How can I tell when will armageddon happen?

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Answered by: Hank, An Expert in the Studying the Bible Category
How can I tell when will armageddon happen?

This is a question that has increasingly been on the minds and lips of people. Not just those within Christianity, but those in other religions, and even among those who are not in the least bit religious. One only has to look at the daily news to realize that the world seems to be rushing headlong into some kind of conflagration, both military and economic.Since the early 90's, and the Gulf War against Iraq, hundreds, even thousands have rushed to declare that the end is near, armageddon is upon us, and have detailed their prophecies with well-constructed scenarios of exactly how this or that is going to happen. The number of people proclaiming the emminence of this catastrophic event has doubled since the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. First, we must understand clearly from the Word of God, that no man knoweth the hour or the day when Jesus Christ will return. Make no mistake here, the day of Armageddon is the day when Jesus Christ sets His foot upon this earth to usher in His millennial kingdom. Some people believe that Armageddon is the "end of the world", but it is not. That does not happen for another 1000 years after Armageddon. The name Armageddon is derived from the battle that will take place in the valley of the Mount (har) of Meggiddo, located in northwestern Israel. It is a great plain/valley that has, in the past, been the site of numerous important battles in that part of the world. It is here that the forces of anti-christ marshall after seven years of tribulation to beseige and lay waste to Jerusalem. At that point in time, Jesus descends from heaven with His army of saints, and destroys the marshalled forces. The destruction is so vast, that scripture tells us that it will take 7 years for the remains to be cleaned up, and that blood will run to the depth of a horse's bridle.

Most of the scenarios presented by the wannabe prophets are concerned with the war against Iraq ('90), the war in Afghanistan (2001/02), the "maybe there's gonna be" war between Pakistan and India, the fall of the USSR, Chechyna, and just about any other country you want to name. They, almost invariably, point to all these wars and predict that the United Nations, the "new world order", the United States, or someone else is going to bring about a worldwide peace treaty, institute world wide government, money, and religion, and ... there ya have it, folks! To them, it is the wars that are the tell tale as to when Armageddon is going to happen. For good measure they also make a lot of "the beast", the nickname applied to a computer under the control of the World Bank, and the current ability to apply a universal number to anyone (the mark of the beast). Let's establish a few things first. Again, Armageddon is a battle that occurs after a period of time encompassing 7 years known in scripture as the tribulation period. This seven-year period is divided into two parts of 3 1/2 years each, with the second 3 1/2 years being called the "great" tribulation. Scripture also clearly states that this tribulation period is when God is pouring out His wrath upon the earth because of the sinfulness of its inhabitants. Scripture also tells us quite clearly that the centerpiece of this tribulation period will be an individual, a human being, known to us as "the anti-christ". During the first 3 1/2 years, this person will begin to exert military and economic control over a group of nations, and will enter into a peace treaty with Israel to protect them. For 3 1/2 years he does exactly that, and extends more of his control into the world at large. After 3 1/2 years, satan enters into this person, possesses him fully, and he then attacks Israel, enters Jerusalem, and desecrates the temple, declaring himself to be God, and demanding obedience and obeisance from all the world. This begins the "great" tribulation period, when the wrath of God is magnified against the earth. The beast, as he is now known, exerts complete economic control over the majority of the world. Certain nations not under his control raise up large armies, and march against his headquarters in Jerusalem, which brings us to...Armageddon. So, we can have a handle on when Armageddon is...7 years after the tribulation starts, which is approximately concurrent with the rise of the anti-christ to power. Well, when is that?

The answers to that are not quite as clearly defined, but they are clear enough so that those who will see will see, and those who will hear will hear, and the seeing and hearing have nothing at all to do with the wars that are being fought. Jesus addresses that question in Matthew 24, when the disciples asked of Jesus "tell us, when shall these things be, and what is the sign of your coming and of the completion of the age?" (24:3). Notice please, very carefully, what Jesus says: "Take heed that you are not deceived; for many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ," and they will lead many astray...". Jesus goes on to say "and you will hear of wars, and rumors of wars; don't be alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places; all this is but the beginning of the sufferings." " Jesus goes on to talk of tribulation, martyrdom, hatred of Christianity, apostasy, and then says " and many false prophets will come and lead many astray". In verse 23, Jesus says ""if any one says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!', or 'there he is!' do not believe it, for false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you 'he is in the wilderness', do NOT go out; if they say 'he is in the inner rooms', do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man."

