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Episode 22 - Bible Prophecy for the Grieving Mother with Jessica Speas


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Join us for a conversation with Jessica Speas about Bible Prophecy and The End Times. This is an opportunity for grieving mothers to learn more about Bible Prophecy and the hope we have as we await Jesus' Second Coming. With a third of the Bible being about prophecy, this is a topic we cannot ignore as Christ-followers.


In our season of grief and in this broken world we live, our hope can only be found in Jesus who has promised to return to this earth to rule and reign. Jessica, a grieving mom herself, is passionate about teaching Bible Prophecy and encouraging women to "look up" for their Blessed Hope.


In this episode, we answered these questions:

  • Why does Bible Prophecy matter to the grieving mom?

  • Why aren't more people talking about prophecy?

  • What will the future Heaven be like?

  • When will we be reunited with our babies?

  • What is the rapture and when will it happen in the timeline?

  • Who is the Anti-Christ and what will he do?

  • What is the Seven-Year Tribulation and the mark of the beast?

  • What End Times signs should we be looking for?

  • Why is prophecy centered on Israel?

  • What is globalism and how does it play a role?

  • How can I find hope in these difficult days?

  • Where in the Bible can I read about the End Times?

  • What other resources are available to learn more about Bible Prophecy?

Full transcript below.


Each episode has a special Hope Guide that you can download by clicking the button below. It is packed with hope-filled resources and extra information from the episode!



Discussion / Application Questions (leave your answers below in the comments!)

  1. Jessica shares that no one thinks of Heaven more than those who have lost someone because it makes it more real to you. Do you feel this to be true after the loss of your baby? When you think of Heaven, what do you think of and what questions do you have? Share your thoughts in a journal.

  2. Ashley and Jessica talk about the resurrected bodies we will have at the Rapture. This includes our sweet babies who have passed. Can you imagine this moment? Spend some time in prayer imagining this beautiful reunion you will have with your baby. What feelings and images come up?

  3. This was a heavy episode with a lot of information on the End Times and Bible Prophecy. How much of it did you already know and how much was new information? What questions do you have? Write down areas you want to study more. How does talking about the End Times make you feel? Scared? Excited? Worried? Hopeful. Process your thoughts in a journal.

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MEET OUR GUEST

Jessica is a mom of four, one living in Heaven, and lives a sweet Southern life out in the country in Tennessee. She spends her time homeschooling, homemaking, and pouring into her Bible prophecy ministry.


Jessica regularly posts about prophecy on her Instagram page and hosts weekend retreats for women passionate about prophecy.


Connect with Jessica:

Instagram: @jessica_speas

Etsy: SweetEverAfterShop

(Her Bible Timeline is sold here ^)

 

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MEET OUR HOST


Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,250 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year.


Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.


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www.ashleyopliger.com


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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT


Episode 22: Bible Prophecy for the Grieving Mother with Jessica Speas


Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast where we believe that the hope of Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ, has the power to heal our hearts after the loss of a baby. It’s a pain no mother should have to endure and we want this podcast to be a safe place for your broken heart to land. Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to restore our joy, use our grief for good, and allow us to spend eternity with our babies in Heaven.


I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ clinging to the hope of Heaven. My daughter, Bridget, was stillborn at 24 weeks in my first pregnancy in 2014. In her memory, my husband and I started a nonprofit ministry called Bridget’s Cradles, and God has given us purpose in our pain and we’ve seen beauty come from ashes.


Although we wish you didn’t have a need to be listening to this podcast, we believe God has a reason for you to be here today. We pray this time would be a source of healing for you as we remember that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope. Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.


Ashley Opliger: [00:01:26] Hi, mommas, and welcome back. This episode today is going to be a little bit different than past episodes. My guest and I are going to be co-teaching on a topic in an interview style and the topic goes really deep. We are talking about the End Times and our hope is to introduce you to Bible Prophecy so that you will be inspired to dig in and study it on your own.


Now, you may be wondering what the End Times has to do with the loss of your baby or how this will help you in your grief. I'm excited for you to listen because the central message is that we have hope because of Jesus. In our grief and in this crazy, broken world that we live in, things can get really bad, both in our personal lives and in our world.


But because of Jesus, we know that in the end He will be victorious and we will spend forever with Him and our babies in Heaven. He is coming back and that is a reason for us to rejoice.


So I am having my friend, Jessica Speas on with me today because Bible Prophecy is a passion of hers and she is both a grieving mom and teacher of the Bible. She has so much wisdom to share with us.


But before we get started, I want to preface this episode with a few things. First, when it comes to eschatology, the study of the End Times, there are several different persuasions that Christians have, Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial and Amillennial. These are in reference to the Thousand-Year Reign of Jesus known as the Millennium.


Pre-Mil believes that Jesus will come back before His Millennial Reign, which will be a literal thousand years that happens sometime in the future, after which He will establish the New Earth. Post-Mil believes that His Second Coming will follow His Millennial Reign, which comprises of the time between 70 AD and when Jesus comes back, meaning we are in the Millennium now. And Amil believes that there's no literal Millennium and that when Jesus comes back, He will immediately establish the New Earth.


To make matters more complicated, within the Pre-Millennial view, which believes in a Rapture of the Church, there are three positions of when the Rapture will occur in relation to the Seven-Year Tribulation that happens before the Millennium, Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib, meaning the Rapture will either happen Pre-Trib, meaning the Rapture will happen right before Tribulation starts or Mid-Trib, meaning the Rapture will happen in the middle of the Seven-Year Tribulation at the three-and-a-half-year mark, or Post-Trib, the Rapture will happen at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation.


There are so many great resources on eschatology. There are books, debates, podcasts, and blogs, so we are not going to go into each of these different beliefs. But both Jessica and I believe in a literal Thousand-Year Reign, so we will be discussing this episode from a Pre-Millennial, Pre-Trib viewpoint.


We will share scripture to support our statements and encourage you to dig deeper in your own Bible to test what we are saying. I share all of this background knowledge of the different viewpoints not to confuse you, but to be transparent with you on our beliefs and give you a base understanding to study eschatology yourself.


Secondly, I want to mention that we recorded this episode back in December, before everything happened with Russia and Ukraine, so you won't hear us mention it in the episode. But if you're curious as to how the current world events are playing out in prophecy and you're wondering about Russia's role in the End Times, I will link some resources for you to dive further.


In short, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not a direct fulfillment of a specific Biblical prophecy, but it is potentially a foreshadowing of when Russia will invade Israel in the war of Gog and Magog, which is outlined in Ezekiel 38. If you'd like further resources and discussions on this, I'll link some in our show notes, but we aren't going to be talking about that today.


We truly believe that we live in Biblical times. It's scary yet exciting at the same time. When the world gets dark, we know that our Jesus is coming soon.


So after recording this episode, which was several months ago, I had the chance to meet Jessica in person when I was in Nashville in early March. It was such a joy to meet her and talk about the hope we have in waiting for our Savior’s Second Coming.


So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Jessica. She is a mom of four, one living in Heaven, and she lives a sweet Southern life out in the country in Tennessee. She spends her time homeschooling, homemaking, and pouring into her Bible prophecy ministry.


Let's dive into this conversation, but before we do, please join our Cradled in Hope moms Facebook group. If you're listening to this on your phone, go ahead and get right on into Facebook and look for the Cradled in Hope Community Group for moms. We are going to continue this conversation and answer any questions you have about this episode or about Bible prophecy in the group. So be sure to connect with us in the Facebook group and let's get started with this episode with Jessica right now.


Ashley Opliger: [00:06:23] Welcome Jessica. I'm so excited to have you here today!


Jessica Speas: [00:06:27] Hey there. Thanks for having me.


