A strange literary brain glitch seems to afflict mainstream news media types these days. I have found for a number of years the disorder asserting its influence even in news briefs found on the front pages of my hometown newspaper. Such was the case as follows.
Mohammed Shafia, 58; his wife, Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son, Hamed, 21, all originally from Afghanistan, have been found guilty in Canada of first-degree murder in the killings of Shafia’s three teenage daughters and another of his wives in a polygamous marriage because they dishonored the family by defying its rules on dress, dating, socializing and Internet use. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “In the News,” 1/30/12)
The story was front and center, yet a glaring fact was and continues in these present days to be missing. It is as if the reporters are being blocked from finding the cause of the brutal killings that are almost routinely committed these days in the name of religious doctrine. The murders in the above news brief were, for example, reported in the following way by the Associated Press as passed along by NBC:
KINGSTON, Ontario—A jury on Sunday found an Afghan father, his wife and their son guilty of killing three teenage sisters and a co-wife in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honor.” The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a case that shocked and riveted Canadians from coast to coast…..”
Nowhere was the specific religious affiliation of the murderers mentioned. As a matter of fact, only one religion was mentioned in the story, and that is through the use of the word “Christian” later in the piece. One of the teenagers murdered for her “twisted” concept of honor had condoms in her room and photos of herself wearing short skirts and hugging her Christian boyfriend, according to the story. The story broadcast by NBC actually never mentioned that religious reasons were at the core of the killings.
One might take from the story as presented that the reporting source wanted us to infer that the girl was morally loose–as was her Christian boyfriend–and somehow deserved punishment.
What is it about the American media that causes an apparently unwritten rule that the use of the words “Muslim” and “Islam” are taboo in the contemporary journalistic lexicon?
The answer resides within the politically correct minds of those bent on shaping opinion in these dark days of setting the stage for the coming of Antichrist.
More to the point is the question posed by the title of this commentary: What kind of love is found in Islam, which we are told time and time again is a religion of love, not of hatred and violence?
It is a religion that commands–or at least condones—strapping bombs onto women and children and sending them out to kill as many as possible in the name of the religion’s god. When nearly three thousand people are murdered by nineteen adherents of the religion’s most fundamental tenets by flying airliners into buildings, the majority of Muslims celebrate in their streets. When every head of state and the governments–all of which are driven by Islamist rage–demand genocide to wipe the people of Israel from the map, good, loving Muslims around the world say nothing or agree that the Jews must go because the Koran demands it.
Killing teenage girls for the sake of Allah and a long-dead prophet of Islam because the youngsters want to assimilate into the culture that surrounds them is a growing crime in North America. Yet the news reports are completely silent about the real source of the beastly activity.
Of course, this shouldn’t surprise. Those who write and broadcast the stories are clueless pawns of the “prince of the power of the air.”
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:2-3).
Islam is neither a religion of love nor of peace–which are rooted in the same source. God’s Word tells us about His (the REAL God’s) prescription for living in love and peace: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Pre-Trib belief antagonists are on the rise. Rapture critics, even among those who claim to believe in the eventuality of a Rapture, just not the pre-Tribulation view of that event, purport to present evidence on every side that our times trumpet the obvious: The world is about to enter the Tribulation. Christ’s call to believers, they say, just isn’t going to happen before Christians suffer at least part of the terrors of that beastly era.
They offer that anyone with knowledge of issues and events going on should recognize that the New World Order bunch is transforming America and the world into the kingdom of Antichrist. All is about to come together for the Gog-led invasion into the Middle East. As a matter of fact, many hold that World War III has already begun.
Advanced computer and other control technologies and instrumentalities are in place for locking everyone on the planet into fiscal bondage and physical slavery to the final empire as prophesied by Daniel.
Those of us who believe there is coming a supernatural Rapture-escape from these judgments on sinful mankind are just living in fantasy land is the collective message I infer from emails and articles that increasingly assault my senses. That I, and all of you, should begin prepping with food, water, gold, silver, and finding a good bunker in which to hunker down during these upcoming days seem to me to be the things these Rapture naysayers are presenting. Seldom do I hear coming from our opponents on the question of the Rapture the admonition to be trying to witness with all our might the gospel of Jesus Christ. I guess there will be plenty of time for that once the Antichrist regime is firmly in place.
While the Pre-Trib proponent holds at the heart of his effort winning as many souls to Christ as possible so those saved won’t go through that time of horrors, many of the anti-Rapture antagonists want to do things to make sure they are more comfortable while trying to survive that hellish time.
Coincidentally–or perhaps not–these just happen to, in some cases of TV and other ministries who openly disdain the thought of Rapture, offer for sale all of these things for survival. The packaged food items invariably are proclaimed to have shelf lives of three decades or longer. So, we can, if we survive, have these supplies to partake of well into the Millennium, I suppose. This, based upon the general theme that they believe the seven-year Tribulation, not the Rapture, is imminent. There have been over the past few years a number of debates taking place on whether there will be the Pre-Trib Rapture or not. The best I’ve heard was the one at the Pre-Trib study group meetings when Dr. Mark Hitchcock completely destroyed the anti-Rapture arguments of the Bible Answer Man.
There are some such debates scheduled for prophecy conferences in the near future. These will perhaps offer new food for thought, but I doubt whether they will change minds on either side of the controversy.
Personally, I believe the time for debate on this matter is past. It is time now to just offer the assurance of that soon to come exhilarating moment when Christ will say “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
There are so many scriptural assurances of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture that we could fill many articles with them. As a matter of fact, we have done just that on the Rapture Ready website.
I wish to mention only one Rapture factor here, because I believe it is the most reassuring of all truth in God’s telling His children that they are not appointed to His wrath. Here we interject the question proposed in our title: Where’s the Comfort? By that we ask: What comfort is there in the argument that Christians will go through the Tribulation?
Paul the apostle first assures us of this fact: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). But, it is the next thought from the mind of God that should cause warm reassurance in the spiritual heart of every believer: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Get it? We are to “comfort” ourselves, not wring our hands looking for these things to destroy us or to look for Antichrist. We are to be looking for our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
There is no comfort –nor is there directive in God’s Word–to be had in anticipating going through the time of God’s wrath and almost certain martyrdom (probably by beheading). There is no comfort in looking for the worst dictator in the planet’s history to hunt us down and lop off our heads.
Here is what God’s Word promises instead of the dreaded scenario proposed by the Rapture antagonists:
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
A cursory glance would seem to indicate that the decision once made by Congress to flush the anti-piracy legislation into the sewer reserved for liberty-robbing legislation accomplished the preservation of Internet freedom.
Democrat Harry Reed and Republican leaders put aside the incendiary legislation after fearful resistance to the governmental grab for control of the internet.
It was hailed as a stunning win for Internet companies that staged an unprecedented online protest at the time. However, the congressional powers that be said only they would “postpone,” not eliminate the effort to control things involved in the future.
The Obama Administration displayed a moment of atypical behavior, quickly jumping on the bandwagon against the very legislation to govern Internet they had been championing.
White House officials weighed in, saying in a blog post that they had concerns about legislation that could make businesses on the Internet vulnerable to litigation and harm legal activity and free speech. the Protests erupted on Internet, turning Wikipedia and other popular websites dark for 24 hours. Google, Facebook, Twitter and others protested the proposed legislation but did not shut down. The protest had quick results: several sponsors of the legislation withdrew their support.
To put it bluntly, so many people within cyberspace communities went into fits
of rage that it threw Big Brother into shock. The Harry Reeds who are bent on controlling every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave instantly pulled back their meddling fingers that had just been bitten by the entities government was intent on collaring. But, again, the congressional leaders involved only “postponed” not eliminated the threatened intrusion.
These said they would “delay” action on such legislation until there was agreement–i.e., the hounds of Big Brotherism haven’t given up on ways to get into governing Internet. They are merely backing off for the time being to figure new ways to come at that area of freedom from other angles. And, they are indeed continuing to come at our freedoms from every angle.
Their intrusion is always in the guise of wanting to benevolently secure one area or the other of our lives. In the case of the Internet legislation, PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) in the Senate and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the House, solutions were promised to piracy and copyright infringement in America and around the world. Now, the forces are marshaling to come up with new versions that the enforcers are promising will not chill free expression or threaten the economic growth and innovation the Internet provides.
When reading about the backtracking of the would-be Internet masters, I can’t help but think on what Bible prophecy tells us will be the cry of the end times’ New World Order builders. It is a mantra we have heard time and time again in the Middle East land-for-peace deals these same types have been striving to knit together for a decade or more. They want to build an era of peace and security, with the land God gave Israel as the price for such an arrangement. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, uses the phrase “peace and security.”
We know what God’s Word says about that humanistic process: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
We have been witness to the results of demand for security. Since September 11, 2001, developments within the U.S. government and other governments of the world have been stunning in terms of prophetic import. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has, by itself, demonstrated how easy the taking of liberty from the American citizen really is. The pat-downs, body scans, and other violations of basic personal rights simply stagger the mind of one who still believes in the U.S. Constitution as a viable, governing document.
More and more federal government intrusion into daily life should cause even the most ardent anti-conspiracy skeptics to wonder…
For one example, Tuesday, January 17, 2012, residents of Leesburg, Florida had their tranquility disrupted when their local Social Security office suddenly became a random Homeland Security checkpoint. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers armed with semiautomatic rifles and accompanied by sniffer dogs forced locals to present identifications. At least one DHS officer was stationed at a door to the building with his automatic weapon at the ready, it was reported.
The action was apparently part of something called “Operation Shield,” an unannounced drill conducted by the DHS’ Federal Protective Service centered around “detecting the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.” –This, according to the local newspaper, the Daily Commercial.
One report gave the following account: “Thomas Milligan, district manager for the Social Security Administration office, said staff were not informed their offices were about to be stormed by armed FPS officers. DHS officials refused to answer questions asked by local media and left with no explanation at noon,” (Paul Joseph Watson, “Staff of Florida Social Security Office Not Informed of Drill, Homeland Security Officials Refused to Talk to Media,” www.infowars.com).
The fact that we are seeing our rights eroded at a frightening pace is bad enough. But, it is the staggering implications of what the present ground-laying assaults on our freedoms will likely mean in terms of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy that is especially troubling, but at the same time, quite fascinating. Big Brotherism, in its contemporary stage of metamorphosis, makes the lie that our lives will be more secure if we will just acquiesce to governing by those who know best the centerpiece of their enslaving master plan. The noose that is tightening day by day is the incrementalism being employed in every facet of our lives.
Take heart. God is in control. Although Antichrist’s forces can be sensed forming, and his noose tightening, the final page of man’s long, brutal history will be written by the finger of Jesus Christ: “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 2:8).
Thinking on the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in the Germany of the 1930s immediately produces realization that the bringing together of ruthless enforcement entities was key to establishment of der Fuhrer’s dictatorship.
It started with the brown shirts, headed by Ernst Rhome, a homosexual thug who did Hitler’s bidding in creating chaos and fear in a failing German republic. When the future Fuhrer began to consolidate power through eliminating opposition, the German Wehrmacht (Germany’s army) soon had to share controlling authority with the Waffen-SS, the black-uniformed, select group of supposedly Aryan troops assigned as Hitler’s personal body guard. The brown shirts were eliminated, and the SS, headed by the now infamous Heinrich Himmler, began the implementation of the final solution—the genocidal war on all Jews in Europe.
At the same time, the civilian police establishment was turned into the dreaded Gestapo, the police force that locked the Nazi regime into place. The Nazi military and civilian policing establishment became, in effect, a single force against which there was little resistance.
And, this brings us to the crux of things going on in that same geographical area from which Hitler terrorized the world.
There is seen by some the development of a movement to establish similar tyrannical controls within the European Union (EU) at the present hour. A recent article frames the growing threat the concerned observers fear. It states the following to begin the piece.
As the European Union and the establishment behind it become increasingly totalitarian, paranoid, and unstable, the EU super-state is raising up and training its own transnational military-police force. According to reports and its own propaganda material, the EU “Gendarmerie,” as the force is known, will apparently be charged with putting down protests and civil unrest, raiding illegal political meetings, propping up foreign governments, and even confiscating weapons. (“EU Building Potentially Tyrannical Military-Police Force” by Alex Newman, http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/23163, May 10, 2016)
The article states that the EU’s military-police force is merely one component of the broader transnational police-state apparatus being quietly imposed on the formerly sovereign peoples of Europe. The force includes the bringing together of “transnational police” with “transnational army units” and “EU air and naval operations.”
