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Declaration of Dependence

America declared independence from its British masters 237 years ago. The struggle that ensued was mighty, and painful, even to the point of loss of many lives. The result of the savage war for independence was a republic that the patriot Benjamin Franklin was overheard to say the American’s people at last had, if they could keep it.

It was almost as if Franklin could look down through the decades of the nation’s future and foresee the difficulties the United States would encounter. And, encounter them we have –and we are continuing to encounter them.

There is one primary reason we the people who make up the United States of America are slamming into things that beg the question: Can we keep this republic the founding fathers handed us? The reason: We have, as a whole, again declared our independence –this time from the God of Heaven.

We have determined to allow a small segment of our society to create a culture where any god but God rules. We consider banning the Creator’s name from every public venue as perhaps the fair thing to do. We have, through our acquiescence, made the Supreme Court the absolute master of most matters involving faith.

It has been permitted to legislate from that bench the way we must carry our beliefs in public. The Supreme Court’s decisions –for the most part—boil down to allowing any name but the name of Jesus Christ to be uttered in public schools and other governmental and public forums.

At the same time, the federal courts look the other way while certain state courts install religious inculcation within public school curricula. Of course, the religious inculcation involves the Islamic, or native American, or any other religion, rather than the one, true way to God and Heaven –the belief in Christ for salvation of the soul.

While God has been incrementally removed from public schools and governmental institutions, so has rational behavior, previously guided by the moral compass provided by God’s Word, gone the way of common sense that has deserted every civilization that has rejected the Creator of all things. The result is an increase in illicit drug use among even the very youngest among our numbers. Sexual deviance and hedonism have corrupted most every neighborhood in the nation, not just inner-city areas, where crime and illegitimacy made them to be considered America’s cultural cesspools.

The evidence that this nation is beginning to reap the whirlwind to which we have sown the seeds of anti-God legislation comes to the surface of today’s headlines in a dramatic display of satanic influence.

One such proof of what has been the results of all of this is the recent beating death of Delbert Belton, a WWII veteran who was a hero-survivor of the Battle of Okinawa, one of America’s most hard-won victories against Japan. The two black teenagers beat the 89 year-old man, who died later in a Spokane, Washington hospital.

America is no longer the independent bastion of liberty that was envisioned, declared on that July 4th 237 years ago, then won through much patriotic bloodshed.

Franklin’s concern seems very close to coming to pass. It looks like we the people might not be able to keep that republic he and the others sought to assure by the institution of the United States Constitution. This is because we have, as a people, through our malfeasance, failed to take steps to stop the erosion of freedom in this once great nation.

The most manifest point of malfeasance by we the people is our incrementally turning our backs on God, and on His one and only way to redemption. That redemption–whether for individuals or entire civilizations can be found in only one source. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the father but by me” (John 14:6).

He said further about those who looked to Him for redemption: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:32, 36).

All true liberty, thus freedom, must be centered in Jesus Christ. The further individuals or nations remove from Him, the more enslaved they become. The ultimate end of such alienation from the God of Heaven will be the regime ruled for a brief time by the world’s most horrific tyrant –Antichrist (read Revelation, chapter 13).

Am I suggesting that we must turn this country into a Christian theocracy? No, but I’m putting forth the Bible truth that all men, women, and children must be free to come to the Savior for salvation. There should be no governmental impediment to that ability to hear God’s truth –and His call. This freedom is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, but has, through deliberate misinterpretation, been overridden by the U.S. Supreme Court.

America –as any people—must turn to Christ. There is no other way to true freedom –liberty found only in the Son of the Living God. Let’s declare our dependence upon Him. That’s our only hope. That’s America’s only hope.

Our Struggle…A Sure Signal

Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf while sitting out a jail term. He dictated to Rudolph Hess about “my struggle,” as the book title’s translation from German to English goes. The Apostle Paul told Christians about our struggle in this world. Strangely, it is the same struggle faced by arguably the most infamous mass murderer who ever lived.

The source of this struggle is at the heart of everything we do in this life. It is the source that must be dealt with, and that is why we see the many signals of the end of the age taking place around our lives, our neighborhoods, our nation, and the world. The increasing intensity of the conflict, and the wave after wave of assaults by the source point directly to Christ’s soon return.

“And, when ye shall see all of these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:28). This prophecy by Jesus should alert every believer who is attuned to God’s prophetic Word and who is keeping up with local and world conditions that these things, in combination, and with the frequency and intensity with which they are increasing, constitute a sure signal that we are at the end of the age; the world is on the brink of the beginning of the tribulation.

Spiritual warfare is the struggle; Satan is the source that keeps it stirred –indeed, is stepping up the conflict. Our struggle, like Hitler’s, is wrapped up in the following: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

The all-important difference between the fuhrer’s struggle with these dark powers in high places and the wrestling match experienced with them by Christians is that those who know Jesus Christ as Savior can’t be possessed by them. Hitler obviously was possessed by them, and he welcomed their guidance and influence.

