If you are interested in a Bible based synopsis of End Times signs, this is a must listen. You will need one and a half hours, but it is well worth the time. The content is comprehensive, make a note of all the Bible verses for your own study.
If you are interested in a Bible based synopsis of End Times signs, this is a must listen. You will need one and a half hours, but it is well worth the time. The content is comprehensive, make a note of all the Bible verses for your own study.
This is a very short video clip (2 minutes) so worth watching. The USGS data clearly shows an increase in intensity and frequency of earthquakes of intensity 6.3 and greater.
Netanyahu ends his powerful speech at the UN on September 19th, 2017 with these words:
“As the prophet Isaiah said, ‘I’ve made you a light unto the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.’ Today, twenty seven hundred years after Isaiah spoke those prophetic words, Israel is becoming a rising power among the nations, and at long last, its light is shining across the continents, bringing hope and salvation to the ends of the earth.”
I don’t believe Netanyahu understood the prophetic significance of those words nor understood how God has orchestrated the following events that he outlined.
“Ladies and gentlemen, in this year of historic visits and historic anniversaries, Israel has so much to be grateful for. One hundred and twenty years ago, Theodore Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress to transform our tragic past into a brilliant future by establishing the Jewish state. One hundred years ago, the Balfour Declaration advanced Herzl’s vision by recognising the right of the Jewish people to a national home in our ancestral homeland. Seventy years ago, the United Nations further advanced that vision by adopting a resolution supporting the establishment of a Jewish state. And 50 years ago, we reunited our eternal capital, Jerusalem, achieving a miraculous victory against those who sought to destroy our state.”
We are watching Bible “end times” prophecy unfold in our time. Listen to what Netanyahu says about Iran invading Syria, Iraq – go to YouTube and type in Netanyahu speech at UN on September 19th, 2017.
The Bible tells us that Iran will invade its surrounding neighbours seeking to advance its influence in the region; “I saw the ram (Iran – Media & Persia)) pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him” Daniel 8:4. Moreover, Daniel tells us that Iran’s time of dominance is short lived as Turkey (prophesied revived Ottoman Empire) crushes Iran ” suddenly a male goat (Turkey) came from the west… then he came to the ram that had two horns… and ran at him with furious power… There was no power in the ram to withstand him… Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in its place four notable ones came up… and out of one of them came a little horn (Antichrist) which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land… He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary cast down” Daniel 8:5-11.
Daniel clearly tells us that the Antichrist will come out of this revived Ottoman Empire. He will be their expected Messiah, the al Mahdi. Note the % of Muslims that believe the Mahdi’s return is imminent.
Watch for the next prophesied events to occur, the rebuilding of the temple. We know Israel is ready, watch this one minute video by the Temple Institute. Also, watch for the two prophesied wars: Iran (Shia) pushing westward, northward and southward and then Turkey (Sunni) retaliating to reestablish its dominance (revived Ottoman Empire).
American Pastors Network, President Sam Rohrer hopes America, the church, pastors and believers are listening to the message God is sending in the wake of many natural disasters and unrest. He said, “periods like these were common in the Bible, where God gave his people warnings and implored them to repent.”
“So we must ask, ‘What should be happening in our country?'” Rohrer continued. “‘How should the American people be responding?’ We can tie these important questions to everything we see happening in our world—from hurricanes to earthquakes. God is indeed trying to get our attention. And everything fits within the context of taking heed of this warning, repenting and getting right with God. The American Pastors Network’s urgent message is: ‘Wake up, church!’ Do we understand? Are we hearing and is it leading to repentance?”
Rohrer added that pastors especially should be encouraging their people to listen to God’s message, ask “What are you saying, God?” and get on their knees to repent.
“The verse 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land’ was used widely during the presidential election of 2016,” Rohrer said. “But now, many have forgotten. The post-election message was that our nation had a short period of time—a small window of opportunity—to steer the ship right. What will the church do in that window? Go back to sleep or further engage? These past few weeks have been a very tangible wake-up call. We must look up and understand, and know that what happens in this country hinges on the people of God. Are they hearing, are they watching and are they responding?”
Rohrer and his fellow hosts of APN’s radio ministry, “Stand in the Gap Today,” which airs on 425 stations nationwide, have been addressing these timely headlines and their tie to biblical times.
