SPIRIT OF LAWLESSNESS

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The spirit of lawlessness, a spirit that despises authority and that cultivates chaos. And it is a spirit that is at work throughout America today, leaving a train of destruction in its path.

Paul wrote these important words in Romans 13, words that we need to put front and center during these times of cultural upheaval.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. (Romans 13:1–5)

Protesters set Bibles and American flags on fire over the weekend in Portland, Oregon. (The Sun YouTube channel)

There is something else that is animating these rioters to burn Bibles and the American flag. As Ian Miles Cheong, managing editor of Human Events tweeted, “I don’t know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality.

Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion.

Yes, it is beyond ludicrous to suggest that the burning of Bibles has any connection at all to the death of George Floyd, himself a professing Christian. And it is ridiculous to think there is any real connection between the Bible and police brutality. It is an open expression of hostility to the Judeo-Christian God and Judeo-Christian values. It is the thumbing of the nose to divine authority. It is overt rebellion

The spirit of lawlessness is at work. Jesus said lawlessness would increase in the last days before His return. “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” Matthew 24:12

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10

WHY ESCHATOLOGY MATTERS

There are eschatological positions being promoted that are preparing believers to be vulnerable for the Antichrist. Pretribulationism falsely teaches that we will be raptured before the Antichrist’s (beast’s) persecution of Christians. Preterists teach that there is no future Antichrist since he already came and went 2,000 years ago. Idealists believe that the notion of the Antichrist is an idea and not an actual person. Amillennialists, and many posttribulationists, believe that the Antichrist is also not a person but an institution. What does your church teach?

One day, all humanity will be demanded to worship the Beast and his image. To be sure, many willingly will worship him thinking that he is the Coming One to bring “peace and safety.”

This is why eschatology matters and is not some incidental matter. It prepares us to be discerning. Christian leaders who minimize the study of biblical prophecy minimize the severe warnings of our Lord on these matters and thereby render Jesus himself as disingenuous.

The Beast is coming. And he is coming to demand unqualified worship. Will you bow the knee out of fear to save your life? Jesus is the only one worthy to give our allegiance to. Please read the following scripture from Revelation describing the beast (Antichrist) and note the warning; it will require “steadfast endurance and faith from the saints”.

“Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadem crowns, and on its heads a blasphemous name.Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule.One of the beast’s heads appeared to have been killed, but the lethal wound had been healed. And the whole world followed the beast in amazement; they worshiped the dragon because he had given ruling authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast too, saying: “Who is like the beast?” and “Who is able to make war against him?”The beast was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months. So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God—to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation, and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed. If anyone has an ear, he had better listen! If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed by the sword, then by the sword he must be killed. This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints. Then I saw another beast coming up from the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but was speaking like a dragon. He exercised all the ruling authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and those who inhabit it worship the first beast, the one whose lethal wound had been healed. He performed momentous signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people and, by the signs he was permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, he deceived those who live on the earth. He told those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had been wounded by the sword, but still lived. The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast—that is, his name or his number.” (Revelation 13:1–17)

Beast, Image & Mark - Book of Revelation Chapter 13 ...

See full article on Alan Kurschner’s website Eschatos Ministries.

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will comeMatthew 24:14

The event Jesus is referring to hear may well be the angel who God commissions to preach the gospel to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue and people –

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the ...

God sends out three angels before the wrath of God is poured out with the trumpet and bowl judgements. The third angel likewise tells all those who dwell on the earth the consequences of taking the mark of the beast.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14: 9-10

The church will not be raptured until the three angels deliver their messages to all the world. Five words demonstrate this point: “then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). The church will not be removed until this prophecy is fulfilled. It is simply another prophetic event that undermines an any-moment return of Jesus prior to Christians experiencing the Antichrist and tribulation.

On a related noted, having established that the church will be present on earth up to the end of the age in verse 14, notice in verse 15 Jesus says, “Therefore [oun] when you see the abomination of desolation…” The interpreter should not miss that Jesus has the same audience in view after verse 14. In verse 15, Jesus begins to describe the Antichrist’s great tribulation in more detail. There is no justification to claim that the referent “you” in verse 15 and afterwards is different from the “you” before verse 14. In other words, the disciples, who represent the new community of God (i.e. the church) will be on earth to see the Antichrist declare himself to be god and be the recipients of the tribulation even great tribulation that the Antichrist will inflict on Jews and Christians at that time.

LAWLESSNESS WILL ABOUND

Along with pestilences, Jesus told us lawlessness will abound in the last days. I believe the widespread lawless behaviour, by young people in particular, to a terrible act of police brutality in the USA is an indication we are entering the last days.

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:12-14

A protester starts a fire at the Metro Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee.
A protester starts a fire at the Metro Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee.

