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Introduction to Prophecy - Part 2
Skip Heitzig

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Introduction To Prophecy

Many believers are confused about the biblical timeline of future events, as well as the spiritual gift of prophecy—and understandably so. In this study, Pastor Skip Heitzig gives an introduction to biblical prophecy and helps us understand this important gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Introduction to Prophecy – Part 2

Daniel, Chapter 2, a little background here. Daniel was a young boy. He was in his teen. He was a teenager. And he was taken into captivity. They think he was about 15 years old. He was taken from Jerusalem into the captivity into Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

And Nebuchadnezzar came and besieged Jerusalem and took the Hebrews back in the 70-year captivity. And this is the setting here. And it says, "In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and the King commanded to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the King his dream. So they came and stood before the King."

And the King said unto them, "I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spoke the Chaldeans to the King in "Syriack, or in Aramaic. "O, King live forever. Tell your servants what you've dreamed and we'll show you the "interpretation.

And, "The King answered, the Chaldeans. This thing is gone from me, and if you will not make known unto me the dream with the interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces and your houses shall be made a dunghill." Nice guy.

This guy was a heavyweight. This guy was like a Caesar Nero. He was like an Adolf Hitler. He really was. He came, and when he came into Jerusalem, he took King Zedekiah and put his eyes out, just without blinking. He says, well, we'll just not let him see forever. That's a good punishment. And they just tore his eyes out right in front of him.

And he didn't think twice. So he says, tell you what. I dreamed a dream last night, and it bothered me. I was on my bed, and I had a horrible dream, but I can't remember what it was. Now he might have remembered it, but you see, if you just tell the magician something, oh, I can interpret it for you. It really means this.

So he's not going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He says, tell you what. You tell me what I dreamed and the interpretation, and if you don't, I'll cut you in pieces. Notice what they said. Verse 6. "But if you show the dream and the interpretation, you shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore, show me the dream and the interpretation thereof."

And they answered, again, and said, Well, "Let the King tell his servants the dream, and we will show him the interpretation. And the King answered, I know of a certainty that you would gain time." You're just trying to stall for time. You just want to gain time. "Because you see, the thing has gone from me, but if you will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you.

For you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me till the times have changed. Therefore, tell me the dream. I will show you that that you can show me the interpretation. Anyway, verse 10, the Chaldeans answered before the King and said, King James 16:11, there is not a man on earth that can show the kings matter. Therefore, there is no king, lord, or ruler that asked such things at any magician or astrologer of Chaldean. Hey, look, there is no king in history that's ever made such a radical decree.

So tell us a dream. We'll tell you the interpretation. Then it says in verse 11, and it is a rare thing that the king requires. And there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods who dwell not in flesh. For this cause, the king was very angry and furious and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain. And they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. Because Daniel was a member of the king's court, Daniel too was going to get killed.

Let's go on. And Daniel answered with the council of wisdom to Arioch, the captain of the king's guard which was gone forth to slay the wise men in Babylon. He answered and he said to Arioch, the king's captain, why is the decree so hasty from the king? And Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. And Daniel went in and desired of the king that he would give him time and that he would show the king the interpretation. And Daniel went to his house and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they would desire mercies of God of heaven concerning this secret that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

So what's the first thing they do? Pray. And it says in verse 19, then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. And Daniel blessed the God of heaven. And Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God forever and ever for wisdom and mine are his. So he gets the guys together. He goes, you go tell the king that there's a God in Heaven who knows what he dreamed. And we'll give him the interpretation by faith.

Then he goes back to his friend. He goes, we gotta pray quick. Because it's our heads. I told him we're going to tell him the interpretation. So they began to pray. God revealed it to him. And it says, he praises the name of the Lord. And those next few verses are Daniel worshipping God in his own words. Then it says in verse 25, "Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste. And he said unto him, 'I have found a man of the captains of Judah. And I will make known unto the king the interpretation.' "

And the King answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen and the interpretation thereof?" Daniel answered in the presence of the king. And he said, "The secret which the king has demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers show unto the king." In other words, are you able to show this to me? He goes, no. But what he says is, "But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets and makes known unto King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days."

