Sunday, August 13, 2017

Maybe Today ..

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 3: Showing Them The Money

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

The end times, as we have been stating throughout the duration of this blog, are a period of time in which the rebellion of humanity against the knowledge and will of God as spelled out through the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, will arise to lead global society towards a full blown apostacy from all that He has revealed about life, death and the future.  These cataclysmic seasons where mankind's rejection of His light for the darkness of its' sin and Satan's alternate reality in the fallen human world order have been described throughout the Old and the New Testaments by the prophets and apostles of Bible.  We've been talking about what are the prophetically foretold warning signs that the Scriptures plainly describe for us to understand these times.

The third end time Biblical prophecy we must examine is that of the warning of the "Mark of the Beast" in the book of Revelation written by John the apostle. Revelation 13's account of the emergence of a totalitarian super-power that dominates and controls global governance is ended by the plain truth of this prophecy. It has been the source of untold amounts of speculation throughout history and not a few bad Hollywood movies but just considering the minimal reading of it, in context with the rest of the book, is blood chilling enough.

That super-power is personified by the rise of a literal personage, a world leader whose influence will harness the known geo-political currents swirling on the earth in that future time on a blazing ascent to power - energized by the evil malevolence of Satan himself to establish his own antichristian agenda. He is called "the Beast" and his human charisma and well placed position in human events - in conjunction with the power of Satan's deceptive influence - will enable him to become the final world ruler in the end times as man's grotesque inability to lead itself gets worse and worse.

This ultimately is the final manifestation of fallen humanity's search for a lord, an authority under which it may seek refuge .. completely apart from God. This is what we've been talking about for years on this blog behind what cultism is and here we see the entirely secular emergence of this tragic dynamic of human existence. Let the video below give you a glimpse into the ongoing slide into anarchy the frightened nations, seeking a Hero, are looking for ..

It all sounds like a cheap horror story from Syfy or a ghost story to frighten little kids by, doesn't it?

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this is the Gospel truth (as we've seen in Matthew 24) behind a future coming so fast at us, we're all largely ignorant of it and we would dismiss it readily as "extremism." But as we've said, it is the hard-hearted dullness of heart and mind that evil will readily slip around to establish it's new beachheads of horror among the nations.

And as part of the machinery this Beast will exploit, to gain the unimaginable and absolute control over humanity he will achieve, the economies and commerce of humanity will come under his power. His utter obsession is for the people of the world to literally worship of him as divine.  For the skeptical who might find worship of a demonically driven human being distasteful, they will immediately find that there's no greater way to compel their allegience by taking control of its banks, markets, payrolls and all other forms of digital infrastructure to the degree his rule will achieve.

The Scripture warns just what degree of sovereignty the Beast's control will pull off - that those who submit to his agenda must "receive a mark"  simply to live under that kind of new world order.  In a world where the love of money and self becomes underscored by self-preservation itself, the Scripture makes clear that the masses of dominated humanity will become nations of sheep bowing to the scepter of rule that tracks their coming and going, the operation of their online banking and their employer's ability to toe the new line of social orthodoxy.

The ability to marshal this kind of domination and make it as personal as a punch in the nose, as Robert Heinlein might have described it, has of late come up in the recent decision of a Wisconsin business to invite its employees to be given insertions of microchips in their left hands to facilitate operations there. Purely voluntary, the employer stated. No way personal identification or privacy breaches can occur, they informed us. Mm hmmm.  Just like the personal Social Security number is America's way to identify its workforce for benefits "securely."

In a not too distant future world devastated by the judgments of God that include plagues, wars, violence and destruction beyond belief, the longing of rebellious man for someone who will turn them around will arise to a religious fervor upon which the Beast will seize and ride for all he can .. and this won't be any dystopian novel to thrill bored readers with. It will be reality itself.

And the Beast's journey toward global control began long ago in the innovations of financial and social engineering we see all around us, things that we see frankly delight modern man in search of "convenience" .. remember, this is indeed a world wide phenomenon. We conclude this entry with a couple of recent news stories about how the cashless society and the "office of the future" have helped to drive man down its broadband road to perdition:

With our relinquishing of our independence with a trust and naivete that is beyond surreal, we can see how readily a world that increasingly desiring security and convenience is being primed for the emergence of a new world order, a social system upon which they think life will become better.

