Editor’s Note: For the next several blogs we’ll examine several aspects of spiritual warfare including a perspective on the whys of a world-wide movement toward a one-world system, a Christian response, specific powers of darkness to be aware of and how to be armed and ready.
Joseph Beckham is the author of Overcoming Bipolar Disorder & Other Mental Difficulties: A Christian Perspective.Get the print version today at https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Bipolar-Mental-Difficulties-Paperback/dp/1365045684/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486421959&sr=8-2&keywords=joseph+beckham%2C+bipolar+bookJoe is also the author of Deeper Water for Thirsty Souls – http://amzn.com/1493781286
The Last Days
The “Last Days” actually began with the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who promised He would return for His people (Acts 1:10), those who had given their hearts to Him. Early New Testament writers were certain Jesus would return “soon,” yet 2,000 years later we apply the same scriptures to His return in our day. Some don’t fit, or at least as they were originally given to the Jews of Jesus’ day.
For example, Matthew 24:1-35, which are usually the primary scriptures used to prove we’re in the Last Days, speaks to “this generation,” the people alive and hearing Christ’s words when they were spoken. Incidentally, “this generation” is used in several chapters prior to Matt. 24. In each instance, Christ is speaking to the generation of people alive at that time in history. An honest look at the Matt. 24 verses, such as, Matt. 24:16 -21, reveals this: 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
A few things to consider regarding this text:
- People anywhere but Judea are not included in The Tribulation.
- Unless you live in a house with a flat roof, you’re exempt.
- If you’ve just had a baby and are breastfeeding it and you live in a perpetual arid climate, you’re not included.
- Most Christians don’t regard “Sabbath days” but worship on Sunday, or according to Rom. 14:5-6, whatever day is special to them.
I think you can see the absurdity of trying to make these verses apply to today’s generation. Even verses 27-35, which appear to apply to today, actually are a description of Christ’s unseen judgment upon Israel 7O years after He prophesied it. This description of judgment is found in two other places of the Bible with the same celestial depiction. A reading of the Jews’ tribulation is horrendous tribulation, a virtual slaughter of the nation of Israel by the Roman army, which led to the ultimate worldwide dispersion of Jewish nation until 1948. For an extremely comprehensive study of this teaching, read An Eschatology of Victoryby C. Marcellus Kik — https://www.amazon.com/Eschatology-Victory-J-Marcellus-Kik/dp/0875523137/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541879596&sr=8-1&keywords=an+eschatology+of+victory.
My point is, rather than focus our attention on verses that may or may not apply, we should focus on the latter part of Matt. 24:36-39 that tells us the coming of Christ will be “as the days of Noah” (https://thebloginthefog.wpcomstaging.com/2016/12/21/the-days-of-noah). In a nutshell, while chapter 24:1-35 is a very general application, i.e., wars and rumors of wars, this section of chapter 24 specificallyspeaks to the time prior to Christ’s return.
In Revelation 1, when Jesus appears to the Apostle John, He provides an interesting description of Himself. As the God-man, Jesus is eternal and was always with His Father before the beginning of time (John 1:1-2), but here He appears to describe Himself as historical, “who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”He ISthe Lord Jesus in a glorified body, who was on earth 33 years in a human body, and He who IS to come, as King of Kings and Lords, to reign on this earth. Jesus not Satan, the False Prophet or the Antichrist, is the focus of Revelation. Consider then that Revelation is happening today (current events) and was (past) and will happen (future).
I don’t consider myself a “prophecy expert,” so I’m not going to venture into the innumerable arguments over pre, mid and post-tribulation scenarios. (One reputable teacher remarked that he had more than 1,000 books on prophecy in his library, and none of them agreed!). My purpose in the first blog in this series is to attempt to tie what’s happening now to how the world is being prepared for the greatest deception ever perpetrated on humankind.
This deception has been ongoing for many years. From a human perspective, it goes back several centuries with the beginnings of the move toward a “New World Order.” I recommend inquiring minds to read The Brotherhood of Darknessby Dr. Stanley Monteith – https://www.amazon.com/Brotherhood-Darkness-Dr-Stanley-Monteith/dp/0981764371. This highly documented book traces the inception of the New World Order to today’s headlines. The ultimate purpose of this order isn’t unity and peace but complete control over every human being on the face of the earth. Technology has now made this possible unless you live in the bush country in Africa!
Why Trump for a Time Such as This?
This president is bombastic, egotistical and often trips over his own goals by engaging in debates that aren’t essentially important – even petty dialogue. Whether you like him or despise him, his election was nothing short of a miracle, despite every excuse the other side can conjure up. However, he is strong for America and seems to deflect any criticism thrown at him. And I believe God raised him up for “such a time as this.” The fact is, America is at a crossroads in history. Either she will be strong as a world leader and stand against the flow of the final move toward a one-world government and one-world religious system, or she will fade into oblivion and succumb to the pressures of the likes of the UN and other organizations that would see Jesus Christ reduced to take his place alongside pagan gods or a phony Jesus of the New Age! We need to be reminded of Father God’s description of the nations, according the Prophet Isaiah, and America is no exception of how He sees the world:
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens with a span [of the hand],
And calculated the dust of the earth with a [b]measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or has taught Him as His counselor?
14 With whom did He consult and who enlightened Him?
Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
15 In fact, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Now look, He lifts up the islands like fine dust” (Isa. 40:12-15 Amp).
