Monthly Archives: March 2009

March 27, 2009
This is one of the most asked questions today concerning Bible prophecy and where America fits in — and with good reason. – Bible prophecy is unfolding at an unprecedented pace and America is still on the scene as the lone world super power. — So how could she not be part of the final scenario?
I know that many of you would like to believe that just because the Bible doesn’t mention us specifically, we should still play a major role in the final outcome. — After all, hasn’t it always been that way?
So — for you more skeptical, “doubting Thomas” types, I would like to look at a brief comparison of our nation and the Roman Empire.
The great historian Edward Gibbons wrote about the fall of the Roman Empire, the greatest of all the world-ruling empires. He asked why great nations or empires fall? – It is a fact of history that all empires have collapsed. — But why??
In his masterpiece, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbons identified five major causes that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. — First, the breakdown of the family; second, increased taxation; third, an insatiable craving for pleasure; fourth, an unsustainable build-up of armaments; fifth, the decay of religion.
One of the greatest historians of all time is telling us how and why ancient Rome fell. — Don’t the conditions surrounding Rome’s demise sound eerily similar to the conditions prevalent in our country today?
Let’s for a moment look at the five major causes and compare them to today’s America.
Breakdown of the the family — History shows that the strength of any nation depends on the strength of its families. “Family” is the solid foundation on which a country’s superstructure is erected. That was the case for America.
Rome, in its heyday was affluent and had the mightiest army on earth. — Just like America today. Back then, when people talked about Rome falling, they were scoffed at and scorned.
When Seneca, the famous Roman, warned that Rome would fall — even telling people why it would fall — the people ignored him. – In the words of Seneca, one of the foundational reasons Rome would fall was the fact that, “They divorce in order to re-marry. They marry in order to divorce.” — Seneca warned that family breakdown would destroy the Roman Empire!
Couldn’t Seneca’s warning just as easily apply to America today? Divorce and family disintegration are rampant in our nation.
Increased Taxation — Prosperity ruined the Roman Empire, and its ruining America also.
Historian  J.P. Bauzon, in his book Roman Civilization, notes that in Rome, by the “…third century, the silver coins had become copper pieces washed in silver, and issues of gold had virtually ceased.” Little by little, the Roman emperors cheated their citizens and creditors, paying debts with coins that had reduced “precious metal” content. Debasing the coinage ruined the prosperity of its citizens.
We in America are doing the same thing today. The dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power since the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913. — And America continues to debase its currency in order to pay its bills. — Every time you hear a politician use the term “stimulus” or “bailout”, or “borrowing”, what it means is that the government is devaluing the currency a little more. Every dollar of debt makes the greenback worth a bit less. The dollar’s purchasing power is being compromised. – When the current short-term dollar rally runs out of steam, expect prices to jump dramatically.
In America, prosperity is no longer synonymous with actual wealth. Prosperity goes by an entirely different name today —–DEBT!!
It was the same in Rome.
Insatiable craving for pleasure — 2 Timothy 3:1-4 says, “But mark this; there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” — Simply put, hedonism will rule the day. Webster’s Dictionary says this about hedonism — “The self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure as a way of life.” — Is this really true of our society today?
Highlighting the 2 Timothy passage, we see narcissism, love of money, boastful and proud attitudes, kids being abusive and disrespectful toward their parents, violence, materialism, evil and depraved entertainment, drug use and abuse — we get the picture. — Sounds like the evening news.
Unsustainable build-up of armaments — Like Rome it its day, America has the world’s largest and most effective military machine. However, as the economy and dollar weaken, and its politics veer left, this machine will quickly decline in superiority.
But interestingly, the economic crisis has not affected the military spending of Russia, China, Iran and Syria. The global meltdown has severely constrained their economies, yet they continue to spend billions on armament. Both Russia and China are working on totally modernizing their military forces. Of course, what they don’t know is that they are doing this to get ready for the fighting that will take place in the Tribulation.
Luke 21:26 speaks of weapons of mass destruction, and of course Matthew 24:6 talks about “wars and rumors of wars” in these last days.
Decay of religion — 2 Timothy 3:5 says “Having a form of godliness but denying its power…” Also, 2 Timothy 4:3-5 speaks of increased apostacy in the church. There is no question that we see a famine of God’s word in America today. — Wealth teaching “The Better You” self-help approach, seeker friendly (or more recently “seeker sensitive”) “Emerging Church” compromised theology — all sounds specifically like the “itching ear” theology that Paul (in 2 Timothy) was referring to and warning about.
Here are a few more examples of our current “church in America” problems — increased immorality (Matthew 24:37), increasing blasphemy (2 Timothy 3:1), explosion of cults (Matthew 24:11), false Christs (Matthew 24:5), increased attacks on Jesus and the Bible (Romans 1:18-19) increased persecution of Christians (Matthew 24:9), increased occultism (I Timothy 4:1), denial of the Second Coming (2 Peter 3:3-4), and denial of creation by God (Romans 1:18 – 22).
In conclusion, you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the comparisons between Rome and America. – Hopefully, this will give those of you who question another platform for thought.
Whatever America’s role will be should not be at the top of our priority list. Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hate you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” — Also John 14:27 states, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The only real tragedy we face in today’s world as children of God is our failure to reach those that are lost. — Whatever God’s timeline may be, our focus should be totally on spreading the good news of His imminent return.
Until next time,
Red

March 20, 2009
It’s amazing as to what’s taking place in the Middle East right now. — Is anyone noticing? — If not, do so because Bible prophecy is unfolding at an unprecedented pace.
Let’s start with Israel. The prophet Zechariah spoke of how she will be isolated in these last days. In chapter 12:3 he says, “On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her….” — Since the most recent Gaza war, and as she prepares to inaugurate a hawkish right-wing government, Israel is facing her worst crisis in decades.
Examples abound. – Its sport teams have met hostility and violent protests in Sweden, Spain and Turkey. Mauritania has closed the Israeli Embassy. Even relations with Turkey, the only predominantly Muslim nation to exhibit any level of friendship, have suffered severely. As well, the U.S., her most staunch ally, has veered left and appears to be pulling away from its commitment to the Jewish state. In fact, there’s even talk that America may cut its military aid to Israel. — Who would have even considered this just a few short months ago.
Let’s break it down a bit further. — First, let’s look at the coming political landscape in Israel. Prime Minister Designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s top priorities are stopping Iran from going nuclear and toppling Hamas in Gaza. — He has tried in recent weeks to form a coalition government that would include moderate and liberal factions, but has not been successful. – That leaves him with only the ultra-conservative, hawkish groups to form a majority rule. — We can be assured that with this taking place, the days of Ehud Olmert’s “land give-away, two state” policies will be out the window. – And forget about splitting Jerusalem, something that America supports and has always been a  key factor in the two-state negotiations. Netanyahu has never supported it — and I believe God doesn’t either.
The conclusion of this political shift can only mean further isolation from the already growing hostile world.
Again, let’s look at Turkey for example. This country has by and large been the only Muslim state to show any kind of diplomatic favor to Israel. But with the recent election results, relations between the two has deteriorated dramatically. In fact, Ankara officially warned that “Israel’s election results paint a very dark picture for the Middle East.” — Turkey also summoned Israel’s ambassador following critical statements from an I.D.F. officer.
To the point, it has long been a problem for Bible prophecy to have Turkey and Israel so chummy. — Several passages in Ezekiel 38 and 39 strongly imply that Turkey will be part of the invasion force that will attack Israel.  — And even if Turkey could somehow be excluded from playing a direct role in this attack, you would still have this large roadblock in the way of one of the world’s largest military movements.
And what about Syria? — Although there’s never been any friendship between her and Israel, she appears to be stepping up her relationships with both Iran (Persia) and Russia (Magog). In fact, intelligence shows that Iran is setting up missile sites in Syria and they’re all aimed at Israel. — Also, Syria has just revealed that it has built a missile facility over the ruins of what the U.S. says was a nuclear reactor site recently destroyed by Israeli warplanes.
Bible prophecy warns us that a much larger conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbors is soon coming down the road. — If the folks at the U.N. are having fits over Gaza now, they will need to be hooked up to a heart defibrillator when they read the news of Damascus’ destruction or a similar strike in Iran related to its nuclear program.
Isaiah 17:1 says, “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.” (Also see Jeremiah 49:23-27).
Simply put, it is plain from God’s word that Israel must grow in prominence on the world stage, even if it is a prominence that casts an unfavorable light upon God’s chosen nation. – Clearly, several things are taking place in the flood of daily news — Russia once again flexing her muscles — Iran moments away from nuclear capability — Turkey withdrawing its fragile support — Syria gearing up its anti-Semitic rhetoric. — To compound these problems, America is on the decline — and with Israel becoming a perceived stumbling block to world peace, her isolation can only increase.
I believe that one of the most immediate prophetic indicators to watch is the coming G-20 meetings. – The advancement of America and other key nations into building a new economic world order is key to how quickly the prophesied conglomerate that will bring power the Beast and his regime of Revelation 13:16-18 is developing.
That global arrangement is prophesied in the following:
“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.”  Revelation 17:12-13
The G-20 meetings won’t immediately create this prophetic arrangement. However, the globalist elite’s search for answers that will address the economic distress and perplexity among the nations will likely move mankind dramatically closer to the system described in the Revelation 17:12-13 prophecy.
Once again brothers and sister, this all just means that Jesus’ call to His people – the Church – to “Come up here” might indeed be near.
Be strong – do not fear – pray for one another.
Until next time,
Red

March 13, 2009
You would think that by  now I should know better than to plan too far ahead about what to write about. — I had several things planned for this week, but how fast that changed when I saw and read what I’m about to share with you.

I’m sure some of you have heard of Pastor David Wilkerson. He is the founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, where he launched a ministry to gang members and drug addicts in 1958. – He is a highly regarded mentor to other pastors in evangelical circles and travels the world holding conferences for other Christian pastors.
I personally receive his newsletter entitled, “World Challenge”, a publication that prints many of his sermons. — Most of you know how I rant against the church and its leadership for its “watered-down, ear candy” messages. — Not so this guy!! – He speaks with authority and talks about the judgement God will bring against any individual, church, or government that dares to cross the mighty teachings of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
It is my humble opinion that if we had more leaders and teachers like David Wilkerson, our church wouldn’t be in the condition that its in today.
Having said that, Pastor Wilkerson, in his blog this past weekend, predicted an imminent “earth-shattering calamity” centered in New York City that will spread to major urban areas across the country and around the world – part of what he sees as a judgement from God.
He goes on to tell his readers that he is “compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message” about his prediction.
“An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen,” he writes. “It is going to be so frightening, we are all going to tremble — even the godliest among us.”
It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires – such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago,” he explains. “There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting — including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
“God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations,” claims Wilkerson. “He is destroying the secular foundations.”
Pastor Wilkerson concluded his message by saying, “I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off.” He then adds, “I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.”
After such dire words, Wilkerson was asked how people should respond to his message and he answered, “I can only answer by sharing what the Holy Spirit is speaking to my own heart and what I am to do. — I shared that I was led in a practical way to lay aside a month’s supply of food — because I have witnessed the panic in the wake of terrorism.”
He summed up by saying, “This is what I hear the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart concerning my own spiritual response to impending calamity. It is simply this: stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”
Wilkerson also sees a spiritual application to his message, calling Christians to exhibit peace and hope in God’s salvation in the midst of fearful times.
“My warning is just one voice among many who are saying the same thing,” writes Wilkerson. “We may all tremble for a season, but those who truly know God’s word will be quickly comforted by the Holy Spirit. We will be baptized with a great peace – a supernatural quietness – which will be a tremendous witness to the fearful multitudes.” 
One of the many Christian leaders with a similar message is Dr. Gary Dull, pastor and founding member of The Faith and Freedom Institute.
“America was founded with a spiritual basis, but there are those who want to to make it a purely secular nation, ” said Dull to an NBC reporter.
“Because of the rejection of God and His values, we can expect nothing but His judgement. All one needs to do is to read in history and find out how that when a nation forgot God, God forgot the nation.”
Romans 2:5 says, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgement will be revealed.
A past Vice-President of Southern Baptist Convention is hoping believers pay attention to Wilkerson’s message. “I have known David Wilkerson for more than twenty-five years as well as many of his friends and associates,” said Pastor Wiley Drake. “He is a godly man and I believe he is listening to God. I encourage each Christian to read and heed what God is saying through our brother.”
While I realize we have lots of different prophesies circling around us today, and many of them errant, I want to share this story that was written by Janet Porter, a representative of Faith2Action: — “In the fall of 2001, Pastor David Wilkerson, of Times Square Church in New York City, was warned by God that a calamity was coming. For six weeks they felt an intense burden and enormous heaviness. A critical need for intercession was so profound that Pastor Wilkerson cancelled everything on the church calendar — mission’s conferences, youth events and every guest speaker.” 
“For six weeks, there wasn’t a sermon. Instead, there was intercession for our nation with weeping and repentance. They knew something was coming and that something was bad. And that something was soon. So they prayed. And prayed — and prayed.”
“Then Wilkerson felt God was telling him something that seemed rather bizarre. He felt God telling him to make sandwiches – lots of sandwiches. What were they for? Who would eat them? – That part wasn’t clear, but his church did what they believed God was telling them anyway.”
“And on the 10th of September they stayed up all night making hundreds and hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. By morning they had about two thousand sandwiches. — At 8:46 a.m. the first plane hit the World Trade Center and Times Square Church was ready to feed and minister to rescue workers and victims of our nation’s worst attack.”
!!Wow!!
Making sandwiches all night is a strange thing to do. If someone told me to stay up all night making sandwiches, I’d probably tell they they were crazy. — But if David Wilkerson say’s he’s heard something from God today, I think we’d be crazy not to listen.
The prophet Jeremiah pleaded with wicked Israel, “God is fashioning a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh, turn back each of you from your evil ways, and reform your ways and deeds. But they will say, it’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.” (Jeremiah 18:11-12)
Isaiah 13:9,11,13 states: “See, the day of the Lord is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it ———- I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.  ———— Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty in the day of His burning anger.
One more, the prophet Zephaniah said in 1:14-15, “The great day of the Lord is near — near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness….
The conditions of sin and chaos are all around us and the Lord’s words are crystal clear as to the results of these conditions. — but those of us who know the Lord and are aware of the coming trials must do all we can to reach those who are walking in the shadows of darkness in this sinful world.
Jude 20-23 says, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt, snatch others from the fire and save them…..”
Finally brothers and sisters, remember the teachings of Peter when he said, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 
(1 Peter 3:14)
Until next time,
Red
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