How rude this sign will shatter them with a surprise for the ages. And Jesus said it will be like this!

Anyone listening?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 2: Signs In The Heavens, Not SFX ..

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come ..

Acts 2:19-20

People in the last days live in such a way that the spectacular and the amazing is mundane. The eye popping special effects of popular entertainment, the thrills of theme parks, the jolt of extreme sports of all kinds and the on demand access to a blizzard of social media and personal photography originating on billions of smartphones and websites is an immersive reality that so permeates our life that even t
he materialization into our natural world order of natural phenomenon that is completely beyond our control gets readily viewed, downloaded, oohed over and then promptly forgotten. 

Eclipses, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and the like are predicted, observed and promptly filed away in the cultural POV as just another fireworks display in a perfectly predictable, orderly natural universe subject to human editing. "Natural phenomenon" seen in the skies are just light shows these days.

Yet it is this very thing that Christ said would be a herald of his Coming as the Scripture has said. And it has taken the past generation to develop the media machinery of mass communication that will shout it all down.

The coming total solar eclipse that will span our entire nation this August certainly qualifies. It's been turned into a teaching moment for kids in science classes and a cottage tourist industry. Skeptics of all varieties will snort mockingly that this stuff has been going on since this third rock from the sun came into existence .. just as the apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:3-6 prophetically almost two thousand years ago:

 .. knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Watch a great example of this kind of human laxity in a couple of news spots on the recent approach of asteroids within miles of the earth and the general spirit of the day.

It's breakfast time patter and fill in to the next segment. However, as we will see, it can get very real and very fast when a sign from heaven departs from the script .. 

And Jesus said it would be like this.

We're not ignorant of the very things He's warned us of. We're just bored with them. This is how the great "millenium" of human life is shaping up. The signs in the heavens are all around us. And we yawn as we talk about it.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

End Time Bible Prophecy Fulfillment, Part 1 : Where's The Love?

The bitter life of a hateful woman is a sign of Bible prophecy.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:12
  1. Our ministry proceeds from the rock solid observation that we live in the final days before the return of Jesus for His church and the beginning of judgment on this sinful planet. Since time is so much at a premium here, I'll keep these as concise as blogging demands you to be. I'll be speaking on the ongoing fulfillment of Bible prophecy about His return .. 

Jesus' prophecy here was in response to the questions of his disciples about his return and the end of all things? " .. what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

He made it soberingly clear: the human faculty of love, the emotive state of mind that elevates, restrains and sacrificially gives of itself unto others,  will become worn down to a frozen, lifeless and ultimately worthless shadow in the lives of fallen humanity. And that will be as a direct result of the unimaginably poisonous influence of the sinfulness of that same rebellious race.  Love will turn to frigidity due to the wickedness of today.

I would dare say that the present state of affairs today very well qualifies.

From the ongoing bloodbath of people shooting each other over slights in Chicago to the vicious divide that politics has become in America at large, it's no secret. It's a no brainer when seeing how completely cold the world has become. Every human institution is breaking down and you have to be living under a rock to not see this breakdown in human society .. when ISIS fighters can butcher babies and stream it for their edification, kids are bullied to suicide, and corporate business uses the emotional triggers love has to market your dollars into their coffers. When churches can mushroom in a town while social problems mount, it's plain to see. It's all around.

The Black Eyed Peas in 2003 sang about this sad state of humanity .. and redid the song in 2016 since the times have gotten that much more savage. 

Where is the love? and his posse just don't get this: the only love that doesn't wax cold is the love of God burning out of the presence of His Spirit in the life of His children. His love is an undying fire for all to cling to. The problem is that humanity is so toxically bent toward itself and so ready to buy into the innumerable counterfeits for love all over that it never truly sees His love shown in His Cross and the faith it offers. They'd rather binge watch the Hallmark Channel (or Brazzers).

And Jesus said this is what would happen .. before His return.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

When Zeal Without Understanding Becomes The Road To Hell

And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes ..   Nehemiah 10:28-29
Did you know you can go farther than you are supposed to go .. and that the road to hell still is paved with the best of intentions?

He who has ears to hear, let them hear ..