Curfews are in effect or imminent in more than a dozen US cities facing rising unrest. The start times Saturday evening range from 6 pm in parts of South Carolina to 10 pm around Ohio. People are being told to get off the streets beginning at 8 pm. or 9 pm in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Protesters flip a car before burning it in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A curfew is in effect for a second night in and around Minneapolis, though reports are emerging that police have begun to charge people who are flouting it. Thousands ignored the Friday night curfew and peaceful protests gave way to violence late into the night.

the answer to anarchy in our streets? REPENTANCE

Repentance is God’s gift to us.  When it’s taught by example to our children a healthy awe and respect to the Living God is planted.  Repentance then becomes a lifestyle which thereafter can grow in a mighty way, uncovering God’s unique calling for that child to advance God’s Kingdom. 
Repentance is the key to submitting to God. Once we’ve submitted, we can easily resist the devil. He then has to flee. 

THE LORD HAS MADE A FOREVER PROMISE TO ISRAEL

The Lord revealed to all of the O.T prophets that He would restore the Jews to their land and have a descendant of King David to rule the nations from Jerusalem at His preordained time. Here are just a few of the Scriptures.

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the Land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God (King).” Ezekiel 36:25-28

“My temple will stand in Israel for all time, and I will live among My people and be their God. Every nation on earth will know that My temple is in Israel and that I have chosen the Israelites to be My people.” Ezekiel 37:24-28

“I the Lord God, will protect Jerusalem. Even the weakest person there will be as strong as David, and David’s kingdom will rule as though My very own angel were its leader. I am determined to wipe out every nation that attacks Jerusalem. I the Lord, will make the descendants of David and the people of Jerusalem feel deep sorrow and pray when they see the one, they pierced with a spear. They will mourn and weep for him as parents weep over the death of their only child or their first born” Zechariah 12:8-10

“I, the Lord, have an agreement with day and night, so they always come at the right time. You can’t break the agreements I made with them, and you can’t break the agreements I have made with David’s family and with the priests from the Levi tribe to serve at my altar. A descendant of David will always rule as king of Israel, and there will be more descendants of David and of the priests from the tribe of Levi than the stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach.” Jeremiah 33:20-22

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God (King); then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me (righteousness). Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this Land, with all My heart and with all My soul.” For thus says the LORD: “<b><i>Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.” Jeremiah 32:37-42

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.Jeremiah 31:31-34

In the future, I will rebuild David’s fallen kingdom. I will rebuild it from its ruins and set it up again, just as it used to be… I’ll make Israel prosper again. You will rebuild your towns and live in them. You will drink wine from your vineyards and eat the fruit you grow. I’ll plant your roots deep in the land I have given you, and you won’t ever be uprooted again. I, the Lord God have spoken.” Amos 9:11-15

Listen to what Moses said to all Israel even before they entered the Promised Land

“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:1-6

Paul also confirms that God has a wonderful end to the story for Israel – “and so all Israel will be saved”.

“A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so, all Israel will be saved. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:25-26, 28-29

Finally, after the Millennium reign of Jesus there will be the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgement: “Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

CHURCH AND LIFE CHANGED RADICALLY

In evangelist Nick Hall’s 10-hour Livestream session called “Leader Check In” this week, Francis Chan, former megachurch pastor, who recently left America to become a missionary in Asia, urged those watching to “repent” and self reflect because there’s a possibility we won’t go back to “church as usual, life as usual.

“What if God is taking us to a different place?” Chan shared from the balcony of his new home in Hong Kong. “Many of us are anxious to get back to normal. I hope your anxiety is not just so you can go back and get busy with so many things.”

What a powerful time to repent,” he said as he reflected on the fact that no one knows what will happen during and following the global pandemic.

“This could be the beginning of the end,” he stressed. He said he believes this occurrence is ushering in a new period for the church as a whole.

God is doing something now that I’ve never seen in my lifetime … It feels like we’re headed into a new season.”

The preacher hopes for this to be a time of “growth” for those watching. This is a time to remember that Scripture says “to live is Christ and to die is gain.

“Please get right with the Lord,” Chan implored, as he referenced James 4:10, which says, ”Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” “I’m begging you to think about humbling yourselves.

“This virus is showing us how unprepared we are,” he noted and then challenged people to be reliant on God alone. He said in a world where technology is also capable of failing us, God alone is omnipresent.

When speaking of the lockdown, Chan wondered, “Could [this] be a blessing in disguise for some of you?”

He admitted that the quarantine has helped him spend more time with God and his family as he is usually travelling every month.

“If you were truly isolated all by yourself, even without the Bible, would you be OK? We have the internet right now so we are not truly isolated, but if we were,” Chan asked those watching if they would be able to lead themselves in their walk with the Lord, or even lead others to Christ. “Perhaps we are not prepared for such a situation.”

He also told his pastor peers: “We no longer have the luxury of giving nice, lighthearted sermons that are softened with jokes on either side. My little self-help tips are not enough anymore,” he said.

Now is the time to rely solely on Scripture and the spirit of God, he emphasised.

GOD AT WORK 2

More and more Christians are realising the need to warn the church of the coming increased persecution of Jews and Christians as we approach the prophesied “end times” tribulation and then great tribulation prior to Jesus return.