Paul, when writing to the Thessalonians, parallels this warning with another. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul writes: "let no one deceive you in any way; for that day (the coming of the Lord) will not come, unless... (RSV) the rebellion (KJV) a great falling away (NAS) the apostasy (NIV) the rebellion (AMPL) the apostasy-that is, unless the great [predicted] falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come... and the man of sin is revealed." Additionally, we have the words of Jesus in His revelation to John concerning the churches (Rev. 2:1 thru 3:22). In these warnings to the churches, 5 out of 7 are castigated and warned because they have "left their first love", "are neither hot nor cold", "imperfect works", and most importantly, toleration of false teachers and prophets. Indeed, all of the problems and imperfections listed in those verses can easily be traced to those within the church who proclaim, preach and teach doctrines that are not in the bible. The greatest single sign of the imminence of Armageddon is based, not on wars, or rumors of wars, or fa mines, diseases, natural disasters, oil cartels, pipelines, or anything other than the visible condition of the church, the body of Christ. Jesus and Paul both point out quite clearly that deception of the church, of professing believers will be a major sign that will almost immediately precede the revelation of the anti-christ, and the kick-off of the tribulation period.

Throughout history since the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, there have been people who have claimed to be Christ, who have claimed to be leaders, or voices of God, upon this earth. There have been heresies, and errors, and changing doctrines, and doctrines of men, and groups, and associations. But at no time during this history until very recently have there been the vast numbers of those who claim to be ministers of the gospel, ministers of truth and righteousness, ambassadors of Christ, who have openly and progressively declared themselves to be christ. In just the past ten years, blatant heresy, unscriptural doctrine, and wholesale departure from the Word of God has been occurring at an ever-increasing rate. And what is saddest of all about this, is thatmillions of well-meaning and spiritually hungry Christians are following the deception, swallowing the lies, and lining the pockets of these greedy merchants with hard earned money. There is a move afoot today, sparked I'm sure by the Holy Spirit, that is leading more and more people to seek the truth of God, people who are not satisfied with the things of this earth, and know that there is a spiritual truth that has been evading them. Many are outside the church, and are looking in directions other than the church to find this spiritual "wholeness", looking into Buddhism, the new age movement, crystals, Hinduism, all kinds of exotic Eastern mystic religions, and even into some of the old pagan religions. But just as many are inside the church, members of various denominations that are tired of "old, dead churches", sing 3 songs and give-a-dime so we can go eat lunch gatherings that have no real purpose or function in the kingdom and will of God. Hundreds of thousands are "on fire" to learn more of God and Jesus, and to "live life more abundantly", to feel that they are a part of a living, breathing organism that is doing a job for God. And it is this group of people, professing Christians, hungry for more, who are being led away into a path of destruction by self-serving ministers of "another gospel", who preach "another Christ", and get rich in the process. Truly, they "make merchandise" of God's Word and His people, and are no better than the money-changers Jesus threw out of the temple. Remembering the words of Jesus from Mat. 24 about "christ is here, or christ is there....DO NOT GO", what would you do or say if a preacher stood in front of you and said "you know that the Lord appeared in Romania recently and there's a video of it, where the Lord appeared in the back of a church and you see him on video walking down the aisle..." and then followed that up with "...the Lord has done this in the past but He's about to do it again. Now hear this I'm prophesying this Jesus Christ the son of God is about to appear physically in some churches and some  meetings and to many of His people...". How about this: "(2) I had a word of prophecy...everything she said has happened. She just sent me a word...and said: The Lord spoke to her audibly and said, that He is going to appear physically in one of our crusades in the next few months...I'm going to appear physically on the platform ". Does that ring true? Does that match up with scripture? Does that sound like the words of a true, bible believing man of God? Or does that sound like the rantings of a pillow prophet saying things that he thinks people want to hear? Tickling itching ears...well, read on. " (Jesus is appearing) for one reason to tell you He's about to show up. You have held back from the Lord in the past don't you dare do it now. The day will come you will stand before Him and give an answer. How dare we not give to God? How dare we hold back?..If Jesus tonight appeared on this platform here and looked through this camera and said to you I need your offerings so I can touch the world, would you give? Well, I've got news for you. He's saying it...Some of you need to give large sums tonight. Don't you give those small sums...". (1)