The bringing together of the forces has all been accomplished in the shadows, but is now being thrust into the light of geopolitical reality, according to the concerned observers reporting–those of Breitbart’s U.K. operation.
It was a controversial training operation taking place in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia in April that sparked concern and alarm within Europe and beyond.
Media reports stirred fears of the rise of a tyrannical, controlling force. According to those reports, the training consolidated 600 troops and police officers in order to prepare for crises of the international and civil war sorts.
The EU military-operation information branch reported about its training scheme that the aim of the [April 15, 2016] Comprehensive Live Exercise will be capacity building of police and gendarmes who will participate in international stabilization missions and projects with a police component. The force is aimed at preparing the hybrid military-police force for “future” missions.
The troubling reports said that forces from Islamic Turkey, and Tunisia, as well as the African nation of Cameroon, participated in the “scheming.”
There remains, of course, considerable resistance to the reuniting of Europe. There is at the same time all of this is going on, a strong trend toward nationalism. The threat from the Islamist world, with deadly attacks such as that in Brussels, make the populations, if not the one-world order leaderships of EU nations, deeply concerned about a reviving, unified, European empire that takes protection against dangerous, Islamist, “migrants” out of the hands of local and national authority. Yet, crises that loom, particularly involving Greece-type financial meltdowns and rioting, make probable over-arching EU police controls and military involvement inevitable.
Remember, it was severe fiscal crisis that brought Hitler to power, along with and through his all-controlling military/police monstrosity. There are those who agree with George Santayana that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
God’s Word foretells that history repeats time after time. Every empire has eventually fallen, even, arguably, the greatest of all world empires, the Roman Empire. The same basic ingredients have constituted most every such collapse.
While Santayana’s bit of philosophy has been proven true time after time, he left out a key element in phrasing his thought. It should be: “Those who do not acknowledge God and cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Every world empire has ignored the true God of Heaven. Prophecy tells us that the final empire–that of Antichrist, the Roman prince of Daniel 9: 26-27—will be the most God-hating empire of all history.
Along with all other signals of Christ’s soon return on the world-scene today, the reviving of the Roman Empire is more and more coming into view. It is a sure signal that this generation is at the end of the Church Age and that Christ’s call to His Bride must be near indeed.
It is always with reticence that I write about government intrusion into our lives. This is because so much wild-eyed speculation is thrown around in cyberspace that one must be alert to what is and is not true in this incendiary area of concern. We get an endless parade of alerts that FEMA camps are almost ready to begin herding Christians, in particular, into the American version of Nazi-style concentration camps. The reports never cease of things such as the claim that gigantic, coffin-like containers are stacked and ready for mass burials at such a time when citizen resistance will be met with deadly force to put down rioting throughout the homeland.
The very term “homeland security” evokes thoughts of 1930s Germany and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his genocidal Nazi maniacs. Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security director, is referred to caustically in some circles as “Big Sis,” a takeoff on George Orwell’s sinister symbol of tyranny, Big Brother. It is a matter concerning which she is said to recently have expressed her considerable irritation.
No matter how one chooses to frame in words the growing hold the federal government progressively exerts on our lives, it is essential that we look seriously at the problem while there remains freedom to do so. I dislike triteness, but the trite is true in this case. Where there is smoke there is fire. There is a lot of smoke clouding our future with regard to whether Americans will remain a free people.
The most concerning news that sparked this writing was the report so close to the doings of Hitler’s rise to power as to be chilling. At the same time, the news item seemed so low key at first glance as to be innocuous. But, after that first glance, it became so blatant that even the strangest of bedfellows were, in my mind, joined in resistance to the intrusion.
Children in the Long Island, New York area a few years back were strapped with monitors to keep a running check on their health. The program was the results of the school administrators’ desire to know about the condition of the kids’ problems with obesity. The action was apparently taken without the parents’ knowledge in many cases.
Reports were that this would soon become a full-scale program to monitor the children’s physical activities around the clock. The devices were like wristwatches, and counted heartbeats, monitored body movement during daily activities, and even measured sleep habits, according to the news story of that time. It was all an attempt to get a handle on what the powers that be considered a growing obesity problem, according to those doing the monitoring.
The information was displayed on a color-coded screen and got transmitted to a password-protected website that students and educators could access.
The devices, ostensibly to keep check on health status of those monitored, were put on children in public school systems around the U.S. without the knowledge of many of the parents whose children were involved. Considering the government-controlled health system voted in before 2010 by Congress and signed by President Obama, we can only imagine what the system has produced thus far, and where use of this kind of information might lead.
The matter was and is of sufficient concern that even an entity traditionally sycophantic toward any liberal government program was at the time of its implementation expressing concern. Jay Stanley, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “When you get into monitoring people’s biological vital signs, that’s a pretty intrusive measurement. There are key privacy interests at play.” Stanley said that at the very least, parents must have a say in how long the data will be stored and who will have access to it and schools must obtain parents’ consent. “A program like this should only be voluntary. Nobody should be forced to reveal biological indicators,” Stanley added.
The Hitler “Youth Corps” comes to mind when thinking on this and other of today’s government power grabs to control the structure of the American family and the day-to-day rearing of our children.
When Congress–and the president—decided in 1963 to try to kick God out of the American public school system, a flood of insanity gushed in to fill the void. It hasn’t stopped gushing. We have reared generations of children who are becoming ever farther alienated from the family model the God of Heaven instituted. Government has become the keeper of our children. The results are not greater freedom, but an ever-more restrictive way of life in what was once called “the land of the free.” Big Brother’s noose of enslavement, like that Hitler perpetrated those many decades ago, might be on America’s horizon.
Next, we will look at how other signals of government control threaten the American way of life.
The cure for what ails this, or any nation, of course, is found in the most notable of scriptural prescriptions found in God’s Holy Word. It is an Rx that speaks directly to all born-again children of God today–the Church.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
I once wrote the following in an article titled “Israel Betrayed by U.S.?”:
Israel today stands in the bull’s eye of rage. This is true in the case of being targeted by the Jewish state’s perennial antagonists, the Arab and Persian Islamist enemies. It is true in the case of the entire international community, whose constituent nations see Israel as the congestive blockage to regional and world peace. But it is the growing antagonism by United States presidential administration operatives that is most disconcerting while this beleaguered planet wobbles toward a time of unprecedented trouble.
As a matter of fact, that coming time of unparalleled strife that will bring all nations to Armageddon is termed “the time of Jacob’s trouble” by Isaiah the prophet: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7a).
And, it is Jacob’s trouble–the prophesied end-of-days dastardly treatment of Israel by the nations of earth–that will cause the God of heaven to bring them to Armageddon. This is what the prophet Joel foretells: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
Will America Betray Israel?
We come to the question “Israel Betrayed by U.S.?” The article’s title is in the form of a question because like so much of this American administration’s dealings, the “transparency” presidential candidate Barack Obama and then President Obama promised is not forthcoming. Obama’s intended dealing with Israel is wrapped in an impenetrable fog of political doublespeak…
Since the time of that writing, a number of years have passed. Mr. Obama began his administration almost from the very first day by treating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu like a White House exterminator–having him come in a door other than the front entrance reserved for dignitaries who are honored with official reception by the president.
The president, shortly after that first meeting with Netanyahu, abruptly left the prime minister and went to have a private dinner, presumably with his family. It was an undeniable snub.
This was apparently meant to be within keeping with his promise to have “the most transparent administration ever.” It was certainly transparent that this president has an utter disregard for Mr. Netanyahu and for Israel, our number-one ally in the Middle East, if not our top ally in the entire world.
Subsequent snubs and disrespectful attempts to bully the Israeli leader and the Jewish state are too numerous to get into. Obama’s attempts to intervene within the sovereign affairs of Israel have not abated as of this late hour in the Obama administration. In fact, they have increased dramatically.
While there is less than nine months of his time as president remaining, Mr. Obama is said to be planning many interventions into Israeli autonomy.
In yet another audacious display of intrusion into the affairs of Israel’s dealings with its internal enemies–many of whom plot and carry out deadly attacks against Jewish citizens–American’s diplomatic enforcers are at work. Ordered to do so by Barack Obama, America’s State Department minions join with those determined to force Israel to bow to international demands in the matter of housing construction in volatile areas of contention.
One news item reports:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Diplomats say the U.S. will endorse a tough new tone with Israel in an upcoming international report. The report is to take the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state…
The harsh language marks a subtle shift. Washington has traditionally tempered statements by the so-called “Quartet” of mediators with careful diplomatic language…(Source: Matthew Lee and Bradley Klapper, “US to Take Tougher Tone on Israeli Settlements in New Report,” Associated Press, 5/7/16).
Early on in the first Obama administration, the pressure to force Israel to give in to diplomatic pressures of land for peace became a driving force in U.S./Israeli relations. The effort has only ramped up since that time. It is as if this president has an obsessive compulsion to impose his will before his time is ended in the White House.
My personal sense is that it is indeed the president’s compulsion that is in play. Because it is the nation Israel we are considering, however, there are also far more powerful intrigues involved. Ephesians 6:12 is at the center of this last minute drive to make the rearrangements that Israel’s greatest hater wants accomplished, it seems to me.
But, my personal sense of prophetic importance of what all of this vitriol pointed toward Israel means is of little consequence. What matters is what the prophetic Word of God says about His chosen nation and its destiny, both near-term and in the ultimate sense.
In that regard, the things we will see develop in these days and months leading up to the November election and beyond can be of profound significance. And in the America and the world vs Israel struggle, we can find little reassurance that anything good can come forth.
America has entered a most dangerous time.
One can sense the dark, coalescing thoughts that are going on within the 2016 presidential election cabals. No, I’m not talking about the U.S. presidential election smoke-filled, back-room wheeling and dealing. Rather, I refer to the intrigues that are no doubt presently taking place in the political chambers of Moscow. A very interesting Russian politician we all know about sits snugly ensconced within the seat of power at the Kremlin. He is no doubt contemplating the implications of the U.S. presidential election just ahead. Mysterious doings revolve around this self-promoting, sixty- something year-old former KGB officer with his ongoing macho performances, both actual and of questionable credibility.
We remember his photo ops on the shores of the Black Sea and other places where he proudly displayed his six-pack abs. Then, there is the story where he single-handedly dove into the depths of some body of water, then came up with hands full of treasure–treasure that no one, not even professional marine salvage crews were previously able to find.
Vladimir Putin seems to wield uncontested power at a time when all prophetic signs seem to be converging. There is little observable opposition to his power-brokering and manipulations, either officially or unofficially. It is as if his is a predestined leadership imperative for his most prophetically significant nation.
One billionaire Russian once accused Putin of trying to reprise a system at least somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, and opposed Putin’s ruling plans. One wonders what ever happened to the poor fellow. Such opposition is no longer allowed, it is obvious, considering the recent track records of those who opposed ol’ Vlad. Many of these are in gulag–or are no longer among the living.
This man who so dominates the news coming out of the country that many of us who observe prophetic movement believe will be the nation that will lead the Gog-Magog attack of Ezekiel 38-39 looks more and more like he could fulfill the Gog role. Putin’s thinking about Russia’s future differs from the old, Soviet model in some significant ways, according to his actions and reactions to events of recent times.
i find it particularly fascinating that His thought seems not necessarily to be bent toward taking over nations surrounding Russia, but in sucking those nations into an inescapable fiscal orbit.
One story from the years preceding his re-taking the reins of power in Russia speculated on his vision for empire building.
