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Restraining Evil

When looking at the black-and-white films the Allies shot within the Nazi death camps following victory over Hitler’s Germany in World War II, it is difficult to comprehend that evil had the tethers of restraint during the time of that horrendous regime. The images of walking skeletons that were the Jewish “survivors” of those camps remain etched in the memory of anyone who has seen those videos.

The same level of pictorial record doesn’t exist for the genocidal rampages inflicted on their own people by Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and the murderers of the other despotic regimes in modern times. However, eyewitness accounts and some photographic evidence make it hard to fathom that those beastly tyrants were restrained in their butchery.

The Bible nonetheless bears witness that God the Holy Spirit governs the consciences of human beings. In biblically prophetic terms, this truth is most evident in Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8).

Paul the apostle was saying in this prophecy that evil was at work in a big way even at the time he was writing the letter. Still, the Holy Spirit would continue to restrain that evil until He removes His Intervening Action as restrainer of evil. Then all hell will break loose as the Antichrist is revealed. The spirit of Antichrist is already present in the world–and was manifest even during John’s day (read 1 John 4:1-3). The mystery of iniquity about which Paul prophesied and this spirit of Antichrist are intertwined and interlinked in the ancient web of lawlessness we call evil.

Jesus foretold what will happen once the restrainer (the Holy Spirit) removes from governing the wickedness that is in the hearts and minds of people of the post-Rapture world: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

The Lord prophesied just how bad things would become: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).

God will shorten the days of that time of great Tribulation, because if He let things go on to their ultimate conclusion, without the return of Christ, every being of flesh and blood on the planet would be destroyed. Such is the mystery of iniquity that exists today, and will become exponentially worse once the restraint on evil is no longer in place. Then, the ultimately evolved man–as evolution would have it—will step to the forefront of fallen human history. Antichrist will inflict horrors on the people of earth in ways Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the rest of history’s madmen could not have even imagined. His regime will be the most bloodthirsty of all time.

Lawlessness is everywhere we look today. Whether considering the Middle East madness, the union thugs of Greece who not too long ago threatened to destroy all civility because of the austerity measures voted, or thinking on America and the on-going, unbridled so-called protesters organized by thugs in places like Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, the evil the Bible deems the mystery of iniquity is swelling like a great caldera that is about to explode across the world.

The youth, particularly within the inner cities, have been taught by cultural inculcation that they have been held down by the affluent, so their actions are justified. It is no more than simply–the inference is–Robin Hood robbing the evil sheriff of Nottingham.

Can there be much doubt that if they will commit such bold acts now, when the Holy Spirit is no longer restraining such evil thinking and actions, America will quickly become a hellish existence in which anything goes? There are growing concerns that a breakdown of society within the U.S. is inevitable. Such concerns were once voiced by –of all sources— a Russian diplomat. Imagine! The Russians are worried about America becoming a tyrant state because of the signs of coming anarchy.

With the demonstrated ineptitude –or intentional actions– of this president that is swiftly taking the United States down the path to who knows where, it seems the Restrainer’s Hand might already be in process of removing God’s Protection. That removal will be total and complete when Christ Calls the Church Home in the Rapture (Rev. 4: 1).

Antichrist Chain of Control

 

While we peer into the year 2016 and beyond, using, as always, God’s prophetic Word as a template to place over issues and events of the times, there is on the horizon the growing spectre of global gulag. That is, those who would see to it that the rest of us come under a worldwide system of control are on the rise as at no time since the time of the Tower of Babel recorded in Genesis, chapter 11. The nucleus of the emerging system is one-world economy.

The foundation for that economic engine is and has been in place for some time. The only holdup to its full implementation is the determination of national entities to hold on to sovereignty and autonomy. The United States of America is the chief holdup, as has been pointed out many times. This nation must be brought down as it presently consists into a changed order of monumental proportion so that the other nations will follow suit.

This mandate for change, I’m convinced with all that is within me, continues to be the assignment given this president by the powers and principalities of global governance–the New World Order builders. He has done a stellar job in effecting that change. And, the change continues. The year 2016 is on track to be the most profound era of change ever, if there is no push-back against his all-out effort in the remaining year of this administration.

It appears unlikely that there will be push-back from the likes of the inside-the-Beltway opposition political party. There seems to be a kindred spirit between the parties on giving away America’s sovereignty and autonomy. We offer as evidence the latest global trade deal that passed with relative ease during 2015.

That there is powerful spiritual warfare going on for the heart and soul of this once great nation there is little doubt. We have watched the dismantling of the moral strength of American culture and the infusion of every form of anti-God comportment, made legal through executive action and Supreme Court edict. Congress has rolled over at every point, inexplicably unable and/or unwilling to oppose the transformation this president has achieved, seemingly with great ease.

The churches of America–with the exception of a very few–have offered no push-back against the destruction of America. The days when the likes of the Moral Majority–as hated as it was by the media and the political left–acted as a guardian of the nation’s moral fiber, are long gone. To be frank, it is literally true to say that about the only hope we have is a prayer in the matter of saving our nation.

I believe we are witnessing the most significant movement into the prophesied Antichrist governmental model through the swift changes within international  monetary dynamics taking place. One such movement is making its presence felt as private industry melds with world trade rearrangements we have seen take place this year.

I am the first to admit that I  am basically ignorant in the matters of global finance as they are conducted within the highest echelons. But even the neophyte can see developments that portend a tremendous transformation that will be deleterious to sovereign nations. The following news excerpt gives some idea of the changes afoot.

