears that Israel is getting closer and closer to a military strike against Iran.  Would you speculate at how long it would take Israel to sign a 7-year treaty with 10 nations and “peace and security” be declared.  —Todd, Appleton, WI

A: Good question. This could all occur very quickly. Following an Israeli military strike, the Iranian opposition movement (which is growing) would likely take advantage of the resulting chaos from that strike to overthrow the Iranian government. Once that occurs, the region will likely make dramatic changes—quickly, aligning toward a treaty with Israel and bringing apparent defeat to terrorism. This environment would not only allow the ten leaders of nations to begin negotiating seriously with Israel on a treaty, but would also provide the environment for leaders to proclaim “peace and security” as fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 5:3. 

I believe that once the Iranian regime is removed, all of this will transpire very quickly. In fact, I believe that from that point, until the confirmation of the end-times treaty with Israel, it could occur well within a year, possibly six months (but, of course, that is simply an educated guess).

Thanks John, Our next question comes from Alvin in Washington. He writes: I see in the context of Revelation 3:1-6 that “name” is mentioned in verses 1, 4, and 5 having to do with their works. I think that the name not being blotted out is their New Name but will be confessed before the Father and His angels if they overcome. Am I going astray in my thinking concerning names blotted out? —Alvin, Pasco, WA

A: Before responding to this question, let’s look at the verse that spawns this question:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels’ ” (Rev 3:5).

This is good thinking, but, Biblically, one’s name represents who he is, not one’s works. You have made a great observation about the contrast of having one’s name blotted out and the confession before Jesus as a great reward. This interplay is important to the context and suggests, I believe, a litotes.

A litotes is a literary device in which a milder, negative statement is used instead of a strong, positive affirmative statement. It is the opposite of hyperbole. It is an intentional understatement. Or we could say: It is a way of making a positive affirmation by negating the opposite. It is signaled by obvious understatement. 

An example of litotes is: “If you do this, you won’t regret it.”  The litotes, in this case, is communicating: You will be very glad you made that choice!

Scripture uses litotes over and over again. For example, we see it in Hebrews 6:10: “For God isnot unjust to forget your work . . .” Well, of course, He is not unjust, and, of course, He will not forget your work! The point is: God will not only remember your service for Him, He will highly reward you for it!

Some other examples of litotes in the Bible can be found in Psalm 34:17; Matthew 6:13; Acts 12:18; 14:28; 19:24; 21:39; 27:20; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 6:10; 10:38; 11:16; 13:17; Revelation 2:11; and 3:5, just to name a few. 

The point of Revelation 3:5 is that not only will the Lord not blot out the name of an overcomer, He will highly honor his name (before God and the angels)! (Of course, God will never blot out the name of any Christian from the book of life, but this is how litotes is used. For example, Jesus uses litotes in Matthew 6:13 when He calls His followers to pray: “ ‘And do not lead us into temptation . . .’ ” Of course, God would never lead anyone (believer or unbeliever) into temptation, as James 1:13 so clearly shows us; but that is the use of litotes—in order to effectively make a point.

By the way, after preaching on Revelation 3:5, and pointing out that it contains litotes (and after defining litotes and giving several examples of its use), I received the following note in the mail a couple of days later: “John, that was no insignificant sermon you gave on Sunday!” Ha!

Once again, we received great questions from our viewers! Thank you for those. I look forward to the questions some of you will send for next time.

VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the eye-opening presentation in today’s episode. 

A COUPLE OF QUICK REMINDERS before we go. If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG 

You can get copies of John’s books, Impending Apocalypse at Endtimestoday.org. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys. 

Raining Down Plagues: End Times Today With John Claeys // Episode 12

Description: God’s Future Tribulation Prophets: Raining Plagues upon the World

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Broadcast 12 Script

Description: God’s Future Tribulation Prophets: Raining Plagues upon the World

VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, Prophets of Power: Raining Down Plauges 

We’d like to remind you what’s available at End Times Today Dot Org. You can sign up for notifications concerning upcoming episodes, watch previous broadcasts, and even send in your own questions for John. 

In addition you can get a copies of John’s books by going to End Times Today Dot Org. 

We’ll take a look at the prophets of power and plagues in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys

What in the World Is God Doing?

Viewer Screen: “Israel, UAE reach historic peace deal: ‘We can make a wonderful future,’ ” by Lahav Harkov & Omri Nahmias (Jerusalem Post)

Israel and the UAE agreed to full normalization of relations in a phone call with US President Donald Trump, marking the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The agreement will include establishing embassies and exchanging ambassadors, investments into the Israeli economy, trade, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, . . . and cooperation in matters of energy and water. 

