The Death of Discourse and the Coming Night

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.   John 9:4-5

One of the biggest things that an entity can do to prevent a fight with another is to talk to that other entity. Talking ‘to’ somebody is different in intent and effect than talking ‘at’ them. By talking to another, one person offers their observations, opinions, desires to the other while that person listens. Then the roles of speaker and listener reverse, the listener now offering response to what the first person said and their own observations, opinions, desires, et cetera. Through this process, two opposing interests can interact and find some common ground upon which they might build trust, and maybe a fledgling relationship that could halt hostility or even establish a peaceful coexistence of mutual understanding and respect. “Talking at” someone is little more than a verbal barrage of demands, talking points, and propaganda, the intent of which is to fill the space with noise so that no other voices can be heard and thus make their positions known. “Talking to” is also known as ‘conversation’; “talking at” is nothing more than verbal warfare, designed to silence the voice of the other.

When people have a conversation on a subject about which they do not agree, but manage to do so while maintaining civility, it is called “civil discourse.” It is the process by which peace has come to warring factions since the beginning. For all the blustering and saber-rattling that occurs in international relations, the fact is that a lot of the real negotiation happens via back-channel communications. What we finally see publicized as peaceful settlements or reduction of tensions between states is usually the product of such back-channel conversations (i.e. civil discourse). Back-channel communications ultimately defused the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Had President Kennedy not been able to communicate in a civil manner with Soviet Premier Krushchev during this period of unprecedented tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, it is a real possibility that those two nations would have finally come to blows, likely sparking some degree of a nuclear exchange. It is said that in 1219, during a Crusader siege of the Muslim-held city of Damietta, Egypt. that the Sultan al-Kamil allowed Francis of Assisi to enter Damietta during a cease-fire, remain there for several days, and preach to the Muslims there. He was received and treated cordially, and allowed to return to the Crusader position unharmed before the resumption of hostilities. I doubt that this visit had much effect on the situation, but who knows? That is happened is a remarkable note in history.

I say all that to make this point: get people talking to stop people fighting. From that, you can derive this corollary: to get people fighting, stop people from talking. What you are seeing in today’s headlines is the death of civil discourse, which has been a protracted murder by strangulation at the hands of that serial liberty-killer, Political Correctness. For decades, free speech has been systematically squelched and suffocated under the guise of protecting people from being offended. It has advanced from being merely an ever-growing list of proscribed words, to proscribed subjects, to proscribed opinions, until we have arrived where we are now in the time of proscribed facts. Truth will now get you a beat-down in the public forum.

Today is the day of the so-called “Great American Eclipse” (only about eight hours from now as I write this), but a greater American eclipse has begun already. With the death of civil discourse comes the end of the great age of American free speech. It has never been ‘safe’ to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere, even in the United States, but it has never been more dangerous to do so here than it is now. It will become more dangerous with each passing day unless something happens to reverse this tide of darkness. Whereas one could generally expect to be heckled and sometimes abused for preaching or witnessing, it is now more likely that a Christian will be physically assaulted and injured for such an act. The end is surely near; it is closer every day, and because of the lateness of the hour, we can only expect more trouble from the powers of darkness.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

 

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Time to Choose

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The Fall of Rome

 

Every day now I see another story of alleged vote fraud, of the GOP overtly conspiring to deprive their very own front of the party’s nomination, and of the DNC blatantly stacking their “superdelegates” so that Clinton will easily win over Sanders. Out of all this, I see–more than I could have ever imagined–just how corrupt the American political machine is. When a Republican party official can say on national television that they pick the candidate, not the voters, what voice does a nation or its people have? For whatever one might think of Donald Trump, it is his presence in this campaign that has forced the revelation of this corruption to the surface. All the political world, both Democrat and Republican parties, have united in stopping Donald Trump. Just today it was announced that Colorado would have no caucus, and that all their delegates would go automatically to Trump’s opponent Ted Cruz. What did the GOP tweet about this? “We did it.” They did it. The successfully stole any potential delegates from their own leading candidate and the opportunity to vote for him or anybody else from Republican voters in Colorado. They changed the electoral process in Colorado to something more likely seen in the Soviet Union. The depth of the party’s mendacity is breathtaking.