Ashley Opliger: [00:06:29] I have been looking forward to this conversation for quite some time. You and I had the opportunity to have another Zoom meeting before, so that we could talk about this topic that is, honestly, not talked about enough in today's culture.


And I am just really looking forward to everything that you're going to share and the wisdom that you have. Before we get started on the topic of Bible prophecy as it relates to us as Christians and as grieving moms, I would love for you to introduce yourself and tell us about your motherhood journey and your experience with losing a baby.


Jessica Speas: [00:07:06] I'm Jessica, been married for 10 years now, got three babies earthside. We homeschool. We're in Tennessee. I have one baby in Heaven. Her name is Layla.


It was about two-ish years after my second baby that I had a miscarriage. I was about eight weeks. And I was at a concert, it was crazy hot in summer and I had all the thoughts of like, “This was my fault. I shouldn't have been at that concert. I shouldn't have been out in the heat,” and very much thought that there was something wrong with me, something I did must have [caused this].


And I hadn't told anyone aside from my husband that I was pregnant yet, and so we very much grieved alone together. And definitely something looking back, I would have reached out to everybody. Like, “I need prayer. I need your help.”


But something that God did through that for me is I had this dream of this sweet little toddler with big, bright eyes and two pigtails coming around the kitchen corner, just the happiest little child that I've ever seen. She was a girl.


And so ever since I had that dream, I'm like, “Okay, she was a girl. She's Layla. She is happy.” And it was that reminder that this person that Jesus loves is with Him. And she's with Him and He's with her.


Ashley Opliger: [00:08:40] And you'll get to see her again.


Jessica Speas: [00:08:42] And I’ll get to see her again, yes.


Ashley Opliger: [00:08:44] I'm so sorry, Jessica. I know that had to have been so hard, especially grieving alone.


I think that's a lot of our culture, says don't announce pregnancies until after 13 weeks, just in case, which, it goes back to so many people believing that a baby's not really a baby until they're born and that these early losses aren't really a loss.


And so many people that have the pro-choice argument say, “Well, it's not really a baby. It's just a clump of cells when it's that early, at eight weeks.” And of course we know that that's not true, that God has created each baby in His image and that a baby is a baby and has an eternal soul at the moment of conception.


Jessica Speas: [00:09:27] Yes.


Ashley Opliger: [00:09:27] And as Christians, we know that. And that's why we grieve our babies no matter how many weeks we were, even if we were four weeks. So I know that that must've been so hard to be grieving with only your husband and not having community of support around you.


Jessica Speas: [00:09:45] Yes.


Ashley Opliger: [00:09:45] What would you say grieving looked like for you during that difficult time? And as a Christian, how did you rely on your faith?


Jessica Speas: [00:09:53] It really brought in the perspective of Heaven for me. No one thinks more of Heaven than those who have lost someone. And I don't even remember where I heard the quote, but it was talking about Heaven and just walking around with the fragrance of Heaven. And I'm like, “That's where I was at.”


I felt more of a connection to eternity because someone so dear to me was there and it made it that more real to me. And then, obviously, that dream was just a God-send that I had the comfort of knowing my sweet little Layla is alive and well.


Ashley Opliger: [00:10:28] Absolutely she is. And yes, I think when you've lost someone, especially a baby, because it's not the natural order for parents, as mothers, for us to have to bury a child or not get to birth a living child.


And you had mentioned no one thinks of Heaven more than a grieving mom, and I do believe that's true. And I think it's an opportunity for us to be all the more fixated on Heaven and all the more focused on our Savior and not to be living for this earthly world, but be focused on His Kingdom that will have no end.


Jessica Speas: [00:11:04] Right.


Ashley Opliger: [00:11:04] And that's what we're going to be talking about today, is the Kingdom that's coming. And before we get started into the nitty-gritty of Bible prophecy. I would love for you to share how you became interested in Bible prophecy. Where did that interest, that passion come from? And then in recent times, how did that take off for you?


Jessica Speas: [00:11:29] I grew up not in Christian homes. I say that because I had a mom and a dad that separated, so I had two homes growing up. But my grandparents’ home was always my refuge growing up, and they were really strong believers.


And my grandma had always told me things, told all of us grandchildren things about the End Times and about what to watch for, and saying, “Hey, this is happening in the world right now,” or, “Watch, this is about to happen.”


And it was seeds that I didn't really pay much attention to, but they were there. They were always in the back of my mind. And then I became Christian at 16 and it was still stuff that I'm like, “Okay. Yeah, I know, Jesus is coming back. That's what every Christian believes, is Jesus is coming back.”


But it wasn't until my family and I moved to Tennessee, and I experienced a very lonely moment in my life. I was very stagnant in my faith. It was about six months after moving here and my family and I were in a tornado in the March of 2020, right before all of this shutdown stuff happened.


And it came down a street over from us and we literally thought we were going to die; came out of that, just completely changed perspective. God woke me up. He snapped me out of my slumber and I was awake.


That's all I can describe it as is that He snapped me out of it. And I saw what my grandma was talking about. I was looking around and like, “Wait, my grandma said this was going to happen.” And it came to almost daily where I was saying that. It was like, “Wait, my grandma said this was going to happen.”


And then so I started slightly saying some stuff on Instagram, testing the waters. And a year later I’ve got this full-blown End Times ministry that I never expected.


Ashley Opliger: [00:13:22] Right. You never know how God is going to use your testimony and the passion that you have for sharing His Word, because it's not just that your grandma told you that these things were going to happen, but that God said it would happen. And it's in His Word, and He says all of these things will come to pass.


So the reason that I felt so convicted to have you on this podcast and to be talking about this topic is because I talk as a Christian all the time about the fact that Jesus is coming back. And that is our hope, Jesus is coming back.


And also, as a grieving mom and as a Christian that believes the Bible to be the infallible, authoritative Word of God, that everything in there is true, when it talks about Him coming and establishing this New Earth and New Heaven, I'm talking about that with moms all the time about Heaven, and the fact that one day we will live on this very earth, a restored earth that goes back to the Creation that God originally made, like the Garden of Eden and the place with no sin and no death.


And we will live there for eternity in our resurrected bodies with our resurrected babies. And we don't know if our babies will be babies or they'll be children or they'll be adults. Scripture is not clear on that, so I want to make sure I say that.


And we don't know what they'll look like, but we can trust that God has a good and perfect plan and that because there's no sin, it's going to be a perfect, happy place and we'll be completely happy with however we get to meet our children.


But where I was being convicted as a leader of a nonprofit, and as a host of a podcast, and as someone who is speaking regularly to grieving moms, was that I felt like I was leaving out a huge part of the Bible when I'm skipping from, “Okay, well, right now we've lost the baby, but we have the hope to see them forever on this New Earth.”


There's a lot that happens between now and then, a lot of events. And there's just so much in Scripture that talks about everything that's going to happen between now and then. And I feel as though I'm doing a disservice to God and I feel like we need to be teaching all of God's Word.


We shouldn't be just picking things out and skipping over the timeline or skipping over details because we don't like them or because they're scary or because we don't know how to necessarily interpret them. We need to be studying Scripture and sharing all of Scripture. And that's why I feel that this is important to grieving moms, to be talking about this.


And the first thing, before we get into it, because we have so much ground to cover as it relates to this, but this is a taboo topic and people are not talking about this. People are skeptical of the conversation. People avoid the conversation altogether. People are confused by it. And there's a lot of confusion, a lot of skepticism about it.


Why do you think that is? Why are people not talking about Bible prophecy?


Jessica Speas: [00:16:29] A blunt answer, a straightforward answer is because prophecy said this would happen. The Bible literally said this was going to happen and it's happening. People are not going to care about this anymore. It was just a few generations ago that this was widely taught in church. And I'd say over the last 20 to 40 years, it has vastly been kicked out of churches in America, essentially.


Ashley Opliger: [00:16:56] Why do you think that is?


Jessica Speas: [00:16:57] Because people are, what Timothy talks about, being lovers of self, and there's this whole list of things that people are going to concern themselves with. And it's not just happening in the unbelievers.


So it's in 2 Timothy 3, and it has this list of how people are going to be in the End Times. And people like to think of that as being unbelievers, but it's believers too. We can already count on unbelievers to be into being lovers of self and everything that it lists, but it's talking about believers.


And there's another verse talking about in the Last Days, there's going to be a whole bunch of mockers and scoffers, and that's in 2 Peter 3. And you'll note that in there it talks about people saying like, “Oh, since the fathers fell asleep, they've been saying this and it hasn't happened.”


And in that context, you can know that these mockers and scoffers are going to be believers as well, because they're referencing the fathers. They are referencing stuff that they have believed before.


And I've gotten it from friends, I've gotten it from people online, like, “Oh, this is what they've been talking about forever and it hasn't happened yet. We don't need to concentrate on this.” And this is literally what Scripture says is going to happen in the Last Days.


Ashley Opliger: [00:18:16] I would like to read 2 Timothy, part of chapter four, starting with verse two, says, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the Truth and turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”


And that's talking about these false teachers and false teaching that's going to be prevalent in the church in the End Times, and we're seeing that now more than ever.


Jessica Speas: [00:18:58] Exactly. Yeah, it's everywhere. And so there's so many instances where I have confronted people and they literally will not listen to me because they are clinging to what all of these certain pastors that they've gathered up in their little collection of teachers that they want to follow. And they're like, “No, this is what they're saying.” They will not listen to sound doctrine. It's literally happening.


Ashley Opliger: [00:19:22] I think it's part of our culture as well; I've even been guilty of this myself in the past as a Christian to put certain pastors or authors, Christian influencers even, on this pedestal. And we look to them for truth and guidance and wisdom.


And there's a time and a place for that. Of course, we're supposed to be surrounding ourselves in the body of Christ and to be listening to instruction from godly people. But we need to be filtering everything that we're listening to through the Word of God. Everything needs to be filtered through Scripture.


And if someone is saying something that is not in alignment with God's Word, then we need to consider, should we be still listening to this person? Should we be going to this church? Should we be reading their books? Should we be listening to their podcasts or following them on Instagram?


We need to be very careful. There's many reasons that prophecy is not talked about. And we had talked about as well how the book of Revelation, for example, it's confusing. If you were to just sit here and read it out loud, people would be like, “What is this saying?”

And I think a lot of people assume because it sounds confusing that it's not meant to be interpreted or that we shouldn't really study it or understand it. What would you say to that?


Jessica Speas: [00:20:41] Right in the beginning of Revelation, it says that those who read this book will be blessed. That is the only book in the Bible where it says that. Obviously, we'll be blessed if you read the other parts of the Bible, but that's the only book that actually clarifies that.


And I will say from my ministry, from experience, people come back to me all the time and say, “Wow. I asked for wisdom and understanding, and I studied Revelation and I am filled with joy now and excitement!”


It lights a fire in you, and that's what God intended it to do. He didn't intend it to be this confusing thing that we should just push away. He intended it to be a blessing to you, to look for our Blessed Hope coming, to be in anticipation of this. This was a gift He's given us. Prophecy, as a whole, was a gift He gave us to not only give us hope, but to also tell unbelievers of our coming hope.


John 14: 29 is a great one where Jesus explains when He's talking about Him as a prophecy, He's saying, “I'm telling you these things so that when they happen, you will know who I am.” He gave us prophecy as a tool to tell people what is to come so that when they see these things, they will believe in Him.


There's an easy button to tell people about God, like, “Hey, these things are going to happen, have happened, and now you can believe.”


Ashley Opliger: [00:22:16] Yeah, Jesus Himself has told us, commanded us to be watchful, to be alert, to be on guard, to be looking for these signs. And in the Bible, He actually lists things that we should be looking for and explains what we'll be seeing in the End Times.


The Bible also says that no one knows the time. I’m in Mark 13:32. It says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come.”


Then it goes into talking about the thief or someone robbing your house, that you should be on guard so that you're not surprised when this happens. And it does say, “Keep watch.” And I think when you hear, there's like the crazy Christians that talk about End Times, like it's going to be on January 1st, 2022, and the world is going to end or Y2K, or there's all of that.


And I think those people give the End Times a bad rap because they're very specific in claiming to know when it is, and they're asserting who they think is the Anti-Christ or whatnot.


And sometimes that speculation can kind of muddy the waters, I guess, and make people skeptical of it, or especially when these days and hours that they claim to be the End Times come and pass and then they're saying another day and hour it is, and it just keeps coming. It's like, no, you don't know. But God knows.


Jessica Speas: [00:23:45] One thing I love about those people though, is that they are watching.


Ashley Opliger: [00:23:50] Yeah, that’s true.


Jessica Speas: [00:23:50] There are two sides to this coin. The Scripture says to watch and occupy the time. So we're supposed to be watching, but most of us are just occupying the time.


And some of them, like you mentioned, are watching and they're not occupying the time. They're just consumed with it and getting a little nutso. But that tip of that verse says, “No one knows the day or hour,” that one is quoted to me nonstop because they take this verse, this part of a verse and say, “See, no one knows the day or hour so we shouldn't be watching. We shouldn't be looking.”


And it's like, did you read the rest of that chapter? Because it says “This is why you need to stay awake. This is why you need to look at these signs and measure worldly events to Scripture, so you can see and that you can know the season, it says we will know the season, and so we can warn others, as well.


Ashley Opliger:[00:24:42] The very reason that God tells us that we don't know the day or hour is so that we can be watching for the signs and be looking out for Jesus' return. And some people think, “Well, oh, it's so doom and gloom to be trying to speculate the Anti-Christ and all of these horrible things that are going to play out in the End Times,” because Scripture says it is going to get worse before it gets better.


And that's just the way it is. There's no skirting around that. That's just the way it's going to be. But it's not that we're looking and waiting for the Anti-Christ, it's that we're looking and waiting for our hope and Savior, Jesus. And that's where the hope comes in, knowing that no matter how bad things are going to get, we know that Christ has the victory and we know how this is all going to end.


Jessica Speas: [00:25:32] One of my favorite quotes is that the end is near and the future is bright. That's our hope.


Ashley Opliger: [00:25:38] Absolutely. And you had shared this before. You've said we're living in Biblical times, and I agree with that. And whether or not Jesus comes back in our lifetime, it's still important to be talking about this because we don't want Bible prophecy to die in our generation, because no matter when it happens, we're always one day closer to it happening.


Jessica Speas: [00:26:02] Yes.


Ashley Opliger: [00:26:03] And we know we're getting closer and closer to the End Times and the day that Jesus comes back with each day that we live. And so we're going to talk about the timeline of all of this very soon, and it's going to get very interesting.

I just want to say to our listeners right now, if this is the first time that you're hearing all of this, there's going to be a lot that we talk about that might be a little mind-blowing to you, things that you've never heard of, or you're learning for the first time. And we're going to share Scripture as we're doing so.


Please open your Bible after this and go and study, and test everything that we're saying to the Word of God, and dig in for yourself because it is a lot and it can feel overwhelming. This isn't something you're going to learn overnight or just in this podcast. So we want you to go and study and learn, and we're hoping that this conversation will light a fire in you to do that.


But first, Jessica, would you share, why does this matter to a grieving mom? And why is it important to study Scripture and know Bible prophecy as a follower of Christ?


Jessica Speas: [00:27:07] It’s important to everybody, obviously. It's important to a grieving mom. Grieving moms have a platform they never asked for, but still is. People want to know their thoughts, their views, their belief of where their baby is. And we know, as Christians, that Jesus is coming back soon. That's something that's said all the time, but the details aren't studied.