In Isaiah Chapter 5, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed judgement on the Jerusalem of his day,” Rohrer said on a recent “Stand in the Gap” program. Could his words be the final words of judgement on America of our day? His message was one of final judgement. No more warnings. No more time. God said, I’ll destroy your nation because you’ve rejected my commands and despised My holy name. Therefore, My fearsome anger will come against you and no nation will stand against Me. In that day, Israel deserved God’s judgement. We in America should look in the mirror and consider our sins in light of Israel then: materialism; apathy; ignorance; moral relativism; addictions of all types; bribery and corruption; rampant dishonesty.
“Is not God clearly warning our nation?” says, Rohrer
“For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth—proving what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things are exposed when they are revealed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:8-14).
Spirit-filled Christians are not immune to overwhelming assaults of the enemy, but we should be victorious at the end of the battle. Sadly, in today’s dark world, even some of the most passionate Believers are experiencing defeat after defeat. Many would admit that they have been unable to break free from strategic, continual, tormenting and demonic oppression. They force a smile on their face for Sunday morning and let it fade away as they walk out the doors at the end of the service. For some depression and despair digs into their soul and refuses to let go. They pray in tongues and stand in faith with no effect at all. It seems that God has abandoned them. The truth about their situation, however, is quite different.
Do not be deceived. None of us is strong enough to resist the onslaught of a very evil, demented and deadly spirit if we entertain that spirit. Not only must it be cast out, but it must be rejected in every form, in every area of our lives.
As I stated above, innumerable Spirit-filled Christians find themselves bound up, oppressed and without strength for a permanent deliverance in their lives. Yes, they are spiritually minded. They understand the power of prayer. They believe in the authority granted to them by Christ. They do their best to function as spiritual warriors, but at the end of the battle, they are beaten, desperate and hopeless. The enemy wins time and time again.
We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that evil is less threatening just because it takes the form of something familiar.
Many are in a cycle of warfare with the enemy, attempting to function spiritually, appearing to be bold and fearless as they engage him. However, they can never win unless they completely cancel their agreement with evil.
Both the enemy and whatever vehicle it uses to entice us must be eradicated from our lives. Now.
“You have heard that it was said by the ancients, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. For it is profitable that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Matthew. 5:27-30).
I have heard pastors, leaders and seemingly solid Christians tell me that cursing and violence in movies doesn’t bother them. Occasional nudity doesn’t either. However, they refuse to watch sexual situations, that’s where they draw the line.
They wonder why they can’t live free from lust. They can’t imagine living a life with no unrighteous sexual images (which would be anybody real or imagined other than their spouse) dancing through their minds.
The enemy is manifesting through all unrighteous forms of media, something that seems so common, so familiar, so innocent, playful, something that’s now a part of Western culture.
Others continually wrestle with anger and hatred while playing violent video games. The spirit of hatred is nicely packaged: the video game, a familiar part of most people’s lives.
The truth is clear. We can’t watch nudity in media and stay free from lust. We can’t watch violence and expect it to have no effect on us. It’s more than cause and effect. The enemy chooses certain vehicles and methods to anoint as he works to facilitate his plan of destruction in our lives.
We need to cast the spirit completely out of our lives and never allow ourselves to be deceived into enjoying what they have to offer again.
“For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts” (Romans 13:14).
Keep an eternal focus, Jesus is coming back soon, be prepared, be the temple of the Holy Spirit, then discernment will increase, holiness will increase, only then will you find true freedom.
Extract from Hounds of Hell Aren’t Family Pets: A Prophetic Dream About Radical Freedom by John Burton
“Therefore shall heaven be shaken, And earth leap out of its place, At the fury of God of Hosts on the day of His burning wrath.” Isaiah 13:13
This month, while even more hurricanes brewed over the Atlantic Ocean, two deadly earthquakes hit Mexico. On September 8, an 8.4 magnitude earthquake hit the country’s west coast, killing almost 60 people and generating a minor tsunami. This was followed last Tuesday by a 7.1 magnitude quake that devastated Mexico City, killing at least 326 people.
It is significant that two Rabbis have connected the increasing natural disasters with end times prophecies.
Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, a Bible codes expert, believes he found the cause of this recent seismic outbreak. In a video published after the first Mexican earthquake, Rabbi Glazerson, using special software, searched for hidden messages within the Bible that would explain current events. The results corresponded to a remarkably appropriate verse relating to the revolt led by Korach described in the Book of Numbers.