Viewer Screen: Historic Peace Treaty: Israel & the UAE

This is being called an historic peace treaty between Israel and the UAE. But how does it concern Bible prophecy?

For years I have been telling people that the seven-year treaty of Daniel 9:27—the one that inaugurates the Tribulation period—will be confirmed with Israel by leaders of ten nations. In addition, I have been saying that five of those leaders will be from Middle East nations. Ten years ago, perhaps five years ago, that seemed an impossibility. After all, Middle East states were avowed enemies of Israel. Yet, with the rising threat of Iran, leaders of nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, and Qatar have recently been sidling up to Israel. 

This recent treaty—of historic nature—appears to be one more dramatic illustration of God being at work in the Middle East to lay the groundwork for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. If I am reading this properly, this agreement may signal that we are closer than we think to that end-times treaty with Israel. After all, it is one thing for these Arab states to have secret relations with the Jewish state, but to come out publicly with this kind of agreement is something entirely different. 

No doubt, God is arranging the actors on the stage of end-times fulfillment. 

This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?

VOICEOVER: Thanks John! It’s amazing to see what’s going on in the world right now. Now, we’d like to connect that to what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look THE prophets of power: Raining down plagues. Here’s John to explain.

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

Prophets of Power: Raining Down Plagues

Viewer Screen: Prophets of Power: Raining Down Plagues

Two events occurring a little more than a year apart illustrate the power of God. On March 5, 1979, the most powerful burst of energy was recorded by man. The Dallas Times Herald described it in this way: “The burst of gamma radiation picked up by the satellites lasted for only one-tenth of a second. But, in that brief instant, it emitted as much energy as the sun does over a period of 3,000 years. If the sun had belched out the same amount of energy, the earth would have vaporized instantly.”

The second demonstration of pure power occurred on May 18, 1980. It was then that Mt. St. Helens exploded with what is probably the most visible indication of the power of nature that the modern world has ever seen. National Geographic described the blast in this way: “At 8:32 that morning, the explosion ripped 1,300 feet off of the mountain with a force of ten million tons of TNT, or roughly equal to five hundred Hiroshimas. Sixty people were killed, most by a blast of three-hundred-degree heat traveling at two hundred miles per hour. Some people were killed as far as sixteen miles away. 

“The blast also leveled one-hundred-fifty-foot Douglas firs, as far away as seventeen miles, and a total of 3.2 billion board feet of lumber were destroyed, enough to build 200,000 three-bedroom homes.”

Though that kind of cosmic power is truly mind-blowing, neither one of those examples is really anything more than God moving his little finger. Throughout the Bible, glimpses of God’s staggering power are presented through prophets of God. 

The two prophets of Rev 11 will be given immense power and authority by God. However, by understanding v 14 of Rev 11 properly, we will experience an even greater awe of the power of these two prophets. 

Viewer Screen: “The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Rev 11:14). 

This second woe includes God’s use of these two prophets to judge the earth, as presented in verses 3–13. But this woe also connects the ministry of these two witnesses to the first six trumpet judgments of Rev chapters 8 and 9. Let’s do a brief overview of the 1st 6 Trumpet Judgments:

Viewer Screen:

1st Trumpet: 1/3 of Vegetation Destroyed

2nd Trumpet: 1/3 of Sea Life Destroyed 

3rd Trumpet: 1/3 of Fresh Water Made Deadly 

4th Trumpet: 1/3 of Sun, Moon, Stars Darkened

5th Trumpet: Insect Sting Produces Unbearable Pain

6th Trumpet: A Calamity Kills 1/3 of Mankind 

By the way, the Bible reveals three series of judgments during the future Tribulation period. They are:

Viewer Screen:

The Seal Judgments, occurring throughout the 7-year period;

The Trumpet Judgments, occurring, primarily, during the 1st half of the Tribulation;

The Bowl Judgments, occurring the 2nd half of the Tribulation

Now, putting the Trumpet Judgments in some perspective, let’s return to our discussion. In response to the first four trumpet judgments, and in anticipation of the remaining ones, an angel in heaven introduces three coming woes

Viewer Screen: “And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’ (Rev 8:13).”

Following the fifth trumpet judgment, the author of Revelation makes the following comment: 

Viewer Screen: “One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things” (Rev 9:12). 

