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The challenge of eschatology

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The challenge of eschatology

There is no shortage of theories regarding the identity of the antichrist, Mystery Babylon, or any of the various elements of Bible prophecy that have yet to come to pass. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with prophecies. Many have been fulfilled, particularly pertaining to the first coming of Yeshua, but there are just as many that point to the end times, the latter days, that have yet to come to pass.

The identity of Mystery Babylon, the seat of Satan, and how things will play out with the rise of the mark of the beast have poised many to go into deep studies in order to learn and share it with the world. Some of these theories are farfetched. Others make a lot of sense. The biggest challenge that we face with it all is that there is compelling evidence that any one of them could possibly be the reality that we soon will face.

Some of the prevailing theories regarding from where the antichrist will rise and who will take over the world for a time include (in no particular order):

  • Rome, the Vatican, and/or the Roman Catholic Church
  • The European Union
  • A revitalized Ottoman Empire
  • The United States
  • The United Nations
  • Syria/Lebanon (or whoever is in control of Mount Hermon when it all gets started)
  • Mecca (either under the control of Saudi Arabia or following an invasion by Iran or Turkey)
  • Aliens

Over the last few years, I’ve made it a hobby to study eschatology. I would love to devote more than a few hours per week to the studies, but between the distractions of the world and a need to study the Bible itself as well, it can only be a hobby right now. However, over time I believe that I’ve listened to (without deep exploration) a large amount of theories and there are a few things that I’ve seen to be universal about them:

  1. Those who present their ideas based upon fervent study are absolutely convinced that they are right.
  2. Each theory, at least upon cursory inspection, seems to have legs. In other words, if you focus on the ones that are based upon facts, sound interpretation, and common sense, they stand up as being possible and worthy of exploration.
  3. Many completely contradict each other. This is one of the most perplexing elements of eschatology because most prophecies that have been fulfilled have clear meanings in retrospect with very little contradiction. This would point to an outside force spreading disinformation in order to conceal the truth through competing theories.

Let’s take a look at some of the challenging elements of eschatology to try to discern a proper path to explore.

Watch for the signs but do not be misled

To quote a lyric from rock band Tesla’s song Signs: “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs.”

This is very true today. There are ministries that are dedicated to watching the news and world events to identify signs happening today that point to Bible prophecy unfolding. Some would argue that these signs are nothing new, that even those who walked the earth at the time of the apostles were seeing signs of Christ’s return or of prophecies coming true. This is true, but a better argument could be made that the signs today are much more pronounced and compelling.

To quote a better resource than rock and roll, let’s look at the Book of Matthew:

Matthew 24:23-24

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

If you set your mind to looking for signs of the end times, of the identity of the forces of evil, or of the imminent return of Yeshua, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of seeing significance in nearly everything. I have yet to see a video with modern interpretations of end times prophecies that did not have at least a few instances where the content producer was reaching in order to make a point. They wanted something to be true, so they took facts, spun them around, and presented them in a way that tried to prove their point rather than taking it all at face value. We have a tendency as humans to see what we want to see.

It’s one thing to keep your eyes open, to pray for discernment, and to collect the understanding that our Father is putting before us. It’s another thing altogether to allow our desire to see the signs cloud our understanding and point us in the wrong direction. There’s a reason that this is so easy. It’s because that’s what Satan wants.

Forces of evil at work

There’s a reason that many of the prophecies of the Old Testament clearly point to Yeshua being the promised Messiah. When comparing them to the stories of the New Testament, they act as 100% validation that He is the Christ. Between the two books of the Bible, the only way to come to any conclusion other than that Jesus Christ was exactly who He said He was is to be fooled by having a closed mind.

The events of the end times will be the final proof of the validity of the Bible and the forces of Satan know this. That is why they have gone about clouding the issues for the last two thousand years. They have systematically manipulated men to preach false doctrine and to point to incorrect paths for those who want to follow Yeshua. When the truth will be made clear, the only way for them to confuse the masses is to make false paths that will seem to be clear as well.