In consideration of the words of Jesus, wouldn't you think that kind of statement to be not just off the wall, but blatantly heretical, unsupportable by scripture, and insulting to God and Jesus? Well, folks....that is the type of stuff going on today, has been for the last 10-12 years increasingly, and will continue...and it is just what Jesus referred to when talking about those who "would deceive many" of the elect and Paul referred to when talking about the "apostasy", or falling away. Paul spoke further of it when warning Timothy that "for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumaulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (2 Tim 4:3,4 RSV 1952). Beginning in the 40's, there was a small movement started by several preachers that fractured into several "theologies", and having different names, but all of them basically fell into the category of what we will call "Dominion" or "Kingdom Now" theology. Essentially, this theology does several things...first, it states that there will NOT be any millennial reign of Christ UNTIL the earth and all that is in it have been subdued and returned to a pre-fall "righteous" state, and that this can ONLY be accomplished by the church. To accomplish this monumental task of ripping vast portions of scripture out of the bible, they "allegorize" or spiritualize all of the references to anti-christ, tribulation, great tribulation, apostasy, and Armageddon. Most within this movement, which goes by many names today, pay only lip service to the idea of any tribulation period, and many claim that it has already occurred. Without fail, all of the adherents to this theology fall into the class of post or A-millennial theology. These ministers of the devil use the name of Jesus, the Lord, and God continually...they also take many verses of scripture to support what they want to preach, but in almost all instances the scripture is taken out of context, used by itself with little or no support from other scripture, and is spun allegorically into a meaning that cannot be supported...primarily because the spun meaning is contrary to the rest of the Bible. Without fail, these spawn of satan make heavy use of "new revelation" concerning a scripture, and claim to be "going on with God" in a "new move" designed to further the kingdom. That what they say and teach is false is easily found out if we would just study the scripture ourselves, instead of relying on what they say. But....be warned! Anyone who questions what they say, or points out error, is assured of being cursed, condemned to hell, and possibly even killed! You think I joke? Read on.

At this point, we will begin looking at the foundational theology of the Dominion movement. Please keep in mind, there are many names, and many branches with different emphases, but all based on one thing....the church is going to take over the world....NOT Jesus. Just for reference at this point, I will name some of the movements that will later be referenced. Dominion, Kingdom Now, Melchidezek, Kingdom Sons, The Rock, Harvester, Pensacola Revival, Toronto Blessing, The Rainbow, Latter Rain or Reign, Manifest Sons, First Fruits, Manchild Company, Restoration, the Corporate Body, Age of Grace, The Walk, Shulamites, Living Stones, The Porter Ministry, Gods Army, Overcomers, The Mandate. Keep in mind, these are by no means the only names, just some. One thing that is apparent, though, is that all of them use "catch-phrases" in their spiels, and those names above often show up. The Dominion movement essentially began in the '40's as an offshoot of the "oneness" or "Jesus Only" Pentecostal movement, and was fostered along it's way by one William Branham. Branham began as a faith healer, but quickly moved into the realm of prophecy, gathering along the way many loyal followers. Branham, among other things, was a Modalist (believing that there is only one God, who held three "offices" at different times). He also believed that any one baptised as Jesus said (in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost) was not saved, and must be rebaptised in the name of Jesus only. He considered himself to be the modern day Elijah spoken of in scripture, and taught that the Word of God was given to us in three forms...the zodiac, the Egyptian pyramids, and the written scripture. Branham also introduced a man, Paluser Lawrie Mathukrishna as "the Son of God", and "Christ returned", thus falling squarely into the camp of those Jesus spoke of when warning us of deception. Many of Branham's teachings were seized upon by others, and expanded into what has become the "third wave", or dominion/kingdom now theology. Following closely on the heels of Branhamism, there arose a number of "faith" healers, including Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin, and other soon-to-be leaders of the charismatic movement; Earl Paulk, Bill Hamon, Franklin Hall and others. Again, there was a divergence in emphasis, but they have recently come back together in many ways. While Roberts and Hagin pursued the "Word of Faith" doctrine, the others went in the direction of emphasizing that Jesus is here today "in the corporate body of the church".

