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Is Inflation a Sign of the End Times?

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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. inflation rose 8.6% during May 2022.1 Regardless of your political affiliation, we all feel the pain of inflation. Higher gas prices, higher food prices, higher housing costs, and higher energy costs are side effects of inflation. I’m not an economic expert, but I know that continued inflation will create severe economic hardship, which will affect the middle and working classes the most. Beyond higher prices, pandemics, and supply chain issues, could this inflation be a sign of something worse to come?

The Book of Revelation describes a harrowing time to come shortly. Revelation chapter six deals with the opening of six of the Seven Seals. The first four seals are commonly referred to as “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.” The first horseman rides in on a white horse and goes out to conquer (Revelation 6:2). This horseman is clearly the Antichrist, who will come to power before Jesus returns. The second horseman rides a red horse and makes war on the world (Revelation 6:4), which will result in the death of untold numbers of people. The third horseman is going to be my primary focus.

“And when opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beast say, A measure of wheat for a penny , and three measure of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6, KJV).

The sequence of events so far is the Antichrist comes to power, war breaks out, and there is hyperinflation and food shortages. The word “penny” in the King James Version does not give an accurate description as we understand penny. The word should be translated denarius, which equaled a day’s wages. The New American Standard translates penny as denarius and the NIV simply translates it as a day’s wages.

Imagine for a moment that it took a day’s wages to buy a loaf of bread or other essential foods. Now try to pay your bills or housing payments when it took everything you made today to buy bread. Wheat and barley were essential everyday items for the First Century people, as they are for us today. So if people are unable to afford food, then many people will go hungry and die of starvation, which leads into the fourth horseman, who rides on a pale horse, the rider is identified as Death (Revelation 6:7-8). One of the ways Death kills people of the earth is hunger, or famine.

The world’s economy is in freefall and it looks like we are heading to a global recession. It may get worse before it gets better. However, global leaders seem either unwilling or incompetent to fix the current economic climate. The question comes what is this leading to? Once again, the Word of God provides us with the guidance and understanding we need to get through these times and the times which lie ahead. We are so close, brothers and sisters, we must remain vigilant, watching the times and seasons. Stay encouraged and await the return of our Savior. God bless.

1https://www.bls.gov/cpi/latest-numbers.htm Accessed 11 June 2022.

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Of Tyrants, Tyranny, and Freedom in Christ

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Tyranny is one the most destructive forces ever unleashed on the world. Throughout history, Tyrants such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, and Vladimir Putin to name a few have sought to murder, oppress, and destroy the lives, spirits, and minds of anyone who oppose their ideologies. These sick and twisted regimes believed they had the right to rule over a free people.

In the 20th Century alone, it has been estimated that 100 million people died at the hands of tyrannical dictators and regimes. At the time I’m posting this, the war between Russia and Ukraine is raging into another week. War crimes have been committed by the Russian army, as thousands of civilians- men, women, and children have been murdered. I watched in horror the clip of a Russian tank running over a car full of Ukrainian people. The Ukrainians in the car posed no threat to the tank- the car was just traveling in the opposite direction of the tank. The car was flattened within seconds; Lives were taken for no reason.

Praise God for the resolve and fight of the Ukrainian people, who are doing their best to fight back against a better equipped army. By some accounts I have read, that worthless pile of garbage Putin has become frustrated with how long the invasion is taking, as he miscalculated the resolve of the Ukrainian people to stand up against their invaders. Freedom is a God-given right to all of humanity, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, NIV).

In the midst of the Russia-Ukraine war, the possibility of a second Cold War is brewing between the United States and Russia, something I remember well growing up during the Reagan Administration. If the madman Putin gets backed into a corner, the threat of nuclear war looms large over humanity. A full scale nuclear war would reap destruction upon the world greater than all of history’s wars combined.

However, we must remember that God is in charge, as the Psalmist wrote, “…But it is God who judges: He brings one down, He exalts another.” (Psalm 75:7, NIV).

We must also remember that Jesus warned us of such events: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:5-8, KJV).

During these times, we must keep a clear mind and remember to pray. Continue to stand strong in the faith and keep your eyes on Christ. God bless you all.

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Last Days Violence

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.”-Genesis 6:11, KJV.

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” – Matthew 24:37, KJV.