We have discussed one of the original changes in doctrine, the switching of the Sabbath, as well as other false paths that are designed to mislead such as EasterHalloween, and the pre-tribulation rapture (or the secret rapture concept as a whole). There is no shortage of manipulations designed to mislead those who seek salvation.

The end times pose the greatest challenge of them all for Satan because he knows that this last great deception will have to be his greatest manipulation ever. This is the reason for all of the confusion. If the watchful are looking in the wrong places or convinced to walk down a false path, they will not be able to warn others or spread the Word of the Gospel before it’s too late.

No man will know the time or the hour, but we will be given the Spirit to understand it when it’s happening. As faithful believers continue to explore and anticipate the terrible events before they unfold, they will be faced with poor information. In essence, they will be unwittingly assisting in the misleading of the masses. This is happening today in churches. It is happening in videos and on blogs. This deception is turning tools of righteousness into vehicles to guide people in the wrong direction.

There’s only one way to see clearly.

Study in prayer

Eschatology is one of the most exciting types of Biblical study, particularly for those who believe that we truly are in the end times. I personally felt myself drawn to it years ago before I had a better understanding of the reality of faith and truly submitting to the Will of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As a result, I went down the wrong path on more occasions than I care to admit.

Before diving into the concept of what is to come, it is paramount to be properly covered in pure faith in Yeshua as your Lord and Savior. Then, one must wear the whole armor of God that is spoken of in Ephesians 6 because no man is strong enough to face the evils alone. One of the most important individual verses of the Bible is Ephesians 6:12:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Before, during, and after studying eschatology, you must be in prayer. To do otherwise opens you up to be taken down the wrong path. The forces of Satan are stronger than you. They are smarter than you. They are able to mislead you with things that you see with your own eyes or hear with your own ears. However, they are not powerful enough to penetrate the armor of God.

Wear it before you go out into the world.

 


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Culture and Religion

First they came for the gun owners….

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First they came for the gun owners

…but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t own a gun.

One of the more infuriating aspects of the Left’s game of denying reality with their little ‘That wasn’t really socialism’ is that there are distinct parallels between their agenda and that of other socialist nations, past and present. They all have a similar process of imposing socialistic slavery with a specific national agenda. A key part being the deprivation of the means of self-defense to their citizens and those who posses these means.

Denying the right of self-defense is a fundamental aspect of socialism

It is a fact of history that gun confiscation is an integral part of implementing of a socialist national agenda. The USSR required the people to turn in their guns, as did the German national socialist worker’s party. As was Fidel Castro’s response in the question of whether the people should have guns as or the United Socialist Party of Venezuela confiscating guns from the people for their own safety, of course.

These have all taken place at the onset of socialistic slavery, but somehow the new version isn’t the same because reasons. Leftists aren’t really trying to set up a governmental monopoly on the use of force, they are just trying to protect the children* [ *unborn and under 9 months old excluded ]. Even though it has been proven time and again that their repression of Liberty does not work as advertised.

The liberty grabber left is now celebrating the destruction of basic civil liberties

Where this subject not so deadly serious, it would be comical to still witness leftists parroting the ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’ or a variant thereof. Meanwhile they can scarcely contain themselves in the glee over New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seizing on their ‘serious crisis’ to confiscate guns with tweets looking to replicate the destruction of a basic human right in the states.

It is more than a coincidence that the tempo of the drum beat for liberty control has increased while the ideological fraud of socialism is being forced on the people. After a long winded piece gloating about leftist victories over liberty, an opinion piece in Bloomberg has even suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts seize on the serious crisis in New Zealand, using it to destroy this basic civil liberty.

Citizens turned into subjects with a change in the relationship between the people and the government

The genius of the founding fathers is that they recognized that down through history, people have had varying relationships with government. In most cases it was one of the government having a monopoly on the use of force. On occasion the people would challenge this monopoly and change the government, but only after an ensuing orgy of carnage and death.

The founders set forth a new paradigm, that of government by the consent of the people with a semblance of parity via a distributed ability to use force. The nation’s Socialist-Left would like to change or ‘reform’ that paradigm back to the old-fashioned version of the government being the sole purveyor of force. Please note that we are dispensing with the tired old line of the left that this is not what they want. They have made this quite clear over the past few years to the point that anyone that is informed of the issue recognizes that this is just another lie on their part.