And just real briefly, here is a man that God is using that is the perfect example of men and women that God loves to use, people who don't say, sure, I can give you the interpretation. I am gifted by God. He said, can you show me the interpretation? He goes, no one can. I can't. No one can. But there is a God in Heaven who can. And God's revealed it to me. And he give all the glory to the Lord, a man that God used. He says, "But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets and makes known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the last days," or in the latter days, "thy dream and your visions of thy head upon your bed are these. As for you, oh king, your thoughts came into your mind upon your bed. What should come to pass hereafter?" And he revealed, "Secrets are made known unto what shall come to pass. But as for me, the secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king. And that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart."

It says, and here it is-- and now, we're getting into a dream that when people read this and discovered the Book of Daniel, they said this book is so incredible and so accurate that it could not have been written before the fact. It had to have been written after the fact, because it's so accurate. And we went into that last week. So we won't belabor that.

But in verse 31 it says, "Thou, oh king, saw and behold a great image. This great image whose brightness was excellent stood before you. And the form thereof was terrible." And he begins to describe to Nebuchadnezzar the dream that he had. He said, you were on your bed, Nebuchadnezzar. And you were wondering, what does the future hold? I'm Nebuchadnezzar. I've got the biggest kingdom in the world. I'm the most wealthy man in the world. There's none greater than me. But what does the future hold for my kingdom? What's going to happen in the last-- what's the future have?

And so God gave to the king a vision. And Daniel tells it to him. He said, you saw a great image. In verse 32 it says, "This image's head was made of fine gold, and the breast and the arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and clay. And you saw till the stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon the feet that were of iron and clay and broke them to pieces. Then was this iron and clay and brass and silver and the gold broke into pieces together and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. And the wind carried them away. And no place was found for them. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This is the dream. And we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king."

Now at this point, Nebuchadnezzar is going, unreal. That's it. That's exactly what I dreamed. And it all came back to him and how fearful he was when this dream came to him. Because he saw this great image, a polymetallic image, the head of gold, chest and arms of brass, stomach. And he goes all the way down. And he saw all this huge image. All of sudden, this rock came out of heaven and broke this image. And the rock filled the whole earth.

And now Daniel says, "Thou, oh king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven have to given into your hand. And He made you ruler over all of them. You are this head of gold. And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. Gold, silver, brass, and on down the line. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron. For as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things and as iron that breaks all these shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereof you saw the feet and the toes part of potter's clay and part of iron. The kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of iron for as much as you saw the iron mixed with the miry clay."

And it says, "And the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay. So the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. Whereas, you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men. But they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings, that is the last 10 kings, the 10 toes, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to another people. But it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms. And it shall stand forever. For as much as you saw the stone that was cut out of the mountain with without hands that are broken pieces, the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass here after. And the dream is certain. And the interpretation thereof is sure."

In other words, you can bet your life on it. Now, without going through a whole lot of other scripture, in Daniel chapter 7, 70 years later, Daniel was a little older, 70 years older. He's right about 85 years old. He was still kicking around. And God gave him a dream. He was lying on his bed at night. And instead of seeing an image with metals, he saw beasts of the field devouring one another. And God went on in seven and eight to describe exactly what would happen.

That there would be a kingdom, which is Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, Babylon, which was a world governing empire. It ruled the whole known world at that time. Then the prophecy would be that another kingdom-- and in scripture in Daniel 8 it is named as Medopersia. It even gives the name of the kingdom before the kingdom was ever existing. And it says after you, the Medes and the Persians will come in and will rule the world. They'll take you over. They'll subdue you. And they will rule the world. And then another kingdom.

And as you go in history, another kingdom came after the Medes and the Persians, the Grecian empire. In Daniel's vision we saw a bear with four ribs subduing. And as we know in history-- and we could go into it. You could spend a whole night on that. But it's very interesting that when Alexander the Great divided up his kingdom they said, well, who should the kingdom go to? And he said, give it to the strong. And he divided it up between his four generals.

Then after the bear, or after the Grecian empire, came another empire, the iron, the legs of iron, which was the Roman Empire, which had a rule throughout the world called the Roman iron rule, ruling with an iron rod. Now, the last world governing empire the world has ever seen has been the Roman Empire. And it broke up in what today we call Europe, the Roman Empire. But the center of it was Rome. And Europe is the leftover of the Roman Empire broken up into different states and countries.

The Bible said that there would be one last world governing empire. And ever since this prophecy, scholars for thousands of years have waited for a regathering of the old Roman Empire somewhere. They said it's got to be. The interpretation is sure. You can bet your life on it the scripture says. Everything so far has come to exact fulfillment. The four world governing empires have come to pass. And we haven't had an empire that has governed the whole world since.

