Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

Russia, Revelation and His Return! with John Hope #47

March 14, 2022 Fearless Faith Season 2 Episode 47
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
Russia, Revelation and His Return! with John Hope #47
Show Notes Transcript

Is WWIII the beginning of the End Times?  With war between Ukraine and Russia, how do these events align with Revelation, Israel and End Time Bible Prophecy?
Guest John Hope joins with Dan, Brian and Terry to shed light on the dark times ahead and where Christians need to be keeping our eyes focused so we can Finish Strong!

Dan, Terry, and Brian will help you live your life with purpose, change someone’s life for the better and leave a lasting impact on those around you. Everyone starts the race... but only the Fearless Finish Strong!
 
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Dan Wheeler:

This man's got an encyclopedic mind. That's a big word. Yeah, it's worth a lot of money.

Terry Steen:

I just have a sick Yeah. Or low.

John Matarazzo:

Live your life with purpose, change someone's life for the better and leave a lasting impact on those around you. Welcome to finish strong the podcast designed to help you discover your unique purpose and develop a plan to leave a powerful legacy. Dan, Brian and Terry are ready. So let's get started. Well, there's

Dan Wheeler:

certainly a lot going on around the world and in the news. And if you don't know the Lord, and you don't know what's happening, you might be a little filled with fear. And the Bible says to fear not so we want you to listen to what we have to say tonight, we're gonna have a really special guest will introduce in just a moment. My name is Dan Wheeler. I'm joined by Brian Rowland and Terry Steen. Guys, how are you doing? How's your week been?

Terry Steen:

Life is good. I'm, I'm not It's not like I'm counting. But you know, 24 days till I retire. So I'm excited. Yeah,

Brian Roland:

how many hours? Right.

Dan Wheeler:

And then Brian will be calling him at noon and asking him if he's awake yet. That's right. Brian, you good?

Brian Roland:

Sure. I'm hanging in here for another solid week. Yeah. So,

Dan Wheeler:

boy, as long as you stay away from the headlines, sometimes there's just not any real good news out there. Oh, there is at least not in the world. But we've got good news, Terry, we've got a real special guest. And I'm just gonna let you introduce him because you know him better than all of us.

Terry Steen:

I'd be happy to his name is John Hope he's my brother in law. So he and I kind of have to team up because we have the same in laws. So when we have family gatherings, we have to be together and in Unity. But John's incredible guy, heart for the Lord. He's been a pastor for years and years. And he's been a prison chaplain for many years as well. Walking Bible and it's just been a pleasure to know him over the years. It's kind of he's kind of a double edged sword. Because when we go to family things, I need him there because we have a lot of fun. And we laugh and have a good time. But the downside is I can never be the smartest guy in the room.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, truth be told, are you laughing at Terry, your wisdom?

Terry Steen:

We welcome you, John, we appreciate you taking some time to be with us tonight.

John Hope:

It is great to be with you guys. And I appreciate the opportunity super well. I

Terry Steen:

want to jump right in because we don't have a lot of time it seems to go so fast. But the obvious question, you've done a lot of studying and teaching on end times and on revelations. And tell us your thoughts with these recent events with the Ukraine and Russia and the conflict there. How does that tie in and relate to Biblical prophecy?

Unknown:

Well, obviously, it's it's very relevant. You know, the main apocalyptic Scriptures that Jesus shared with the church and with us, found in Matthew 24, and Luke 21. And in Mark chapter 13. And all in all three of those passages, one of the most critical signs of the end times was that there would be wars and rumors of wars nation would rise against nation kingdom, against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes and diverse places. And Jesus added that these would be the beginnings of sorrows or the beginnings of pangs, or the beginnings of labor, so to speak. So obviously, the the signs that Jesus refers to would become more frequent, and they would become more intense as we get closer to that glorious event of His soon return that we're all looking forward to. But with Russia, especially invading the Ukraine, it parallels one of the most important prophetic Scriptures in the Old Testament, that's found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, which is commonly referred to as the battle of Gog and may god yeah, Gog was an autocratic ruler, very similar in nature to Vladimir Putin. He was a dictator, a despot and he forms an allegiance of countries surrounding him, and invades Israel from the north. And obviously, the Lord miraculously intervenes, as they try and attempt to in Israel. And it says there's such a cataclysmic occurrence from the battle that ensues, that the weapons are burned for seven years. And it takes seven months to bury the bodies. Wow. So so the parallel here is obviously Russia is in vaiting, a smaller nation of Ukraine, led by a despotic and autocratic ruler to exploit the resources of this much weaker nation, much weaker country. So it shows us that in our world seen today, that the the prophecy regarding Gog and Magog is certainly very credible. It's very real, the possibility of that is certainly very real, even the countries in the alliance of the prophecy in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It mentions countries like Roche, and historically geographers would tell us that Roche's Russia. It's the great country to the northern most parts of the earth. Another country that's mentioned in the alliance is Persia, which is, which is Iran. Of course, we know Iran and Russia have an unholy alliance today. And then it also mentions Messick to ball and Gomore, which geographers tell us that historically, that's the country of Turkey. Now, now, Russia has already made an alliance with these nations, its allied with Turkey and Iran, both in the country of Syria. They have military troops and boots on the ground right now. Even as we speak. They're there. This unholy alliance has already formed for the first time, by the way, in human history. I mean, the terms the Ottoman Empire was never allied with Russia until five or six years ago, and President Erwan wanted instead of having a republic to make an Islamic nation caliphate, out of Turkey. And so now you have this alliance of Russia from the north, Turkey, Iran, all could be enemies of Israel are already are in Syria, and an existential threat to the nation already as it is. So Russia invading your Ukraine is just a precursor of the battle of Gog and Magog that will take place obviously, before the return of our Lord. So it's very relevant, very real, very contemporary. And it just shows us how real the scriptures are.

Dan Wheeler:

Boy, that's fascinating stuff. And you know, we're seeing the Bible just come to life in the headlines, you obviously feel that there's kind of something unique going on. It's never happened in history. And people ask me all the time, are we in the last days? And I always say, Well, you know, no one knows for sure when the Lord is coming back. But, John, would you say the signs are all there, that these are the times we're facing?

Unknown:

Definitely, as you look at the signal events that Jesus lists in Matthew 24, Take heed that no man deceive you. Many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ, and shall deceive many the deception that's taking place, not in the world. But in in the church, where we did die, the very foundational beliefs of evangelical Christianity are no longer adhered to or are held to, obviously, the wars and rumors of wars, global wars, we have such a threat. You know, in the last few days, I've heard the threat of World War Three mentioned innumerable times. I haven't heard that since the Cold War, when I was a kid. We used to have to go into the bomb shelters and go through the nuclear drills. But now everybody seems to be talking that if there's a no fly zone and force over Ukraine, we have the threat of an engagement with Russia, which could be the precursor to world war three. So that sign is very prevalent today. You know, we have false prophets which shall arise, and shall the seed many iniquity shall abound lawlessness we see on our TV screens, these these robberies of major department stores where people without restraint, and without any regard for the law, or law enforcement will just invade the department store in broad daylight carrying out goods into the street. So you have crazy No, it's amazing. Yeah. And so when Jesus lists the signs, and you compare it to the world seen today into our contemporary events, it's no doubt that we are, in fact, in the last days,

Brian Roland:

you know, John, I was, I was reading the other day about a statue that was put out in front of the United Nations. And I think it's about the statue of security in

Dan Wheeler:

the guardian of internet authority. Right. Right. Right. And it's

Brian Roland:

and it's sounds familiar, very familiar to the one written over in Revelation. Yeah. And what John saw, and as this more or they're, they're more signs like this little things that we're picking out right now that are happening, that are leading us to believe this is the last day.

Unknown:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, even even our recent hyperinflation, you know, one of the signal events in Revelation is the breaking of the seals, buy lamb which was slain. And chorus, one of those seals involves a rider on a black horse, with scales in his hands, crying out that a loaf of wheat bread will cost the day's wage, and three smaller loaves of barley bread, will cost the day's wage, but don't hurt the oil. And the wind, please, you know that inflation is bad enough, but we're looking at gas prices, people are feeling it daily. You know, as the war in Ukraine goes on the the inflation increases. And we already were in inflation as a result of COVID. So so the kinds of scenes and revelation that are once thought apocalyptic, now are becoming contemporary, and which lets us know, we're certainly in an age where Jesus could come back at any time.

Brian Roland:

You know, one of the questions a little bit off a different Dan and I were talking about earlier today, but it seems like what's going on? Right now, with Russia? Is that like, the President of Ukraine is can he be unknowingly feeding into this calling for the European Union's in the United States to get involved, but That move was towards Russia moving towards a more towards going after Israel? If we all got involved like that?

Unknown:

Yeah, I think you can definitely see this escalating beyond Ukraine. One minor mishap of an engagement of NATO forces. with Putin, we see Putin stands obviously, he's the autoCrat that calls the shots. And, and obviously, he's, he's despotic, he's, he feels all powerful. He's the one who changed his own constitution, where his rule was extended for 14 years. And he can't even be removed except by death for the next 14 years. So he's established himself as that kind of despotic ruler, that really is the precursor to an antichrist type, who will eventually rule the world with that kind of an iron hand. And, and our globe is moving into that positioning of global economic management that would very easily lend itself to that type of a dictatorship, the sanctions we see being imposed worldwide, we can see how easily sanctions can be imposed on nations, they could also be imposed upon individuals leading to that kind of the Mark of the Beast kind of technology, you know, which is eventually going to unfold where you nobody can buy or sell, without receiving certain sanctions or, or certain authority to do so. So the whole world is we've seen through this scene of Ukraine moving in that kind of a direction through COVID. And through Ukraine, I think, you know, we see that happening over the past couple of years.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, I think, John, I think you hit that on the head, and that the COVID thing I think made us all realize how little our world really is, and how we are all related so much. And so economically in every which way. And so, I think before that it was hard to see the pieces falling together, it was hard to imagine a one world system right. But talk talk a little bit about the One World System and where you see that coming together.

Unknown:

I think it will probably come together out of necessity. You know, I think we're seeing that the major economic powers of America, certainly one China being one, Russia not being one anymore, and now the sanctions will probably cripple it even more economically. But you can see as you indicated that the the the economy is not limited to a country. Yeah, its worldwide MasterCard shuts off its ability to use its card in Russia by a flip of the switch visa. Your debit card is no longer active simply by word of mouth because a sanction has been imposed. So Russian people the populace are no longer able to withdraw money from their their own money from their own bank accounts. We can see that that scary prospect of where that is leading Obviously, and it's all coming to the revelation 13 scenario, to where there will be a world leader who will intervene and seemingly solve the economic disparity of the world. And yet there are strings attached, no strings attached is that the government controls your finances. And and it controls what you can buy, what you can sell, what you can eat, where you can go. So, you know, I think we're, we're obviously seeing the world before our eyes change into that type of a goal.

Brian Roland:

So amazing. That's amazing,

Dan Wheeler:

John, you know, there's many different beliefs as to when Christ will return some think before the tribulation, some mid trip and some post trip. Could you tell us what you believe and why you believe when Christ will return?

Unknown:

Certainly I do believe in a in a pre tribulation rapture of the church. And I say that because I think there's scriptural basis for that. When when the risen in the exalted Christ was addressing the church at Philadelphia, in Revelation chapter three, and this this church was one that had the, the keys of David, they were a solid church, they were an evangelical church, they had thwarted the synagogue of Satan and had come against deception, and had stood firm in their beliefs. So the exalted in the risen Christ says to them in Revelation 310, because thou has kept the word of my patience, I also will keep the from the hour of temptation, which I'll come upon all the world to try them that dwell there in and that's good old King James English. But you quoted a Word Perfect.

Dan Wheeler:

This man's got an encyclopedic mind. That's a big word. It's worth a lot of money.

Terry Steen:

I just have a sick or low

Brian Roland:

Am I just sick?

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, so bad verse though, John, why do that you think that that means Christ is coming to take us before tribulation,

Unknown:

while I use that as a as a very specific and Representative scriptural basis for that belief. He's keeping us for an hour of temptation when it was a set period of time that's coming upon all the world which we know we refer to as the tribulation period. And and the reason that they're going to be exempt from that was because they have kept the word of his patience. And Jesus promised us over and over again, that for those who become disciples, and for those who receive his offering of salvation, it's an exemption from the wrath of God. God has not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Jesus said, when he was walking with his disciples, in this beautiful passage of scripture in John 14 through 16, he's going from the upper room where they've just had their last Seder meal together, and he's sharing his most intimate thoughts with them. Because he knows that his our, his his death, is at hand. And he says to them, and John 1633, he says, Be, he says, in me, he shall have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. Now that's his intimate promise to a group of disciples that he wants to share his last words with, and he wants them to be assured by those words that they are not going to experience tribulation, but they will experience is peace, is his wholeness, His presence, His Majesty, and because he, in his crucifixion, in His death, burial and resurrection, has overcome the world. So So he, in really, the tribulation period is often referred to as a time of Jacob's trouble. It's a time for the purification of Israel, those who have rejected the Messiah the first time, and now will have an opportunity through tribulation, to accept him now the second time, so it's really a purification of the nation of Israel, not a purification of the church. It's specifically designed to purify Israel and and that's why it's called a time of Jacob's trouble. Jacob, we know too is often referred to as, as Israel, Israel, France with God. And so that's the purpose of the tribulation period is to purify his chosen ones that made that Abrahamic Covenant but didn't recognize the first coming of the Messiah.

Terry Steen:

That's interesting. Jan, that is great. I was gonna ask ask you about, you know, I think Do you feel that everything is taken place that needs to take place before he comes back and begins the tribulation process? And then how does Israel fit into this? Now anything going on over there in Israel and Jerusalem that would kind of magnify this thinking,

Unknown:

I think Israel, you know, you have to you have to keep your eye on Israel. It's Israel, as a nation is the quintessential sign of the end times when the Balfour Declaration was declared in 1948. And Israel after 4000 years was re gathered together as a sovereign nation, and has gained such prominence since 1948. to Now, and Jesus told us in Matthew 24, take a lesson from the fig tree, when it leaves begin to bud and its branches begin to put forth leaves, you know, that summer is near. So also when all these things begin to come to pass, he shall know that my coming is near and my hand is on the door. Yeah, that's good. Well, the fig tree is always been emblematic of the nation of Israel. It's always been regarded as the fig tree in Scripture. So you know, Israel is that quintessential sign. I mean, God is using human history. And he's moving human history, in a direction towards the day of the Lord. History does not repeat itself. History does not go in circles. History is not chaotic. The sovereign God of Heavens armies, is moving history in a definite direction. And it's towards that cataclysmic event of his second coming when his footsteps down on planet Earth, and it splits down the middle. And he restores the glory of the created Earth, which he created originally by the Word of His power, history.

Terry Steen:

Amen to that cataclysmic

Unknown:

event, and we can lift up and look up, lift up our heads for his redemption draweth.

Dan Wheeler:

Amen. And that's where I wanted to go, John, we just have a few minutes left. And I know this talk can be fearful. cause fear for Christians, and especially for people that don't know the Lord, but why should we not be fearful? How do we deal with that fear?

