Angry e-mails pour into my In Box quite often if something I’ve written gets published in a national venue. This isn’t unique. Actually, I appreciate such feedback, because such hostile responses reassure that God’s message is reaching beyond the choir, as they say. It’s not that I enjoy being hated, but it is somewhat validating to know the Lord’s Word still is as described in Scripture: “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
We can know that our efforts to disseminate truth from God’s Word, the Bible, are being effective when those efforts encounter fierce opposition. And, we are in the very best of company in that regard. Here is what the Lord, Himself, said about that kind of encounter: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (Jn. 15:18-21).
Several years ago, anger from one particular person screamed with rage while my JAWS synthesized voice program read the e-mail to me. (I must listen to, rather than see, text because of being blind.) The issue she had with my venue –and with me in particular—was based upon one excerpt from a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) found on our website. That excerpt was printed in The Village Voice. The FAQ dealt with God’s right to judge mankind. Here’s what –in part– she said. Hers is one of the milder responses we often receive:
“The only salient and honest assessment one can come to is that the people connected to your [site] are in it for the bucks. You are in a word hypocrites and posers and are shamelessly using the name of Jesus to sell your product. You are one of the false prophets Jesus warned us about. Terry James has lost all sensibility as well as all spiritual, scholarly and intellectual grasp of reality. The assertions of your site WILL NOT GO UNANSWERED by either the religious community OR the secular, so search yourselves for precision of message before you DARE to assert others should be incarcerated or killed because we do not agree with you!!”
She accused me of being the writer of the answer to the particular FAQ. She was wrong on that count –although I did agree with the person’s answer to that FAQ, upon reading the answer in its totality, and in considering the biblical context. I tried to explain the context of the answer by giving her Scripture to show that we, as Christians, certainly have no right to judge others, but that sin must –and will– be judged by the God of Heaven. No one can enter His presence for eternity until sin has been judged and dealt with. Jesus did that on the cross for all who accept His supreme sacrifice for their sin. I pointed out that Jesus, Himself, will judge those who reject God’s grace gift offer.
She launched, then, in her reply, the same sort of argumentation we hear time after time when matters of judgment and sin are angrily addressed. Here’s what she said, in part:
“You are NOT commanded in any way shape or form to condemn others by the Word. It isn’t there Terry. You are commanded to love thy neighbor as thyself, irrespective of whether they are a sinner in your view or not. That is the highest law. It is not your place to sit in judgement [sic] against others. That is the highest CHRISTIAN LAW. You radical xtians who believe yourselves to be THE JUDGE have totally maligned the Word. Not only are you not ‘loving thy neighbor as thyself’, you are proposing to HURT AND KILL YOUR NEIGHBOR, and then try to justify that with scripture that doesn’t exist.
Three crusades, the inquisition, mass murders and genocide, the destruction of cultures, languages and whole societies based on the wrong notion that the Bible gives them the right to condemn. Men wanting to BE GOD is nothing newsy, but when you stand in such judgement [sic] you are diametrically opposed to the Word, and you are something other than CHRISTIAN!
My Jesus is forgiving, merciful and meek, my Jesus speaks to the heart from a closed closet door, my Jesus walked in the light and not once condemned a single person. Ever. My Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” If you are gonna preach the Word you better remember this. It is not at all a surprise that your strange reading of scripture could not hold up to scrutiny.”
I apologize for including that much of her retort to my attempt to give her Scripture about God’s judgment on sin, but had to do so to get to the part of the whole e-mail encounter that needs addressing in this commentary. I will let you form your own opinion about this particular case. I don’t want to judge her –as she has already charged.
There is a profound false perception about the love of God. Sometimes the false perception is out of ignorance; sometimes it is deliberately rebellious and steeped in hate-filled luciferian sophistry.