Now, when Hitler was coming, people thought well, this is going to be it. He's the Antichrist. He's in Europe. And he's going to take over the world. But it didn't happen. Because there was other prophecies that really weren't fulfilled. Now, it says in verse 44 that in the days of those kings, the days of the last 10 nations ruling the world, Jesus Christ would come up and set up His kingdom. We'll get into that in a minute.

Nebuchadnezzar didn't like this. He wasn't too excited about this. So he sort of retaliated against it. And he built instead of a large image of gold and silver and brass, he just built a large image of gold. In other words, he was saying, nobody's going to conquer me. I'm not giving it up for nothing. And he built this large image of gold, put it out on the Plain of Dura in Babylon, the Mesopotamian valley there. And he told everybody to come and worship it. And whoever didn't worship it, they would throw them into the den, the lake of fire there.

Well, a few of them said, forget it, Daniel's three friends. But we'll get into that another time. The thing I want to cover tonight real briefly is the thing that we know as the European common market. A lot of people, a lot of scholars, believe it's hogwash that the European common market could be the fulfillment of this prophecy.

But we know from the prophecy that it has to be related to the old Roman Empire that broke up, since it says in prophecy that it would come from there. And today, we see in Europe what I believe is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel and Revelation, the European common market, the European Economic community, that in 1957 was founded merely for economic reasons. But in the beginning they stated that they not only want economic control, but political control and military control.

They want to bring all the money of Europe. And they said we only want 10 nations. And they've got them. And then we want to take all the money and make central money, one central power, one central government. Let me read you something. We think of Europe, we say, well, Europe can't have the capacity to be a world governing empire, because you look at Russia and the United States. Time Magazine, July 4, 1979, it says, should all go according to the most optimistic schedules, the common market could someday expand into a 10 nation-- this is before they had 10 nations-- to a 10 nation economic entity whose industrial might would far surpass that of the Soviet Union.

But now, there's a big question. You'd say, no way, no way. I can buy this economic stuff. But no way could Europe ever be a world governing empire as long as Russia is next to her. She's got Russia right at her side. How could Europe ever, ever beat Russia with the tremendous military might they have? And I'll agree with you. There is no way Europe could ever govern the world as long as Russia's there.

But God's got a plan for that. God's got a plan for Russia. And it's in Ezekiel 38 and 39. He plans to deal with them. You don't have to turn to it. We won't go over it. That's a whole other study. But God has some plans for the Soviet Union. And as there is a song, I wouldn't want to be a Cossack coming into Jerusalem. When I think of Russia, this huge nation coming into this little speck on the map of Israel, if I saw them invading and I was in Russia, I would want to live in Israel. Because I'm on a winning side. I'd rather be in Israel than be in Russia at that time.

Although, there's going to be heavy times-- and we'll see in the Book of Revelation the Holocaust that most of us heard about, we never experienced, but you that remember the Holocaust, six million Jews being slaughtered. That'll be like child's play compared to what the Jews have left to face in the years ahead, as according to Jesus Christ. And we'll cover that in the next few weeks and next few months.

The Bible says that during this time would arise a leader, in the book of Daniel. He's called the horn. He's called the mouth that speaks great things. He's called the son of perdition, the man of sin. It's real interesting. There's 50 titles for this man. Never in the scripture is he called the Antichrist. But we call him the Antichrist. There is the term Antichrist, never referred to a particular person. But we tag the name Antichrist onto him.

But this man it says would make peace with the Jewish nation. That people would be having peace programs and pushing for peace. And in the midst of a troubled world, this man would come and bring peace. I think he's going to be sort of like an Adolf Hitler. He's going to have power to sway men by his words. It says when Adolf Hitler spoke that he could talk to a crowd who was even against him. And he could sway them in a matter of 30 minutes. Because he had such dynamic, charismatic speech qualities that people just were drawn to this man.

And I believe that this man, just as you, Christians, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God that this man will be indwelt by Satan. And Satan will be controlling him. And just like we have a blessed trinity, there'll be a satanic trinity. There'll be Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet all working in harmony against the world to deceive the world. Praise the Lord. I won't be here to find out who it is.

