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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).

Israel’s Strange Silence

 

Middle East maliciousness is literally exploding, igniting fires of death and fear across the world. Europe feels the heat of the Islamist rage as ISIS (or ISIL, as Mr. Obama terms it) turns up the rheostat of hatred in France and other places.

Europeans, particularly the Scandinavian countries, the favorites for Muslims who set their sights on migration, are becoming desperate for ways to close borders forced open by European Union dictates.

Polling statistics show that Americans are increasingly concerned that soon that incendiary, religious fanaticism will infect this nation. “Lone wolf” actions by ISIS wannabees are, in fact, bringing the more fanatic brand of Islam to this continent, which was more or less insulated from that religious fervor prior to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Towers.

ISIS propagandists, through social media and other methods, are making it known beyond any doubt that they view America as the place they most wish to spread their special brand of terror.

All of this is going on simultaneously across the world. All the while, governments and military authorities are nearly at a complete loss for how to deal with the Islamic beast. At the same time, there is an almost complete lack of mention of the one entity that most of the world considers the prime reason that there is all of this voracious activity by the likes of militant Islam.

It is downright eerie.

That entity, itself, is inexplicably silent for the most part about the rage to its north. I’m talking, of course, about Israel, the tiny Jewish state that is claimed by practically every diplomat in the world to be, in one way or another, at the heart of the ever more dangerous situation in the Middle East.

Israel has for decades been at the center of most every action and reaction to Muslim terrorism in the region. From the time of the murders of the Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics, to the downing of the World trade Towers and damage to the Pentagon during the 9-11 attacks, and until just recently, Israel has continuously been at the reportorial center of things. Not so now.

Israel is silent; the world seems to not be noticing that tiny nation for the moment. A legitimate question to ask is: Why is this so? Why, after decades in modern times—after thousands of years in the battle of Israel versus its enemies, is the modern Jewish state seemingly off the radar screen of the on-going conflict?

This, I realize, could change instantly—at any moment. Israel could be thrust in the middle of dire crisis before this column appears. It is an almost unnatural situation, if I may use that phraseology. The almost “natural” state is for Israel to be constantly and consistently blasted by its enemy, Islamist-antagonists and by the world community at large.

There have been, of course, occasional reports of Temple Mount turmoil of late on which we and others have commented. But, about the larger involvement of the entire Arab-Islamist world, and even Iran in the conflict with hated Israel, I find scant mention these days.

While Israel remains basically mute, and everyone else’s attention is turned to ISIS and the turbulence it is kicking up in Syria and around the world through its proxy “migrants,” Vladimir Putin and the Iranian mullahs are cooking up plans, the intentions of which only the Lord knows at this point. But, be sure of one thing, all of this means that the stage is being rapidly set for the final act of this pre-tribulation program that is about to begin.

To me, it almost seems like there is a circling around the intended prey by predators. The prey is being temporarily ignored while the pecking order is arranged for who will get the first spoils of the intended victim. This, I mean from a prophetic perspective.

There seems to be in the nebulous background of all this a power juxtapositioning of the apex predators and the scavenger types to determine what comes next with regard to the end times assault against the nation God chose long ago to remain standing when all others are vanquished. It’s as if Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s government are flummoxed as to what it all means—this violence that is on display to Israel’s north and, increasingly, around the globe. But, one thing sure, the Israeli prime minister and other Jews of good, common sense and a sense of history, know that it somehow all means that they—the Jews, Israel—are the intended prey. Somehow it will all come down to them having to consider invoking the Samson Option, in geopolitical terms of “them versus us.”

Israel is silent, but is not asleep. Netanyahu and the Israelis that have that sense of foreboding know that soon the hungry eyes of the predators will turn back to them just like they always do. Their deeply committed vow is “Never Again!”