And if we can give people a detailed hope and more of a play-by-play, they can understand it even more. They can wrap their head around it. And that's what Jesus intended with prophecy in the first place, so we can understand these things and know, and we can have a firm confidence in our blessed assurance, our blessed hope when you study prophecy.


You can be competent in Scripture and we can weed out the lies that are coming at us, because they are coming and they're coming in all different directions. And so when we can be confident in Scripture, we can pass that confidence to other people.


And that's how, like you said, we don't know if it's coming in our lifetime, so we need to pass this on to other people and they need to have that confidence and that assurance, especially when they're seeing things roll out faster and faster. It's not going to stop. Prophecy being fulfilled in the last two years, in the last 70 years, 200 years, it's just getting faster and faster. That’s how labor pains work.


Ashley Opliger: [00:28:39] Yeah, and not only for our influence to share our hope and our beliefs, but also for us to have a firm understanding of what this is going to look like for us. For me, I know that I'm going to see Bridget again in Heaven, but I have so many questions.


What is this going to look like? When am I going to get to see her on the New Earth? And it's not as simple as, “I die, I go to Heaven and that's the end of the story, we're there forever,” because we know there's a temporary Heaven right now where souls go to and our bodies are in the ground when we die. Our babies’ bodies are in the ground or have been cremated and they are awaiting the Resurrection.


And so what we're going to talk about now is basically the timeline in general, but what this looks like. And we can use me as an example, but I want to know if I were to die right now, when would I see Bridget? And when would we have our bodies back? And what's all going to play out until her and I are eventually on the New Earth and the New Heaven, that is a place where sickness has finally been defeated forever and thrown in the Lake of Fire and there's no more sin and death, that scenario?


And then also, what would happen if Jesus were to come back in my lifetime while I was still alive, and talking about the Rapture and how all of this plays out? So this is where we're going to get into the nitty-gritty of Bible prophecy.


And I just want you to walk us through a basic introduction to the timeline of the End Times and when we'll get to see our babies again, when they will be resurrected and when we will get to be with them forever and ever.


Jessica Speas: [00:30:24] First off, when you die, your spirit will be instantly in Heaven with Bridget immediately with Jesus. And we know this because whenever Jesus hung on the cross and that thief that was right next to Him wanted in, and Jesus said, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.”


Immediately, yes, he will be in Heaven. His spirit will be in Heaven with Jesus in Paradise. Our bodies, our flesh will be in the ground until the Rapture. So if we don't die, we go up. But it says in 1 Thessalonians, so this is the big verse where this is explained, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The whole book of Thessalonians is a great one to study, but this is where the Rapture is talked about.


It says that the dead will rise first, so the bodies of the dead will rise first. We will have empty graves all over the world. And then we go up right after and it's a gathering in the clouds. We will be gathered in the clouds together, and this is where we will be getting brand new glorified bodies. And I'm so excited for that day!


Ashley Opliger: [00:31:35] Me too. And just to clarify for those that are listening, the Rapture, Jesus comes back in the clouds to take the dead in Christ first, like she mentioned. It says there will be a trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. And after that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.


This moment is not the Second Coming of Christ because He does not step foot on the ground. He's in the clouds to take His people with Him. And so that's the Rapture and that can happen at any point, essentially.


Jessica Speas: [00:32:12] Yes. Even the early Christians, the last 2,000 years, people have been living like Jesus could come back at any moment. It is imminent.


They even left each other saying, “Maranatha,” means Jesus is coming, basically. So the biggest deception that has infiltrated in the last 200 years I'll say is that it's not imminent. And we have to look out for everything that happens in the Seven-Year Tribulation before we go up in the clouds.


This is a post-Trib belief that it's like a yo-yo Rapture where we go up real quick, right before Jesus comes back down with us at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation. It doesn't make any sense because we have a lot of stuff to be doing in the seven years we're in this Heaven while everybody else is on earth.


Ashley Opliger: [00:33:01] Right. And so we're going to be talking about the Seven-Year Tribulation, which is talked about a lot in the Bible. And so when she was mentioning the term Pre-Trib and Post-Trib, what she's referring to is what's called Pre-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation. And that's different views on when the Rapture is going to happen.


And there's even people that believe the Rapture could happen in the middle, so there's another one. Right? So Jessica believes in the Pre-Trib belief and as do I, and again, we're just wanting to share these different viewpoints, because there are Christians that believe in a post-Trib Rapture, and there are actually Christians that don't believe in a Rapture at all.


We want you to go and study the Scriptures that we're sharing and determine this through the Word of God, but we're going to share what we believe, which is that Jesus will Rapture us before the Seven-Year Tribulation, which is essentially when things get really bad on earth.


So why don't you now talk about the Seven-Year Tribulation, now that we've talked about the fact that there's going to be this Rapture before the seven years happens, where the dead in Christ rise first, and then those Christians who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ will be raptured up into Heaven with Him.


So what's going to happen during these seven years?


Jessica Speas: [00:34:23] The Seven-Year Tribulation is called Jacob's Trouble, which is Israel's Trouble. We're going to go through the books to study at the end of this, but this is knowledge that you get when you study Daniel. This is the Jews’ 70th week, which means a whole week is seven years.


And they have had all their 69 years fulfilled already in history. That's a lot to unpack. I'll just leave it at that for right now, but this is the 70th week, so the last seven years for Israel.


So this week is essentially for the Jews, the unbelieving Jews, and it gets kicked off by a globalist leader, the Anti-Christ, signing a peace treaty for seven years. He's going to be seen as this problem solver. Everybody's going to love him.


There's so much in the Bible about his characteristics and he's going to be a smooth talker, the best politician there ever was, pretty much. And for three and a half years, people are going to adore him and trust in him.


But in the meantime of this first three and a half years, there's going to be two witnesses that come down from Heaven. A lot of people believe that it's Elijah and Moses, some believe Enoch, they're going to be doing all these signs and wonders to try to get people to believe on Jesus.


So there's going to be two witnesses. And then on top of that, there's going to be 144,000 Jews that come to know the Lord and they're going to be witnessing. And then on top of that, there's going to be this angel going around also proclaiming the Name of Jesus. So in these first three and a half years, there is going to be a great opportunity to believe on Jesus.


Ashley Opliger: [00:36:06] Because the people that are left behind, and maybe some of you have heard of the Left Behind books or movie that came out, but that's essentially the idea is that after the Rapture, the people who will be left behind are those who do not believe in Jesus.


And so, as you mentioned, there will be more opportunities to come to faith in Christ that culminate up until this three and a half midmark of the Seven-Year Tribulation when things take a turn.


Jessica Speas: [00:36:38] What's also happening in these first three and a half years is seven seals and seven trumpets are being opened from angels in Heaven. And these are all pretty horrible devastations when it comes to natural disasters on the earth. It's going to be really intense.


And one time it was described to me as severe mercies because in these things, there's going to be people that actually believe this is coming from God and still won't submit to Him, because it's going to be so devastating that they're not going to believe that it's coming from anything but a God that they believe hates them. But He's really just trying to wake them up.


And then in the middle of Tribulation, the two witnesses are going to die and Anti-Christ is going to take full credit of this, like he has saved the world from these two witnesses, because everybody's going to believe that it's from them. They were sent by God and it's going to be from them.


They're going to be on the ground, basically, for three days, dead. And everybody's going to see it. It says in the Bible everybody's going to see it. And then they will be resurrected at the end of the three days. And it's going to be this crazy, spiritual, supernatural world that people aren't used to. I hope that wakes up people too.


But anyway, the Anti-Christ will be seen as this hero, and then that is when he turns on the people. He turns and he says, “You need to have this mark to follow me or else you die.”


And there's going to be this False Prophet. I call him his hype man. He's going to be like, “Yes, Anti-Christ is great. And look at all this stuff he's done and he's doing signs and wonders as well.” And it's all this show to get people to trust the Anti-Christ and to get people lined up for this mark.


Ashley Opliger: [00:38:30] Which is called the mark of the beast.


Jessica Speas: [00:38:32] Yes, the mark of the beast. And it says in this place that the Anti-Christ is going to stop animal sacrifices. So this is why we know that there's going to be a third Temple already built, because the Jews are able to do animal sacrifices when there's a Temple.


And so we know that he's going to be this great guy for the Jews. He brought back their Temple and in the first three and a half years, he brought back animal sacrifices. And then in the middle, he cuts that off. And there's an abomination of desolation that takes over. It's not going to be nice anymore for people. They are going to see, hopefully, that they've been swindled.


Anyway. the rest of the three and a half years are horrible devastation. There are now seven bowls going to be opened by the angels in Heaven and be poured out on the earth and it's going to be horrendous. It's like nothing anyone has ever experienced.


And in the meantime, the 144,000 Jews will be whisked away. God is going to be supernaturally whisking them away to protection. It's really intriguing to me, but He's going to be nourishing them and keeping them safe through this whole ordeal in the last three and a half years.


In the meantime, there's going to be a bunch of humans, fallen angels released from a pit and roaming the earth and being a part of Anti-Christ’s army. When I say this world is going to be supernatural, it's going to be spiritual like we've never seen. There's going to be actual fallen angels that have been in a pit for thousands of years up and walking around on the earth.


Anyway, he's going to be leading these angels to do his bidding and have this global army and still thinking that he is winning, which we know the next thing at the end of the three and a half years is Jesus coming down on a white horse and we are following Him on white horses.


All the saints are following Him down onto earth, and He conquers, throws the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet into a pit. And they are jailed there for the Thousand-Year Reign, while we are reigning on the earth for a thousand years.


And there's more detail to the Millennial Kingdom as well. There's a lot more to say about that, when you study Isaiah. There's actually only just one chapter of the Millennial Kingdom in Revelation.


Ashley Opliger: [00:41:00] Revelation 20.


Jessica Speas: [00:41:02] Yes. I encourage you to study Isaiah as well. And there's a lot on the Millennial Kingdom in the Old Testament.


Ashley Opliger: [00:41:10] We hope you are enjoying this episode so far. We wanted to take a quick break to tell you about some other hope-filled resources our ministry provides to grieving families.


On our website, bridgetscradles.com, you can find many resources on grieving and healing including memorial ideas, quotes & Scripture, blog articles, featured stories, recommended books, and other support organizations. We share ideas on how to navigate difficult days such as due dates, Heaven Days, and holidays. We also have a page with ideas on how to care for a friend or family member who has experienced pregnancy loss.


In addition, every month I lead free Christ-centered support groups for bereaved moms called Hope Gatherings, both in-person and online. You can find a list of upcoming dates and sign up for our next support group on our website. You can also join our private Cradled in Hope Facebook group for grieving moms to find friendship and support. We would be honored to hear your baby’s story and be praying for you by name.


Lastly, our Pinterest page has beautiful graphics of quotes & Scripture from this episode, along with many other resources that you can pin and save. We would also love for you to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. You can find us on these three pages: @bridgetscradles, @cradledinhope, and my personal page @ashleyopliger. We’d love for you to follow along and spread the word about the Cradled in Hope Podcast. Now let’s get back to our episode.


Ashley Opliger: [00:42:47] I just want to say, I know that there's probably some moms right now listening and you're thinking, “Wow, this sounds scary. This doesn't sound real. Is this really in the Bible, all of these seals and trumpets and devastation and all of these crazy things happening?”


And that's why I keep saying, “Please go and open your Bible,” because I have to say that I was a little bit timid and scared to have this episode, because I felt like people are going to listen to this conversation and they're going to think I'm crazy or you're crazy, or we’re both crazy for sharing all of this, but it's all in the Bible.


And like I told you before, I was feeling so convicted, I can't be pulling verses about Heaven from the Bible and talk about Jesus in these regards but then fail to talk about His words when He's prophesying and sharing what's to come.


I've heard it said that a third of the Bible is Bible prophecy. And before Jesus even came to earth the first time for His birth as a humble little baby in a manger, there was all of this prophecy beforehand in the Old Testament talking about His First Coming.


And now we live in a point in history, in the timeline of humanity between Jesus' First Coming and His Second Coming. And there's a lot of Scripture in the Bible, all of the prophets and people who have shared what's going to happen, and we're ignoring it, even though we have this outline of what's going to come.


And I think as scary as some of it sounds, as weird as some of it sounds, as Christians we need to know our Bibles and we need to be prepared and know what the Word says. If we're going to believe that the Bible is true, we can't just pick out the chapters we want and just talk about what feels good to us or what sounds true to us.


And so I want to go back to the Seven-Year Tribulation. I'm just going to give a quick summary. There's the Rapture, then there's the Seven-Year Tribulation. And then at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation is when Jesus comes back, and that is the Second Coming that you just referenced, when He's coming on a white horse with His saints, with His people. That's us Christians that have been up there with Him during the seven-year time.


For those of us in Christ, we have avoided the horrible seven years that are happening on earth that you just described. We come back and then there's the Thousand-Year Reign.

Before we talk about the Thousand-Year Reign, which precedes when He actually makes the New Heaven and the New Earth, which is what we talk about all the time, and see, that's why I'm saying there's so much that happens between now and then, but before we get into that part of the timeline, let's go back to the Seven-Year Tribulation and the mark of the beast.


There are a few things I want to add and that I want you to elaborate on. First is that the mark of the beast is described in great detail in the Bible about what it's going to be like and what will happen surrounding the mark.


First of all, we know it will be some sort of mark on our forehead or our wrist. People will be forced or coerced, basically threatened to take the mark of the beast. And what we know about the mark is that if you do not comply and get this mark of the beast and you don't bow down to the image of the beast, which is the Anti-Christ, you will be killed. And specifically in the Bible, it says you will be beheaded.


And if you do take the mark of the beast, that is the final straw for God. There is no further opportunity to repent and to follow Jesus. You will be going to Hell for eternity. I know that's really scary, but that's another reason why this is so important to talk about, to warn people, especially non-believers, about what's going to happen so that people will see, “This seems like this is the mark, This is not something that I want to do.”


But a lot of people will take it thinking that this will give them momentary comfort or that they'll be able to continue living. So can you talk a little bit more about the mark and what that's going to look like and where in Scripture we can find information about that?


Jessica Speas: [00:47:05] Yeah. So in Revelation 13 it goes into detail of this mark of the beast. And the Anti-Christ is going to be using these armies that he has to implement this. He's got a global army, which is already talking about in the works right now, which is really interesting. Having a global army will seem like a good thing at first, but it's essentially to bring the mark of the beast to everybody.


And so along with this global army, there's going to be a certain amount of compliance, because you can't force this upon the whole world without the whole world revolting. So there's going to be needing compliance. People will be lining up for this mark. People will be wanting to be able to pay their bills and eat and take care of their children and run their businesses.


This is something that will be easy for people to line up for. There's not going to be many that won't, and that's really unfortunate. But we can see in our present world the push for compliance and the push for this global unity and that things are unfolding very fast.

But so this mark will be either on the wrist or head. And it says in Scripture that it's going to be the number 666, but we don't exactly know how that's going to be translated. So everything in Scripture that's symbolism, we know it's going to be literal. Prophecy has always been fulfilled literally. And we just know that that's his number.