Because frankly, and there's all sorts of people who say, well, who's the Antichrist? Do you think it's this and Kissinger? And there's always a new Antichrist every couple of weeks. A lot of people thought it was Kent for a long time. But we had to dispel that. But there's an Antichrist all the time. I am not looking for the Antichrist. I could care less who he is. Because I'm looking for Jesus Christ. And I'd rather look for Jesus Christ. And I could care less who the Antichrist will. I believe he's born. I believe he's alive. But I don't believe we'll be around to see him.

Let me read something to you. This was on national television from LA a few years ago. It was during a TV show. And one man stood up. And he says, well, I really believe that the only answer is to get one leader for the whole world, one man who can stand up and direct the whole world and stop wars and get things right in the world. Cooperate together under one man, that's what we need. Soon as he said that, everybody stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Clapped. Yeah, that's what we need. The world is sick. Everybody's in discord. Nobody wants to do, this nation has this, nation has that. One man.

Listen to this. The former premier of Belgium said, "The truth is that the method of international committees, such as the United Nations, has failed." I'll have to agree with him. I believe the UN has failed. In fact, in Israel, as you know, they're favorable toward Israel. In Israel, the United Nations is on top of a hill. It's called the Hill of Evil Counsel, where Judas betrayed Jesus to Caiaphas in the same location. And the Israelis sort of chuckle about this. They say, well, it's still the Hill of Evil Counsel. It's still where people are being betrayed. And they feel like they're being betrayed. And I agree with them.

He said, "The United Nations and these committees have failed. What we need is one person, someone of highest honor, of great experience, of great authority, of great energy, either a civilian or a military man." I think I'd been reading the Bible or something. "No matter what his nationality, we'll cut all the red tape, shove out of the way all committees, wake up all people, galvanize all governments into action. This man we need and for whom we wait will take charge in the defense of the West. Once more, I say it's not too late. It's high time."

Arnold Toynbee, the eminent British historian, said this, "Technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for the deifying," which means to make a God, "to the deifying of any man who might succeed in giving the world a promise of unity and peace. Europe is ripe. The world is ripe."

All these statesmen saying, we don't care who it is. One man on the radio said, be it a god or a devil, we don't care. We'll follow him, if he can straighten up the mess in the world. Well, they have something coming to them. The Bible says that this man will set up an economic system. He will cause everyone in the world to take a number, a mark. We all call it 666. We won't get into exactly what that means until we get into Revelation 13.

But that he would set up an economic system, where he would take away all the checks. You never have to handle money again. You can buy and sell with just a number. Now, 50 years ago, if you would've given a class on prophecy and saying, there's going to come a day when your money is going to be no good and you have to buy with a number, they'd laugh you right out of the building. Today people aren't laughing.

25 years ago, men got accustomed to buying with numbers, plastic money, credit cards. Mark and I often kid, because I've never had credit cards. They won't give them to me. And I go into a place. They say, well, do you have a credit card? No. You can't buy. But I've got money. Well, you go to rent a car. You can give them down payment. You can give them cash. You can give them a few dollars. You can give any amount of money. They won't take it, unless you have a credit card, unless you have a number. We want a number. We want something to be glued onto.

Well, it's come a long way since. And again, these are just things we'll be touching on in the Book of Revelation. But let me read something to you. This is from IBM, big company. This was a man from IBM. And a few years ago, he broke off from IBM and started his own company. And this is what he said. He said, "IBM is working with some other companies and will have come up with what they call the cashless, checkless society. We will do away with all paper money, solve many of the economic ills of the governments of the world. Everyone would be given a number and will not receive cash. Their paycheck would be transferred to their account. Then there would be centralized computers around the world. In three seconds, the entire transaction would be taking place."

In other words, you go into a store. And he says, you could go into a store. And within three seconds, it would have picked up your number to the central computer. The computer will go to the bank, the bank back to the computer, the computer back to where you're buying. Withing three seconds they claim. He said, "One thing that would cause the system to fail is people. They will lie." So IBM came up to the conclusion.

Now you see, credit cards were a good idea. But every person, at least where I come from in California, every con that's picked up on the street has about 30 credit cards on his person that he's ripped off. So you can rip people's credit cards off and charge. So they thought, now, how can we come up with a system, so that it'll eliminate all these credit card thefts? The conclusion, that we would have to attach the numbers to the body. This is what he's saying. This guy is not a Christian, by the way. He might be since.