Several major companies from across both the technology and financial industries—including IBM, Intel, and Cisco as well as the London Stock Exchange Group and big-name banks JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and State Street—have joined forces to create an alternative to the blockchain, the global online ledger that underpins the bitcoin digital currency…

Blockchain is essentially a database that runs across a worldwide network of independent machines—a database that’s controlled by no single entity but can still reliably track the exchange of assets, thanks to some nifty mathematics…

The promise of blockchain technology is that it can provide a more secure, more reliable, more transparent, and more automatic way of exchanging money, securities, and other assets. It lets you trade assets as easily as you trade emails today—and you can trade them without putting your trust in any one person or organization. This could eliminate many of the slower technologies and expensive middlemen that clog up today’s markets, says Marley Gray, who oversees blockchain work at Microsoft. (Cade Metz, “Tech and Banking Giants Ditch Bitcoin for Their Own Blockchain,” WIRED, December 17, 2015)

All of this “private” interlinkage seems so benign and geared for progress in making life better for everyone on the planet, does it not? However when one considers the grasp of most every government on earth to nationalize or place private industry under government controls, the spectre grows ominous.

America’s own grasp in this regard was on display with the federal governmental bankruptcy interventions of such corporate giants as AIG, General Motors, and General Electric. The Obama administration, ostensibly to keep major financial institutions backing these corporations from failure, in effect purchased the assets of the failing companies.

The above news item becomes dangerously relevant in prophetic terms when considering this line from that financial news story: “A database that runs across a worldwide network of independent machines—a database that’s controlled by no single entity.” With governments demonstrably proving that they want to control private industry–even to the point of owning those industries, the drive to destroy sovereignty and autonomy of America, the apex nation of the world, is quite telling.

Antichrist is an “entity” who will one day cause all buying and selling to be done through him–under his number and name (Revelation 13:16-18). Call it blockchain or whatsoever, control by history’s most terrible tyrant is on the way.

Take heart. Jesus Christ is also on His way. He will put an end to the tyrannical control. He will first call all believers to meet Him in the air in one, glorious millisecond. Realizing all of the  developments in the drive for global order going on, we can conclude that that moment must be very near indeed.

Celebrating Christ’s Coming

Christmas 2015, to me, seems strangely removed from Christmases of the past. By that I mean the culture has changed in America to the point that Jesus is now truly marginalized. He has been, it seems to me, moved by opposition forces to the periphery for the first time in the nation’s history of celebrating His birth. The ambience of the season feels different this time.

News reports tell almost daily of public schools that have changed the name of the season’s celebration to something other than Christmas. Calling it Christmas is forbidden within a growing number of corporate entities and organizations. We must now refer to the season as Happy Holidays rather than as Christmas. People are more and more offended by anything associated with the name of Jesus Christ, or so it seems according to the politically correct–the minority that has been allowed to rule American society over the past number of years.

Christians watched and protested mildly while witnessing Christmas go from a celebration of Christ’s birth to becoming more and more commercialized. The desensitizing messages of the entertainment industry and of the advertising world paved the way to acceptance of the fear of offending spiritual infection we suffer today. Christianity, thus Christmas, represents a narrow-minded, bigoted, homophobic restrictiveness that the post-Christian, “liberated” American need not endure.

Celebration of Christ’s birth was until very recent times an inseparable part of America’s rich heritage. But, as the American home began to  come apart at the seams, the Christmas celebration so much a part of family life suffered a schizophrenia of sorts.

The first coming of  Christ as a babe to  Bethlehem  is now seen by fewer and fewer numbers of U.S. population as something to look back on with reason to celebrate. With the advent of this presidential administration, which began with the new president declaring that we are no longer a Christian nation, the unraveling of America’s moral fabric –already underway–began in earnest. The reweaving of that fabric has been taking place ever since.

Everything Christian is frowned upon, and morality has been redefined. Tolerance is the mantra of the day. Things the Word of God says are wrong, those in control of the reins of  governance declare to be good. The shedding of the blood of the innocent is legally stipulated to be a good thing for the sake of giving women the right to choose. God’s definition of marriage is considered narrow-minded and evil because it restricts the right to “love” as one chooses. Man with man and woman with woman in the sexual union, and in marriage, is lauded and applauded by the neo-pagan culture as proof that we are becoming an enlightened people.

While God’s Son and Christianity are pushed out of society and culture, a false religion, whose worshippers behead and commit other atrocities upon those who won’t bow the knee to their false deity, is given governmental protection at every turn by this president.

Those who continue to make strides to diminish the influence of true Christianity on the culture have celebrated a number of victories through Supreme Court decisions the past seven years. Despite these apparent losses believers in Jesus Christ have suffered in the culture war, the Christian is not defeated. A future celebration is scheduled even more wonderful than is celebration of Christ’s birth two thousand years ago.

The infant who came to earth, sent as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world, escaped the infanticide of that day. Herod, Israel’s chief murderer of babies, couldn’t defeat that tiny baby and His mission to provide the only way to redemption. Neither will the abortionists and anti-God forces of today defeat the baby of Bethlehem who is now fully in authority over all of creation and is about to bring God’s kingdom to planet earth.

We who name the Name of Jesus–who are  redeemed by the crucified and resurrected Christ–will one day –perhaps very soon–be called into His presence (Revelation 4:1). He will take us to the Father’s house, where He has prepared mansions in which we will dwell forever (John 14:1-3). That will indeed be a time of eternal celebration!

 

Osama’s and Jihad John’s Deaths

Many Americans broke out in celebration when Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden’s death was announced Sunday night, May 1, 2011. The demonstrations of glee weren’t nearly as wild as the scenes from almost every Muslim nation the day the twin towers in New York fell. There was no firing of AK-47 weaponry into the air, but it was ebullient demonstration nonetheless.