We don’t see the announcement regarding the second woe until the end of the segment describing the two prophets of God in Rev 11. Then, in v 14—immediately following the episode of the two prophets—this declaration is announced: 

Viewer Screen: “The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Rev 11:14). 

This means that the ministry of God’s prophets is connected with the woes of the trumpet judgments of Revelation, as the second “woe” seems to point back to the two prophets. In fact, the first six trumpet judgments are proclamations of God’s displays of power through these two witnesses. They are a presentation of the plagues with which the two prophets will strike the earth. Notice the description of these prophets in Rev 11:6:

Viewer Screen: “These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Rev 11:6).

Note, especially, the portion of the verse I have underlined: “to strike the earth with all plagues.” The first six trumpet judgments upon the earth, located in chapters 8 and 9, reveal that a third of the trees will be burned up; all green grass will be burned up; a third of the sea will become blood; a third of the living creatures in the sea will die; a third of the ships will be destroyed; a third of the waters will become bitter, leading to many men dying from the water; insects will attack men with a sting so horribly painful that men will seek to commit suicide but will not be able to accomplish it; and a calamity will kill a third of mankind. 

The descriptions of these plagues portray the awesome measure of power God will grant these prophets. The demonstration of this miraculous power will be signs that these two prophets are indeed sent from God, and the world had better pay close attention to the message they will bring! 

Interestingly, the 7th Trumpet is not announced till after the ministry of the two prophets. It is the declaration of God’s coming kingdom to the earth. That the 7th Trumpet does not occur till after the ministry of God’s two prophets indicates that their ministry occurs during the time of the Trumpet Judgments. 

Inhabitants of the world will understand that these two incredible prophets of God are responsible for the plagues of Rev chapters 8 and 9. A strong clue to that effect is found in Rev 11:10, when, after the deaths of the prophets, this scene plays out:

Viewer Screen: “And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 11:10). 

Due to the amount of torment the unbelieving world will endure at the hands of these two prophets, they will be so excited about the deaths of these two prophets that they will celebrate and even give gifts to one another. 

Viewer Screen: The God of Judgment

As prophets of God, the two witnesses of Rev 11 represent God to the world. Due to the nature of their ministry, God is portrayed through them as a God of judgment upon a rebellious world, not as a sweet, grandfatherly type. 

Satan will use this particular depiction to deceive the world. Satan will trick unbelievers into thinking that the God of heaven is an enemy of the people on earth. 

Furthermore, Satan will use his deception to lead the world’s inhabitants to worship his man, the beast of Revelation, as their god. The devil will inaugurate this man as the leader of the world, ruling over it for the final three and a half years, immediately prior to the return of Christ. 

We might be tempted to ask at this point how a God of love can be responsible for the kinds of judgments we see in Rev chapters 8 and 9. The answer is that these judgments are actually a demonstration of God’s love for mankind; for He will use them to draw people to him. God knows that people find their ultimate fulfillment and blessing in a relationship with Him, whereas people experience destructive and tragic lives apart from God. Thus, if severe judgments are what are needed to draw people into a relationship with God, then to bring those judgments upon the earth is a demonstration of great love toward people. It’s what we might call “tough love.”

As we mentioned in past broadcasts of End Times Today, in the near future, Jesus will remove all believers in Him from the face of the earth and bring them to Him faster than one can blink. This is oftentimes called the rapture of the Church. But, because God has never left the world without a witness to Him, at the very moment believers are taken from the earth, two Jewish men in Jerusalem will believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Giver of eternal life. From these two, God will reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ in seven years. But these two will have help. At the very beginning of the Tribulation period, 144,000 Jews will believe in Jesus, as a result of the ministry of these two prophets of God. God will then launch these 144,000 worldwide to reach every tribe, tongue, and nation for Christ.

Join us next time on End Times Today as we learn about the amazing 144,000 evangelists in the broadcast we are calling “144,000 Ultimate Followers of Jesus.” 

VOICEOVER: Thank you John for helping understand these incredible characters of Bible Prophecy. Before we go let’s take a look at some questions from viewers just like you.