“Scarcely had he finished speaking all these words when the ground under them burst asunder.” Numbers 16:31
Attached to this verse, he found a code of the word ‘Mexico’ with the Hebrew words ‘rash’ (shaking) and ‘adamah’ (ground). Also attached to this grouping were the words ‘kavod Hashem’ (honour of God). The rabbi noted that the earthquakes today are related to Korach, who was swallowed up by by the earth. The rabbi warned that the sin of Korach is being repeated today on an international scale.
“People, even people who claim to be religious, are trampling God’s honour,” the rabbi said. “It is foretold that the earth will open again before Messiah to restore Korach.”
The rabbi warned that this clearly means that the days preceding the Messiah will necessarily be filled with earthquakes.
The rabbi’s warnings seem well-founded, as hints of a similar disaster were felt in the U.S. last week when a 3.6 magnitude earthquake hit near Los Angeles. On Sunday, over a period of 24 hours, 28 minor tremors ranging from 1.5-2.6 hit Tuolumne City, in central California.
Seismic activity around the globe is increasing at an alarming rate. The quakes in Mexico are not isolated incidents, since Mexico is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a tectonically active region surrounding the Pacific Ocean accounting for nearly 90 percent of the seismic activity on the planet.
In fact, other sections of the Ring of Fire have been unusually active recently. Two powerful earthquakes were reported to have struck New Zealand on Wednesday, while Japan had flashbacks of a national disaster when seismic activity began off the coast east of Fukushima early on Thursday morning. In total, there have been ten major quakes of 4.9 or more recorded around the Pacific in the last week alone.
The danger was made even more emphatically clear when the Monaro Voui volcano erupted violently on Tuesday, leading to the evacuation of the entire island of Ambae, part of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. On Monday, 50,000 people were evacuated from Bali, Indonesia as seismologists warned that Mount Agung was about to erupt.
Earthquakes are indeed a source of alarm, but they are only one of the many forms of natural disaster that have struck in recent weeks. Last month, millions of acres of forests in the Northwest U.S. were destroyed in raging wildfires. Yellowstone, one of the most troubling seismic hotspots on the planet, is having one of the most active years ever with over 2,300 tremors since June.
Like Rabbi Glazerson, Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David’s Tomb at Mount Zion, understands the natural disasters as part of the Messianic process. Rabbi Berger explained that all of the natural disasters, earthshaking and ocean-born, are intended to bring about one specific result: the ultimate redemption.
The streets of Kiev filled with songs of praise and thanks as roughly 200,000 evangelical, Ukrainian Christians gathered to celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Once again, it is another “end times” sign as we see prophecy being fulfilled. “And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 This once communist nation where the gospel could not be preached is now exporting missionaries worldwide.
“Many travelled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness,” Sergey Rakhuba with Mission Eurasia told Mission Network News.
The gathering came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an order recognizing the anniversary of the Reformation.
“It was so exciting to see on the screen of my computer where I was watching young people with so much joy. They glorify God in the midst of their capital. This was the same place where they were protesting just a few years ago fighting for their freedom. But, also, this is the place where many years ago, Communists would force people to demonstrate and propagate Socialism, Atheism, Communism, and other ‘isms’ in their country.”
Rakhuba says young people are the key to spreading Protestantism in Ukraine.
“That’s what Mission Eurasia is doing, working with the next generation, those who take the baton, those who get into the generational gap and take the Gospel to their communities,” he says.
Young people aren’t just spreading the gospel in Ukraine, now they’re exporting missionaries throughout the world.
“I just talked to a group of young people, they just came to this celebration from their mission trip to Mongolia in China — young Ukrainians who felt like the Holy Spirit was leading them to take the Gospel to Mongolia where they reached thousands of young people through summer camps!”
Ukraine may still be in the middle of a war with Russia, but it is growing leaps and bounds spiritually.
“Ukraine is still in the midst of war. Eastern Ukraine and territories are still occupied by Russian or pro-Russian separatists. Crimea was annexed by Russia. So yes, Ukraine is struggling politically, economically, but Ukraine is striving today spiritually, pleading to God to bless that nation,” Rakhuba says.
The disease, most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes infected with the parasite, was first detected in Cambodia in 2008 but has now spread to the three remaining countries that make up the Eastern Greater Mekong subregion: Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
In a letter, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the team studying the spread of the disease from the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok, said the rapid spread “presents one of the greatest threats to the control and elimination of malaria.”
