Archive for the ‘Thoughts from John’ category

Beautiful Jesus?

November 6, 2016

Isaiah 53:1-3–
1. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2. For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

I was reading a message from a devotional booklet which made the point that Jesus didn’t come as a hero or as someone handsome to look on. God wants us to hear and obey His message, not worship Him because He’s a specimen of beauty.

Note Isaiah 53:2, which says, he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

When Christ returns as judge and victor, as portrayed in the book of Revelation, I don’t think many will see Him as beautiful.

Here’s what comes to mind for me. The next time you hear a song on Christian radio exalting the beautiful Jesus, ask yourself who they’re worshipping.

Perilous Times

July 24, 2016

I read a thought provoking article about why we won’t experience an armed revolution in America. The author gives three main reasons.

Read more here.

An Ocean at the Center of the Earth

January 17, 2016

Science catches up with the Bible’s reference to the fountains of the deep in Genesis 8:2. See A Vast Ocean Inside the Earth: The Deep Unknown.

Genesis 8:1-4–
1.And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
2.The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
3.And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
4.And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

Strong Delusion

January 10, 2016

In 2 Thessalonians 2:11, Paul says God will send strong delusion to the followers of the AntiChrist during the Tribulation period. I’ve reproduced verses 1-12 below so you can appreciate the context.

It’s been my contention for some time now that Americans–and no doubt others around the world–are under unbreakable delusion already. I’m referring to such things as the official story of 9/11, why we’ve been at war for years, and the notion that the economy is good.

See Synthetic Reality Nation for one commentator’s take on our modern day deception.

The question that comes to mind is, considering how badly we’re deluded and deceived now, how bad will that strong delusion be during the Tribulation?

It boggles the mind.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12–
1.Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2.That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3.Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4.Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5.Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6.And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7.For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8.And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9.Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10.And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11.And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12.That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

You’re In For It Now, Buster!

December 6, 2015

When you’re watching or listening to the news, do you ever get the feeling you’re back in school, waiting for the hammer to come down on you for doing wrong? I’ve had that feeling often, and I don’t expect it to go away any time soon.

Paul Craig Roberts explains why that is in a brilliant article entitled The Punishment Society. Our country is punishing those within and without who don’t tow the line.

I want to try to tie several seemingly random things together to emphasize this point. First, a little personal thought to get the ball rolling.

Generally speaking, I liked school when I was a kid years ago. I’ve always enjoyed learning. But one thing I absolutely hated was that the wrong actions of one person screwed things up for all of us. If one person did something out of line, we were all guilty. No chance to prove innocence.

Forget about individual responsibilities and rights. Collectivist thinking is surely instilled when we’re treated as a group, not as human beings.

That’s the attitude exhibited in our country today. There are all kinds of reasons why you and I might be domestic terrorists. The bottom line is, if we take a viewpoint that’s out of synch with the government in any way, we’re in for trouble.

But most people don’t know or believe that. Do right, and all will be well. Only those who break the law or are terrorists deserve punishment, right?

How will they know what you and I are up to?

Because we’re being watched all the time. And we’re told to watch each other. You know, See something, say something.

“The Atlantic” for November 2015 includes an article entitled If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re crazy. The author warns of the dangers of the surveillance we’ve come to expect and accept in our everyday lives. There’s surprisingly very little of the anticonspiracy theory attitude in it, which one would expect from such an establishment publication.

I think I understand why young people have no sense of the loss of personal privacy in our modern day surveillance society. It’s something that has baffled me before now.

First, they’ve grown up with pervasive technology that I didn’t experience years back. Second, there’s no sense of punishment associated with being watched. At least none that’s perceptible.

In fact, it’s flat out pleasurable to engage in social media. Who cares about consequences? See Why Do We Expose Ourselves? for mor thoughts on this.

There’s another side to the punishment coin. It’s not only the authorities who wish to punish the masses. It’s the masses who want to punish as well.

An attitude of political correctness has been allowed to grow and run rampant. Nobody would dare to hurt somebody else’s feelings, would they? They deserve punishment if they do step out of line.

And yet look who wants to do the punishment. The same people who don’t think twice about putting everything on social media.

Look at the punishment attitude embedded within the turmoil this fall over alleged racism at the University of Missouri. It toppled top leaders. The contageon has spread in one form or other to other colleges.

Look at the example of the weatherman who was fired in France a few weeks ago for not agreeing with the party line on global warming. Read about it here.

Let’s go further.

If you don’t believe the U.S. government’s official story about 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the attacks on Paris, the shootings in San Bernardino, CA, etc., you’re a conspiracy theorist and must be made to feel out of step with reality.

We now have so-called mass shootings and terrorist attacks of one sort or other at least once a week. It’s alleged by talk show hosts and many among us that Muslims are invading America. Yet anyone who speaks out against them in any way stands the risk of being prosecuted.

This is a deliberate attempt to intimidate and bully Americans into submission.

Can you honestly tell me this isn’t a punishment society?

Or are you one of those who claims to have nothing to hide. You’re coloring inside the lines.

And yet, with the excess of regulations these days, we’re all law breakers of one kind or another.

Ironically, the solution to everything that looks out of order is to make more rules and regulations.

So many little things happen that reinforce the punishment society attitude. For example, after a Russian airliner was shot down over Egypt, a picture emerged allegedly showing a soda pop can bomb. Or maybe it was a beer can.

Either way, it could be that from now on when you drink a can of Coke in public, you’ll be looked at suspiciously.

Here’s another angle to that. If you’re not really a terrorist, do you really need that soft drink or beer anyway? Obesity runs rampant, right? Haven’t voices been clamoring for us to do something about it?

So, you see, you’re now being punished for drinking a can of pop.

But how brilliant is it that making people scared to drink from a can in public is a way to fight terrorism and obesity at the same time?

As that Russian comedian used to say, “What a country!”

OK, do you truly want to be a good citizen?

All right then. Here’s how you can avoid being punished in society today.

  • Believe absolutely everything you’re told by the media, government and anyone in a position of authority.
  • Remember authority is always right.
  • Never ask questions about anything.
  • When a new idea or law is put forward, always accept it blindly and eagerly.
  • Never ever think outside the box.

There may be more rules to follow, but those should get you buy for now.

Are you satisfied with that? I’m not, and I never will be. And my punishment is a harsh one–attempting to maintain sanity in an insane world.

It’s Our Time

November 8, 2015

Acts 3:18-21–
18.But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19.Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
20.And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21.Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Romans 11:25-27–
25.For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26.And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27.For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

In the passage from Acts 3, Peter is preaching to Jews who marveled at the healing of a lame man. It raises an interesting question about a hypothetical scenario.

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the Jews would have accepted Christ as their Messiah when He came? Would God have brought in His kingdom? What would that have meant for those of us who aren’t Jews?

We know things didn’t happen that way. That’s good for those of us who are Gentiles and not Jews because we’ve been allowed to enter into God’s redemption.

Romans 11 shows clearly that God isn’t finished with Israel. Yet Paul speaks much of how Gentile believers in Christ have been grafted into the tree. It’s not natural for us to be there. But God, in His marvelous grace, made a way for us.

Quite simply, if Israel would have accepted Christ upon his first advent, we would not have received the blessings of Calvary. In Ephesians chapters 2 and 3, Paul wrote of how we’re no longer strangers. The wall separating us from God’s salvation has been broken down. Paul was blessed to be given the message that Gentiles are welcome to partake of God’s salvation, which the Jews had thought was theirs alone.

Only God Himself knows why He allowed things to go the way they did. It may seem strange to us when we think about it. God doesn’t do what we might expect.

We have much to be thankful for. God hasn’t excluded us. By receiving Christ as lord and savior, we can be God’s children and heirs of the King.

Revisiting the Thwarting of Prophetic Events

October 11, 2015

A few months ago I wrote a piece called How to Keep Prophecy from Coming True, featuring a fictionalized letter supposedly from a high ranking leader of a secret society describing its control of world affairs. Recently I shared the link with the pastor of our church. He read the post but wasn’t altogether clear on what I was trying to say. We had a good discussion about it.

No one has commented on that piece, so perhaps others felt confused as well. I admit, I did throw a lot of things out there. Apparently my attempt to put forth big ideas in a clever manner fell flat.

What I’d like to do in this piece is summarize and hopefully clarify the main points I was trying to make. But I’d also like to raise a few serious questions I have, particularly about Israel–always a point of controversy.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, if this blog ceases to exist, it will have been taken down bby someone other than me because of this post.

I begin with two premises. The first is that Zionism exerts a far greater influence than most Americans–especially Christians–realize or admit. Another premise is that nations have come together, knowingly or otherwise, to thwart prophetic events from coming to pass as outlined in Scripture.

Here’s how I see that unfolding.

America has gone the extra mile to support Israel, so much so that our foreign policy has been taken captive by those who seek to build a Greater Israel at any cost. Other nations, such as those in the EU, have been brought along to aid in this quest.

Forget any rhetoric or behavior from our current president regarding Israel. He’s a bit player. It’s our country’s actions which continue to indicate ongoing support for Israel.

I’ll address Christians and support of Israel below because it deserves attention. But permit more background for now.

Regarding my first premise about Zionism’s influence, The U.S. is in the Middle East and that general region of the world for two reasons–Israel and oil. Granted, that’s an oversimplification.

But it appears we’ve been working behind the scenes to destabilize countries Israel perceives as a threat. It’s part of the preemptive strike mentality exhibited since 9/11/’01.

Many Americans have been conditioned in recent years to fear radical Islam. Admittedly this isn’t something we should ignore. But are we over reacting?

There’s so much misinformation and disinformation in our land. Have we been persuaded by those with a proIsrael mindset that Islam is a greater threat than it is? Could it be that we face a still greater threat?

Is it wise to go merrily on our way as if Zionism didn’t exist or had no influence on our country, both in its internal and external doings?

Let’s look at the problem with ISIS, for example. The U.S. and a handful of other countries created them, or at least fostered their development, in part to oppose the government in Syria.

Destabilizing Syria is perhaps thought by some to be beneficial to Israel. It may be that the idea is to create chaos to stimy the enemy.

It should be clear we have not wanted to stop ISIS. If this were untrue, months ago we could have done what Russia has done (as I write this) to strangle ISIS in a matter of weeks.

Additionally, the so-called color revolutions of the Arab spring and beyond weren’t grassroots efforts. According to many reports I’ve read, the U.S. and some of its allies had a hand in fomenting unrest. Again, is there benefit to Israel? Is the objective once again to create chaos to squelch a perceived threat?

Whatever the case, in reality, the path has been cleared for the rise of radical Islam. That flies in the face of the so-called war on terrorism, doesn’t it?

One of the consequences of this engineered rise of radical Islam is the growing persecution of Christians. If indeed America has had a hand in this, I believe she stands to be judged for this as much, if not more so, than whether or not she supports Israel.

Why would anyone want to set up such a sinister scenario?

Let’s not be blind to the fact that some Jews hate Christ and Christianity. There are those who would love to see America–a once great Christian nation–fall from within.

I hasten to add, the ills of America–and the world as a whole–cannot be blamed entirely on Jews. All I’m saying is we shouldn’t assume Zionist Jews don’t exist or have no role as movers and shakers.

But back to my main points.

If the U.S. can be used in some way, directly or otherwise, to facilitate the killing of Christians, so much the better.

Perverse, isn’t it?

Take note that Israel is not defenseless. It’s reported they have between 100 and 300 nuclear weapons. They have not signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, as has Iran, one of their alleged enemies. Does Israel really need all the money and military aid we’re giving them?

It appears to me Israel is operating out of fear. And they’re spreading it to those who would do their bidding.

Keep Americans afraid of Islam, and they’ll gladly give up freedoms for the promise of safety.

In fact, as some suggest, we should follow Israel’s example of keeping secure such places as schools and airports. After all, the thought is, nobody can face down threats like Israel.

Do I make too much of what motivates the nations shaping world events today? Perhaps my pastor is right to suggest their motivation doesn’t matter, since the root cause is ultimately Satanic influence.

But let me go on to my notion that nations are attempting to thwart prophetic events. Two items come to mind.

In Gulf War I in the early 1990’s, and with the sanctions on Iraq that followed, the U.S. and its allies stopped Saddam Hussein’s efforts to rebuild Babylon.

Why is that significant?

Somehow, sometime, literal Babylon will be rebuilt. We see it in Revelation 17-18. Remember, no one thought in times past there would be a nation state called Israel again. So why shouldn’t there be Babylon in the future?

I suggest it’s believed that if there’s no physical, literal Babylon, how can Babylon fall, as predicted? Babylon is a geographic place, not just a political, economic or religious system.

Next, consider the destruction of ancient sites. It happened in Iraq in what some call Gulf War II. It has happened most recently in Syria and other places with the advent of ISIS.

Jesus said in John 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. The destruction of ancient sites and the preventing of Babylon’s rebuilding fits that pattern.

To bring my two main premises together, nations, largely influenzed by Zionism, have joined together to keep prophecy from happening as predicted in Scripture. Those who want a Greater Israel want it apart from God and without a Messiah.

After the discussion with our pastor, I came away feeling that my theory about nations working to keep prophetic events from happening isn’t as earth shattering as I had thought. But it does seem more evident to me in these times, and I don’t think people see it..

My pastor reminded me that Satan did what he could through Biblical history to prevent prophetic events, particularly the birth of Christ. King Herod’s slaughter of baby boys as described in Matthew 2 is but one example of that.

Did Herod know he was fulfilling prophecy, rather than stopping it by trying to scuttle the first advent of Christ? Not likely.

Do nations today know they’re fulfilling prophecy by trying to scuttle the second advent of Christ, rather than preventing it? Not likely.

The fact is, the nations who are deliberately fostering chaos aren’t thwarting prophecy, as I believe many in power behind the scenes wish to do. Instead, they are setting the stage for the AntiChrist. He is the one who will bring order out of chaos and peace–at least at first.

Looking at the big picture–as if we weren’t already–God is sovereign. Though Satan has a great deal of free reign in this world, God overrules. His Word is true, and His will will be accomplished, regardless of who or what tries to stand in the way.

Israel will go through many trials but will not be destroyed.

Now let’s come back to the subject of America, and Christians, supporting Israel.

As I expected, our pastor takes the standard view of most Christians and insists our country should support Israel, or America will fall. I have held this view in the past, but I have reservations and questions about it now. It’s not a matter of whether, but how we should uphold Israel.

There are enough reasons for God to bring the U.S. down already, regardless of her position on Israel. America is not in Bible prophecy, but it’s hard to say what will take her out. Could it be due to something other than whether we support Israel?

The principle of support for Israel is drawn from Genesis 12:1-3 which says:

1.Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2.And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3.And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Many books have been written which have sought to unpack the truths in these verses. I can’t begin to do the subject justice here. Obviously, Christ is the greatest blessing to come from Abraham, and He has brought salvation to people throughout the world.

But how would God truly have us support Israel today? Does Genesis 12 mean America should unconditionally give money and missiles to the present nation-state of Israel? Right now they’re a secular nation which, whether they know it or not, is being used as an instrument of Satan.

Are those words too harsh?

Let me put this another way. If you’ve raised children, did you give them candy and soda pop every time they asked for it? Did you let them stay up until all hours of the night and do anything they wanted? Would that have been the way to bless them? Wouldn’t you in a sense be cursing them by letting them have their way?

With that illustration in mind, shouldn’t America be more reserved in its support of Israel? Or shouldn’t we take a different approach? Why should that be considered as cursing Abraham’s descendants?

Some will say I’m overlooking the threats Israel has faced since its modern day creation in 1948. Nothing in that part of the world is clear cut or black and white. And Israel isn’t as innocent and pure as the driven snow.

One of the key reasons Christians believe in supporting Israel is because of the teaching that Israel’s presence today is the fulfillment of prophecy. Others say it is not because it is a U.N. construct–of man and not of God.

But what of the idea God uses such instruments as the U.N. to do His will? I can’t rule that out.

On the other hand, what if the establishment of modern day Israel is comparable to the birth of Ishmael? In other words, did Zionists and others get ahead of God’s plan?

My late friend Gerald Franz thought Isaiah 11:10-14 indicated Israel will be dispersed again at a time in the future before God accomplishes His final plan for the nation. Even if this somehow does happen, God is not done with Israel and will not allow her to be destroyed. The Bible makes that clear.

God’s plan will come to pass as He wills. Thankfully the Zionists will be dealt with. Israel will be judged during the time of the seven year Tribulation. But ultimately the Lord will finish what He started with Israel and raise the nation to prominence in His own way.

From a human standpoint, it’s hard to see that in the midst of so much darkness.

With all of that said, here’s my message to Christians and churches, regardless of what America does or doesn’t do pertaining to Israel. If you get nothing else from this post, please take note here.

Our response to the Genesis 12 passage should be that we each show lovingkindness toward Jewish individuals. Give them the gospel whenever possible and let God’s Holy Spirit win them to Christ, the Messiah.

Churches should do more to support the spread of the gospel to Jews, including in Israel, as difficult as that may be.

Wouldn’t that be the better way to bless the physical seed of Abraham?