The nationwide spike in violent crime sickens my spirit. The morning headlines are filled with murder, shootings, riots, gang violence, and people brazen enough to loot stores in broad daylight. Major cities all across this country- New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and many others have become the Wild West, something akin to Dodge City or Tombstone. Criminals are immortalized as saints while the police are defunded and demonized. Spineless prosecutors fail to prosecute criminals, who only get out of jail to commit more crime, sometimes violent acts. And don’t get me started on the opportunistic politicians who spew their toxic venom of division and hatred.

We are living in the Upside Down, with a bit of the Twilight Zone thrown in for good measure. I believe these are the last of the Last Days. Our time parallels the time before the Flood. God is love and God is merciful, but there is also an end to God’s patience. When God pronounced judgment upon Israel and Judah in the Old Testament, it was never an immediate judgment, as God gave the nations time to repent. However, when Israel and Judah refused to repent and continued in their wicked ways, God had to punish them. As our world drifts further from God, we are getting closer to judgment.

“Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”- Isaiah 5:20, KJV.

Violence entered the world the minute Cain took a rock and murdered his brother, Abel. The means and weapons have changed, but the darkness of the human heart has remained the same. Abel’s blood called out to God and today’s bloodshed calls out to God. Our world has become so desensitized to violence, we often read the headlines and don’t give it a second thought. Have we grown so cold to the human condition? Have we allowed righteousness to be snuffed out like a candle? Have we strayed so far from God and His word that evil has filled in the gap? I believe we have and Jesus stated so in Matthew 24:

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax (grow) cold.” -Matthew 24:10-12, KJV (parenthesis mine).

Jesus’ statement certainly describes our time, but we must not be hopeless. Our Savior and God loves us too much to leave us as orphans who have no comfort (John 14:18). In the midst of His Matthew 24 discourse, Jesus gives us a promise:

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”- Matthew 24:13, KJV.

Brothers and sisters, we must not allow this darkness to overtake our societies or our spirits. We must endure the hardship as soldiers of Christ. We must speak the truth to power; we must shine the light in the darkness. We must say enough is enough to the fearmongering of our elected leaders. During the Covid-19 pandemic, tyrannical local and state governments shut down in-person church services, as churches were not deemed an “essential business.” I don’t recall much push back from the American churches. Think about it: you could have walked into a grocery store, a liquor store, a marijuana dispensary, or taken part in a riot, but you couldn’t go to church in person. I believe this was a sinister plot on part of the global elites and the world governments they run to remove all hope by destroying institutions billions of people hold dear over a virus with a high survival rate.

This attack on our civil liberties must not stand. A wicked and godless government will no longer dictate when and where I can worship my God. Our true liberties were bought and paid for by Jesus Christ. As an American, I also believe in every amendment to our Constitution. We must wake up from our spiritual slumber, out of our zombie-like states, as the times are serious and we need steadfast Christians.

“Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” -Ephesians 5:14, KJV.

2 Thessalonians and the Lawless Times

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The United States is experiencing a time of lawlessness, the extent of which I have not witnessed in my lifetime. The politicizing of the Coronavirus, protests for social justice, and the rioters who have taken advantage of said protests have created a tinderbox of lawlessness.

In major cities all across the country, mayors have ordered police departments to stand down as these cities have been burned and destroyed, which give them the appearance of a war zone. There are increasing calls to defund police departments and there is certainly no respect for the government or the president. I’m not going to inject my personal politics into this discussion, but I want to use this unruly time to draw a biblical parallel.

In the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, he takes the time to clarify the End Times timeline. From the text, it appears that someone either inside or outside the Church of Thessalonica has spread the message that Jesus’ return (the day of the Lord) has already past. This news, of course, has upset many members of the church. However, Paul takes the time to reassure the believers of the sequence of events.

“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, NASB).

Imagine the feeling that you missed Jesus’ return or you missed the rapture. The Thessalonian Church members must have felt devastated and hopeless. Paul goes on:

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.  Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-6, NASB).

First we will see people fall away from Church teaching and people will began to live their lives as they see fit (1 Timothy 4:1-2 and 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 4:2-4). We can definitely draw a parallel to our times and Paul’s teaching to the Thessalonians.

Out of this chaos, a leader is going to rise, who of course will be the Antichrist. An interesting side note, the term anarchist means “without a ruler,” thus someone who doesn’t want to live by the rules, especially God’s rules. So under the guise of this false freedom, the Antichrist will demand worship. Paul’s reminder of his previous teaching is also a reminder for us to turn back to God’s teachings.

