What if a Leader Arises?

WHAT IF?

But what if someone arose, so close in power, charisma, and personality to what we expect to see in Jesus that many leaders would embrace him as the returned Messiah, especially when this person shows them the Bible predicts him precisely? What if he is able to show how we have all misinterpreted many of the other passages which seem to say Jesus will come during the Battle of Armageddon and touch down on the Mount of Olives?

THE INTERNET

You can find a multitude of other hopes, dreams, and terrors brought to us by various prophets, sects, cults, and belief systems in both past and near history and movements. For instance, David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians, killed in an inferno caused by the FBI in Waco, Texas in 1993, predicted that he would return three years after his death. Of course, it never happened, but how many others remain out there making similar assertions on the backs of their fervent, impassioned disciples?

Again, who’s right?

Or maybe we should ask, does it really matter?

IT MATTERS

Undoubtedly, it matters a great deal. In fact, how you come down on the issue may determine whether you have an early demise or a long and happy life. If someone really is coming who will lead the world into a new Golden Age, wouldn’t you want to follow him, support him, and love him?

On the other hand, if this person turns out to be Satan-incarnate, bent on destroying humanity and sending everyone off to hell in the proverbial handbasket, wouldn’t you need to be prepared to oppose him, even unto death?
TO BE CONTINUED:
This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

Other Faiths and End of World

OTHER FAITHS

Baha’i believers predict a great age of worldwide leadership where all people will embrace the Baha’i faith and usher in a time of harmony, love, and peace. They don’t predict the coming of a particular leader, just a new age.

However, Baha’ism is an eclectic faith that amalgamates many traditions into a belief system that some think could define a new worldwide religion. Someone who could build a consensus of all the different, and often contradictory, beliefs out there would certainly stand on the world stage as a uniter and trailblazer. Would multitudes welcome such a leader?

Mormons expect Jesus to come back, though in several different places, depending on which sect you belong to. A number of websites currently predict that coming as a near event.

Neo-Pagans, Wiccans, and New Agers look for a true “earth mother” to set everything straight. If not her, then someone who can “channel” the right person who will turn earth from a YouTube vacuity to real Utopia.

CHRISTIAN THOUGHTS

Christians have their own disagreements about who, where, and when, but the thrust of the Bible is that Jesus Christ will return to earth, set up a thousand year (Millennial) kingdom, and bring about the great and final Judgment. The Bible indicates that his coming is “imminent” and can happen at any moment, without preceding signs and events. In fact, his coming is divided into two events—the “Rapture” or “catching up” of the true church to escape the seven year “time of tribulation” that will follow, to his actual Second Coming at the end of that seven-year period in the middle of the massive battle of Armageddon.

Many believe Christ will then ascend the throne and rule earth for a thousand years in bliss and perfect harmony. After one more “time of trouble,” predicted in Revelation 20:7–10, God will create a “new heaven and new earth” which will march on forever and ever in perfect joy, peace, and love. The inhabitants of that realm will never experience sin, hate, murder, lying, immorality, or mayhem again.

TO BE CONTINUED:
This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

The End of Everything

The END of PLANET EARTH?

A number of archaeologists and historians who have studied the ancient Mayan calendar predict that a cataclysmic world change will occur in December 2012. Various media sources have begun reporting on a Planet Earth endpoint in 2012, December 21 to be exact.

Actually, in various interpretations, what the calendar states is that a major change in the world will occur in 2012, not its end. Some take the prediction seriously.

NOSTRADMUS

Nostradamus, too, spoke of 2012 as a world-shattering date. He was the 16th century French prophet whom many deem one of the greatest of all prophets for his supposed accuracy about certain future events from his time (he wrote ten books of prophetic verse from 1555–1566).

He predicted the coming of three Antichrists in the last few centuries. The first was Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), the Emperor of France who conquered much of the European world. Some interpret Nostradamus’s words as pointing directly at the “little general” who dominated the world at that time.

The second Antichrist, whom he calls “Hister,” provides a chilling variation of the name Hitler, who rose from 1922–1945 in Germany and brought the world to the brink of dissolution in its most violent war, World War Two.