Vladimir Putin has a vision for a Soviet Union-like he hopes will become a new Moscow-led global powerhouse. But, his planned Eurasian Union won’t be grounded in ideology: This time it’s about trade. The concept of regional economic integration may be losing some of its allure in Europe, where a debt crisis is threatening the existence of the Eurozone. But some countries across the former Soviet Union, still struggling economically 20 years after becoming independent, are embracing Putin’s grand ambition… In anticipation of a new six-year term as president, Putin has made forming a Eurasian Union by 2015 a foreign policy priority. He is promoting the union as necessary for Russia and its neighbors to compete in the modern global economy. His broader goal is to restore some of Moscow’s economic and political clout across former Soviet space and thus strengthen Russia’s position in the world. (Peter Leonard, Associated Press, ” Russia’s Putin Dreams of Sweeping Eurasian Union,” 1/3/12)
Mr. Putin’s thought, obviously, was to convince those he hopes to lure within his orbit that great economic gain is a possibility in such a coalition as he proposes to put together. While his plans have not materialized in the altogether peaceful manner he gave for public consumption, his machinations, using economic manipulation, threat, and actual military force continue his drive toward hegemony within his sphere of influence. This kind of thinking, of course, might just be the nucleus around which could be built a much more ambitious and volatile plan of action. Might that plan include a future invasion to the south as outlined in the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy?
Certainly, that prophecy indicates an ambitious and volatile plan of action following the Magog coalition leader’s “evil thought” of Ezekiel 38:10-12. Until relatively recently, Israel has had little prospect for great wealth of the sort indicated in this prophecy that would entice such a thought or action by enemies to the north. Oh, there has long been talk of great mineral wealth in the Dead Sea, which is within the territory of the tiny nation of Israel today. But there seems to be little interest of Israel’s enemies in those very uncertain riches. But, such wealth as would be sufficiently enticing to provoke that future “Gog” to think to attack Israel has appeared on the prophetic horizon–in my view, at least.
First, vast natural gas deposits have been discovered just off Israel’s coast, within their territorial waters. Secondly, there are new and, some believe, tremendously large oil deposits within the area of territorial dispute –that of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights.
While the oil reserves continue to be matters of volatile contention between nations, will the genius that God has placed within the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob leap to the forefront of petroleum technology and produce the “spoil” that will provoke Gog to bring his coalition down over the mountains of Israel? This is a developing story to which every watchmen of Bible prophecy should pay attention.
Upon clicking through the religious channels at any given hour of the day–and there are many on my AT&T Uverse set up–there are certain catchphrases I hear consistently.
The most prominent, I’ve found, is the term “plant a seed.” Another is “seed faith brings harvest.” The phraseology is issued forth by the prosperity propagandists, as I term them. These invariably twist and convolute scriptural truth in pursuit of their gullible followers’ contributions.
While there is usually a “seed” of factuality in their pontification that claims planting financial seeds will bring increase, the whoppers I’ve heard some of these “preachers” tell are far beyond anything promised in God’s Word.
For example, I heard not long ago one man with whom most would be familiar because of his constant presence on the fund-raisers say that he once sowed $100,000 into a ministry. This greatly pained him at the time because of his amazement that the Lord would “tell” him to do such a thing.
He complied, despite his pain, and the result was a return of $100 million within a month or so. That’s right. The man said he received $100 million for his $100,000 seed.
That was the only reference I’ve heard to this phenomenal “harvest,” so I presume this sort of return isn’t all that unusual in the prosperity circles…or else such claims are just part of the pitch. Looks like, though, that this amazing sort of miracle return on investment should have made the financial news or something.
Another phrase the prosperity preachers are prone to issue on a rather regular basis is that, in the name of Jesus, they “bind Satan.”
Now, this is even more amazing than the $100,000 being turned into $100 million within a month. This implies not a promise based upon biblical return for faith in planting a financial seed, but claims for any human being who is a Christian direct, supernatural power to completely paralyze almost certainly the most powerful being God ever created.
There have been books sold by the hundreds of thousands telling of how this “binding” can be done. Most all of the prosperity ministries hold this teaching close to their statements of faith. This is often a declaration I’ve heard made as a reward for one ministry or the other receiving a large “seed faith” contribution. The on-air person will declare that he or she binds Satan in Jesus’ name for the benefit of the contributor.
Only–I can find no place in Scripture where Christians can “bind Satan.” The old serpent certainly doesn’t seem to be bound these days–does he?
The Bible tells us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5: 8).
There is no chain on our adversary, according to God’s Word. There is restraint, to be sure, upon the old devil’s activity, but that comes from one source and one source only. The Bible reports the following incident, which gives clue to this restraint on our great enemy.
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 1: 9).
There will come a time when a chain will be used to bind Satan. We learn of this future binding in the following account which is prophecy yet future:
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:1-3).
