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Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.


Sep 24, 2012

Donation Drive October to December

For over 25 years, Rapture Ready has been an online resource for end-times information. I started the site sometime in September of 1987 while I was an airman stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. My computer was an Apple II clone made by Franklin Computer Co. It featured all green text, and there was no mouse. Some of you old-timers might remember the look of a screen shot I saved from 1989 (click here).

There was no ribbon cutting, because for the first few years, few people cared what I posted in the global news groups system--now extinct. When the graphic Internet came along with the 1994 release of Netscape Navigator, I switched to posting the site on a stand-alone domain.

The changes I find the most amazing are the activity and growth of Rapture Ready. In the early days, I could go on a two-week trip and come back without anyone noticing my absence. Today, I have to check something related to the site at least 12 times a day. The traffic went from zero to one thousand in the '90s to tens of thousand in the 00s, and to hundreds of thousands in the past few years. This year is on track to be the busiest ever.

One important way Rapture Ready helps advance the end-times message is by being an information resource for other sites. Last month, several of our articles were featured on the Before It's News site. My Final Final Final Warning article briefly became the domain's top news article, generating over 25,000 visits. In total, the site has added 80,000 hits to the article first posted on Rapture Ready.

We've recently increased the size of our staff. Because we have so many people writing for the site, we've had an overwhelming need for people who can fact check and edit articles. RR has so much content that is date sensitive, it has become a struggle for us to keep the material updated. One of the sections that we just finished updating is the Timeline. Some of the pages had not been updated since 2008, but they are all now current.

We also plan to use the new set of hands to add original content to the site. We've already greatly expanded the Who's Who of Prophecy page. We will soon add a "Dear Esther" link to the same section as Nearing Midnight. The new page will be an advice column answering readers' queries on biblical matters.

We covet your ideas on ways to improve Rapture Ready. Sometime the simplest suggestion can have an huge impact. About a month ago, a web designer from England helped me with a problem that has plagued the site for years. Because several of our pages are many years old, the html code runs into conflict on how it display punctuation characters. Sometime quotes, commas, or hyphens will show up as white boxes or other gibberish. What made the problem so bedeviling was the fact that after correcting the errors, they would later revert back to the same problem. The solution was the code that works with all versions of html.

We greatly in need of your help in covering the site's cost of operation. The site has received its best support from folks who have signed up as regular donors. One-time donations are greatly appreciated, but what pays the bills are people who are willing to help on a monthly basis.

I have been so busy with various project related to the site that I haven't taken the time to manage a festering problem with the credit-card subscription option on the Donation Depot page. Unlike PayPal, the credit card company offering this service doesn't manage the accounts. Once they go past their expiration dates, the subscriptions becomes invalid. You use either option for monthly donations, but we find PayPal to be the easiest to manage.

The most important decision a person can make is to find salvation in Jesus Christ. Once a person becomes a believer, it should be a top priority to become involved in the propagation of the gospel. I firmly believe that joining with those who financially support Rapture Ready is one of the best investments you can make.

There are three ways you can contribute to Rapture Ready: You can send a financial gift via our P.O. box address, you can make a one-time donation, or there is a frequency option that allows you to make monthly donations. If you're interested in signing up, find the input links on the Donation Depot page. Donations can be sent to our P.O. box at:

Rapture Ready
P.O. Box 969
Benton , AR 72018

 

--Todd


The Gog Equation

Anxiety of the first magnitude is again on the rise, involving feared impending military action by Israel against Iran and its nuclear development facilities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made the now-familiar declaration that the international community cannot put red lights up to stop Israel from attacking Iran’s atomic weapons factory if they won’t support red lines beyond which Iran must not go in atomic weapons development. His implication is crystal clear, and, most diplomatic types think, aimed primarily at the U. S. administration. Israel will go it alone in doing what it must to protect itself, even risking world condemnation if necessary.

Iranian military has responded with war talk that approached seldom-reached levels.

TEHRAN [AP]--he top commander in Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Sunday that "nothing will remain" of Israel if it takes military action against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran's response to any attack will begin near the Israeli border…Iran has in the past made reference to the destruction of Israel but his comments at a Tehran news conference were unusually strongly worded. ("Iran Commander Warns Israel, U.S. Against Attack," AP, http://www.usatoday.com...  My thanks to Jonathan Stettin for the article.)