Always the blame for the problems of the Middle East is directed at them. A news story this past week clearly indicates satanically-directed attitudes against God’s chosen people are as deluding as ever. Sweden is under attack by the so-called “migrants” from Syria and other areas that ISIS seeks to dominate in its determination to establish a world-wide caliphate. Swedish women and even young girls are being raped by the invading horde, it is reported. Despite this, one top Swedish government official manages to point a finger of blame at the strangely silent Jewish state.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström linked Palestinian grievances with Israel to the Islamist terror attacks that killed 129 people in Paris:

“Obviously, we have reason to be worried, not just in Sweden but across the world—because there are so many that are being radicalized. Here, once again, we are brought back to situations like the one in the Middle East, where not least, the Palestinians see that there is not a future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,” Wallström said in a television interview. (How Original: Sweden Blames Paris Attacks on Israel – Israel News, November 17, 2015).

That Israel is responsible for the Islamist rage is the message. Zechariah’s forewarning can be heard thundering, even if present day Israel is for the most part silent.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 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 be gathered together against it.” (Zech 12:2-3)

Prophetic Tech Part 1 – By Ed Wood

If you are reading this, odds are that not only do you have more than a passing acquaintance with the Bible, but that you also take it seriously. Odds also are that it makes you a growing anomaly in the Christian world as it exists today. Indeed, in much of the modern church here in the United States, it might even make you unwelcome. That’s not the case here because I know Terry James does take God’s Word as, well, God’s Word along with everything that follows along with such a belief.

Though I have never met Terry in person, I feel that over the many years we have corresponded, that I have gained a loyal friend. From my first contact with him via Rapture Ready, he has gone out of his way to encourage me in my study of the Bible, especially in the realm of Bible Prophecy, and has graciously provided me a venue to share my thoughts by way of various articles I’d written on this subject over nearly ten years for Rapture Ready. Now, he has invited me to once again share some of my thoughts on his new website and I am singularly honored to participate. Thank you very much, Terry. I will try very hard to rise to the occasion! So, that being said, let’s begin from a passage first from the Book of Revelation: (Note: Asterisks have been inserted to further explain the text as needed. Please see notation at the end of this article regarding the source for King James Bible passages used here.)

Revelation {11:3-12} And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a  thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

A much earlier passage found in Zechariah may be referring to these mysterious figures as well:

Zechariah {4:11-14} Then answered I*, and said unto him**, What [are] these two olive trees upon the right [side] of the candlestick and upon the left [side] thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What [be these] two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden [oil] out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these [be?] And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These [are] the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth. * Zechariah      ** an angel

Exactly who these two witnesses are continues to be a source of speculation, but three possibilities top the list.  They are Enoch, Elijah, and Moses. The first two are unique in that they never died but were taken directly off the earth by God:

Genesis {5:24} And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

2 Kings {2:11-12} And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw [it,] and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

As for Moses, the Bible tells us that he died after seeing the Promised Land and after commissioning Joshua to take over as leader of the Israelites after their forty year journey from Egypt:

Deuteronomy {34:1-6} And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that [is] over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the LORD said unto him, This [is] the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see [it] with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he* buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. *Joshua (Hoshea)

Though Moses did die while Enoch and Elijah did not, he does in fact show up again in person with Elijah during the Transfiguration:

Matthew {17:1-3} And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias* talking with him. *Elijah

Additionally, there are also accounts concerning Elijah in which he called down fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:36-38, 2 Kings 1:1-15) making him a particularly strong candidate.

Perhaps the idea that the witnesses will represent the “Law and the Prophets” also gives a nod once again to Elijah, being a prophet, and to Moses, the giver of the Law. Or it may be two other people entirely. Nevertheless, what we do know is that they will appear, withstand all manner of attacks from their enemies, until the final one the Antichrist unleashes on them  kills them – something the world will celebrate. But the jubilation will be short-lived as they are miraculously resurrected.