This nation is adrift; we have no rudder. We cast off God decades ago, and it seems the time to pay the bill may be at hand. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the collapse of societies and civilizations–particularly of the fall of Rome and the medieval darkness that fell on Europe for a millennium afterwards. Amid the ruins of the Roman civitas, tribal chiefs and feudal lords arose to fill the vacuum, and over all arched the umbrella of the church, such as it was. Corrupt and apostate, still it did provide some unifying force throughout Europe. It could exert great control over leaders and their people simply by the threat of excommunication. Many people in America have likened our future to that of the Roman collapse, but I respectfully disagree; our collapse won’t be as gentle. America, if/when it fails, will not collapse like Rome. It will not die and fall down where others can come in, pick up the pieces, and carry on. America will fly apart. It will explode, and the pieces will take a very long time to collect, if indeed they ever are. Look at the state of American society. Even before any collapse has begun, it is fragmented nearly to death. Only the overbearing, and increasingly bloated, ineffectual, corrupt, and hated federal government holds the thing together. When the threat of punishment no longer has any terror–and that’s all the Federal government really contributes anymore–the centrifugal force of cultural revolution and cultural Marxism will fly us apart. We are a supremely immoral, conscienceless, and brutal people. Remove the referees, and the nation will be at each others’ throats. The stage is already set. Only an unmerited act of divine mercy can save us. Whether one will come, I cannot say.

I see some hope, but I am just another person, and I make a lot of mistakes and misjudgments. I see hope in the universal, overt fury directed at Donald Trump. Every facet of the world system hates him. They hate him so much they have willingly cast aside their facade to attack him. We see now what many have long suspected; the two-party system in America is a sham. There is one party with two faces, a living, breathing Hegelian dialectic. This gives me hope that Donald Trump is the real deal. I see these attacks and the blatant vote fraud carried out, by the Republicans no less, and I wonder how he can ever survive and overcome, and actually ascend to the Presidency. I then wonder, what if it is just another deception, and he too will send us to our destruction?

What a unique time it is in which we live. There is literally no one or nothing upon which we can pin our hopes. Our very world is coming apart. Today I read a series of articles from people not particularly given to spasms of Chicken Little-ing and who are reasonably rational, in which they project we have nine months until the collapse–January 2017. I presume they mean around the time when the Presidential inauguration happens (or is supposed to happen). The things they suggest one does to prepare, I cannot do, and the collapse they predict is vicious, a societal detonation of the worst kind. Regardless of what comes, we have this hope:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I [Jesus] have overcome the world.  John 16:33 KJV

 

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:5-14 KJV

I think we’re there. I also believe that if we believers actually put down our iPhones for a few minutes and seek wisdom from God, he will direct us and empower us, not necessarily to survive the times ahead, although that is what I pray, but to overcome them, and in the process make some difference in something that is eternal. It’s time to begin disconnecting ourselves from this world system, to stop listening to their trash and lies. This is the end. Surely, if you have any notion of God, any concept of what it is to be a Christian, you must sense it. The time to choose whom we will serve is upon us.

God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods. Joshua 24:15

 

The Night Cometh

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I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:

the night cometh, when no man can work.   John 9:4

 

Honestly, over the past several weeks, I have lost interest in this blog. Only a handful of people ever see it, and writing a post takes some effort and a lot of time. I have serious doubts that anything said here matters; it is like preaching to an empty church. I’ve seen several events over the past few weeks that could be significant in biblical prophecy, and today, I have the powerful sense that something is brewing in the world. There is trouble just around the corner. So again, I write to the (optimistically counted) handful of people who might look at this post; I preach to my empty church.

For many years, I have held the opinion that the prophesied False Prophet would likely be a Pope, and that the Great Harlot of Revelation is likely the Roman Catholic Church (not its millions of adherents worldwide, but the actual hierarchy of the church–its Pope, cardinals, and bishops). The description of the Great Harlot and the beast upon which she sits is found in Revelation 17. This is not intended to be an analysis of the RCC in prophecy, so this post will proceed on the assumption that it is the harlot of Revelation 17. (For a brief explanation of this, go here.) Jorge Mario BergoglioThe fact is that Pope Francis has been spewing absurdities from his bully pulpit of supposed papal infallibility almost since he arrived. For a person who is supposed to be the Vicar of Christ on earth, he sounds decidedly unchristian at times. He has recently equated climate change with sin, stated that gun owners are not Christians, supported the creation of a Palestinian state, called for Christians and Muslims in Algeria to be friends (while Muslims are mercilessly persecuting Christians throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean), stated that communists are “closet Christians,” and the list goes on. None of these things is biblical, and supporting a Palestinian state is tantamount to supporting the destruction of Israel. Francis is a South American Jesuit liberation theologian (i.e. a Marxist). I question his genuine devotion to Jesus Christ, and see him as a willing tool of the globalist, one-world Marxist government. The point is that I believe the False Prophet has arrived. The Antichrist cannot be far behind.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 today that the states cannot ban homosexual marriage. I can’t say I’m surprised. This is just a continuation of the immoral pit into which America has been falling for the past fifty years. The SCOTUS ruling is being made a bigger deal by both sides of the issue than it really is.SCOTUSIt’s a horrible ruling constitutionally, since this is an issue that should have been left to the discretion of the states. Morally, it is just a symptom of our corrupt society. What else should we expect in a world where pornography is piped into homes via the internet and cable/satellite TV, and all forms of sexual immorality are rampant? Homosexuality has been around since Genesis, and no amount of legislating will change it, but I do take issue with the tyrannical Federal government and its corrupt judges forcing all America to embrace it. The peril in today’s ruling isn’t that homosexuals can now be legally married; it is in the fact that our national government has officially endorsed a lifestyle roundly condemned in scripture. It isn’t the first time the United States has done so, but this adds to our guilt and immorality as a nation. Combined with an Executive branch that is overtly anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, pro-Muslim, and actively enabling the enemies of Israel, the events of the past few weeks have (in my humble opinion) sealed our fate. While Christians should pray earnestly that God will have mercy on us for the sake of the righteous, the fact is that this country deserves whatever judgment God metes out.

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Judgment is coming.

What form that judgment will take, I cannot say, but I have heard some rumblings in the prophetic community, which are troubling. One of the recurrent things about which people claim to have received visions is a massive rupture of the New Madrid fault. One such vision reported by a pastor in Louisiana also forewarned collapse of the US dollar. Additionally, this article illustrates how eleven different economic models all point to an imminent crash of the stock market before the end of 2015.

Christian leaders, such as Franklin Graham, are warning that Christians should prepare for persecution. The homosexual Cake Police was just a trial balloon. You can expect that the militant homosexual camp will be further emboldened to persecute the church after this court edict. For the first time in 239 years, America is about to see the rise of underground churches. Being an overt Christian believer has never been so dangerous in America. It would be wise to hide your Bible in your heart, if you haven’t done so already.

All is not lost, even in this fallen world. Some dare to stand against the judicial tyranny of the corrupt Federal government and its thugs. Texas has passed laws to shield pastors from persecution for refusing to officiate at homosexual pseudo-weddings. Texas has also declared that the state reserves the right to deny benefits, and to take other actions in defiance of the SCOTUS ruling, and that state officials cannot be held liable. Louisiana has nullified the ruling, with Governor Jindal stating that there is still no homosexual marriage in Louisiana. Since January 20, 2009, the specter of civil war as loomed ever larger in this country. America is at the most critical point in its history since April 11, 1861–the day before Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. Most importantly, we are not abandoned:

I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:20b

Our immorality and our moral weakness are coming home to roost. I don’t know if it will be an earthquake, an economic collapse, or some other horror like a foreign invasion (God forbid). God in his mercy may relent, but we have surely tried his patience for many years. Get your affairs in order and try to prepare as best you know how. Pray for wisdom about how to proceed, not only to protect yourselves, but also how to prepare so that we can help others when the time comes.

May God have mercy on us.

Fourth Horseman Rising

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While I have some formal ministerial training and experience, it is not my intention on this blog to hold myself out as some sort of theological expert or biblical scholar. The thoughts I proffer here are many times not well thought out, in that I haven’t taken the time to follow them out to their ultimate conclusions. There are plenty of well-known bible prophecy sites and ministries out there who will give you all the predigested thought you can swallow. Don’t get me wrong–that isn’t a bad thing; I read several prophecy related sites because, why reinvent the wheel?  No, the goal here is to get you (and me) to think outside the prophetical box–to see how and if current events align with biblical prophecies, even if only partially.

The stories coming daily out of the Levant and north Africa are troubling. What we are seeing in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya are nothing less than wholesale persecution of the Christian church. Granted, Boko Haram has been persecuting the Christian church in Nigeria for some time, but there is something different in the air with ISIS. It is a regional and growing threat. It started in Iraq and Syria, and has spread into Egypt and Libya. Now, Italy is calling for help because the threat is at their shores. ISIS is a cancer, and an aggressive one at that.

It started with beheadings of a few people, and not Christians. Along comes ISIS, and now we have immolations and beheadings–the immolation of a Jordanian pilot (a Muslim, no doubt), and the mass beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. And most recently, in the just captured village of al-Baghdadi, the murder of 150 members of the al-Obaid tribe, including the live immolation of 45 policemen. The others were beheaded.

