- 2020 – Covid 19 and world crisis. What next?
- What is the point of the Second Coming?
- Do Black Lives Matter?
- Chernobyl revisited.
2020 – Covid 19 and world crisis. What next?
It’s been a grim year for the human race. The Covid 19 pandemic has affected almost every nation on earth, causing many to die and millions to live in fear of catching the virus, as well as lockdowns of society and all the problems which have followed: loss of jobs, family stress, limits of freedom to travel and meet together in public. In the poorer countries of the world many have been driven to extreme poverty and starvation. As nations pile up massive debts as a result of the lockdown, there are warnings of economic turmoil, inflation and a recession going way beyond the 2008 financial crisis. Extreme weather events have caused droughts and colossal fires, storms and floods which have destroyed lives, homes and crops.
Many people are noting the connection between current events and Bible prophecies concerning the end of days: a global pandemic (Luke 21.11), increase in wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilence (Matthew 24.7-8). If we follow through Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24, we see that these things are prophesied for the beginning of sorrows period that will lead to the ‘Great Tribulation’, a unique time of trouble that will precede His return to the earth. The Book of Revelation chapters 6-19 expands on this time of trouble, a seven year period during which a new form of government will arise controlled by one known as the Beast or the Antichrist who will himself be under the control of the devil. This government will demand submission and suppress and persecute all opposition, especially from believers in Jesus Christ (Revelation 13.4-10)
He will have a brief period of absolute power (3 ½ years) during which time he will control people through a new economic system in which they will need a number and a mark to buy and sell:
‘He causes all both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.’ (Revelation 13.16-18).
This prophecy has been the subject of speculation throughout history with many claims that it has arrived or is about to arrive. Until our time no one has fitted the Bible’s description of the Antichrist and his programme. Although we do not yet see him in person, we do see signs that the kind of society prophesied here in Revelation could be on its way. Let us look at how this fits in with what is happening now and what is being planned for the future.
Limits to freedom.
In Britain the government imposed lockdown in March stopped all ‘unnecessary social contact’, making people stay at home, closing offices, shops, schools, and social venues. Then we had some easing of the lockdown over the Summer. Now, as the statistics show a rise in cases, we are being slammed into reverse as doom laden ‘experts’ issue warnings of thousands of casualties and a second full lockdown. More restrictions on normal life have come in with the ‘rule of six’ limiting social and family contacts. This will be in place for at least six months. Many firms, restaurants, sporting facilities and theatres face being wiped out. More people will die as a result of treatment of other diseases being limited in hospitals than would die from Covid 19, which has a lower death rate than ordinary flu and pneumonia.
Many people fear that the situation is being used as a means of controlling the population and that the government is being driven by scientists who are exaggerating the dangers and outside forces who are using it to bring down our economy and way of life and bring in a New World Order in which personal freedom will be lost.
People are being encouraged to join the ‘track and trace’ scheme. This involves downloading an app to mobile phones and then scanning in the QR code at facilities they visit for contact tracing. This will create a ‘digital diary’ of their movements and they will be alerted if anyone who was at the same venue at a similar time tests positive for the virus.’ Some 15 countries are said to be participating in this ‘COVI-PASS’ programme, mostly in Europe and North America.
At present the scheme is hardly running properly and is voluntary but it could end up like a “stop” or “go” passport that businesses will be able use as a type of checkpoint system to determine who is allowed to enter and who will be refused. China has already adopted a pass downloaded to a phone app which tells whether you are considered Covid positive or negative. You have to tap in with this to enter shops, businesses, public meetings or transport. If you show a green pass you can enter but if you show red, you will be kept out.
This could be the basis of a technological control system. People won’t be able to buy, sell, or do much of anything without such a ‘COVI-PASS’.
Compulsory vaccine. Bill Gates has said “Normalcy only returns when we largely vaccinate the entire population.” In an article in USA Today three doctors wrote that a coronavirus vaccine should be mandatory, and denial of many government and private services ought to be considered for those refusing it, because they are threatening the lives of others. The unvaccinated should not be allowed into businesses, shops, schools, transport or meeting places (including churches). They then outlined how a “registry of immunisation will be needed with names entered after immunisation is completed.” People who receive the vaccine should be issued “certification cards”.
