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 Forewarning to Our New President

A Fox News person–can’t remember who–reported that Paul Anka, writer of the song “My Way” had withdrawn from performing at one or another of the events scheduled during the inaugural festivities.

Anka reportedly said the inauguration gig conflicted with his schedule. He thus joined a long list of celebrities and performers who said they would not be a part of the Trump victory celebration.

CNN, it was reported, gave a news flash that Nancy Sinatra, daughter of the late crooner Frank Sinatra, was furious that Mr. Trump would use the song “My Way” in the presidential celebration. She was, it was reported, incensed because it was the song her father made famous by recording it.

Ms. Sinatra, however, it became clear, was incensed not at Mr. Trump, but at CNN for what has become known as a fake news story. She reportedly was angry because the story was not true and she was said to have responded, “It’s not true. Why should I care? Why would they (CNN) lie about this?”

That’s a question many voters asked themselves before the vote by the electorate was cast in this presidential election. The diatribes by mainstream news hounds, favoring one candidate over the other, included lying the likes of which has rarely if ever reached the level it did in this election cycle.

The song “My Way” and the lies surrounding it serve to open the way for me to issue this warning to our new president, as suggested by the commentary’s title. 

I’ll say this at the outset. I can’t help but like the song. I’ve always–Lord, help me–liked it, particularly the way ol’ Elvis sang it.However, it is one of the most anti-God songs ever created. It is straight from the mind of the old serpent himself, I have no doubt. That’s why it is so appealing to the human mind and why even believers such as myself–weak in many ways because of the fallen nature of man–can’t help but like the song.

“My Way” tells the story of how the person singing it lived totally on his or her own terms. These didn’t listen to or bow the knee to anyone. They did it all–their way.

It’s not just a matter that the song is one of boasting about how great one is; it is a repudiation of God Himself. That might not have been Mr. Anka’s thought in writing it, but if you study the words, it is hubris that reflects Lucifer’s own words in Isaiah 14:14.

Getting back to our new president and his choosing the song for inclusion in his celebratory festivities, such hubris is likely, one hopes, not Mr. Trump’s own attitude. We should prayerfully hope–and believe–that he doesn’t–by making this song a part of his celebration–harbor the thought that he is now president only because of his own greatness and ability.

We have heard him state his thanks to so many–to the whole national voting public that cast their votes for him, in fact. I have heard him say that God is the one who made America “great” in the first place, and will do so again.

Still, I’m concerned when I know he–like myself–can’t help but like this song. It appeals to the pride that can so easily swell within each human being.

The Lord tells us in His Word that he hates “a proud look” (Proverbs 6: 17). He further says “he that hath a high look and a proud heart will I not suffer” (Psalm 101:5). And, again, “An high look and a proud heart…is sin” (Proverbs 21:4).

God tells the end of all such pride in one’s self ability. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Being blind, I, of course, couldn’t see any of the presidential ball festivities. I did hear them, and the song “My Way” seemed to be the central theme song at each of the three.

Again, I couldn’t see it, but was told that at one point the new president, while dancing with the new first lady, looked into a nearby camera and mouthed the words, ”I did it my way.”

So, it is hearsay, not a firsthand account. Perhaps some of the readers of this commentary witnessed this silent comment by the president.

I was a supporter of Donald Trump and continue to be so as he promises to move America forward and lead us out of the slide into the abyss into which we are headed. Mr. Trump is often audacious and outspoken, and to be frank, it is one of the traits that endeared him to many–myself included–that is, to the extent that I like his pushing back against the pay-no-attention-to-the-American-people arrogance of Washington D.C. insiders and mainstream media types.

That said, I must issue this warning, Mr. President. You, I, and America must do it  “God’s way,” not “My way,” as Mr. Anka, Mr. Sinatra, or even ol’ Elvis would have it. Our very national existence depends upon this truth.

Olivet Overview – Part 6 – By Ed Wood

Jesus Returns – With Lots of Company

Psalm {149:5 -9} Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Daniel {7:18} But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Mark {13:26} And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Luke {21:27} And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

1 Thessalonians {4:14} For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Jude {1:14-15} And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all . . .

Revelation {19:11-14} And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

If a believer wonders at all about what the future holds for him or her, I hope the passages above will clear up that mystery. Anytime the Bible tells us something, it is significant. Anytime it repeats itself as extensively as it does in this case, we can rest assured that it is of great importance. The bottom line, as I’m sure you’ve already seen, is that when Jesus returns in great power and glory, he will not be alone. Every believer who has ever lived since humans walked the Earth will be accompanying him in the skies above. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews spoke of a “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and I suspect that he might have been given a glimpse of this very thing.

The Resurrection Body

            Let’s take a few moments now to explore first just what those who are believers  will be like when this wondrous day comes. Odds are that if you are reading this, it includes you. If not, then it would be worth your while to examine all the historical evidence of how Jesus lived his life, the things he did, and what he said for yourself. Bear in mind that the gospels of Matthew and John were written by actual eyewitnesses. Mark’s gospel was probably based on Simon Peter’s recollections, Luke’s gospel is a methodical presentation based on the accounts of the apostles and no doubt other eyewitnesses as well. The manner in which they are written does not suggest mythology or legend, but the presentation of factual, historical places and events. The balance of the New Testament follows the same rule being written by eyewitnesses or people that knew them.

So, what does Paul, one of the writers of the epistles say?

1 Corinthians {15:51-52} Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Here we see that believers will be “changed,” both those who have died in the past and those caught up in what is commonly called the Rapture, which in itself has been and remains a topic upon which there exists exhaustive evidence and commentary. What we’ll focus on here is the nature of that change. Again, let us go to the best source of information we have:

Psalm {17:15} As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Palm {71:20} [Thou,] which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

Job {19:26-27} And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body,] yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; [though] my reins be consumed within me.

Daniel {12:2-3} And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

1 John {3:2} Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

            This is by no means an exhaustive list, but provides some tantalizing clues as to what the new life has in store for us.           

John suggests we will be like Jesus, though I am sure that does not include omniscience or omnipotence, qualities which only God will ever have. If we look at Jesus after the Resurrection, we find that Jesus had the ability to change his appearance in some manner at will (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13-25; John 20:11-18). Whether this was an actual physical alteration or a lack of belief on the part of those involved which prevented them from recognizing him is subject to debate. What we do know is that at the conclusion of these encounters, he did have the ability to make himself recognized.

This fascinating “recognition” quality was seen previously in the various Transfiguration accounts (Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9, 2-8; Luke :9:28-36) where Peter, James and John recognized Elijah and Moses even though they had never met them – and because of the prohibition against graven images given in the Commandments, never saw a picture or statue of them. It is therefore well within the realm of possibility that everyone who is part of the cloud of witnesses who returns with Jesus will recognize all the others as well, not just those they’ve known in this life.

Jesus also had the ability to appear at any place at any time (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36; John 2:19). Perhaps we will have this intriguing power as well. I’ve often wondered if it will be limited only to locations on Earth, or will it be in the truest sense of the word, universal. As someone who was always interested in astronomy, the possibility of being able to visit in person the far corners of the cosmos is particularly appealing. I have often wondered why in a universe is so vast, our scientists have yet to detect one solid bit of evidence that intelligent life exists out there despite the trillions of stars composing billions of galaxies. Paul said:

1 Corinthians {2:9} But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Is traveling through the Creation part of God’s plan for his people?

Of course, this is all pure speculation on my part and I probably am missing the mark by a wide margin. What I do know for certain is that the plans God has for us are better than we can dare to hope for or imagine.

            Finally, I think we’ll all get a lot more intelligent, something I personally wouldn’t mind one bit:

1 Corinthians {13:11-12} When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Not only will we learn new things, but we’ll have the ability to do so which very likely transcends present-day abilities.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Matthew {6:10}

            We’ve taken a brief look at how our new lives might be in the age to come. Now, let’s take a look at Millennial Earth:

Isaiah  {65:20-25} There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them;] and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and

mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

Isaiah {35:4-10} Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame [man] leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, [shall be] grass with reeds and rushes.  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err [therein. ] No lion shall be there, nor [any] ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk [there: ]And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Not only are our the futures of resurrected believers  bright beyond all measuring, the lives of the mortal survivors of Armageddon will be rich beyond anything this planet has known since the Fall of Man. Earth will become a near-Eden paradise. It is even possible that most of them will live the entire 1000 years of the Millennial Age, watching their children grow and have their own families right up until the complete “re-creation” of all things (Revelation, chapters 21 & 22).

As we have seen in earlier articles, it seems that the apostles will be in charge of governing Israel, the Gentiles probably in charge of everything else, under Jesus’s direction, of course. For the first time since human walked the Earth, there will exist a government that actually works and is fair to every resident on Earth. It will not be a party to special interests or corrupted by those seeking power for their own personal enrichment.

At this point one might ask: “Why will this only last 1000 years?” That’s a good question and my personal opinion is that is beautiful and prosperous as Earth becomes, it still has the taint of sin from Adam and Eve’s ancient transgression of God’s command. We read in Revelation that Satan is merely confined for those 1000 years only to be released upon the Earth once more.

Revelation {20:1-3} 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.

In the ten centuries between the return of Jesus and the end of the Millennium, no doubt there will come many generations of people who did not live through the horror of the Tribulation. As we have seen, growing up in on a paradise-planet is no guarantee for good behavior. There will still be those with criminal tendencies. The only difference between now and then is that they will be dealt with immediately and not have their trials delayed for years upon years before justice is served. And what goes for the individual will apply to entire nations (Revelation 19:15-16).

When Satan is released, those who still reject God and rise up with the devil will be dealt with finally and forever (Revelation 20:7-15), including the evil dead from across human history. They will all be condemned forever to the Lake of Fire after which God will make a new heaven and new Earth where sin never contaminated after which he and his city, the New Jerusalem will descend to be with humanity forever.

One might be tempted to call this the closing of history, but in reality it is only the beginning of a creation more glorious than we can ever imagine. The best part of all is that every person has choice to be part of it. If you believe in Jesus and what he did for us on the Cross, you already are a part of it. If you haven’t accepted him yet, indications are that time is running short, so this is too important to delay. He could return tomorrow. (He could return today!!)