It says, "They would attach the number to the body." Guess where they would attach it to he said? Either the back of the right hand or the forehead. And he said for very good reasons, because most people are right handed. And if people don't have a right hand and you want to set up something in a lane, like where you'd put your hand under, they would have an alternate. Since most people are right handed, they would either put it on the right hand, because the cells change less in the hand, on the back of the hand, in your body. Your body changes cells every seven years. You have a new body every seven years. Your cells die. And you replenish them with new cells.

But the cells on the back of your hand and your forehead change the least. So they could put some kind of a marking indelibly, so they wouldn't see it. And they could do it. If you think this is folly, by the way, I gave a little talk like this one time to a group of people. And this guy came up to me who is a bank president. And he says-- he wasn't a Christian. He says, this blows my mind. You don't know how far we've come in inaugurating this very same system. We're pushing for it. We're pushing for giving people on their body, numbers. He wasn't a Christian. But he was flabbergasted.

And if I would've heard that and I wasn't a Christian, I would have fallen down on my knees and repented. Because the Bible says, if anybody takes the mark of this man, there is no hope for him. Hard words to swallow. But God's merciful. But God said, if anybody takes this mark, no way will they enter into the kingdom of heaven. That's why it's so foolish.

I hear people saying, well, you guys talk about the tribulation and Jesus Christ. Tell you what, I'll wait. And I'll know if this all comes true and there's a tribulation, and this 666 thing. I'll know it's true. And then I'll commit my life to Jesus Christ. I say, isn't that stupid? If you can't live for Jesus Christ and it's so easy now, what makes you think you're going to be able to die for him then when it's really tough? It's not going to be easy. It's going to be a lot harder. Now it's easy to serve the Lord, especially in the United States. It's just-- hmm.

When will all these things happen? Verse three, the disciples ask him a key question. As he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately saying, tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and he said, take heed that no man deceive you. And Jesus gives some signs to his disciples for our learning, so that we would know when the end is coming. Take heed that no man deceive you. Many will come in My name, for I am the Christ, and shall deceive many.

Isn't that interesting, take heed that no man deceive you? That's exactly what happens to Israel in the last days. They're deceived by a man called Antichrist. Comes and makes a pact with them, think that he's going to bring peace. And then he turns on them three and a half years later. That no men deceive you. For many shall come in My name saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many. And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. And see that you be not troubled. For all these things must come to past. But the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. And there shall be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in different places.

Notice verse eight. All these are the beginning of sorrows. That word, sorrow, in Greek is literally birth pains. Now, you women that have had babies, you realize that every time you have a birth pain, it doesn't mean that you're going to have a baby. It's only when those pains become more intense and more frequent that it's a sign that the baby is near.

The fact that we have wars and pestilences are not an indication of Christ coming. Only when those things accelerate and become more intense and more frequent. Jesus described it as being birth pains, birth pains of a child. Now, notice what he says first. Take heed that no man deceive you. Many still come and My name saying, I am the Messiah. I am the Christ and shall deceive many people. Religious deception.

They took a survey. That took 5,000 seminary students. And they interviewed them. And they asked them-- this is 5,000. And they asked them if they believed in the 10 major doctrines. Without getting into that, things like the virgin birth, the vicarious atonement, or Jesus dying in our place, the Resurrection bodily from the dead, 10 major things. 85% did not believe in the 10 major doctrines of Jesus being God, rising from the dead physically, being born of a virgin, the 10 major doctrines, basic Christianity. 85% would not believe Jesus rose from the dead.

Ministers, so-called pastors of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've got another term, false prophets. But 85%, why do they bother going into the ministry? They don't have anything to offer. They don't have a message. They twist what Jesus said. They should become salesmen. Many of them are. Rip offs. Turn to 1 Timothy Chapter 4. Let's compare a scripture. 1 Timothy chapter 4, it says, "Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith and give heed unto seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies and hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods," and so on and so forth.

Departing from the faith in the latter times. Doctrines of demons. Today we see more religious deception, I believe, than any other time in human history. In San Francisco, where the satanist church started, in one day, they boasted of ordaining 600 priests. Now, 600 people would be considered a fairly good sized fellowship. In one day, 600 leaders, priests, they ordained in the satanist church. You might not think this is very heavy. But where I come from in California, there's a lot of satanic activity all over the place.

