Monday, October 26, 2015

Lurching Left

It looks like conservative politics has suffered another set-back, this time to our north where Canada has dethroned their Conservative Party to put their Liberal Party into power. I should have made a prediction about this because that is the outcome I would have expected. If we are close to the return of Christ as so many signs indicate, we should expect to see political sentiments aligning with the spirit of the coming Antichrist.

The new Canadian Prime Minister elect, Justin Trudeau, wasted no time in making it clear Canada would no longer assist in the war against ISIS in a call to President Obama soon after the election results were in. Why should we try to stop a militant religious group that has been so effective in purging the Mid-East of Christians, has caused a massive migration of Muslims to Europe, and wants to return the land of Israel to Islamic rule? In the Liberal mind, all war is inherently wrong and all cultures are to be valued so we should just step aside and let the Islamists have their way. Besides, how does allowing an Islamic caliphate to form in the Mid-East impact us here in North America?

It never ceases to amaze me that Leftists are so supportive of Islam, a religion that puts into violent practice the very things they falsely accuse conservative Christians of. Secular humanist activists don't bother to ask Islamic bakers if they would bake a cake for a gay wedding, they only target Christians. Leftists look the other way when Muslims hunt down to kill homosexuals but attack Christians just because we refuse to embrace their immoral lifestyle. This only serves to reveal that Leftist ideology is spiritually aligned with Islam. Both have the same god who is opposed to Christ.

Conservative values are under assault in our world because God is removing His restraint of evil to prepare the way for the Antichrist to have his day (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10). This means that "progressives" will see their power in the world grow winning more elections than conservatives. The label "progressive" is just a spin-doctored term that seeks to put lipstick on the pig of Leftist ideology which is at its core opposed to God. Political Liberals are those who seek to "take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us'" (Psalm 2:2-23, NKJV). Since political Liberals in this country are so persistent in seeing their ideology prevail, they are best described as Leftists who are associated with revolutionary change.

As God removes His restraint of evil in this world, He is giving mankind over to an illogical, debased mind (Romans 1:28). The stew of anti-God issues that Liberals rally around reveal their insanity. They insist that a woman has the right to kill her unborn child just so she can live an immoral lifestyle of having sex outside of marriage. Then when we find that we have a population growth crisis, they try to fix that by opening our borders without any regard for whether the influx of people will make a positive contribution to our society. Those who oppose illegal immigration are labeled racist and haters which has proven to be effective in squelching the opposition.

Progressives celebrate casting off the constraints our Creator established for our benefit making those who want to follow God into enemies of the state. It is politically incorrect not to embrace homosexuality as being a healthy, normal lifestyle in the midst of so much contradictory evidence. Now that the Supreme Court has made gay marriage the law of the land, it is just a matter of time before Bible-believing churches are targeted to remove their tax exempt status. The war on Christians is just beginning to heat up in this country.

Conservatives are ostracized as being backward and unscientific because they are skeptical of human-caused global warming. It doesn't take a science wizard to recognize that there have been warming and cooling cycles in the history of the world that have had nothing to do with human activity. But this is conveniently forgotten because the ultimate climate change objective of spreading the wealth around globally is too important to allow any opposition. Climate Change is more than just politically correct, it has become a powerful religion of the state that is used as a litmus test to determine who is for and against "progress."

In the mind of the typical progressive, the reason why we have violent gun crimes is because it is too easy for people to get their hands on a gun. So our constitutional right for law abiding citizens to defend themselves is under attack. It doesn't even occur to the progressives that criminals will get their hands on guns even when they are outlawed; that is what criminals do, they break the law. Indeed, statistics make it abundantly clear that there are more gun crimes in places where gun control is the most restrictive. But don't confuse progressives with any facts that contradict their worldview, their debased minds will not be able to process them.

Progressives claim to be looking out for the disadvantaged of our society with their ever-growing social programs but these only serve to burden-down the tax paying productive segment of society and enslave beneficiaries to the state. Our free enterprise economy is maligned as being unfair and cronyism produces regulations designed to keep competition from threatening the government-protected big corporations. Progressives love central planning and will not be satisfied until the state has totalitarian control over everyone. That is when they expect real progress to be made toward their utopian secular vision.

Since we are living in the era of God removing His restraint of evil, we can confidently predict that the most evil ideologies will generally prevail whenever there is an election. This is not to say that in the United States the Democrats are pure evil and the Republicans are not. There is very little difference between the establishment Republicans and the Democrats. Both want to grow the power of the government over the public and will say what they need to say to get elected then govern as a liberal once they're in power. Since we're now entering a political season with presidential elections scheduled in 2016, it is time for a prediction:

The next president of the United States will not be a conservative.