Isaiah {55:6} Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

2 Corinthians {6:2} (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

With these words from Paul I conclude this articles and this Olivet Series. I hope it has been informative and encourages you to do your own research into not only this subject, but into all of the Bible because I am definitely not the final word!

God bless!

“Seas Roaring” and the “Gog” Factor

I’ve found it always a good thing to do when striving to serve as a watchman on the wall: Always look at Jesus’ prophetic words when examining these times of omega signs. The best place to start is in the Gospels that record the Lord’s Olivet Discourse.

It was thus some years ago when I began thinking on what is most pertinent in the news. Something in particular almost always jumps out of the pages of the Lord’s recorded foretelling. Those years ago it was: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25).

Earlier I had been “watching” a news program, listening to a correspondent shouting to be heard over the noise of an angry mob. The network then cut to several other scenes of irate crowds shouting in unison words I couldn’t make out. The correspondent was saying the roaring of the crowds in the various locations shown was all about the decision by the Eurogroup to “haircut” depositors of the banks of Cypress. At the time, the Eurogroup, which was responsible for insuring deposits of the banks involved, had decided to grab money from the accounts of most everyone. Later the Eurozone powers that be decided on a less draconian action. They determined not to take as much from the accounts of the depositors with lower Euro amounts in their banks. Thus, the noise–the “roaring” in the streets–has lessened, if not completely abated.

I admit up front that I didn’t then, and don’t now, fully understand everything involved in the economic abyss into which Cypress had plunged, and into which, it was feared, much of Europe, such as Greece, France, Italy, Spain, and others might plunge. However, I did understand, as should anyone who has ever deposited hard-earned money into their bank, that for someone in government–or anyone else–to reach in and rob one’s bank account is the stuff of which riots are likely to be fueled.

Kind of makes you mad just thinking about it happening to you, doesn’t it?

And that sentiment was explored throughout the financial expert community during the time of that crisis, believe me. One of my favorite economic experts weighed in with a thought along these lines: “The decision of the government in Cyprus to simply take money out of people’s bank accounts there sent shock waves around the world. People far removed from that small island nation had to wonder: ‘Can this happen here?'” (Thomas Sowell, “Can It Happen Here?” www.townhall.com, 3/26/13, p. 1).

Exactly…

Was this a test to see how the masses will react to such overt robbery by those in authority? I’ve gotten that question many times and have asked it myself. Call it conspiracy “kookdom,” but the powers did start in the smallest of venues in their–shall we call it–experiment?

They, during that time of crisis, quickly decided to take a milder tact. However, such robbery will continue to take place in various forms as long as human greed remains. They just will reduce the size of their haul in their need for money to fix the horrible mess they’ve made of managing fiscal matters. Absolute power has indeed corrupted absolutely in Europe, as Lord Edward Acton would have it. The United States mess is infinitely bigger in terms of the amount of indebtedness. The only saving grace is that America is so gargantuan in its influences and so intricate in its linkages in monetary affairs worldwide that the powers that be will keep it propped up at all costs–at least until some unforeseen circumstance or deliberate action for purposes of serving the globalist banksters’ lust and greed becomes feasible to institute.

In either case, it will take a crisis or crises of major magnitude to bring the U.S.–thus all the world–down in one gigantic collapse into chaos. When that happens, there will indeed be a roaring of ear-shattering decibel. I am convinced that the roaring will be worldwide in its scope.

The economic morass that gets more quicksand-like by the day not only causes the sea of humanity to roar in distress, but draws other foretold end-times elements into the quagmire. Thus, the student of Bible prophecy attuned to Holy Spirit enlightenment can begin to understand how the last-days puzzle fits together.

As a student of Bible prophecy, one must consider the words of Ezekiel the prophet. He said that a group of leaders that sounds an awful lot like the current diplomatic lot of America and Europe will one day ask Gog, who almost certainly will be a future Russian leader: “Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13).

Economic matters will be, from now until the return of Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the catalyst that will cause the seas of humanity to roar in tumult and, finally, produce a war that will threaten to extinguish all life on the planet. Jesus has promised to intervene before that destruction can fully play out.

Again, I’m convinced it will be the Rapture of the church that will burst the building bubble and bring the financial structure of this fallen world crashing down around all who are left behind. Jesus is the blessed hope (Titus 2: 13). Accept His offer of salvation this very moment, and escape the carnage to come.

 

 

Red Lights Flashing!

Questions pour in these days from those who have consistently read these commentaries over the years. Although the questions are all phrased differently to one extent or the other, the tone and thrust are the same. Those who are serious students of Bible prophecy –particularly from the pre-Trib perspective– view geopolitical matters taking place at present as profoundly significant. They see the red, flashing lights of alert.

“What do you think this means?” The queries most all ask this in one form or another. Developments last week in Paris, France stirs intensive interest among those who observe the times in light of Bible prophecy. Israel being at the heart of the matters involved generates the inquiries I receive almost hourly.

I am in complete agreement with those who email me. Things transpiring at the moment is like seeing the flashing, red lights at train-tracks you might be about to cross. Imminent danger exists. –Time to pay close attention!