I told you a couple weeks ago a guy came to me. Or three weeks ago, was it, Mark, three or four weeks ago? A guy came in, called me on the phone, came in. And looking at him, he had-- you knew something was going on evil. And he said, I've been involved in witchcraft for years. I joined the satanist church. I was inaugurated. But that was child's play. That was just the beginning. He told me some of the things he was doing, all which I can't tell you now. Because it might just gross you completely out.

But he was involved heavily in satanic activity. The neat thing about it is he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and burned all his books. And God delivered him. But I have seen incredible accounts of people demon possessed, worshiping Satan. The friend that led me to the Lord before he was doing that was involved in satanic activity, was playing with demons, communicating with demons. He taught me how to do spirit riding and astral projection and all that weird stuff.

Before I got saved, my life was so messed up in the occult and in communicating with spirits that we were both just walking in fear. But the Lord delivered us. So if anybody tells you that demon possession or demonology or Satanism is not real, it's baloney. But you see, Satan would want you to believe that. Well, just make them believe that I'm not real. Then they won't worry about it every time I tempt them. I can just do anything I want to, because they don't believe in me anyway. That's his ploy.

So in latter times, people would depart. In Russia, they have a big problem in Russia. Whole towns are being taken over by witches. They don't know what to do. Whole towns in the USSR are being taken over by witches. And they've got a tremendous problem there. Look at the movies that have come out since The Exorcist. What attracts people to theaters? Demons, blood, black masses, satanic activity. It's a big catch.

People, there's something in people. They have a desire to know the supernatural, the occult. Ouija boards, kids are fascinated with them. Oh, come on, mom, it's just fun. And if any of you saw The Exorcist, a lot of people don't realize that was taken from a documented story of a boy in San Francisco who started out the same way, with a Ouija board, and got demon possessed. Documented, written down. They just changed the script a little bit. But it's a true story.

Satanic activity. And even Christians are going away from the Orthodox Christianity and falling into all sorts of weird stuff. Because why? Mainly I think it's because people aren't taught, or fed, the scriptures. And Jesus isn't a personal kind of a Savior to them. They don't have a living, dynamic relationship with Him. Jesus is a big impersonal religion to a lot of people. So a lot of people become disenchanted. If people would have had a living, loving relationship with Jesus and knew the Bible, you'd never would have had Jim Jones and the 900 at Jonestown, never. Religious deception in the last days. So take heed that no man deceive you.

Then he says this. "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. That you be not troubled. For these things must come to pass. For the end is not yet." Now, you say, OK, I gotcha on this one. We've always had wars. The world has always seen war. What makes today so unique?

Have you read the news lately? If you turn on the TV, every other week there's a new war. And it's a full on war. The Iraq, the Iran, the Falkland Islands, Israel. Every new week. Well, what's the war of the week move? They ought to have a war of the week show on. The war of the week is-- because there's one every week. People are hating and killing one another.

Now, we've always had wars. But never have we had wars at an escalated rate that we have in the 20th century. Let me you some statistics. Well, just think back on wars, just in our own past generations. World War I, It was called the war to end all wars. Did it? No. World War II, the war to end all wars again. And all of a sudden, we started numbering wars and numbering the times that the entire planet was going to war, not just neighbors or countries. The entire world was at war. And we called it World War I and World War II.

Then man came up with his intelligent, loving way and invented the atom bomb and started blowing people to smithereens. And they blew it over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and then war, then the Israeli wars, then Vietnam. Bloody war that lasted too long till it was cut out. On and on and on. Let me read you a few things about wars.

In a report to the United Nations, to the UN, this is what it says, "Since World War II, there have been 44 wars. 12 of them major in scope. There have been more victims of war in the 20th century than in all the other centuries of the entire world put together." More wars in the 20th century than in all the centuries of the world put together. And this is our boast of progress. The report to the UN stated, "Since World War II, there have been 74 nations formed by war revolutions." 74 nations formed out of wars. So we've had our thing of war.

Jesse, you gave me an article today about war. It says-- where'd you put it? Anyway, it says this. "The State Department officials count 12 wars, which have broken out or flared anew since 1982." 12 wars since 1982, and the year still has five months to go. War of the week. 12 wars in 1982. Amazing. Wars and rumors of wars.

This has troubled the government so much that they hired, a few years ago, a team of blue ribbon experts from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and Harvard University. This is hired by the government to figure out what are the chances of war in the future, nuclear war? I mean, this is getting us scared. We have weapons within 30 minutes this entire planet could be destroyed. 30 minutes, the East and the West could be completely obliterated and annihilated.