With this background now established, let’s take a look at what happens after they are killed and think about what it suggests:

And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

Not only do these witnesses get killed, but it seems very clear that the entire world knows about it just about in real time. This is nothing out of the ordinary in the Twenty-first Century, but one must remember that when the book of Revelation was written in the end of the First, the speed that news could be transmitted was limited by how fast one (or his or her animal) could walk, or cross by ship to a distant shore. And yet John sees the whole world instantly knowing what has happened and celebrating their demise. But the party doesn’t last very long because in the same manner it sees these once-dead men resurrected and bodily taken into heaven:

And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

The closest thing to instant communication that existed for centuries was restricted to such primitive forms as smoke signals, drum beats, signal fires, or the sounding of various types of horns such as your basic shofars or more technically refined trumpets. Out of sight or out of earshot meant that one was out of luck. It has really only been within the last 200 years that anything resembling actual long-range instantaneous communication has existed, the first being the telegraph perfected by Samuel B. Morse and Alfred Vail in 1837. This in itself required advances in the use, storage and generation of electricity, which up until the 19th Century was little more than a curiosity.

Two decades and a year later the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid between Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Valenica, Ireland, but it failed in three weeks. A replacement was laid in1866. (Only in 1956 would a telephone transmission finally cross the Atlantic Ocean to Europe via cable.)

A huge development in the field of communications would follow Marconi’s successful wireless telegraph system in December 1901 from St. John’s Newfoundland to Cornwall, England. No longer was it necessary to run a physical connection between sender and receiver, and from this point on radio technology exploded across the globe. Using shortwave radio, it became possible even for amateur radio operators to communicate across the planet, marking the first time in human history that instant communication not only became possible, but commonplace.

With the advent of television and the space program, sophisticated communication satellites beginning with Telstar 1 in 1962 provided the means not only to transmit audio, but video as well in real-time. With the advent of the Information Age of the past few decades, the ease an accessibility of more and more people to instant communication has exploded. Now we take it all pretty much for granted – unless, of course, something prevents our devices from working!

What fascinates me personally about all of this is that for the Revelation passage above to become literally possible, all of the technological progress above had to take place first. It’s taken about 1900 years for that to happen, but here we are. We see from John’s description that what will transpire will no doubt be seen and heard by virtually the entire world – as it happens – and I have no doubt will be replayed over and over again on the global news media and Internet sites, all of them most likely under the direct control of the future world despot we have come to know as the Antichrist. I can certainly understand him splashing what he thinks is his victory over the two witnesses all over the media to further exalt himself on the world stage but that the resurrection of these two (the last thing he would want displayed) also manages to hit the airwaves shows it to be something so completely sudden and unexpected he does not have time to censor it.

As we can see, we have reached a point where our current state of technological development has made everything we’ve read about the world witnessing the events of Revelation 11:3-12 in actual time completely and literally possible for the first time in human history. It has been my personal belief that the Antichrist will not only use the supernatural abilities given to him by Satan himself, but will avail himself of the “tools at hand” to increasingly tighten his grip on a turbulent planet that will initially receive him with open arms. Next time, we’ll look at another facet of modern technology which will help him take over the world.

*Public Domain Source of Bible Quotations *

All Bible references are from http://www.davince.com/bible and are copied intact from that source.

End Times–The Bottom Line

Global economic chaos is driving the distress and perplexity of the nations of planet earth. The words of the greatest of all prophets, Jesus Christ, echo in cavernous reverberation with each succeeding news report from the capitals of earth’s monetary centers.

“And there shall be…upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25b).

Jesus’ Olivet Discourse spoke to conditions exponentially moved beyond norms. In other words, the “distress” and “perplexity” that nations will be experiencing as His Second Coming nears will be beyond any ever known by people of earth. And, in biblical terms, “seas and waves” refer to the masses of peoples. Jesus said that because there will be unprecedented distress and perplexity among the nations, the peoples populating those nations will be “roaring.”

All one must do to understand that the roots of the upheaval rocking America and the world at this very moment involve economics is to think on the acceleration of events in the headlines since September 11, 2001. It has been a decade of powerful disturbances beyond any experienced before.

America launched retaliatory action against those in the Middle East deemed complicit in the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Iraq was “liberated,” and Saddam Hussein paid for his tortures and murders. But, from that action–which seems to be at least the beginning of fulfillment of Zechariah chapter 5—has come the unleashing of worldwide jihad.