Researchers have found that Nostradamus often switched letters in various names to protect the innocent. When Hitler died after nearly destroying Europe, he had caused more deaths in human history than any other person. As a result, many began to take Nostradamus’s writings seriously. If he was right about Hitler, could he be right about the third and last Antichrist?

The French prophet speaks of this third Antichrist, as even more monstrous than the former two, a “messiah of evil,” who will appear early in the 21st century with the world ending in 2012.

TERRIFYING PRECISION

Remarkably, this is the very time that some anticipate the rise of such a ruler for our time. While Nostradamus’s writings include many vague, weird, and inaccurate prophecies, some scholars feel that these three important ones strike right on the proverbial nail with terrifying precision.

Many laypeople refuse to dismiss him as a heretic or a mystical crazy person. How could he have had such foresight except for some supernatural gift bestowed on him by divine or near-divine powers? What if someone began to interpret his prophecies plausibly to show that much of what
he predicted is coming true now?

Granted, many people regard Nostradamus as a “nutcase” whose prophecies are so vague that no one could really pin them down to precise times and places. But what if someone could point to specific passages that he says foretold this world leader? And what if this would-be prophet did the same with the Bible and other sacred books? What then?
TO BE CONTINUED:
This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

End of World (3)

WHY?

Many simply ask, “Why is this happening? Now? In our country? In the world? Is it all leading to a giant cataclysm, predicted by people like Nostradamus and the prophets of the Bible, or is it just another little downturn we have to muddle through to get to the good times again?”

In many ways, it appears that a tremendous confrontation of nations, economies, and military powers is imminent. Is there any way to survive?

THEOLOGIES

Christian theology repeatedly warns of a coming period of “Great Tribulation” which will virtually destroy the world as we know it.

The Shiite Muslims believe in a 12th Imam who will come and set everything right for them. Some, like the president of Iran, believe they can even usher in his reign by flinging a nuclear bomb into Israel and blowing the nation and its people to dust.

Other smaller cults have all kinds of bizarre beliefs about someone coming to save them. Several years ago, one group of people from the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide as a comet drew near, believing they would be united spiritually in a spaceship hidden in the wake of the comet.

Conservative Jews, of course, still await their Messiah, having rejected Jesus long ago. Most, however, believe little or nothing of their traditional religious roots, so what does it matter?

Do you get a sense that many people the world over seek some great, even supernatural person, perhaps God himself, to whisk in and save us all from ourselves?

Of all the different philosophies and theologies, who is right? Whom can we trust?

COMING SOON

All these conflicts might be playing in the news in a theater near you. Meanwhile, persecution of many religious groups rages even in the U.S. Christianity takes daily shots from the media and various celebrities. Mormons are vilified and attacked for their values-oriented positions on moral issues. Jews continue to be despised the world over.

It’s nation against nation, community against community, and neighbor against neighbor everywhere you turn. Nuclear threats abound. Certain nations hunger to “wipe Israel off the planet,” to say nothing of the same sentiments toward the United States, Europe, and other nations that are “infidels” and don’t support their philosophies or religious beliefs.

SOMEONE, ANYONE

Can anyone save us from such disasters? Can anyone prevent them from happening in the first place?

Perhaps.

The longing for a leader who can “save us” from impending global warming, and economic and nuclear disaster grows stronger every day.

In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, many called Barack Obama “the One,” the “Messiah,” and other grandiose names, believing his ideas of hope and change were what we all needed. People literally bowed before him as a political savior.

Within a couple of years into his tenure, the left was deeply disappointed in him for moving too slowly, and the right was angry because his policies went too far left. Those in the middle just wanted him to accomplish some necessary things like job-creation, reining in the deficit, reducing health care costs, and showing some adeptness in handling foreign affairs and the economy.

Obama may not have, to date, lived up to the hopes of being the Savior we seek. But if someone appeared on the world scene who seemed to have the words, the charisma and the sheer guts to lead the whole world into Utopia, would you be intrigued?

Would you be drawn in, especially if he was as strong on quoting the Bible as the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, Confucius, Moses, and L. Ron Hubbard? What if he seemed able to embrace all and pull us into a unity and harmony never seen before in history?

If he could bring peace among religious systems of belief, amalgamate them into one and show that he is the one they’ve longed for, would you commit?

