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January 24, 2012
According to Pew poll figures, 87% of all Americans are Christian. Despite this overwhelming majority, Americans have watched the celebration of Easter virtually disappear from the prominence it enjoyed in our culture only 40 years ago; we have stood by and allowed the celebration of Christmas be re-labeled "holiday", and quietly tolerated the spreading of the Good News of Christ to be quelled to a whisper, now barely audible in the cacophany of secularism as it has been driven inexorably out of the public commons.
Instead of the the awe and respect the words "Jesus" "Christ" and "God" had in our society so recently, we have watched them labeled with false charges of bigotry, wrongness and ignorance and removed physically and spiritually from our public schools and lands.
What we have watched, instead of the spread of God's word, is the mantra of "separation of state from Jesus Christ" become the rallying call of secular America. What happened to Pew's 87% during all this expulsion of the Christian message from America's heartland and shores? Where has courage fled to?
The simple fact is, the term "secular Christian" is a civil war. It is the lukewarm point where hot and cold meet, i.e., it is Laodicea (Rv. 3:15-16). The two terms are so contrary to one another that their union is an impossibility.. While paying lip-service to the worship of Christ, it is not the figure in the scriptures they follow. Instead of the Bible, they wave the constitution around and bow to the god of finance. It is not Peter and Paul they study, but Thomas Jefferson and Warren Buffett.
The lamps on the lampstand, one by one, are being snuffed out. "If you want to worship Jesus", they say, "go bury yourself in your church and do it there where you won't be out bothering anyone". Contrast that with Jesus' orders to all of His disciples:
"Your duty is to go out and spread the Good News of the kingdom of God"
'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned." (Luke.9:60; Mark 16:15-16)
That is a call to public proclamation, something Billy Graham understood. Secular Christians not only violate this precept, they firmly dictate against it. Jesus said,
"He who does not gather with me, scatters." (Mat.12:30)
What does Jesus say about those who command the direct violation of God's orders? Who tell them, "Don't do what God ordered you to do, do the opposite instead." That, according to Jesus, is spiritual suicide.
"Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin: and no town or no household divided against itself can stand." (Mat.12:25)
And it isn't just the preaching of the word that is being quieted, it is the living of it as well. Secular Christian America has broken with righteousness. The highest figures in our political process are out taking bows for their addiction to greed and sin. They revel in it openly and with great pride.
"Yes, in wickedness they go to any lengths. They have no respect...for orphans' rights, to support them; they do not uphold the cause of the poor. And must I not punish them for such things - it is God who speaks - or from such a nation exact my vengeance?" (Jer.5:26-31)
It is against the backdrop of this immoral gloom that Christian America is watching its Son set.
Christmas and Parousia
The early Christians had one prophetic word relating to the end of the world. It stood for both the appearance of the Rebel and for 'the Second Coming' of Christ. That word was 'Parousia'. The bi-polar circumstances inherent in this single definition points to the close relationship between these two appearances the satanic "Daystar" figure who claims to be god, but brings the Tribulation. Following close behind him will be the Return of Jesus Christ.
There is a cosmic representation of these two figures. Venus in the winter sky rises in the east just before the dawn at the darkest point of the night. Bright and spectacular, he looks like the light, but is not. Close behind is the rising of the sun.
There is a certain day set aside in the Christian calendar for the appearance in the world of a divine Being. That day is January 6th, Epiphany-the word itself meaning 'appearance' or 'manifestation'. In the western church epiphany represents the day Jesus Christ was made manifest to the people of the world, i.e., the day the 3 Wise Men visited Him as He lay in the manger at Bethlehem.
In the Eastern Orthodox church Epiphany represents the day of Christ's birth (the eastern church does not recognize the western Christmas). Ths same date also represents to them the date of Jesus' baptism by John at the river Jordan (thought by eastern Christians to have occured 30 years to the day after His birth).
In its ultimate fulfillment, however, the word and the date point to the Parousia the word with the double meaning.
Whether the Rebel, as the impersonation of divinity, or Jesus, returning as the true Son of God will make their appearance in the view of the world on this specific date (Epiphany) cannot be said for certain, but scripture is clear that the whole Christmas season has deep symbolic ties to the pivotal events of the last days.
Because the calendar governing Christ's return has been divinely altered, it is not possible to link His Second Coming with this date (or any other date, for that matter), but the Rebel's appearance seems to be another matter. Since Epiphany follows by only 12-22 days the event of the abomination of the sacrifice (see below), the 'son of perdition' will likely make himself manifest to the world very near to this date (January 6), if not coincident with it.
Following the bishop's murder the identity of the beast will be clear to everyone who understands the prophecy. The assassination itself will permit the Rebel to openly manifest himself before the world, and his coronation will confirm it in terms which are absolute. For this reason, in the aftermath of this devastating martyrdom, the final events of the End will cascade upon each other, one after another, each precipitated by the other in rapid succession.
The persecution of the Jews by Antiochus lasted a little over 3 years-in fact, the Jewish sanctuary itself lay desolate almost 3 years to the day. The prophecies of Daniel indicate that the persecutions of the Rebel will follow a similar pattern. (Dn. 12:11).
The "Desolating sacrifice" was instituted on the 15th day of Chislev (1 Macc.1:54). Thus the Jewish altar was desecrated and the Temple profaned. Chislev is Hebrew month on the lunar calendar which correlates with the Christian month of December on the solar calendar..