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression.” – Thomas Paine

Relegating gun owners to 2nd class citizenship

Those of us who haven’t traded, sold or lost all of our guns in a boating accident are a persecuted class these days. The situation is much akin to a baseball pitching machine throwing fastballs over and over again without let-up. With all kinds of new laws being proposed at state and federal levels that range from invasive Intergalactic Background Checks, liability insurance requirements, gun registration and of course, gun confiscation SWATing legislation.

The destruction of basic civil liberties will only begin with gun owners

Every citizen of the nation is protected with basic Constitutional principles and civil rights including due process, the presumption of innocence and the right to face one’s accuser.

The gun owner has been excluded from these basic civil liberties in some states, and if the liberty grabbers had their way, such would be the case nationwide. With just the flimsiest insinuation of being ‘dangerous’ a gun owner [or those who are merely accused of being a gun owner] will be subjected to gun confiscation raid from the authorities.

This will be just the beginning of the ordeal – if they survive the SWAT team coming at 5:00 AM without warning. Our 2nd class citizen will have to prove they aren’t ‘dangerous’ after they have effectively found guilty in a star chamber. It will only be after spending thousands of dollars in legal fees that they may get their property back in less than stellar condition. The trend is to set gun owners below the legal status of accused criminals in the eyes of the justice system.

We’re just starting on the slippery slope

Fresh from their moves against the basic human right of self-preservation, the chief censor of the government of New Zealand has arbitrarily decided that certain ideas are beyond the pale, sparking a debate over free speech as reported by the Associated Press. This of course is another ongoing controversy in the states over the issue of political correctness and ‘Hate speech’. This shows that isn’t just about ‘military style assault weapons’ or whatever is the phrase at the moment, this is a question of liberty, something the people who use a similar sounding label used to pretend to support.

Make no mistake, the legislative mechanisms and regulations used to deprive gun owners of their commonsense human and civil rights will be used on others if they are allowed to stand. A civil liberties group in California made the point that one doesn’t have to be a gun owner to be subjected to gun confiscation SWATing. If they can go after the property of a gun owner in one instance, because they don’t like their attitude, what’s to stop them from going after a journalist or other type of activist? These orders only have to allege someone is dangerous with little evidence, much less proof that they own a gun. What’s to stop them from deciding free-speech is dangerous or ‘offensive’ necessitating that their computers or cell phones should be seized – at gunpoint no less?

The Takeaway

The whole point of the ‘first they came for’ series is that authoritarians rarely go after everyone at once. They are very careful in picking their targets for their oppression with the tactic of divide and conquer. Today it’s the people who own guns, tomorrow it will be those who don’t conform to the precepts of ‘political correctness’.

This is why President John F. Kennedy stated that: “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

This is why everyone should be concerned at the headlong rush to denigrate the right of self-defense. And why everyone should be horrified that the government could even consider jettisoning the basic civil liberty of due process and the presumption of innocence. The loss of basic civil rights for some will mean the loss for everyone.

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Speculation about ancient human skull in Israel points to unscientific method of modern science

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Speculation about ancient human skull in Israel points to unscientific method of modern science

What does an ancient human skull found in a cave in Israel tell us about the past? It all depends on which perspective you take and whether you want to follow sound scientific practices or manipulated conclusions from circular reasoning.

Modern science can give us a tremendous view of the past. With nearly every discovery, we can see God’s work at play in molding the planets and the stars, the oceans and the lands, the people and the other wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, scientists often distort the findings to fit in with their secular worldview. A clear case of this comes to us from a study published four years ago in the scientific journal, Nature, titled Levantine cranium from Manot Cave (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans, that is still being erroneously taught today.

First, watch the way that it is being reported. Then, let’s discuss the conclusions.

This is an important discovery, one that clearly points to a Biblical worldview of the roots of man from the garden of Eden working its way from what is now Africa into what is now the Middle East. It jibes with the story of the great flood, stories from the life of Adam through Joshua, and a centralized end point of ancient man in the region along the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa up through modern day Turkey.