The current state of the world is nothing new, as there has always been rebellion against authority and God. The seeds of this rebellion go far beyond current headlines.

“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.  Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,  and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,  in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, NASB).

What then, should be the Christian response to the current state of affairs? I believe we should hold onto the teachings of Christ. I believe we must exercise great discernment before we jump on any political bandwagon. In the age of the Internet and Social Media,movements go viral and gain steam before anyone really takes the time to learn about said movement. I also believe Christians need to look after our brothers and sisters during this time. These uncertain times have created a time of social and physical isolation, as many could not attend church services in person. I believe this is a time for the Church to find ways to draw closer to God and each other.

Paul concludes this section with encouraging words:

“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:12-17, NASB).

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Isaiah 26:20, the Coronavirus,and That Day

As the Coronavirus (Covid 19) continues to spread around the world, many local, state, federal, and world governments have issued “stay at home” orders and have encouraged people to self-quarantine or keep their social distance. As with any crisis, many are taking the orders seriously and others continue to go out or have to go out because their job is considered essential.

Of course, the Coronavirus continues to be the main story in the media and on Social Media. It appears for a time the Coronavirus will change the way we live and interact with each other.

However, I have noticed a certain passage of Scripture continuously in my Facebook feed- Isaiah 26:20, which reads:

“Come, my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while until indignation has run its course.” (NASB).

While Isaiah 26:20 speaks to our current times and deals with the topics of self-isolation and God’s judgment, what is the larger context?

I’m a firm believer in studying the whole of Scripture to understand the deeper meanings. I’ve never been a believer in taking a single verse and turning it into a doctrine. I began to read Isaiah 26 in its entirety.

Isaiah 26 deals with trusting God in the midst of impending judgment on the wicked. In fact Isaiah 26:1 contains a crucial phrase:

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security.” (NASB, emphasis mine).

According to Bible Gateway.com, the phrase “In that day” appears 114 times, scattered throughout the Old and New Testaments. In the Book of Isaiah, the phrase “In that day” appears 43 times, or in 38% of the Scriptures listed.

Isaiah was a prophet whose ministry took place from 740 BC to at least 681 BC. Like many other Old Testament prophets , Isaiah spoke of current day judgments and events far off into the future or “the last days.” The judgments were directed toward Israel, Judah, Assyria, Tyre, Egypt, and others, but they can be important to our study.

I encourage you to study these on your own, but I would like to highlight a handful of verses which seem relevant to the current situation.

Economic collapse:

“In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship.” (Isaiah 2:20, NASB).

The desolation of cities:

“And it will growl over it in that day like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, there is darkness and distress; Even the light is darkened by its clouds.” (Isaiah 5:30, NASB).

Judgment on world leaders:

“So it will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth, they will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, and will be confined in prison; And after many days they will be punished.” (Isaiah 24:21-22, NASB).

Though it is easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom of judgment, especially if you are a student of the End Times, God is merciful. Even in the midst of His judgments, God gives us the chance to turn to Him in repentance through faith in Jesus Christ.  Isaiah also gives his listeners and readers the chance to turn to God.

“In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.” (Isaiah 4:2, NASB).

“Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse [Jesus], who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:10, NASB).

“Then you will say on that day: ‘I will give thanks to You, O Lord; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song.” (Isaiah 12:1-2, NASB).

Brothers and Sisters, we are certainly living in unprecedented times. There probably been a virus spread this quickly since the influenza epidemic of 1918. We must live cautiously, but do not give into fear. Take care of yourselves and your families. If at all possible, try to help those who are hurting from the fallout of this illness. Show the love of Christ and kindness to those you encounter. God bless.

The Lawless Times

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”

Matthew 24:12, NASB

It is so easy to turn a deaf ear and form a cynical heart towards community decay. Newscasts are filled with stories of people being shot, crime, rape, child abuse, political bickering, and an overall disregard for established law and order. If the incidents take place blocks or miles from our comfortable existence, we can become insulated and isolated in our thinking about our community’s pain.

Jesus in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25) discusses what the times will be like before His return- wars, natural disasters, persecution of believers, false prophets, and rebellion to name a few signs. (Jesus also speaks of these events  in Mark 13 and Luke 21).