“And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4 (KJV)

Thirty or forty years ago, prophecy teachers conflated the above scripture with Revelation 6:9, “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained,” and came up with horrific visions of masses of people herded to guillotines for refusing to worship the Antichrist and take the “Mark of the Beast” in their hands or foreheads. Over the years, I have seen conspiracy sites warning that thousands of guillotines were being imported into the United States, presumably for this purpose. I even heard an evangelist relate one such tale in my home church when I was a teenager. Of course, it was at least a third or fourth hand story.

Over the past decade, I have come to regard such a scenario as highly unlikely. Few westerners in the 1970s and 1980s regarded Islam as the monster–the beast–it has revealed itself to be in the 21st century. It seemed far more likely that the European Economic Community (now European Union) would rise to be the revived Roman (or Holy Roman) Empire. Anecdotal hysteria revolved around rumors of a supposed supercomputer in Brussels named “the Beast” that could track everybody on earth. These interpretations–these fears–seem almost cartoonish now. There have been few imperial fizzles greater than the European Union, which now teeters on the brink of economic disaster. A supercomputer in Brussels is laughable, now that we all are well-plotted and monitored via the internet, satellite, smartphones, RFID cards, and a global electronic banking system that is almost a living thing in itself.

From where comes the danger? Right now, the rising specter of Islam seems a good candidate. As some food for thought, I submit to you the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as interpreted by Irvin Baxter of Endtime Ministries. You don’t have to accept this (or anything) out of hand, but it never hurts to learn other viewpoints, to consider other possibilities:

The White Horse–Catholicism, founded AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea (or if you’re a good Catholic, AD 33 with Jesus’s giving of the keys of the Kingdom to Peter).

The Red Horse–Communism, founded circa 1848 with the publication of the Marx and Engels’s Communist Manifesto.

The Black Horse–Capitalism, founded circa 1776 with the publication of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

The Pale Horse–Islam, founded AD 622 by Muhammad. This one needs a little expansion.  Several years ago, the best explanation Reverend Baxter had for this horse was the unparalleled death and destruction in the 20th century. In the original Greek, the word rendered “pale” is χλωρός (chloros), which is the word for “green” as in chlorophyll, but it can also be interpreted as the color of a dead body. So it was interpreted as a “death-colored” or “pale” horse. Of course, we have since learned that green is also the color of Islam.

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Islam fits the pattern of the previous three horses each being major philosophical or religious systems. Reverend Baxter now teaches that Islam is the Fourth Horseman. His willingness to admit that a previous interpretation was incorrect is one of the reasons I respect Irvin Baxter; he honestly seeks to understand prophecy.

So, while we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand certain interpretations of prophecy that don’t jibe with our preferred understanding, we also shouldn’t indiscriminately marry ourselves to other interpretations, simply because they do.

Looking for Mr. Antichrist

A long time ago I stopped actively trying to decipher who the Antichrist would be.  Honestly, there are far too many qualified candidates, and any competition would end up looking like a Miss Universe pageant filled with bloated politicians and hirsute dictators.  Once in a great while, however, some low-life thug will do or say something that resonates with that little guy in the basement of my psyche whose unhappy job is to vet all possible contenders for Antichrist.  This time, it’s Barack Obama who has managed to ring the poor fellow’s bell, and it’s not just because I dislike Obama (vehemently, spittle-blowingly so), but because of an odd confluence of current events, guerrilla media stories, and dust-covered course notes from Theology IV and Christian Eschatology.

Having already made public his undying love for the Muslim Brotherhood, Outlander-in-Chief Barack Obama further infuriates decent Americans and baffles the rest of world with his obsessive need to attack Syria, and to do so in support of the murdering, raping, beheading, Free Syrian Army.  The FSA has been running about the Syrian countryside, burning Christian churches, and beheading or otherwise murdering Christians, but Obama demonizes the Assad government whose army, oddly enough, has reportedly rescued Syrian Christians from these FSA devils.

Then that lonely little dude in the basement called, just to mention that Obama matched part of Revelation 13:7:

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them…

There the similarity stops, because there isn’t enough beer on the planet to make its whole population worship Obama.  Most of the world thinks he is a neophyte and an utterly incompetent boob.  But for a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mr. Obama is far too eager to shed blood, which brings me to a bible verse that fits him to the letter–Proverbs 6:16-19:

There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

Well Mr. Obama, you may not have the chutzpah to be the Antichrist, but you sure know how to act like one.  But don’t despair–you’ve got the Fool of Proverbs 6 down pat.