Communion With Devils

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Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ? seeing that we, who are many, are one bread, one body: for we all partake of the one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: have not they which eat the sacrifices communion with the altar? What say I then? that a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?  I Corinthians 10:14-22 ERV

 

As a kid growing up in an evangelical church in the 70s, nothing in the bible seemed quite as far removed from my life as the concept of idolatry. Oh sure, I heard sermons on idolatry as an abstraction, on the perils of loving money, or things, or popularity, or anything else more than God. Those modern applications of the warnings against idolatry were valid, but actual idols, pagan gods, and pagan temples, seemed more salient to ancient Rome or some village in an Asian jungle than to me in the Great Plains of 20th century North America.

Well no more, it seems. Paganism in all it’s ugly, three-eyed glory is alive and well in the USA and growing everyday.

Just to build up to my point, I recall to your attention that in August 2015, the Empire State Building in New York City was lit with the image of the Hindu goddess Kali Ma. Big deal, it was a light show, right? True, and other than getting some people worked up, it didn’t seem to have much effect on anything. It’s certainly not like America isn’t crawling with paganism already, but you have to admit, seeing this garish display glaring down on the sidewalks of New York must have been a little jarring for some people:

kalima

Halfway around the world during August 2015, that mob of hirsute inbreeds known as ISIS was busy tearing up things in Palmyra, Syria, like pagan temples and basically anything that offended their narrow-gauge sensibilities. Just for laughs, they also beheaded Khaled al-Asaad, the 82 year-old chief of antiquities in Palmyra before proceeding to convert the 2000 year-old Temple of Bel into gravel. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? We’re throwing up images of Kali in New York City, and Mohammad’s band of hairy men are blowing up pagan temples in Syria.

Almost a year ago in the post Have the Seven Vials Begun?, I said,

“Do you not find it curious that the world, which has so often persecuted both Jew and Christian, has shown nothing but foolish, suicidal tolerance of Islam? Even now we see a rise in antisemitism, and Christians are being singled out and persecuted around the world, but the Mohammedan cult is welcomed, coddled, tolerated, placated, appeased, while it espouses only the death and subjugation of those who are not Muslims. The world and its evil system will always welcome its own.”

Not only does the evil world system welcome its own, its supposedly opposing sects work hand-in-hand around the globe to create even more evil. It seems that those geniuses in ISIS couldn’t destroy a particular stone arch at the Temple of Bel, try as they might. At last report, it still stands, in spite of pounding it with high explosives. (Just a suggestion, but they might try to acquire some artillery; I bet that would do the trick).

 In the news this week, the Institute for Digital Archaeology, in cooperation with those stalwart guardians of western mores, Harvard University and Oxford University, have announced plans to erect replicas of the stone arch of the Temple of Bel in Times Square and in Trafalgar Square as a “gesture of defiance.” I have to wonder, in defiance of whom? Ostensibly, of ISIS, but what does ISIS care if they duplicate a stupid stone arch and stick it up in London and New York. Islam has hit both of those cities already, and will likely do so again in the future.

Temple of Bel Arch in London

Computer model of the arch in Trafalgar Square

If you didn’t realize it, “Bel” is sometimes spelled “Baal.” That’s right–New York and London will be getting replicas of an arch from the Temple of Baal. Baal is that Canaanite god, the prophets of which Elijah had a showdown with, incurring the wrath of Jezebel. Baal worship consisted of the usual staples of pagan idolatry–sex worship, temple prostitution, and human sacrifice, especially child sacrifice (I guess children can’t put up as much of a fight as an adult can). Now that I think about it, where better to erect a temple to Baal than New York? Just about anywhere in the US would do just fine. This country has been murdering its children by the bushel basket for over forty years now, and we are foundering in immorality of every kind. People are getting worked up over this Temple of Baal arch like it’s some sort of moral assault on America, when in fact it is just a symptom of the underlying disease. It’s like worrying about bleeding on your new suit when you’re dying of Ebola.