He once told of being alone in his office when he came face to face with the “ultimate man.” From this supernatural visitation, the Nazi form of the Aryan Uberman (superman) was born. We know the result of that encounter. The terrors of Dachau, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and other hellish chambers of horrors were spawned.

There isn’t much I agree with the Catholic Church about, but regarding Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin being possessed by demons, I can find common ground. I found one interesting report in this regard:

“Adolf Hitler and Russian leader Stalin were possessed by the Devil, the Vatican’s chief exorcist has claimed. Father Gabriele Amorth who is Pope Benedict XVI’s ‘caster out of demons’ made his comments during an interview with Vatican Radio. Father Amorth said: ‘Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations. I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler – and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil. You can tell by their behaviour and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders. That’s why we need to defend society from demons’” (Nick Pisa, “Hitler and Stalin were possessed by the Devil, says Vatican exorcist.” The Daily Mail, August 28, 2006).

We don’t have to think very hard or look very long to find Hitler-like atrocities in our own time. Consider the executed Saddam Hussein and his now-deceased notorious sons. They committed heinous crimes against humanity that can only be described as demonic. Consider the militants of Islam who send their own children out with explosives strapped to their bodies to murder Jews and others. The struggle against the rulers of the darkness of this world isn’t getting any easier. It is observably increasing with frequency and intensity –the birthpangs that Jesus foretold in His Olivet Discourse.

Those rulers in high places are at the heart of the Iranian plans for the rest of us. The nuclear program is, no doubt, directly from the mind of the Prince of Persia, against whom the prophet Daniel’s angel wrestled.

This struggle that is growing daily is one of the reasons I wrote my novel, The Rapture Dialogues: Dark Dimension. We must be aware of these creatures, who Jesus Himself foretold will again attack humankind like they did just before the Flood: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Lk. 17:26).

We wrestle as never before against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The struggle is a powerful signal that we are at the very end of the age.

War and Peace from Here to Eternity – Part III

Middle East war will explode not long after Christ’s church is taken home to God’s heavenly house. That is not to say that meanwhile there will not be military conflicts in the Mid-East region. The explosive potential for armed conflict is constantly present. At the moment, for example, Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons, while its leaders call for Israel’s total annihilation. The Hamas terrorists are now in “legal” control of the drive toward a Palestinian state. The escalating violence in Syria as the dictator Bashar Al-Assad tries to cling to power and Israel’s determination to prevent the terrorist organization’s murderous plans in use of chemical and other weapons of mass destruction against Israel’s people threaten an expanded conflict in the region.

The Muslim Brotherhood has Egypt and the entire Arab community of nations in an uproar and verging on upheaval that could instigate World War III. That the violence could ignite that much wider conflagration is the fear of diplomats within the international community.

But no matter when war becomes full-blown on Earth, all Christians who have lived or died during the Church Age will, immediately following the Rapture, enjoy peace, joy and fulfillment beyond any that can be imagined this side of heaven. That peace will be true and everlasting!

Believers of the Church Age will, of course, stand before the Lord to be judged at the BEMA judgment seat of Christ. But, it will be a judgment of rewards, not a judgment of sins committed in the earthly life. The Lord Jesus took all of those sins to the cross with Him when He died for those who believe in Him. His sacrifice on that awful tree of crucifixion paid the sin debt in full.

Paul the Apostle gives an illustration of the race that must be run, at the end of which are the BEMA judgment and rewards that will be given. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.) He uses the example of an athletic contest. The Bible says that this judgment is one for the works done in the earthly life. Anything and everything done with the pure motive of honoring Christ will be richly rewarded in ways we cannot begin to fully understand right now. These rewards will be given in the form of crowns.

The Bible says also that unconfessed sin can result in loss of rewards at this judgment. Works done just to look good in the eyes of other people will not be accepted by the Lord as works done for Him. These works will be destroyed and only the works done with pure motive will remain.

But the BEMA judgment has nothing to do with salvation. The believer is forever secure in God’s family at the moment he or she accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. The believer will be forever with Christ in Heaven!

Sadly, and tragically, those who have rejected the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation through Jesus Christ will face another, most terrible judgment. It is called the great white throne judgment. It will take place at the end of the millennium.

Everyone at that judgment will be lost. That is, they will have rejected God’s offer of salvation and will be forever separated from God and Heaven. This judgment is for eternal punishment. Those judged will be given punishment in accordance with the evil things they have done in the earthly life. This isn’t my idea or some preacher’s idea. It is a warning straight from God’s holy, absolutely true Word.

The great, loving God doesn’t want this for anyone. He has moved Heaven and Hell to bring all men, women and children to himself. He gave His only son, Jesus Christ. What greater thing could He give? But God created us with a free will. That is, we can choose to love and obey Him, or not. It is up to us.

God’s Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, calls all people to salvation through the shed blood of Jesus, who died for us on the cross. God desires with all His heart that you come to Him. But, the cross is the only way you can come to Him. There is none other.

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior right this moment. He will change your life forever. He will give you peace that surpasses understanding, even while the world rages around you.

Choose heavenly peace, not earthly war. Troubling issues and events about Mid-East war and peace, as well as worry over all other prophetic signals of these last days, will then encourage you rather than frighten you.

When you see all these things begin to come to pass, you can then, “…stand up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).

War and Peace from Here to Eternity – Part II

The midnight of world history is quickly approaching. Our generation has heard the hoof beats of the four horses of apocalypse for some time. It was once a distant thunder. But, that thunder now grows louder by the hour. Middle East war looms despite the talk of peace that seems impossible to achieve. More and more the world community puts the blame on Israel for the lack of progress toward making earth a safer place.

Middle East oil looms as the ever-growing factor that draws the world’s attention to the region. Religious hatred is the fuse to the Mid-East bomb that could be lit at any moment. The Bible says there will come from the Middle East a certain sort of peace. But, it will be a peace that destroys many people. What a strange peace that will be.

The one the Bible says will approve and guarantee the peace with “many” will appear to be the rider on the white horse. He will be the one for whom everyone has been looking. The “many” with whom he covenants to guarantee a seven-year treaty of peace will be the same “many” he will three-and-a-half years later try his dead-level best to completely destroy. He will seek, like Hitler, to murder every Jew in the world. He will attack Israel with viciousness unmatched by any in history.

All the armies of the world will gather at Armageddon. Those troops will turn from fighting each other and join forces to try to stop Christ from returning from heaven to earth. The sun will have gone dark, while at the same time heating up many times hotter than normal. Men will be “scorched” or “burned” by the heat. Antichrist will direct military fire at the returning King of kings. This will indeed be mankind’s midnight hour!

The Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists agrees with true Bible prophecy watchers. Mideast midnight is approaching. But this fact shouldn’t worry the Christian who truly seeks to understand God’s truth. God’s truth includes the “whole word” of the Lord, not just parts of the Bible. As we’ve mentioned before in many books and commentaries, fully 28 percent of the Bible contains prophecy. About one-half of that prophetic word has already come to pass. About one-half remains to be fulfilled. In other words, 14 percent of prophecy in the Bible will yet come to pass.

God can’t lie. And therein is contained a wonderful prospect. Earthly war will soon pass into history. Peace will fill the whole earth! Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords will break through the blackness of the Mideast midnight hour. He will speak, and the raging godless human forces of earth will instantly be defeated. A new era will begin. The time of fallen human history will be vanquished, and King Jesus’ millennial reign will begin.

So, Bible prophecy ultimately presents a picture not of gloom and doom, but of glorious, joyous peace. These times in which we live are deceptive. That is, we are lulled into believing that everything is great. Christians in many places around the world are in great trials. They are murdered by the hundreds and tortured by the thousands, according to Voice of the Martyrs and other organizations who keep watch on Satan’s war against the saints. However, Christians in America today are, for the most part, as caught up in this false feeling of security as are those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Most who name Jesus as their Lord today hear little about the coming time of tremendous tribulation for Jews and Christians (people saved during the tribulation) during the last seven years of human history. Many pastors and teachers, for one reason or another, refuse to teach these all-important truths from God’s Word. Usually, the reason this is because the pastors and teachers aren’t taught these things in the seminaries they attend.

God the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Paul something to say to our generation about that unfaithfulness to God’s Word: “They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:4). We have grown comfortable with the “feel-goodisms” and “do-goodisms” coming from our pulpits. We don’t care to hear that horrors might be just around the corner. We want to hear about heaven, but not about hell; about how to love each other, not about how to witness to those who are lost and bound for an eternity apart from God.

This is exactly how the Bible says it will be at the end of the age. It will be earthly business as usual, with little thought for our true purpose as Christians. That purpose is to plant the seed of the Gospel so that God will reap a harvest of souls. Christ said: “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Lk. 12:40). The Lord was talking to Christians. Certainly, His church as a whole is in a time when looking for His coming in the Rapture isn’t popular.

We are told that He will return to the Mount of Olives after coming in the clouds with power and great glory. But the Bible also tells of an earlier return, not “to” the earth, but “above” the earth, in the air. The Apostle Paul prophesies as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:16: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

That will be the “Come up hither” of Revelation 4:1. It will be Jesus Christ’s call to all Christians, both dead and alive, to meet Him in the air. He will take them home to His Father’s house (read John 14:2-4). It will be God the Father’s call to suppertime. Christians will go back to the Father’s house in heaven to enjoy the marriage supper of the lamb.

You don’t want to miss that meal. It will be heavenly!

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