Adding that the fact it is mostly drug resistant is a “sinister development”.
“A single mutant strain of very drug-resistant malaria has now spread from western Cambodia to northeastern Thailand, southern Laos and into southern Vietnam and caused a large increase in treatment failure of patients with malaria,” letter co-author Prof. Arjen Dondorp said.
“This could result in an important increase in malaria transmission in these countries and severely jeopardize their malaria elimination efforts,” he added.
Dondrop hopes that this new evidence will be used to combat the diseases spread in the region before it becomes “close to untreatable.” His colleague, Prof Nicholas White, thinks that “we are losing a dangerous race” and that something must be done to tackle this public health emergency urgently.
Roughly 212 million people are infected with the disease each year, the majority of cases, 92 percent, are in Africa. If this super malaria strain spread to the continent the effects would be disastrous.
Drug resistant Malaria? Treatment fails to cure 4 UK patients in medical first http://on.rt.com/81zn
Also prophesied to increase in the “last days” are natural disasters, earthquakes and apostasy. all of which we are seeing now. Is your church standing on the word of God? If it is, then expect increased persecution. If it isn’t, then find one that is and start preparing for Christ’s return and be joyful for your redemption is nigh.
ONLY GOD CAN “CREATE IN US A CLEAN HEART”. LISTEN TO MIRIAM’S STORY, IT IS A POWERFUL TESTIMONY OF GOD AT WORK, LIKE NEVER BEFORE, IN THE LIVES OF LGBTQ PEOPLE.
JUST AS WE ARE SEEING A SOVEREIGN MOVE OF GOD IN THE LIVES OF MUSLIMS WITH DREAMS & VISIONS OF JESUS, MIRIAM GIVES US A PICTURE OF GOD RELEASING HER MIRACULOUSLY FROM DRUGS AND A PERVERTED LIFESTYLE.
Love this article by Andrew Burrell about the Liberal member for Canning W.A., Andrew Hastie from The Weekend Australian Magazine, September 23rd, 2017. It is about a 15 min read.
“He’s been pilloried for his ‘natural law’ argument against gay marriage. But Andrew Hastie isn’t a man to be messed with.” says, Andrew Burrell.
“One of the things that is happening at the moment is that we are transitioning from a society that’s always had a Judaeo-Christian world view anchoring the social and moral consensus … to a society which has a progressive world view defined by little more than individual freedom,” he says.
Testimonies are powerful. It is interesting that Andrew’s father a Presbyterian Minister was a Creationist, believing in the Bible’s six day creation account. I agree, it is impossible to believe in evolution with death and suffering before Adam, and the Bible’s account of creation with a perfect creation prior to Adam and Eve’s SIN of disobeying God. However, Hastie has had to adopt a “cunning as serpents, innocent as doves” approach to the subject of Creation v Evolution.
“Andrew Hastie’s whole body was wracked with pain and his brain was addled. For three weeks, the young army officer had endured extreme physical agony and mental torture, with little food and no more than four hours of restless sleep a night. When he called his wife at the end of the ordeal, he couldn’t hold back the tears. “I was broken, I remember calling Ruth and just crying,” he recalls. “I had no emotional resources left.”
Andrew Hastie in Afghanistan. Pic: Conan Daley
Hastie — now a rising star of the Liberal Party and a conservative pin-up boy at the centre of an ideological firestorm over same-sex marriage — is recalling the brutal selection course he endured to gain entry into the Special Air Service Regiment, the Australian Army’s toughest fighting force. The SAS course, held in the remote West Australian bush in the middle of winter, is regarded as the most physically and psychologically challenging of its kind in the world. If you survive it, you can survive just about anything.
Of the 130 superbly fit men who began that course in July 2010, only 30 made it through. Another 15 dropped out during the subsequent 18-month reinforcement cycle — a boys’ own adventure-style program that included parachuting, climbing, diving, boating, combat shooting, high-speed driving and jungle training.
Hastie went on to become an SAS ground force commander, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and conducting anti-terrorism operations in the Middle East. The seeds of his ambition to serve were planted as a boy when his grandfather, Flight Lieutenant Norman Hastie, showed him the bullet wounds he received while rescuing two downed Australian airmen in the Pacific during World War II. Yet by 2015, at the age of 32, Hastie had had enough of the military. “I realised the limitations of nation-building at gunpoint,” he says of his experiences in Afghanistan, where he survived several roadside bombings. “I remember thinking, ‘This is crazy.’ I had real doubts about how much we could actually achieve there.”