So, that we can “bind Satan” is a false teaching. But, we are confronted constantly by the serpent and his minions. Here is the Scripture that tells about this constant confrontation. How then, can we deal with this powerful enemy in the biblically-prescribed way? God’s Word has the answer, of course.
First, we are told how to deal directly with that roaring lion–the devil.
“Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5: 9).
We are to do certain things to prepare for this “resistance” against that old serpent, the devil. Here are our instructions:
“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” (Ephesians 6:11-17).
We as God’s children cannot and must not claim to “bind Satan.” This is the most powerful instruction for the battle in which we find ourselves the nearer we get to Christ’s call to His Church.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4: 7).
Years ago I wrote the following:
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.”
“Distress of nations, with perplexity” has ratcheted up exponentially, since the time of that assessment. The bottom line is more than ever one that projects that America and the other nations of the planet have moved beyond critical mass, as far as reaching the point where economic implosion should have occurred is concerned. Observers of the prophetic times have concluded that only the staying hand of God prevents that inevitable collapse.
Yet, distinctive cracks are developing in the global economic structures. Those cracks are harbingers of things to come. The governmental heads of Greece and Italy have been symbolically lopped off by the European Union (EU) leadership, who are themselves largely unelected by Europe’s peoples. And, those peoples are becoming like “seas and waves roaring,” as Christ’s prophetic words would have it. The results of the incentive-crippling, socialistic economic model that most governments of Europe have for decades employed have come home to roost.
The inability due to Italy’s and Greece’s leaders to stick to strict austerity agendas brought the wrath of the economic powers elite down on them. The European bankers’ inner circle is blamed or credited–depending upon one’s view—for engineering the quasi-coup d’état. The action has thrown the whole of Europe into uncertainty as to what comes next. It is “distress…with perplexity” of the first order. Even Germany, the most stable of the European states, is feeling the pressures of the budding EU dictatorship–the banking money powers— in their demand that all of Europe conforms to their emerging new economic order.
America moves headlong down the same pathway as Europe. Economic cataclysm hangs like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of U.S. and state governments and those of the banking industry. While America’s people are for the most part still law-abiding and want to restore economic tranquility in a peaceful manner, leftist elements are doing all within their power to bring the seas and waves to a roaring state of self-destructiveness. The mainstream media seems determined to do all within its collective power to assist in the movement to rev up anarchy in this nation.
While forces here are determined to bring the United States into a new economic order just as forces in Europe are doing the same over there, it is vital to notice the difference between the two forces at work. It was the leftist-socialistic governance that operated in Europe for decades that drove it to bankruptcy. Now, it is a rightist movement that is demanding austerity and an almost fascist form of governance determined to save Europe.
In America, we are witnessing a Marxist-Leninist-style attempt from the political left to bring new economic order in the form of the current presidential administration as it strives to bring about socialism to this country. The effort has succeeded on a level beyond even that which destroyed the USSR. By that, I mean it has succeeded more profoundly than the dynamics that destroyed the former Soviet Union, because we are now more than $19 trillion in debt–an amount the Soviets could not have imagined.
Two political ideologies, working at changing the world in their parts of the globe, move toward each other from opposite directions. It is an amazing thing to behold! The so-called super committee, appointed years ago to find creative new ways to cut trillions of dollars from federal spending in the U.S., dramatically presents the degree of “distress, with perplexity” that is front and center on today’s prophetic landscape. They failed miserably, as if by design. No cuts were agreed to by anyone.
The “seas and waves” (the discontented and malcontents who are in the process of uprising against any suggestion of cutting social programs) threaten to desert and/or vote out politicians who cut off their handout lifestyles. More than this, threatened anarchy and destruction of inner cities simmers at the fear centers of our political leaders’ thinking.
Those leaders thus help generate and incubate the “distress and perplexity” of these troubling times. They choose to placate their political power bases rather than to transcend selfish ambition. They choose the path of least resistance–the one to destruction–rather than working toward securing the blessings of liberty and promoting the general welfare of their nation, which each has pledged to do.
As disheartening as the “distress and perplexity”–now so evident–are, Jesus’ words have never resonated more clearly: “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).