A recent survey showed that around 50% of people in the USA would refuse to have such a vaccine because of fears about untested vaccines which may have safety issues which show up later. They have been alarmed to hear that drug companies have been given immunity so they cannot be sued or held accountable if something goes wrong. Some have religious objections to vaccines that use foetal tissue, parts of aborted babies. At the extreme end of the ‘anti-Vaxxers’ are those who say that the vaccines are part of a ‘plandemic’ aimed at reducing the world’s population.
Dr Carrie Madej, a US doctor, described a vaccine programme on Nexus newsfeed: ‘Human 2.0 – a wake up call to the world.’ This is a summary of her talk.
She described a vaccine being developed by a company called Moderna and backed by some very powerful and influential people in the hi-tech world, Elon Musk CEO of Tesla, Ray Kurzwiel of Google, Bill Gates of Microsoft. It is not like a normal vaccine, but is truly experimental on the human race, introducing technologies which change the way we live, who we are and what we are. She described this as Human 2.0. This is about moving from human 1.0 (normal humanity as we are now) to Human 2.0 by merging humans with artificial intelligence, something called transhumanism.
The programme works on three phases, known as transfection, luciferase, and hydrogel. The transfection phase contains a synthetic piece of DNA with the code of the virus, which is able to reproduce itself once inside the body. This means that a genetically modified programme has entered your body able to alter your body’s DNA. By this means the body learns how to fight the virus and develop immunity to it.
The next part of the programme is called Luciferase enzyme. Luciferase can produce a light or a light source under your skin. This is able to tell whether the transfection has been successful and that the gene modification has taken place. A smart phone can scan over the area vaccinated and give a digital code that will identify that you are vaccinated. It will then hold your vaccination record, and give you an ID, a number, a bar code and a mark.
The third phase of the programme is known as Hydrogel. It is an invention of DARPA, the Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency at the US Pentagon. It is a product of nano-technology, which is the manipulation of matter on an atomic scale. This means that microscopic little robots will be injected under your skin. This means you now have an artificial intelligence inside of you able to connect with an artificial intelligence outside of you gathering information from our bodies and able to connect with a smartphone, the Internet cloud or some other smart device. It can monitor what goes on inside your body, and function like a doctor inside of you 24/7. Like your cell phone, it can send and receive information. This could now receive information which could affect mood, behaviour, memory and how we think, even possibly affect what we think and do.
Watching this programme my initial thought was this can’t be true, it has to be some kind of mad science fiction story. Some have accused Carrie Madej of giving out false information in a ‘conspiracy theory.’ However there is a lot of information out there about the use of Artificial Intelligence, linking humans to machines and advanced technology in order to improve, health, intellectual ability and performance. Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, once said ‘He who learns to control AI (artificial intelligence) will control the world.’
According to Wikipedia: ‘Luciferase is a generic term for the class of oxidative enzymes that produce bioluminescence. The name was first used by Raphaël Dubois who invented the word derived from the Latin word Lucifer meaning light bearer.’ Bible believers might consider there is another reason for the Lucifer connection.
Here are two articles which describes how this works, written from a sympathetic point of view, not a conspiracy theory exposé.
‘A project funded by Bill Gates aims to deliver an invisible quantum tattoo hidden in the coronavirus vaccine for storing your vaccination history. The researchers showed that their new dye, which consists of nanocrystals called quantum dots, can remain for at least five years under the skin, where it emits near-infrared light that can be detected by a specially equipped smartphone.’ https://greatgameindia.com/invisible-tattoo-coronavirus-vaccine /
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a clandestine way to record your vaccination history, storing the data in a pattern of dye or tattoo ink, invisible to the naked eye, that is slipped under the skin hidden in your vaccine and able to detect your vaccination history. The researchers showed that their new dye, which consists of nanocrystals called quantum dots, can remain for at least five years under the skin, where it emits near-infrared light that can be detected by a specially equipped smartphone. It is also acknowledged that this is the enzyme that will light up through the Human Implantable Quantum Dot Microneedle Vaccination Delivery System called Luciferase. https://news.mit.edu/2019/storing-vaccine-history-skin-1218
Such a process may not be used for the Covid vaccine at this stage in history, but the fact that they are working on this sounds very much like something that could be used for the Mark of the Beast system of Revelation 13.