Questions / Answers

VOICEOVER: our question comes from Kelly Arkansas

Q: I have understood from your teaching that you believe that the Rapture will occur and the Tribulation begin at the time that the peace treatey between Israel and the Ten Nations is signed. However, how do we reconcile that with His coming (at the Rapture) being described as “a thief in the night,” not accompanied by signs, in contrast to His second coming which will be preceded by many recognizable signs? I hope this makes sense! — Kelley, Northwest Arkansas

A: I’m so glad you asked this question, Kelley. I believe Jesus will catch most of the Church (the universal body of believers in Jesus Christ) unaware—as a “thief in the night”—when He comes at the Rapture of the Church. I believe that most Christians are asleep at the wheel in terms of Bible prophecy, particularly the rapture. But I don’t believe every believer in Jesus will be caught as a thief in the night. Notice the injunction the Apostle Paul gave to believers in 1 Thess 5:2, 4:

Viewer Screen: For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1Th 5:2-4).

The “day of the Lord” refers to the Tribulation period. I have underlined the pronouns in these verses to provide contrast, which is what Paul is doing in these verses. He is saying that unbelievers will be caught off-guard by the coming of the Tribulation period, but believers should not be. 

But Paul is not guaranteeing that no believer will be caught off-guard; but he is saying they should not be caught unaware. 

As we have shown in past broadcasts of End Times Today, no one who has believed in Jesus for eternal life prior to the rapture of the Church will enter into the Tribulation period. Yet, Jesus indicates in Mt 24 (particularly in verses 36-51) that some believes will be caught unaware by the rapture. In fact, I believe many will be; but not all.

So, how could this be if no believer enters into the Tribulation period? If the rapture occurs at the very moment the Tribulation period begins, then it is possible for believers to be caught unaware by that simultaneous event. 

Believers who, at that time, are seeking the Lord with open hearts—those Jesus describes as looking for their Master’s coming—will not be caught off-guard. Yet, even faithful believers will not know the day or the hour, as Jesus proclaimed in Mark 13:35:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ ” (Mar 13:32).

Let’s say we can see God at work in the world today, bringing together the pieces of the puzzle for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. And let’s say that I have been correct that God will first bring down the Iranian regime; then He will bring together ten national leaders to work together with Israel on the seven-year treaty that will kick-off the Tribulation period. Even if we know that those leaders are working on the treaty that will inaugurate the Tribulation period, at which point we will be caught into the sky to be with Jesus, we still won’t know the day or the hour. A treaty could take days, weeks, months, or longer to hammer out. Even if we know what we are seeing, we won’t know the day or the hour. I hope that makes sense, and I hope that answers your question, Kelley. If it doesn’t, please let me know.  

Thank you for tuning in today to End Times Today. I will look forward to seeing you next time. 

Q: I have been having my Quiet Time in the book of Daniel and am now at chapter 8. Both in chapter 7 and chapter 8 is a reference to the “Little Horn”. In your view are they the same individual or are they two different individuals. I look forward to your reply.  —Pastor Don, Brooklyn, NY

A: That is a reference to the same individual. I describe this individual in my book The Impending Apocalypse. He is the end-times king of the North, who will arise from Iraq and conquer the Middle East and northern Africa before becoming the beast of Revelation who will rule the world for the last three and a half years prior to the return of Christ.

Q: I read where you said that the invasion from the north described in Ezekiel 38 was the rebellion at the end of the 1000-year-reign of Christ on earth, but in an article, you wrote that the burying of the dead at the end of this battle would be at the end of the 7-year tribulation when Christ returns to set up His kingdom. I’m a little confused. —Bob (Alfred), Williamstown, WV

A: Good question. Yes, the Ezekiel 38 scenario will occur at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. The burying of the dead is found in Ezekiel 39, a chapter which will find its fulfillment at the very end of the tribulation period in connection to the return of Christ. (Ezekiel 39 is a different vision than is chapter 38.) Thus, the invitation to the birds to eat the corpses in Ezekiel 39 is also found in Revelation 19 in order to connect these two passages to the same event. A massive amount of people who will have invaded Israel for the express purpose of warring against Christ at His return (He will return to the Mt. of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem) will be killed. Their bodies will be buried seven years into the millennial kingdom as a lesson to all who would dare rebel against Christ during His reign. (I don’t know if you realize this, but there will be two types of people in the millennial kingdom–glorified believers and people who have not believed in Christ dwelling in mortal bodies. This latter group will stem from children who are allowed into the kingdom, who will grow up, marry, have families; their children will grow up, etc. They will be given opportunity to believe in Christ, but many will not–as is evident in Revelation 20:7-10.)

Q: Why does sin have to be reconciled? Why did God send a part of himself to suffer on earth? 