Seventy-two nations –most overtly antagonistic to Israel– gathered during the past, inaugural week, ostensibly to determine the Jewish nation’s fate. Their intent, in the opinion of many who are observant Bible prophecy students, was to force Israel into giving up all claims to the land upon which the nation resides.

Intervention by the incoming Trump Administration seems to have preempted full implementation of the anti-Israel agenda. Great Britain also added its conference-dampening input.

Israel, with its constant vigilance against ever-present attempts to destroy the nation reportedly has managed to thwart much of its U.N. enemy efforts in the Paris conference matter.

United Nations globalists’ agenda, under the Resolution 2334 rubric they want to establish, is to declare Israel an occupier –the oppressor of the Palestinians who –the Israel antagonists say– have legitimate claim to the land.

While angry losers in America’s presidential election continue to sniffle and sob, and in some cases rage, that Donald J. Trump is illegitimate occupier of Obama’s White House, the U.N. Israel haters go through their own sort of whining and moaning. We have been witness to a constant diatribe of last days antics, orchestrated by Satan himself, I’m convinced, in order to try to rearrange the geopolitical and socio-economic landscape. Pope Francis, in meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, intruding into the Israeli-Palestinian land for peace thrust by the U.N., also, I believe, made observable Satan’s hand being inserted into the religious arena in his attempt to set the international stage for Antichrist’s eventual rule.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Paris peace conference, devised by the Palestinian Authority and hosted by France, a “fraud.” He said the conference was “anti-Israel.” He warned the phony summit “will further lead to the adoption of anti-Israel positions.” Critics of the so-called Paris summit for peace between Israel and the Palestinians say that the conference and U.N. R2334 constituted an effort to lock Israel into the borders as they were in 1949. A document produced as a result of the meetings might, it was feared, have meant that Israel would have no claim to the Temple Mount, Mount Olivet, and all other of the sites revered as holy by Jews and Christians. Such a document would, it was thought, be designed to give the territory to the new Palestinian state if the so-called two-state solution comes to fruition. Representatives of Israel weren’t part of the conference. Netanyahu has vowed to ignore anything coming out of the “summit.” It remains to be seen what will be the ramifications of this attempted globalist grab in Middle East power politics.

Immediately upon release of information about R2334, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made his now infamous, obviously anti-Israel statement as part of his speech. Kerry said that Israel could be either Jewish or Democratic, it cannot be both.

The Trump Administration will undoubtedly have much to say in changing America’s course as stated by Kerry. However, the secretary of state’s utterly audacious declaration thus laid out for the world to see the fact that the Obama Administration views Israel as an oppressive regime intent upon treating Palestinians cruelly if the Jewish state doesn’t go along with allowing the Palestinians all they want and deserve.

Ignoring all the atrocities and terrorism spawned on a daily basis by enemies who are vowed that they will destroy Israel, Kerry went on to imply America would recommend punitive repercussions for Israel’s refusal to make peace under terms of the Paris meetings. Even though the conference in France seems to have been neutralized in large part, such statements by America’s (now former) top representative on the world diplomatic stage raises red flags –and sets those red lights flashing to be sure. The thoughts of students of Bible prophecy immediately go to Genesis chapter 12 about those who bless Israel and those who curse Israel. The cogitations carom around within the spiritually-attuned gray matter. Zechariah chapter 12 and 14 and Joel 3:2 and many other prophetic passages involving God’s pronouncements about Israel at the end of the age leap at us. The red lights flash brightly. There are no more powerful signals to be found in Scripture on the nearness of Christ’s return at Armageddon following the seven-year Tribulation period.

We know, according to God’s Word, too, that Christ will call all believers into Heaven at least seven years before His Second Advent at the time of Armageddon.

Israel, the false peace process –all nations turned against God’s chosen nation –these are flashing, red lights to be sure.

However, my sense is that like the Lord’s obvious Intervention into so much of the globalist agenda, for the moment, God’s mighty hand has again intervened in this matter of the deck being stacked in favor of the Palestinians against God’s chosen people.

Terry and Todd’s Interview with Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones – Lamb and Lion Ministries

Are You Vexed, Yet?

Biblical language when extracted from the King James Version has on occasion somewhat amused me. Like when it was said that David was “sore afraid” (1 Samuel 21:12, or when Saul was “sore afraid” (1 Samuel 28:20).

I once heard a comedian extrapolate on this term “sore afraid.” He said that when you are “sore afraid, you’re “flat scared…”

David and Saul, in their situations had every right to be thus as have many other people in their various situations throughout God’s Word─the Bible─as it recounted the dire situations in which those folks found themselves.

Now, I’m not meaning to be irreverent. I just find the language amusing, not the dire circumstances of David, Saul and the others. It was certainly no laughing matter to those who were sore afraid…

Another rather antiquated expression from the KJV amuses me, and again, I don’t mean to be irreverent. I had better view the term in question with great reverence, because I can’t think of a more relevant word for Bible-believing Christians of these increasingly troubled times.

The antiquated term to which I refer is wrapped up in the apostle Peter’s description of Lot, who, of course, lived in Sodom at the time of that wicked city’s impending Judgment from God. Peter tells of how the Lord looked down into Lot’s situation…

“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds) (2 Peter 2:7-8).