My brother in Christ, Futon Sheen in his recent Newsletter, Coronavirus Reality v Perception & World Markets said the following:

“These are all shakings which scripture has clearly articulated would happen as the time of Christ’s return draws near. As Christians grounded in scripture, we should understand and expect this and not be anxious or fearful.  That is not the case for unbelievers and governments which follow their own hearts and put their faith in themselves and the external world which surrounds them, they have much to fear. Hosea 4:6 says, My people are destroyed for lack of understanding, and people fear what they don’t understand. Over 350 times scripture says “do not fear,” as fear is the opposite of faith, but it is the automatic default of the flesh when something suddenly interrupts our expectations of what we think should be happening. This is why social media, news media, governments, markets and individuals tend to overreact to whatever is going on around them.

The times described in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13, which Jesus said would come, are upon us and God is shaking everything that can be shaken. We need to do what these passages tell us, which is to be watchful and prepared, so that we won’t be caught off guard, fearful, confused, or manipulated by the circumstances and situations swirling around us. We need to pray for eyes that see, ears that hear and a mind that comprehends what’s going on in the spiritual realm, so we can wisely, peacefully and methodically walk out what Jesus tells us to do.

ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE MARK OF THE BEAST?

Today, December 16th, the NJ legislature is voting for mandatory vaccines without parental consent (including flu vaccines!) for students of all schools, even for college students, eliminating the religious right of exemption from the current law. They will also break federal law.

Our God-given rights as parents are vanishing quickly in the eyes of lawmakers in New Jersey. It is part and parcel of a sign of wicked things coming quickly and further evidence we are in the biblical prophesied “end times”

It will not stop there, as totalitarians will not stop until they have complete control of your lives and behaviour. They have plans to link up the Real Drivers License that you will be required to have with all of your information (medical, etc). And you will not be able to function normally in society without it (sound familiar?) For example, you will not be able to fly on an aeroplane if you are not “up to date on your vaccines,” etc, etc. It’s all a tip of the iceberg of what is happening quickly nationally and globally.

COMING FINAL GREAT JUDGEMENT OF GOD

Scripture tells us of three great judgements.  First, the flood in the days of Noah. What happened?  All the world’s population, except Noah and family, had the wrong agenda. Even though there was the sign of a 20,000 tons displacement boat built on dry land and Noah preaching for over 100 years, the population stuck to its wrong agenda – ‘their every thought was only evil continually.’ All but 8 people perished.

Noah’s Flood – extent of fossils buried (rapid burial) all over the world and fossil fuel evidence enough.

Image result for Johan Huiber Noah's Ark
Johan Huiber’s life size replica of Noah’s Ark

The second mighty judgement affects us all. It was the judgement of our sin which was put onto Jesus our Saviour. When Jesus came He was rejected by His own. Why? Because the leaders of Israel at the time had the wrong agenda. Did they know Jesus was the Messiah? – they knew that He performed miracles only the Messiah could do – healing leprosy and casting out demons, raising the dead.  Also, the timing of the coming of Jesus as Messiah was well known  – it was precisely specified in the prophecy of 70 weeks in the book of Daniel. The Magi, as the spiritual descendants of Daniel, knew full well – and they were watching. They recognised the sign.  Regrettably, the religious leaders of Israel, at the time, had their own agenda  – it did not include a Messiah that would upset their leadership and their religious rituals.

What about the third judgement that is prophesied in Scripture at His second coming. There are more prophecies about Jesus second coming than His first.

Are we so fixed on our well being, our business, even ministry that we have lost sight of Jesus’s specific instruction to watch for His return? Are we so concerned with our own agenda, that we have lost sight of the Messiah Himself and His imminent return. Are we in a church that trusts in the inerrant word of God, recognises that we are in the “end times”, and is challenging the church to complete the Great Commission and prepare for the coming tribulation?
Jesus said: ‘Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.’ Revelation 3:3.  The counter to that is that if you will watch, then you will know – ‘But you brethren  are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.’ 1 Thessalonian 5: 4

Are our priorities right? Jesus first and foremost above everything? Are we in a church that understands the times (Bereans), looking forward to His return?  Or are our plans, our desires,  like the famous singer, Frank Sinatra – ‘I did it my way’ – I had or have my own agenda!

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come Lord Jesus.’  This is the right, the best, the pre-eminent agenda for today!

This post is based on an article written by Peter Mitchell of International Christian Chamber of Commerce, England – Got the Wrong Agenda?

ARE WE CALLED TO BE FISHERS OF MEN?

Of course, all of us are. Listen to Francis Chan on following Jesus call to go to Asia. What a journey: from a church of 5,000 last year, to starting up house churches (Book of Acts church) that will raise up disciples that will raise up disciples and now to leave all, home, family, friends, comfort of life in the USA, to go to Asia where God is calling him, to where the workers are few and the number of lost is large. “lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest!” John 4:35