Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Zeitgeist

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

Have you ever played Connect the Dots?

What happened when you did not followed the numbers in sequence? What did you get? Most likely the picture was a mess that looked little like the duck, frog or spaceship it was intended to look like.

So, too, is the movie called "Zeitgeist" — an Orwellian acid-trip of a documentary, full of paranoia and conspiracy theories, claiming to debunk everything from World War II to 9/11 to Jesus Christ Himself. The Artivist Film Festival winning movie's conclusion — a cadre of bankers work behind the scenes to manipulate world events so that they will eventually rule the world. The movie all but says the word "Illuminati."

Unfortunately, many people in the college circuit and beyond have fallen prey to the movie's assumption that Jesus is just the embodiment of the zodiac, and have had their faith dashed to pieces. Shaky assumptions, bad historical analysis, outright lies, and dashes of truth here and there to give a taste of credibility is the means by which this movie seeks to uproot one's foundational belief in God, Jesus, religion, government, and just about anything else rooted in the realm of reality. It is spiritual poison pure and simple, using the most effective technique Satan has in his arsenal — exchanging the truth of God for a lie" (Rom. 1:25).

Zeitgeist Debunked

So, what are the flaws that make Zeitgeist transparently false? The following article "Is there any validity to the Zeitgeist movie?" from GotQuestions.org points out most excellently the fatal logical flaws within the Zeitgeist "evidences."


The "zeitgeist movie," which is available for viewing on the Web — http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com, is essentially a baseless conspiracy theory focused on attacking the Christian faith and the government of the United States. What is interesting, though, is that while nearly all the assertions put forth are in the movie are completely wrong, the end fear promoted by the movie is correct and backed by Scripture (depending on one's view of biblical eschatology).

The purpose of this article is to address the first conspiracy theory (out of four) put forth in the movie — that Jesus is a mythological amalgamation of various pagan gods and deities invented by the Egyptians and other cultures. Time will not be spent addressing the two major claims that follow in the movie — that the U.S. government architected and planned the attacks that occurred on 9/11 (with assertions being made that a pattern of such domestic attacks exists in history) and that there is a major banking conspiracy attempting to control the finances of all U.S. citizens and ultimately, the world. In the end, a comment will be made concerning the last theory — that a one-world government is coming.

The allegations concerning Jesus in the Zeitgeist movie can be summarized as follows: The Jesus proclaimed in the Bible is not a historical person, and in fact He never existed. Instead, Jesus is an invention of the biblical authors who painstakingly copied attributes of ancient pagan deities and created a new god to be worshipped. Jesus mirrors various pagan deities in very exacting ways such as the manner of his birth, life, death, and resurrection.

Further, the movie asserts that astrology is the foundation behind much of the writing in Scripture. The end conclusion is that Christianity is a myth — just as all the pagan religions that came before it — and is therefore untrue. To address these assertions, it is helpful to break them down into three groups:

  • The subject of astrology and the Bible.
  • The supposed similarities between Jesus and mythological heroes.
  • The evidence for the truthfulness of the gospel accounts.

The Zeitgeist movie (from the German meaning "spirit of the age" or literally "time" Zeit "spirit" Geist) claims that the Bible is based on astrology and the stars. Perhaps one of the most telling statements in all the Bible regarding the importance God places on the stars is found in Genesis 1:16b: "He made the stars also." This simple statement reveals the extent of the importance of the stars' creation. Some biblical commentators have said this brevity of description is deliberate as God wants to in no way give the stars significance. In truth, rather than giving the stars, sun, and moon any value beyond what they were created for, there are a number of places in Scripture that denounce their worship. Deuteronomy 4:19 says, "And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars — all the heavenly array — do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven." In fact, Deuteronomy 17:2-5 prescribes a death sentence for anyone found worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.

In Isaiah 47:13 God mockingly asks if the stargazers can actually protect those who follow them from the real Power of the universe: "All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you." So the Zeitgeist movie's claim that the Bible is based on astrology goes against what is written in the Book itself.

In addition to the faulty concept of astrology and the Bible being joined at the hip, the specific statements made in the film about this supposed link disregard historical facts. For example, the movie states that the number 12 in the Bible refers to the 12 zodiacal signs. So the 12 patriarchs, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus, are supposed to match the number of the astrological signs. This is out of the realm of possibility as Genesis was written around 1,000 B.C. [Nathan: more like 1400-1450 B.C. during Moses' time] with the actual events having occurred much earlier. History shows that the division of the stars/constellations into the 12 zodiacal signs did not occur until the Babylonians made the divisions around the fifth century B.C.

The meatier part of the first section of the movie is devoted to allegations of Jesus being nothing but a combination of pagan deities whose attributes the gospel writers borrowed to create their own new god. The main authority used in this portion of the movie, and the first major mythological figure presented as a forerunner of Jesus, is the Egyptian god Horus. If we see that the research on their primary character is flawed, it follows that the same faulty investigation methods/materials will be present in everything else.

The Zeitgeist movie makes these claims about the Egyptian god Horus:

  • He was born on December 25th of a virgin (Isis Mary)
  • A star in the East proclaimed his arrival
  • Three kings came to adore the new-born "savior"
  • He became a prodigious teacher at age 12
  • At age 30 he was "baptized" and began a "ministry"
  • Horus had twelve "disciples"
  • Horus was betrayed
  • He was crucified
  • He was buried for three days
  • He was resurrected after three days

If true, this would certainly be unsettling to followers of Christ. However, examining each point in detail is quite revealing. First, it is true that Egyptian legend has Horus being born to Isis. But where did the trailing name of "Mary" that used in the movie come from? No mention in any Egyptian literature links the name Isis to the name Mary. Isis was also not a virgin. No account of Horus' birth makes this statement. Isis was not a virgin, but the widow of Osiris, another Egyptian god who conceived Horus with Isis. Finally, Horus was supposedly born during the month of Khoiak (Oct/Nov), and not on December 25th, a fact which does not help their claim of marrying the stories of Horus to Jesus anyway because the Bible never assigns a birth date to Christ.

Next, the film states that a star in the East announced his birth and that three kings came to bring gifts to the "savior." However, when stories detailing the birth of Horus are examined, there is no star or three kings who come to visit him. Trying to link this to Christianity fails in any event as the account of Christ's birth in Matthew has magi (wise men, not kings) coming to Jesus with their actual number not being stated. Clearly, the movie is using the traditions of December 25 and three wise men, not the Bible, to link Jesus and Horus. Finally, the movie calls Horus a "savior." There are no descriptions of Horus being a savior to anyone or serving in that capacity.

This is an important point: the movie takes extreme liberty in the quick and subtle uses of Christian words and phrases that in no way accurately describe the actual pagan god or his attributes. This is seen again in the statements made of Horus being "baptized" and starting a "ministry." The only accounts remotely related to Horus and water are the stories told of Osiris (his father who is sometimes combined in ancient accounts with Horus to form one individual) whose body was cut up into 14 pieces by his enemy, Set, and scattered throughout the earth. Isis supposedly found each part of the body and after having Osiris float in the Nile, he came back to life or became the lord of the underworld, depending on which account is read. In any event, stating that Horus was "baptized" is simply playing fast and loose with Christian terminology and is another obvious attempt to link mythology and the Bible.

In addition, Horus had no "ministry." Horus becoming a teacher at age 12 (mimicking Jesus' account at the temple as a youth) is nowhere to be found in accounts of Horus; neither are there any statements to the effect that he had 12 "disciples." According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers and some indications of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. No accounts of Horus being betrayed are found in his portrayals and he certainly did not die by crucifixion in any account. There is an incident described in one story of Horus being torn to pieces, with Iris requesting that the crocodile god pull him out of the water he was placed into, but the movie does not mention this as it does not fit in with their agenda. Further, the movie puts the account of Horus as originating in 3,000 B.C., which predates the invention and practice of crucifixion, so there is another historical problem that must be overcome.

The claims of Horus being buried for three days and resurrected are not to be found in any ancient Egyptian texts either. Some accounts have Osiris being brought back to life by Isis and going to be the lord of the underworld. But there is no mention of a burial for three days and no mention of his physically coming out of a grave in the same physical body he went in with and never dying again. And there is certainly no account of Horus dying for others as Jesus did.