The first thing that stands out in this condemnation of the citizens of Sodom (and its twin sister city, Gomorrah) was that the conversation was “filthy.”

Lot was vexed: By the cesspool language that surrounded him.

There is a direct parallel today in this nation we call home, in that even professing Christians are caught-up in using the same “filthy” language that was obviously repugnant to the Lord then─and is undeniably so today. God changes not, His Word tells us. Certainly, the conversation that spews from the mouths of many of His professing children must grieve him greatly.

Here’s what James, the apostle has to say about this sinful language that must be a sorely vexing sound in the holy ears of our Heavenly Father.

“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (James 3: 8-13).

Vexing, too, is the deterioration of American culture and society. I wrote years ago for one of my books a chapter for which I gave the title, Days of Our Lives, as the World Turns. I found upon revisiting that chapter that much of what was written there is even more a part of the scene today. I share part of that chapter here:

Powerful forces are at work beneath the relative tranquility that masks the true state of our nation and the world. Ours is a society that boils with turbulence beneath a veneer of sophistication. It is a society mirrored by television soap operas and hedonistic movies, which have in turn mesmerized much of the American public. Life has indeed imitated art, while year after year morals have degenerated and the very concept of morality has been turned upside-down and inside out. We are a people given a thrill-a-minute fix to satisfy our insatiable cravings for instant gratification. We are a people all the while descending deeper and deeper into depravity.

Gleam and glitter and unparalleled technological gadgetry have procured for the American public hours upon hours of time for pleasure seeking, and it is more than abundantly obvious, for mischief making. While it is true that the moguls of science provide great benefits for human health, wealth, and achievement within the sphere of human potential, to see the direction in which all of this is truly sweeping us, one has only to consider any given local evening news broadcast. We are not as a society every day and in every way getting better and better, like the New Age evolutionary thinkers would have us believe. Feeding our voracious appetites for more exciting thrills and greater pleasures has served only to generate phenomenal growth in criminal activity.

Those who perceive themselves to be the have “nots, ravenously desire those material things which the American propagandists flash before their lusting eyes. Because Big Brother government has, in effect, destroyed work ethic through give-away welfare programs, but can in no way give this dependent class the shimmering lifestyle it lusts after. The rip in the fabric of society worsens daily as the ungovernable elements engage in the only occupation they believe can secure for them the thrills and pleasures they seek [the crime that grips our inner-cities, in particular.]

Can there be any doubt that conditions and activities which God’s Word predicts will be prevalent while the end of the age approaches are now being played out before our very eyes? The similarities between the biblical descriptions and the reports we witness on our nightly newscasts are stunningly evident. Man’s atrocities against his fellow man are pandemic. Stories of debased human behavior are so numerous that those items, which would have formerly been front page headlines now are relegated to pages farther back because even more heinous stories overshadow them. Jesus Himself prophesied about the generation that would inhabit planet Earth at the time of His Second Advent:

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).

Jesus Christ, who is God Himself, gave with that reference based upon Scripture recorded in the past, and Scripture He knew was yet to be recorded─an unmistakable characterization of the generation alive at the time of His Second Advent…

Like was written about the days of Lot, we can say with conviction that it is all truly vexing. Christ’s call to His church must indeed be near!

 

 

World’s Greatest Threat

Global order plans are up in the air while the would-be one-world architects contemplate the installation of America’s 45th president. The soon-to-be new leader of the free world has made it clear he intends to keep America–at least–free of their insidious grab for America’s wealth through their climate change and other such liberty-diminishing machinations.

The new-world-order builders fearmonger that America’s refusal to submit to their plans is a formula for guaranteeing the demise of the planet.

Israel is, as usual, at the center of concern in the minds of the world’s diplomats. The newly elected president will, he has vowed, move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will, if it eventuates, put the U.S. stamp of validation upon Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the Jewish state.

This rates as a threat to world peace in the minds of most all U.N. leaders. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared there will absolutely be no chance of peace between the Palestinians and Israel if this happens.

Russia has popped up as a perceived threat so great that some think Vladimir Putin could start World War III before the Trump inauguration.

Even Christian writers within pre-trib prophecy who are touted to be highly regarded journalists–observers of tensions that might lead to war–fear that Putin is on the verge of starting a conflict that might go nuclear at some point. To me, this flies in the face of things as they are foretold to be at the time of His next intervention into the affairs of mankind (the Rapture). The Lord said it will be a time of life going on possibly more robust than usual at the time He breaks in on the world like a thief in the night (Matthew 24:36-42, Luke 17:26-30).

This prophecy by Christ Himself precludes nuclear war occurring before the Rapture, from my perspective. However, the fear is expressed by some such as Joel Rosenberg that we are likely to, in the immediate future, face war that will take the world out of that think-not time Jesus talked about in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:44).

The new president-to-be, himself, is so feared as a threat that nearly half the nation seems to be having a collective nervous breakdown in anticipation of his assuming office.

A man was arrested in Ithaca, New York, a couple of weeks ago, for shooting to death a UPS delivery man, then running over the body. He did so, he told those who interrogated him, because he thought the man was Donald Trump, the president-elect.