The cashless society. You may have noticed that many shops are now refusing to take cash and saying we must pay using contactless cards only. The claim is that cash can pass on the virus. China first raised this as a possibility and began withdrawing bank notes to clean them up. It is now testing a state-sponsored cryptocurrency known as the DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment). The aim is to eliminate the use of paper currency and replace it with the new Chinese cryptocurrency, giving China insight into every transaction DCEP is involved in. Wang Zhenying, president of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, has called for a new “super-sovereign currency system” using this system globally to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
Commenting on this Brett Gillette writes: ‘The end of paper money and its replacement with government-sponsored cryptocurrency will put unlimited power at the fingertips of government leaders. Not only does cryptocurrency offer a way to permanently record every financial transaction, but it will also be able to track where you go and what you do. It will track the websites you visit and make note of who your friends are. While most of this information is already available through tracking of credit and debit cards, mobile phones, and social media profiles, a state-sponsored cryptocurrency will provide unfettered access to this information. It will create a closed, government-controlled economic system where you’ll be dependent on the government’s cryptocurrency to pay for all your needs.
If the government decides they don’t like you, they can turn off your access and freeze you out of the banking system. They’ll be able to decide what you can and can’t buy. They’ll be able to tell you where you can and can’t go. In essence, they’ll have complete control over your life. The coronavirus will accelerate the adoption of state-sponsored cryptocurrencies and the elimination of paper currency as all economic transactions go electronic. The replacement will be either a series of national cryptocurrencies or a single global cryptocurrency.’
The Global Reset.
The lockdowns around the world caused by Covid 19 have set off a situation which is likely to trigger a global recession the likes of which the world has never seen before. Western nations have imploded their economies but putting most of their populations under a kind of house arrest. This will have a lasting impact not only on national economies but also the global economy for years to come. Tyler Durden in his Zero Hedge website writes: ‘There is no semblance of any discernible sound economic model to describe what is now happening with government printing up record amounts of money to cover the enormous cost of the shutdown. For a wealthy country like the US, the Federal Reserve Bank will simply go into overdrive, creating trillions of dollars to be released through various ‘stimulus plans’ and bailouts. This never happened before in history. With these levels of quantitative easing, there are risks of hyper-inflation and other systemic problems. The end result of all these bailouts will be the wholesale transfer of power, control and ownership into centralised government and the central banking cartel. For individuals and families, this means your savings are wiped-out, your property collapses in value, and your future prospects are dim, at least in the short to midterm, and you will have no choice but to load up on personal and family debt to survive.’
The World Economic Forum, a powerful alliance of business, political and economic forces, is working on a plan called Global Reset 2021, to reset the world economy after the economic crisis caused by lockdown and CV 19. The main purpose of the reset will be to tackle climate change. It requires a radical green agenda to move the world away from using fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas. These have been the main drivers of industrial society and prosperity for the past hundred years or more.
“Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed,” wrote Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, in an article published on WEF’s website. “In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.” Schwab also said that “all aspects of our societies and economies” must be “revamped,” “from education to social contracts and working conditions.” Joining Schwab at the WEF event was Prince Charles, one of the primary proponents of the Great Reset; Gina Gopinath, the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund; António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations; and CEOs and presidents of major international corporations, such as Microsoft and BP.
The UN is also in on this. As the world continues to grapple with the deadly consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said only one thing is certain in its wake: “a new model of global governance” is coming. He said ‘To close those gaps, and to make the New Social Contract possible, we need a New Global Deal to ensure that power, wealth and opportunities are shared more broadly and fairly at the international level.’ This is working along the lines of the UN’s Sustainable Development Plan, Agenda 21.
Here is how the United Nations described this in one of its own publications in a 1993 article entitled “Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save our Planet:” “Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by EVERY person on Earth… it calls for specific changes in the activities of ALL people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will REQUIRE a profound reorientation of ALL humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced.”
Its objective is to achieve worldwide Sustainable Development by integrating economic, social and environmental policies. Every decision must be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components; global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction.
In the end this means that some kind of global government must redistribute wealth, reduce or end private property, control energy and energy production, transport, industry, food production, development, water availability, population size and growth. An economic and social collapse of industrial nations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may be considered to be a helpful step along the way to achieving this goal.
The World Health organisation is also involved in this programme. Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that finding a vaccine for COVID-19 is not the final goal. No, the ultimate aim is the “reordering of society.” He said, “We will not, we cannot go back to the way things were. The COVID-19 pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change.” Bill Gates also said that the COVID-19 pandemic signifies “that the rest of us will have to sacrifice even more to save the earth from warming.” So, what’s the connection between the virus and climate change? Tucker Carlson nails it with these words, “both are pretexts for mass social control.” This “social control” is paving the way for the coming world government. The global warming alarm and the fear generated by COVID-19 are preparing society for the arrival of the antichrist.’