And for years now, people have speculated what that's actually going to be. We've started having ID cards and debit cards, not that long ago in history. And so even though in our world right now seems like a common thing, but it's actually very different than all of history before us has lived. Nobody had ID cards and debit cards that you can just swipe.


So this globalism compliance, ‘everybody has a number’ type system has already been implemented. It's just a matter of what is going to be put on our wrists or head. So the idea is already there.


Ashley Opliger: [00:49:31] We have the technology to do something like that.


And I just want to clarify, because we are not in the Seven-Year Tribulation right now. And so therefore there might be people speculating that a certain something right now is the mark of the beast. And people have speculated that for years on different things, and you're hearing buzzwords happening right now in today's culture that this could be the mark, this could be the mark, but it simply cannot be the mark of the beast right now because we are not in the Seven-Year Tribulation and the Anti-Christ has not been revealed.


So just want to put that out there; we're not speculating at this moment. All we can do is look at Scripture and know what it says about the mark of the beast so we can be watchful and tell people about it.


So we've talked a lot about the Seven-Year Tribulation and there's a lot to unpack. There's a lot that we haven’t covered, and so there are some more resources and Scripture that we will point you to in a little bit and in our Hope Guide for you to do some further studying about this.


But let's move forward now to the Thousand-Year Reign, when the government will be on Jesus's shoulders and He will be here ruling and reigning for a thousand years. So tell us about that part of the timeline and what happens after that.


Jessica Speas: [00:50:55] Yes, it is such an exciting time! So in our current world, there's a lot of fight about what kind of government is the best. And in this Thousand-Year Reign, it will be a perfect government. It will be as God has always intended under Jesus. I am so excited about that, a weight will be lifted off, especially in our current world, how it's playing out right now.


But like I said, there is a lot about the Millennial Kingdom in Isaiah. There's so much to study on it, but we're going to be there with our glorified bodies and doing jobs for Jesus. We're going to be working and I don't know what job I'm going to get, but I'm super excited about it because it's going to be pretty awesome!


But then there's also going to be people that came through the Seven-Year Tribulation and haven't gotten their glorified body yet. And they will be in this Thousand-Year Reign and be able to be married and have babies and all of this stuff.


And this is all the stuff that people don't realize, and I'll leave it at that for now. It's just a whole bunch of stuff that can be studied. And it's so exciting to dream about this Kingdom! I'm so excited about it!


But then at the end of the Thousand-Year Reign, this is when Jesus lets Satan out of the pit for a little while. And there's this war and Jesus ultimately throws him into the Lake of Fire to burn for eternity. And this is when this eternal Heaven happens, after this thousand-year millennium.


Ashley Opliger: [00:52:29] So during the thousand years, Satan is chained up in a pit. He hasn't been thrown away forever yet, but because he is chained up, the Thousand-Year Reign is going to be a good one.


But it's not necessarily free from sin because there are still people on the earth that will have the opportunity to sin because of their sin nature. And they'll have the opportunity to choose Jesus or not, just like we do on this earth now. And those people will be able to die because they have a mortal body.


And then at the end of the thousand years, that's when Satan will be let out and then he will be thrown away. And that's when the New Earth and the New Jerusalem comes down and the streets are made of gold.


And there's a very clear description here in Revelation 21, when John is describing what he saw in this vision, when he was on this island and God was giving him this vision of what the New Heaven was going to be. But he says, “I saw a new Heaven and a new earth for the first Heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea.” And this is when God is now dwelling with them.


And so correct me if I'm wrong, but during the Thousand-Year Reign, we are present with Jesus.


Jessica Speas: [00:53:47] Yeah.


Ashley Opliger: [00:53:47] And then after that, when Heaven comes down to earth, that's when we are present with God, the Father.


Jessica Speas: [00:53:54] Yes, exactly. Yeah.


Ashley Opliger: [00:53:54] And that's when it says, “God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


I share that verse all the time, but we so often leave out the part before it, where we're talking about all the craziness of the End Times and the thousand years in Revelation 20 that precedes this beautiful vision of Revelation 21.


So again, I just want to clarify here, when Satan is thrown away for all of eternity, that's when death is officially done because the wages of sin is death and that's when death will go away.


Jessica Speas: [00:54:38] Yeah, forever.


Ashley Opliger: [00:54:39] So that's what we have to look forward to, but my goodness!


Jessica Speas: [00:54:42] There’s a lot!


Ashley Opliger: [00:54:44] There’s so much between now and then. And honestly, there's part of me that just feels like, “Couldn't God just have made this simpler? Couldn’t we just go up to Heaven and be with Him forever and all of this doesn't have to play out this way?” The human side of me just doesn't comprehend all of these things. It's a lot.


Jessica Speas: [00:55:03] And that's why I encourage everyone to study it, because once I studied it, it just blew my mind of how incredible all of this is set up. It's such a perfect plan. And I am so excited.


Ashley Opliger: [00:55:18] When you say it's a perfect plan, what in your studies has led you to believe that? Why do you feel Scripturally all of this has to play out the way that it's written?


Jessica Speas: [00:55:30] For thousands of years now people have, like I said, fought back and forth about what government should be what, and who should reign and time and time again, it has failed, completely failed.


And even when your kind of government or leader wins, it's going to fail because it's human. We're human and the only perfect government is under Jesus. And He's using that Thousand-Year Reign to show, “Yes, this is what it should have been this whole time. And this is what I've wanted for you this whole time.”


And it's an incredible victory to be like, “Okay, I have so much power over Satan that he's going to be locked up for a thousand years by my word. And then at the end, I'm going to throw him into a fire.” He gets to not only have our enemy thrown into the Lake of Fire, but also locked up for a thousand years while he's being trampled under our feet, basically. What a victory we have in that! What justice we have, and that is true justice right there.


Ashley Opliger: [00:56:43] Right. And I've heard it said as well, the Thousand-Year Reign fulfills so many of the promises of God, because this all comes back to Israel and we haven't touched too much on that.


But so much of prophecy is centered on Israel, God's chosen people, and there are covenants that God has made in the Old Testament with the Jewish people that will come to fulfillment through this timeline. And we know all covenants find fulfillment in Jesus Christ, but He has made these promises to the Jews.


No matter how many times they've turned their back on Him, no matter how many times they’ve forgotten Him, and they will continue to forget Him, even obviously through the Seven-Year Tribulation as well, God is faithful. That is a characteristic of who He is, that He is going to fulfill all of these promises He has made to His people.


And from what I've studied, and please correct me if I'm wrong, the Thousand-Year Reign is also an opportunity for Him to fulfill these covenants that He's had with His people.


Jessica Speas: [00:57:52] Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative), the ultimate Promised Land right there.


Ashley Opliger: [00:57:54] So let's talk about Israel and also what we need to be watching for. When we say we need to be alert, we need to be watching for the signs of the End Times, what are we looking for? And when we say things like globalism, what are we talking about? What does that mean?


Jessica Speas: [00:58:14] First and foremost, what we need to be watching is Israel. The whole Middle East is such a confusing mess that a lot of people like to push it aside, not even look at it. It's complicated. It just seems like everybody's hating each other. Let's just not mess with that while we're in our little American bubble.


But looking at Israel and understanding the problems between all the different surrounding nations, I understood Scripture even more. I'm like, “Well, this is all set. Everything right now, all the tension and all this stuff happening in the Middle East right now, when you start understanding it, it is in Scripture.


This is what Scripture said would happen. So we're right smack dab in the middle of Ezekiel 36 to 39. This is a key part in Ezekiel that we need to be studying, because this is unraveling in our generation. These chapters in Ezekiel talk about Israel as a nation coming back as a nation. That has never happened in history.


Ashley Opliger: [00:59:27] Until 1948.