There are hundreds of reports of people who have become mentally unhinged over this election result. We remember, for example, the man and his “husband” who verbally assaulted the president’s daughter on a commercial flight, shouting that her father was going to destroy the nation. Those who see the Trump victory as the worst possible thing for life on planet earth, like the globalists and those who have near phobic fears of Russia, see 2017 as a year of unprecedented threat.

Wall Street and the economic gurus, on the other hand, seem to be seeing an opposite effect regarding Mr. Trump’s rise to power. The year 2017 looks pretty good to these supposed wizards of the financial world, apparently, and we know this because we can see their vote through the stock market and other forums of fiscal prognostication.

Additionally–and this is the most telling, prophetically speaking, I think–the great, collective sigh of relief by other members of American society is overtly obvious. The sigh of the evangelical Christian segment of this half of the American populace leaps out–or should do so–at those who are students of Bible prophecy from the pre-trib view.

We are excited to get a “reprieve,” as it has been termed. It appears, at least, that Christians who stand upon biblical principles and openly display their faith will experience a more tolerant acceptance from the incoming administration and the federal courts that should develop as a result. However, it must be noted that along with the sigh of relief there is developing a settling-back into comfortable complacency.

Based upon the level of observation I’ve done and the kinds of email and news stories I receive, it seems to me that the fervency of the prayers of God’s people and concerns for aggressively pursuing a biblically moral agenda is just about nonexistent.

This, to my way of thinking, based upon prophetic Scripture, presents the greatest threat of all as we proceed into 2017.

Again, Jesus forewarned of just such a time, I believe.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24: 42-44)

For this reason, the threat to the world, populated mostly by those who don’t know Christ for salvation, is at great risk. A complacent church is a threat greater in this way, perhaps, than the threats we most often consider.

Let us vow to make 2017 a year dedicated to actively carrying out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

 

Why Islam Might Buckle

An interesting email appeared in my in box the other day. It set me to exploring in a slightly different direction things that looks to constitute a major quandary in trying to understand certain prophecies, juxtaposed against realities of these strange times.

The emailer–Dan—put his queries this way: “I do have one question that I have asked many, but to date no answer. I am still wondering how under the New World Order, led by the revived Roman Empire, [is the rising of the Islamic threat to Israel and the rest of the world going to be squelched]? Is this part of the “Covenant” that the Beast will confirm after the Rapture, or does a PS 83-type war need to take place first?”

–A couple of very good, and most relevant question, to be sure…

We have only to think about how Islam has made inroads into Western Europe–and, in fact, into this nation–to understand the seeming insurmountable problem the world faces with that religion, as implicit within Dan’s email queries. Only twelve short years ago, America was viciously attacked by the same religious zeal that over the years since has set our hourly news headlines ablaze. More than 3,000 people, the majority of them U.S. citizens, were forced to jump or be burned alive in the towering infernos, or die where they were on the hijacked planes and in the Pentagon, when nineteen Muslims carried out the orders of Osama bin Laden on America’s most tragic day in history.

Yet Islam is like a protected species adopted by the leftist do-gooders of the eco-freak sorts who think humankind should–except for them, I suppose–be eliminated, so that Mother Earth can return to her pristine condition. It is the same perverted, intolerant mindset that says it is the right thing to do to marginalize Christianity because Christians are intolerant, while embracing a religion whose “holy” book demands that all who will not bow the knee to Allah are legitimate targets for elimination by the most heinous methodologies available.

The Obama administration and its slavish mainstream media–both news and entertainment—have done all they can to try to convince us that Islam is a “religion of peace.” We have seen the president and his underlings go to extreme absurdities to blame anyone and everyone except Islamist terrorists for their dastardly deeds. We remember vividly the Benghazi murder of the American ambassador and some genuine American heroes, and the totally disproved claim by the White House and State Department that it was an anti-Mohammed YouTube video that caused a spontaneous riot, thus incited the good people of the area to commit the murders. That episode serves as prime example.

An insanity of sort pervades the minds of those who continue to insist that Islam asserts no threat to civilization, and that if we just embrace that religion, whose adherents refuse to assimilate, and who rather create enclaves within our own republic ruled by sharia law, they will love and accept us as fellow Americans and live at peace with the world. The truth is that the best thing one can say about that belief system is that at least you have a choice: bow the knee to Allah or die.

So, to get back to my emailer’s question. “How under the New World Order, led by the revived Roman Empire, [is the rising of the Islamic threat to Israel and the rest of the world going to be squelched]? Is this part of the “Covenant” that the Beast will confirm after the Rapture, or does a PS 83-type war need to take place first?”

The title of this commentary is “Why Islam Might Buckle.” Therefore, one can—correctly–presume that I infer that this unyielding religious system that harbors at its spiritually black center the murderous terrorism with which we are all too familiar will succumb to outside forces, or by implosion. It appears at this particular moment in history that such a thing as Islam buckling to any sort of pressure short of being defeated in war is nearly an impossibility. It is on the march across the Middle East, and around the world. The very civilization it wants to behead if their victims don’t bow the knee seems blind to the dangers of the scimitar-wielding juggernaut.