Three years later, on the 25th of Chislev, the Temple was purified again by Judas Maccabees who removed the desolating object that had profaned it (1 Macc.4:52), an event commemorated ever after by the Jewish people in the celebration known as Hannukah.
Ten days in December separate these two events, the Temple profaned and the Temple purified. This is the same number of days that often separate Hannukah from Christmas. The coincidence in these two dates may be portents of the future.
The Rebel's assassination of the Prince of the Covenant (Christianity's holy Bishop) will be quickly followed by the rout of the sanctuary and the abolition of the Perpetual Sacrifice (the Eucharist). That is the moment when Jesus said that everyone in Judea should run for their lives by escaping to the mountains. (Mat. 24:15-16).
The assassination of the Christian bishop will launch the harshest events of the Tribulation.
According to the Apostle Paul (2 Thess 2:7), God has decreed that for as long as that Bishop (the one who will later be assassinated) remains in place overseeing the perpetuation of the Last Supper, the rebellion will be kept at bay. But when he is removed, the whole Church will collapse Catholic, Protestant, Greek-all of it.
"That day-it is the Lord God who speaks-the peg driven into a firm place will give way. It will be torn out and will fall. And the whole load hanging on it will be shattered, for God has spoken." (Is. 22:25).
With the Bishop's death the signal will be clear the 'Abomination of Desolation' is at hand the Rebel is on his way to the sanctuary. Tearing down the communion sacrifice and erecting iniquity in its place, the beast "will enthrone himself in God's sanctuary and claim that he is god" (2 Thess 2:4), thus making inevitable the world's end. (Is.24:5-6).
Daniel used the disastrous abomination in the sanctuary as the measuring point for his 1290 days of Christian persecution, and the 1335 days. The latter illustrating a 45-day period of world darkness and disaster beginning with the Rebel's death, his army's annihilation by God, and Michael's journey to Jerusalem. (Dn.12:11-12).
For this reason, we must see the assassination of the 'anointed one' (Dn 9:26) and the desecration of the sacrifice he ruled, as the 'Pearl Harbor' of the second war of the Apocalypse-the definitive signal that the final war against Christ (Rv. 20:7-9) has been officially launched by the people of the world. (Dn. 12:11).
Christmaas, Hannukah and the Solar Calendar
In the Old Testament, the Mosaic calendar measures the flow of time by the cycles of the moon. The holy days and festivals in the OT are all based on a 28-day lunar cycle. The Christian calendar, on the other hand, is based on the cycles of the sun. Consequently, the Hebrew holy days fall near the solar days they portend, but usually not on them, instead, scattered closely around in a non-uniform manner.
Christianity has structured itself on the solar calendar not simply because we are held captive in Babylon (a land that measures time by the cycles of the sun), but because Jesus stands for many cosmic things the sun represents as far as biological life on our planet is concerned. The sun gives off all the energy that powers natural life here. The moon does not. That is because its light is not its own, but only a reflection of the sun.
Moses, who gave a reflection of the Law, is like the moon in that respect. What he saw on Mount Sinai was a reflection of God's Law, and the life-giving processes which that Law forcast, but could not provide. Jesus, on the other hand, who actually came down from heaven and brought with Him the words that impart the energy of eternal life, functions like the sun. The Light of Jesus powers life itself. But in His case, true life. Eternal life.
This is one of the primary symbolisms in scripture. We see it repeated, not just in the two books of the Bible, but in the immediate structure of the cosmos itself. It is a fundamental truth.
The lunar and solar days correspond to one another, but not exactly. The moon dates swing around the solar dates like a floppy appendage. While they remain close, the two dates unite only infrequently.
A good example of this is Christmas. The Hebrew holy day that defines and predicts Christmas day falls in winter on the Jewish calendar date, Kislev 25. The Christian fulfillment of this Hebrew holy day is December 25. Both dates are deep in winter, close in time, and every once in awhile the two fall on the very same day.
The same is true of the orbit of the Hebrew Passover around Easter, the orbit of the Hebrew Feast of Weeks around Pentecost, and so on.
The Jewish holy day that corresponds to Christmas is Hannukah which is the Jewish Festival of Lights which celebrates the purification of the holy altar in the Temple in Jerusalem by Judas Maccabees on the 25th day of Chislev (Kislev) in the Hebrew calendar.
The altar needed to be purified because it had been desecrated. While this sacrilige corresponds to a specific prophecy by Daniel concerning a time very close to the end of the world, the dimensions of the stain and cleansing it embodies are far broader.
Whereas Judas Maccabees purified a building and its altar, Jesus stands for the purification of people themselves. Christ's purifcation cleansed us of the desecration of our souls by Satan erasing from us the stain of "original sin". Jesus' birth on earth signals the moment in time for this "cleansing" process to begin.
Since it is Christ's sacrifice that enables this divine cleansing to occur, everything centers on Jesus. Hannukah relates to Christ. His sacrifice relates to the Temple
Peter said that we (those who take refuge in Christ) are the living stones that make up God's true Temple. Moreover, the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary of God's Temple) lies inside each one of us in our souls. And it is this altar within us that Jesus purified. He did not purify the earth or any buildings, just the souls of those who choose to follow Him to eternal life.
It is a purifcation that comes with baptism and it is eternal if we do not abandon Christ.
The Holy Spirit's intent in special days and their cosmic relationships is to inform. To give answers to the mysteries that surround God and His relationship with His people. The calendar and its days bring us back, sequentially, to these mysteries to remind us of important meanings lest they be forgotten with age.