Unknown:

Yeah, I think again, you know, the, the, the whole purpose of the church, you know, if you're looking at Hebrews 1025, that scripture we all love to quote, you know, that not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, and that has become the manner especially during COVID, where, you know, we didn't assemble together, you know, we need to assemble together, the streaming church is great, but it still doesn't substitute for the pivot gathering. So we don't forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the men are some is why but exhorting one another encouraging one another, as we see the day, the day approaching, what day is that? Yeah, it's that cataclysmic day of the Lord coming back for his bride, you know, we're gonna sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb and we're going to enjoy the glories of the Abrahamic covenant. But but you know, the church needs to encourage one another, we need to get together, we need to assemble and as we assemble, we need to talk about the signs we need to show their relevance and their congruence with current events and biblical prophecies. We need to tie them together to encourage one another. The Bible is the efficacious and unadulterated and inerrant Word of God and that Jesus did say exactly what he meant, that I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there you may be also he is coming back, he came a first time as a babe in a manger in Bethlehem, and he's coming a second time as the glory so conquering king and we, you know, we need to encourage one another with that prospect of His soon return. Boy,

Terry Steen:

that's good. Amen. Preach it.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, that is so good. You know, I keep coming back to Isaiah 4110 that says, Fear though not from with the Be not dismayed from that God, I will strengthen the I will help thee I will uphold the with my right hand. And as Christians, I we were born for a time such as this and it is exciting. You know, there said song. Keep your eyes upon the Eastern skies, lift up your head, your redemption draweth nigh. That's a boy John, it you are just an encyclopedia, and you're so well versed in the Bible. And that's why it's important for all of us to know scripture to know what's going on. I'm wondering we were at the end, but would you mind closing us in prayer and praying for those that maybe don't know the Lord, amen. Sure.

Unknown:

We'll be glad to thank you. Thank you, Lord God, we just give you praise and glory that you have called us unto yourself. Yes, God, you God you invaded history. In the person of your Son, Jesus Christ, you split human history wide open. And God you came down to this planet earth, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten, full of grace and truth. And somehow more God, you, you called us, unto yourself to be your children, you have adopted us into your family. You've said, I've not called Your servants, but I've called you friends. And Lord God, you've given us that promise, that when you left this planet Earth, and went to heaven, that you would come again, that you would receive us onto yourself that where you are, we may be also you're preparing that bridal chamber for your bride. And one day, you're coming back to snatcher out of this earth, and to bring it back to be with you at the marriage supper of the land. And so Lord God, we just pray for our church in this world today. We pray God that they would be awake, that they would be watching, and praying that these things would not come upon them as a thief in the night, but that their eyes would be wide open, they would be alert, they would be energetic, they would be preaching the word because you said when this gospel of a kingdom is preached as a witness to all nations, then the end would come. So Lord God, this is not a time for the church to be lethargic. It's not a time for the church to be discouraged. It's a time for the church to look up, lift up its head, or its redemption is very close at hand. So we pray for those unsaved loved ones of ours. We pray God, we'd reach him with the gospel with an utterance of the Holy Spirit before you come back. And we pray for the church that you strengthen it, encourage it, mobilize it, and let them know that you will build your church and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Amen. Lord, we ask all of these things in the mighty in the majestic, magnificent name of Jesus, and for His glory. Amen.

Terry Steen:

Amen. Amen. But tell

Dan Wheeler:

you what, we're gonna have to have John back. This was so rich, and that time went way too fast. John, thank you so much. Hey, thank

Unknown:

you fellows. It was just great to be with you and have the opportunity to discuss and share and thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Dan Wheeler:

So nice to have you. Welcome. Well, guys, I think the message for all of us is be close to the Lord. There's no place else to go. And no place we should be. If you don't know the Lord, as your personal Savior, ask Him into your heart. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and to make you knew, and serve him there's no other life like it. It's the only way. He is the only way and he's coming soon. Amen. God bless. And I hope you'll join us for our next episode of finish strong.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finished strong and fearless faith. Check out their website, F faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong