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Life and Death Voting Issues

This time of year always reminds me of the issues of life and death. My dad died near this date in 1992. My pain from His passing from this life, while diminished over the twenty-four years since, continues to evoke a sense of emptiness–a void that nothing can fill.

Jesus, while on earth in the flesh, the Bible tells us, experienced in His Spirit every human emotion that involves suffering. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Where death of a loved one is concerned, we can be assured our pain is understood by God Himself, because Jesus wept over the death of His friend Lazarus (John 11:33-35). Life and death, then, constitute an issue very close to the heart of the Creator of all things, the Heavenly Father.

More than any other matters involved in the issues of this presidential election, I believe it was life and death that were most important to consider in exercising not just our right, but our duty, to vote. I believe with all that is within me that America’s slide toward national oblivion began in earnest with the imposition of abortion as a legally sanctioned death-style by the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Since that time, a holocaust of immense magnitude has brought the deaths– I believe the murder— of 58 million human beings in the wombs of their mothers. Abortion is the nucleus of the national sin around which this all-important issue involving life and death revolves.

However, the gravity created by many corollary aspects within life and death as an issue also contributes to sucking the American soul ever more deeply into the quicksand of decay. As a result, the removal of the protective hand of Almighty God from our nation can, I believe, be easily observed taking place on a daily basis.

Sociologists who compile such statistical information report that America has a homosexual population of no more than 5 percent. Yet, the gay agenda has overtaken American society and culture as if gays constitute the 95 percent majority of our population, instead of the other way around. Since the days of the Moral Majority’s efforts to stem the tide of national immorality, there has been so little such organized opposition to the roughshod overrunning of America’s social structure as to make opposition virtually nonexistent.

These two issues, abortion and homosexuality, represent ways diametrically opposed to life. They are devoted to death. They are directly devoted to rebellion against the Giver of life.

Abortion is outright murder of the innocent (the shedding of innocent blood, as God’s Word puts it [Proverbs 6:16-19]). Homosexuality, when carried to its ultimate outcome, means the elimination of human life from the earth. Rebellion against the God who created us–manifest most egregiously in our culture through these two great sins–is the cause for all of the other problems resident within the issues that so trouble us, individually and governmentally. Whether talking about the sins of fornication and adultery within our heterosexual numbers or any other anti-God transgression one can list, rebellion–doing what is right in our own eyes—festers at the heart of humanity’s death wish. And, a death wish fallen man indeed has, because there is no sign of let-up in the march down the broad way to perdition.

Rebellion brings loss of common sense at some point. It produces a reprobate mind (Romans 1:26-27), the scripture informs. We are witnessing the insanity in handling the problems that are proliferating, thus the meltdown of social, economic, and all other elements within human affairs in these troubling times. We face, as a nation and as a world, certain destruction because of our refusal to follow the prescription for life offered by God’s love letter to mankind–the Bible.

“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). The moral issues, then, most directly affect our lives, according to God’s own Word. Of course, in thinking upon this presidential election, I realize that those lost in rebellion-transgression can never recognize that the moral issues are most directly relevant to our well-being as a nation.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Sadly, tragically, much of God’s own family–born-again people—have become so blinded to the lies fed them by the social architects and engineers who say man can build heaven on earth that most missed what truly matters as they approached the voting booths this November.

I will not be so arrogant as to scold the readers of this commentary for whom they voted in this presidential election or for any other office in this or any election. But, I will suggest that you think carefully in hindsight on what your candidate claimed was his or her position, according to party platforms and/or stated positions on these matters that are so close to the very heart of our God.

America has always presented voters with choices on the issues that affect our quality of life. The founding fathers saturated their writings with Judaeo-Christian principles while formulating this great experiment in liberty. They intended for “we the people” to stand upon solid moral ground. Christians should seek that solid ground in this election just past and in every election, even when faced with having to vote in many cases for and against spiritually fallen individuals as candidates.

Although eroded and under constant assault, our process still produces Judaeo-Christian options that offer the quality of life–i.e., options that are not in opposition to biblical principles. Such was the case in this election. We can be assured that we will be held accountable for the options we choose when we–and I believe it could be soon— stand before Christ at the judgment seat.

 

Prayer Wars

Never in American history has there been in presidential politics a time that more fits within the descriptive given in Ephesians 6:12 than the time we are currently experiencing. That spiritual battle describes succinctly, in my opinion, the time that has led up to Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

“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. ”

For decades it has been as if the dark, hellish forces of the ages have been turned loose against this nation, which has been so openly blessed by Heaven. The cultural and social “progress” thought to have been made, according to those who want to detach America from the Judeo-Christian mooring the founding fathers provided, are threatened by a significant challenge. We the people of God just might have decided we don’t wish that progressive agenda to proceed further. Thus, the war is on in a way perhaps unseen in the annals of U.S. presidential elections.

We as God’s people are told how to fight such warfare as that which we are presently engaged. We are to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11).

The Bible provides a description of that spiritual armor with which we are supposed to adorn ourselves in order to wage war against this most powerful and wicked enemy force. Once we are fully, spiritually armed, we are told we are to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

How well most Christians these days have fully armored up is in question. The dumbing-down by the godlessness of the secular world and–even more troubling–by the compromising churches of recent times, has taken a heavy toll. However, the one weapon mentioned in the apostle Paul’s spiritual battle preparation of Ephesians chapter 6 is in play during this war for the survival of this once-great republic.

I am believing that the core of the people in this nation who hold to the truth of the Word of God–the Bible– are “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” that the Lord will intervene in this war that is raging. It is a “prayer war” to be sure.

I’m aware of the seminary and other positions that say 2 Chronicles 7: 14 was only for Israel and doesn’t apply to America. But, the God of Heaven does not change. Jesus Christ, who is God, is the same yesterday, today and forever, the Scripture tells us. I am trusting, therefore, that that great promise given to Israel during their direst time of need applies equally to those of this day and time who are “called by His name.”

Although the nucleus of God’s people who hold fast to  the Heavenly Father’s precepts and promises might be a dwindling number, we are still here in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. We are engaged in this Prayer War for a restoration of sanity in America’s government, society, and culture.

We are praying specifically that the evil forces that are raging to make this nation into a state totally apart from all godliness will be, at least on an interim basis, kept from their luciferian goal. I say “on an interim basis” because Bible prophecy plainly foretells that the satanic, globalist forces will for a time one day achieve establishment of a one-world order as Antichrist’s platform of power. It will happen. It’s just a matter of time.

Meantime, however, while the Church of Jesus Christ is here, thus the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) resident within that Body holding back evil, it is right and proper–and I believe expected–that God’s people, called by His name, are to pray the prayer of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“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.”

Millions, I’m convinced, are even at this late hour just before this presidential election praying this prayer to the best of our ability. I believe movements and revelations of corruption within the political processes of late reflect directly the Lord’s attentiveness to the genuine prayers of His spiritually attuned prayer warriors.

If America is to be so blessed by a positive answer to those prayers by Heaven’s throne room, I believe it will mean that the battle like that described in Ephesians chapter 6 will, after the election, intensify even more than if God’s answer is otherwise.  And, it will, in that case, be this nation’s final dispensation of liberty, if there is not a turning back to God in a major way.

Very shortly after this commentary is posted, we will know God’s answer to those prayers–and, perhaps the nation’s disposition with regard to personal liberty for whatever time is left in this Age of Grace.

The war of the ages as this Church Age dispensation moves into its final stages will be fought most effectively by God’s people in the prayer closets of America. Let’s be sure to put on the whole armor before engaging in the battles we face.

Olivet Overview – Part 4 – By Ed Wood

The next event on our Olivet list concerns signs which will appear in the skies above. There are a whole host of possibilities in this category ranging from local phenomena, local meaning confined to Earth’s atmosphere, or exotic, which would cover everything else beyond. Quite literally, the sky is the limit, as we will now see.

Signs in the heavens (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; 21:11, 25-26)

Though one can speculate almost endlessly about what these signs might include, the Bible does have some specific ones which we can explore, in no particular order from the book of Revelation next.

Revelation {6:12-14} And I beheld when he* had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. *The Lamb – Jesus

Though earthquakes generally don’t generally affect the appearance of the sky by themselves, there can be a tie-in between them and volcanic activity. As we have all seen, volcanoes can eject huge plumes of material into the atmosphere, blackening the sky totally in their worst extremes, to lesser effects such as reddening the light of the sun, moon, and stars. The sixth seal apparently produces both during the judgment released by its opening. There is, at least for a time, a complete obscuring of the sun. It is safe to assume that whatever the cause, it is probably severe enough to affect the entire planet since we are told “every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” Beyond the untold immediate havoc such an event would cause, its long-term effects such as the negative impact on crops due to lack of sunlight, acid rain produced by the introduction of sulfurous gases into the atmosphere, and damage to the Earth’s ozone layer are also distinct possibilities.

This catastrophic event is attended by falling stars, perhaps the fiery re-entry of rocks and material initially blasted upward by earthquake-activated volcanoes and the rolling up of heaven, which might represent the mushroom clouds of volcanic plumes rising high into the sky. In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus also mentions the specific signs of the sun and moon being darkened and the falling stars, as well as increased quake activity. Yet these profound and distressing changes in the skies are not limited to only seismic or volcanic events as we see next:

Revelation {8:7-9} The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were, a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

It has only been within the past two centuries or so that the idea of rocks falling from the sky (unless an active volcano was nearby) were seriously entertained. The heavens were pretty much considered perfect. Where could rocks possibly originate out there anyway? The age of modern science has, of course, shown us that there are plenty of places for them to come, the asteroid belt and wandering comets being the two leading contributors. The various meteor showers which appear regularly during the year are from the latter, the random small and big meteors come from the asteroid belt which exists between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The sizes of those from the belt can range from specks to those the size of dwarf planets. Luckily for Earth, the planet-sized ones are in stable orbits. Not so for the rest because our planet bears the scars of city-sized ones that have stuck over geologic time and caused some very severe damage and pronounced effects on our climate and the life that existed at the time. Further evidence of huge past collisions are plainly visible on the moon’s surface which does not have the benefit of an atmosphere to burn up small meteors or to produce the weathering Earth possesses to erase the craters of meteoric impacts. (I do believe in an old universe and an old Earth because the Bible itself allows for a day to be other than twenty four hours long – see Joshua 10:12-14; 2 Kings 20:8-11; Psalm 90:4; and 2 Peter 3:8. Furthermore, the national atomic clock which is precise in its timekeeping ability is routinely readjusted to account for variations in Earth rotation.) Here in the phenomenon of rocks falling from heaven we have but one example of information being revealed in the Bible well ahead of its time of general acceptance.

Now we know large meteors the size of mountains are common in our solar system even though they rarely strike our planet over the course of time civilization has existed. If it were to happen now all the conditions described in the Revelation passage above would be the result. We can be also assured that a third of everything living on Earth is going to be badly affected – not to mention the ruin of a third of the world’s shipping capacity. Beyond the immediate effects of a calamity of this magnitude, try to imagine the long-term consequences on our environment and world economy.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, it might actually be the trigger for what happens next on our battered planet and its desperate survivors:

Revelation {8:10-12} And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood*: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

According to an impeccable source (Terry James!), the term “wormwood” when rendered in the Ukrainian language becomes “chornobyl.” And yes, the Ukraine is the site of the disastrous nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986. The immediate area is still uninhabitable having been contaminated with nuclear fallout.

I bring this up because of what I believe is a direct connection between the Revelation account and the nature of the radioactive accident at Chernobyl. To do this, let’s take a look at little bit of nuclear science. In the realm of nuclear reactions we have two basic types – fission and fusion. Fission involves the breakdown of heavy elements into lighter ones; fusion the combining of lighter elements into heavy ones. The common element to both is that in each process an extremely tiny amount of mass is lost. But the term “lost” isn’t entirely true either, but rather “converted” into energy according to Albert Einstein’s famous formula:  E = mc² where m = mass, c = the velocity of light, and E = energy. In each of the above cases, you take how much mass you lost in the nuclear transformation, multiply it be the velocity of light times itself (an enormous number, by the way) and that’ll give you how much energy you will get. Without getting too technical, suffice it to say that a little bit of mass makes a whole lot of energy. This is why the generation of electricity by use of fission reactors has proven so appealing, despite the inherent drawbacks of the fission process, namely the possibility of serious accidents with decades-long consequences and the problem of dealing with spent fuel rods which still remain lethally radioactive for millennia.

Unfortunately this same principle is also the basis of atomic (fission) and thermonuclear (fusion) bombs and this brings us to the connection I mentioned in the last paragraph. We note above: “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp.” Every star you see in the night sky, and the great bright one you see during the day, is also powered by nuclear fusion. The reaction starts out with plain hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, and finally ends up with helium, the second most abundant element. The same process powers a thermonuclear bomb, which, by the way, uses a fission device as a detonator in order to create the high temperatures needed to initiate the fusion reaction. So, when John reveals this “star” falling and burning from heaven, I think the choice of words was a deliberate attempt by the Lord to reveal exactly what was coming and only now in the nuclear age would a generation come that could properly understand it. I don’t know about you, but I got chills when I first made this observation. The rest of the passage describes a situation that looks very much like the aftereffects of a nuclear strike: contaminated water with “many men” dying as a result, and smoke and particulates emitted into the atmosphere with their attendant dulling effect on the light from celestial bodies.

In fact, decades ago scientists by observing the effects of a planet-wide dust storms on Mars from the Viking program noticed a precipitous drop in surface temperature and postulated that a nuclear exchange could by the smoke coming from fires and material lofted into the air could produce the same kind of chilling effect on Earth. With that, the term “nuclear winter” came into our lives. Personally, I do not see this in our future because if a large scale nuclear exchange were to take place, civilization, and probably most life as we know it, would rapidly come to an end. Though Revelation reveals that Earth will be severely damaged and a large percent of the population killed off, there will still be enough people left to provide the 200 million troops which will gather in the valley of Esdraelon, the site of the Armageddon conflict in Satan’s last effort to impose his own version of the “final solution” upon the Jews. To transport such a huge number of troops will no doubt require a high level of sophisticated technology to still exist as well. After all, if the world was blasted back into the Stone Age, how could that be accomplished?