During those long deployments, something else had taken hold in the soldier’s mind: a greater appreciation of the conditions that led to the flourishing of Australian society and a desire to help preserve his own country’s institutions and cultural heritage. Hastie, who joined the Liberal Party in 2013, had long harboured ambitions for a political career and held little fear of the vicissitudes. “I’ve often said that warrior politics are much fiercer than federal politics,” he says. When Don Randall, the long-serving Liberal MP for the federal seat of Canning, died suddenly in July 2015, Hastie grasped his opportunity. He resigned from the Perth-based SAS, giving up his protected identity status, and won preselection — with the backing of West Australian Liberal powerbroker Mathias Cormann — for the poll in Canning, a largely working-class electorate south of Perth. Yet this was no ordinary by-election. In Canberra, it was seen as the contest that would decide the fate of Tony Abbott, who was under mounting threat of a leadership spill from Malcolm Turnbull.
Sniffing blood, the national media swarmed into Canning to get a glimpse of the hitherto unknown Hastie. And it became obvious that the Liberals had unearthed a unique candidate. Here was the conservative politician from central casting: a churchgoing, squeaky-clean ex-soldier who spoke about protecting Australian values and Western liberal democratic traditions. He also had a fearlessness uncommon in a political newbie.
Hastie didn’t impress everyone, of course. Where some saw a man of conviction, others typecast him as a Bible-bashing young fogey with antiquated views on topics such as homosexuality. He was ripe for ridicule on social media, where he was also depicted as a warmonger or a brainless beefcake. “The first tweet I ever looked at about myself said, ‘Gee, Hastie looks as dumb as batshit’,” he smiles. He did, however, prove he had substance, quoting chunks of Edmund Burke and William Shakespeare to journalists, some of whom were taken aback at the thought that a military man might also be a deep thinker. He looked good on television, too, quickly earning the sobriquet “Tasty Hastie” and being nominated for the Crikey website’s 2015 sexiest politician of the year. “It’s like a committee of gay men were asked to design a parody of a straight man — muscled, wavy hair, nice eyes, dimpled smile, family man, army uniform, son of a preacher man,” wrote one reader in endorsing Hastie for the title. “Is it wrong that the Christian fundie thing just makes him even hotter to me?”
This curiosity about Hastie only intensified after Fairfax newspapers ran front-page stories during the by-election campaign about a soldier under his tactical command in Afghanistan who’d cut the hands off dead Taliban soldiers in the heat of battle in order that they might later be identified through biometric screening. The headline in The Sydney Morning Herald read: “Star Abbott recruit probed for chopping off hands of dead Taliban”. Hastie, who remains vexed that he was accused of being a “war criminal”, had been cleared of any wrongdoing and was elsewhere on the battlefield when the incident took place in 2013. The soldier who cut off the hands was cleared this month after a two-year investigation by the Australian Federal Police.
The Fairfax story wasn’t the end of what Hastie regarded as unfair media treatment during the campaign. At a press conference a few days later he was grilled over revelations that his father, a Presbyterian pastor, was a Creationist who had dismissed evolutionary theory in his writings. When one reporter asked Hastie if he believed God made the world in six days, he could no longer contain himself: “You’re not hearing me, mate,” he responded, his eyes flashing. “People are sick of this crap. People are sick of trying to drag petty issues into public policy discussions.”
Two years later, Hastie remains touchy on the subject. He claims he has been depicted in the media as a “religious nut job” and he’d rather not discuss theology at length. “I don’t want to shy away from it, but in an era of identity politics and cultural Marxism people are looking for every reason to delegitimise someone. So every view I hold henceforth will be seen through the prism of, ‘Oh, he’s just whacking us with a Bible’.”
All he’ll say on Creationism is this: “There’s a range of different views about the origins of the Earth and my view is that God is the first mover. I believe God exists, and if He does exist, then why would it be beyond Him to be the creator?”
Andrew William Hastie was born in Wangaratta in 1982, the second of four children. His mother Sue was a schoolteacher in the northeast Victorian city and father Peter was the local pastor. When he was five the family moved to Sydney and his dad became the minister at Ashfield Presbyterian Church. Hastie attended Scots College where he recalls happy years dominated by sport and strong results in English and history. After school he enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts course at the University of NSW, where he nurtured his interest in the world’s great thinkers. “The philosophy department at UNSW was very rigorous, and taught me how to think,” he says.