We will look at the character and personality of this person in the chapters ahead, as predicted by credible authorities.

TO BE CONTINUED:
This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

It’s Getting Worse

IT’S GETTING WORSE

Meanwhile, our president seems incapable of making the easiest decisions. He lets others handle the work. Not the dirty work, just the plain old important work of running a country. He would rather be president of China, as he has said, or play golf. The Democratic Senate hasn’t produced a budget in several years, and they voted against a recent one(not the latest) submitted by the President, 97-0. A debt-ceiling debate turned into a war. And it only got worse as the U.S. was demoted to Double-A-Plus credit status.

Why is there so much turmoil? Could the God of the universe be orchestrating events to bring our world to the conclusion he predicted long ago?

Meanwhile, the Chinese and Indian economies grow at a manic pace and some say they will become the same kind of economic superpowers as the European Union and the United States.

Illegal immigrants stream to the U.S., land of the “American Dream,” but no one seems to have any idea what to do about this. Send them home, or send them to work? Let them stay and let them vote, or make them second-class citizens? In the last couple of years, immigration from Mexico has actually decreased. Why? Because there are no jobs in the U.S. which was the reason they used to come in the first place.

Environmentalists achieve even greater influence saying “green is the way to go,” even though no evidence shows “green” can be done successfully or effectively, as evidenced by the recent bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer.

THE TRUTH

Republicans fight back with the “facts” about lowering taxes and cutting spending, leaving many peeople confused about what the truth is. In fact, so many leaders and theorists disagree today about “facts” and “truth” that many wonder if anyone can really know reality about anything.

Who’s on the level? Who’s lying? Conflicting stories are everywhere. Who do you trust? Anderson Cooper? Fox News? Rush Limbaugh? How do we know who’s really right, who is speaking absolute sober truth that we can base our decisions and actions on in this tense environment?

TO BE CONTINUED:
This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

Where is the Savior of the World?

The OUTCRY for a SAVIOR of the WORLD

Take a hard look at the world, and what do you see? If you have eyes like mine, you see a shambles.

As I said in chapter one, with earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, forest fires, food shortages, and plagues, you would think that would be enough. But dictators wage genocide with impunity right now in many places in the world including Darfur, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, China, and other nations.

But no one steps forward to help.

Former Vice-President Al Gore’s popular documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, about the effects of global warming, frightened many people the world over and motivated the Nobel Peace Prize committee to give him the big prize so many world leaders covet. Even though many of his theories have been discredited, multitudes still remain true believers. Where are the leaders to help us sort these things out?

In recent years our own president began taking over corporations with impunity, firing CEOs, breaking laws, and putting on a slick smile saying he wasn’t really interested in making automobiles. Too many things about our president parallel 1930s Germany. The inflation. The destruction of money. Dictatorial practices.

But who am I to say these things? We have checks and balances. We have courts. We have the Constitution.

Don’t they mean anything?

Perhaps not anymore. Not when the black hole gapes before us like the maw of Jaws ready to take us all down.

TO BE CONTINUED:
This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

THE FUTURE(2)

STARVATION

In the world of the future, there will be no food in many places; whole people groups will starve. Jesus also predicted that “there will be famines” (Matthew 24:7).

This is already an increasing problem all over the world as famines are occurring with alarming frequency. The World Famine Timeline indicates that the world is being assaulted by food shortages. This is made much worse by the world economic recession, as well as increasing natural disasters that are destroying food sources.

In the world of the future, starvation could increase and fill all countries—not just the third world regions. As a result, chaos would reign in many nations, including the U.S. People may take their guns to the streets, ready to fight and plunder for small amounts of food. Simple groceries will sell at ten to fifty times their normal values. This, again, was predicted in the Bible where it says in Revelation 6:6 that a quart of wheat will cost a denarius(one whole day’s wages in that time) and three quarts of barley for the same amount. This means the quart of wheat today would cost about one-hundred and fifty dollars, or even more. This could be extrapolated to include rice, potatoes, and other staples that people depend on in different regions. Clearly, this would be a time when food cost a lot and was not plentiful.