President Obama was said to have turned to an aid and remarked: “We got him!”

There was the same sort of reaction recently when the terrorist known as Jihad John was said to be killed in a pinpoint bombing. The terrorists was infamous for beheading people, including Americans, on camera and putting the murders on YouTube.

How did you react when you heard the news? My only reaction was to think that now Osama and Jihad John face not the seventy-two virgins promised to all Muslim men faithful to Allah once they assume room temperature, but that they confront something far different. Their deaths gave no pleasure, no sense of retribution or vengeance–but neither did I then or now have any regrets that they are gone from this world.

Had I lost a family member or dear friend in the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, or the crash of the airplane in Pennsylvania that day, or if one of the people beheaded were personal relatives or friends, perhaps I would be satisfied to the point of elation at the news of their deaths. But, I don’t think so.

The satisfaction I receive is that of knowing that they can no longer add their demented thought processes to those of their fellow Islamist madmen. To me, there is no joy in the demise of anyone, except in knowing that, in each of these cases, they won’t be in on planning future murders in the name of Allah. This is indeed a significant volley in the war declared on terror by George W. Bush following September 11, 2001. Killing Osama Bin Laden and Jihad John, however, can’t change the fact that they and their henchmen murdered thousands of people.  It can’t alter the fact that thousands of U.S. service men and women have died or been wounded in pursuit of dealing with the evil these men and others perpetrated and their fellow terrorists continue to carry out.

These terrorists’ deaths don’t stop the trillions of dollars and counting cost of the military action against radical Islam the U.S. has and is footing. In this, the two now dead terrorists have been successful–helping achieve their vow to bring the great Satan to its knees, economically speaking. So, their being killed isn’t reason to declare victory, even though it is obviously a cause for celebration by those who are so inclined.

There are thousands, even millions, to take their place. There is little time to spend reveling in these two, demonically driven men’s deaths. Their assassinations are that sort of violence on which the jihadists feed. Violence feeds Islamist war-makers like the warm Gulf waters feed a hurricane.

Am I saying that Osama Bin Laden and the one termed Jihad John should not have been dispatched? Of course not. I am saying that to vigorously celebrate their being killed should not be allowed to become, either individually or collectively within the American psyche, a visceral bloodlust to render evil for evil. Especially, this should not be the mindset of the Christian, in my view. Such action should be taken only in order to try to make civilized society safe from such beastly activity as carried out by these murderers and their ilk. The Bible condones such action by duly authorized governments because this is a sinful, murderous world, and such killers must be stopped to promote the general safety of peace-loving people.

Hypocrisy and worse is front and center in all of this taking down of these terrorists, while the mainstream media takes no notice. The present American president operates within a political philosophy that disdains capital punishment, no matter the crime–primarily, I believe, because he thus wins the hearts, minds, and votes of minorities who view themselves as victims of injustice. Yet he and his political associates see nothing wrong with the taking out of the two terrorists in question, because it was the politically expedient thing to do. Executing a man–within the American judicial system, for murdering a person–is something the liberal mindset considers barbarism. They slap each other’s backs, however, for the good fortune–or well-executed plan—in sending Osama Bin Laden and Jihad John on their eternal journey. Their poll numbers might benefit from the action taken.

Such duality of thought shows a trend toward the same sort of madness carried on by the fanatic Islamists. Fanatic Muslims see nothing wrong with killing, when it serves the best interest of their cause and is sanctioned by their “holy book,” the Koran. It is justice of a grossly perverted sort by which that self-indulgent mindset operates.

So, those who name the name of Christ should not find carnal enjoyment in the deaths of Osama Bin Laden, the one called Jihad John, or anyone else. They are gone, and I am glad. They presented danger to those I love, as well as to everyone who might fall under their unalloyed evil plotting. But, I take no pleasure in their deaths–only a degree of solace. The Lord of heaven Himself has set the example for what should be the Christian’s attitude in such matters: “’As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!’” (Ezekiel 33:11).

Sovereignty and Climate Change

One priority heads the list that the principalities and powers in high places of Ephesians 6:12 must achieve in order to build the neo-Babel tower of world control. There can be no doubt of what that geopolitical goal is if one truly considers the things going on within the COP (Conference of the Parties) held in Paris November 30 through December 11. That was the twenty-first get-together of the globalist organization whose membership now numbers more than 190 nations.

There declared intention is to establish global agreement on what to do about so-called climate change. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions brought about by human activity. Their proclamation of such danger to the environment through continuing sophistry that includes falsifying data on supposed global warming has been debunked over recent years.

These “de-growth” environmentalist nonetheless continue to shout through their world-wide media accomplices that green house emission-caused global warming will be the thing that will bring an end to planet earth. Thus even though they’ve had to alter their fear-mongering rant to call it “climate change” because of scientific proof to the contrary.

The most recognizable religious figure on the planet is all in, too. Pope Frances, flying on the papal plane when leaving Africa, weighed in when asked to comment on whether anything constructive might come of the COP gathering.

“I’m not sure, but I can say that it is now or never,” he said.

The pope went on to say: “We are on the edge of suicide…but I am sure that just about everybody meeting in Paris is aware of this and wants to do something.”

He concluded:

“The other day I read that in Greenland the glaciers have lost billions of tons… In the Pacific there is a country that is buying another country in order to move, because in 20 years it’s going to disappear. I believe in these people, [the COP leadership] that they will do something. I hope so, and I pray for it.” (Source: “POPE: CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT ‘NOW OR NEVER,’ HUMANITY ON THE ‘EDGE OF SUICIDE’,” Thomas D. Williams, DECEMBER 1, 2015, http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/12/01/pope-climate-change-agreement-now-never-humanity-edge-suicide/). 