The accusation by those who claim their own brand of Christianity as centered in a Jesus who never judges anyone most always charge that we who say God does, in fact, judge sin are somehow guilty of wanting to murder or physically harm all who disagree with us. By this, they do what they accuse us of doing. They judge us –and, falsely, I might add.
Jesus, who is God, doesn’t judge sin, huh? Hmmm… Let’s see about that by having a look at the Scriptures I sent another of the angry e-mailers who wrote me, accusing the website, and me of judging them, their proclaiming that judging, or condemning was something Jesus would never do. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn 3: 17-21)
Jesus won’t judge sin, huh? I suggest those who believe that lie from the great deceiver read Revelation 20: 11-15!
Most of earth’s inhabitants don’t recognize Jesus Christ as deity, of course. It is not to those that this commentary is addressed. Those, however, who claim Jesus as the heart of their belief system need to grasp the truth about His love. It is the same as God’s love. That is because Jesus IS God! God’s Love (Jesus’ Love) is not the Lord’s refusal to judge people in some Eternal Politically Correct Way. God’s (Jesus’) love is His offer of redemption from the sin that separates people from Him. Judging their sin through judging Jesus as the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world –that’s the love of God toward us. But, one must recognize that he or she is a sinner, thus acknowledge that he or she needs salvation. The person must then repent and ask the Savior for the grace gift of love available to each and every person in the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).
Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda during the years of the Nazi regime, put to the test Vladimir Lenin’s declaration that if you tell a lie often enough and long enough, people will soon come to believe it.
Millions of Germans did, indeed, come to believe the lies–chief of which, the one that the Jews were the single greatest cause of the problems Germany had experienced during the depression of that day. Many believed Goebbels’ incessant diatribes against all semitic peoples, and that the fuehrer was akin to a god, who would lead the German people to the utopia the propagandists termed “The Third Reich.”
The evil Nazi mouthpiece and the venom he injected into the Germans proved God’s word 100 percent accurate: “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue [is] a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death” (Prov. 21:6).
Few regimes in history have inflicted upon their victims the catastrophic scope of death and destruction wrought by the Nazis. Hitler’s promises to the German people were based upon demon-inspired deception; his promises of peace to the world were predicated upon hellish lies. The result was the death of millions in war and in the Holocaust. The people to whom the fuehrer made the promises suffered perhaps more than anyone, with the iron-fisted Soviet dictatorships from Josef Stalin through Leonid Brezhnev and beyond oppressing a divided Germany, as part of the spoils of war.
There is another apothegm that warns sternly, echoing within the ears of this generation. But, no one seems to be listening. At least not enough people are listening to cause a red flag of alarm to alert this generation.
George Santayana the philosopher said that those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them. The God of heaven gives His prescription/antidote for the lies spouted by the minions of the father of lies: “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Prov 23:23).
Not only are the geopolitical leaders of the world forgetting the warning of Santayana’s famous words, but so-called leaders within the body of Christ are beginning to fall victim to the very propaganda device Lenin warned about, and Goebbels gleefully adopted as his methodology for mesmerizing the German people of the 1930s and 40s. They are –many already have—falling for the lie that has been proclaimed loudly for a long time.
The nucleus of the lie is that Israel is the problem. This lie is, I’m beginning to think—the key to the coming Antichrist kingdom –another proof of the wisdom of Santayana’s words. Hitler’s horrors will be revisited upon not only the Jews (Jacob’s trouble – Jeremiah 30:7), but upon the whole world (read Revelation chapter 13, especially v.16-18). Antichrist’s regime will make Hitler’s Nazi atrocities seem almost child’s play by comparison, according to Jesus: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
Jesus gives, in the Olivet Discourse, forewarning that great deception will be prominent at the time He is set to return. Deception is at the very first of His warnings, as a matter of fact. Paul the apostle foretells in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 that one of the major things that will be going on during the tribulation era is that a “lie” will deceive most people. There can be little doubt that Antichrist’s system of world control will come in on a platform of deception that will put to shame, in terms of magnitude, Goebbels’ lies about the Third Reich.