How does Jesus’ crucifixion give us a “pass” on our sins? Yes, it is the ultimate sacrifice for which we are eternally grateful, but why does it save us? —Blaire, Cedar Rapids, IA

A: Without the reconciliation of sin, all people would be eternally lost—eternally separated from God. God cannot have anything to do with sin (in fact, Habakkuk 1:13 reveals that God cannot look on sin); thus, we would not be able to live with God forever apart from sin being dealt with.

To deal with sin, God sent His perfect Son, Jesus, into this world in order to live a perfect life so He could offer a perfect sacrifice as our substitute. 

By the way, God could not remain a perfect Judge by ignoring sin. What kind of judge would allow crime to go unpaid? Only an awful and unjust judge would allow that, and God is not that. In fact, God could not remain perfect if He allowed sin to go unpaid.

In addition, if God allowed sin to be unpaid, sin would remain with us forever. Every bad thing we experience is due to sin being extant (in existence). Thus, all of the suffering, aging, sorrow—in fact, problems of any kind, including even death are consequences of sin dwelling in this world. What a horrible and hopeless future we would face if sin went unpaid. 

I should also pause here to make the point that only a perfect offering could be made for our sins. This is because God is perfect and, therefore, has perfect standards. Those standards must be met in order for people to be able to spend eternity with God. Jesus met those standards and then offered Himself to take our place as the perfect substitute.

When Jesus went to the cross, He took upon Himself ALL of our sins—every sin we would ever commit from the moment we drew our first breath to the moment we draw our last one. As Hebrews 10:12 declares, Jesus “offered one sacrifice for sins forever.” That means that there would never be a sin that Jesus did not pay for. 

When He died, He satisfied God’s demands regarding sin (see 1 John 2:2)—for all people for all time. He removed sin (John 1:29) as a barrier to eternal life. 

As a result, one can receive eternal life—simply by believing Jesus for it. After all, by His life and death, He did everything needed to be done to make payment for sin and to procure eternal life, so He could offer it as a free gift. This is why, just before He died, He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) That statement meant “Paid in full!”

Jesus’ death does not give us a “pass”; it paid for sin and its consequences. However, people still need to receive eternal life in order to be with God forever; and they receive it simply by believing Jesus for it (see John 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-26; etc.). 

VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating episode. 

A COUPLE OF QUICK REMINDERS before we go. If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG 

If You would like, you can get copies of John’s books, Impending Apocalypse at Endtimestoday.org. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys. 

The Prophets Of Power & Plague: End Times Today With John Claeys

Description: The Introduction of God’s Two Tribulation Prophets & the Repentance of Israel.

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Broadcast 10 Script.

Description: The Introduction of God’s Two Tribulation Prophets & the Repentance of Israel

What in the World Is God Doing?

Viewer Screen: “Setting the Stage for a Peace Process that Can Work,” Dore Gold, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Dore Gold is an Israeli American political scientist and diplomat who has served in various positions under several Israeli governments, such as serving as an advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has seen many proposals presented by U.S. presidents to serve as a peace plan for Israel and the Middle East. Here is what he wrote regarding the recent peace plan proposal by President Trump: 

“The current initiatives that are being tried by the Trump administration are important because they are trying to liberate us from all the failed peace plans of the past.”

Gold goes on to say why past proposals failed and why this proposal could work. He writes: “We have to give this larger peace plan a chance, as we have in the past, and right now there’s nothing else on the table that has any chance of working.”

The point is: This plan presented by President Trump is unique; this proposal has never been presented by a U.S. president. It is one that Israel could live with, and Middle Eastern leaders have indicated they could support it. Could it be the basis of the 7-year treaty with Israel that begins the Tribulation period? While the U.S. will, ultimately, not be part of this prophetic treaty, might God use this proposal as a starting point for negotiation? Time will tell, but it seems to be a possibility.

This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”

Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 1

Viewer Screen: Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 1

Today’s broadcast will begin a 3-part series on two unique prophets of power and plagues. These prophets will be used of God during the future Tribulation period to reach Israel with the good news of Jesus Christ. As a result, 144,000 Jewish evangelists will take the gospel of Jesus throughout the world to reach people from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Rev 7:9).

The role these two prophets will play, and their incredible uniqueness, is worthy of a series. While we are introducing them today, this broadcast will place them in context and do an overview of their ministry. Next time we will do a deep dive into their powerful ministry.

Before looking at these two powerful prophets, let’s put them in context. 

Viewer Screen: Leaders of 10 nations will confirm a 7-year treaty with Israel.