Of course, that’s not what the scientists doing the research concluded.

“The is the first evidence that shows that, indeed, there was a large wave of African migrants coming out of East Africa and inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean region,” said Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University.

One of the biggest problems with modern science is that our society blindly accepts their conclusions. They know, right?

Proper scientific method that we all learn in high school tells us the conclusions of the research are completely unscientific. We know a few things that are truly observable:

  • Humans very likely started in Africa and Neanderthals were in the Middle East.
  • Humans and Neanderthals interbred to form the basis for Europeans. Today, everyone other than purely African people have at least a little Neanderthal DNA.
  • A human skull fragment was found in Israel.

Given this information, it is obtuse to draw the conclusion that this represents a large wave of African migrants inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean region. One skull fragment does not tell us that there was a large migration. One skull fragment does not tell us that it was a migration at all. Modern science must establish hypotheses based upon observable facts, but it almost always extrapolates too much.

This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it extrapolated based upon the Bible. We are told the general story of everything that happened from creation through the rise of the Greeks within the Old Testament. Every scientific and archaeological discovery in the region supports this general story, but a culture that utilizes far more distant time frames to explain the discoveries has generated the faulty conclusions that scientists present to us today.

The evidence tells two different stories depending on the observer’s worldview. It’s unfortunate that most have pushed aside the obvious and verifiable conclusions in order to perpetuate the paradigm of secularism.

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Seriously, ‘eat mor chikin’ at Chick-fil-A

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Seriously eat mor chikin at Chick-fil-A

A month doesn’t pass without some organization protesting Chick-fil-A to exclude them from participating in some program or even open restaurants in certain locations. This month’s version of Chick-fil-A hate was the last straw for Senator Ted Cruz (and me) as San Antonio’s city council has voted to prevent the fast food chain from operating at the airport.

Let’s call this what it is. Any individual, organization, or company that supports a Biblical worldview or donates to Judeo-Christian causes are considered to be anti-LGBTQ. The only ones who are not labeled as such are those who go out of their way to embrace the LGBTQ community and who promote such things as gay marriage. Faith-based institutions that prioritize modern day’s version of “tolerance” over the Bible’s teachings are often considered to be A-OK to the leaders of the LGBTQ community (as compared to the actual members of the community, most of whom are not involved in pushing the leadership’s agenda beyond believing marriage is not only between a man and a woman).

Chick-fil-A has done nothing to attack the LGBTQ community. They’ve always been stalwart defenders of equal rights and do not deserve the type of treatment they get from people like the six who voted against them in San Antonio’s city council. Yes, they donate to Christian causes. Yes, they let their employees off on Sunday except in those rare circumstances when they’re presence on Sunday is a blessing. Yes, ownership expresses a Biblical worldview. But such things shouldn’t earn them a place on the blacklist.

Nevertheless, they are, and it’s time for patriotic Americans to commit to a sustained campaign in support of this company which has become a symbol as a primary victim of the left’s contempt and discrimination.

Starting tomorrow (can’t start today since it’s Sunday), it’s time to eat out at Chick-fil-A whenever it makes sense. But don’t just do it once. Make it a regular thing. Thinking of other fast food joints for lunch? Whenever possible, don’t. We need to let them and everyone else know that if the left is going to continue to denigrate and block Chick-fil-A, that we’re going to counter their maneuvers by supporting them with our business.

It can’t stop there. We also need to let those who act against Chick-fil-A know, such as those discriminating against religious freedom at the San Antonio city council, that it’s unacceptable. Notice that I’m referring specifically to those who act against Chick-fil-A and not average citizens who protest Chick-fil-A. Protests are protected by the 1st Amendment, so anything beyond respectful discourse should be avoided with the people who have a conscientious difference of opinion. But those who act against Chick-fil-A, especially if they’re part of the government, must be dealt with at the ballot box. A strongly worded letter wouldn’t hurt, either.

Chick-fil-A doesn’t need our help. They’re doing just fine. But that doesn’t mean we can’t expand our support for them anyway. The best way to show or deny support is with our business. Give it to them. Withhold it from those who oppose American freedom.

Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?

 


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