Our church has been reading through the Bible this year and a few weeks ago, we read through the book of Nehemiah, the book written by a servant of the Persian King who had essentially enslaved Israel as another captive class of servants in Persia. God used the Persian Empire to bring a renewal of the nation .. and in so doing, a genuine spiritual revival swept those whom the King allowed to return to destroyed Jerusalem, rebuild it and the Temple.

 And in so doing, the zeal and the passion for truth that went beyond what God's Word had said compelled these people into taking the first steps toward hell. It struck me as I studied this then and I'm only finding time to speak of it here. This is another Biblical illumination into the falling away that this blog comments on.

In their hunger for purity, the survivors of the captivity in Babylon and then Persia set forth the creation of a spiritual legalism by determining they would "cleave to" each other and bind curses upon themselves for not following the Law they had just re embraced. This effectively spelled their spiritual doom. They set forth their own religious customs that would metastasize into the innumerable Talmudic and rabbinical traditions that warped so much of the spiritual life of Israel since that day.

They meant well, but by turning to their own religious impulse and creating their own hierarchy of religious authority apart from what the Law had set forth, the seeds were sown for a harvest of hurt. Israel today still lives under that shadow, blinded to her Messiah, and chained into cultural traditions that powerfully bind it to religion and block them from trusting their Redeemer. Here in these verses, we see the nation throw itself wide open to religious innovations that would enforce with actual curses to indict and condemn those who didn't measure up to the level that they established was acceptable.

It is singularly telling that this was a movement among the people and not a direction from God. It would go on to become the foundations for cultural and social evolutions that would culminate in the creation of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes of the Law who would come to assume an autocratic power over Israel. And it would be their traditions that would become what the Lord Jesus Christ roundly condemned and what he would contend with them over during his earthly ministry in ancient Israel.

The spiritual bondage to these purely human traditions are what led the nation into its' Pharisee-orchestrated rejection of Christ's call for Israel to believe the Gospel that He preached. And it was this stubborn rebellion that Christ would weep over, even as crowds around him shouted his praises in the streets of Jerusalem only a week before His crucifixion.

Here we see the first steps of "the elect" barely back from one frying pan into the fire that would consume them and which has them completely bound today. They are a cautionary illustration of the nature of fallen nature as well as the apostasy around us.

Today, this same kind of legalism is what has been one of the greatest snares used by cults and false prophets of every shade. Cultic legalism is a powerful tool of manipulation that, when combined with the group dynamics of cultic mind control and the deceptive nature of cultic recruitment, turns the underestimated dogma of the Jehovah's Witness pioneer, the Remnant Fellowship weight loss "expert" and the La Luz del Mundo pastor into the most powerfully transformative and enslaving power of the heart mind and conscience the world has ever seen.

It hasn't stopped. The victim count continues to pile up.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Lindsey Factor: A Cautionary Episode Of The Internet Shame Game

Lindsay Stone is the young woman in the picture above who felt that going to a place where respect for those who died defending American freedom was still a place you could publicly act like a rebellious 13 year old. Her alleged impulse, as she would later insist, to be cute and contrary and make "funny pictures" came, of course, from that part of human nature that resists authority, despises and pushed set boundaries and does what it wants to. It's regrettable that what she characterizes as being "funny" became a moment that she and a friend needed to be documented for their amusement.

So when it hit Facebook, as the ancient books say, "it was written" that she would find Internet notoriety knocking on her inbox and voicemail. For the Internet made her famous, in all the ways you don't want to be immortalized for it.

This foolish young woman realized that the closest thing to sacred ground in even a secularized land like America is not a place you do such things. It goes to show you how ill advised people can be and the inevitable shaming she encountered for a private moment of stupidity becoming globally public for syndicated consumption was a lesson for us. It's what I call the "Lindsey Factor," something I'll be blogging on in the future. I want to take a look at how the power of the media and the phenomenon of mass personal outrage magnified by the Web is a potent source for change for both the good, evil and all points inbetween .. and how the essentially well intended sense of establishing right and wrong can go terribly yet predictably wrong.