As we learned in past broadcasts of End Times Today, leaders of ten nations will confirm a 7-year treaty of “peace and security” with Israel. This treaty will start the clock ticking on the 7-year Tribulation period in which God will pour out his judgments upon the earth.

Viewer Screen: The Rapture of the Church

At the very moment this treaty goes into effect, Jesus will snatch away from the face of the earth all who have believed in Jesus for eternal life. This event is called the rapture of the Church. 

The reason the Lord will remove the Church—the universal body of believers in Jesus—is because the Tribulation period will be God’s focus to: 1) focus on Israel—to bring Jews in Israel to salvation; and 2) to use Israel to be a “light to the nations”; that means God will use believing Israel to reach the nations of the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Viewer Screen: When the Church is removed, who will bring the gospel to Israel?

So, if all believers in Jesus are removed at the rapture of the Church, who will bring the gospel of Jesus to Israel so that Israel can reach the nations? The answer to that question comes in the form of two mysterious men of God presented in Revelation 11. They are introduced to us in verse 3: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth’ ” (Rev 11:3). 

Here God reveals that these two “witnesses” will be His prophets to Israel for a very specific time—1,260 days. Using a Jewish calendar of 360 days to a year, this comes out to exactly 3½ years. These two will “witness,” or validate God’s word to Israel, wearing sackcloth. 

Viewer Screen: Why will the prophets be wearing sackcloth?

But why will these two prophets be wearing sackcloth? In biblical times, sackcloth was the garment of mourning and repentance. The command to repent appears in the book of Revelation ten times, demonstrating its emphasis for believers and unbelievers alike. The purpose of the ministry of these two witnesses is to call the nation of Israel to repentance. 

Viewer Screen: What is repentance?

To understand what it is, we will begin with what it is not. It is not a requirement for receiving eternal life. The very same author who wrote the book of Revelation also wrote the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John was written to show readers how to receive eternal life—by believing in Jesus Christ for it. So, if repentance is necessary for receiving eternal life, we would certainly expect to find it in a book that was written to show us how to receive eternal life. So, do you know how many times the concept of repent or repentance is found in the Gospel of John? Zero; nada; zippo; not one time! What does that tell us? Repentance is not a necessary ingredient for receiving eternal life.

So, what is the purpose of repentance? The purpose is to bring people into fellowship, or a close relationship, with God. A perfect illustration of this is the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15.

In this parable, a son, who represents a believer in Jesus, asks his father, who represents God, for his inheritance ahead of time. (By the way, nowhere in the Bible is an unbeliever called a “son” or child of God.) The son then takes his inheritance, journeys into a far country (which represents wandering far from God), and wastes his inheritance with foolish living. 

Then what we see in the parable is a perfect picture of repentance, moving back into fellowship with God. The son takes steps toward coming back home to his father which includes confessing his sin to his father. The father then runs to the son, hugs and kisses him, clothes him with a robe, a signet ring representing being fully welcomed back, then a party is thrown for him, representing the joy of coming back into a close relationship with God.

Viewer Screen:  “ ‘ “Thus says the LORD: ‘Israel isMy son,” ’ ” (Exodus 4:22).

From nearly the beginning of the Bible, God declared Israel as His son. That means that, in the OT, for example, Israel is a picture of a believer in Jesus Christ, even though many, if not most, Jews were not believers in Christ. But Israel, as a nation, is a picture of a believer in Jesus, though a prodigal believer who needs to repent, that is, come back into fellowship with God.

John the Baptist, who was to prepare Israel for Jesus’ coming, called Israel to repent. However, the Apostle Paul reveals in Acts 19:4 what John the Baptist called individual Jews to do:

Viewer Screen: “Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus’ ” (Acts 19:4).

As a nation, Israel needs to repent; individually, Jews need to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. Israel will, as a whole, repent, and, individually, will believe in Jesus for eternal life. 

Repentance is not necessary for someone to receive eternal life, as eternal life is received simply by believing Jesus for it. However, some individuals can be prepared for receiving eternal life through repentance. For example, an unbeliever who is experiencing a wreck of a life may begin to seek God in prayer and by taking steps to better his life. In the process, he may encounter someone who shares the good news of Jesus Christ, and he believes! In this case, God used his repentance to prepare his heart for receiving eternal life. (By the way, in Acts 10, Cornelius is an example of one who sought God through prayer and good deeds; as a result, God sent the Apostle Peter to present the gospel to Cornelius, at which point, Cornelius believed in Jesus to receive eternal life. In Acts 11:18, the apostles called this “ ‘repentance to life.’ ”)

Repentance can prepare someone to receive eternal life. Because the nation of Israel is such a strong-willed son of God, it will need to repent in order to be prepared to receive eternal life.