For the first 15 centuries of church history there were no printing presses and few books. Anything written had to be done by hand. Consequently, the common people were mostly unlearned they could not read or write. Symbols, paintings, icons, statues and the like were used as reminders of the most meaningful parts of the Bible's stories and content. Remember, the scripture tells us that the common people were the ones Jesus had particular concern for.
His words had to reach them, the common folk, foremost and above all.
the Church recognized early on that in Jesus Christ there was a birthday of uncommon significance. God had become man for the sake of our salvation from death. The desire to celebrate this date helped power the day chosen as the date of His birth. But above that, the alignment of the proper Hebrew festival that foreshadowed it was essential to this choice as well.
In Christian writings Christmas services were being celebrated on December 25th in the Church by the early 300's, just as the people of God were coming out of the catacombs at the dawn of the Christian Era.
Since Jesus told His Apostles that what they bind on earth will be bound in heaven, our date for Christmas and its correlation to the birth of Jesus will never change. It has been bound. But the elements surrounding it are interesting and worth exploring.
"Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, and began to write on the plaster of the palace wall...Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin" (Daniel 5:5; 25)
This is the famous "handwriting on the wall" of Babylon written by the fingers of God that predicted the collapse of Babylon. It begins with the sudden death of its ruler followed by the empire itself as it is handed over for destruction to the Persians. All this by divine intent. It signals the West collapsing internally due to the wickedness of its people and then being conquered by a powerful eastern force as God begins His final Judgment on earth.
This prophecy leads the Book of Daniel into a detailed analysis of that cataclysmic circumstance.
The devastation starts with two Gulf wars pitting the East against the West (Dn.8::5+). Although the West is successful in both, winning apparent victories each time, the turbulent aftermath leads to a disintegration of the unity and economies of Babylon's far-flung kingdoms coupled with Isaiah's prophecy of a civil war that tears the empire apart and leaves it impotent in the face of eastern aggression.
The western empire ends up broken into four parts (Dn.8:8).
From that point, Daniel continues with a detailed blow by blow description of western world decimation at the hands of the eastern forces in a warfare that comes in two parts, the second featuring the Bible's "Beast". This, then is the classic example of all the "east wind" prophecies that fill the pages of Old Testament scripture.
In Daniel's case, the prophetic metaphore signals the final battles and circumstances of the end times. It is specific to the last days when the world rejects Jesus and turns its back on its Christian heritage, embracing instead, secular paganism and malignantly deviant behaviors in a headlong rush to hedonism as the populations of the earth stampede into Satan's temple of riches.
Here, love in most people grows cold. Compassion for others disappears as the quest for money becomes rapacious and obsessive blinding everyone it touches to reality or logic, and especially, to God and His Son Jesus.
The words of God's handwriting to Babylon tell the story:
"The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians" (Dan.5:26-28).
In other words, God has pulled the plug. He has given us to the Persians actually ordained the hand over; According to Daniel, it is God's will. Human lawlessness and hatred has brought the end of the world very close at hand. There is still time to repent, but no time left to recover. God's 'tractor beam' has been activated. The world is being ratcheted toward an inexorable conclusion.
Daniel's word "Parsin" in the handwriting points to a house divided. Daniel's prophecy shows that the unity of the western world community will suddenly break apart and separate, and that fractured alienation will allow it's kingdoms to fall into the hands of the East (the Medes and the Persians). A house divided cannot stand.
This has certainly happened with respect to Christ. The nations of the Eastern Hemisphere have almost all adopted secular governments while discarding previous regimes structured in God. The entire religious character of the world has been thrown upside down over the last 100 years. The government of United States was the last of the major world nations to officially abandon Christ. This happened in a series of Supreme Court decisions from 1963 onward, and continuring to the present day.
It could be argued that the United States was founded a secular nation outside of Christ in the first place. But an immediate compromise to that isolationist position allowed the country to procede as if it were guided by God in every way. That compromise position was found to be unconstitutional by the American Supreme Court and, in 1963, effectively denounced and abandoned. God was thrown out of government once and for all. Every state was forced to comply.
As a result, every cross, every creche, every religious display and garland, every Christmas pageant and carol, every religious text and every mention of God or Christ in the public arena has been yanked from its place and destroyed. The order has been uncompromising.
This has certainly been one of the major steps in the world's abandonment of God, but Daniel's prophecy of division seems based more on political grounds than on religious differences or persecutions. In that respect it is easy to see hatreds building everywhere these days. A political polarity of militant proportions has already gripped America, and the hostilities have put us at odds with some of our closest allies across the world.
We are currently fighting 3 wars at the same time against various terrorist forces across the Middle East. These are forces that all claim to be Muslim in nature. Their rhetoric and the structure itself seem to be defining the architecture of the age in terms that are in agreement with Daniel's prophecies.
The civil wars breaking out across the Middle East are quickly changing that political landscape and redefining the boundaries of past political affiliations. It is too soon to see if these will follow along Daniel's lines as well, but the possibility remains very strong that they will. When the dust clears we should be able to more clearly see the lines that distinguish the king of the north from the king of the south, the last two political alliances this earth will ever know.
Meanwhile, the United States is in economic free-fall, a situation made all the worse by fierce internal wrangling over budgetary measures that could halt its plunge into financial catastrophe. The intractable nature of the disagreement seems to bode terribly for an adequate solution. And so the civil war grows deeper and wider, and the American government more feeble in its extended relationships.
The Unitied States as the wall of Babylon (the defender of all western nations and territories) has been greatly impaired by current circumstances and the question grows, where do we go from here? Does the wall simply collapse under Persian assault as Daniel has predicted, or is that message for another time?
It is not up to us to supply an answer. The answer has to come from God.
Has He really pulled the plug, or is this all just an unbelievable coincidence of prophecy meeting current events in a scenario positioned to suddenly arc away and stand only as a warning for some future time when it will all be repeated again? That sounds less likely every day, but it may still be possible.
Remember, the pivotal prophecy remains unfufilled. Scripture tells us that the proof of all the prophecies is Jeremiah 44:29-30. As long as that prophecy continues in its current uncompleted state, the severest elements of the end described by scripture will remain held back and the world will be spared the far greater suffering which that deeper wrath portends.
The point is to repent now and follow Jesus. Go to church today, and there offer your life to God in Christ. Nothing the future has to offer can touch a person who has complied with that action.
"...As we see it, a man is justified by faith, and not by doing something the Law tells him to do." (Romans 3:28)
This prophecy applies only to those who have taken refuge in Christ.
Jesus died on the cross to give us this amazing gift eternal life
According to Zechariah, one-third of the population will seek baptism in His name (Zech.13:7-9). The other 2/3rds (of the people) will remain outside this offer because they decline for one reason or another to take advantage of His sacrifice. These remain separated from reconciliation through faith. Christ's offer must be accepted to be valid.
God allowed Moses to state the Law.
Moses then aimed it specifically to the 12 tribes of Israel and its converts. All other people were left out (those they specified as pagans and Gentiles for instance). And not only left out, but excluded from God's realm. This changed when Jesus brought the Father's true Law down from heaven. He ordered it given to the entire population of the earth. Jesus said God had no favorites and that anyone who does His will shall be open to the entire mercies and rewards of heaven.
Yet He warned that not everyone who tries to enter His kingdom will be saved:
"It is not those who say 'Lord, Lord' who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mat. 7:21).
This is not a contradiction of faith but a definition of it.
Jesus' Gospel and faith are one and the same. Our trial by fire is our struggle to live by its principles during our sojurn on earth. Jesus did not leave us alone. During this time of trial we have access to God's fountain of forgiveness perpetually flowing from the cross cleansing us in divine mercy and compassion, the extent of which He said, is dependent on the forgiveness we offer to others. (Mat.7:1-5):
"Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back." (Luke 6:35-38)
"You are from below; I am from above. you are of this world; I am not of this world. I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:23-24)
The word of God has only one source on earth: Jesus Christ. No other person, alive or dead, has ever gone up to heaven to hear it and no one has ever come down from heaven with it, except Jesus.
"No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven..." (John 3:13).
"My teaching is not from myself: it comes from the one who sent me..." (John 7:16)
God authorized Moses to state the Law in His name, and the prophets to speak in His name. Yet neither spoke the actual word of God. None of them had ever been in heaven to hear it. In all cases, their words were reflections of God man-made impressions of God. There was no power in them to give eternal life.
In Jesus' case, it was much different.
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him." (John 14:6-7).
"I tell you solemnly, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgement he has passed from death to life." (John 5:24)
"For the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life; and because he is the son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge." (John 5:26-27)
An impression is like a painting. In the Louvre one might see a painting by Monet of a lily pond. Yet, for all its beauty it is only canvas and paint, not the real lily pond. This is like Moses and the prophets, we see their reflections on God man-made impressions. Jesus, on the other hand, is like the real lily pond itself. Vastly different, because in the case of Christ, His words are eternal. They will never pass away.
While God authorized Moses and the prophets to speak in His name, He did so with so with specific reservations. God put His seal on their words but only for a time.
This seal was why Jesus had to fulfill their writings. He purposely made their words come true.
This happened because of the theophany at Sinai, the frightening event that occurred at the time of Moses when God was coming down to give the Israelites His Law in person. As He descended the mountain, violent earthquakes began shaking the ground, the mountain caught fire and was engulfed in great dark clouds out of which lightning flashed and booming thunder cascaded. (Ex.19:1-19; 20:18-19).
Terrified by the sight and fearing many of them would die, the Isrealites begged Moses to have God stop His approach and, instead, to send an intermediary in His place. Moses went up the mountain toward God and voiced the people's concern. God agreed to the request and it is this agreement that structured the Messiah into the Hebrew religion.(Dt.18:15-19).
From that moment on, the Hebrew religion revolved soley around the coming Messiah who would bring God's true Law. In the meantime, God authorized Moses to bind on the people of Israel a temporary Law (a Guardian Covenant) to keep them righteous until the Messiah appeared with the words of the True Father.
The entire Hebrew religion is built on this expectation. (Is.9:5-7; Micah 5:2-3).
In keeping the Law that Moses decreed, Jesus fulfilled it and took control of it. In that position of control, He went to the cross with all the sins of mankind on his shouilders, paying in full every iota of the Law's demands for sins restitution. As master of the Law, He paid its penalty in our names. (Is.53:4-6).
All who accept God's sacrifice are instantly freed from the Law's sentence of death. This new mark of innocence (baptism in His name) frees us to follow Him out of the prison, to walk in His footsteps to eternal life. Staying put is not an option. Leaving is an emperative because this world, this prison, this entire universe, is passing away violently and eternally. Much faster than most of us think. And anyone left behind in it will suffer it's annhilation, baptised or not (Is.52:11-12; Jer.51:50)
To leave, we must walk in Christ's footsteps of righteousness. Only in that way can we escape the danger.