Lindsay, if you are still Googling to find out how far you've been able to move beyond your admittedly pathetically unfunny and insulting image you created, and you happen upon this blog, I want you to understand, as a veteran and a pastor, I am both infuriated and saddened still - how you could choose such a place to "mock-disrespect" and so completely ignore the national sanctity we hold for it. I am taking time to actually travel there this summer to pay respects at a memorial of a tragedy aboard my old ship, the U.S.S. Forrestal  that took place when I was only seven years old that cost the lives of many men serving our country. It matters enough to me that it should be remembered by all the country and Arlington is a timeless place it should be remembered at.  As a man old enough to be your father, I am sorry you now reap what you have sown but that is the nature of things.

You seem to be an intelligent and compassionate young woman who is mortified and trying to move on.  I've no interest in belittling you and believe in redemption and growth. So I am glad you are trying to still do good in a world that you've rightfully enraged over an act that didn't need to happen. I hope your help of the autistic goes well, for autism is a tragic dimension of reality in our world that you are trying to alleviate.  But your lapse has become a teachable moment to bring light upon the darkness in our world for which future writing will come. I'm just shaking my head that it had to be you .. or anyone else.

I'm certain you've now come to understand that our freedom .. and yours .. isn't free. It came at a price your example terribly mocked.

I truly hope that is the life lesson you had here.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

The End Time: Still On Schedule Even Though I Have Not Been There Myself

It is better to learn late than never at all.   Publilius Syrus

Life does come at you pretty fast sometimes. There's much in one's personal transitions during the ebb and flow of life that can consume you so very much that whatever you've set up before as a priority suddenly gets torn down again by a newer or greater one. Change is the one constant of life, from deaths to births, from revisioning to scrapping, from relationship to relationship. Whether you a believer or an atheist, whether rich or poor, whether Asian or African and no matter where you live in the great human continuum of existence, we all face the lightning strokes of personal change and the uncertainty it brings, followed by sometimes purposeful and often frantic scrambling to react and/or respond to it.

Such has been 2016 for me and my house. I am now an associate pastor at the Crossroads Church at first in Lynwood, then in Sauk Village, Illinois where I serve to help shepherd, care and grow the flock under the senior pastorate of James Schulker.  Last year was one of the greatest years of transition in both churches - while we were just starting to get our ministerial launch in Lynwood, the Sauk Village Church of God invited us to combine with them to create a new congregation. Both congregations agreed and the Crossroads Church of God was born in August, where my wife and I have served ever since and our first year anniversary is coming up. Since then our ministry has kept us quite engaged on a local church level and we anticipate deepening levels of it to come, to the glory of God in Christ by His Spirit. It would take a whole post in and of itself to discuss how I've gotten to this point .. but we know one thing. Elizabeth and I are here for this place, at this time, and for the building of the Kingdom of God.

This blog has been about discussing how the end times apostasy in our world spreads and continues to deepen and deceive.  You may now understand why I've not had time to do much with it at all for over a year, after repeated relaunching to keep it current over the years, despite my desire to keep blogging.  Time is now at an absolute premium. My calling as a pastor now is asserting itself, my long standing desire and passion, and while my calling to be also an apologist and countercult activist remains the same, it is the priorities that are now changing. This has been ongoing since 2013 and it is where He has been leading.

But Spiritwatch Ministries and this blog will continue and must remain. The ongoing rebellion of humanity against its Creator as its time is about to be overshadowed by prophetic judgment must be foremost in a truly informed person's mind when considering the days ahead. Somehow, someway, I will now continue to blog about this fallenness, about the dark days ahead because it is certain that the days are indeed getting more troublesome and uncertain. In such a time as this, the Gospel of Jesus and a living hope in Him that is an anchor of the soul are the eternal standards that will stand all change that chaos seeks to impose. Spiritwatch Ministries stands firmly upon that!

We're still going to do as we have, here in the Chicago metro area and Northwest Indiana. We're still counseling victims of spiritual abuse, still witnessing to cult members, still tracking apostacy, still consulting with pastors, still keeping the websites up and the prayers going on. Every Tuesday, at our church, I lead a weekly prayer meeting for our world with emphasis on the cultic groups and apostate elements in our culture that need prayer for conviction, for deliverance and for truth. We're not giving up .. just again reprioritizing again in the midst of change! Thanks for your patience and attention, folks! Pray for us! We'll be blogging more next week!