Thus, God will use these two future prophets to bring the nation of Israel to repentance. According to the Apostle Peter, here is what will occur when the nation of Israel repents:

Viewer Screen:  “ ‘Repent therefore and turn to the Lord, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ ” (Acts 3:19-21).

When the nation as a whole turns to the Lord—God will send Jesus to the earth to establish God’s kingdom upon the earth. In Acts 3:19-21, the kingdom is described as “times of refreshing” coming “from the presence of the Lord” and “times of restoration of all things.” Israel’s times of hardship and persecution will end, as the nation will experience refreshment from the Lord’s presence, referring to Jesus personally ruling in Israel. At that time, the “restoration of all things” will occur; the world will become a much, much better and different place than what we have experienced throughout the history of mankind.

Now let’s go back to where we started this introduction of God’s two future prophets: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And I will give powerto my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth’ ” (Rev 11:3).

At the very beginning of the coming 7-year Tribulation period, God will raise up two prophets of power and plagues. While their ministry will only last 3½ years, it will bring Israel to the Lord and will result in global impact. 

Viewer Screen: Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 2

Join us next time on End Times Today when we will do a deep dive into the powerful ministry of these two unique prophets of God and see how they will frustrate the enemies of God and prepare for the coming kingdom of God to the earth as we look at Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 2. 

Questions / Answers

Q: Where does the great white throne judgment take place? The reason I ask is because I was listening to one pastor say the great white throne judgment takes place in heaven. That seems to present a problem because that would imply that unbelievers are actually in heaven before they are then cast into the like a fire. The Bible says that we cannot see or enter the kingdom of heaven unless we are born again, so it seems to me that the great white throne judgment would have to take place somewhere other than heaven. What do you think? — Jenna, MI

A: I agree, Jenna; the Great White Throne Judgment will not take place in heaven. Instead, it will occur on the earth following the thousand-year rule of Christ on Earth. After Jesus returns, He will establish God’s kingdom on the earth, which we call the Millennial Kingdom. Following the MK, God will raise up all unbelievers throughout history, and they will appear before Jesus for the Great White Throne Judgment, which is found in Rev 20:11-15:

Viewer Screen:  “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. . . . And they were judged, each one according to his works. . . . And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:11-15).

At this judgment, each individual will be given an opportunity to argue his or her case before the Judge—Jesus. Each individual will be judged by his works—in two ways. First of all, note the emphasis on being judged by works in verses 12-13:

Viewer Screen: And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

Jesus portrays this judgment in Mt 7: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” ’ ” (Mat 7:21-23).

Individual unbelievers will be given an opportunity at this future judgment to argue why they should be allowed into God’s eternal kingdom. The particular example Jesus cites in these verses sounds like a charismatic TV evangelist who did lots of amazing things in the name of Jesus, such as prophesying, casting out demons, and miraculous signs (“wonders”). In addition, this one believes Jesus is Lord. However, his works aren’t enough to allow him into the kingdom. After all, if one is depending on what he has done to get into the kingdom, his works and his life would need to be absolutely perfect. Of course, no one is perfect; and, as Jesus has said, “No one is good but God.” In the absolute sense, which is how Jesus would have to judge someone to allow them into the kingdom, no one is good; only God is absolutely good. 

This is why Jesus needed to die. God, who is perfect and, therefore, has perfect standards, cannot allow anyone into His perfect, eternal kingdom who isn’t perfected. So, He sent His Son to take our place—to take our sins upon Himself and to pay the penalty for those sins. Jesus made full payment for all sins which is why, as He was dying on the cross, He cried out, “It is finished!” Paid in full! 

Jesus paid the price for kingdom entrance and eternal life (life with God forever). That payment provided for us to have kingdom entrance; but to receive kingdom entrance, one must believe Jesus for it. At the moment one believes Jesus for his or her eternal destiny, one receives eternal life. At that moment, a miracle happens: One is born again with a new and perfect nature. Here is how Jesus presented it:

Viewer Screen: “Jesus answered and said to him, “ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ ” (John 3:3, 7).

To enter the kingdom, one must be born with a new nature, one that is perfect. Here is how the Apostle Paul expresses that concept:

Viewer Screen: “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe” (Rom 3:21-22).