As stated many times before in this column, the reports from many proven-to-be unreliable sources predicting imminent attack by Israel have reached my desk. All have been proven to be overblown and even downright made up. The current situation is different. There is obvious movement of major military naval assets by the international community in the region due to fears that the Iranians will make good on their threat to block the Straits of Hormuz if Israel assaults their nuclear laboratories.

"A dramatic show of naval power has assembled in the Persian Gulf. The force is constituted of far more than the minesweepers that might be expected to be present, in case the Iranians should mine the Straits. Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war," according to the London Times.

Still, there seem to be more pressing matters than this tremendous build-up in the Persian Gulf–to those who gather and report news. It is puzzling to some extent as to why other Middle East exigencies are more central to coverage by media–although, as stated at first, there is a growing anxiety about when, not if, things explode over Iran’s atomic weapons program.

It is as if the U.S. presidential election season keeps all other news of a critical nature from the top news spot. News media attention on how the proliferating hatred-filled demonstrations against America might impact the candidacies of Barak Obama and Mitt Romney has for the moment taken center-stage.

One thing sure: There is little attention being paid to these Middle East matters as they might involve Bible prophecy by anyone but a few watchmen–and that condemnation includes the Christian community in America. Yet, it is a time when some quite fascinating factors jump at the student of Bible prophecy.

Perhaps a relatively minor one of those factors, but one which nonetheless signals plainly where this generation finds itself on God’s prophetic timeline, jumps at me from a report about recent attacks in Afghanistan:

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- An insurgent group close to the Taliban said its attack Tuesday that killed 12 in Afghanistan was revenge for an anti-Islam film that has angered the Muslim world. Eight of the dead were South Africans, a government spokesman confirmed, all working for international flight provider Air Charter Services, some of them as pilots. Three of the dead were Afghan civilians, and another was a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office said in a statement.

The South Africans were ethnic Caucasians, said Clayson Monyela from South Africa's International Relations Department, who suggested they could have been mistaken for Westerners associated with U.S. or NATO military powers…

These Middle East wars and rumors of wars are based almost exclusively on religious and ethnic (racial) factors. No matter how the pundits and the terrorists want to couch the excuses for the terrorism and threats, the bottom line is that they stem from the very thing Jesus Himself prophesied in His Olivet Discourse:

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6-7a). Jesus spoke here of “nation”--ethnos, the Greek term for our English word “ethnic”--in prophesying what would be at the heart of the end-times violence between peoples of planet earth. The news from the region makes it clear that the terrorist murders of the South Africans were likely because they mistook their victims for American Caucasians.

Another most fascinating factor is that Jesus said that the end wasn’t yet, when those who hear His prophecy see wars and hear of great military conflicts to come. Again, I think this is a primary indicator of the end of the age, where I’m convinced we find ourselves today. And, now, I’ll stretch out my neck with the hope it doesn’t get my head lopped off.

My question is once again one involving the one called Gog by the prophet Ezekiel. Is the Gog spirit inhabiting the region, like the Bible tells us the Prince of Persia is inhabiting the area we know as Iran, at present controlling the leadership of Russia?

That wicked minion of Satan–Gog--will at some point put together the thought–a hook in the jaws given him by God Himself, apparently--inducing him to want to attack Israel to the south. Persia–Iran—will be the Russian leader’s chief ally in that attacking coalition, the prophecy tells us. Iran could do that prophetic Russian leader no good if Israel’s IDF had earlier destroyed that country’s ability to mount a military force. There seems to be no use of nuclear weapons by those forces as they storm southward toward Jerusalem–although there seems to be a possibility of such weapons falling elsewhere--in the coastlands, for example.

More importantly, however, the real assault against Israel seems to be a surprise attack by a cunning Russian leader who has gathered his coalition after his specific “evil thought.” Iran bringing the kind of chaos to the region, as it threatens to do if its nuclear program is attacked, it seems to me, would change the configuration for quite some time in the region.

Realizing that there are a thousand factors that could alter the geopolitical dynamics of the region and world, I’m just again wondering if Russia isn’t working behind the scenes, even now, to bring this standoff with Israel–and the whole international community—to a temporary resolution. Might Vladimir Putin convince the Islamist leadership for the time being to step back from their nuclear program, thus to fight another day, in a different way against God’s chosen people?

Much in the same way that a global economic disaster continues to loom precipitously, the Iran-and-Muslim-world-vs-Israel standoff continues to hang ominously over the Middle East for some inexplicable reason.

--Terry