The U.S. economic engine, which has made the nation the most productive industrial power in history, runs on the petroleum most easily accessible in the regions surrounding Saudi Arabia. Manipulative money brokers, in my mind, have managed to–for reasons of their own—prevent drilling and refining of this nation’s reserves, making America vulnerable to the economic danger we now face.

Compounding the dangers, some of our “leaders” have engaged in financial skullduggery. By damaging U.S. infrastructure through the banking debacle and politically engineering the trillions of dollars run up in debt—while selling the nation by offering Treasury bonds to perhaps America’s most dangerous enemy, the Chinese—they move America ever more swiftly toward third-world status.

The explosion of revolution throughout the, for the most part, oil-rich nations surrounding Israel paints the end-times picture. That incendiary anarchy that has ignited fires of unrest in the U.S. and in various capitals of Europe shows the world to be in distress with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring.

It is true that the twentieth century was one of tremendous turbulence. World Wars I and II brought death, destruction, pestilence, and starvation of monumental proportion. The economic abyss that was the Great Depression certainly was preached by ministers as akin to the biblically prophesied apocalypse—and it was even claimed to be so by many pundits of the times.

However, the crashing of the World Trade Center towers to the streets of New York City on that terrible Tuesday morning seemed to have unleashed demons that continue to cause destruction more violent than that wrought during the entire previous century. That cascading avalanche is increasing with destructive force while it roars through our time with each hour that passes.

The toll in loss of human life thus far in the twenty-first century hasn’t come anywhere near the death-dealing inflicted in the previous century. But, so far as the humanistic powers that be are concerned, the potential for apocalyptic-like carnage has reached near critical mass. To the money masters–the economic titans–the bottom line is not the human toll, but the fiscal Armageddon to be avoided while controlling the ongoing economic avalanche and using it to best effect for their own nefarious purposes.

Concern over the great monetary upheaval overrides all else with the globalists elite. The seas of human populations must be maneuvered in puppet fashion to bring in their idea of how the world system should run.

All of the above is to say that, in my view, Jesus’ words point precisely to the world conditions developing around this generation at this very hour. It is oil and the wealth it represents that Satan is obviously using to try to bring about the destruction of the human race. That destruction is Satan’s bottom line (1 Peter 5: 8).

But, of course, it will never happen, because Jesus said of the final seven years of this earth age, the Tribulation: “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).

I’ve mentioned the bottom line for the humanists who want to control the world through manipulation of economics. I’ve mentioned Satan’s bottom line–his desire to destroy all of mankind. Now we look at God’s bottom line, for this is the one destined to be achieved for all who will accept His Son as the only cure for the deadly soul disease from which they suffer.

God wants the souls of all people to be saved out of their lost condition, thus from His judgment and wrath that must fall upon earthly wickedness. This is why Christ hasn’t yet come for His Church in the Rapture. About this, the apostle Peter writes: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3: 9).

Sadly, not all will accept God’s offer of rescue from the coming seven years of horror we term the Tribulation, or from the lake of fire for all of eternity. However, it isn’t our worry to know who will and won’t believe. It is the duty of each who names the name of Jesus Christ as Lord to make sure the message is proclaimed that Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected so that all who believe in Him will have everlasting life. We must let the lost world hear the message that Christ might come at any moment for His own in the Rapture!

That’s the Christian’s bottom line for these end times.

America and Hatred

 

Hatred for America that pervades today’s discontented liberal culture is a matter that to my generation is for the most part mind-boggling. How an almost completely unknown, societal agitator with an ideological make-up that would champion such hatred could ever be elected president of the United States—twice—is even more mind-boggling.

That a congress that represents the electorate could sit by while such a president gives Middle East madmen, vowed to wipe out America, the wherewithal to produce nuclear weapons to do just that is…well…I can’t even give definition to my generation’s frame of mind in that regard.

America’s many contributions to the progress in improvement of the human condition throughout the world only seems to bring increased hatred to our nation. The United States has in modern times been in every instance the first with the most assistance anywhere in the world that disasters strike. Whether it’s an earthquake in Guatemala, a Tsunami in Indonesia, a famine in Ethiopia, or whatsoever the catastrophe, the U.S. has been there, never asking repayment for the help. The only exception of this generosity was in the case of some degree of repayment for expenditures to rebuild war-torn countries when economies improved there. These payments were, in most every case, eventually forgiven for the most part.

Let’s face it, if America had not gotten involved in World Wars I and II, the world would be under the control of the likes of Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. It was America’s might and willingness to shed American blood of its youth that has given the world even the—admittedly—diminishing bit of freedom’s light that remains on the planet. Europe would still be clearing the rubble of World War II, if not for America’s vast contributions to the restoration of that devastated region.

Now, we face our own form of devastation. The American taxpayer has—without much push-back—allowed out-of-control government to spend trillions upon trillions of dollars on economy-crippling social programs—bankrupting the country. It has been an addled-brain act of politically-motivated largesse that has produced a welfare system filled with many non-job seekers who, because of anger over perceived cultural wrongs, readily join in the hate-filled rants against America.

The fallen human mind is full of envies and jealousies. It is no wonder, then, that the apex nation of world history so far as concerns material blessings should be hated. But, the animus goes far beyond mere human envies and jealousies.

And, this reality is why America, although not mentioned by name in the Bible, is a factor that plays heavily into God’s plan for His creation called man. That America was brought on the scene late in history in order to fulfill God’s purposes, there can be little doubt.

Because the Lord’s plan for humanity is opposed at every point by His greatest enemy, America’s role is, by association with that plan, a target—a major target. We can see God’s most hate-filled enemy firing his supernatural ordinance at this nation on an almost hourly basis.

Satan’s dark, spiritual firepower is directed at destroying America’s moral fiber. The national fabric is literally unraveling as each volley slams against our most basic institutions and against the Constitution God gave our founding fathers the wisdom and discernment to form.

The family is torn apart, with unwanted babies murdered in their mother’s wombs by the millions. Marriage is redefined as same-sex couplings being equal to—even superior to—heterosexual unions. Mention of Jesus Christ is becoming the equivalent of hate-speech. At the same time, Islam, whose holy book says it is acceptable, even incumbent upon Muslim men, to rape non-Muslim women—and even children—is protected and shielded by a governing system gone mad with sin-sickened, reprobate thinking.

America, I believe a study of this nation’s founding and subsequent comportment throughout most of its history will attest, has served two basic purposes in God’s great plan for humanity. First, it has served as the primary vehicle to get the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. Second, it has served as the mid-wife to bring the nation Israel into modernity, in preparation for the wind-up of human history.

For this, Satan wages an increasingly virulent war against the United States. That war will continue to intensify by the minute, I have no doubt, until Christ calls His church into Heaven. This means to the Christian that we are to stand against this great assault as directed in God’s Word.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph 6: 10-17)

Pastors, be Forewarned

One of the most-mentioned laments among those of us who have Bible prophecy as our calling is that seminaries are not teaching prophecy and pastors are not preaching and teaching prophecy today. We refer to the majority of the seminary instructors and preachers who otherwise preach and teach God’s Word as inerrant truth.

Those who view the Bible as merely a book with good suggestions for how to live, but don’t consider it the literal Word of God, can’t be expected to understand the crucial necessity of preaching and teaching the whole Word of God. These pick and choose verses, applicable or not, to put forth their ear-tickling homilies, which by their very nature avoid doctrinal truth. So, we aren’t pointing a finger of admonishment at these.

Sadly, however, this description fits a growing number of seminaries and their graduates. It is getting harder to tell the genuine from the pretenders. More and more the words are sugar-coated, the points supposedly made trailing off into the ether of mumbo-jumbo irrelevance. When one gently probes one or the other of the Bible-believing/preaching pastors with the question: “Do you preach prophecy?” the answers are along the same line. It’s my experience and that of others who ask the question that 95 percent of those asked say something akin to the following:

“Prophecy is just too hard for people to understand.”
“I just don’t know about the subject, because we just barely touched on it in seminary.”
“Teaching people how to live as a Christians is more pressing.”
“It scares people, so I just don’t want to worry them unnecessarily.”
“People have been saying the Second Coming is here for years, and we are still here. We need to deal with the here and now, not pie in the sky.”

