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).
Road rage has always been something that has confounded me. My first exposure to the phenomenon came in a humorous fashion. It was presented on The Wonderful World of Disney in animation. One of Mickey Mouse’s close pals–the floppy-eared, buck-toothed Goofy–was the featured character.
The narrator talked about the Goofy character, while the human-like canine went about preparing for work one morning. The narrator told the viewer that this was the gentlest of creatures–a person who wouldn’t harm a fly.
Goofy was polite to his wife and children; he peacefully read his newspaper at the breakfast table while sipping his coffee at a leisurely pace.
Goofy got up from the table, wiped his mug with a napkin, folded the newspaper, and put it beneath his arm. He grasped his briefcase, put his fedora on his head, kissed Mrs. Goofy goodbye, hugged the little Goofies, and opened the door to his garage.
All the while the narrator was telling the viewer just how soft-hearted and, indeed, how wonderful a husband, father, and citizen was our about-to-be work-commuter. Mr. Goofy opened the driver-side door to his sedan, sat in the seat–all the while a tranquil, most pleasant half-smile on his mug.
Then it happened! The moment he grasped the steering wheel, a profound transformation took place. His mug contorted into a vicious, snarling countenance. His smile became a fang-bearing scowl of evil. His eyes widened and became red with bulging blood-veins popping to the surface, his black eyes shifting angrily while drool seeped from the sides of the jowls and he snorted flames and smoke from his big snout.
Goofy became the supreme picture of rage. The narrator described the transformation and gave the viewer the complete account of Goofy the maniac’s trip into the city of his workplace.
Soon after that program aired, I became a regular driver, having reached the age of getting a driver’s license. However, I can’t recall at the time having experienced road rage myself, or even having seen it take place in the real world. But, the creators of that Disney program obviously had experienced the phenomenon.
A little later in life I certainly witnessed the fact that road rage exists. The phenomenon seems to be less and less a phenomenon–rather, has turned into a “new normal” for driver comportment.
The latest incident we might recall is when a former NFL football player was shot to death while he and a female passenger were on a city street. The former player apparently bumped a car in front of him for blocking him from proceeding. He then steered the car around the car he had bumped.
The driver of the car that was bumped sped after the offending vehicle. When he caught up with the former player’s car, the offended driver fired several shots into the other car, resulting in the former player being fatally wounded.
Such reports are not at all uncommon today. It’s as if the human mind has lost all control of reasoning ability while behind the wheel. I believe the phenomenon–now the new normal–might be part of the apostle Paul’s perilous times of 2 Timothy chapter 3. There seems little doubt that today men (and women) drivers are increasingly “fierce” and “incontinent,” as the KJV puts it. That people are without ability to govern their tempers is a bottom-line characterization of the human condition that could legitimately be concluded. Angers flare out of control over the slightest perceived personal disrespect. Too often, such incidents end with bloodshed.
All of the above is but representation in microcosm of the larger manifestation of the ferocity and incontinence (lack of control) that is raging across the world at present.
On a much more profound scale of uncontrolled fury, a corpulent little tyrant In North Korea starves his people, while pouring money into military and nuclear technology with which to threaten the world. The mullahs of Islam incite hatred, encouraging all-out jihad against Israel and all who won’t bow the knee to Allah. In American inner cities, organizations devoted to anarchy and mayhem for the sake of acquiring and/or maintaining power over their ethnic masses go about tearing down the societal fiber of America’s culture. Total chaos appears to be but a major crisis away–perhaps in the very near future. Deteriorating economic conditions on a national and global scale could well be the catalyst for producing such crisis, many experts warn.
Everything looks to be out of control, while those elitists who want to bring all peoples back to Babel and a one-world order of absolute rule search for avenues to reach their utopian goals.
Uncertainty is the disorder of the day, however, no matter how far reaching are the programs and manipulations of the would-be globalist masters. This world, with its myriad building troubles, should have by now imploded from untenable, economic pressures or else exploded in nuclear fire because of road rage-like insanity in planetary conflict.
But, planet earth wags on. The uncontrollable is for some reason still under control.
God raises up kings and nations, and He brings them down. Nothing within all of creation is ever beyond His controlling hand.
Whether considering worries about the upcoming presidential election, fear of North Korea and its nukes, ISIS and its barbarous terrorism, or the fearful diagnosis of a devastating illness or loss of those we love on a personal basis, all is under control at all times. There is no situation, no matter how profound or how personal, that the Lord of Heaven doesn’t control.
The key to being at peace within the safety and assurance of God’s control of all circumstance is to be within the heavenly Father’s family.
This relationship is achieved, of course, only through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 10: 9-10). The Lord appeals to all of mankind to consider the matter of His absolute control and authority over all that exists.
“Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” (Isaiah 40:21-26)