The Word of Faith teachings and movement enjoyed a brief upsurge in popularity, fueled mainly by a desire among believers to see and experience more of the power of God in their daily lives. In the United States, one of the primary reasons for following this teaching was because of an emphasis upon God's "provision", mainly in the form of "whatever you desire, believing, you can have". With the US in an increasingly secular attitude of having more, this movement quickly became known as "name it and claim it", based on holding God to keeping His promises (without knowing clearly what He has promised). And if you didn't get what you claimed, then it was nobody's fault except your own because you didn't have enough faith. Yeah, right.

The other arm of the movement swung into a mode of declaring that a new move of God was afoot, the church was being empowered to regain control of the earth, and the church was the sole means and method of Christ coming again. In conjunction with this, the 5-fold ministry was being re-established, and order was to be brought to the church through the appointment and empowerment of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Prophecy was elevated to a status of absolutism, and any questioning of prophecy or statement made by the elders was considered to be trouble making, or evidence of "carnality". Only those who were in the "inner court" were subject to understanding what God was doing, and those in the "outer court" were to be in complete subjection and obedience regardless of whether or not the dictums and pronouncements were in accordance with scripture.

The Dominion movement is based upon believing that as we become more obedient to God, He will reveal more truth to us (line upon line, precept upon precept), and that each successive truth replaces the truth that preceeded it. This of course paves the way for a "relative" truth, one that has no foundation or solidity. The only thing that counts is the "here and now". Coupled with this is the extensive use of prophecy, both corporate and personal, and this prophecy is a revelation of a "present truth". Earl Paulk (Chapel Hill Harvester Church, Atlanta, GA) states "Christ in us must take dominion over the earth...The next move of God cannot occur until Christ in us takes dominion". This statement and prophecy is based upon a very very loose interpretation of scripture relating to the spirit of Christ in us ("know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you..." 2 Cor 13:5). From this, and a few others also twisted from scripture, the Dominion movement believes that the church has been given a mandate from God to reclaim the earth from the devil, and to re-take dominion over the entirety of God's creation. From there, they move into statements such as this from Paulk, that the church will take such control, and the earth will become so righteous, that "even the devil will hang up his horns and put away his pitchfork and be converted". Uh huh. Bill Britton, one of the early leaders of the dominion movement, even states that a proper translation of Isa. 14 means that Lucifer and Jesus are one and the same. It is also interesting to note here that recently (March, 2006), Paulk has been sued by two former members for carrying on a sexual affair with a church member. Paulk's attorney has admitted the affair, but blames it on the "other party." This is also the second or third time Paulk has been embroiled in a sex scandal.

To protect against the intrusion of Gods Truth into their assemblies, dominionists also define a false prophet as follows: " if a prophet comes who attempts to LEAD US AWAY FROM TRUTH ESTABLISHED BY REVELATION...and that prophet...shall be PUT TO DEATH". Notice that no mention is made of the Word of God, or His Truth, but only that it is "truth established by revelation", or whatever the teacher/preacher has come up with. This IS NOT CHRISTIANITY, but instead is a new religion, "another gospel" as Paul phrased it, and along with Paul I say, "let them be accursed" for preaching it (Gal.1:8-9). 1Cor.13 is the best summary of the Gospel of Christ that has ever been preached or written, and present truth teaching denies every aspect of that Gospel. In conjunction with this attitude of absolute control, or "nicolaitanism" (Rev. 2:15), the followers of this satanic deception believe that they themselves are greater than God, and can put His will and Word completely aside whenever they want. Al Jandl, writing in "The Mandate", states: "...then, all of a sudden in my spirit, these words came up, and before I thought about them, I said out loud: I DON'T CARE WHAT GOD ALLOWED, I DON'T ALLOW IT!" . First, the Holy Spirit does not speak of himself, but only speaks what he hears God speak. John 16:13. Second, if Mr. Jandl should try to cop out with the excuse that the Holy Spirit was prophesying through him, and the Spirit was in control, then he obviously does not know about, or CARE about the scripture stating that "the Spirit of the prophet is SUBJECT UNTO THE PROPHET" (1Cor.14:32). This is a blatant statement, made under the control and direction of satan that corresponds directly to lucifers statement as found in Isa.14. Jesus said in Mat.7:21-23; "Not every one that says Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: only he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not PROPHESIED IN YOUR NAME? AND IN YOUR NAME HAVE CAST OUT DEMONS? AND IN YOUR NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? and then will i say to them, I NEVER KNEW YOU! DEPART FROM ME YOU THAT WORK INIQUITY".

As time has progressed, the dominion movement has taken root in an ever-increasing circle of charismatic and Pentecostal churches, and each has placed a greater reliance upon two things...new revelation knowledge, and manifestations of the spirit. To many of them, the manifestations are of more importance than any thing else, as they believe that through the manifestations, more of God is being experienced. It has gotten to the point in many of these churches where the manifestation is the only thing to be sought after, and it is totally immaterial to them as to whether or not the manifestation being experienced or exhibited is in the least bit scriptural, only that it is occurring. One of the most recent "movements" is one being foisted off under the name of "God Chasing", and it's chief proponent is Tom Tenney. Mr. Tenney certainly hits upon the desire of most Christians in wanting to experience more of God in their daily lives, but what he says on the way is unscriptural. "The difference between the truth of God and revelation is very simple. Truth is where God has been, and revelation is where He is (now)". This statement immediately sets up a premise that there is a difference between truth (then) and truth (now), and that truth (now) has a value that exceeds the "old" truth. Again, a truth that has no basis or foundation, and that is subject to change at a moment's notice. Scripture plainly tells us "my Word shall never pass away", which certainly indicates that it is forever, and "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever", which also means that in Him there is neither variableness nor indication of turning. Further, scripture tells us that "all scripture (that which is written) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". (2 Tim.3:16). Tenney goes on to say "there is a vast difference between present truth and past truth". Again, Mr. Tenney flies in the face of God's Word by saying this, because the truth of the matter is this... the truth of God endures forever and ever, and does not change.

Returning to the Word of Faith movement, we find a number of things that are in complete contradiction to the basics and tenets of recognized Christianity. Remember what Jesus warned us about concerning those who would say "here is Christ, there is Christ", and "many shall say...I am Christ...and deceive many". Kenneth Hagin said "Man...was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God's presence without any consciousness of inferiority...God has made us as much like Himself as possible...He made us the same class of being that He is Himself...the believer is called Christ...that's who we are; we're Christ!" (3). The number two man in the WOF movement, Kenneth Copeland, has also claimed "I say this and repeat it so it doesn't upset you too bad...when I read in the Bible where He (Jesus) says "I Am", I say, "Yes, I Am too!" (4). To bring things up to very recently, the current "leader" in the blasphemy of Jesus and God is Benny Hinn, who says: "When you were born again the Word was made flesh in you. And you became flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Don't tell me you have Jesus. YOU ARE EVERYTHING HE WAS AND EVERYTHING HE IS AND EVER SHALL BE...It (the new man) says, 'I AM as He is'. That's what it says...As He is, so are we in this world. Jesus said, 'Go in My name, go in My stead'. Don't say, 'I have.' Say, I AM, I AM, I AM, I AM." (5). Hinn further establishes his claim on being Christ with "When you say, I am a Christian, you are saying, 'I AM mashiach' in the Hebrew. I am a little messiah walking on earth, in other words. That is a shocking revelation...May I say it like this? You are a little god on earth running around." (6)