Jessica Speas: [00:59:28] And many people know this, but Israel is the size of New Jersey. It is so tiny and it has not been occupied by the Jews for so many years. Never has this happened where a tiny nation, even a big nation, but a tiny nation completely loses their land and completely gains it back again. That has never happened. And now there's like what? Close to 7 million Jews back in their land.


So that's what Ezekiel literally says, “The people will come back to their land.


Ashley Opliger: [01:00:07] They'll get their land back in a region where literally everyone around them hates them and wants to annihilate them, and nations that publicly claim to want to wipe them off the face of the earth and to this day nations piling rockets in daily.

And yet they have established this nation in the middle of a region where no one wants them to be. And so yes, the fact that they are there and their nation was established in 1948 was a big sign.


Jessica Speas: [01:00:40] An absolute miracle that has never happened in history! It's a complete miracle. It's something that has happened in our lifetime. This is something that my grandma repeated to me all the time, and I did not know the importance of it until this past year.


But people say, “When Jesus was born, people were waiting for 400 years for that to happen, for Jesus to come down and be born.” We have been waiting 2,000 years for 1948 to happen, and it has happened! That's insane! That's something to get you jumping for joy!


Ashley Opliger: [01:01:11] Amazing! And it's so exciting that Israel has redeemed their land and that's fulfilling prophecy and there's more prophecy to be fulfilled, obviously, but we know that God has chosen Israel and the Jewish people as His people, although He extends His grace and His mercy to the Gentiles, to the rest of the world, to you and me, to everyone.


So this whole story, although it's very much focused and centered on Israel, includes you and me, includes all the nations of the world. It says one day, every nation will bow, every tongue will profess that He is Lord, and we are all included in this. Jesus died for everyone and for those who have faith in Him will be saved by His grace.


And so let's talk more, now that you've set the backdrop with Israel, what should we be watching for?


Jessica Speas: [01:02:07] So the next thing in those Ezekiel chapters, it talks about the war from the north coming to try to invade Israel. So this is also crucial right now because the north has never been friendly with one another.


I'll be specifically talking about Turkey, Russia, and Iran. They've never been buddy-buddy, because everybody hates everybody. They’ve not liked each other historically, and in this past year, they have made alliances with each other. The north is united and they all hate Israel. So we are absolutely set up for this war from the north to come down like never before in history.


It's going to be a supernatural situation where God protects Israel and it's going to be incredible. Theologians will debate whether we will be here or not, or if the Rapture will happen before that or not. Nobody truly knows when this war happens. I think-


Ashley Opliger: [01:03:10] Referencing the war of Gog and Magog.


Jessica Speas: [01:00:04] Yes. So that is the next thing we're watching out for. It’s the next thing to be happening. And we don't know if the Rapture happens before, middle, or after. It makes sense in my mind to see the start of the war and to see it start to happen and then Anti-Christ comes in and cries for peace and brings everybody back together after that. But we don't know.


And so that is something to be looking for, to watch the north, to watch Israel, watching what's happening in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount, because they do not have their Third Temple yet. But all of the plans are ready for this Third Temple that we know is supposed to happen.


Right now, I mean, it's been for years now that there has been a lot of religious war for who gets the Temple Mount, because Islam thinks it's theirs but Jews believe that's where their Third Temple should go. So that's a big conflict that is increasing tension right now. It's a war zone over there.


It's bad. So we know when we see this tension ramping up and the north coming together, we know we were just on the cusp of this. We were just on the edge of eternity. It's just right here. Anyway, so those are the things to watch.


Watch Damascus. There is this prophecy that Damascus will be completely destroyed. Damascus is in the Middle East. And there's just so much I can unpack with that, but I’ll just leave it at that. So watch Damascus, it is a prophecy.


And then what else to watch is what we referred to before, the 2 Timothy 3, how people will be in the End Times. There's a list. You read it. As these things increase, we can know that we're getting closer.


So in Matthew 24, it says, “For many will come in My Name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’” You’re going to hear of wars and rumors of wars.” And it says, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” There’s going to be, “famines and earthquakes in various places. And these are the beginning of birth pains.”


So this is something that we have been seeing increase for the last about 150 years. That's it. In the last 2000 years, this has been ramping up, in the last 150 to 200 years, all of what I just listed.


And, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death. You will be hated for My Name's sake. Many will fall away.” That is happening right now. People are falling away from the faith.“ And many will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.”


We talked about that. “Lawlessness will increase.” Last year in America, alone, crime rose 30%. It was like an intense number and never seen before in history, that spike in lawlessness. And, “Many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”


Ashley Opliger: [01:06:12] In general, I think we could say an increase in wickedness and evil, and also it says in Isaiah, “Good will be called evil and evil will be called good,” and essentially just this upside-down world. And we're already seeing this in culture and people, Christians, are being hated for telling the truth. It's now considered hateful or divisive if you share the Truth of God.


And in America, quite frankly, we have persecution quite easy compared to Christians across the world. Our brothers and sisters in Christ in other nations, specifically Islamic nations, who are being raped and tortured and killed for believing in Jesus. And these followers of Christ are willing to endure persecution and even martyrdom because they believe in the Truth of the Gospel.


And in America, we are seeing this lukewarm Christianity and so many false gospels going around, which it literally says, “For false christs and false prophets will appear, perform great signs and miracles to deceive people,” like you mentioned, “the love of most will grow cold.”


There's going to be a falling away of Christians. People are going to leave the faith. We're seeing that in this whole deconstruction movement and progressive Christianity and prosperity gospel, social justice gospel, there are all of these gospels in America, which really could say the American gospel is in contradiction to the real Gospel, which is divisive, which is offensive.


You are a sinner and people don't want to be called out for their sin. And that's part of the End Times, that we are a sinful, wicked nation and nations across the world. This isn't just America.


Jessica Speas: [01:08:02] Yeah, and on that persecution note, that has been crazy increasing last year too, like never before.


And then two other things to watch out for is the push for compliance, people complying. We know we need the majority of the global people to comply to the mark of the beast. We know that compliance is needed, so watch out for that. So a good part in the Bible is, “Do not conform to the patterns of the world.” We see an incredible push for conforming.


And then another thing to watch is the one-world religion being pushed as well. Anti-Christ’s biggest deal is going to be peace and unity. That's going to be his campaign, peace and safety, peace and unity.


So it's funny for me to be like, “Oh, watch out for someone saying, ‘Peace and safety, or peace in unity.’ Why would you want to watch out for that? That sounds amazing.” But that's the lie of the End Times, is we're all going to be unified and it needs to be this global thing and there needs to be several ways to Heaven. This is part of the deception.


Like, remember those coexist stickers?


Ashley Opliger: [01:09:13] Still a thing, I still see those around.


Jessica Speas: [01:09:16] And now it's like, if you say there's only one way to Heaven, that's considered hateful. That's considered intolerant. And that's the world shifting into this unified state of all ways to Heaven and you have your own truth. Everybody has their own truth and it's all relative.


This is the deception of the End Times. We are living in it right now. So that is something to keep a watchful eye on as well.


Ashley Opliger: [01:09:48] Yes, and going back to the one-world religion, that plays a part in this globalist economy. And so to further explain globalism, it's essentially this idea that instead of having individual nations and leaders, that we come together as the world and we have more global leaders. And essentially, we're moving in this direction of a global economy, a global currency, so that's something to be looking out for as well.


It was really interesting in, you talked about Daniel, so Daniel is essentially the key that unlocks the book of Revelation. And so much of Daniel doesn't make sense or hasn't made sense for generations because it was, “Well, how could this pan out or how could this actually end up happening?”


And I will say, even as a young girl, when I was introduced to End Times, my mom actually talked about it. She had a journal, she read out Revelation and would talk to me about it. And I remember thinking, “How is this going to ever play out like this?”