The climate change/environmental save-the-planet social engineers intend to change human consumption patterns in every possible way. They intend to reduce private land ownership to the point that all will be forced to live in restricted communal areas. This is what is meant, in part, by the de-growth” term mentioned above. The ultimate outgrowth of the de-growther plan is to reduce the population of earth to 500 million or less.

Talk show host Mark Levin, in chapter 7 of his recent book Plunder and Deceit, mentions America’s own neo-Babel de-growther in addressing the environmentalist movement:

Much of the so-called environmental movement today has transmuted into an aggressively nefarious and primitive faction. In the last fifteen years, many of the tenets of uto­pian statism have coalesced around something called the “de-growth” movement. Originating in Europe but now taking a firm hold in the United States, the “degrowthers,” as I shall characterize them, include in their ranks none other than President Barack Obama. On January 17, 2008, Obama made clear his hostility toward, of all things, electricity generated from coal and coal-powered plants. He told the San Francisco Chronicle, “You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal . . . under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Recently we have learned they are determined to eventually do away with air-conditioning and other comfort/convenience technologies. We in the West must be brought down to the same level of the Third World societies and cultures. Equality will then be achieved and Utopia established. They will have created their version of heaven on earth.

The real story behind all of this, of course, is the matter of sovereignty.

The plan of the builders of the end-times Tower of Babel know that to begin to achieve their goal of de-growth, the apex nation of the world, America, must be stripped of her sovereignty. The U.S. is the holdup. Europe, the one-time bastion of civilization, has all but given its sovereignty over to the socialistic globalist would-be masters. Now, we are seeing America being channeled into that European model. Sovereignty must be and is being stripped. Barack Hussein Obama has been chosen to be primarily instrumental in the stripping process.

That’s what this climate change mantra and drive is all about. It’s what the incessant call to get the guns out of the hands of average Americans is all about. Sovereignty can be maintained only when it is defended by force. Armed Americans stand in the way. That is what the open borders and invitation to a massive invasion from our south and from the Middle East is all about. No more borders–i.e., no more sovereignty.

But of course all this is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg of impending destruction.

The real sovereignty issue is that of the True Sovereign–the Creator of the universe and of all things. The master of the would-be one-world engineers–the neo-Tower builders- wants, as he did from the time of the war in Heaven- to overthrow the sovereignty of God.

Lucifer the fallen has brought today’s globalists to the  point of the psalmist’s predicted end-of-the -age arrangement.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 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. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (Psalms 2:1-6)

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

 

Been Dying to Write This…

Note: I was re-reading my recounting of the clinical death I suffered on Good Friday of 2011. This prompted me to want to again share the Testimony that I believe is in that strange though wonderful trip into that realm, which I believe with all that is within me was a Heavenly one.

The experience still affects my every waking moment. It continues to be as real to me as the moment my heart stopped on those 3 occasions.

            –Terry

Please bear with me in reading this week’s commentary. I don’t like to get “up close and personal,” as ABC sportscasters used to say in announcing an interview with one athlete or the other. It’s just not professional, in my view, for purposes of communicating in forums such as ours. But, personal I am going to get for this one. Hope you don’t mind.

Staying with the ABC sports analogy, I was doing my three- or four-times-per-week workout on Good Friday just past. I had done the warm-ups for the usual fifteen minutes or so, and the barbells (UGH!). Done were the push-ups–seventy of them, except very cheap ones (fooling myself, mostly, that I was doing them right). Then were accomplished the knee-lifts while lying on my back for five minutes. Doing the Body by Jake sit-up machine next had completed that part of the workout.

Then it was time for aerobics. I have this rowing machine with one hundred pounds on the back of it that is an excellent leg-press device, which is also used to do some upper-body stuff. I did all this in the usual fashion, the workout now flowing toward its one-hour and twenty-minute conclusion. I decided to skip the treadmill and go straight for the recumbent bike–to just sort of chill out, or cool off, or however one chooses to term one’s winding-down regimen.

A burning pressure began, then, just behind my sixty-eight-year old sternum. It was a pain I had felt slightly three days earlier while just sitting around working on something on the computer. At that time it had been mild, and I had thought of it as a case of a little more than usual heartburn–indigestion. I think I even popped a Tums or something.

This time, the pain worsened by the second, until it was a severe pressure gnawing at my chest, as if something wanted out of there.

I walked around, just knowing it would shortly ease. But it didn’t.

“Think you better call 911,” I said to my wife. She took one look at me, knowing that that was the very last thing I would ever do–want an ambulance. It almost was…

The medics arrived ten minutes later, I was told. I was conscious and answered their questions, even as in pain and as out of breath as I was. This, even though they tried feverishly to find a pulse.

“Can’t find one,” one of the guys said to the other, who joined him in frantically searching.

Meantime, I’m thinking, “No pulse…What does that mean? One is dead when there is no pulse…”.

They strapped yours truly to the gurney and we were off, the pain in my chest becoming excruciating. One of the rescuers put some nitroglycerin beneath my tongue, while saying to the dispatcher, “Think we have a coronary going…”.

The ride was rough. Ambulances of that sort aren’t built for the patient’s comfort; they just want to get you there. I felt every bump in the brief ride of ten minutes at most. I felt us stop, heard the door open, felt them jerking the gurney forward. I heard a high-pitched noise that sounded like a transition from one function to another within some sort of computerized system. Sort of like bprrrript.