In the end, the attempt to prove Horus was a picture/forerunner of Jesus simply fails from lack of any historical evidence. The movie continues in this same vein with all the other mythological pagan deities that pre-dated Jesus (Attis, Krishna, etc.) As just another simple example, the Zeitgeist movie says that Hindu's Krishna was also crucified and resurrected. However, Hindu teachings clearly state that Krishna was killed by an arrow shot from a hunter who accidentally hit him in his heel and after he died, he ascended to be with Brahman. None of the pagan deities, when accurately examined, mirror the Son of God recorded in the New Testament gospels.

Of course, neither does the movie note the following facts:

  • The many archaeological details confirming New Testament accounts.
  • The historically confirmed references to the details of the life of Christ.
  • The early dating of the Gospel accounts during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses.
  • The deep moral convictions of the authors and their commitment to truth.
  • The accounts of the apostles going to their deaths for what they believed.
  • The typology of Joseph and Jesus (used by the film to supposedly debunk the actual existence of Christ) is very well known and accepted by conservative Christian scholars as a foreshadowing of the first coming of Jesus.
  • All the good produced by Christianity (see How Christianity Changed the World by Dr. Alvin Schmidt), which are brushed aside with only the crusades and other like events being highlighted.

It is interesting to note that Christianity is the only faith attacked in the movie — Islam, Hinduism, and others don't warrant a mention. Though the faith of the producers is not exposed, there is a blurb at the end speaking to the effect that "all is one," with a clip of noted evolutionist/materialist Carl Sagan saying that the earth is a single organism and that a "new consciousness is developing" that shows all is one. This is paganism, pure and simple.

At the end of the movie, religion is called a distraction engineered by a secret group of people who are using it (along with the media and other mechanisms) to dumb down the population so they will accept with open arms a coming one-world government. This is the one proposition put forth by the movie that is plausible insofar as it is backed by prophetic statements made in both the Old and New Testaments. The books of Daniel, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation speak to the ambition of a predicted world ruler who is to come.

It is interesting also that the movie quotes Jesus — someone they say never existed — from John 8:32: "you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free," although they misquote it and say "you must seek the truth and the truth will set you free." The producers of the Zeitgeist movie unfortunately do not do this and instead choose to align themselves with very questionable and outright fabricated sources to malign Christianity and label it and all religions as pawns used by a secret organization they claim is currently working to take over the world. One thing is for certain, reaching such a conclusion using faulty materials certainly requires a lot of faith. Much more faith, in fact, than it takes to accept the truth and historical validity of Christianity.

Christians should not be surprised that such unfounded claims are invented in the imaginations of unbelievers and passed along by others as fact, and in reality, they are to be expected. Peter writes in his first epistle, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves" (2 Peter 2:1).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Origins of the Antichrist: His Fate, Our Hope

In Origins of the Antichrist: Polled we looked at visitor responses to the poll question: "Where will the Antichrist arise from?" In seeking his origins we looked at the Antichrist's character and career, then dived deep into the passages about his origin. We conclude this series on the Antichrist by looking at his fate, which proves God fulfills His promises, giving believers hope.

His Empire in Revolt

The Bible indicates that as the Antichrist becomes obsessed with the Jews midway into the 7-year Tribulation, he loses interest in his worldwide empire, and segments of that empire begin to revolt. The core of the revolt is centered in the Asian nations who raise an army of 200 million and send it marching across Asia toward Israel where they hope to engage the Antichrist in a decisive battle for their freedom.

Daniel says that while the Antichrist and his armies are rampaging around the Middle East, looting the nations and killing the Jews, the Antichrist suddenly hears "rumors" that "disturb him" (Daniel 11:40-44). He evidently hears about the great Asian army coming to challenge him. He responds by consolidating his forces "between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain" (Daniel 11: 45). This is the same area that is referred to in Revelation as the Valley of Armageddon.

His Armies Destroyed

We are told that the Euphrates River dries up at this time and the great Asian army crosses to engage the Antichrist and his armies in battle (Revelation 16:12). As they fight, the Lord Jesus Christ breaks from the heavens, returns to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and speaks a supernatural word that causes all the armies to drop dead in their tracks. "Their eyes rot in their sockets and their tongues rot in their mouths" (Zechariah 14:12), and the valley is filled with blood up to the horses' bridles for a distance of two hundred miles (Revelation 14:20).

His Kingdom Conquered

Paul says the Antichrist will be slain by "the breath of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 2:8). John says the Lord will make war against the Antichrist "with the sword of His mouth" (Revelation 2:16). Daniel says the Antichrist's "dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever" (Daniel 17:26). Daniel also says that the Antichrist will be thrown into "the burning fire" (Daniel 7:11).

His Soul Banished

John confirms the fate of the Antichrist in Revelation when he says that both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into "the lake of fire which burns with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20) where "they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). This means that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be the first occupants of Hell. (Satan will not be confined there until the end of the Millennium — Revelation 20:10).

Our Hope Given

The good news for believers is that we will not have to experience the horror of the Antichrist. We are never told to watch for the Antichrist; rather, we are told to look for Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 we are assured that we who are believers are waiting for Jesus to return to "deliver us from the wrath to come." That is a glorious promise. That's why Paul calls the Rapture our "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13), and its also the reason that he tells us to "comfort one another" with the promise of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Origins of the Antichrist: Beginnings

In Origins of the Antichrist: Polled we looked at visitor responses to the poll question: "Where will the Antichrist arise from?" In seeking his origins we looked at the Antichrist's character and career. Today we get into the heart of the question.

Will he be a Greek?

And so, where will this sinister person come from? Some have speculated that he will come out of Syria since one of his prophetic types in history — Antiochus Epiphanes (215-164 BC) — was a Syrian tyrant. But Antiochus was actually of Greek heritage. Could he therefore be a Greek? It is not likely.

Will he be a Jew?

Many assume he will be because Jesus said, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him" (John 5:43). Based on this statement, people ask, "How could the Jews possibly receive a Gentile as their Messiah?"

But the Bible does not teach that the Jews will receive the Antichrist as their Messiah. It teaches they will accept him as a great political leader and diplomat and that they will put their trust in him as the guarantor of peace in the Middle East.

But the moment he reveals himself as the Antichrist by desecrating the Jew's rebuilt Temple and blaspheming God, the Jewish people will revolt. They will reject him as Messiah, and he will respond in fury by attempting to annihilate them.

The Antichrist does not have to be a Jew. And, in fact, the Bible makes it clear that he will be a Gentile. In Revelation 13:1 he is portrayed as a "beast coming up out of the sea." The sea is used consistently throughout the prophetic scriptures as a symbol of the Gentile nations (Daniel 7:3; Luke 21:25; and Revelation 17:1).

By contrast, the Antichrist's right hand man, the False Prophet, who will serve as his religious leader, will be a Jew. This is revealed in Revelation 13:11 where it says that John saw "another beast coming up out of the earth [literally, the land]." Just as the sea is used symbolically in prophecy to refer to the Gentile nations, the land (or earth) is used to refer to Israel. This does not mean the False Prophet will be an Orthodox Jew. It only means that he will be of Jewish heritage. Religiously, he will be an apostate Jew who will head up the One World Religion of the Antichrist.

Will he be a Muslim?

If Russia and Iran are wiped out in the Ezekiel 38-39 attack in which God miraculously delivers Israel, and Israel’s surrounding nations seem to be non-players in most of the Tribulation, probably because their Psalm 83 Jewish subjugation, then how could Islam dominate the Middle East and thereby have the Antichrist be of Muslim origins? It would seem such defeats would dishearten any Muslim. Also, if the Antichrist is supposedly not into women and could be a homosexual (Dan. 11:37), the Muslims would immediately want him put to death. Also, the Antichrist glorifies himself. Even the Muslim messiah called the Mahdi couldn’t do that, for a Muslim worship is for Allah alone. And, to reunify all former Roman Empire lands, Antichrist will have to go eastward to grab the Middle East riches that Israel will already be claiming, requiring a peace treaty to achieve.

These and other verses would conclude that Islam is just another false religious system that will be wiped out before the Antichrist installs his religious system.

Will he be from the United States?

Because of the Daniel 9:26 reference to the Antichrist coming from the people who "will destroy the city and the sanctuary," the only way the Unites States would qualify would be if the Antichrist was Italian-American. Not only is this highly improbable, but the total lack of reference to the United States being a power in the end times in the Bible and the powerhouse that the EU will have right after the Rapture, it appears the United States would not have the clout in the eyes of the world to raise a world leader.

Will he be from the European Union?

It is much more likely that he will rise out of the heartland of the old Roman Empire and that he will be of Italian descent. This conclusion is based upon a statement in Daniel 9:26. In that passage the Antichrist is referred to as "the prince who is to come," and he is identified as being from the people who "will destroy the city and the sanctuary."

We know from history that both Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Therefore, according to Daniel, the Antichrist must be of Roman heritage.

Will he begin again, rising from the dead?

There is one other issue concerning the origin of the Antichrist that we need to consider. Many argue that he will be a person resurrected from the dead — most likely Nero or Judas Iscariot. This assumption is based on a statement in Revelation 13:1-3 where John describes the Antichrist as a beast with seven heads. He then makes the observation that one of his heads appeared "as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed." He comments that "the whole earth was amazed" by this and therefore "followed after the beast" (Revelation 13:3).

The problem with this interpretation is that "the fatal wound" referred to in the passage has nothing to do with the person of the Antichrist. The seven heads represent seven Gentile empires — namely, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the final empire of the Antichrist. The head with the fatal wound that has been healed is the Roman Empire. We know this from the book of Daniel where it is prophesied that the Roman Empire will be the last of the Gentile empires until the end times when the empire of the Antichrist will emerge from a reunited Europe — that is, from a revival of the old Roman Empire (Daniel 2:31-45 and 7:1-8, 24-28).

The prophecies of Daniel have proved to be absolutely accurate. The Roman Empire was the last of the Gentile empires. It disintegrated into the nation-state system that has prevailed to this day. There have been numerous military attempts to resurrect the Roman Empire, most notably by Napoleon and Hitler. Today, the core of the Empire is coalescing before our eyes through diplomatic means, producing a united Europe that will serve as the base for the rise of the Antichrist.

Another passage that is used to justify the idea of the Antichrist being a resurrected person is Zechariah 11:17 — "Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind."

It is argued that this passage indicates that the Antichrist will be a person who has suffered a fatal wound. Now, there is no doubt this passage refers to the Antichrist, but some believe it is talking about his fate rather than his origin. Using symbolic language, the prophet could be saying that divine judgment (the sword) will fall upon the Antichrist's power (his arm) and his intelligence (his eye), and that he will suffer complete defeat (the withering of his arm and the blinding of his eye).

The idea that the Antichrist will be a resurrected person raises a serious theological problem concerning the power of Satan. The Scriptures make it clear that the Antichrist will be Satan's man, empowered by him and possessed by him. But there is no indication in Scripture that Satan has the power to give life to anyone. Satan is not omnipotent. Jesus is the one who has "the keys to death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18).

Is he alive today?

One of the most commonly asked questions is whether or not the Antichrist is alive today. I believe he is, and I believe so for two reasons. First, I believe the Scriptures teach that the generation that sees the re-establishment of Israel (May 14, 1948) will live to see all the end time prophecies fulfilled (Matthew 24: 32-34). Second, I believe the signs of the times clearly indicate that we are standing on the threshold of the Tribulation, the most important of those signs being the regathering of the Jews to their land (Isaiah 11:10-12) and their re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24).

If the Antichrist is alive today, does he know who he is? I think not. I don't think he has the foggiest idea of the role that Satan has in mind for him. He will not become the Antichrist until Satan possesses him and empowers him to deceive Europe and the Jews. His full revelation will not occur until he enters the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation and declares himself to be god.

The next post can give the believer in Christ hope, for the Antichrist's fate is already sealed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Origins of the Antichrist: Career

In Origins of the Antichrist: Polled we looked at visitor responses to the poll question: "Where will the Antichrist arise from?" In seeking his origins we last looked at the Antichrist's character. Today we are going to delve into his maniacal career.

The Rapture Initiates

The Rapture of the Church is the event that will launch the career of the Antichrist. This is revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2 where Paul states that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until "he who now restrains" him is "taken out of the way" (verse 7). The restrainer of evil in the world today is obviously the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit performs that task by working through the Church.

It is the Church that will be "taken out of the way," not the Holy Spirit. We know this for certain because the book of Revelation teaches that a great multitude will be saved during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14), and no one can be saved apart from the witness of the Spirit (John 6:44, John 15:26, and 1 John 5:7). The Spirit will remain in the world, but the agency the Spirit currently works through to restrain evil, the Church, will be removed.

The Rapture itself is likely to be the event that will catapult the Antichrist to power. This is because the Rapture will produce international chaos and panic. The Antichrist, energized by Satan (Daniel 8:24), will seem to have all the answers to the world's problems. He will take over the European Union through skillful intrigue (Daniel 8:23) and will establish his headquarters in Rome (Revelation 17:3,9,18).

The Tribulation Begins

The seven year time period of the Tribulation will actually begin when the Antichrist negotiates a treaty that will bring true peace to the Middle East, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). With his European base consolidated and peace achieved in the Middle East, he will set forth to subdue the whole world.

The War Consolidates

One of the myths about the Antichrist that has developed in modern day interpretation is that the whole world will become so enamored with him that all the nations will surrender their sovereignty to him voluntarily. The Bible does not teach this. It is also contrary to common sense. Africa and Asia and Latin America have not spent a century casting off European colonialism in order to suddenly turn around and receive a European dictator with open arms.

The world will resist him, and the result will be a Third World War in which he "will destroy to an extraordinary degree" (Daniel 8:24). This war will initially result in the death of one-fourth of humanity, or 1.5 billion people in today's terms (Revelation 6:2-8). As the Tribulation approaches its mid-point, this war will escalate into a nuclear holocaust that will result in the deaths of an additional one-third of those still alive — another 1.5 billion (Revelation 8 and 9).

It will be a empty victory because in the process of his conquest, one-third of the earth will be destroyed and half its population will be killed. He will then consolidate his "victory" by instituting a one-world economy and a one-world religion.

The Economy Controlled

The key to his economic control will be a mark that each person will have to bear on their right hand or on their forehead (Revelation 13:16-18). No one will be able to buy or sell unless they have this mark. The mark will consist of "either the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:18).

The Believers Persecuted

His religious control will be exercised by a false prophet who will head up his pagan religious system (Revelation 13: 11-15). He will force all of humanity to worship the Antichrist. He will be a deceiver who will astound people with "great signs" that appear miraculous in nature. In order to consolidate this Satanic religious system, the Antichrist will launch a great persecution of all those who have placed their faith in the true God since the Rapture of the Church (Revelation 12:13-17). The result will be a mass slaughter of believers (Revelation 7:9-14).

This means that by the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will have killed more than half of humanity (1.5 billion in the seal judgments, 1.5 billion in the trumpet judgments, and an undetermined multitude of saints.) It is no wonder that he is referred to in Scripture as "the man of lawlessness" and "the son of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

The Vessel Possessed

Nor will all this slaughter satisfy his blood thirst. About the time that the Antichrist has consolidated his world empire, Satan will be cast from Heaven and will come to earth in "great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time" (Revelation 12:12). At that point he will possess the Antichrist, even as he possessed Judas (Luke 22:3).

When the Antichrist becomes Satan incarnate, he will become a megalomaniacal tyrant obsessed with two things: himself and the Jewish people.


The Jews Slaughtered

He will suddenly march into the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, stop the sacrifices, blaspheme God, and declare himself to be the one and only true god (Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4). And when the Jews reject this horrible blasphemy, he will turn on them and seek to annihilate them. This will be his all-consuming passion during the second half of the Tribulation. That's why Jesus told the Jews that this period of time would be the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21) — not because it would be worse than the first half, but because the wrath would be focused upon them as a nation and a people.

Satan has an insane hatred for the Jews. He hates them because they gave the world the Scriptures. He hates them because God sent the Messiah through them. And he hates them because God has promised that He will bring a great remnant of them to salvation in their Messiah. He wants to destroy them so that God cannot keep that promise.