At the same time, strange weather—tornadoes, hurricanes, global warming, global cooling—all lead to more devastation, more suffering, more ruined crops, more pain and loss.
BANKRUPTCY

Currently the U.S. is about to go bankrupt. Many say it cannot pay its loans. Niall Ferguson, a renowned pundit and economist, relays this in an article in Swift Economics on March 11, 2010. No one has any money to loan the most powerful nation on earth, the U.S. If it defaults on its loans, it may take down the rest of the world in the process. Some say even China may be on the verge of losing everything.

Eventually, the job market could sink into a deeper pit than it is now with unemployment rising toward 30%. Food pantries won’t keep up with the needs. Foreclosures will go through the roof. Money will become almost worthless as the dollar reaches a value through inflation and devaluing to where it is almost worthless.

In the world of the future, Americans will probably begin using gold and silver to buy things instead of the dollar.

As money becomes useless, some nations will use military strikes against neighbors, looking for supplies and anything that can be used for their purposes. As these problems get worse and worse, the whole world will devolve in mass revolt and no one will know what to do.

SOMEONE APPEARS

THEN: Someone appears out of nowhere, a leader, a politician with a plan. He is remarkable, unlike any person the world has seen before: probably physically attractive, brilliant, calm and cool but firm and able to make the hard decisions. On TV he astonishes, stilling pounding hearts, making people believe again. He has the plan that will fix the mess throughout the whole world.

He captures the attention of the world through incredible feats of power in the skies and on earth, riveting rhetoric, and daring charisma. People listen and there are mass defections from the world religions, including Christianity, as people come to believe in this person as a worldwide savior.

Somehow this man brings quiet, hope, and peace. He solves sticky problems with aplomb and simple confidence. He draws the world powers together to agree to build a new world, a new economy, a new belief system. Everyone looks to him as the last great hope. The One.

Who is he? How will he take his place as ruler of the world?

Do you believe this could happen? Soon? In the next ten years?

If you watch the headlines these days, you know the dire circumstances in which we find ourselves. The world has never seen a situation like this before. We are on the brink.

I am confident this man/person/leader will appear soon. He is needed. The world demands him. And he will be the most amazing person even, perhaps even more than Jesus himself when he turned the world upside down in the first century.

He is coming. Perhaps in the next few years.

What will you do about him? Believe? Follow? Give your life to him as the ultimate Messiah?

What should you do about him? Could he be someone so evil it will not be clear until it is too late? For you? For me? For all of us?

TO BE CONTINUED:

This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

End of World (2)

A SNAPSHOT of the FUTURE

What will happen in the future as we look at conditions in the world today?

People are always interested in speculating about the future. Many have been hopelessly wrong. As I said, I was largely converted through reading Hal Lindsey’s huge bestseller of the 1970’s, The Late Great Planet Earth. Today I read that book and wonder what all the hubbub was about. So many of his predictions have failed. Some laugh at the book now.

Nonetheless, it moved me enough to start to investigate the claims of the Bible for the first time in my life. Months after reading the book, I made an act of faith in Christ. I have to credit Lindsey, whom I heard speak and met my first year at Dallas Theological Seminary in 1973. He was inspiring, robust, an electric speaker. I hoped one day I could write a book like his and also preach like him. Perhaps this is the book. As for the preaching part, if you ever get to hear me you’ll have to make a judgment there.

Sometimes to get a good estimate of the future, it helps to take a look at what is going on in our world now. And that’s not such a pretty picture.

THE WORLD TODAY

Nations are collapsing under their loads of debt. Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy have dissolved into chaos as their economies have turned to dust. Political revolts have occurred in various places: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other Middle Eastern countries. Total chaos reigns, but it looks like Islam is on the march.

Then more disasters have occurred: earthquakes, like the one that was 9.0 on the Richter Scale in Japan, followed by a tsunami, then a nuclear reactor meltdown on March 11, 2011, certainly one of the worst disasters to strike any nation in recent memory.

Situations in Israel, Ukraine, and Libya keep getting worse, though, and no one seems able to step into the gap to stop it, to make it go away, or fix it. Our president appears stymied and unable to solve much of anything worldwide. Europe is on the skids. No world leader has authority to give a shout out to the globe: “Hey, I have everything under control. Follow me.”

And the whole world is scared stiff, because it looks like we truly are on our own.