I saw them, then. I was with them, and they were all beautiful young people in their twenties, it seems in retrospect. They were smiling brightly. Their faces glowed effulgently–not like something ghostly, but with the fresh glow of youth of those in perfect health. They beckoned me to join them.

I wanted to just be with them–to talk, and to enjoy that ambience, I remember. I had no thought of what had gone on before–the pain, the ride. This was real. It was real, and I loved it, and I could feel the love of these young people as we faced each other.

Then I remember thinking, “wait,” and there was something going on. I was in a nightmare. I was being transported with chest pains. I felt my bare chest with my fingertips, thinking, “Oh, no. I am on this gurney. I’m not in that beautiful–real place.” I was back in this nightmare–only this was reality.

People were working at high speed. They said I came back talking. I don’t remember what I said; neither did they.

One guy said, “We hit him with the paddles.” (Can’t remember if that’s what he called them.) I questioned that remark. “Paddles?” I asked.

“Yes your heart stopped,” he said.

The pressure again began building, agonizing–a fire thrusting to get out from behind the sternum.

Suddenly there was again the computer-like prompt. I was with the beautiful, young people, whose smiles were brighter than any ever displayed in toothpaste commercials.

Again there was regret, as I found myself on the table where they prepared the angiogram to find out the position of the blockage.

Then, I was with those youngsters again, only this time the memory becomes fuzzy, but I do know I was among them, talking with them in a serenely joyful place.

Back to the ER and the flurry to save my life. I had been hit with the defibrillator for the third time. My heart had completely stopped on three occasions, but now I sensed they had things under control.

A doctor, one of the most highly regarded interventionist cardiologists in the state, just happened to be down from the Arkansas Heart Hospital, which is twenty minutes away in Little Rock. He was only one room away, and was on my case and finished with the procedure within forty-five minutes.

I was told by this doctor that 50 percent of all who have the sort of heart attack I had die before getting to the emergency room. Most that do get to the hospital don’t make it. The attack was in an artery that is the most crucial. They call the blockage the “widow maker.”

Now, what do we make of this? What do we do with it?

Well, the Lord will bring you to Himself when He chooses is one lesson reconfirmed within my own faith. He wants something else to be done through me. Certainly, I believe writing this commentary is one of those things.

Was I in heaven? I don’t know. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, Paul the apostle tells us. I didn’t see Jesus, and He is my Lord.

But, we are all one in Christ, the Lord Himself tells us in John chapter 17. So, in one sense, I could have been with the Lord by being with those people who appeared to be in the full bloom of youth. And, I sensed the absolute peace and joy their demeanor–collectively—projected. Christ is within us and we are one.

But, there’s another side to this reality that seemed more real than the earthly nightmare to which I returned three times. The Lord didn’t show me that other side (the hellish side), but the thought pulses strongly within my spirit as I write this. Just as heaven is a place to be longed for with great anticipation, hell is just as real, and a place to be shunned at all cost. (Read Jesus’ own words on the subject in Mark 9:43-48.)

The choice of whether to accept Jesus Christ as Savior is your choice. The time of death is not yours to make. Even if by suicide, the death will not have taken God by surprise. Believe in Him today with every fiber of your being. Heaven is real. So is hell. Only accepting God’s love gift of His Son’s shed blood on Calvary can cleanse you or me from sin–the soul-destroying thing God cannot permit to come into His holy, majestic presence.

Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14: 6). You and I must come to Him to ever be a heavenly citizen. The alternative is the nightmare world about which Jesus forewarned.

Here’s the only formula for going to heaven when you die, or at the Rapture of the church:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9)

 

Jerusalem Intrigue

Today, things taking place around the world are thought by many observers to indicate we are at the very end of the age. I am one of those observers.

The Middle East is overheating, with the Russians coming together with Iran to exert strong-arm influence over that prophetic region. All of the activity seems almost certainly to be stage setting for things to come—rearrangement for the great Gog-Magog war predicted by the prophet Ezekiel.

Powerful dynamics within the world’s economy, religion, and geopolitics are at boiling temperature. Potent monetary forces are coalescing to create a central economic system of electronic currency control. The specious theme of climate change is apparently the rallying point around which these one-world fiscal masters intend to concentrate power.

Islam is raging and invading the West, upsetting societies and cultures from Africa to the United States. Fear is building from the ravages of unbridled terrorism running amok. At the same time, Pope Francis is moving throughout the world with his own unique message of encouraging  Christendom to amalgamate with all religions for the cause of peace and love.

Geopolitically, Europe is in flux, buffeted about by destructive societal and economic winds generated by years of  embracing socialistic humanism. Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, as the historians would have it, is at the heart of Europe’s suffering.

It seems more than coincidental, to this observer at least, that  an especially intriguing leader from that very philosophical heart of where Western civilization sprung forth has stepped on the stage of history.

We have looked at him before in this column. I have mentioned that he seems to me an archetype of the one who will be Antichrist. I believe that his rise to power serves as example of how the beast of Revelation chapter 13 might emerge from a reviving Roman Empire.

Alexis Tzipras, member of the left wing pro-Palestinian Syriza party, when elected prime minister of Greece, was thought to be a leader who would all but destroy relations between his nation and Israel. One of the most stunning surprises to come from the new Greek leader’s time in power has been his desire to embrace Israel as a future partner in mutually  beneficial economic interaction.

The following news item excerpt frames Tzipras’ friendly foray into Jerusalem.

Meeting with the Israeli leadership, opening a two day tour in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Tzipras praised the importance of the relations between Israel and Greece and showed that the partnership has survived the political change.

While in Jerusalem for a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Tsipras took an opportunity to sign the President’s guestbook, writing, ” With great honor to be in your historic capital and to meet your excellencies.”

