The End of the Earth:

As we know it?

 

I live in northern Minnesota.  I’ve heard it said that this is not the end of the earth—but you can see it from here.  This is just a cute saying.

As a Christian, let me try it a different way.  As a Bible believer, I am an inhabitant of this present earth.  As I write this sentence it is not the end of the earth but I can almost see it from here.

Allow me to try it another way.  For Believers, “the end is in sight.”

How is it that “we” can see it and most of those around us cannot see it

We adhere to the “truth of the scriptures.”  The Bible says that only “true believers will see.”  Well then, what are true believers and what is it that they see that the rest of us can’t see

Here is how the New King James Version say it:

            2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV)

            3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Here is how the Living Bible says it:

            2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (TLB)

3 If the Good News we preach is hidden to anyone, it is hidden from the one who is on the road to eternal              death.

4 Satan, who is the god of this evil world, has made him blind, unable to see the glorious light of the Gospel that is shining upon him or to understand the amazing message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is God.

Let me answer the second part of this last statement first.  True Believers have been taught that the land of Israel is the dipstick to the end of the earth, as we know it.  So we are watching closely to what is happening to the Jewish people.  The Bible says that those who bless the Jews will be blessed, and those that curse the Jews will be cursed. 

God gave the land of Israel to the Jews.  In 1948 they miraculously became a legitimate state.  Soon after, numerous surrounding countries tried to destroy them—some even ganged up to destroy them—but as small as they were, they always prevailed!  And the rest of the world wonders how they could always defend themselves.

The Bible predicted that in the “end times” countries like Syria, Iran, Russia and China would come against Israel in what is known as the Battle of Armageddon.  Iran has boldly told the world that they intend to wipe Israel of the map.  Iran and Syria are providing arms to Hamas and Hezbollah—and Russia is an insidious bully behind all this.  It isn’t yet apparent exactly what part China is involved in.

The Bible also predicted (prophecy) that the Jews would return to their homeland before the Great Tribulation.  They have been returning at an alarming rate for the last ten years or so.  They have been seen leaving the great concentrations of Jews in Russia and all over Europe. 

So now we have to answer another question.  What is the great tribulation?  First lets follow up the above question, “who are the true believers.”  They are not those who know about God—but they that have committed their life to living out the biblical principles in the Bible.  The most significant step they make is to personally ask Jesus Christ into their heart (the core of their being), and to profess their devotion to Him.  This is a very personal act of faith.  It has little if anything to do with Religion, church, or any denomination.  The churches are full of people who call themselves Christians—but going to church and “calling oneself a Christian” does not make you a Christian.  These so-called Christians have not qualified themselves as true Christians until they have given over their will to God and have a passion to serve and follow Him.

True Christians are endowed with the Holy Spirit at the time they make their “commitment of faith in Jesus.”  The Bible says that only with the Spirit will a person see, hear and think differently than the rest of the world (people).  In fact it says that they will look peculiar to the world.

So I have answered the two original questions—1) who are they? And 2) what do they see?  The other question was about the Great Tribulation.

The thesaurus uses the following list for the word “tribulation”:  trial, suffering, pain, ordeal, misfortune, distress, difficulty, trouble, problem, hardship, and misery.  Do you know anyone that might fit any of this list?  Maybe it would be better to ask if you know anybody that does not fit this list?

 Does the world in general fit this list?  This list is not new to any of us, but have you become aware how this list is intensifying at such an alarming rate?  The pace of life during the years I knew my grandparents and my great grandmother accelerated for my own parents, accelerated again during my generation, and seems to spinning even more wildly for this present time.  The events covered in the news always seem to take on increased intensity as time passes.  In other words, the turbulence of present is continually increasing.  The Bible exhorts Christ followers to watch the “signs of the times.”  When the world comes against Israel God says He will intervene.  He will never allow anybody to destroy or overcome His people and the land of Israel.  Non-believers will not believe it until it is too late.  It will be at this point in time that “The Tribulation” will become a reality.  This is a seven-year stretch of time that was predicted (prophecy) in the Bible.  The first half of The Tribulation (three and a half years) is worse that anything mankind has ever seen or known.  The last half (again three and a half years) is called the Great Tribulation because it is infinitely worse that anything that has yet ever happened on the earth.  Check it out.  This is serious business.

There is a reason that I have tried to lay this groundwork for you.  We need to address the role that “deception” has played from the beginning of time (Adam and Eve) to this present day. Most of the people on the earth do not really believe that there is a “Satan and demons” that play an evil role in the torment that we experience in our lives.  Look at what the Bible says:

            1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV)

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

God has a plan for every person that he created.  Satan also has a parallel plan for every human being.  There are only two plans to pick from.  Similarly, there are only two economies or governments on the planet earth.  One is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the other under the control of the “god of this world” (Satan). 

Mankind believes that they are in control of all such economies that we label socialist, democratic, communistic, monarchy, theocracy and dictatorship.  They all fall under the category of man placing himself above the plan God has for him.  All plans other than God’s plan for man is based on “deception.”  Deception is Satan’s primary way to operate as the “god of this world.”  I just listed 6 forms of government, but the Internet browser showed 42 major types and 24 sub descriptions for a grand total of 66 that presently exist. 

We in America are convinced that democracy is by far the better of the 66 options.  Many true Christians see much of the existing deception in our own favored method of governing.  We see that we are way off the mark of God’s plan for man.  And we are amazed to find that many in our community who call themselves Christians “can not see” the deception and often embrace it.  The Bible says that those who do not have a passion for the truth “will not see” the truth.

Every institution in America is susceptible to deception.  As a school administrator I saw it in the school system.  My wife is a mastered degree health professional and witnessed it in the health care system.  It does not take a rocket scientist to see it in our political system either.  Now, we are all susceptible to being deceived—it is part of life on this planet.  But God has given us a way in His Word on how to detect deception and how to deal with it.  Only those who have a passion for the truth and who spend time studying the Bible will learn to discern the truths God has for us.  What is even more disturbing is that often the church and the churchgoers are deceived as well.  Religion is man’s search for God.  The Bible does not say that church attendance will qualify a person for Heaven (living with God in the hereafter).  But a form of this is actually taught in many churches…but it is not true!  

So all the energy on the earth is positive or negative, good or evil.  Every word and every thought comes from one source or the other.  Every creative idea comes from God (to you and through you), as God is the creator of all things.  Satan has no power or ability to create anything.  What Satan and the demon world does is to counterfeit whatever is true, good and pure.  You can’t have a counterfeit dollar bill or counterfeit diamond unless a real dollar or diamond actually exists. 

Therefore, every thing the demonic world presents to us is a “deception of the real thing.  They will use boldface lies, half-truths and sometimes lots of truth laced with a lie.  For the Christian God represents “light” and “life.”  For the deceived these untruths represent darkness and death.  What I am trying to focus on here at this point is how any and all of us can be deceived.  The more truth you embrace the less likely you are to be deceived.  Also, the more truth you possess the less severe and less likely a deception can take you to a more destructive level.

 Let’s look at some examples of this.  To help develop the concept or premise I am making I want to use an analogy, which is a favorite of mine.  A farmer recognizes that the rats are increasing in his barn, so he puts out some rat poison.  Rat poison consists of 99% pure corn and 1% strychnine.  The first rat come into the barn and says, “it looks like corn, it smells like corn—and it even tastes like corn!  He has some and then runs to his buddies to tell them of his great find.  They all see it the same way, and soon they are all dead.  Ninety-nine percent truth and one percent counterfeit (death).

Deception and lies are behind the likes of alcohol and drug abuse, and every other addiction.  The root of such issues most often manifest (begin) before a person is 9-11 years of age.  Here are examples of these “roots” (deceptions):  rejection, loneliness, unloved, and abused for starters.  There are grown men and women who are still suffering from early childhood rejection.  Feelings of rejection to a six or seven year old are devastating and may linger into adulthood.  Then it may be compounded by denial as well.

Most people often deny they have been abused, because they only equate physical abuse as abusive.  There are many forms of abuse: verbal abuse, mental abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and even religious abuse to name a few.  Always what is behind this is lies and deception.  The lies and deception becomes the person’s truth. This is all Satan’s territory.