Now, these are perils that have never faced any other generation. You are living in a generation that no other people ever had to face the possibility of being blown up in 30 minutes. The entire world being blown up. The apostles never said, whoa, you know, they might press the button. They didn't think about those things. We are rapidly accelerating at such a rate. But listen to this. So they hired these people. And this is what they came up with. They said that by 1984, a year and a half away, it is inevitable that there will be a limited, at least a limited nuclear exchange. And that by the year 2000, or excuse me, by the late 1990s they said-- and this is a government team, this is what they gave the government on the White House desk-- by the late 1990s, it is inevitable that there will be an all-out nuclear exchange.

Now, if they mean all-out like I think they mean all-out, it doesn't look too good. What kind of capabilities do we have to blow people apart? We have things called ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missiles. Russia has some. And on their ICBM missiles they've got warheads, bombs, 100 megaton bombs. What that means is one bomb on one of their missiles has more explosive power than all of the bombs dropped during World War II by both sides. One bomb has more explosive power than all of the explosive power dropped by both sides in World War II. That's their boast.

In 1970-- I forget the guy who wrote it. I have it somewhere. In 1970, Dr. Paul Ehrlich-- excuse me. Dr. Wald said this. As of 1970, "there were enough nuclear weapons on station ready to launch to equal out to 10 tons of TNT for every man, woman, and child in the world." 1970. Enough. Ready to launch, not just being made in silos. Ready to launch, equal to 10 tons of TNT for every man, woman, and child in the world. That would do the job, don't you think? That's 1970. We're in 82.

Believe me, we're way beyond that. Blowing people apart. He stated, "The US is now producing three hydrogen bomb warheads per day. Russia is doing at least that good. Within 30 minutes, the East and the West could destroy each other mutually." If one of these bombs went off over say, Ohio, every living thing in the state would be killed. If you were watching it from 300 miles away, your eyes would burn out before you had a chance to turn away. Because the blast and the radiation would be so intense. The state would be uninhabitable for centuries.

And these very missiles are in Russian silos aimed at you, aimed at US population centers. So you, as living today, face a unique threat, unique circumstances that people 100 years ago, 50 years ago, didn't have to worry about. What do you hear on the Nightline and the editorials on the news? All this talk about limiting nuclear warheads, going on and making more, combating with the East and the West. It just goes on and on. And which is a common thing we live. If you're a child, you grew up. Oh yeah, Russia's got all these nuclear bombs. We could be blown up. Something that nobody else ever had to face.

So wars and rumors of wars. Let's go on. What does he say? "For nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in diverse places. Famines, real quick, we don't have a whole lot of time. We got to quit here soon. But this is what Dr. Erlich said about famines in his book, The Population Bomb. He said that he did not believe that there would be a way to avert a major disaster by the early 1980s, because of the-- he calls this age, the age of famines, because of the population. Listen to this.

From the beginning of the world, whenever that was, it took from the beginning of time to 1850 to get one billion people on the earth. It took from the beginning of time to 1850 to get a billion people on the earth. It took from 1850 to 1930 to get two billion. From 1930 to 1960 to get three billion. From 1960 to 1975, only 15 years, to get four billion. And if we continue to grow at that rate and we can't feed the people on the earth we have now, famines are predicted. And one of the men, Dr. Gorlag, said that concerning famine and population growth, they said that it is foolish for men to think that we can pull a rabbit out of the hat at the 11th hour.

In other words, time's just about up. It's impossible for us to change. And because just the times that we live in there is a lot more famine, with the pollution of our air, you don't see it here. People call Albuquerque polluted. You should come where I come from. Pollution is so bad where I come from, you could be driving on Tramway Boulevard and not see Sandia Mountains. And I'm not kidding at all. You couldn't see them. You won't even know they were there, because it's so bad.

And this kind of phenomenon causes acid rains. And it causes crops to go down. And so people can't get fed. Famines, pestilences. You know, for years, people looked at the ocean said, oh, Jacques Cousteau, he's got it all together. He'll save us. We can farm the oceans. And for years, people thought that they could farm the oceans and there'd be enough to take care in the ocean. A quote by Dr. Jacques Cousteau said, if we continue at our present pollution rate , within 20 years, the Atlantic Ocean will be a Dead Sea, nothing able to grow, either plant, or animal, or fish, won't be able to last in the Atlantic Ocean. So pestilences, earthquakes in diverse places.