He made ends meet by working as a barista at Gloria Jean’s and selling treadmills at Rebel Sports. He recalls heavy drinking sessions with his mates on a Saturday night that were inevitably followed by a hangover in church the next morning — an anecdote he tells in response to questions about his wholesome reputation. He adds for effect: “Once, when I was 17, I was at Blueberries in North Sydney with a fake ID. I came out of the bar as an under-age and there were people from my father’s flock lining up to get in. That’s about as bad as I get. But I’m certainly not a teetotaller — it’s part of the Australian culture to have a beer.”
Hastie didn’t fit in at UNSW’s Kensington campus, where as a Liberal voter and a John Howard fan he encountered the political left for the first time. A crossroads came on the day after 9/11, when a horrified Hastie listened as students in his politics tutorial tried to pin the blame for the atrocity on the US. Almost immediately, he knew he had to serve his country. He transferred to the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, earning an honours degree in history, and later completed officer training at Duntroon before being posted to Darwin to serve in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
Steve Barton, a friend who served alongside Hastie on his first deployment to Afghanistan, recalls a man who seemed destined for bigger things. “He struck me as thoughtful and intelligent, curious in the world around him,” says Barton, who went on to be a Liberal Party staffer. “I think of myself as reasonably well-read but he sometimes puts me to shame with the breadth and the diligence with which he reads.”
Hastie’s questioning of the mission in Afghanistan was thrown into sharp relief one cloudless day in Oruzgan province in February 2013. It’s etched in his memory: the snow on the nearby mountains, the smell of firewood in the crisp air. The then 30-year-old SAS commander had called in US Apache helicopters to take out two Taliban fighters who, according to intercepts, were planning to fire rockets at the Australians. But the Apaches fired at the wrong target, killing two local Afghan boys — Toor Jan, seven, and his brother Odood, six — who were gathering firewood across the valley. Hastie and his men were cleared of any blame but he can’t forget the sight of those two small, broken bodies. “I still think about them,” he says. “I had a nightmare last night about it, so it stays with me personally. But I’m at peace with it. I had an opportunity to apologise to their brother and their uncle, and that was part of the healing process for me. War is a degrading process. There is always moral injury; the taking of human life takes its toll on people.”
Hastie has spoken to psychologists about the incident, and says the nightmares — which in the early days left him “shrouded in a black cloud” for several hours after waking — have become less frequent. At the hint of a tear, though, he changes tack and moves the conversation on. “Our society, in a way, we are too open with things. I don’t want to be another sob story in the media.”
Hastie is much happier talking about his life with Ruth, who he met on a study trip to the US in 2007. A whirlwind romance ensued between the churchgoers and Hastie knew “within a week” of meeting her that he wanted to get married. Two months later, he proposed on the steps of Sydney Opera House. “We have very similar world views,” says Ruth, who packed up her life in the US and moved to Australia to become a soldier’s wife. By 2010, the couple had moved to Perth for Hastie to begin the physical training for the SAS selection course. Keen to start a family, they had trouble conceiving and began considering adoption. It took them a year to be formally approved, only for Ruth to fall pregnant a month later with baby Jonathan. Hastie found out while serving overseas in 2014 — via a text message from Ruth containing a photo she’d snapped of her positive pregnancy test. It had taken them six and a half years to conceive. “It was difficult, but as Christians we trusted God’s timing,” says Ruth, who also gave birth to a daughter, Beatrice, in August this year.
The big question being asked of Andrew Hastie is: How far can he go? Canberra insiders rate him as ministerial material. Friends reckon he could go to the very top. “I absolutely think he can be PM,” says Craig Clark, a Perth plumber who became firm friends with Hastie after meeting him at church. “Most of the people who know him would agree. He wants to raise the discourse; he’s as far away from being a politician as you can be.” Others with a close eye on federal politics say the backbencher will have to play smarter in the corridors of power. “He’s not a creature of the party so he doesn’t really get all the machinations,” says a senior Liberal source.