Not only can we see the relationship between Moses and Jesus in the paintings in a museum, we can see the same kind of relationship in the celestial metaphore of sun and moon in the sky above our heads.
In the moon, we see reflected light. there is no life in the moon's reflected light. Nothing grows by the energy it emits. It's only light is a reflection of the sun. The sun is the moon's polar opposite. The sun is the source of all life on earth. It's energy to give life is enormous. Nothing on earth has living existance except by the energy given off by the sun.
Yet for all its power to give life and sustain it on earth, the sun cannot impart ETERNAL life. The life it inspires lives only for a short time, then dies.
It is not the same with the Son of God. The life of the spirit is in Him. He alone can give eternal life to mankind. The life He gives never dies. It is raised up in His kingdom in a body that is everlasting. This He has promised, in a promise He will keep in the same way He kept the Law He authorized in Moses.
In this, God showed He keeps scripture. That is how we know He will keep the words He Himself spoke even more than He did those of Moses and the prophets. If He went to all this trouble to keep the laws that are passing away, how much more effort will He put into keeping the words He spoke, and those bound by the Apostles in His name by the power of the Holy Spirit?
"I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever." (John 6:32-51).
"He who is born of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted...he whom God has sent speaks God's own words: God gives him the Spirit without reserve. The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to him." (John 3:29-35).
Jesus told His Apostles: "what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven". (Mat 18:18). (John 20:23)
In Acts 15, the Apostles met in the First Jerusalem Council and put those words into action. They separated Christianity from virtually all of the guardian laws, from almost all of the Laws of the Torah.
This proved the True Father was at hand. The judge of the world had taken His seat.
"Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits. (Mat.7:15-20).
Glenn Beck, a soothsayer on Fox News uses graphs and prophetic quotations from scripture to give the air of credibility to the things he warns about. He retails visions of his own, not what comes from the mouth of the Lord. Yet he advertises himself as a spokesman for Christ.
The fruits he offers are calls to hatred. Using fear, he promotes the hording of gold and food. His speech contains no calls to feed and clothe the poor or to show love and compassion for neighbor or enemy. Just the opposite. He sees half the population of the United States as dangerous strangers, dupes of foreign consipiracies. People to be feared and hated. The humanity of the other nations he sees as even more venal. It is not peace that he preaches. His is a call to arms.
"Take care not to be deceived,' Jesus said 'because many will come using my name and saying "I am he" and, "the time is near at hand". Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.' (Lk 21:8-11)
"Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them...so be on your guard..." (Acts.20:30).
"Yes, there are wicked men among my people who spread their nets; like fowlers they set snares, but it is men they catch. Like a cage full of birds so are their houses full of loot; they have grown rich and powerful because of it, fat and sleek. (Jer.5:26)
Yes, in wickedness they go to any lengths, they have no respect for rights, for orphans' rights, to support them; they do not uphold the cause of the poor. Must I not punish them for such things - it is God who speaks - or from such a nation exact my vengeance? (Jer.5:28)
Monstrous, horrible things are happening in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, the priests teach whatever they please. And my people love it! But when the end comes, what will you do?" (Jer.5:26-31).
"I have not sent those prophets, yet they are running; I have not spoken to them, yet they are prophesying. Have they been present at my council? If so, let them proclaim my words to my people and turn them from their evil way and from the wickedness of their deeds." (Jer. 23:21-22).
The fruits of those who promote God are filled with kindness, compassion, love and peace.
"Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me it is the Lord God who speaks to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every shackle, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin? then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. (Is.58:6-8)
Your integrity will go before you and the glory of the Lord behind you. Cry, and the Lord will answer; call and he will say, 'I am here', If you do away with the stranglehold, the clenched fist, the wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon. The Lord will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places. (Is.58:8-11).
Beck's message is for this world, it is not from God, and it is not about God. It does not lead to God. Those who wish to escape what is coming by aligning themselves with Jesus Christ must take a different path entirely.
The prophecies of scripture lead not to fear and hate, but to love, compassion for one another, integrity and humility. And through those, into eternal life. Jesus Christ, the light of the nations, has made it so.
"I will stir up the Egyptians against each other and they shall fight every man against his brother, friend against friend, city against city, kingdom against kingdom." (Is.19:2).
The significance of Egypt in end-time prophecy is enormous!
As we watch the riots rage in Egypt this week, Isaiah's forecast above seems to have leaped across 2700 years into our own time as if it were meant for this very occasion. Perhaps it was. But there are elements to this prophecy that are too broad in their scope to lay at the feet of a unitary nation. "Kingdom against kingdom" for instance, implies an empire of many nations, all of them equally inflammable, and all standing at the precipice of this rage.
With political riots erupting not only in Egypt, but across Tunisia, Yeman, and still simmering just below the surface in Iran, it is worth considering whether Isaiah's words foreshadow a Muslim uprising sweeping across the entire Middle East, and raising up to power throughout this region militant fundamentalist factions bent on Jihad, not peace. Riots rarely bring order. Usually they are de stabilizing.
We already know from scripture that such warmongering powers are coming. We know also that when they do, they will be ushered in with a loud roaring across the nations, people driven to a frenzy to throw off their nation's ties to western civilization and the previous civic order. In other words, populist riots and pillaging burning cars and buildings and screams demanding their governments and others around them be toppled and replaced.
The stability of nations is the underpinning of the stability of civiliztion itself. The Bible tells us that it is the fracturing of this stability that will usher in the Madman and the time of tribulation. Are today's riots a key part of that strategic rage of the nations so widely predicted in the pages of scripture?
What we are seeing in Egypt may stretch beyond even the boundaries of the Muslim world. It may be the start of a global rampage across the entire world populace, inflaming the whole earth with the very rage that scripture predicts will be a crucial symptom of the last days. A rage to which the United States is not immune. And that may be why the Spirit of God prompted Isaiah to write the verse as he did.
"I will stir up the Egyptians against each other and they shall fight every man against his brother, friend against friend, city against city, kingdom against kingdom." (Is.19:2).
"Why this uproar among the nations? Why this impotent muttering of pagans kings on earth rising in revolt, princes plotting against the Lord and his anointnd, 'Now let us break their feters! Now let us throw off their yoke!" (Ps. 2:1-3)
"I mean to cause many nations to surge against you like the sea and its waves." (Ez.26:3).
"Vast hordes thundering, with thunder like thundering seas, the roaring of nations roaring like the roar of mighty waters. He rebukes them and far away they flee, driven off like chaff on the mountains before the wind, like an eddy of dust before the storm. At evening all was terror; before morning comes they are no more." (Is.17:12-14).
The raging seas are the people rioting: That is what almost all Bible scholars say.
"The angel continued, 'The waters you saw, beside which the prostitute was sitting, are all the peoples, the populations, the nations and the languages." (Rev.17:15).
"Listen. An uproar from the city! A voice from the Temple! The voice of God bringing retribution on his enemies." (Is.66:6).
"The nations have sunk into a pit of their own making. They are caught by the feet in the snare they themselves set. God has given judgment, He has trapped the wicked in the work of their own hands." (Ps. 9:15).
"The sea will rise over Babylon, she will sink under its roaring waves." (Jer.51:42).
Can the riots of Egypt by a portent of what is about to happen here and to western civilization?
There is growing reason to accept the western world, especially the United States, metaphorically as the "Egypt" of end-time prophecy. I have documented this many times on these web pages. Three of the clearest examples come from the book of Jeremiah, and involve the relationship between the new state of Israel and our own nation.
I will go into this again more fully below.
But first, as the United States continues to descend into a deepening political and social hatred that has lately divided the country into polar opposites, Isaiah's prophecy above seems also to link our nation with the Egypt metaphore in terms of populist upheaval. We have experienced one such war already, arguably the bloodiest conflict of its nature ever fought. Another civil war seems unthinkable, but the current tone of the country implies violent conflict.
We find ourselves today embroiled in a second round of interneccine strife with sufficient imbedded vitriole that it may be speeding that prophecy toward an even greater relevance. The hot-tempered display of guns and fanatical speech underscore an antipathy and bigotry in America not seen since the 1860's. The malevolence surrounding us today highlights a pervasive political loathing that not only blankets the American landscape, but which has filtered itself into the marbled halls of our federal , state and local governments.
Today almost a third of the nation's people are at war with the United States government. They say they are arming themselves for the day of battle (against it). They want our country torn down to the roots and demolished. And from the ruins, their own monetary utopia contructed.
Engineered by fear and the love of money, a politics of oligarchy has absorbed those who govern the land. In its wake, the seats of congress are falling like dominoes to those who pander to the bullies of finance and industry and to their demands that the welfare of the populace and the good of the country be thrown under the bus of greed.
As the calls to incitement grow more shrill and the swagger of militia and display of weapons and ammunition grow more bold, a terrified media ponders where it will all lead . They are watchdogs silenced by fear. Instead of barking a loud alert as they should, many quietly lead the robbers to the silver.
In 1865 a similar polarity ended at Appomatox. This fact shows that the prophecy of Isaiah has possible credence either way. It may already have come true. Or it may be heading for a climactic reprise. The current fracture lines are little different from the original.
End-time prophecies linking the Unted States of the last two centuries to the "Egypt" metaphore are much too strong to be ignored or simply waved away.
Today's Israeli state was born in 1948, when it was allowed to come into existance by a United Nations in shock over the atrocities of Hitler's holocaust a genocide aimed at the global extermination of the Jewish people. This U.N. edict seemed to many to finally bring to conclusion the 2000-year Diaspora that had kept the Jews from the lands of their forefathers since losing them to the Roman Empire in the first century A.D.
A closer inspection of prophecy, however, contradicts that interpretation. The Book of Chronicles, as well as the books of Daniel, Isaiah, Revelation, and others indicate clearly that the Diaspora cannot end until a Prince of Persia appears and issues a decree to that end. This has not yet happened. Modern Persia, in fact, voted against the formation of the recent Jewish state.
Instead, we must look to another prophecy one specific to the return, yet involving Babylon, not Persia (because the U.N. is a product of Babylon). There is only one, and it is dynamically cataloged in the Book of Jeremiah. It is specific to the king of Babylon, and it is enormous in size, not simply mentioned in passing. It is several pages of scripture long from Jeremiah chapter 42 through chapter 46.
Jeremiah shows an amendment to the exile brokered by himself not only with God's approval, but with His active involvement, between the king of Babylon and a group of Jewish army leaders. This produced a returned Jewish nation far in advance of the official return, born on "Babylonian" terms, not "Persian" terms. Not only that, it mimics the 1948 return in a number of very specific and astonishing ways.
Scripture clearly shows Rome to be the successor to the myriad prophecies of Babylon scattered throughout its pages. The Diaspora was an exile to Rometo the western world. Thus Rome's prophetic name, "Babylon". Hence, the prophecy of Micah:
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
The Diaspora is a captivity of the two Houses of Israel, not just the Jews. It is a captivity that stretches across the entire world (Babylon), and it prevents both Houses of Israel from nationalizing the lands of Palestine in their own names.