(Source: In unprecedented move Greek PM calls Jerusalem Israel’s ‘historical capital’,  By Tal Shalev, Shalev/ i24news,  Published: 11/26/2015)

This reaching out to Israel with such profound inscription upon the guest book shocked the world of diplomacy and Israeli leadership, I think. No other national entity of any degree of stature within the international community dares call Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Tzipras has no such qualms. His signing the guest book as he did is a flattery that gripped even the heart of the always wary Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following meetings with Tzipras Wednesday, November 25, during which the leaders discussed how to cooperate in making deals on getting gas from the newly discovered underwater natural gas fields in Israeli and Cypriot waters, Netanyahu commented on the meeting:

We have a growing and enduring partnership between Greece and Israel.

We are two countries with ancient roots…– Although we are ancient peoples, we embrace the future, we embrace modernity… We’re the two democracies in the eastern Mediterranean and we are obviously aware that we have a world of opportunities – of technology, of development, of progress – to seize and we can seize it better through cooperation.

The Israeli prime minister turned to a smiling Tzipras then, and said, “There is, as you said, a natural affinity between the Israelis and the Greeks. It’s very obvious when you go to either country.”

Tzipras expressed the need for all to work together to rid the region and world of terrorism and to deal with ISIS in particular. He was scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority leaders in an effort to bring understanding between the Israelis and Palestinians.

What’s wrong with the Greek prime minister doing these peace-oriented things?  Absolutely nothing–so far as it goes. All  that this commentary is meant to do is to point to the unusual nature of this “unprecedented move” by a European leader, as one Israeli official called it.

In this time of ultra-political correctness, when Israel is seen as the roadblock to the Roadmap to Peace, because of their opposition to being forced to give in to giving up land, to have one leader, with words flattering to the Jewish state, break from the pack of anti-Israeli diplomatic wolves and call Jerusalem its capital is possibly of prophetic significance. That that leader is one of unusual charismatic personality and from the very heart of the reviving Roman Empire, makes things even more intriguing.

Daniel the prophet was given a prophecy to share with those who would be on scene at the very end of the world governmental system. It is most interesting to consider as we enter uncharted geopolitical, socioeconomic, and religious waters.

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. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. (Daniel 11:21-22)

 

Global Sirens Singing Deadly Song

Homer’s protagonist in The Odyssey and the adventures through which the unknown author moved him are brought to mind with the many voices from the diplomatic world singing the same refrain without ceasing–even though egregiously out of tune. These days, I am reminded of how deadly such allurement can be.

Odysseus, the wandering Greek hero, is given instructions for how to safely negotiate his return home. One of the chief obstacles he is told that he will face on his voyage is that of passing by the island of lovely Sirens, the half-human, half-bird female creatures that lure mariners to their death on the island’s rocky shoals with their irresistible song-call, promising to reveal the future.

Odysseus follows his instructions and has his crew aboard the ship plug their ears with bee’s wax. He tells them to tie him to the ship’s mast and instructs them not to loosen the restraints, no matter what.

Odysseus is the only one who can hear the Sirens’ song, and he is driven mad with desire to be set free to go to them. But, his faithful crew just ties him all the more securely to the mast, and they move safely past the island to face the obstacles of the rest of their journey.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on a voyage perhaps not as Homeric, but certainly one through which he must negotiate his way with extreme care, if he is not to run the Jewish ship of state aground on some very deadly shoals. He is hearing the not-so-lovely “Sirens” from many directions calling for his government to give into international pressure–thus to assure a future of peace for all concerned. So far, he has remained securely lashed to the mast, and his government has kept the bee’s wax in their discerning ears of better sensibility.

The lyrics of the song the geopolitical Sirens sing are confusing, to apply the most generous description of their attempts at allurement. But the fact that the chorus spews insanity in their efforts to seduce Netanyahu to throw caution to the wind is the most realistic assessment of their attempt at seduction. The latest of the alluring words, it is hard to have to say, has seemingly induced the Israeli prime minister to change His own tune for the moment. One has to wonder what to make of this particular alteration in the siren call to Benjamin Netanyahu and his response, while he and his crew while they try to negotiate some of the most treacherous Mideast waters in history.

The Siren call further confuses. The globalist sirens are once again, and with greater volume and intensity, singing a familiar, deadly refrain in a not-so-veiled threat to the Netanyahu government.

The international community diplomats, as has been their tendency over recent decades, warn that if the Israeli government fails to present a new peace plan soon that is acceptable, they will consider officially endorsing instituting a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital. It is within this framework that Netanyahu is pressured to withdraw from the West Bank.

Perhaps it is just because Benjamin Netanyahu has learned to play the diplomatic games of his enemies’ methodology of delay and obfuscation, but the prime minister is indicating he might be hearing the siren call.

Responding to questions at the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington, Netanyahu said a negotiated peace deal would be better than unilateral steps by Israel to impose a solution to the conflict. But he indicated a unilateral approach might be possible under the right conditions.

“Unilateralism … I suppose that’s possible, too, but it would have to meet Israeli security criteria and that would also require, I think, a broader international understanding than exists now,” he said.

However, the prime minister stressed, even if Israel does pull out of the West Bank – whether as a result of an agreement or in a unilateral move – it will have to keep its security presence in the territories. (Netanyahu doesn’t rule out unilateral pullout from West Bank, Yael Friedson, Roi Yanovsky, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report, Nov 11, 2015).

It should be considered truly a miracle of biblical proportion if our Odysseus–Mr. Netanyahu, strapped to that mast while the Israeli ship of state plows through the turbulence–doesn’t go stark-raving mad while listening to the cacophony coming from the beckoning Sirens who want to usurp what little land Israel possesses.

It seems to me that the wild-eyed beckoning by supposedly the brightest planet earth has to offer–the diplomatic elite—makes the case that they, themselves, suffer from madness of the sort that drove the mariners of Homer’s tales onto the rocks of destruction. Their wailing is enough to drive anyone crazy.

These are hearing the seductive words of the one being who, since iniquity was found in him, has wanted to usurp anything that belongs to the God of heaven. It is a deadly song they are listening to. It is a deadly song they are singing to God’s chosen people. It is a Siren call that will bring all nations of earth to Armageddon.

 

Almighty’s Analysis of America

What is your religious persuasion? The question is a standard one in the census polling process.

America’s population was 318.9 million as of 2014, according to Census Bureau statistics. Polling numbers that year showed that 70.6 percent of Americans identified themselves as Christians. This was a significant decline from polling done in 1990, in which 86 percent of Americans said they were Christians. Wikipedia has it that America has nearly 247 million Christians, the highest number of Christians of any nation, although there are other nations with percentages of Christians that are higher.

So, when asking people what is their religion the response will most often be, “Christian.” Or, they will answer by giving the particular denomination within Christianity with which they identify.

Such is the natural response in this land that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. But, it is not the natural response that the Grand Poll Taker is seeking, but the supernatural. Based upon God’s analysis of His polling statistics hangs the fate of cultures, societies, and nations.

We can get a sense of Heaven’s polling methodology, I think, by looking at a specific case in which such census taking was employed—to an extent, at least. It is a most fascinating exercise considering planet earth’s apex nation, so far as super-power status, in human terms, is concerned.

The twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah—if we might think of them in that sense, such as we think of Minneapolis/St. Paul as “twin cities”—were powerful commercial societies of their time. These, of course, are infamous as cities whose fate is the stuff made of legend.

During the course of most any week, I come across one TV documentary or the other on one of my favorite such channels that goes into great detail about these cultures. Most often, the documentarians spend their time debunking the true biblical account, choosing instead to give every conceivable reason why these great commercial centers no longer exist. The film-makers tell the biblical story—in their own usually warped versions—but then give natural reasons why Sodom and Gomorrah were obliterated.

Until relatively recent times, the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah and their destruction was most often scoffed at by historians. The cities were considered but mere legends. But digs at the southern end of the Dead Sea that continue to bring that civilization to the salty surface makes it crystal clear. These were real places that were devastated by fire and brimstone—just like God’s Word proclaims in the Genesis account.

Now, what does all of this have to do with America and statistics on the number of Christians in the nation? We remember the statement by Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Graham. We’ve all heard the statement many times. The perspicacious Mrs. Graham famously said: “If the Lord doesn’t judge America [for its wickedness] He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Many of us are in total agreement with her assessment. The reason for that quite harsh assessment is that America, it can be argued, has in some aspects gone even beyond the sinfulness of those two ancient cities. We could examine any number of ways this is true, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll mention only two. We’ve looked at these in great detail a number of times in these commentaries.

First, the most glaring similarity, with regard to Sodom and Gomorrah as compared to the United States today, is the matter of homosexuality. That was the great sin emphasized in the Genesis account of God’s dealing with that culture in judgment. I don’t have to go too deeply into the similarity, because we are all familiar—totally—with things going on just in the past couple of years in this country. The God-ordained union between a man and a woman has been changed by the courts of this land to pervert the God-given institution called marriage. Sexual activity that the Creator calls “abomination” the lawless, God-defying of America call “gay.” And, this is not to diminish the equally abominable sexual activity within the heterosexual world—fornication and adultery.

Secondly, the matter of abortion comes front and center in the comparison. Babies in the womb and small children in that ancient society undoubtedly cramped the style of the deviants of the time. The products of the unbridled sexual activity made it easy to sacrifice those babies upon the altar of convenience. The deeper that people went into debauchery, the more self-absorbed and willing to go to any lengths to make their next thrill more exhilarating.

In Sodom and Gomorrah we are talking about cities of thousands; in America we are talking about an entire nation of more than 300 million. They could have aborted only thousands; we—it is fully documented—abort more than one million per year. Recent undercover video evidence flashes proof in our faces for all to see. Planned Parenthood and its like gives irrefutable evidence that we have gone beyond that ancient people in the degree of unrighteousness perpetrated. And, it is the term “unrighteousness” that is the heart of the matter in the polling question with which we began this essay. The question: What is your religious persuasion?

The nation is, according to the answers given the pollsters, overwhelmingly Christian, even considering the drop in the numbers from 1990 until 2014. We are supposed to believe that 70.6 percent of America’s 318.9 million people are Christians. Again, that’s more than 247 million claiming to be Christians.

Now we come to the title of our commentary this week, Almighty’s Analysis of America.

People can say they are anything. The human pollsters must take down what they are given. The term “Christian” is accepted at face value and marked on the polling sheet. The Lord of Heaven, however, the Creator of all things—including the human being—goes infinitely more deeply into His polling process. To Him, the precise definition of the term “Christian” is of eternal importance.

The term “Christianity,” in Heaven’s economy, is tied to “righteousness.” To be a Christian, one must be righteous. But, the Bible says the following: “As it is written, There is none righteous no not one” (Romans 3:10). How, then, can anyone be a Christian—that is, how can anyone be considered righteous?

God’s grace gift provides the answer. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God sees as righteous only those who have believed in His Son, Jesus Christ for salvation from their sins. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23); “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

When one is “saved,” he or she is “righteous” because God sees righteousness only in His beloved Son, who died as sacrifice for all of mankind.

Now we will get back to this matter of America and the percentage of those who say they are Christians. These figures don’t compute—don’t add up. Mrs. Graham was right. America’s degree of depravity, by any stretch, doesn’t come under God’s definition of righteousness. Revisiting our thoughts on Sodom and Gomorrah, God spoke with His servant, Abraham. He informed Abraham that he was going to have to destroy those wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the great sins of those people. The account is found in Genesis 18:23-33.

Abraham was terribly grieved and pleaded with the Lord. He asked if God could find fifty people who were righteous would He spare the cities. God agreed, but could not. Abraham then pleaded for God to search for forty-five, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, then ten righteous people in order to justify not destroying those places. In each case, the Lord tried but couldn’t find even ten. Among the many thousands in Sodom and Gomorrah, the Almighty’s Heavenly Census Bureau couldn’t find ten people who believed in Him in order to be considered righteous.

As I said, the documentarians are still reporting the findings of the archaeologists who are digging up the destruction of those doomed cities.

More and more I’m wondering—like Ruth Graham must surely have wondered—about the possibility of America’s ultimate fate being, if not in fact, in very like manner to that suffered by the city prophesied in Revelation chapter 18. A most encouraging truth in thinking on these things is that God found the man named Lot, a citizen of Sodom, to be “righteous” in His holy eyes. A few of Lot’s family were obviously considered likewise, because the Lord removed them from Sodom before the fire and brimstone fell. God said to Lot about that removal to safety: “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither” (Genesis 19:22a).

The Lord told Lot that His judgment couldn’t fall with its total devastation until the righteous Lot was first taken out of harm’s way, and that meant until Lot and his family were completely removed—taken out of—that wicked city. Be encouraged, those of you who are righteous—who believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. Jesus, Himself, in His ascended position at the right hand of His Father, makes a promise to a future generation. He uses the Greek verb “ek,” meaning “out of” in His promise. I believe that promise is made to the generation alive today. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from [out of] the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth“(Revelation 3:10).

The Lord counts you among those who will, perhaps very soon, hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4: 1).

Israelicide

Forewarning of the fate that the nations of earth face leaps from Bible prophecy. Those who make Jerusalem and Israel the object of hatred will pay a terrible price. And make no mistake, the city and nation (Jewish people) are inextricably linked: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth are gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:3).

To “burden themselves” with Jerusalem and with Israel (Judah) in this case means to come against the city and people in a hostile sense. God is saying through Zechariah the prophet that at the end of the age, near the consummation of His dealing with this earth system, all nations of earth will make Jerusalem and His chosen people the center of their anger and aggression. The aggressors against God’s city (Jerusalem, the apple of his eye—see Zechariah 2:8) and the Jewish people will result in devastation for those attackers.

Perhaps it’s just the old advertising guy in me, but I want to coin a new word—”Israelicide”—for what the nations of the world are in process of doing. The word means two things in my thinking: 1) to commit satanically inspired genocide against the Jewish race; and 2) the collective suicide of Israel’s enemies whose coalescing unity of mind curse Israel.

It doesn’t take a historian’s knowledge to understand that the Jewish race–the nation of Israel—has been hated and harassed as no other people throughout the millennia. Although some—like Iran’s dictator, the so-called supreme leader—claim that the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews never happened, that it’s all fabrication by the hated Zionists, the world knows the horrific truth about genocide against God’s chosen people.

The record of the demise of those who made the Jews the object of their hate was made manifest before the eyes of the peoples of all nations. Germany was completely defeated and divided. The remains of Hitler and his henchmen lie strewn in ignominy, their memories detested by all but those of like heinous anti-Semitic hatred. They committed Israelicide, in both meanings of my term.

The promise to Israel’s patriarch, Abraham, remains in effect: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Genesis 12: 3a). Nations of earth are in the process of committing Israelicide, in my view, collectively insisting that Israel is the central problem in the Middle East. It is the Jewish state that in the opinion of most of the diplomatic world is holding up progress in the Roadmap for Peace.

Those same diplomats, along with their mainstream news media cohorts, point accusatory fingers at Israel upon each retaliatory strike they make to try to keep their enemies at bay. At the same time, the murder of innocent Jewish citizens, including children, even infants, by Israel’s enemies is hardly mentioned by the diplomatic community or the mainstream journalists of the world.

Prophesied events are being set up on an hour-by-hour basis. The Islamist countries are in incendiary turmoil, as the headlines continually remind us. These nations have Israel encircled on all sides except on the side of the Mediterranean–the sea into which a number of the leaders of Arab states plus Iran’s mullahs have vowed to push the Jewish state. There is good reason to believe that all of this upheaval is being orchestrated by various elements in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood, in preparation for an ultimate effort to erase Israel from the earth.

Some are convinced this will all play out in a war they believe is predicted by a prayer recorded in Psalm 83. While I think that prayer will be answered in the Gog-Magog attack of Ezekiel 38 and 39, certainly, one can’t deny there are powerful dynamics moving and shaking in the land around which end-times Bible prophecy is centered.

The militant Islamists of the Arab nations and Iran are bent on committing Israelicide, there is no doubt. They have declared their intention loudly and for a long time. The Bible says Israel’s enemies will do just that, but in the sense of the second meaning of my newly coined word, not in the sense of the first definition. They will commit Israelicide.

Some day, such an attack will be their final death knell. For certain, Israel’s Middle East and northern enemies will pay the price for their hatred as recorded by the prophet Ezekiel: “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 39:4-5).

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