We must also not rule out direct supernatural intervention when it comes to things falling from the sky:

Revelation {8:3-5} And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Final Thoughts

At this point, it is important to realize that all the bad things that have always been a part of life on Earth are merely the shadows cast upon it by something going on that Paul was keenly aware of in his own time:

Ephesians {6:12} 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.

When one considers the rapid advance of evil now under way on Planet Earth, the barrier between us and the spiritual realm will very likely be greatly attenuated and the war between God and Satan will be there for all to see, even if most of the remaining population still remains clueless as to what is going on, its collective mind clouded by the Antichrist (the “Even him” reference below):

2 Thessalonians {2:9-12} Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Next time, we’ll explore the very end of the seven year Tribulation and give some thoughts as to what happens during the thousand year Millennial Age and the Eternal Age which will follow it.

Mid-East Roman Empire–America’s future? Part 2

The questions continue about whether the revived Roman Empire predicted to produce the Antichrist will be from Rome or from the Eastern leg–which refers to the Middle East. In fact, there seems a more stringent insistence by the day that the beast of Revelation 13 will be a Muslim.

Developments taking place within the economic structures of Europe provide much of the fodder for the champions of the Mideast Antichrist theory. These proponents point to what they see as the unraveling of the European Union as indicative that it is losing, not gaining, power. A couple of such developments they point to are the so-called Brexit —the exit of Great Britain from the Eu and the fact that Germany is reported to be printing money at a frenzied pace. It is printing deutsche mark notes, not euros. This is apparently because there is great fear that the eurozone sovereign debt crisis will end in a return to national currencies.

The following news item from several years ago frames this feared collapse:

[The]…British Foreign Office has issued warnings to embassies in the eurozone to prepare to handle the problems of its expatriates who may be unable to access local bank accounts and face rioting mobs. Perhaps this is only an example of highly developed countries planning for all eventualities but disaster planning always adds to fear as it shows that the previously unthinkable is now being contemplated: a break-up of the eurozone single currency. (“Germany Returning to Deutsche Mark?” SilverDoctors.com, 8/18/12)

European officials continue to express their concerns about the fiscal turmoil that threatens what was once the most powerfully growing economic entity on the planet.

Make no mistake: The European Union continues on its ascent and will soon be in position to be the superstructure from which Antichrist will launch his campaign to dominate the world and oppose everything of God. And this leads to the second question that I find predominant in the thinking of many today.

My ten-part series at the close of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, entitled “Scanning a Fearful Future,” deals with this question in depth. So, I suggest the inquisitive reader look into that series. Basically put, the question is: What is ahead in America’s future?

As of late, one of the primary news items that has made this question front and center involves U.S. government making strange preparations. For what? Well…that is the crux of the major expressions of concern I’m hearing. An article brought to my attention time after time by those who write involves the massive purchases of ammunition by government agencies that traditionally have had nothing to do with military or policing responsibilities. The questions are legitimate matters for investigation, I think.

One retired general of the U.S. Army wrote some years ago the following:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S. No one has yet said what the purpose of these purchases is, though we are led to believe that they will be used only in an emergency to counteract and control civil unrest. Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used — those causing the civil unrest — must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens. (Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, USA (Ret.), “Who Does the Government Intend to Shoot?” Daily Caller)

The general asks a legitimate question when he asks who would be the intended victims of these hollow-point bullets–ammunition, incidentally, that is outlawed by the Geneva Convention. These are outlawed on the field of battle because of their lethality. I know, I know–that seems like some sort of a schizophrenic rule. Isn’t the purpose of war to kill? But, the hollow point is so devastating that even the war makers of the world want it outlawed because of the damage it does to living tissue upon impact. We won’t debate the insanity of that matter here.

The retired general poses the question: “Potentially each hollow-nose bullet represents a dead American. If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest?”

He goes on to offer some rather frightening thoughts. What if the hollow-point bullets were, rather than for civilians, for military personnel who might oppose the administration ruling the nation at the time of severe crisis? What if that ammo was used to give power, instead, to forces loyal to and under the auspices of Homeland Security?

Whether this sort of dark scenario cogitation is warranted as we watch things deteriorate in our nation, I suggest it is at the heart of the questions being raised by those who watch the slumping of our society and culture toward Sodom and Gomorrah-type comportment. The Lord of Heaven, I contend, still has His staying hand of control on matters in this nation, Europe, and around the planet. Else all would have long since imploded.

I believe He will take His hand off, according to 2 Thessalonians 2, when the Holy Spirit withdraws from acting on the consciences of humanity. The greatest crisis of human history will then unfold. Perhaps we are seeing the preparations, unknowingly, by governments even now for that stunning moment when Jesus steps out on the clouds of Glory and shouts to His bride, the church, “Come up here!”

 

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