God knows our limitations as people and He knows how overwhelming bad news and events can weigh on our minds. Just the major events in our own lives- the death of a loved one, addiction, divorce, job loss, and financial problems can trigger anxiety and depression, causing us misery upon misery.

As overwhelming these events seem in Matthew 24:12, that people’s love for each other and God will grow cold, Jesus us offers us hope.

“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13, NASB).

Verse thirteen is not dealing with eternal salvation, it is dealing with a sense of protection or deliverance in the midst of suffering.

Now that we have a reason to hope, Jesus gives us an assignment.

“The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then, the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14, NASB).

We live in lawless times, but there is a way not to become overwhelmed and unloving regarding people and their suffering. We must reconnect with the love of God by repentance, prayer, study, and being community with other believers. As we grow in our love for God, our love for people will be a natural offspring and a platform for sharing the gospel with them. God bless you.

Live for the Present, not the End

I used to be fascinated by the end of the world, the apocalypse, the end of days, whatever name you want to call it. I’ve poured over Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 (which is also found in Luke 21 and Mark 13); the Book of Revelation, and scoured the prophets as well. I read the first twelve books of the left behind series, anticipated the four blood moons of 2014-2015, sneered at the date setting, and I was an avid watcher of end times teachers. For good measure, I tried to see how current events such as 9/11, the War on Terror, the rise of ISIS and certain world leaders fit into the prophetic timeline.

What I’ve learned: waiting for the end only hampers living in the present. As a Christian I know Jesus and other New Testament writers told us to watch for the signs, but I believe we should be more diligent in teaching and showing God’s grace to the world around us. Don’t let this present moment pass you by as you wait for a heaven that’s a lifetime away.

Apocalyptic teaching, of course is not unique to Christianity, as many religions, cults, sects, and cultures modern and ancient have anticipated some cosmic cataclysm to generate rebirth or to rewrite the wrongs and social ills of their respective societies. In an age of scientific understanding we know that eclipses, meteors, planetary alignments, earthquakes, tsunamis, and so on are all naturally occurring phenomena. In the past ages that had little or no scientific understanding, such events were attributed to the judgment of God or the gods upon society. Since many of our religions are based on these ancient texts and modes of thinking, we as a society still have these thoughts in a technologically advanced Twenty-First Century.

I believe we must take a more reasoned and logical approach in understanding the world around us. I’m not putting down anyone’s beliefs or discounting any sacred teaching, I’m just advocating that while we are “waiting for the end,” we make our current world the best it can be. A prime example is that we cannot trash our planet in the hopes of living on Mars or Jupiter, as those ideas may remain the dreams of science fiction.

As a church, we cannot find ourselves again on the wrong side of history when it comes to such things as civil rights, taking care of the less fortunate, the environment, and being the light of the world as Jesus said we should be. We have real issues that we must address. I have said in many blog posts before, I have no particular political affiliation-I’m not a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or anything like that. However, within the last forty years or so, many American Evangelical Christians have aligned themselves with political parties  who are against many of Jesus’ teachings- taking care of the sick, giving to the poor, elevating the status of women, recognizing those who have a different perceived social status, and just simply showing compassion to your fellow man, woman, and child. Many oppose how their tax dollars are spent, especially when it comes to social programs such as welfare, Obamacare, and other programs, yet fail to realize that the government has simply stepped in to fill the leadership void because a large majority of the church has been waiting for the imminent end of the world.

Let’s put aside the religious and political hostility and examine what is in our own hearts, casting the judgment on ourselves and not on our neighbors. To paraphrase Jesus, we have to stop picking the sawdust out of everyone’s eyes while we walk around with a two-by-four stuck  in our eyes. Let us love those who are different than us and step outside of our comfort zone. Two thousand years or more have passed since the end time discourses. I know the counter arguments about how the world had to catch up to God’s vision or  God’s measurement of time is different than ours, but we can find reason to rejoice in the present. We still have time to show love to our neighbors and try to have a little heaven on earth.

When Technology Meets Prophecy

“Big Brother is watching you.”-George Orwell, 1984   

A Wisconsin-based company named Three Square Market is giving employees the option to have a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchip implanted in them. The chips, according to a BBC report, will allow employees to “open doors, log into computers and even purchase food.”1  According to multiple articles I have read, a majority of Three Square Market employees are in favor of being microchipped.