The blasphemy of these heretical "ministers" is without fail the greatest blasphemy that has been recorded since the time of Jesus, and far exceeds the heresies spoken of by John, Jude, Peter, Paul and others that cropped up in the first century. Should we be surprised? No, because scripture also tells us quite plainly, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if ...HIS MINISTERS ALSO BE TRANSFORMED AS THE MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; WHOSE END IS ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS". (2Cor.11:13-15). Ah, but you say....what about the signs, and wonders these people perform....isn't that the sign of a true prophet, according to the Word of God. I will point you to the Word of God, in Deuteronomy 13:1; "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he has spoken unto thee, saying, let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; you shall not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proves you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul". It becomes very clear here....God will allow signs and wonders to accompany false prophets, so the fact of a sign, wonder, miracle, or manifestation is NOT the be-all and end-all to determine the truthfullness of a given preacher or teacher. It has to do with what the person or movement is leading you to, and whether or not it draws you away from honoring and worshipping the one true God, and His son Jesus. Now I will agree....Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Copeland, all of them....have NOT said..."let's go worship Baal, or Krishna:, and so on. They do not blatantly and openly state we're gonna follow after other Gods....or do they? What is more blatant than to get you to believe that YOU are Christ....YOU are the messiah...YOU are the incarnation of God on this earth...YOU will establish righteousness on this earth? This line of thinking, this twisted reasoning, is no more and no less that Lucifer's rebellious words recorded in Isa. 14: " I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High". Indeed....these pernicious and blasphemous purveyors of satanic deception have declared openly an equality with God and Christ that is forbidden unto them. IMG SRC="img/armageddon.gif" ALIGN="right"> The most recent new twist to this already twisted corruption is that Jesus, the Son of God, is not coming physically back to earth until the very end of time, at the Great White Throne Judgment. Instead, the millennial reign spoken of in scripture is NOT going to occur, but Jesus will be incarnated spiritually in His obedient followers, who will then rule the world for one thousand years as Christ.

Along with the "God Chaser's", and as is evident in the televised offerings of Hinn, Copeland, et al, is the increasing reliance upon "manifestations" of the Holy Spirit. These manifestations are considered by all to be proof of the presence of God in the gatherings, and evidence of the truthfulness of the ministers in their various postulations. The so-called "Toronto Blessing", and the "Pensacola Outpouring" which derived from Toronto, are both off-shoots of the dominion theology movement, and place great emphasis upon any "manifestation", regardless of it's apparent scriptural basis or not. I have observed some of the meetings conducted by pastor Steve Hill at his Pensacola church, and seen people doing things that are best described as exactly like the descriptions given in scripture of the "tearings" of demons. In one particular instance, a young lady from the choir began shaking uncontrollably, and continued in this manner for over an hour. To legitimize the "manifestation", pastor Hill stated that this young lady had a neck problem, and this shaking was proof that the Lord healed her. Other "manifestations" that are best considered suspicious, have occurred at Hinn "miracle crusades", where he waves at a group of people on the stage, shouts loudly "fire on ya", and the people fall en masse to the ground and flop about like fish out of water. After being brought to their feet later, and asked "what happened", most say that they cannot remember anything. Some few have stated that they "felt like they were on fire". In all instances, they do not recall any feelings of peace, no refreshing, no retained zeal to spread the gospel, or a greater love for God. One of the strangest manifestations that has occurred is the so-called "holy laughter" that originated in the Toronto Vineyard, and has since spread to many other churches. In this "manifestation", the Holy Spirit allegedly causes the believer to begin laughing joyfully, (and uncontrollably), for hours on end. The fact that there is no scriptural reference for any of these "manifestations" is totally irrelevant to those who push them off on us....this is a "new move of God", and we're just to accept it.