In February, Hastie was thrilled to get a phone call from Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to become chairman of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security. It was the first tangible sign he is progressing up the food chain in Canberra. Yet while nobody doubts Hastie’s loyalty to the Turnbull Government, the fact is he also remains openly loyal to Tony Abbott, whom he first met on the Canning by-election campaign trail in 2015. The ideological warriors became friends. They are both monarchists and share similar views on big political issues such as climate change and asylum seekers — Hastie says he hates to see refugees in detention but it’s “necessary” to stop people smugglers and describes himself as a climate “realist” rather than a sceptic. He says he wants to protect the environment but believes people must always come first. “I approach the politics of climate change with this primary question: how do we secure reliable and affordable energy for all Australians?” he says. “Everything else is secondary to this duty of government.”
Many in the Turnbull camp still view Hastie with suspicion. “If Abbott was PM Hastie would be progressing up the ladder a lot faster,” says a senior Liberal. Hastie admits he was disappointed that Abbott was removed as prime minister a week before he won Canning in 2015 and he believes the electorate remains unhappy that a first-term prime minister was dumped by his own party. But he reveals that he has privately counselled Abbott to desist from making the sorts of public comments that are widely viewed as destabilising to Turnbull’s leadership. “It’s a sacred office, so creating mischief in the background to cause havoc for the elected leader of our country is against what I stand for. I’ve had conversations with [Abbott] and I’ve given fairly frank advice. We’ve had discussions where I’ve said, ‘You’ve overstepped the mark here.’ But I say that as a friend. He’s been a good friend of mine and that’s what you do.”
When asked about his own ambitions, Hastie is circumspect: “The best way to make a difference is as a minister. But the worst thing you can do is jump ahead of yourself. I always put myself in a position where I can be called upon to do a job. But I don’t wake up every morning, putting on my tie, thinking, ‘How am I going to be prime minister of this country?’”
In recent months, it’s been difficult to miss the backbencher in the media as he emerged as one of the most strident opponents of same-sex marriage. Hastie is regularly pilloried over his views on the subject. When he appeared on national television recently to argue that traditional marriage “is a meeting of body and mind, it begins with consent and is sealed by sexual intercourse”, he was met with a barrage of anger — some of it vulgar and intensely personal. “F..king hell, Andrew Hastie is legit the dumbest c..t I have ever come across,” wrote one Twitter user.
Hastie’s opponents say he’s seeking to impose his Christian moral code on society. But he insists he has never used religion to argue against same-sex marriage; his reasoning is based on “natural law” and his belief that marriage is linked to the welfare of children. “I ask the question: what is the character of marriage over time and across cultures?” he says. “It’s a union between a man and a woman — that’s the normative practice throughout history and culture. I make no mention of sexuality and no appeal to religious authority in making my arguments. Marriage has always been an institution that’s inherently ordered towards family life. Ruth and I struggled for six years with infertility before we had Jonathan, but just because a marriage doesn’t bear children doesn’t mean it’s any less of a marriage.” But surely same-sex couples can also be good parents? “I don’t for a second suggest they’d be bad parents,” Hastie says, adding that he and Labor frontbencher Penny Wong, who is gay, have shared photos of their children. “What I’m saying is that we all have a natural right to know our biological mother and father. And once we legislate marriage to make it genderless, we institutionalise motherlessness and fatherlessness.”’
At the centre of Hastie’s world view is the theological concept of Imago dei, which asserts that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. His belief in this doctrine led him to publicly attack cartoonist Larry Pickering over homophobic comments he made earlier this year. Hastie says gay people must be treated with respect, and he sees no inconsistency between this view and his stance on same-sex marriage.
As the voting process ramps up, Hastie finds himself at the cutting edge of the culture wars. He aims to tread carefully, hoping not to offend anyone — an impossible task in such a fraught debate. As the postal ballots were being sent out in mid-September he became involved in a war of words with gay rights advocate and writer Benjamin Law, who had tweeted: “Sometimes find myself wondering if I’d hate-f..k all the anti-gay MPs in parliament if it meant they got the homophobia out of their system.” One of Law’s followers responded: “Start with Hastie.” In retort, Hastie was quoted in The Australian: “Noting my skills acquired in my previous career, I’d like to see him try.”
Despite this, Hastie implores both sides of the debate to be respectful. “Everyone could benefit from working to understand where the other person is coming from,” he says. “A lot of people who are advocating for Yes, especially those who are gay themselves, feel like the No case is almost an attack on their identity, or a denial of their human rights — and I get that. I understand why there’s so much emotion involved.”
Hastie sees the marriage debate as tied up in the broader clash of “fundamental visions of the social order”. And he knows he may well be on the losing side of this particular battle.