Meanwhile . . .

WORSE

The U.S. dollar loses value through inflation. In some places, money is becoming worthless: the euro, the yen, the ruble, everything everywhere seems to be descending into a black hole.

Other nations are sinking into a morass of economic and political turmoil. Nations in Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Latin America. It’s a washout. Few remain standing. Even China appears on the brink of dissolution.

Major earthquakes happen sometimes two to five a week all over the world. While some geologists do not believe earthquakes are increasing in recent years, several factors make us more aware of them. When Jesus predicted that “There will be earthquakes in various places”(Matthew 24:7), the reality is that we know much more about them from the news media, in contrast to the past. That is a reason they may seem to be increasing the way Jesus said.

Dr. Michael Blanpied of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program said recently in the March 9, 2010 Washington Post that we only know about more earthquakes due to better record keeping and devices that watch earthquakes and measure them. He does not think they are increasing.

Perhaps.

As these events appear more often in the major media, we will see there is no relief, no help, no Red Cross, no U.S. to step in. Just horrifying destruction.

TO BE CONTINUED:

This blog is taken from this book which is now available on Amazon.com at:
The End of the World As We Know It (End Times Series)

How Will the Antichrist Arise?

How will the Antichrist come to power? Is the environment in the world today conducive to the rise of a global government and leader? Does the Bible predict enough details for us to know what will occur that will lead to such an event? Could this person be the biblically-prophesied Antichrist?

These are the questions this book seeks to answer.

Who am I? And why am I qualified to write on such a topic?

I am a 1972 graduate of Colgate University(Hamilton, New York) in Math-Chemistry-Physics. I was converted to faith in Christ the summer after graduation. I had read Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth, and it scared me enough to begin searching the Bible for answers about life, the world’s future, who I was, where I was going, and how I might fit into some eternal plan of God.

Later that year, 1972, I sensed a call to the ministry. Soon, I was accepted into the Th.M. program at Dallas Theological Seminary(Dallas, Texas) and graduated four years later with a Master’s degree in Hebrew. I quickly obtained ministry work as a youth pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana, and two years later I book on the position of pastor of a small Southern Baptist Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland called Berea Baptist Church. At that time, I began to think about writing books. I had published hundreds of articles by those years in Christian magazines such as Christianity Today, Moody, Discipleship Journal, Christian Life, and many others. My real goal, though, since high school had been to write a New York Times bestseller. I’m still working on that one.

Over the years, I made the study of prophecy in the Bible a kind of obsession. I read many books, listened to tapes by people like Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Chuck Swindoll, and Dr. David Hocking, especially when they preached on end times events. I studied this issue extensively and believe that world conditions now are ripe for the rise of a world government headed by a global ruler. returned will be someone with tremendous powers, according to the Bible, who will fix many problems in the world and come to be regarded as God himself returned to earth to set things right. Billions will believe in him. When he proclaims to the world that he truly is God incarnate, he will have fit all the elements the Bible teaches are the hallmarks of the Antichrist.

But could this person also be the prophetic savior that other traditions like Islam, Judaism, and other faiths seek? Might he be an amalgamation of all faiths so that the world will unite behind him as the true answer that they have long awaited?

If so, could this person appear soon on the world’s stage?

CONDITIONS IN THE WORLD

This world will eventually end. We have all heard that, known that, perhaps believed it or not. But just about every religion, philosopher, prophet and pundit says so. But will the world end with a bang or a whimper, as T.S. Eliot’s famous poem, “The Hollow Men” says?

I subscribe to the teachings, commandments, and prophecies of the Bible, as I have said. It predicts many events that will come at the end of time. There are predictions about earthquakes, famines, false religions, and prophets; a turning away from the faith for many believers; and a tremendous world leader known as the Antichrist.

Many people have clamored for that kind of rulership for years. They think it’s the only way to govern an extended world like ours and succeed. But is this person, the Antichrist, a true Savior, or something else? And is he good or bad? How will we be able to know?

If such questions grab your attention, this book is for you. My purpose is not to scare you, but to inform you, and perhaps even to warn you. Your destiny may depend on how you view this world leader and whether you give him your total fealty or ultimate resistance.
—Mark R. Littleton