Will it be a Psalms 83 war that will cause Islam to buckle–to cease to be a threat? My own thoughts include the belief that Psalms 83 is an imprecatory prayer, not a prophesied war. It is a plea by the chosen people for the Lord to vanquish their immediately surrounding enemies (enemies within the Mideast region). It is a plea that I believe will be answered by God when He destroys all but one-sixth of the Gog-Magog forces who attack, according to Ezekiel, chapters 38-39.

I know all of the arguments presented by the growing numbers who believe Psalms 83 will be an actual war. If I’m wrong, I will profusely apologize for not seeing it coming. I have considered all of the thinking by those such as my good friend Bill Salus–who is an absolutely brilliant thinker and writer, in my estimation. However, I must listen to the inner voice speaking to my own spirit. I simply can’t see Psalms 83 as a war, but as a prayer that will soon be answered when God decimates Russia, Iran, and “many people with thee” (Ezekiel 38:6).

That said, I do believe that the Gog-Magog war will effectively eliminate Islam as any future threat–will take it off the table of war-making.

But, there is one other thought I would like to interject that could, in my thinking, cause Islam to buckle, as my article’s title would have it. God will send “strong delusion,” He says as recorded in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. This will happen post-Rapture. The Holy Spirit will withdraw as restrainer of evil. The minds of mankind–of all races and belief systems–will be open to unimaginable influences from Satan and his minions during that most horrible of times in history.

It is my belief that Islamists will be “deluded,” if you want to term it as such. That is, even the minds of Satan’s own religious deception will be profoundly affected by the delusion of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, thus will be easily persuaded to go along with Antichrist and allow the rebuilding of the Jewish temple atop Mount Moriah.

Certainly, anything that could change the mindset of the imams of Islam would necessitate supernatural action of the most profound sort. God’s prophetic Word says that just such profound, supernatural action is forthcoming!

One thing sure… Islam will one day buckle.

 

Verify But Trust

Russian/American relations are front and center in the news at the moment of this new year’s dawning. Conflicting approaches to these relations are also very much in the headlines.

The outgoing Obama administration, it is offered for public consumption, wants Russia punished for hacking into the presidential election process. The incoming Trump administration, mainstream news purveyors put forth, wants to cozy up to Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, because Mr. Trump is–they claim–Mr. Putin’s pal. The perception they want to create is that Trump doesn’t trust U.S. intelligence sources who, according to the mainstreamers, all agree that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, etc.–thus in order to help Donald Trump get elected.

Fact is, however, all the U.S. intelligence services aren’t in complete agreement. They neither are of consensus opinion that Russia did the cyber-hacking, nor that Putin’s intention was to help Trump’s election effort. But, as we all know, the facts have little to do with mainstream reporting within today’s reality. The president-elect has embraced many of President Ronald Reagan’s thoughts, particularly with regard to Russia–in Mr. Reagan’s case, the Soviet Union. “Trust but verify” was perhaps the most famous statement/position stated by Reagan that best frames his position in dealing with the Soviets.

Reagan signed the Intermediate range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on December 8, 1987. He used the phrase “trust but verify” to explain the in-depth procedures that would be in place to make certain the treaty stayed on the up and up.

The statement was from the Russian proverb Doveryai, no proveryai, taught him by a Russian translator in preparation for the meetings with Gorbachev. This requirement for dealing with the Russians will be highly necessary when Trump takes the oath on January 20. It is a precautionary thought that hasn’t been followed by Barack Obama for the last eight years and the present state of disarray with regard to the cyber-hacking hubbub proves the statement’s worth. Besides Israel, there is no more relevant nation than Russia in view for Bible prophecy yet to unfold. Let’s pray that some within the new president’s close circle of advisers can add prophetic understanding in Mr. Trump’s dealing with the Russians.

With that trust-but-verify relationship between America and Russia as a foundational premise for the further thoughts I hope to present, I would like to get into the reasons the title of this commentary has Mr. Reagan’s statement reversed–“verify but trust.”

I wish to try to apply this reversal to the personal relationship each of us–you and I–has with our Lord.

If you might indulge me for a brief time, I will, in order to hopefully make the point I wish to convey, reveal a small bit of relational goings-on in my own life at present. Realization of what all is involved in those goings-on completely escaped me until I began thinking on and praying about this commentary. The Holy Spirit was clear and to the point in whispering to my own, more often than not dull-of-hearing spiritual ears.

When the epiphany struck, it was so obvious that its simplicity sort of stunned me. My uncomfortable relationship of the moment with the uncertainties of life wasn’t mere chance. It involved the things I have believed–have taught and written about most all of my Christian life.

My wife, Margaret, had just had a car accident. It was one in which only she was involved, but it was a bad one, so far as the damage done to the car was concerned. Thankfully, Margaret had only her heel badly fractured as a result of the big sedan rolling over and ending right side up.

The state police officer who worked the wreck said it could have easily been a deadly accident. The car was totaled. So, needless to say, we are grateful to the Lord for His protection–and to the car manufacturer for the sixteen air bags that deployed during the violent rollover.

However, I’ve nevertheless been lamenting ever since that accident that happened on the Monday leading up to Christmas. Poor me. I’ve been so inconvenienced by it all. Christmas this year was, in my commercially minded self-centeredness, a disaster. Plus, I’ve been called into service as caregiver for Miss Margaret–and me a poor, old, blind guy.