And my personal favorite:

“Some preachers are premillennial, some postmillennial, or whatever. I’m ‘pan’-millennial. I believe it will just all pan out in the end.”

I have to tell you–confess, I guess—that this last one always presents a personal test of my temperament. Whenever I hear it, I see red, even though I’ve been as physically blind as the proverbial bat since 1993. Some of these preachers–a few—become a bit defensive and get rather exercised, launching into tirades, arguing that we prophecy types read far too much into the headlines as they might relate to biblical prophecy. And I readily admit that this has and continues to happen more often than it should.

The many episodes of date-settings for the rapture over the years, for example, have done disservice to God’s prophetic Word. Too often I receive formulas from all sorts of angles and configurations that claim to give the precise time of Christ’s coming in the Rapture, or that propose to have the answers to other prophetic events.

Despite the fact that there are those who are overly speculative in their views of Bible prophecy, the following must be said. To the pastors of America who claim the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of the Living God but callously ignore its prophetic content—be forewarned. Your excuses/arguments won’t stand the test at the bema–the judgment seat of Christ. You will be held accountable by the very Lord you proclaim you love so much–the same Lord about whom the angel told John: “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10b).

That same Jesus gave us the Olivet discourse, during which He laid out general and specific things to come. The Gospel accounts give Christ’s commandment of what to do about the many prophesied things He had just foretold: “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37). Prophecy makes up at least 27 percent of the Bible. Half of that 27 percent has been fulfilled, with half yet to be fulfilled. Anyone with spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see is capable of following the Lord’s command: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21: 28).

Certainly, if God calls people to be pastors–shepherds of His flock—He equips them to feed the flock His whole Word, not just the parts the pastor selects as important, while summarily dismissing the other parts of God’s Word. Jesus said to “watch” for prophetic developments. And, spiritually attuned eyes and ears–a condition all pastors should seek to appropriate and maintain—can hear and see that we are at the very end of the Church Age.

The world is in end times rage. The seas and waves of humanity are roaring with distress and perplexity. Violence fills the whole earth.

Israel stands alone in the global spotlight as the most-hated nation on planet earth. The world is in economic chaos, headed for total collapse. All the while, technology is progressing geometrically in ways that will one day provide earth’s last tyrant with the satanically endowed ability to enslave most all people on this fallen sphere.

Yet many pastors of America are into building bigger, more beautiful edifices in order to more spectacularly entertain their audiences. They make claims that they are telling of God’s love. But, they are stressing how to tap into that love in order to gain favor for acquiring material things; they are not teaching how to share the message that Jesus’ love is shown in that He died to save us from our sins. Too many pastors are moving farther from teaching doctrinal truth. One such truth being assiduously avoided is that of Christ’s Second Coming.

Thankfully, this Laodicean model doesn’t apply to all megachurches in America today. Some genuinely preach and teach truth from the Bible, although most, I’m sorry to have to say, continue to push aside Bible prophecy in favor of sticking exclusively to life-lesson theology. The responsibility to “watch” must, by the Bible’s very definition of the word “preacher,” fall first and foremost on those who are called to shepherd God’s people. The Word of God warns specifically about keeping the flock informed, and about those commissioned to do so who fail in that responsibility: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me” (Hosea 4: 6a,b). Paul’s admonition applies to pastors and teachers even more, perhaps, than to those whom they shepherd and instruct.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2: 15). These are perilous times, dear pastors and teachers. Bible prophecy at this juncture in human history isn’t frivolous or an elective to be chosen according to the pastor’s whim. The hour is late, and God’s people haven’t a clue. It is critical that you begin giving them biblically prophetic nourishment.

 

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