In all of the crusades and meetings that I have seen with these people, there is one thing that is noticeably absent in them...and that is a preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invitations to salvation. There is plenty of reference to "the Lord", the name of Jesus is invoked many times, there are invitations to be healed of physical ailments, there is plenty of invitation to "ask for the desires of your heart" (mostly about monetary needs), and plenty of invocations to the attendees to "give, give, give....help us spread the gospel" around the world. On April 2nd, 2000, Benny Hinn said "Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus is shaking the world! Now something else is happening that is to me awesome! Absolutely awesome! The Lord is physically appearing in the Muslim world. I'm telling you, Paul (Crouch, pres. of TBN), I am hearing it now more and more and more. Since we preachers cannot go there, Jesus is - just going there Himself. Since we preachers are not permitted to go in, He is just showing up - Himself. You know the scriptures says clearly that the Lord did appear, did He not? Ah, for forty days, isn't that right? And the, and the, and the scriptures says he, he, he even, he even appeared to Paul. Now we are always thinking, well Jesus can't really preach, preach the Gospel. Who told you that? He was the first to preach the Gospel. In fact He is the one who came to Paul, and said, Paul, I am Jesus. He, He didn't send no angel to do that job. He did it Himself. If Jesus revealed Himself to Paul, why not reveal Himself to a lot more than just Paul? And He is doing it! The reason the Lord had to appear to Paul is because He knew Paul wouldn't listen to nobody else. Now in the case of Cornelius, the angel said send for Peter, 'cause,, because Cornelius was, was ready, his heart was right, he'd been in prayer. But here's Paul killing everybody, causing 'em to blaspheme, Jesus said this man won't even listen to an angel, so I'll go do the job myself. So He went and knocked him right off his horse and preached the Gospel to him. He's doing the same thing today in the Muslim world. He's appearing, hear this, He is appearing to Muslims, saying I am Jesus of Nazareth! And they're coming to know the Lord! Why are those things happening? It's the last days! Saints, this is why we need to give to the Gospel now more than ever. You know naively say well I gave last year. Forget it! Last year it's gone! That cycle is over with! Seed time-harvest of last year is gone. Every season is a fresh season. We are in a fresh season!" Naturally, we not only have a statement that contradicts scripture, and shows a blatant disregard for the person and words of Jesus, but is designed for nothing more than the inevitable appeal to give, give, give....more money for the merchants of hell. That these named ministers are not of God is further evidenced by the fact that they take a totally unbiblical stance when confronted scripturally with their heresy, their false statements, and in some cases, their outright lies. Without fail, they curse those who come against them. Benny Hinn says "I place a curse on every man and every woman that will stretch his hand against this anointing. I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry". Paul Crouch has stated many times on TBN that he gives not one whit for the "heretic hunters" who speak against him, his stations, or the false ministers that he pushes on the air, and consigns them all to hell.

To whoever is reading this.... if you are a follower of, or believer in, any of those people named here, or the teachings that they are pushing, get away from them before it is too late. This is indeed the last times, and we are close to the rise of anti-christ....and it is because of the apostasy, the heresy, the blatant trumpeting of "I am" from these disciples of the devil that we know that Armageddon is right around the corner. Many times, and from many directions, these heretics have been shown from the Word of God how wrong they are, and yet they still continue to lie, twist, corrupt the Word of God, and run full speed ahead into the pits of hell....dragging as many as they can right along with them. While they use the name of the Lord to cast a veil of self-righteousness across their lies, they prey upon well meaning believers who do seek a deeper understanding and relationship with God. DO NOT BE DECEIVED! Read the Word of God for yourself, pray for understanding and enlightenment through your study of the Word, and rely on God through His Holy Spirit to open your eyes to Him, to His understanding, and to the falsity of these ministers of darkness. The words of Jude ring across the ages to condemn these people; "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ". It is time for true Christians to turn their backs on these purveyors of lies and heresy. Stop supporting them. Tell everyone you know what they are. Quit going to their crusades and meetings, stop buying their tapes and books. Write to them and point out their errors, and when they come to your town, organize protests and pickets....but most of all....PRAY FOR THEM. Pray that God will turn their lies into truth, that He will touch them, their souls and their ministries and turn them to good for His sake. Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of sin, righteousness, and judgement to come. Pray that others who follow them will have their eyes opened to see the truth. Armageddon is indeed close at hand, and the wide-spread apostasy, the great falling away that is occurring within the church is the greatest of these proofs. At some point in time, Jesus will come in the clouds to gather His children, those who truly believe in Him, and have not followed after fables, doctrines of men, and false teachers. And immediately after that, the anti-christ shall rise to power, and the tribulation period will begin, leading to Armageddon.

So, in answer to the question "when will armageddon happen?", we can state categorically that it will not happen until after the tribulation period. Since that has not started yet, if also follows that it will be at least 7 years in the future, if not longer.

Footnotes:

(1) Excerpt from March 29, 2000, TBN broadcast with Benny Hinn.

(2) Excerpt from March 20, 2000, "This is Your Day" broadcast with Steve Brock, 700 Club, by Benny Hinn.

(3) Kenneth Hagin. Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, p35-36, 41.

(4) Kenneth Copeland, July 19, 1987, crusade audiotape.

(5) Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ #2-The Word Made Flesh, audiotape 2

(6) Benny Hinn, Praise-a-Thon program, T.B.N.

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