As long as the leading Church in Christendom, the Vatican, continues held in Rome (the city of its captivity) that city and all of its tributaries and offsprng (out of which has been created all of western civilization, all of its societies and culture) will remain the figurehead of the Babylonian metaphore. Any action instituted outside of Persia (metaphore for the East) has to be seen as Babylonian in origin. Micah's prophecy shows that the Diaspora was an act of God to this end.
Jeremiah and God were closely involved in the negotiatiions of that early return. So was the King of Babylon (or in the modern case, a round table of kings called the United Nations). Persia disagreed with the 1948 decision, but a large majority of the kings of the nations of Babylon agreed to allow it to go forward and so the motion passed. A limited group of Jews were authorized to return to the land of Palestine and re-format there a Jewish state.
The circumstance and prophecy surrounding this early return stand in scripture as a testament for the future. That return and the 1948 return are two parts of the same formula. Jeremiah's words and restrictions apply to both equally one was made to warn the other. God does nothing without such warning (Amos 3:6-7).
Very specific rules (legally structured in scripture by Jeremiah through God's direction) were issued that governed the success or failure of this early return. In Jeremiah's words, those allowed to return were forbidden to make a military pact with "Egypt" and they were forbidden from forming settlements outside the strict boundaries of the lands assigned to them by the King of Babylon.
The new state of Israel quickly allied itself to the military power of the United States, violating the first tenenant almost immediately.
In its violation of the second edict, not the Egypt of prophecy, but the actual state of Egypt was involved. This made the prophecy true not just in metaphore, but in real name as well. (Just as the riots today seem to have done with respect to a global populist violence that scripture says will usher in the retribution)
The first Jewish settlements outside the UN limits (their construction overseen by Ariel Sharon) were in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. Similar settlements were constructed all through the Arab lands conquered by the Israeli army, all of them lands outside the boundaries of the United Nation edict.
Prophecy tells us that the modern return was for Israel's return to God to attempt to address the reasons for the Diaspora itself not to build a typical world state with armies and worldly goals. Instead, for the most part, God has been left out of the equation of this return. So have Jeremiah's prophecies.
In Jeremiah's day, this apostasy was met by catastrophe. The entire return was violently cancelled.
In that former case, the refusal by the army leaders of his time to meet God's terms ended in disaster. The whole effort collapsed. All that was left of that Jewish state were a few refugees. The exiles still held captive in Babylon lost their opportunity of return and were forced to wait for the Prince of Persia to arrive and issue his own decree of return. His name was Cyrus.
Jeremiah's prophecy argues that a similar fate lies ahead. The Egypt Israel depends on for military support will be drawn, according to Jeremiah, in full battle gear to the Euphrates river where it will establish outposts to block the armies of the East an attempt to protect Israel and the western world from attack. This will be in vain.
"Yes, the Lord God has a sacrifice to make in the north country, by the river Euphrates. Go up to Gilead in search of balm, virgin daughter of Egypt! You multiply remedies in vain, nothing can cure you. The nations have heard of your shame, the dirge raised for you fills the earth; for warrior has stumbled against warrior, and both have fallen." (Jer. 46:10-12).
Since it is American troops that now stand guard at the Euphrates, this deployment must be seen as the third clearest sign of the United States as the metaphoric "Egypt" of these apocalyptic prophecies.
If the United States succumbs to its own internal rancor or descends into outright civil war, it will be a fourth sign that we are mimicking Egypt in metaphore. The internal strife will so weaken our ability to oversee world affairs that it will insure the impotence that prophecy suggests is necessary to remove our nation from its current world role as policeman and guardian of global peace.
The wall of Babylon is destined to fall, and when it does, nothing will be left to stand in the way of a massive gathering of eastern warmongers determined to destroy Israel once and for all. This is not a guess. This is the stumble predicted in scripture that allows the East to overwhelm the nations, so that by the time our nation recovers, the die will have been cast. Then all that will stand in the way of the final battle will be the ships of Kittim and it's threat of hydrogen bombs.
And on the other side, a Madman .
The Euphrates will be crossed. Jerusalem will be occupied by the eastern forces. The settlements and their owners will come to the fate Jeremiah predicts for them. And then, smothered in warfare and violence, as East battles West and good is assaulted by evil, the world will await the appearance of the Prince of Persia.
It will be the world that will await this time, because there are two Houses of Isreal, not just one. The end of the Diaspora will involve them both as the House of David in exile returns, threading its way through the havoc to Jerusalem where the two will combine at that location into one.
At that instant, Jesus Christ will return in glory with all the angels of heaven in his train.(Dan.7:13-14). Everythinig promised in scripture will come true. The "David" of the Bible will take His throne. Evil will perish forever, as the righteous are raised to eternal life.
"I mean to sweep away everything off the face of the earth it is the Lord who speaks. I mean to sweep away men and beasts, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, I mean to send the wicked staggering, and wipe man off the face of the earth it is the Lord who speaks." (Zeph. 1:2-3)
On January 1st, thousands of birds in Arkansas were swept out of the sky and fell dead to the earth. Speculations abound, but their demise remains a mystery. Over the next two days, hundreds more across the south were found littering the ground. Their sudden deaths also mysterious. At the same time thousands of fish corpses were found floating on a lake in Arkansas. Within a week, with reports coming in from as far away as Sweden and Italy, hundreds more birds had crashed to the earth, dead.