America, the World’s Last Hope
The constant political-social upheaval that we’re witnessing has much more to do with a spiritual battle than Democrat vs. Republican control of power. The fact is America has been the beachhead for disseminating the gospel to the world since our God-purposed ancestors’ trip over on the Mayflower. In fact, according to a news report by Reuters, the United States sends—-and receives—-more Christian missionaries abroad than any other country on the planet.
According to Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in 2010 the U.S. sent out one out of every four missionaries—-127,000 of the world’s estimated 400,000 missionaries. In distant second place is Brazil, which sent 34,000 missionaries abroad.
While the US has led the world in this respect, the spiritual battle is aimed at destroying the truth and tying the hands of the church to share the truth.
There are many reasons this has happened. Several stand out:
1) Theology often follows philosophy. The attacks on the Bible have always attempted to dilute its effectiveness and believability. At the heart of this are liberal theologians who essentially took over seminaries that once turned out biblically sound, Christ exalting missionaries and preachers. Many church members follow these flaky liberal preachers and often become biblically ignorant believers. The sad fact is, even so-called “Bible believing” churches are often filled with people who have a very poor knowledge of Scripture and thus can be easily deceived.
According to one study, the average Christian respondent to the survey answered 16 out of 32 Bible questions correctly, including 6 out of 12 questions pertaining to Christianity. White evangelicals were the most knowledgeable group, answering 7.3 questions correctly, but still not measuring up to the Mormons, who could answer 7.9 questions. For instance, only ¼ of white evangelicals knew that Protestants uniquely teach that salvation is by faith alone (somewhat of a mistake—the actual teaching is by grace through faith—Ephesians 2:8–9).
2) The failure of Christians to undergo transformation (Romans 12:1-2). Most American Christians are fairly faithful in church, but, in reality, a weekly hour or two listening to somebody preach is hardly enough to change the minds of people absorbed in social events, media, sports and other forms of entertainment.
New research has shed light on the difficulties evangelicals have in making time for their spiritual life. In particular, the Evangelical Alliance’s study found that evangelicals struggle to find the time for both reading the Bible and praying each day.
Of the over 1,500 surveyed, nearly all (90 per cent) said they read the Bible regularly, but only 31 per cent said they set aside a substantial period of time each day to pray.
Although 87 per cent agreed that every Christian needs to spend time alone with God on a daily basis, and that without that their faith will suffer, 42 per cent said that they find it difficult to find time on a regular disciplined basis to pray and read the Bible. Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) said they do not have a fixed pattern of prayer but rather pray when the chance or need arises. This figure rises to 29 per cent among those born after 1980. Over half of those surveyed (60 per cent) said they prayed “on the move”, while walking or using transport. When they do find the time to pray, evangelicals are most likely to be asking God to bless their family (49 per cent).
- Political Correctness — This ideology spread like a virus throughout our society in the past 20 years or so. It seems everyone who could be offended — was and is. The desired result is a gospel that preaches that God loves all — but isn’t devoted to truth about our sinful condition. Often Scripture has been regarded as “offensive” to people’s lifestyles that the Bible makes clear as sinful. The Bible was not written just to bless us and build us up (careful “Seeker Sensitive” churches) but to show us our sinful selves in great need of the Savior’s mercy and kindness but also the constant need for change.
- Group Think — The powers of darkness love this one. The goal is to establish an antichrist archetype over a region in which people begin to quit thinking rationally and adopt a mob-like mentality. The archetypes exert influence over the minds of leaders, who, although intellectually blessed, may lack any type of biblical wisdom. Hitler comes to mind. Rather than adopting a sensible approach, people falling prey to this archetype battle for individual “rights” rather than God’s form of government:
“Why are the nations in an uproar [in turmoil against God], And why do the people devise a vain and hopeless plot? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand; And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and His Anointed), saying, 3 “Let us break apart their [divine] bands [of restraint] And cast away their cords [of control] from us” (Psalm 2:1-3 Amp).
Once rebellion is established as the way to deter a threat to loss of “individual rights,” lawlessness isn’t far behind. Antichrist attitudes against government leaders are seen as rational. As violence ensues to achieve these “rights,” anarchy is inevitable. We have reached a stage where leaders advocate violence (it was recently called “incivility” by Hillary Clinton) to achieve political goals.
Unless you still have your head mired in the sand, the current antics are just another avenue to attempt to push the U.S. into a weak and compromising member of the New World Order. We were headed there fast under Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, both Bushes, but especially, Barack Obama.
Government is not Always Right
None of this is intended to imply that government is without fault at any stretch, but what we see happening here is 242 years of traditionally run Constitutional government being gradually eroded by “progressive” revisionists bent on changing a blessed nation under God. Recently, former President Obama referred to efforts by Republicans to “change our way of life” (actually it’s something swept in from the Clintons, Obama and others in less than 30 years) as something we should assume as truth.
This battle for truth will continue unabated as we enter the final days of this dispensation. Behind the “natural” political and social movements of nations is a diabolical plan to establish Satan as the “ruler” of this present darkness. In the following blogs we’ll see how this will likely unfold and God’s plan to not only defeat this plan but establish Christ as the only rightful king over the nations.
In the incomparable words and music of George F. Handel’s The Hallelujah Chorusfrom The Messiah, we are reminded of Christ’s coming Lordship of the earth!
“Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah!
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah!
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah!
The kingdom of this world is become
The kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ!
And he shall reign for ever and ever!
King of kings and Lord of lords!
King of kings and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever!
Forever and ever!
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah