Over 100 prominent evangelical leaders who attended the fourth night of the Republican National Convention where President Trump accepted the party’s nomination for a second term were met with fiery threats from rioters while leaving the White House grounds, and even attendees — including older adults and those with disabilities that were also reportedly attacked as well.
Jesus told us that in the last days before His return to earth to rule and reign with a rod of iron. “ because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12
Freedom advocate and founder of the KAIROS Company who also attended the speech told The Christian Post that he experienced the riots firsthand. “Violent provocateurs waited for us (and others) outside the White House gates in the city’s jurisdiction, at nearly midnight,” Moore recalled.
“Rather than succeeding at intimidating us with their vicious threats of violence, expletives, blasphemous slogans, hatred, and intolerance they simply proved the very points the president made in his speech. I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. What’s awful is that the very thing this does is take away the voice of peaceful protesters, whom we want to hear.”
Juan Riesco and his brother, Jose, were heirs to a flourishing family business — Nini’s Deli — in downtown Chicago. But it all came crashing down in early June, when the beloved eatery, owned by their foreign-born parents, found itself in the crosshairs of the increasingly progressive Black Lives Matter movement.
Having since left Chicago in the wake of the restaurant’s forced, permanent closure, Riesco told Faithwire he and his brother are focusing on ministry.
“If they’re gonna protest,” he said, “we’re gonna preach.”
Riesco, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and Mexico, was once lauded by numerous publications as an up-and-coming entrepreneur with a knack for viral branding. He had enjoyed so much success with the deli and his personal business, Chicago Native, that brands like Nike and Adidas launched collaborations with him. But when Riesco refused to wholly endorse the official Black Lives Matter movement, he and his family were made villains on blogs and news outlets, many of which labeled them as “racist” and “homophobic.”
Rather than kowtow to the demands of a movement with which they harbor many disagreements, the Riescos stood firmly by their convictions. In early June, after being asked if they “believe Black Lives Matter,” Riesco published an official statement on the deli’s since-shuttered Instagram account. In it, he wrote he and his family believe “all people were created equal in the image of God.” The lengthy statement continued, “We believe that all black lives matter and we know that only God can bring about justice that is deserved.”
Riesco told Faithwire that, because of the success of Nini’s Deli, which had a five star rating on Yelp, locals were eager to see the restaurant throw its weight behind the Black Lives Matter campaign. Rather than totally embrace the movement, though, Riesco said it was important to use his platform to share his faith.
“I had felt in my spirit that I needed to, yes, take a stand [against] injustice, but also take a stand, most importantly, for Christ,” Riesco explained. “Because my business was so successful, by God’s grace, we had a lot of eyes waiting on us to make a statement about what was happening.”
“We used that platform — all those eyes on us, waiting to make a statement — to say, ‘We believe black lives matter, but we believe that because they’re made in the image of God,” he added.
However, by distancing themselves from the overarching Black Lives Matter movement, as other Christians have done, the Riescos drew the ire of many progressive protesters. After posting a statement to the restaurant’s Instagram handle on June 3, Riesco said “all hell essentially broke loose.
The Christian entrepreneur recalled receiving an onslaught of threats and promises to protest his family’s restaurant as a result of his statement on racial injustice. On Friday, June 5, just two days after the initial post to Instagram, Nini’s Deli shut down permanently as liberal protesters descended on the once-popular eatery.
Tensions only rose when Riesco’s brother Jose began brashly preaching during the raucous protest outside the deli, calling out many of the protesters for their “wicked agenda.” With his at times confrontational style, he talked about how his brother once identified as gay but “Jesus fixed him, straightened him
He also spoke out against the Black Lives Matter campaign’s affiliations with Planned Parenthood, the LGBT movement, and calls to defund the police.
Ultimately, the social pressure proved to be too much: the constant protests, the endless stream of social media posts slandering the restaurant, and the cancelled partnerships with big-name brands resulted in Nini’s Deli having to permanently closed its doors after a decade of business.
The pain of what they’ve lost remains fresh. Through tears, Riesco said he and his family “poured our hearts into loving our community, despite gender, despite sex, despite whatever you want to identify as.”
Nevertheless, even though the family company is gone, the Riesco brothers — both of whom became Christians at the deli — said they are “blessed.”
“I was just sharing with our team yesterday that my circumstances have changed, but my identity in whom I trust hasn’t,” Riesco said, adding he is still in “a position of gratitude toward our God.”
Moving forward, Juan and Jose Riesco plan to dedicate themselves to ministry.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best posted this open letter to the city council on August third, writing:
“Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”
In response, Seattle Council Member Kshama Swant said, “Today I am unveiling our budget proposal to defund Seattle Police Department by 50%right now, for the rest of the year 2020 and to take that money and invest in black and brown communities.”
Best then announced she’s stepping down. She made her decision public on the same day the city council approved cutting the police department by nearly $4 million and 100 officers.
Her announcement comes as law enforcement organizations across the country are experiencing serious budget cuts amid the push to defund the police. That’s happening despite an increase in crime in many major cities.
What we see unfolding is exactly what Jesus said would be the chaotic, godless state of nations just before He returns to this earth to rule with a rod of iron.
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13
You might not hear it from media outlets, but in Portland more than 270 federal officers have been injured protecting buildings since May. In Seattle, one day of recent rioting led to 59 officers getting wounded by rocks, bottles and improvised explosives. Business owners board up stores for protection from groups like Antifa. Still, even though nightly violence and skyrocketing crime rock American cities, some politicians are echoing the call to defund or even abolish the police.
The impact of this war on cops can be devastating, according to Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins. And as the only US representative still certified as a law enforcement officer, Higgins has front line experience.
Higgins believes up to a third of all cops in some districts could resign in the coming year, leading to dire consequences.
“You’ve got maybe a million certified cops across the country. No matter what happens now, if we flip the switch in the other direction, they’ve already come under so much fire…unrighteous fire…cops…their families are being eaten alive by the communities that they serve, by politicians and corrupt media. They’re gonna leave,” he warned.
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one (Antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 7-12
Many interpreters understand the Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–8 as the Holy Spirit, Satan, or the government. There are good reasons, however, to view the Restrainer as Michael, the Archangel.
1. Contemporary Jewish literature during Paul’s time viewed the characteristics of Michael having eschatological pre-eminence as the chief opponent of Satan and Restrainer of God’s people.
2. Michael is viewed as a celestial restrainer of God’s people in Daniel 10–12, the passage serving as the source for Paul’s exposition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–8.
3. Daniel’s use of the Hebrew term ʿmd comports with the ceasing activity of the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7.
4. The Greek term parerchomai in Daniel 12:1 of the Septuagint (LXX) means, “to pass by,” which corresponds with the ceasing of restraint in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7.
5. Early Rabbinic interpretation of Daniel 12:1 perceived Michael as “passing aside” or “withdrawing” just after Antichrist’s establishment near or at the temple mount (Dan 11:45), and just before the eschatological unequaled tribulation against God’s people (Dan 12:1).
6. Revelation 12:7–17 supports viewing Michael as the Restrainer because it links the cessation of Michael’s war against the dragon with the unprecedented persecution of God’s people, which is consistent with 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 and Daniel 11:45–12:1.
Given these reasons the only candidate which can explain the Restrainer being removed is Michael. Other proposals for the Restrainer are hard-pressed to comport with those roles. Thus, the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 is very likely referring to Michael the archangel as the Restrainer, whose ministry ceases and causes the eschatological temple to be desolated by Antichrist, ensued by his great tribulation against God’s people.
The Michael interpretation is not a new, since there has been about a dozen theologians and scholars over the last hundred years who have taken this position, even Robert Van Kampen a pioneer of the pewrath position held to this view.
But it was not until the year 2000 that a young Thessalonian scholar by the name of Colin R. Nicholl who came along that would, for many scholars, put the nail in the coffin on the Restrainer debate.
In the April 2000 volume of The Journal of Theological Studies, Colin R. Nicholl published the seminal article, “Michael, The Restrainer Removed (2 Thess. 2:6-7),” arguing strongly that Michael is the Restrainer. After his journal article was published Nicholl published it as an appendix in his important monograph (which was his dissertation) From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries has just put up a new website devoted to this topic therestrainer.com. Alan is known for his defence of the PreWrath Rapture position which I support. This is his article on the identity of the Restrainer.