Paul indicates that the person who believes in Jesus Christ receives the very righteousness of God, a righteousness that is perfect! Here is how the author of the book of Hebrews presents it:

Viewer Screen: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified” (Heb 10:14).

The term “sanctified” can mean “set apart”; it can also mean “made holy.” We are both set apart to God and made holy at the moment we believe in Jesus for eternal life. As a result, we are “perfected forever”! Of course, we still sin while living in these bodies because sin indwells these bodies. But our new nature is perfected; it does not produce sin nor is it contaminated by sin. One day our body will be resurrected or glorified, and it will no longer have sin dwelling in it. Then our nature and our body will be perfected together—forever! Only because of that perfection can one can enter God’s eternal kingdom. 

At the Great White Throne Judgment, Jesus will allow individuals to present their case as to why they should be allowed into eternity with Jesus. But Jesus will show that their works, as good as they might seem, will fall infinitely short of the perfection needed to get them into God’s eternal kingdom. 

Then here is what those unbelievers will experience at the Great White Throne Judgment:

Viewer Screen: And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15).

Those whose names are recorded in the Book of Life are those who have believed Jesus for eternal life. Everyone else’s destiny is the lake of fire, separation from God forever. 

Coming back to your question, Jenna; the answer is: The Great White Throne Judgment will occur on Earth following the millennial rule of Jesus on the earth. But we have also seen that this judgment is for all who have never believed in Jesus alone for eternal life; and the result is: Because they have not believed in Jesus for their eternal destiny, they will be separated from God forever. 

If you have believed in Jesus for eternal life, then thank the Lord for the guarantee He has given you of spending eternity with Him. But if you have been depending on the life you live to get you into “heaven,” take heed; your life won’t get you there. Only Jesus can provide entrance into God’s eternal kingdom. 

Episode 9: End Times Today With John Claeys

Broadcast 9: The Man of Sin & the Abomination of Desolation

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Episode 8: End Times Today With John Claeys

“The Final Seven Years”: The Treaty that Kicks Off the Tribulation Period

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Your Grace Is Free

This song, written by Levi Kitchen, celebrates God’s free grace. The tune is catchy and singable. It is a great worship song for personal enrichment or for congregational singing. A free chord sheet, lyrics, backing track, and lyric videos are provided. The best part is that it’s all free for you to use. If you’re a worship leader, you’re welcome to lead your congregation in worship with this song. If you’re a recording artist interested in recording a cover of this song, we would love that. Sidenote: If you’d like to support the production of more free grace songs like this one click here.

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Lyrics

Chorus
Your Grace Is Free,
Simply By Belief
Your Gift Received,
We Have Life Eternally

Your Grace Is Free
Because We Believed
You Said, “If You Believe In Me,
Eternal Life You Will Receive.”

Verse 1
You are reaching in to mend the broken parts
Your love has drowned the sickness in our hearts
Eternal life you give to us for free 
Not by our works, salvation comes simply by belief

Verse 2
Salvation is a gift we cannot try with works to earn 
We’re secure forever,  life cannot be lost or returned 
You came and died, a sacrifice to bring us to the King
You rose again to life and now we share your victory!

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Instrumental Backing Track

Lucas’ New Release, Naked Grace

THE GRAND RELEASE
I’m pleased to present my new book, Naked Grace: A quest for clarity in a world of confusion. I’d like to say, “Thank You” to all of those who pre-ordered! Due to your pre-order support, Naked Grace released with a top 100 status on Amazon. It’s #88 for its category, no easy task. I’m so thankful to the readers who have shown this book such generous support so far.

Get the Paperback // Get it on Kindle // Get it in Audiobook (coming soon)

GET IT WHILE IT’S CHEAP
If you don’t have your copy yet you may want to get it soon. It’s only $.99 for a limited duration. We’ve decided to leave the pre-order price up for a short time as a celebration for its solid release position. If you hurry, you can still get it while it’s just under a buck.

BOOK DESCRIPTION
In NAKED GRACE, Lucas Kitchen uses wit, humor, brutal honesty, and visual storytelling to invite you along for his life-long quest for answers. Confusion about the Christian faith plaguing every leg of the journey, clarity was always beyond arm’s reach. The search seemed hopeless. He was about to give up when everything changed. This self-deprecating tale will resonate with anyone who has wrestled with unanswered questions and is dying to know the truth.

Get the Paperback // Get it on Kindle // Get it in Audiobook (coming soon)

Get the Paperback // Get it on Kindle // Get it in Audiobook (coming soon)