I imagine that it’s hard from some to believe that a 2,000 year-old artifact could have any significance to 21st century people beyond its archaeological value. In our Western “sophistication”, we have lost the ability to appreciate the spiritual aspect of things, not in a hocus-pocus, new-age way, but in the sense that some things can be–some things are–inherently evil*. Yes, even a stupid stone arch that some morons in Syria couldn’t blow up. Given God’s intense dislike of the Baal cult in Old Testament Canaan, how likely is it that He will be displeased that somebody is erecting copies of its temple in New York and London?

(*If you doubt this, then I suggest you do some research on a thing called the Pergamon Altar. It is a 2200 year-old artifact, a copy of which played a pivotal role in the 20th century. If you come across Nuremberg in your research, you’re on the right track. By the way, this is likely to what Jesus refers in Revelation 2:13 “…where Satan’s seat is.”)

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Have the Seven Vials Begun?

Rev 16 Angels 7bowls

An outbreak of leishmaniasis, a parasitic skin infection borne by sand flies which causes horrible, open sores on the skin, may well reach epidemic proportions in areas controlled by ISIS. The cutaneous form of the disease causes hideous skin ulcers which may or may not be painful. This form will often clear up without medical intervention, but it can take months, and will usually leave ugly scars in its wake.

Why might this be relevant to biblical prophecy? It is interesting in its parallel to a scripture found in the 16th chapter of Revelation, which happens to describe the first bowl (or vial) of God’s wrath to be poured out on the kingdom of the Antichrist.

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. 

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.  Revelation 16:1-2 (KJV)

This is hardly a sure thing, but as I have said before, such peculiar intersections of current events and prophecy shouldn’t be ignored. There is a good possibility that, up until now, we have misunderstood the prophecies and they might come about in ways that we have not expected. For one thing, for this to be the prophetic fulfillment of Revelation 16:1-2, it presupposes that the Mark of the Beast has already been distributed and is therefore not the much-dreaded RFID chip, but likely a spiritual mark, which by the way, is the form of such “marks” when they are mentioned in other passages of scripture (cf. Ezekiel 9:1-11). In that passage, an angel is setting a mark upon people who are to be spared judgment. I think it is safe to assume that any mark that an angel is making is probably a spiritual mark. Of course, that is my opinion.

Another interesting theory on the Mark of the Beast is that what John actually saw in his vision resembled the Greek letters  χξϛ
Vaticanus-A.D.-3502-150x150

This is the Greek text in Revelation 13:18 that is translated as “six hundred, threescore, and six” or “666”. Even if you have zero familiarity with biblical Greek text, the letters above might still look vaguely familiar, at least if you are one who pays close attention to current events in the Middle East.

Number-of-the-Beast

On the bottom is a clearer depiction of the Greek letters above, the chi xi sigma ( χξϛ ) from the Greek version of Revelation 13.  On the top is something you have likely seen many times in the news over the past few years, although it is often buried among other inscrutable foreign text. It is the bismillah–the words of which I refuse to duplicate here. The ‘X’ are the crossed swords we see so often with it, especially on the headbands of the followers of Mohammed, the worshipers of Allah, the moon god.

alhb4

Let it be made clear here. The Mohammedan god Allah is NOT the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is NOT God, the Father of Jesus Christ. Allah is a pagan god that Mohammed adapted to his own nefarious, Satanic purposes. Neither Christians nor Jews owe it any allegiance, any respect, any honor.

As the days draw closer to the end, it is becoming evermore apparent that Islam could well end up being the final manifestation of the spirit of Antichrist. Do you not find it curious that the world, which has so often persecuted both Jew and Christian, has shown nothing but foolish, suicidal tolerance of Islam? Even now we see a rise in antisemitism, and Christians are being singled out and persecuted around the world, but the Mohammedan cult is welcomed, coddled, tolerated, placated, appeased, while it espouses only the death and subjugation of those who are not Muslims. The world and its evil system will always welcome its own.

The coming days will be interesting, especially since the second and third vials of Revelation are the turning of the sea to blood, and the rivers and fountains turning to blood, respectively. The vials are specifically the wrath of Almighty God upon those who have persecuted the saints of God.