The epiphany, that hit just this morning, is that this was no accident in the purest sense. This was a faith- and character-tester–to my own life, at least. It was a test to see how I would react to an occurrence allowed, not caused, by the Lord. His only involvement in the accident itself was that of protecting Margaret’s life. What part Satan and his minions had in it, I have no way of assessing. I failed the test miserably, dwelling only on how deleteriously it affected my daily routine–which I do not under any circumstance want to be disrupted.

Well, that routine is continuing to be disrupted. I still don’t like it, but the Lord has most assuredly spoken to me and let me know that it is sinful indulgence to expect the world to revolve around one’s self.

I would hope that from this point forward, for however much time I’m allowed in this life, I would–after this lesson–at the very outset of life’s such disruptions, understand the spiritual implications. I hope that I will immediately verify in my spiritual understanding that nothing happens in the believer’s life in which our Lord is not intimately interested. We do not believe in and serve an existential God. Then, I would hope that I would always apply this primary “trust” Scripture to my life: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Verify but trust. That’s my prayerful New Year’s wish for you as well when you face life’s sometimes unpleasant surprises.

Piercing the Perils of 2016

The year 2016 more than lived up to the anticipation it harbored back when I wrote my Nearing Midnight commentary at the beginning of last year. I want to present that article here, with the caveat that I anticipate even more profound prophetic unfolding in 2017.

Piercing the Perils of 2016

Never in my own memory has a new year appeared at its beginning to be more prophetically interesting. Never–in my thinking, at least–has one portended more perilous times, as the apostle Paul would have it. Yet I wouldn’t trade my time on this darkening planet with anyone of any other generation.

The fact that the Lord of Heaven has put me here at this strange, ominous, yet immensely fascinating time in history makes it all the more intriguing–even riveting, in terms of wanting to know what happens next. He has put you here, too, at this time when the final curtain is about to fall. He has trusted you to be an actor in at least part of the final scenes of this great, cosmic play called human history. No illustrious personages of the past–not Julius Caesar, not Napoleon Bonaparte, not Alexander the Great, not even Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan were so privileged. We are about to serve as active members of a most especially commissioned cast who populates the end-times stage.

There is about to occur a schism–a separation–of cataclysmic proportion. It will rend one part of humanity from the other. It will not be a natural catastrophe that will inflict the humanity-dividing rift. It won’t be great political upheaval in America and around the world that will cause the tearing apart of life upon the troubled planet. Those things will certainly happen. But it won’t be acts of nature or of man that will bring about the very last scene of the age. That last act will be orchestrated by the Master Director of all Creation–by the Lord God of Heaven who is the final judge of good and evil.

The excitement presaging that grand climax of the age is building. Momentous events, written on the pages of Holy Scripture, are about to come alive. The final curtain will rise when Jesus steps out on the clouds of glory and calls all believers–His Bride, the Church, to Himself. If you are a believer in Christ alone for salvation, you will catch the grand finale as you watch from the luxuriant balconies of Heaven.

We see the drama building all around us for the tumultuous scenes set to play out during the times just ahead. The year 2016 is cloaked in the fog of malevolence this world continues to wrap itself in–an increasingly anti-God, anti-Christ vesture that embraces humanism forewarned about by the psalmist.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (Psalms 2: 1-3)

A quick scan of the news just the past week exposes, I believe, the arrogance of those the Scriptures call “earth-dwellers” who incessantly strive to break asunder the governance God rightfully placed upon His creation called man. The reports are laden with prophetic indicators.

One such report is seen in the prideful claims by a U.S. State Department spokesman, as the boast involves the increasing call for “peace and safety,” While the situation in Syria grows intensely worse by the hour, with the Syrian people torn violently between the forces of Syrian dictator Basher Al-Assad and the hordes of ISIS murderers, Secretary of State John Kerry is lauded as bringing about a peace that just isn’t happening and will never come to pass.

State Department spokesman John Kirby wrote under the headline, “Bringing peace and security to Syria”: “Under Secretary of State John Kerry’s stewardship the United Nations passed a U.S. sponsored resolution to create a road map for Syria.” Again, the problem is that like in all of the humanistic efforts at bringing true peace, the only “peacemaker” is kept out of the peacemaking. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is denied at every turn by the president of the very country that speciously purports to be making the peace. (President Obama, remember, upon his very first week in office, proclaimed that the United States is not a Christian nation.)

The president of the United States of America, in effect, proclaimed regarding the governance of the God of Heaven: “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

We can believe what that omniscient, omnipotent, governing authority has to say about such arrogance and willfulness. The message is chilling for the planet’s inhabitants who will be left behind when the great schism aforementioned takes place.

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (Psalms 2: 4-6)

Details of what is about to take place in 2016, of course, lurks in the murkiness of an ever-increasing pall of trepidation. But, for those who are secure within the unshakable, impenetrable shelter of their Lord and Savior, there is no reason to fear. Piercing that black uncertainty is an effulgence that lights the path to the brightest of all possible futures. It is that Blessed Hope of Titus 2: 13!

 

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