This prediction of course assumes there really will be another presidential election in this country. President Obama has been making it clear that he'd love to serve a third term and in this age of Tribulation birth pangs, the potential for a crisis sufficient to justify a state of emergency is great.

We have tried a very liberal president so you'd think that it is time for the pendulum to swing back to the conservative side but such a cycle no longer applies this close to the Tribulation. Yes, there is a lot of interest in the Republican presidential candidates particularly because several of them are not part of the traditional ruling elite. But we've had government outsiders run before and one thing we can learn from the trend is that only establishment Republicans will get the nomination.

It will be interesting to watch what happens with Trump because he is an outsider who knows how to be a populist and is wealthy enough that he doesn't need the support of the establishment Republican donors. It is also pretty clear from his independent, politically incorrect ideas that the ruling elite will not be able to allow a Trump presidency. So something will have to happen to prevent him from getting the Republican nomination. And when that happens, Trump will run as a third party candidate despite his agreeing not to. Trump is the front-runner so if the Republican ruling elite defaults on their side of the agreement by not giving him the nomination, we can expect Trump to go the third party route. While this is the most likely scenario insuring that a Democrat will win the next presidential election, there are many other ways that could happen as well. This country did reelect Barack Obama even after it was very clear what he was all about.

One consolation for realizing the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton presidency is that we have to be very close to the Tribulation. And we know the Church Age will end prior to the Antichrist coming to power so it is unlikely we will have to endure under another progressive, anti-Christian globalist for very long. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Full of Grace

The grace of God is a wonderful thing. Given our human propensity to think and act selfishly, God's unmerited favor is the only way people can be saved. Jesus Christ paid our sin penalty on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. God's provision of the cross makes it possible for us to spend eternity with Him. While our rightly motivated good works builds up treasure for us in heaven, it is not possible to earn God's favor for salvation. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV).

One of the greatest statements of the Bible addressing the deity of Christ is John 1:14, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." The Son of God has the same nature as the Father and is characterized by grace and truth. In this Age of Grace, the Church certainly understands and has fully embraced the grace of God as His plan of salvation for His people. The more we consider God's grace, the more we can stand amazed by it. But, at the same time, the Church in general is increasingly falling short in embracing the truth about God. Thus the full gospel of Jesus Christ is being neglected in this final phase of the Church Age.

An increasing number of churches today are taking a "gospel-lite" approach that promotes a seeker-friendly, easy-belivism avoiding conviction of sin and our responsibility to live holy lives. Such an approach produces followers of Christ who are full of grace but deficient in truth. The neglect for the full counsel of Scripture is what you'd expect for the Church in the Laodicean era where people are lukewarm toward Christ. While it is admirable for churches to be seeker friendly, such a focus opens the door to compromise with a culture that hates the gospel of Christ. Taking such compromise to an extreme has given rise to what is referred to as the Emerging Church movement which embraces the heresy that people can be saved apart from Christ.

Heretical departures from the pure doctrine of God's Word among professing Christian churches is a sign of the soon return of Jesus. 1 Timothy 4:1 says, "the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." The most common heresy is that there are multiple ways to heaven and that all faiths worship the same God. "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" (John 14:6). People can claim to be Christians but if they don't believe God's Word, they are only kidding themselves that they are really a follower of Christ.

The apostasy we are seeing in the Church today is the fruit of an ages-long assault on God's Word. You'd expect unbelievers to dismiss the Bible as not being true but increasingly the attacks are coming from so-called Christian scholars who are seeding doubt about the veracity of God's Word. A whole generation of Church leaders have been indoctrinated to embrace the view that the Bible is flawed as the story of man's search for God rather than being inspired and preserved by our Almighty Creator-God. It is significant that this questioning of God's Word was the very first deception recorded in Scripture that Satan used on Eve in the Garden tempting her to disobey God... "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1).

Most of Christendom no longer has an orthodox view of Scripture. A consistent literal hermeneutics of God's Word is no longer used by most Christian Bible teachers. Instead, the Bible is often spiritualized to mean something other than what it actually says. Such practice leads to wildly divergent interpretations of God's Word which only reinforces those who claim that the Bible is not from God. Not believing what the Bible says has given rise to the false doctrines of Amillennialism and theistic evolution resulting in believers ignoring huge portions of Scripture. Why study Bible prophecy if virtually everything has been already fulfilled in history? And if the Bible does not mean what it says about our origins, how can you trust what it says about other matters?

When people have doubts about God's Word, they will not accept it as having any authority in their lives. Why bother to spend much time studying the Bible if it is just another book written by flawed men? Yes, the Bible was scribed by flawed men but it was inspired by our Creator God who is Almighty enough to have accurately brought us His Word (2 Timothy 3:16). The dumbing-down of Christians by not knowing the truth of God's Word has led to the Church embracing false doctrines and in general becoming lukewarm toward Christ.

The problem of neglecting God's Word is not new. The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in the Corinthian Church when he said, "I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal" (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). The average church goer has no desire to be fed with solid food by digging into the deeper things of God's Word. They are content with remaining a babe in Christ only being fed with superficial doctrines of Scripture. The difference between now and during Paul's day is that carnal Christians are becoming more the norm rather than the exception among professing Christians.

The danger in raising up a generation of carnal Christians who only know the grace of God but are ignorant of His truth is that many of these are likely kidding themselves that they really have a relationship with the Savior. Jesus Christ personifies the Truth (John 14:6) and anyone who has not embraced God's Word for what it is doesn't really know the Savior. "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31).

The best thing we can do for fellow believers who have embraced false doctrine is to confront them with the Truth. Some will respond because the Truth resonates with those who know Him (John 10:27). In this day of growing apostasy it is increasingly important to be well grounded in God's Word in order to, "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15).

Monday, October 12, 2015

End of the American Era

What is to be made of the U.S. impotence against ISIS in light of Russia's success in Syria? Could it be that Russia really wants to put an end to the reign of ISIS in Syria whereas the U.S. only gave that lip-service? Maybe our inability to stop ISIS had something to do with the formation of ISIS being a direct result of U.S. policy pulling us out of Iraq. Our weakness in dealing with ISIS may also have something to do with President Obama preferring Islamic theocracies over secular dictatorships. 

U.S. foreign policy in Syria has conflicting objectives in opposing both Assad's Syrian regime and ISIS. We are supporting "moderate" Islamic rebels trying to overthrow Assad but these combatants are apparently easily confused with the radical extremist ISIS insurgents who also threaten Assad. The potential is great for ISIS operatives or even sympathizers to present themselves to the U.S. as "moderates" in order to obtain weapons and supplies from us. Such confusion should be expected because Muslims routinely use religious deception called "taqiyya" to further their cause. This is what happens when political correctness drives foreign policy, we set ourselves up to be duped. U.S. policy officials so want to believe there is such a thing as "moderate" Islamic combatants that they will look the other way to entertain that fantasy.

Related to the U.S. apparent impotence against ISIS is that we have not been faring well in the war against Islamic terrorism even in Afghanistan where we bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital. How can that happen? Yes, there are accidents in warfare but this development does not bode well to the U.S. being welcome in Afghanistan. It may well be the event that precipitates the U.S. accelerating plans to abandon Afghanistan just as we did Iraq. (So maybe that is why we bombed the hospital.) While many will applaud the U.S. getting out of Afghanistan because they don't want the U.S. involved in any wars, allowing yet another haven for jihadists will not improve our security.

Meanwhile, Russia is demonstrating shock and awe against ISIS in Syria. They even used cruise missiles launched from 900 miles away in the Caspian Sea to hit Syrian targets. Since the cruise missile has been a favorite U.S. weapon in our recent foreign wars, it sends a message that there is now a new superpower in the 'hood. Vladimir Putin is clearly taking advantage of the times filling the vacuum of the U.S. backing away from supporting our anti-terrorist allies in the Mid-East. Even Iraq is now calling on Russia to help them with their ISIS problem.

The question we should ask about Russia purging ISIS from Syria is what really is driving them to do that? Are they just supporting their friend Assad who is mutually allied with Iran or are they out to plunder Mid-East oil? The anti-war crowd loved to cry "no blood for oil" when the U.S. was in Iraq despite our having no intentions of taking the oil. But Vladimir Putin would have no problems with such a move. Oil is power in this world and Russia is making it clear they are now the superpower to be reckoned with. It looks like the Obama Administration is content for the U.S. to be just another member-state of the United Nations.

Many people ridiculed Jonathan Cahn for his book, "The Mystery of the Shemitah" which made it look like the U.S. would suffer a big economic crash this past September. But the pattern of the Shemitah is not always to produce big one-day stock market crashes as Cahn discussed in his book and was summarized in this article. The bigger pattern of the Shemitah has to do with the rise and fall of world powers. Economic power is just a facet of a nation's capacity to impose its will on the world. In light of recent developments in the Mid-East, it certainly looks like the baton of world superpower leadership has been passed from the United States to Russia.

The change of command in the Mid-East is not a revival of the Cold War as some are saying because the U.S. has no stomach to oppose Russia militarily. In order to reign in the new world superpower, the United States as just another nation of the world will need to double-down on efforts to organize the nations of the world into a more powerful global union. President Obama always has been more of a global union visionary than an advocate for American power in the world. He set out to change the status quo and it does now look like he has been successful. This is all necessary to set the stage for the coming global ruler when, "authority [will be] given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation" (Revelation 13:7, NKJV).

We can expect Russia, Iran and Turkey to continue setting the stage for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. We know that at some point, this new superpower alliance will turn its interests to Israel because that is what Ezekiel 38 says will happen. Thus, it is very interesting that Israel has just announced the discovery of a major oil field in the Golan Heights. And this is on the heels of huge natural gas deposits already being developed by Israel. These new-found energy riches will likely constitute the "hooks in the jaws" of Vladimir Putin (or "Gog" in Ezekiel 38) that causes Russia to threaten Israel.   

The pace of stage-setting for prophetic fulfillment is accelerating. There are more developments daily revealing that we have to be very close to the return of Jesus. This is not a time to be on the fence about Him. "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).

Monday, October 5, 2015

Perilous Times

It is pretty predictable that the president as a global government visionary would immediately politicize the Oregon community college shooting calling for gun control as the solution to prevent such tragedies. But none of the gun control measures on the books would have made a difference in this case. Oregon has among the strictest gun control legislation in the country and this shooter still managed to legally obtain multiple weapons. What the gun control crowd really want to do is get rid of the Second Amendment making having any guns illegal. It is much harder to impose tyranny when the citizenry is armed.

The real story behind the Oregon shooter is that he specifically targeted Christians reminiscent of the Columbine shooting in 1999. Why would this shooter hate Christians so much that he would put them on his kill list? This can only be attributed to spiritual warfare manifesting itself in the physical world. Indeed there is evidence that the shooter was into the occult and witchcraft. People meddling in the occult attract the attention of demons and thus put themselves at risk of being possessed by them. So it is very likely that the Oregon shooter was demon-possessed.

God condemns those who “conjure spells” (NKJV) in the practice of witchcraft and sorcery. Scripture says anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12; Isaiah 47:12; Ezekiel 13:18, 20; Acts 8:11-24; Leviticus 20:27; Exodus 7:11; Revelation 9:21, 22:15). One would expect there to be more incidents of demon-possession as we near the time of the Antichrist who will be possessed by Satan himself.

In one sense, it was a relief to hear that there wasn't an Islamic connection to the Oregon shooting. But if the Oregon shooter was being influenced by demons, he actually had a lot in common with Islamists who are serious about their religion. As the Oregon shooter did, radical Muslims also have Christians on their kill list as demonstrated by ISIS. There is no other religion in the world that is more inspired by demons than Islam which is clearly the biggest, most oppressive, and bloodiest religion in the world. What other world religion kills so many people in the course of worshiping their own god? This past September 1,100 people died in a stampede near Mecca where devout Muslims go in a pilgrimage required by their religion.

There is among many secular humanists an irrational fear that Christians are holding back our society from where it wants to go. It is too bad that fear is not channeled into what Islam wants to do to Western Civilization. Contrary to the current politically correct conventional wisdom, all cultures are not equal. Our multicultural philosophy is the fruit of an anti-God spirit that will result in the demise of Western Civilization more effectively than anything else.

It continues to be amazing that it is so politically correct to embrace Islam as a religion of peace. This is simply more evidence that God is giving us over to a debased mind (Romans 1:28). One possible explanation for this irrationality is that the world secretly hates Jesus Christ and supporting Islam is a subtle way to bolster those who are doing the most to get rid of Christians. Iraq used to be 20% Christian, it is now less than 2%. Maybe President Obama's foreign policy is not as inept as it appears to be. It could be that his foreign policy is working very well to install Christian-hating Muslim theocracies everywhere he can. The deceptive wicked-shrewdness of our president shows that he is probably being inspired by the same Anti-Christ spirit as Islamists and the Oregon shooter.

We err in giving President Obama too much credit for the amazing changes we are seeing in this world, there is a lot of support for him and his policies revealing the scope of the spiritual warfare front we are facing. But God has revealed that the time of Satan and his followers will be limited and the Church will not even be here for the worst of it. We can also be encouraged in the knowledge that God has equipped His followers to be able to stand against the attacks of Satan. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10-11).

All indications are that we don't have long to persevere.