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.  Revelation 16:3-7 (KJV)

I’ll be watching ISIS and events in the Middle East. You would be wise to watch also.

When Darkness Reigns

total-solar-eclipse-in-america-on-july-11-2010

The preacher in me chafes at taking scriptures out of context to make a point, but sometimes things happen, and they remind me of scriptures that just don’t really seem to have anything to do with them. Well, today that happened, being the day after the annual global nuttery known as “Earth Hour.”

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, they started Earth Hour in 2007. It arose out of globalist hand-wringing over the faux crisis of global warming. As I sat here today, wading through the post-Earth Hour nattering, I hit upon the phrase “hour of darkness”. Maybe to the global warming alarmists and Mother Earth devotees, that phrase means something positive, but to me it intimates something more nefarious.

It is an unfortunate side effect of living in a fallen world that if something is popular (embraced by the world system), then most likely it is also inimical to true Christianity (i.e. fidelity to Jesus Christ as the Son of God). For Earth Hour and global warming to be so widely favored by the world system, it is virtually guaranteed that somewhere in its roots, it is anchored onto something evil.

Because Earth Hour is always on the last Saturday in March, it necessarily falls in proximity to the Passover and Easter observances. I am not going to try to make more of this than is warranted. I have long been skeptical of the environmental movement, first for religious reasons (for its invoking of Gaia and other pagan gods), and later for the socialist tendrils that run through it. My skepticism is amplified by this very proximity, because while I don’t want to make more of this, I also find it hard to accept that things like this are always coincidental.

The prophet Isaiah speaks of a people who resort to necromancers and mediums rather than to God, and of what becomes of them, in the book of Isaiah:

And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness. Isaiah 8:19-22 (ESV)

I don’t think I have to make a point of demonstrating that America has become a nation of necromancers, mediums, witches, and wizards, or of people who consult them. And it’s not just America: most of the world has gone this way as well. In this, people have rejected God–indeed, they have cursed him and reviled him. Once a people have rejected the Creator, all they have left to turn to is the creation (the earth). Environmentalism has devolved into what can only be characterized as earth worship. The point of “Earth Hour” is to demonstrate “commitment to the planet” and to “change climate change.” The ever-growing willingness to “save the planet” by hobbling people demonstrates the perverse reversal of priorities–further enslave people under increasing financial oppression by driving up energy prices while pursuing this dubious endeavor to save the planet. I’m all for responsible stewardship of resources and for reasonable controls of pollution, but this idiotic carboniphobia and the obsession to curb carbon dioxide production is pointless and ineffectual. What it does is make it more difficult and expensive to improve and maintain the quality of life for people–not just western people, but people everywhere. What you never hear is that the largest component of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere by far isn’t carbon dioxide; it’s water vapor. Good luck reducing that one.

greenhouse_gases_in_atmosphere

This illustrates the global environmental agenda’s disdain for humanity–save the planet at the expense of its people. Some of the more radical environmentalists actually regard humans as akin to a disease infecting “mother earth.” This is in stark contrast to the manner in which Christ regards humanity, “in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

I mentioned in the previous post the “blood moon tetrad” the midst of which we are in right now. Eight days after an exceedingly rare solar eclipse (visible at the North Pole–the first such eclipse in human history), and immediately prior to the commencement of Holy Week (Palm Sunday–March 29th), we have Earth Hour on March 28th. One week later comes Passover on April 4th (during which there will be another lunar eclipse). It is partially because of these highly unusual signs in the skies, in conjunction with high Jewish holidays and the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, that I find this iteration of WWF’s “hour of darkness” so intriguing. For it echoes Jesus’ own words at the time of his arrest:

Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” (Luke 22:52 NIV)

Coincidence? Probably. Am I making more of this than it is? Probably again. Then again, sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to us and reveals things in Scripture that we haven’t seen before. So while I still think I’m just connecting dots in the noise, maybe there might be something to it after all.