I have taught this information to somewhere between 3-4,000 inmates in some 20 county jails in Minnesota in the past ten years.  When I ask, “does this apply to you?”  Not even one person of this large group has ever said, “That does not apply to me.  They often think that I am reading their mail as I teach this information.  The only way to explain this is that it is true!  This is the work of the “enemy.”  The Bible says that the enemy is Satan and his demonic spirits and workers.  Many of these inmates begin to get free when they embrace these truths.  The Bible says, “the truth will set you free.”

Here is what the Bible says:

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Principalities, and powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places is the demonic world that is your enemy.

What this means is that our parents, husband, wife, brother, or drug dealer are not our enemy.  Satan and his demons often work through family members, friends and acquaintances to do their damage.  The family members and others are rarely aware that they are being “used” to harm people.  Once again they are deceived. 

When Jesus was resurrected from the dead He went to be with the Father in Heaven above, and said he would send the comforter (Holy Spirit) to teach us.  Jesus was the “light” in a dark world.  When He went to heaven He wanted the disciples to become that light to the world.  The command was to go and preach the Gospel, and to heal and deliver the sick and troubled world that they lived in.  Christians are to also become a light in a dark world.  As a result, God works through people to accomplish His work on this earth.  Now consider this:  Is it any wonder that Satan and his demons would try to accomplish their evil work through people as well?  God uses His Word (Bible) to bring us the TRUTH, and then says, “the truth will make you FREE!  Satan on the other hand, uses deception and his communication with us is always a lie.  What a contrast!  Again we bump into this two kingdom concept:  God’s will and man’s will (Satan’s plan says your will is most important), Eternal Life and eternal death, Peace and joy or torment and tribulation. 

Previously I pointed out that mankind believes that they created 66 versions of government (ways to manage people groups).  The truth is they all fall under the plan orchestrated by the “god of this world.”  Just because we humans think there are 66 ways to do this, doesn’t change the TRUTH of it.  Now don’t get me wrong—none of these are bad people.  But they are deceived people.

I tell the inmates I teach that there are no bad people!  Why?  Well, God did not create bad people, and He created all of us.  So what about the murderers, rapists and drug dealers? What about those dictators that have committed genocide?  They were all little boys that God created and loved but as they came into manhood their “belief system” was distorted.  Then Satan influenced them to sin and embrace evil through “deception” and they had given themselves to the “other plan.”  The tyranny and awful things that mankind has perpetrated on others was born out of darkness and deception.  Psychology has a difficult time explaining such atrocities.  When a couple of kids walk into a school and shoot a bunch of students the field of psychology studies them in an effort to understand why they would do such a thing.  What was the motive?  I am not the sharpest guy on my block but I know what was behind it—they were demon possessed.  There is a wide range of demonic influence besides the extreme of being demon possessed.  Just being deceived is the least level, then levels in between would include “obsession” and “oppression.”

There is a book by Pastor Bill Winston called “Closing the Door to Deception. “ Here is a section he sub-titles Satanic Influences:

   Spirit of Divination - Divination is broadly defined as an attempt to discern future events or to discover that which cannot be known by normal methods of discovery. The familiar spirit is sought out to assist a person in his quest for hidden knowledge, guidance, and power. Divination includes the practices of occultists, spiritist mediums, witches, Haitian voodoo priests, American medicine men, and Siberian shamans. God has judged it as wrong. He calls divination an abomination and pronounces a curse upon anyone who practices it.

   The practice of attempting to foretell future events -The Word of God tells us that people who divine are controlled or possessed by demonic spirits which enable them to receive information beyond the human intellect at a particular time. God's prophets receive their divine revelation by the Holy Spirit. On the other side of the spectrum are demonic spirits feeding information to fortunetellers and sorcerers. Other examples are (Fortuneteller / Soothsayer: Warlock / Witch Sorcerer: Rebellion: Hypnotist / Enchanter: Magic:Water-Witching: Drugs (Greek:Pharmakos).

   Familiar Spirits - Familiar spirits is the designation of a specific type of evil spirit. It is so classified because of its chief characteristic; namely, familiarity. It is a relationship, a familiarity, with a person. For example, a woman whom Paul encountered in Macedonia, had a familiar spirit which gave her powers of divination. (See Acts 16:16-18). Familiar spirits are common amid the practices of spiritism and witchcraft, but their activity is by no means limited to persons and practices so obviously occult. Evil spirits are personalities, and personalities have the capacity to relate to one another. When a person forms a relationship with an evil spirit, (which can be done either willfully or through ignorance), that person then has a familiar spirit. Thus, anyone who becomes a channel of communication with an evil spirit is a medium. He has a familiar spirit.  Other examples are (Necromancer: Clairvoyant: Spiritist: False Prophesy: Passive Mind-Dreamers, Yoga).