Everybody's going to have this mark of the beast,” and it seemed so far off that it felt like, “Well, I don't need to worry about that because I can't even imagine this happening.”


But just in the last two years, you're starting to see things on this global scale and how things like a pandemic can cause such a shift in leadership and in the world order, essentially, and how nations have been handling this.


And I'm not going to go into all of the politics on COVID and what not. There are other podcasts that do that. But things have shifted since COVID came on the scene and we're seeing things shift as a country and also in the world. And we need to be watching all of these things.


And if you're a grieving mom and you're listening to this podcast and you've been holding on through this whole conversation, you're listening to all this and you're like, “What does this have to do with the fact that I just had a miscarriage,” or, “I just lost my baby and I'm coming home with empty arms,” and I know this is very deep.


This is very theological. We're diving in deep. And I don't know that right after I lost Bridget that I would've felt comfort in listening to a podcast about End Times, but it is so important for us as Christians, because the way I see this is if we are going to choose to have faith in Jesus and believe that we get to see our babies again for all of eternity, and that is the greatest hope that a grieving mom and anyone on this earth can have, to be saved from their sin, to not be headed toward eternal damnation in Hell, but to be going to a perfect Paradise forever with God Himself, if we're going to believe all that, we need to be aware of what's to come and be prepared. And all of this brings back to the word: hope.


So I would love for you to share with moms in the midst of the times we're living in, in the midst of incredible sorrow when we are grieving our babies, we are incredibly sad, we don't feel like we're ever going to find joy or hope again, what encouragement do we have in these times in this grief?


Jessica Speas: [01:13:02] Right now we are in a very, very special time, a time like no other that we can know with all certainty that Heaven is literally an arm’s length away. Our Blessed Hope is almost here.


And I always hear grieving moms say, “One day closer. We're one day closer.” We're always one day closer to Heaven, but that day is approaching and it’s coming soon, real fast.


Ashley Opliger: [01:13:35] Absolutely. I would like to read Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in Heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends.” So yes, we are awaiting this Blessed Hope.


So Jessica, we covered a lot in this episode. And like I said, I know this is a lot. It is a lot, but what Scripture and books of the Bible would you recommend a mom who's listening, if they're interested and this has spiked their interest, and they say, “I want to learn more about what they're talking about today.” What books of the Bible should we read to learn more about Bible prophecy?


Jessica Speas: [01:14:39] These are the ones that I always have everybody start with. It's Daniel; all of Daniel is amazing, but specifically Daniel 7 through 12 is talking about the End Times and the Seven-Year Tribulation.


And you had mentioned in Daniel it was so confusing, and it's literally the angel Gabriel in verse 12:4, and Daniel had said, “Seal this stuff up and don't open it until the Last Days where knowledge is abounding.” We literally can know in Daniel that we won’t understand these things until the End Times.


And it's so great to be able to read Daniel and understand these things now. You can understand this stuff as we get closer to the day. Anyway, so Daniel, you can not understand Revelation without Daniel, so those chapters in Daniel, Matthew 24, obviously, and both of the Thessalonians are very important to study, and then Revelation.


Ashley Opliger: [01:15:39] Are there additional books or resources as well that you recommend that can help us understand what we read in the Bible better?


Jessica Speas: [01:15:51] Yeah, and I do get this question a lot. And first and foremost I always say, make sure you're in Scripture and studying those books that I had just listed, because we need to be solid and competent in Scripture so we can measure everything, everything to it.


So we're all human out there. Anybody that you're listening to, you need to measure everything they say up to Scripture. That being said, I do love Athey Creek Church. You can find them on YouTube, where they have an app. A pastor there has a monthly prophecy update that he does.


Ashley Opliger: [01:16:28] Pastor Brett.


Jessica Speas: [01:16:29] Yes, Pastor Brett. He is so solid in sound doctrine and he keeps me grounded too. Anyway, it's great. And then there are two podcasts that I love: Olive Tree Ministries, Jan Markell. She has a bunch of incredible people on there that she interviews.


And then Prophecy Pros Podcast is a new one that I just started following and I love them. I might go see them in Florida. They have a convention.


And then Hope For Our Times on YouTube is another one that I do recommend all about End Time stuff.


And then there's this book that I have held Bible studies with because it is very basic and it outlines a timeline for you for the End Times. It's called End Times in Chronological Order by Ron Rhodes. I’d say grab a friend and go through it and measure everything to Scripture.


Yeah, I think those are some good first suggestions. And I'll say I don't agree with everything that everybody says, but for the most part, yes, those are the ones that are pretty sound and solid.


Ashley Opliger: [01:17:36] And Jessica, you also have a ministry that focuses on sharing Bible prophecy and End Times information. And so I would love for you to share more about your Instagram account as well as your weekend retreats and your Ladies Looking Up Facebook group.


Jessica Speas: [01:17:55] Yeah, so go follow me on @jessica_speas on Instagram. And I've got several highlights that I have poured so much time and studying into. Let's see, the first one would be to look through the Fig Tree Generation.


It's called Fig Tree Highlight. It's talking about Israel and it goes into more detail about the Ezekiel prophecy that I mentioned. I've got a few other highlights, like top 10 and just some really basic outlines of prophecy. I try to make it easy for people to understand and easy to take in.


And then yes, I have weekend retreats and then I just started Zoom nights and we'll be announcing new Zoom meetings soon. They’re going to be two hours with me, chatting all through this stuff and you can ask me questions with just a few other ladies, so it's more intimate.


And then one more thing on Facebook. I'm not very active on Facebook, but I do have a private group called Ladies Looking Up for anybody that wants to watch with us. It is just an incredible group of ladies. So you need to message me if you want to be a part of that so I can add you. And yeah, that’s about it.


Ashley Opliger: [01:19:09] Amazing, Jessica. I love being in that group and knowing that I'm not the only one that's seeing these things play out, and most importantly, just keeping our eyes on Jesus and the excitement that He is coming back, and we will get to see our loved ones, our babies again, and we'll get to be forever with Him.


You call it our sweet ever after, and I love that. That's a beautiful phrase to explain what we have to look forward to.


And so we will link her Instagram account. You can DM her directly to get connected to her and find all of these resources. We will also link Athey Creek on our Hope Guide and in our show notes so you can find the prophecy updates that she's talking about.


They also do a verse-by-verse, book-by-b0ok through the Bible, and they have some great YouTube videos on the book of Daniel, so those would be really great videos to watch, to really dig in and learn Scripture verse-by-verse.


So Jessica, thank you so much for having this conversation.


Jessica Speas: [01:20:14] Thank you.


Ashley Opliger: [01:20:14] I know that it’s going to bless so many women and I hope that this is just the start of the conversation. So thank you.


Jessica Speas: [01:20:23] Thank you so much, so happy to be on here.


Ashley Opliger: [01:20:27] Thank you for listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. We pray that you found hope & healing in today’s message. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a future episode. New episodes will be shared on the 1st and 15th of every month. You can also find this episode’s show notes and a full transcript on our website at bridgetscradles.com/podcast.


There you can download a free PDF for each episode, called the Hope Guide, that is filled with notes, Scripture, links, discussion questions, and so much more. Be sure to leave your email address so that we can keep you updated on podcast episodes, upcoming support groups, and other hope-filled resources.


If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to Bridget’s Cradles in memory of a baby in Heaven, you can find information on our website on how you can get involved and spread hope to other grieving families.


One way you can spread hope is by leaving a review of this podcast on iTunes [or Apple Podcasts app]. Consider the two minutes of your time as a way YOU can personally share this hope with a mom whose heart is broken and needs healing. Thank you so much for listening and sharing. Until next time, we will be praying for you. And remember, as Jesus cradles our babies in Heaven, He cradles us in hope. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope.


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