Security in the workplace is nothing new. For example, I have not had a job since 2003 where I did not have to either scan a badge or pass through security. All of us who travel have grown accustomed to increased security at airports. Pet owners can have their dogs or cats microchipped in the event they run away and can be returned if found. For increased security, many credit and debit cards have chips in them. The question becomes how much are we willing to surrender for security and convenience? The program may be voluntary now, but what if it becomes mandatory? Are you willing to gain the world and lose your soul?

After I read the article, my mind went to Revelation 13 and the Mark of the Beast:

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17, KJV, emphasis mine).

Without the mark, there is no economic participation- no employment, no credit, no buying food or other necessities. Ladies and Gentlemen, we now live in the time where technology has caught up to Bible prophecy. I am not stating that this particular RFID chip is the Mark of the Beast or anything like that. What this shows is a societal pre-conditioning to such an event. When the One World Government is in place, people will not think twice about extending their hand or forehead to swear allegiance to it. We have allowed technology to supplant our humanity and we are becoming more machine like in the process. Brothers and Sisters, let us be discerning of the times and seasons. God bless you all.

(For further reading on the Mark of the Beast and its consequences, I encourage you to read Revelation 13:18, 14:9, 14:11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, 20:4).

 

 

 

Christ Symbolism and Superman

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Superman with his arms in a “cross” pose. 

© Copyright Warner Brothers Studios/DC Comics

My wife and I recently went to the theater to watch Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (no spoilers here if you have not seen it). This film marks the first big screen team up of Superman and Batman in their character histories, which go back to the late 1930s. I admit that my inner fan boy could not wait to see Batman v. Superman, my two favorite superheros together and I enjoyed it. As we left the theater, my wife and I began to reflect on the movie’s imagery.

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster in 1938 and has gone through numerous incarnations by other comic book writers, screenwriters and artists. The Superman mythos contains elements of Hercules from Greek mythology and parallels the story of Moses, as baby Kal-El is saved from an extinction of his people on his home planet of  Krypton, whereas Moses was saved from pharaoh’s order to kill the male Hebrew children. However, it appears to be the intent of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and its predecessor, Man of Steel, to portray Superman as a Christ-like figure.

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give details concerning the birth of Christ, while Mark and John focus squarely on Jesus’ ministry. The story of a twelve-year-old Jesus debating with the religious teachers (Luke 2:41-49) is the only story Scripture records of a young Christ. The next time the Gospel writers mention Jesus, He is thirty years old. We naturally assume that Jesus worked in obscurity as a carpenter in small town called Nazareth. In Man of Steel, Superman, aka Clark Kent, is portrayed as a drifter who performs occasional heroic acts until he makes himself known to the world at age thirty-three, the same age Jesus was when He was crucified.

In Man of Steel, Superman surrenders to the U.S. Government, as Jesus stated that He would lay down His life Himself (John 10:18). Superman captures the world’s imagination and is seen as a god because he can do things no mere human can do. For example, Superman flies, he is not harmed by bullets, he can see through walls, he has super strength, heat vision, etc. Just as when Jesus walked the earth, He performed acts and miracles on a scale people had not seen- raising the dead, walking on water, healing the sick, casting out demons, teaching with authority, feeding multitudes with a few loaves of bread and a few fish, etc.

Flash forward to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and public opinion has began to turn against Superman, per the events of Man of Steel. Superman has upset the established government order and people are questioning his agenda and intentions, perceiving him as an alien threat. This can be compared to how Christ upset the religious order and the Pharisees and priests looked for an opportunity to arrest Him. Consider the fact that many of the same people who shouted, “Hosanna,” when Christ came to Jerusalem also shouted “Crucify Him,” at His trial before Pilate.

When you take both movies together, there are numerous references to Christ, such as a stained glass image of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane over Superman’s shoulder as he speaks to a priest  and Superman making another “cross” pose in the water in Man of Steel. Superman is thronged by a crowd of people  as shown in the trailers and commercials for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, just as Jesus was thronged by the masses. In the new movie, there is a subplot (as advertised) of man vs. God and the devil vs. God as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman go against Doomsday.