During the second half of the Tribulation, he will almost succeed in accomplishing this goal. We are told in Zechariah 13:8-9 that two-thirds of the Jewish people will die during this holocaust (another 9.3 million people).

The next post on origins will get to the heart of the topic.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Origins of the Antichrist: Character

In Origins of the Antichrist: Polled we looked at visitor responses to the poll question: "Where will the Antichrist arise from?" The tally shows that there is a wide variety of views on where this apocalyptic figure will emerge from.

As we dive into the Bible to discover the origins of the Antichrist, let us get some insights into the answer by looking at his sordid character first.

The Bible is very specific about the character of the Antichrist, and the picture it paints is a disgusting one. The most detailed information can be found in the book of Daniel. Consider the chart below:


Over and over emphasis is given to the Antichrist's mouth. He will boast non-stop about himself (Daniel 7:8). He will "speak monstrous things against the God of gods" (Daniel 11:36). He will be "given a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies" (Revelation 13:5). First and foremost, he is going to be a braggart and a blasphemer.

He will be strong willed and reckless in his determination to have his way. He will show contempt for human traditions and will, of course, change even the calendar so that it will no longer be related to the birth of Jesus (Daniel 7:25).

Another point that is emphasized repeatedly is that the Antichrist will be possessed by Satan, just as Judas was (Luke 22:3). Daniel says his power will be mighty, "but not by his own power" (Daniel 8:24). Paul says his coming will be "in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9). John says that Satan will give his power and authority to the Antichrist (Revelation 13: 2).

Because he will be demonized, he will be a man who cannot be trusted. Psalm 52:2 says he will be a "worker of deceit." Psalm 55:21 says his speech will be "smoother than butter" but his heart will be filled with war. Psalm 5:6 calls him "a man of bloodshed and deceit." In Psalm 43:1 he is referred to as a "deceitful and unjust man."

Daniel indicates that he will be a sexual pervert, most likely a homosexual. As Daniel puts it, the Antichrist will show no regard "for the desire of women" (Daniel 11:37).

The overall picture is that of an ego-maniac who abhors God and exploits people for his own purposes. He is deceptive and ruthless. He is a man devoid of integrity. This is probably the reason that when Jesus returns, John characterizes Him as the "Faithful and True" One (Revelation 19:11), in contrast to the Antichrist who has been both unfaithful and untrue.

The lack of character that will be displayed by the Antichrist is perhaps best summed up in some of the names given to him in the Scriptures:

  • The Beast (Revelation 13:1)

  • The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

  • The Son of Destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

  • The Despicable Person (Daniel 11:21)

  • The Willful King (Daniel 11:36)

  • The Worthless Shepherd (Zechariah 11:17)

  • The Insolent King (Daniel 8:23)

  • The Abomination (Matthew 24:15)

Tomorrow we will seek the origins of the Antichrist by following his career.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Origins of the Antichrist: Polled

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

The Bible teaches that in the end times, right before the return of Jesus, the greatest political leader in the history of Mankind will emerge from Europe. After taking over that area by diplomatic cunning and deceit, he will launch a military campaign that will result in his acquiring "authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation" (Revelation 13:7). His empire will be the most extensive in all of history, encompassing the entire world, and his rule will be the most demonic the world has ever experienced.

He will begin his rise to power as a dynamic, charismatic, insightful, visionary leader who will astound the world with the cleverness of his solutions to world problems. He will appear to be the savior of the world. But as he consolidates his power, his true nature will be revealed. He will emerge as a Satan possessed and empowered person who hates God and is determined to annihilate both Christianity and Judaism. For this reason, he is identified in scripture as the Antichrist (1 John 2:18), for he will stand against God and His anointed one, Jesus Christ.

Poll

October's blog poll "Where will the Antichrist arise from?" sought to determine where people believed he will originate from. The results are in the graph below:


Poll Analysis

It is interesting to note the spike in those who support the Antichrist coming out of the United States (39 of the 762 respondents, 5%), most likely higher than in the past because it is an election year. The ministry was flooded with emails from folks asking if because of his magnetism and mass appeal, Barack Obama could be the future world leader. As we'll discover in this five-part blog series on the Antichrist, based on the biblical description we can foresee Obama losing an election for that prophetic role.

A time existed when many believed the Pope will be the Antichrist, and there are still some who hold to that origin (40 of the 762 respondents, 5%). But, popularity for who most believe is a certain candidate for the Antichrist lies in the time period when the question is asked. The rise of Islam today has certainly made many swing their views, with our poll showing 135 of the 762 (17%) of respondents now believing the Antichrist will be a Muslim.

So, who is right about where will the Antichrist arise from? Or, more importantly, what does the Bible say? We'll dive deep into the Bible and Dr. Reagan's article "The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist" to root out the apocalyptical dictator's origins, beginning tomorrow with his character.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jewish Settlers Homes Destroyed

A culture clash exists within Israel. On one side are secular Jews who are deluded by the false notion that giving away what little land they have will bring about peace with their hostile Arab neighbors who want them destroyed. They are set against Torah-believing Jews who understand God keeps His promises that the Jews have been given a land promise. The end result is that settlers in areas such as the West Bank, Golan Heights, Jerusalem, and Gaza merely a few years ago are being forcefully removed from their homes. The perpetrators are not Arab militants, but the Israeli Defense Forces under the government's orders.

The following video interviews two Jewish settling families who have had their homes destroyed, been beaten by Israeli troops, and arrested.



Of note is the racial tensions spilling over in the YouTube comments to this video.

Whose Land is It?

God gave the land of Israel to Abraham (Genesis 17:8) and to his descendants through Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5) and Jacob (Genesis 28:1-4,13-14).

That means the land belongs to the descendants of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. In other words, the land belongs to the children of Israel, referred to in the New Testament as the Jews (Romans 1:16).

Some immediately protest this claim by arguing that the Abrahamic Covenant has been abrogated either by the Cross or by the disobedience of the Jews. But the Bible clearly teaches that the Abrahamic Covenant is an everlasting one that is still in effect (Genesis 17:7; 1 Chronicles 16:17-18; Psalm 105:8-11; and Romans 9:4).

As to the effect of the Jew's rejection of Jesus, Paul specifically addresses this question in Romans 3. He asks a rhetorical question: "What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?" For almost two thousand years the Church has answered this question with a resounding, Yes! But Paul answers it differently. He says, "May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar..." (Romans 3:1-4).

Further, Paul states in Romans 11 that the disobedience of the Jews has not nullified the promises of God to them, "for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29). God's promises are going to be fulfilled to a believing remnant (Romans 9: 27). In fact, in Romans 9:4, Paul specifically states that God's promises to the Jews are still valid.

Read more about God's land covenant!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rape as a Terrorist Weapon

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

The prophet Zechariah in chapter 14 spells out in great detail the return of Jesus and the conditions of His Second Coming. In this chapter we find descriptive information concerning events at the end of the 7-year Tribulation, such as all the nations of the world gathered against Jerusalem, the battle over the city, Jesus' returning to the Mount of Olives with his holy ones (including the Church!), the uniqueness of the weather the day of His return, the way Jesus wins the battle against the attacking armies with such ease, and a picture of the joy and worship of the Lord during the following Millennial Kingdom. Zechariah 14 is about the victory of Jesus Christ and those who follow Him. It is a chapter worth reading again and again!

Verse 2 especially catches my eye when reading chapter 14, though. It grieves my soul every time I read it: "I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city" (Zechariah 14:2).

The rape of the women of Israel is what bothers me the most. Rape is a heinous crime that goes beyond mere physical damage. It scars a woman psychologically as well for the rest of her life. One can expect an invading horde to want to destroy a political rival and take plunder, but to rape the women is satanically-fueled lust. To desire to damage by rape their hearts and souls as well as their bodies is clearly an act of intense hatred against a people. Rape is a monstrous weapon.

Shocking is that a woman has come out in support of sexual harassment as a weapon for terrorists. Israel Today reports in "New Terrorist Tactic: Sexually Harass Israeli Women" (Nov. 12, 2008) that "a female Egyptian lawyer has very publicly recommended that Palestinian and Israeli Arab men begin sexually harassing Israeli Jewish women as a means of pressuring them to leave the region and thereby bringing about the demise of the Jewish state." The Egyptian woman, Nagla Al-Imam, stated that Israeli women "are fair game for all Arabs, and there is nothing wrong with this... this is a new form of resistance." When asked about raping the Israeli women, "Al-Imam said her proposal does not include rape — which she claimed the terrorists are too 'moral' to contemplate — but rather the threat of rape made palpable by overt sexual harassment."

Nagla Al-Imam must not understand men, and her view of "moral" terrorists is certainly skewed into the realm of fantasy. Evil men given free license to sexually harass women will take it to its final expression — rape. Since the lawyer is herself a woman, I am taken aback by either her naivety, or more probably, her sheer hatred of the Jewish people. If it is the latter, she is in reality condoning the raping of Israeli women.

The Bible gives every indication that the invasion of Israel by the Antichrist is at least seven-plus years off. Since this is so, I've met what may be possibly some of these women who will be raped by his hate-filled hoards. Like my impression of Canada, this year I was again given the impression that Israel, too, is a country run surprisingly by young women. Any invading army will come not just across young Israeli Defense Force men, but teenage and 20-something women in military roles, since military service is a 3-year requirement for an Israeli.

Pretty young women chatting on cell phones can be found all over Israel today stopping the tourists at every checkpoint and terminal to question them for security purposes. I myself at first found it hard to take these young women seriously, since in the States girls of equivalent age are not matured by constant threat of national attack to be entrusted with security details. And yet, as soon as the pony-tailed young lady turns around, her machine gun sobers the tourist up pretty quickly!

I pray that the young Israeli women I've come across and many others like them that are out there defending the nation of Israel will accept Jesus as their Messiah, escaping the horrors that will come on the world and to their very persons.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who Is Hating Who?

Rage. That is what many homosexuals are feeling because of voters passing Proposition 8, a California state constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage as only between a man and a woman.

This rage has been expressed in spades this week through a number of troubling incidents. For example, WorldNetDaily ("Watch Church Lady Meet Same-sex 'Marriage' Protesters" by Bob Unruh, Nov. 10, 2008) reports on an incident at the Palm Springs, California, city hall where "an angry mob of homosexual activists in Southern California attacked an elderly bespectacled woman carrying a cross then shouted her down during a live TV interview as she tried to explain to a reporter her defense of the state's new marriage amendment." The crowd pulls the cross out of the elderly woman's hand, stomps on it, and then proceeded to shout down an interview by a news reporter.

Watch the dangerous encounter!

Equally alarming as the rage displayed by the homosexual activists in the Palm Springs incident is the news anchor who, though the cross-bearing woman is seen only praying and asking for police protection, accuses both Proposition 8 dectractors AND supporters with: "There's a lot of anger and a lot of hate, quite honestly, on BOTH sides."

Or, take this incident in one of the many churches that have been surrounded and protested at on the November 9th weekend. WorldNetDaily ("Lesbians, Condoms Go Wild in Attack on Christian Church" by Bob Unruh, Nov. 11, 2008) reports "Worshippers at a Bible-teaching church in Lansing, Michigan, were stunned Sunday when members of a pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back interrupted their service to fling propaganda and condoms around the sanctuary, drape a profane banner from the balcony and feature two lesbians making out at the pulpit."

The list of events goes on and on as church-goers are made to fear going to church. Every church is now having to have a security force to ensure no interruption of worship. Pastors are being terrorized with death threats.

So who's doing the hating?

Is there hate by those who follow Jesus' Matthew 19:4-6 definition of marriage as the "union between a man and a woman" against those who would like to redefine marriage? Or, do those who want to break down the sanctity of marriage hate those who have upheld the millennia-old definition? If these ongoing news stories' portrayal of rage at the cross and little old ladies is any indication, hate-fueled anger is clearly seen coming from the homosexual activists. By their very actions in terrorizing Christians, groups like Bash Back and other hate-filled homosexual activists have become the very definition — terrorists.

The authorities sit on the sidelines. With police forces nowhere to be found during demonstrations and governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger calling on the courts to create law — going against the will of the people — churches in the "land of the free" are finding themselves subjected more and more to openly hostile forces. Liberal churches are trying to avoid the conflict by abandoning God's definition of marriage while placating sinful behavior, but their apostasy has left them with no witness.

As long as Christians stand on God's Word, the homosexual need for justification and acceptance of actions God clearly sees as "detestable" (Gen. 1-2, 19; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Jud. 19; Jer. 23:14; Ez. 16:49-50; Matt. 10:14-15; Rom. 1:18-32; I Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-10; Jude 7) must eventually lead homosexual supporters to attempt to wipe out the Christian faith to reach those goals.

Is it too unreasonable, then, to see churches in the United States face the exact same hate-filled rage against them with the devestating results as those in Orissa, India?

Prophetic Future

During the 7-Year Tribulation God will pour out His wrath upon fallen humanity for their continued rebellion against Him in an attempt to turn people to repent and accept Jesus as Savior. As terrible as the plagues will be, it is a time of mercy to make the decision for Christ or not absolutely clear. Many will come to the Lord seeking salvation, but many will not.

Those who will not accept Jesus as Savior during the Tribulation are characterized in Revelation 9:21 by four particular sins — murder, theft, magic arts, and sexual immorality. The people will kill, steal, be involved in witchcraft, and engage in sexual immorality (fornication/sex before marriage, adultery, beastiality and homosexuality). The leader of the world at that time will embody these sins. Daniel indicates that the Antichrist will be a sexual pervert, most likely a homosexual, for he will show no regard "for the desire of women" (Daniel 11:37). These people will direct their rage and hate against God and his laws on those who follow Christ, and millions of believers in Christ will be murdered (Rev. 7:9-17).

With Jesus the King of Kings the sure winner over those who rebel against His rulership and murder His followers, the fate of those who continue to shake their fist at God is set in stone, as recorded in Revelation 21:8: "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

Hope for the Homosexual

Christians must stand up for the teachings of the Word of God. To compromise the Bible is to "love" the unsaved right into Hell. Christians even in the face of persecution by homosexual activists must love them as Christ loves them in hopes of winning souls to their Savior.

The most encouraging message any homosexual could ever be given is one contained in the Word of God in I Corinthians 6:9-11. This passage begins with some very bad news, but it ends with incredibly good news. The bad news is put in the following words: "Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Paul minces no words in this statement, and the impact is devastating. Homosexuals are condemned with the worst of sinners. But in the very next verse, Paul provides a wonderful glimpse of hope for the homosexual: "And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."

Isn't that great? Those words were addressed to saved children of God! Paul says, "And such were some of you." Yes, some of the Christians at Corinth had been sexual perverts, but they had been delivered from their bondage by the power of God in Christ Jesus. Their sins had been forgiven and forgotten by a God who does not wish that any should perish (Hebrews 8:12 and 2 Peter 3:9). That same forgiveness is available today and in the upcoming Tribulation.

Read more on the Bible and homosexuality.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Holocaust Happened

The President of Iran is convincing the Muslim world his lie that the Holocaust of the Jews in Germany during World War II never happened. British schools cower at the Muslim take-over of their country and so no longer teach about the Holocaust for fear of upsetting the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. The world is trying to forget. I want it to go on record saying that it did happen.

I also want to go on record and report (much to my sadness) that people will indeed forget the Holocaust and repeat the massacre once again. Zechariah 13:8 prophesies that two thirds of the Jews will die during the upcoming 7-year Tribulation when the whole world will come against Israel — today that would be 8.6 million of the 13 million Jews alive. And not just the Jews, Revelation 7:9-17 says that so many believers in Christ will also be slaughtered during that coming time that no person will be able to count the number.

And so, let us remember lest we too forget. Let us not forget the 20th Century's annihilation of six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated while people looking the other way!

Let's be like General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, who when finding the victims of the Nazi death camps, ordered all possible photographs to be taken. He even ordered the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead. Eisenhower did this because he said in words to this effect: "Get it all on record now, get the films, get the witnesses, because somewhere down the track of history some b*****d will get up and say that this never happened."

If pictures say a thousand words, then let us "read" some of the photos taken in Germany by James Emison Chanslor, an Army Master Sergeant who served in World War II from 1942 until 1945. They are graphic in nature.











Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to try and remind as many as possible not to repeat the Holocaust before the world tragically forgets.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Path To The Final Solution

The continued persecution of the Jewish people is no less than evil and Satanically driven, and yet, what man means for evil God can turn to good. Persecution of the Jews has instead resulted in three positive movements for them as a people and a nation:

  1. maintaining Jewish identity as a race despite almost 2,000 years without a homeland

  2. making Israel a political nation once more

  3. regathering the Jewish people back into the land

God has a fourth positive movement planned that is spiritual in nature that will come out of the persecution of the Jews. God has regathered the Jews from the four corners of the earth because He has a plan of redemption for a great remnant of them. His plan is to gather them to their homeland and then bring all the nations of the world together against them over the issue of the control of Jerusalem.

This will ultimately lead to another holocaust that will be worse than the one perpetrated by the Nazis. Zechariah says that two thirds of the Jews will die (Zechariah 13:8). But, out of that horrible experience, the Jews will be brought to the end of themselves, with no one to turn to for help except God. That's when the remnant will repent of their rejection of the Messiah and will accept Him as their Savior when He returns (Zechariah 12:10 and 13:1).

For that wonderful event to occur, persecution of the Jews will have to sadly increase — and indeed it increases more every day. The Muslim world is united over the Palestinian issue and rant endlessly about exterminating the Jews. For the free world, instead of personal mismanagement and greed, the global financial crisis is increasingly being blamed on the Jews. It will only take another crisis or two to set the whole world on fire against the Jewish people. The murmurs will soon become yelling.

The following exceptional video packs into ten minutes the world's rising persecution of the Jews. It is well worth watching!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Russian–Iranian Gas Cartel

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

The Future

One of the largest and most detailed prophetic event in Bible prophecy is the Gog-Magog Invasion found in Ezekiel 38-39. Ezekiel records the future invasion of Israel by the prince of Meshech and Tubal, and the lands of Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer and Beth Togarmah. These are the ancient names for Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Libya and Turkey. These nations will unite and God will "put hooks" in their jaws and drag them onto the battlefield. Those invading nations will seek to plunder Israel for its wealth, but God will use this event to "show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD" (Ezek. 38:23).

The invading nations will encounter God's personal form of warfare. "When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him" (Ezek. 38:18-22).

Ezekiel 39:4-6 elaborates, "On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 39:12 records that it will take seven whole months for Israel to bury the dead from the invasion.

The result of the utter annihilation of the Russian and Iranian armies will have amazing consequences for God. God says in Ezekiel 39:7, "I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel." God uses this battle to revive Israel's excitement about Him, to warn the nations that He does indeed exist, and to show the world that God will protect Israel — even miraculously.

Not only will Israel then be free of these countries that in today's news threaten Israel on a daily basis, but Israel will reap the spoils of those nations. Ezekiel 39:9 records that Israel will collect and use the weapons and fuel of the defeated armies for seven years. "And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD."

Because the nations will be terrified over the supernatural protection of Israel and the seven year timeframe given for Israel to use the conquered fuel, it is believable that the Gog-Magog Invasion as it is called will cause the Antichrist to make a treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), starting the 7-year Tribulation and countdown to Jesus Christ's Second Coming. Without the Restrainer holding back the evil of the world and these invading nations (2 Thess. 2:3-7), the Gog-Magog Invasion must happen right after the Rapture of the Church. And so, this invasion by Russia, Iran and its allies will occur directly after the Rapture but immediately before the Tribulation countdown begins.

Today

Let's rewind a bit and come back to today. The news is daily full of intimidating reports coming out of Russia and Iran. Russia has reemerged on the world scene anxious to attack bordering nations, build missile shields along their borders, and grab access to Middle East and Venezuelan oil. Iran screams that it will "wipe out the filthy germ Israel" as they move hell-bent on building nuclear weapons.

The Heritage Foundation reported on Oct. 27, 2008, ("OPEC Redux: Responding to the Russian–Iranian Gas Cartel" by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.) that Russia and Iran continue to solidify their alliance by building their own gas cartel. An excerpt from the report reads:

"Steadily and stealthily, a natural gas cartel has emerged over the last seven years. On October 21 in Tehran, the Gas Exporting Countries' Forum (GECF) agreed to form a cartel. Russia, Iran, and Qatar announced that they intend to form a yet–unnamed group to 'coordinate gas policy.' The Group of Three (the 'troika') will meet quarterly to coordinate and exercise control over close to two–thirds of the world's gas reserves and a quarter of all gas production. To compare, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) controls more than three–quarters of the world's oil reserves but only 40 percent of global production.

Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia and the second largest petroleum reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia.

Russia prefers to coordinate energy policies with Tehran rather than compete. The two countries recognize that together they control roughly 20 percent of the world's oil reserves and about half of global gas reserves, an immense geo–economic clout."

It's this grab for control of gas and oil that has many concerned, for he who holds the resources rule the world. And yet, we can look to Ezekiel 38 and 39 and know that God will put a stop to the mad grab for resources that like hooks is pulling Russia southward. Russia and Iran and the other nations that align with them will find that their ambitions are really God's, and to their undoing discover "the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Place Your Bets on the Existence of God

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

Are you a gamblin' man? If so, what would you say then are the odds on proof being found of God's existence? 2-1? 4-1? 20-1? Infinity-1?

Seems like a crazy question, right? But, the question of what the odds are on proof being found on God's existence is indeed being asked all over London from the pubs to around the company water coolers.

Why is London abuzz over the odds? Telegraph.co.uk reports in their Nov.3, 2008, article by Martin Beckford that the reason is a contest. Their article, "Paddy Power Offers Odds of 4-1 that God Exists" says it all. Bookmaker Paddy Power is placing 4-1 odds that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that physicists hope may lead to the discovery of a theoretical sub-atomic object called the Higgs Boson or the "God particle" will prove God's existence. The not yet observed Higgs Boson is supposed to explain how otherwise massless elementary particles cause matter to have mass. In other words, the God particle is what Colossians 1:17 claims, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Paddy Power's contest comes with a £5,000 booty to make the search more interesting.


The Large Hadron Collider, sitting on the border of France and Switzerland, just last September was the fear of most of the world because a number of physicists began crying out that the device would create a black hole and destroy the world. Fortunately, the multi-billion pound atom smasher was shut down temporarily because of a magnetic failure and doesn't look like it will be reactivated for months. But, when it is reactivated, betters will be ready.

Contributing to the interest in the contest is an atheist-based marketing campaign placing adverts on London buses declaring that "there's probably no God." As Paddy Power is betting with the atheists against God's "discovery," they will stand to lose £50,000 if proof emerges.

Whether the theoretical God particle is found or not, my bet would be 1-1 odds. I say that because to me God has already proven Himself. God has proven He exists in that creation itself proclaims it has a Creator. Romans 1:20 states "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

We can also know God exists through the book He wrote. Today it's called the Bible. The first line of that book goes "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

We have proof God exists in that you exist. If God created all things, and you are part of that creation, then you are living proof there is a God.

Another proof that God exists is by a witness, His son, Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:15-17 states "He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

And finally, proof God exists is that Bible prophecy is fulfilled. I'm not talking about one or two vague prophecies, but all 108 distinct prophecies made hundreds of years beforehand about Jesus' First Coming were fulfilled. That number is statistically impossible to be accidental. That also proves the 500 prophecies in the Old Testament and 1 in 25 verses in the New Testament concerning Jesus' Second Coming will certainly be fulfilled.

When you're placing your bet and your life on whether God exists, look at the proof already there, and bet on a sure thing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blood Moons

A lot of folks have been inquiring if blood moons have any meaning in Bible prophecy. Mark Biltz has presented a scenario concerning the return of Jesus Christ coinciding with some eclipses (called "blood moons" because of the reddish tinge an eclipse will color a celestial object) that should somewhat occur during the Feasts of Passover and Tabernacles of 2015.

We've read a lot of commentary on the subject of blood moons, and Dr. Reagan believes the following article "Our Itching Ears" by Jack Kelley posted on his site Grace Thru Faith best states the position Lamb & Lion Ministries feels about the subject.

The following is an excerpt from the article:

Today there's yet another case of Messianic fever upon us, and it has to do with what I call the Blood Moon Scenario. In the year 2015 there will be back to back full lunar eclipses on Passover and Tabernacles. Each will be preceded by a Solar Eclipse, the only such heavenly display in the 21st Century. These tandem eclipses also occurred as Israel was being born in 1948 and as Jerusalem was being captured in 1967.

Some are teaching that this points to a return of the Lord in September of 2015, based again on an incorrect interpretation of Scripture. They're claiming that Ezekiel 40:1 says that the Lord will return on the 10th day of the first month, and are using Israel's civil calendar to call that day September 23, 2015, 5 days before the day of the final lunar eclipse, as the day to which Ezekiel was pointing.

I think these teachers are disregarding several facts. To start with, Ezekiel was trained as a priest and always used the religious calendar which begins in the Spring. God Himself ordained this change from a fall New Year to a Spring one in Exodus 12. The first month is March, not September.

The biggest problem might be that although Matt. 24:29 says that a darkened sun and moon will mark the end of the Great Tribulation, the Lord clearly said that believers on Earth at the time will not know the day or hour of the 2nd Coming (Matt. 24:42, 44, 25:13.) Back to back solar and lunar eclipses would seem to dispute those statements. More likely the sun and moon will appear to be darkened because of the smoke and particulates in the air from all the destruction.

And in order for the Lord to return in 2015, Daniel's 70th Week will have to commence in September of 2008. That means Israel will have to experience a national conversion and place themselves back into the Old Covenant relationship they enjoyed in the Old Testament. (Today only about one in four Israelis admits to being a religious Jew.) Then they'll have to make an official decision to build a Temple in Israel, knowing that it will most assuredly spark an unprecedented level of outrage among their Moslem neighbors in the Middle East, and in much of the world in general. Then a leader with sufficient clout in the world community will have to come to their rescue and enforce a 7 year contract that permits this.

I think the Temple can actually be built anytime in the first half of Daniel's 70th Week. But in order for the 2015 Blood Moon Prophecy to come true we'll need to see a major shift in Israel's attitude toward God immediately for the 70th Week to begin. At this writing, that leaves less than two months for 5 million Israeli Jews to suddenly become religious and agree to put themselves under the Law.

What would it take for that to happen? Something truly miraculous, for sure. I believe Ezekiel 39:22 tells us that God's victory over Israel's enemies will accomplish just that. But forget about the false peace and unwalled villages. Can Ezekiel's battle be mobilized, fought and won in less than 30 days?

In conclusion, I don't believe these teachers have done their homework, and are causing more harm than good. "Scholarship" like this would never be tolerated in the secular community and those who proposed it would be laughed to scorn. But Christians are so anxious for the Messiah that we'll accept anything that helps us believe he's coming soon. And most of us don't know enough about the Bible to be discerning.

Please believe me when I say I think He's coming soon too, and hope with all my heart that I'm right. But I'm not going to let that hope cloud my judgment or cause me to ignore what the Bible teaches. Advocates of this hypothesis are very popular right now and they've got a lot of people excited. But it's only because they're saying what our itching ears want to hear, not because they're right. Who knows how many will have their faith in the accuracy of God's word shaken this time?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thoughts About the 2008 Election

Dr. David R. ReaganBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Our nation has just elected the most pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Capitalist, and anti-Israel president in our history. In short, God has given us the kind of leader that we deserve — the kind we have been begging for. The new President now has the power to put his radical secular imprint upon this nation for decades to come through the appointment of activist liberals to the Supreme Court. I fear that our nation has been irrevocably changed for the worse.


Two factors in this election were particularly disappointing to me. First was the fact that only 59% of eligible voters bothered to vote. That was less than in the last presidential election. How could people be so apathetic in an election so important? The second voting statistic that hit me hard was the revelation that even among self-identified Evangelicals, the majority voted according to economic considerations rather than moral ones.

The financial woes of our nation are not going to be solved by any economic strategy, for they are rooted in our spiritual rebellion against God. We cannot kill babies in their mother's wombs, promote same-sex marriage, produce filthy movies and TV programs, worship the dollar, and pressure Israel to give up its heartland, and expect God to bless our economy. Our economy will be healed only when we as a nation get right with God.

Our Recent Financial Collapse

In 2003 I wrote a book about the United States in Bible prophecy. It was entitled, America the Beautiful? In that book I presented several scenarios to explain why the United States was not mentioned in end time Bible prophecy. I stated at the time that the one I thought would be most likely would be a catastrophic financial collapse. That conclusion was based on the fact that the god of our nation has become money, and the true God of this world is a jealous God. I felt like our Creator would sooner or later touch our false god and destroy it if we did not repent.

On September 29th when the stock market dropped 777 points on the eve of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), I could see the hand of God all over the event.

The number of points the stock market fell is significant. Seven is the number of perfection and completion. It was on the seventh day that God rested from His creation activities. Six is the number of Man, for it was on the sixth day that Man was created. 666 is the Satanic symbol of Man exalted. 777 is the spiritual symbol of the Trinity.

The timing of the stock market crash was also significant since it fell on the eve of an important Jewish holiday. George W. Bush was the first President to call for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel. Joel 3:2 says that God will severely judge any nation in the end times that attempts to divide the land of Israel.

How God Deals With Nations

As I pointed out in my book about the U.S. in prophecy, the Bible reveals that God has a pattern for dealing with nations. He is the one who creates them, and He is the one who decides when they are to cease to exist. He blesses as they are obedient to His Word, and He disciplines when they stray from His Word. His discipline will first of all take the form of raising up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. If this fails, He will resort to remedial judgments. Those judgments can take many forms, such as natural disasters, economic calamities, and defeat in wars. And sometimes a remedial judgment can take the form of giving to a nation the kind of evil leadership it deserves. If the nation still refuses to repent, God will deliver it from judgment to destruction.

God began to call this nation to repentance following the cultural revolution of the 1960's. He raised up prophetic voices like David Wilkerson, and when we paid no attention, He began to place remedial judgments upon our nation. The attacks of 9/11 were a major wake-up call. It is no accident that those attacks were against the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. — the symbols of American wealth and power. But like a sleepy person who is too groggy to wake-up, we simply turned off the alarm clock, rolled over and went back to sleep. Hurricane Katrina was another national wake-up call, in response to our forcing Israel to withdraw from Gaza.

And now, God has touched our god, and our economy is in shambles. The prospect for it improving is very slim. The newly elected President has promised higher taxes and protective tariffs. The last time a President resorted to such measures in response to a financial crisis, the result was the Great Depression.

The Christian Response

What are we as Christians to do in the face of such set-backs for our nation? We are to pray and stand for righteousness. We must pray for national revival, and at the same time, we must be willing to take a stand for righteousness by speaking out boldly about the moral rot that has infected the soul of our country. We need to pray that God will frustrate, confuse, and defeat all the efforts to further secularize our nation and promote immorality.

We also need to pray for the salvation of our new President and all his family members. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Barack Obama is not a Christian, nor has he ever been. I can say that with confidence because he is a member of the most liberal Christian denomination, the United Church of Christ. This is a church that denies the divinity of Jesus and denies His statement in John 14:6 that He is the only way to God. No one can be saved apart from Jesus, and no one can be saved by putting their faith in a false Jesus.

Another prayer priority should be Israel. Let us pray that God will raise up a new leader in Israel who will have the strength to stand against American pressure to surrender the heartland of the country to the enemies of God.

Repentance or Destruction?

Some of the saddest verses in the Bible are the ones concerning the fate of the nation of Judah. They are recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:15-17:

15 ) And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;

16) but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy.

17) Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand.

This will be our fate as a nation if we continue with our rebellion against God and His Word. Keep in mind that, just like Judah, our fate will be a severe one if we refuse to repent, because to those to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). Also, we are told that God repays double for the sins of those who are richly blessed (Isaiah 40:2).

Facing the Future

Should we face the future with despair? No! We are living in the most significant era since the First Coming of the Messiah. We are living in the season of the Lord's return. We are privileged to be witnessing the fulfillment of end time prophecies all around us, prophecies that point to the soon return of our Lord.

There are dark days ahead for our nation and the world. Christians in particular are facing increasing persecution. We need to steel our minds and fasten our hope on things eternal, just as the prophet Daniel did when he was forced to live in a wicked society. We need to strengthen our spiritual armor through prayer and immersion in the Scriptures.

And we need to remember that Psalm 2 says that God sits in the heavens and laughs at all the machinations of the world's political leaders. He isn't laughing because He doesn't care. He is laughing because He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Man and Satan to the triumph of His perfect will in history. And that will is that Jesus Christ will reign in glory and majesty from Mount Zion in Israel, and the whole world will be flooded with peace and righteousness, as the waters cover the seas.

Maranatha! (1 Corinthians 16:22)


[Note: My book, America the Beautiful?, is currently out of stock. A new 3rd edition of the book is being prepared and should be ready for distribution early in 2009.]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Strategy for Reclaiming the Christian Culture

Nathan JonesPDFBy

Has the world gone mad?

If you are asking this question, then you are most likely a devout follower of Jesus Christ who is alarmed at the state the world now seems to be in. This question may have been invoked by an election season that has left you flabbergasted over so many people turning a blind eye to the lack of the candidates' biblical values. Or, maybe your church has dived off the deep end doctrinally and you're wondering when a sermon will finally quote a Bible verse. You see societies openly welcome Islamic subjugation of their nations. Maybe you're tired of hearing about people being thrown into jail overseas or sued in the U.S. for simply praying in the name of Jesus in public. The Christian evangelical movement seems to you fractured and in disarray for want of central leadership with a strong biblical worldview. And finally, you ponder if you are a dying breed in a world that has become increasingly cold and more hostile towards one's fellow man.

It is indeed a world gone mad. You know it. And, you wonder...

What can I do to change the world?

Well, according to Bible prophecy — very little. This may sound defeatist, but the Bible clearly indicates that in the last days before Jesus' return a number of paradigm shifts will occur to remove the biblical worldview from the overall culture. These shifts are:

  1. Mankind — Love for one's family and fellow man will grow cold, replaced by a love only for oneself (Matt. 24:12, 2 Tim. 3:1-4).

  2. The Church — In the last days the Church will primarily be defined by its apathy and falling away from sound doctrine (Rev. 3:15-18, 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

  3. Society — Society will devolve morally back to the days of Noah (Luke 17:26; 2 Pet. 2:5).

Though these tragic signs of the time point to the very soon return of Jesus Christ, we still don't know if that day will come in months or even years. In the meantime, we have to live on, continuing to be lights in the world (Matt. 5:13). We have to fight for what's biblical, moral, and God-honoring until Jesus Himself victoriously sets up his earthly kingdom of peace and righteousness.

And so, in the time we have left, we must dutifully follow the Christian's calling by attempting to reclaim a Christian culture by bringing about the next spiritual revival in our world.

Strategy

What would it take to reach the vision of a revived world reclaimed by Christian culture — a culture of worship of Jesus Christ alone, where the Bible is the foundation of morality and law, and where mankind loves others more than themselves?

Here's the strategy:

1) Start With You

  1. Commit to Christ
    True revival begins by the Holy Spirit working in the human heart. Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Is He Lord of every area of your life, controlling the thoughts and intents of your heart? If not, get right with Jesus first by asking for forgiveness and a renewed relationship with Him.

  2. Be the Example
    The world is going to be looking at how you live your life as an example of the genuineness of the message you're proclaiming. If it sees hypocrisy, your message will be ignored. Are you living a life moment by moment that Jesus would approve? Are you loving others more than yourself? Strive towards becoming Christ-like.

  3. Share Christ
    A Christian culture cannot exist if people don't know who Jesus Christ is — the Son of God and Savior of our souls. Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ can be scary, but scarier still are people going to Hell while we sit on the sidelines and watch. Have you shared your faith in Christ with someone this week? This is the point where most people give up and because of their fear let the culture slip away. Use your God-given spirit of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7).

2) Secure Your Family For Christ

  1. Invite Jesus to be a Family Member
    A family where Jesus isn't a member of the family is missing its most important member. Do you invite Him in for family prayer every day? Does your family study His Word — the Bible — together at least once a week? A family where Jesus is palpably present lays a rock-solid foundation that will influence one's children long after they've left home.

  2. Get Right With Your Spouse
    Most of the evils in society today — fear of commitment, perpetually broken relationships, loneliness, sexual promiscuity, drugs and suicide — are rooted in Dad and Mom's marriage. Christian parents must stop the divorce! They must put each other's needs first before their own. They must reconcile and forgive. Are you and your spouse setting the pattern of a Christian marriage for your children? Today is the day to begin healing that relationship. Society will not heal unless the family heals first.

  3. Throw Out the Trash
    "Garbage in, garbage out" is a true old saying. Is your house filled with music with lewd and violent lyrics? Are pornographic materials entering the house? Is the computer properly safeguarded? What shows does your family watch? If any of these and materials like them are in your home, they are a cancer, rotting out your family's morality and unity. Dispose of them permanently!

3) Revitalize the Local Church

  1. Know Your Bible
    You won't know if the messages from the pulpit are doctrinally sound if you don't know what the Bible teaches. Do you read and pray on the Word daily? Do you engage in Bible study materials? Equipping yourself in the "full armor of God" will help you detect heresy.

  2. Go to Church
    If you are not where the true Church — other believers — are, then you are disconnected from Jesus' primary change-engine in this age. Do you gather with believers in a weekly setting? Do you make sure your family is with you? Whether it's a large mega-church or a tiny home church, it's where God wants you to be for Christian fellowship, accountability and worship (Heb. 10:25).

  3. Engage Within
    Keeping the congregation on the doctrinally sound track and revitalizing the Christian culture within your gathering of believers requires engagement within the church. Do you only come to service and then leave? Do you volunteer in a ministry program? Are you engaged in a leadership role? The pastor ultimately leads a congregation, but the pastor should be led by the Holy Spirit and wise counsel from engaged congregants. If you are directly involved in growing a church and encouraging outreach, then you've earned the right to have the pastor's ear and help chart the church's course in having a passion for Jesus Christ, keeping to doctrinal soundness, equipping believers, and reaching out to those who have yet to meet the Savior.

4) Reclaim the Culture

  1. Take a Stand
    A society that doesn't know Christ has lost its ability to discern right from wrong. When was the last time you made a public stand for Christ against something that was blatantly evil? Have you voiced your opinion against a TV show, art display, movie, school function, newspaper article, label company, business sponsorship or rights movement that is unbiblical? Have you lovingly and in compassion let an organization know that what they are doing is wrong? One person can make a difference if they speak up and act.

  2. Help Those in Need
    Jesus' ministry was spent helping those in need, both spiritually and physically, within and without. These actions by Christ gathered the crowds and made him infamous with his enemies, garnering the attention to have His message heard. Are you involved in helping those in need physically as well as spiritually? Do you support outreach ministries with more than just your finances and prayers? Have you earned the right to be heard? Claim that right by being involved in showing Christ's compassion and love, and you will point lives towards the Cross.

  3. Lead
    Society goes where its leaders' vision takes it. If you are the one setting the vision of a Christian culture, then assuming a leadership role in society will give you the opportunity to act on that vision. Whether you have the personality of a leader or a follower, are you involved in some way with the decision-making processes of your civic leadership? Do you vote? Do you attend council meetings? Do you run for office? Are you a leader in your career field? Are you equipping your children to hold the vital roles that shape society — teacher, journalist, media, lawyer and politician? Use your God-given resources and talents as a leader who directs society towards the vision of being a Christian culture.

In Summary

You say you want a cultural revolution? It can happen. But, not if Bible-believing Christians remain on the sideline. A culture will not change if we are not actively engaged in it. Nobody is going to do the work for us. Engaging society towards reclaiming its Christian culture is up to each and every one of us who call Christ "Savior."

While we prayerfully wait upon the Lord to return and set up a perfect society, with the Lord Jesus' power behind us, we can make a difference for Christ now in individual lives and in the culture at large!

Will you join in the fight to reclaim the culture for Christ?