Daniel the prophet forecast how the end-time tyrant will use deception. Antichrist will, Daniel foretells, come in on a platform of deceptiveness: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Dan. 11:21). The “beast,” as he is called in Revelation 13, will concentrate most of his vitriol –as did Hitler—on the hated Jews: “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits]” (Dan.11:32).
God’s people will stand strong against the deception that the Jew is the root of all evil during that era, Daniel foretells. Not so in this pre-trib era for the most part, it is sad to have to say. We can see the effects the satanic deception is having by looking at Israel. We can always count on the Jewish state to provide insight, while those who watch world issues and events through the prism of god’s prophetic Word seek discernment in these closing days of the age.
We remember how then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a visit to New York during his time in power, proclaimed that he was for peace –wanted to live in serenity, like every other good citizen of the planet. This message was, on its surface, a far cry from the hate-filled rhetoric he used when he addressed his constituency back in the land where ancient Persia once sat. He flattered and cajoled the press and diplomats alike, and was flattered and feted in return. Israel was, by omission –those reporters and government officials who were so gaga over Ahmadinejad ignoring the tyrant’s stated fate planned for all Jews—accused, without overtly stating their opinion, of obviously being the culprit in Middle East threats of war. That this great man, the Iranian president, was just too interested in peace for the whole world to ever be a warmonger, was the sense one got upon observing the love fest during those times.
Yet strangely, Ahmadinejad at the same time managed to tell the deluded, gullible, deceived people who fawned over him precisely his goals and ambitions. It was Hitlerian –even more profoundly mesmerizing than that. The man was positively luciferian in his deceptive presentation at Columbia University, and at the U.N.
Ahmadinejad spoke against U.S. intrusion in the Middle East; rejected the UN Security Council’s authority to take action against Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program; refused to retract his statements that Israel should be destroyed, removed from the world; held to his stance that people do not have a right to live their lives based upon right of personal freedoms; did not budge from Islamic demands that women be kept wrapped in silence beneath the cultural and societal surface.
The Iranian dictator, while refusing to answer directly questions about those matters, still managed to get reported as saying that Iranian women have full rights, and are free to live their lives as they please, and that homosexuals are not executed or tortured –adding that there are no homosexuals in Iran. These absurdities went basically unchallenged by the American mainstream press, which saw a lie behind every Bush Administration statement and consistently launched “journalistic” investigations based upon the slightest hint of perceived wrongdoing.
The news media did reportorial acrobatics to write glowing reports on Ahmadinejad, looking for any small sliver of evidence that he advocated peace and desires no ill will toward Israel, or Jews, anywhere. Today, even though Ahmadinejad is gone from the scene and others have taken his and his regime’s place, media hasn’t changed. They seem intellectually incapable of ascertaining truth about anything to do with Middle East insanity in hatred toward Israel. Shades of the Fuehrer! Foreshadows of Antichrist! The beast of Revelation, chapter 13, will one day –perhaps sooner rather than later—place his key of great deception into the lock that holds shut the door to his murderous kingdom.
It should make perfect sense to those believers who trust God to be in absolute control at all times: He has never sent judgment and wrath without pleading, corrective attention-getting measures and unmistakable warning signals of impending doom to those rebels who shake their fists in His face, then turn their backs to the only One who knows the end from the beginning. America and the world are almost surely at the latter end of the divine yardstick of judgment, which measures the extent of the Lord’s lovingly generous–though not infinite–patience.
Most who study Bible prophecy have, through the years, rolled the thought over and over in thinking upon things to come: “Why is America not mentioned in Bible prophecy?” Many have concluded that the United States must suffer a catastrophic fate, either from the outside or from the inside. The nation’s destiny is either one of implosion or explosion–detonations which, in either case, will spell the end for the most technologically advanced country in the history of the human race.