With the heavy Christ symbolism projected upon this current incarnation of Superman and his drawing the ire of the government, the change of public opinion, and taking on a beast creature such as Doomsday, could this be a way of the New World Order conditioning the masses against the return of Christ? Consider for a moment how the return of Christ will upset and defeat Satan’s plan of world domination. Consider the current violent persecution of Christians all around the world at the hands of oppressive dictatorships and terrorist groups. From the time of the Tower of Babel, to the empires of the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc., Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the United Nations, men and governments have sought to impose a one world government system upon the masses and to also direct their religious affiliations.

Brothers and sisters, we are closer than ever to seeing the world government and religious systems as described in the Book of Revelation. What is the best way to control the masses? Control the message. With a reported budget of $250 million dollars and millions more poured into marketing, nothing in Batman v. Superman or any movie for that matter is accidental. There is an agenda, there is a message the filmmakers want to spread, as if you hand millions of dollars at your disposal to share the Gospel, we would share the message and love of Christ.

I enjoy movies. I enjoy superheros, science fiction, historical epics, and a good good versus evil story. If you enjoy movies and comic books, enjoy them. However, as Christians, we must be discerning and pay close attention to what we watch and read.  We must watch with our spiritual eyes opened. Let us not sleepwalk through these last days. God bless you all.

 

 

 

Temple of Baal coming to U.S. and Europe

I received a message earlier this week from a friend asking me if I had heard of a temple of Baal being constructed in  New York City and London. I researched several articles, the YouTube link provided by my friend and even came across an article in the New York Times concerning this issue. From what I have read, there will be reproductions of the temple’s archways placed in New York City’s Times Square and London’s Trafalgar Square on April 19, 2016.  This particular temple of Baal was located in Palmyra, Syria and was destroyed by ISIS in August 2015. Though the New York Times article discussed the reproduction of the temple arches is being done to honor the razed temple as a world heritage site. However, could something more sinister be at hand?

Who is Baal?

In order to fully understand the implications of reproducing arches to an ancient temple, we must understand for whom the temple is named. Baal was a Canaanite fertility god worshipped in the land of Canaan before the Israelites came into the Promise Land. Despite God’s many warnings not to worship the gods of the Canaanites, Israel fell into idolatry, for which they were judged and punished multiple times by God. Baal, like the other Canaanite gods and goddesses was worshipped in what the Bible calls “the high places,” which were simply altars built on top of hills and mountains.

Israel’s history of Baal worship

“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.”(Judges 2:11-13, KJV).

“And they [the nation of Israel] left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire [child sacrifice], and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” (2 Kings 7:16-17, KJV, brackets mine).

Kings of Israel and Judah who worshipped Baal

There is an adage that says, “As a nation’s leaders go, so go its people.” In the Old Testament, as kings turned away from God, so did the people turn away from God.

Ahab           

“And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1 Kings 16:31-33, KJV).

Ahaziah

    “Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. For he served Baal, and worshipped him and provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.” ( 1Kings 22:51-53, KJV).

Manasseh

“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father destroyed; and he reared up the altars of Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab, king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.” (2 Kings 21:2-3, KJV).

God’s Instruments of Judgment against Baal Worship

*Gideon destroyed his father’s altar to Baal (Judges 6:25-32).

*Elijah confronted and slayed the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19-40).

*Jehu destroyed all Baal worship in Israel, but did not follow God (2 Kings 10:18-31).

*Jehoiada the priest led the people to destroy the house of Baal (2 Kings 11:18).

*Josiah removed the high places, smashed altars and ordered the priest of Baal to be slain (2 Kings 23:4-6).

*722 BC- The Assyrians invaded Samaria and Israel ceased to be a nation (2 Kings 17:18; Jeremiah 23:13).

*586 BC- The Babylonians conquer Jerusalem and begin the process of the seventy year exile (Jeremiah 23:25-27; Jeremiah 32:29-35).

The Bible makes it explicitly clear that we are to worship God and that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. If we worship any other entity or idol, we are engaging in idolatry. For any nation to erect even a replica of any temple or building where child sacrifice took place is the epitome of apostasy. New York and London, to put it bluntly are building monuments to Satan in the most prominent places in their respective cities. I have placed the links to the original New York Times article and the YouTube video below. Please study the Scriptures for yourselves and pray that God will move upon the hearts of the nation’s leaders and people. Pray that people’s eyes will be opened to the truth. Satan is a deceiver, a liar, and the father of lies who wants to lead astray as many people as he can in these last days.  God bless you all.

YouTube VideoThe New York Times article