We'll end with this, earthquakes. This is what it says. Newsweek, February 10, 1969, a group of scientists called upon the governments of the world to make an immediate 220 million crash research program into the earthquake problem. Recently, Russia and the United States signed a pact together to study earthquake problem. And The Aquarian Magazine says, the intensity and number of earthquakes has doubled for the last three years, becoming more frequent and more intense.

Chicago Tribune, over two years period failed to report an earthquake somewhere in the world in four days. In 1962, Colorado had its first measurable earthquake. In the following six years they had more than 1,600 in Colorado. Scientific Institute in Tokyo, Japan said that over a period of six months, they usually record more than 10,000 tremors in Asia. And in the last six months they have recorded more than 100,000 tremors in Asia.

Now, we've always had earthquakes. We've always had war. We've always had these things, but not at the rate which we have them now. The neat thing in the midst of this gloomy picture Jesus said, when you see these birth pains of a woman, look up. For your redemption draws nigh. I'm going to have you turn to one last scripture. Turn to Zachariah chapter 14. The book of Zechariah chapter 14.

In a Zechariah 14 it says in verse one, "Behold the day of the Lord comes. Spoils shall be divided in the midst. I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. The city shall be taken, the houses rivaled, the woman ravaged. Half of the city shall go forth into captivity, the residue of the people. The Lord shall go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle." Notice what it says in verse four. "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall cleave, or split, in the midst toward the east and toward the west. And there shall be a very great valley. Half of the mountain shall be removed toward the south and half toward the north. You shall flee to the valley of the mountains. For the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azel, which is an ancient city by the Mediterranean Sea, as it was in New Zion and so forth.

Let may read in a little article to you, just to show you how accurate the Bible is. There is an engineer who went over to Israel, to the Mideast, with a research team for oil. And this what they came up with. He said they found one of the largest earthquake faults in the world going from Jerusalem through the Mount of Olives from the east to the west out near the ancient site of the city of Azel by the Mediterranean Sea. Any great earthquake could cause the Mount of Olives to fall to the north and to the south and split from the east to the west and open up a gorge of water from the Mediterranean to Jerusalem.

The Bible is very accurate. Dr. Toynbee, this historian from Britain, said that the ancient Jewish prophets could be more accurate and detailed about future history than he could about past history. It's just incredible. In the midst of all this, Jesus said, those who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air in the clouds and forever be with Him. The Bible promises, and there's three positions taken on it in the scripture. I believe that before this all happens that the Lord is going to come back with a shout, with the archangel. And those people that are truly born again-- I'm not talking about churchy people. I'm talking about Christians who love Jesus Christ with all their heart and are born again-- will be caught up in the air with the Lord and forever be with Jesus Christ. It's what we call the rapture of the church.

Otherwise, Jesus says, look up, for your doom draws nigh. He said, no, your redemption. You're buying back draws nigh. So the Lord is coming back. And if you're Christians, you've got nothing to worry about. If you're not, you're hurting for certain. But the Lord is coming back very soon. We don't have enough time to go on. So we'll quit for the night. Next week, we'll show future survival.

And some of these experts that we quoted, you'll see some of them talking on the film next week. Chuck Smith got to interview a lot of men, military men, in Israel, scientists all over the world. And you'll hear them right from their mouth speaking. And they have one opinion, that the end of the world is near. 100 years ago, old men used to go out in the streets and say, the world is coming to an end. And they were scoffed as fanatics. And the scientists said, no way. Now, the scientists are saying look out.

One scientist said by the year 2000, he doesn't believe that the world will exist. And these aren't just people who had a biology class in high school. It's people who've given their whole life to their discipline. That there's no hope. But as a Christian, there is hope.

Let's pray. Father, we thank you, Father, for your word, for the accuracy of your word. The Lord, as men are finding out these things that you've already talked about them, Lord. As we discover them in our newspapers, Lord, they're just old to us, because we've read them before in the word. And Father, it's exciting to see these things happen. As people get worried about the number system, we realize that 2000 years ago, you spoke about it. Lord, as you spoke about even the Antichrist coming, you also told us Christians to await the coming of Jesus Christ. So Lord, we look for your soon return. And Lord, we pray that you'd help us to live that you could come back any moment. And that would give us enough zeal to live for you and to try to please you on a daily basis. In Jesus' name we pray. And everybody said amen.

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