Surely, God will not allow the American ship of state to slip beneath the crushing waves of the times without unmistakably clear signals that she is nearing shoals that cannot be navigated.
A foretelling by Jesus himself brings to mind current crises gripping the U.S. and, by extension, the entire world. It is quite familiar to the student of prophecy: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring…” (Lk. 21: 25).
Whether considering this combination of end-times signs figuratively or literally, a case can be made that the present national and world circumstances might be the time of which Jesus spoke.
This generation of earth dwellers has seen, and continues to see, wonders in the sky. Man has accomplished space adventures in going to the moon and other planets with machinery. He has witnessed astrophysical phenomena through the Hubble telescope, gigantic sun eruptions, fantastic photos of a comet slamming into Jupiter, loss of the Challenger and the Columbia. Then, there were the astronomical alignments of 2012 and the “Blood Moon “ phenomena scheduled for 2014-2015, with the predicted world-shaking that some see as portended, so far as Bible prophecy is concerned. The signs in the sun, moon, and stars are there.
The latter part of the Luke 21:25 prophecy also leaps to the forefront of thinking about the present hour. We have seen the figurative and literal seas roaring, with Katrina, the tsunamis in Indonesia and in Japan. Figuratively, all nations seem in great turmoil, with their peoples in societal and cultural tumult. The literal, roaring waves have produced the most costly devastation in recorded history along America’s coasts within recent years. However, it is the middle part of the prophecy that most dramatically speaks to this generation.
Jesus foretold that the nations will, near the time of His return, be in perplexity. The leaders will be floundering for answers to the profound dilemmas confronting them, is the implication. The perplexity will only cause them to go farther into rebellion, we can gather from the psalmist’s prophecy: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psa. 2:2-3).
Fact is, we are in a time of unprecedented “perplexity” so far as my memory serves. The pundits, from the president of the United States and the top Senate and House leaders to the Fed chairman and even former Fed chairmen, tell us that we face economic Armageddon if something is not done to straighten out the fiscal train wreck some of those same “leaders” have been primary in causing. In all of the scrambling, finger pointing, and doomsday rhetoric, one fact is powerfully obvious by omission: None of them has been heard calling out to God. Not one mention of soliciting help from the God of heaven has been forthcoming, so far as I’ve heard. Certainly, asking God’s help hasn’t been heard in a public way.
As I write this, America’s “leaders” continue to –supposedly– “fix” the economic disaster they have allowed to be created. We will see how it plays out. In a larger context, the swift economic movement currently taking place is not without its prophetic significance, God’s Word assures. There is coming, according to Bible prophecy, a completely satanized (if that is a word) economic order. We are seeing a major start to that coming global rearrangement. The fiscal problems will get “fixed,” ultimately. I’m convinced it will happen during the time that follows the rapture of the Church. But the peoples left on this judgment-bound planet won’t like the change the decisions of the politicians of the world –apart from God Almighty—will produce for them.
The luciferian machinery of enslavement is churning America and the nations she so traumatically affects, in terms of economic equilibrium, toward the beast-system of the tribulation.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Rev. 13:16-18).
I want to devote this column to examining a couple of areas contributing to what seems the winding down of human history, in preparation for the things Jesus talked about in the Olivet Discourse almost 2,000 years ago. He was precise in His prophecies about conditions leading up to His second advent. Two of those predictions involve some things manifesting their presence on the scene today. And, there is more to them, I think, than, as they say, meets the eye. Jesus foretold as part of that Olivet Discourse: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matt. 24:7).
We often cover the “nation against nation” portion of this section of prophecy by Jesus. Also, we have pointed many times to the dramatic rise and spread of larger and larger “earthquakes.” I would like to look for this brief time into the “famine and pestilence” part of the Lord’s words–perhaps stretching the literal application of those terms, using metaphorical license just a bit.
Every empire throughout human history has gone through much the same kind of boom and bust cycle. This is because the fallen minds of men set up human government, so the ultimate outcome of empire building–no matter the benevolence with which the effort begins, results in decline and fall.
Sometimes the falls seem abrupt, although they had been deteriorating, like when the Medes and Persians invaded beneath the walls of Babylon to end that great empire that was once the “head of gold” ruled over by the great King Nebuchadnezzar. More often–especially in latter-day times—the empires slowly dissolve, without catastrophic overthrow. Two modern empires to consider in that regard are the Soviet empire, which imploded, then was forced to dissolve and reconfigure in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The British Empire, of course, is now in the throes of dissolution. The sun, which was boasted to never set on the British Empire, has indeed set. The result is that the gospel light is all but turned out and the dark forces of Islam are spreading like the pestilence of Pharaoh’s day, when Moses forewarned him of things to come if Pharaoh didn’t let God’s chosen people go.
Perhaps the segue is somewhat less apropos than it could be. However, thinking on pestilence of a religious nature now bringing the British Empire to its final throes of dissolution sparks thought of recent news about pestilence of a biological nature—the way that plague-condition is most often considered.
The ancient Roman Empire, once the most glorious empire on earth, is thought to be linked to a modern plague with which our generation is intimately acquainted. The following is from a number of years ago, but still is appropriate for consideration in thinking on these things in 2014. “The spread of the Roman Empire through Europe could help explain why those living in its former colonies are more vulnerable to HIV. The claim, by French researchers, is that people once ruled by Rome are less likely to have a gene variant which protects against HIV. This includes England, France, Greece and Spain, New Scientist reports. Others argue the difference is linked to a far larger event, such as the spread of bubonic plague or smallpox… The idea that something carried by the occupying Romans could have a widespread influence on the genes of modern Europeans comes from researchers at the University of Provence. They say that the frequency of the variant corresponds closely with the shifting boundaries of the thousand-year empire… Dr Susan Scott, one of the researchers, said that the idea of Roman occupation being the driving force behind this was another theory to be considered. ‘We just don’t know. This is just another piece of the jigsaw, but we’re waiting for the big piece of evidence which will solve this’” (“Roman Empire ‘raised HIV threat,'” BBC News, 9/4/08).
Today, the Ebola virus, it is feared, will eventuate in an apocalyptic pandemic. One story tells of it’s spreading horrors. Dogs can act as a transmitter of Ebola, but canines do not development symptoms from the virus, according to medical experts. A medical doctor told News24, “this means that dogs won’t get sick but they still could carry a potential risk through licking or biting.”
Ebola Is Rapidly Mutating As It Spreads Across West Africa
For starters, the data show that the virus is rapidly accumulating new mutations as it spreads through people. “We’ve found over 250 mutations that are changing in real time as we’re watching,” Sabeti says. While moving through the human population in West Africa, she says, the virus has been collecting mutations about twice as quickly as it did while circulating among animals in the past decade or so. (Dogs feast on Ebola victim carcasses in Liberia, Rapture Ready News, Aug. 29, 2014).
Famine is another major signal that the time of Christ’s return is near. The forewarning of massive famine is, in addition to Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse, predicted in the ominous passages dealing with the riding forth of the horsemen of the apocalypse. “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Rev. 6:5-6).
Human governments, determined to do things that are right in their own eyes, and to break the safety bands that tether them to the Creator, are most often the cause of the famine that have plagued mankind throughout history, and that continues to do so today. Mounting famine of catastrophic potentiality grows by the hour.
The farther mankind moves from the God of heaven, the more trouble comes humanity’s way. While man sows to the wind, he is guaranteed to reap the whirlwind. Such is not what the Lord wants for His rebellious creation, but the cycle that leads to decline and fall is inevitable when God is pushed aside. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
Whether nations, empires, or individuals, the Lord must be in control, or pestilences and famines will ultimately come. God’s judgment must fall on rebellion, and the tribulation judgment hoof beats thunder in spiritually attuned ears today.