   Special Note: God's Word clearly forbids communication with spirits of the dead (see Deuteronomy 18:11). Familiar spirits can impersonate a deceased friend or relative. The scripture says, "There is one mediator between God and men, that man is Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus said, "no man cometh to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). There are some, however, who have been taught to pray to departed saints or Mary as mediators. When men pray to the spirits of these departed dead they are practicing necromancy.

   Spirit of the Anti-Christ - (all spirits named in this outline deny some part or authority of Jesus Christ) - This spirit attacks the very foundation of Christianity, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Gospel, such as the Atonement, Healing, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Rapture of the Church, and the Lord's Second Coming. If Jesus was not God in the flesh, then all His other claims are false.

   The spirit of anti-christ works through those who teach that Jesus was a good man but nothing more. Muslims categorize Jesus as being a great prophet but just one of many. Even the supposed messages from UFO's nullify the divinity of Christ.

   Denies Deity of Christ: Denies Atonement: Against Christ & His Teaching: Humanism: Worldly Speech & Actions: Against Christians: Lawlessness: Deceiver:

   Seducing Spirits - These strongmen will be especially active in the last days of our age as wickedness becomes more intense. Their prime target will be people who have accepted Christ as their Savior. Satan plays both ends against the middle. If he can't entice Christians with the usual sins, he uses false religions and doctrinal error to entangle them. For varied reasons, these blood-washed Believers will "depart from the faith" and embrace religions invented by devils.

   How exactly does Satan seduce a Christian? "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

So, in closing this commentary let me touch on a couple points of concern.  I have watched our presidents and our government take various and diverse positions on Israel and “peace in the middle east.”  It is my personal opinion that our presidents appear to have the wrong motive for accomplishing a peace plan.  They seem to want peace partly so they can include it in their resume of accomplishments.  I do not doubt that they mean well, but they always want Israel to “behave” in order for our support.

I voted for Jimmy Carter because he was a Baptist Sunday School teacher, and I thought he would be sensitive what the Bible says.  I couldn’t see that he was a very week president until some years after he left office.  But it turns out he was not just a weak leader—he was an anti-Semite.  He finally wrote a book in support of the Palestinians and against the Jews.  He was also the first past president to speak badly against a sitting president (in this case President G.W. Bush). 

It is obvious what a morally decadent presidency Mr. Clinton produced.  One has to be deceived to think that we did not see through his statement on the stand when he declared, “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is” is.”  Even elementary children know what is means.  Both he and Bush the elder waffled on really standing strong for Israel.  I also voted for George W. Bush because once again I believed He was a Christian and would strongly support Israel.  But he too began to be tough on the Jewish state and actually said that the god of the Muslims was the same God that we believe in—which is not true. 

Now comes Obama and his “Clintonesque” cabinet.  They are actually strong-arming Israel into complying with America’s wishes in order to get our support.  At the same time he is all over the world scene talking down America and emboldening the Muslims.  He may be deceived or in agreement with an evil plan.  Either way—look out for your redemption drawith nigh.

The Bible speaks about the Anti-Christ that will appear on the scene during the seven-year Tribulation.  He will be very charismatic, well known around the world, and people will become very excited by him at some point.  He may be a fairly decent person by all accounts and may not even be aware that he will actually fill the role of Anti-Christ.  But whoever he is, Satan will enter him and then he will perform as the end times Anti-Christ.  He is most likely a man who the world knows now as a very successful person in our midst right now. 

Why do I think that?  Because Israel’s last three supporting countries have begun to with draw their support.  Egypt has chosen to break their support of the blockade of weapons shipped in by rogue countries.  Turkey, a democratic country, has been a strong supporter of Israel.  But they have quickly become a Muslim country and are now at odds with Israel over the last blockade issue as well.  And America?  Well, Obama does not support Israel unless they do as he says.  Israel cannot afford to play Obama’s game.  All I can say is watch out!  Times are going to get very difficult very quickly.  Getting the Truth could save your life!

 

 



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