Mystery is not the point here. In Bible prophecy, it is the signs that matter, not the reasons why.
Thousands of prophecies fill the pages of scripture, but the total drops significantly when it comes to the theophany itself the dramatic events on earth (and in the skies above) directly surroundng the moment of the End when Jesus returns in the glory of God with all the holy angels. Huge numbers of birds swept suddenly out of the skies, and the demise of the fish of the sea are two of those uniquely theophanic signs.
Strange and rare, these current happenings come at a time when wickedness has risen to such levels across the earth that Christian values have been utterly decimated by its mass and force, leaving scripture broadly abandoned and reduced to mythological characterization by the learned.
God and church have been replaced by the temples of money and a flight to decadence. Anger and hatred have utterly smothered compassion. The very air is charged for violence. The chaos reaches throughout society, from top to bottom, from the ruling centers down through the populace. All have been tainted by this satanic leap toward perdition. After carefully noting the alternative offered by God, the world has rejected Jesus and chosen for themselves the path toward Sodom and Gomorrah, a destiny of fiery end.
Even the ministry has been tainted:
"Dumb watchdogs all, unable to bark, they dream, lie down, and love to sleep. Greedy dogs that are never satisfied. Shepherds who know nothing. They all go their own way, each after his own interest...the upright perish and no one cares." (Is.56:10-12; 57:1).
Zephaniah, the prophet who wrote about 'the day birds would suddenly be swept out of the sky', did so in a book that proclaims a "Day of God", and equates this sign with the divine rage of the end of the world, a day that shows the Lord rising up to bring the entire civilization crashing down on itself. He calls it a "day of gloom and darkness". A "day of distress and agony". A "day of ruin and devastation, a day of cloud and blackness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry." (Zeph 1:15-17).
This was not the type of news that was expected by revelers to be the first greeting of the incoming new year.
"On the day of the anger of God,, in the fire of his jealousy, all the earth will be consumed. for he means to destroy, yes, to make an end of all the inhabitants of the earth." (Zeph.1:18)
"I am going to bring such distress on men that they will grope like the blind (because they have sinned against God); their blood will be scattered like dust, their corpses like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will have any power to save them." (Zeph.1:17)
The end, he states, will come violently, ushered in by armies and warfare:
"The great day of the Lord is near, near, and coming with all speed. How bitter the sound of the day of the Lord, the day when the soldier shouts his cry of war." (Zeph.1:14).
But then, at the darkest point of his vision, when all seems lost, Zephaniah offers a ray of hope.
Before that terrible catatrophe happens, his visions describe the safety of the Christ.
Zephaniah's prophecies segue between "that" day (God's Day of Judgment) and a single alternative, an intermediary offered by God in the form of a coming Messiah; an alternative that brings the only opportunity anyone on earth will ever have to escape the cataclysm bearing down on the planet from Zephaniah's future.
Though they represent two completely dissimilar forces, both of Zephaniah's visions are characterized in military terms, both come upon the earth wielding a sword of battle. They bring on to the planet two wars. One spiritkual, the other physical.
These two wars, the Bible shows, are to unfold in sequence. The first, a war of spiritual righteousness starting, according to Jeremiah, in Jerusalem and spreading out from there, striking down across the world the souls of those whose hearts are evil, a conflict that pushes relentlessly westward from Jerusalem to finally culminate a full world away at the Euphrates River where the kings of the East await. (Rev.16:12).
At that location, as the first war winds down, the second will grow to full power the war of tribulation a physical conflict which crosses the Euphrates River and ends only with the Return of Jesus Christ to a cindered earth where few people are left alive (Is. 24:6; Rev.17:15-16). In the wake of His Return, the dead will be raised, some to life and others to trial. Finally, the entire scene will be transformed into the new Zion of scripture's promise.
Satan was locked in devine chains for a thousand years to facilitate the success of the spiritual sword of God in its march across the earth. Michael imprisoned him in the Abyss until the harvest of righteous souls had reached its intended limits as determined by God (Rev.20:1-3). The incarceration of Satan made the Day of Atonement possible.
Once that "Day" (a day extended by prophecy -Josh.10:13) had accomplished its purpose, Satan's chains were loosed and he was released back into the world to mobilize the nations into the final combat his nature insured (Rev.20:7-9).
Events of the last 100 years argue strongly that his release has already occurred, and everywhere we look, the signs of his mobilization of the nations for war show a conflict well underway. The battle line at the Euphrates has been drawn. The troops are there, stationed.
The unfolding signs tell us that the time for repentance has grown exceedingly short. It is truly now or never for all who remain uncommitted, for the gods of gold and silver have taken back the rule of the earth. They have contaminated all mankind and even swayed many who think to pray at the altars of Christ.
With it's term less than 2000 years long, the short era of Christianity (the millenium of God on earth) has come to an end. . No longer does Jesus stand at the helm of the nations, a witness to the peoples, a leader and master of their destiny. The people who once walked in His light are abandoning Him and going away; choosing for themselves a different king. They have returned to the darkness.
"When you cry, let your hateful idols save you! The wind will carry them all away, a breath will take them off. But whoever trusts in me shall inherit the land and own my holy mountain." (Is.57:13)
Escape this rush to Judgment while you still can. Heed the signs! Bind yourselves to Jesus Christ today while He is still to be found. Shortly now the door will close and you may find yourself knocking in vain.
For Additional Questions and Answers, see:
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