The Mark of the Beast.
Long ago, the Book of Revelation foretold the establishment of an end times economic system eerily similar to a world dominated by a global power resetting the economy and a government-sponsored cryptocurrency. The Bible says a time will come when a global dictator will require everyone on earth to receive a mark on the right hand or the forehead (Revelation 13:16). Without this mark, the people of the world will be unable to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17).
The Bible says the Antichrist will rule a global government: ‘And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.’ Revelation 13.7. He will be given this power by the ‘dragon’ who is Satan (Revelation 13.2-4).
It appears he will experience some kind of counterfeit death and resurrection experience which will cause people to worship him as a god. He has a helper known as the false prophet who will erect an image of the beast to be worshipped. He will compel people to submit to or be killed or cast out of society. Revelation 13.15-18.
It is likely that he will use the kind of technology we have described here to accomplish this. In order to control who can buy and who can sell, the Antichrist will need a system capable of tracking every transaction on earth. He’ll need a way to monopolise all financial transactions and a way to kick people out of the system if they don’t do his bidding. A global government-controlled track and trace system, backed by a world wide cryptocurrency will provide him with such a system. He will require submission of the peoples of the world who will be told to worship his image and submit to him as the saviour of the world, a kind of new world order god. Those who do this will receive his authorisation to enter the 666 Mark of the Beast system, without which people can’t buy or sell.
So what does all this mean? It means we’re fast approaching a time the prophets warned about. The end times approach. The Great Tribulation, the Antichrist, and global government aren’t far behind. This means the coming of the Lord for His church is near.
So don’t despair. While it looks like the world is falling apart, every Christian should be filled with peace and hope. We know how it all ends. Jesus is coming. If you are not a born again Christian, now is the day to make your peace with God by repenting of sin and accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord so that you are ready for the day when He returns. And whatever you do, don’t take the Mark of the Beast.#
What is the point of the Second Coming?
When we distribute our booklets about the Second Coming of Jesus we often come across sceptics who say that this will never happen and that we are believing a myth. Someone once said to me, ‘If Jesus were to come back people would do to him the same as they did the first time.’ Another said, ‘If Jesus came back it would make no difference to my life or yours. There is no point in it at all.’
Both of these opinions are wide of the mark as far as the Bible is concerned.
The second coming of Jesus Christ will be the most dramatic and far reaching event in human affairs since the Creation. It will make an enormous difference to everyone living on this planet.
As the first stage in the process He will take all those who believe in Him out of the world in the event known as the Rapture of the Church:
‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.’ 1 Thessalonians 4.16-18.
Then He will return to the earth with all the power of God at His disposal as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will bring the present world system to an end and totally re-order every aspect of society. Jesus will personally take over the government of the planet and remove the influence of Satan on the world. Revelation 19-20
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will make a massive difference to every person on earth and we need to make sure we are ready for it now by accepting the salvation He is offering us.
So what is the point of Jesus’ return? Here are some of the main purposes of the event.
1. That the Scripture be fulfilled
At His first coming Jesus fulfilled many prophecies from the Hebrew scriptures. Speaking of His arrest, trial and crucifixion Jesus said, ‘But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Matthew 26.56. After the resurrection He explained to the disciples how He had fulfilled prophecies written about Him ‘in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms’. Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ / Messiah to suffer and rise from the dead and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’ Luke 24.44-47.
It would have been fascinating to attend this Bible study when the Lord Jesus explained the prophecies from the Hebrew scriptures. Probably He referred to the Prophet like unto Moses of Deuteronomy 18, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who bore the sin of the world upon Himself, and Psalm 22 as a prophecy of the crucifixion. For a list of prophecies already fulfilled by Jesus ask for our article: ‘The prophecies of the Messiah.’
There are however a number of prophecies concerning the Messiah in the Hebrew Bible which have not yet been fulfilled. These speak of the Messiah bringing peace and justice to the earth, ruling Israel and the world from Jerusalem and the restored Temple.
‘Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2.2-4).’
On the basis of this scripture and other similar passages the rabbis have taught that when the Messiah comes:
- The Jewish people will return to the land of Israel
- The Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem
- There will be universal peace and justice on earth and all nations turning to God.
They say that Jesus cannot be the Messiah because after He came, the Temple was destroyed in Jerusalem, the Jewish people were dispersed from the land of Israel, and there have been wars and desolations since.
Actually there is a scripture which says that this would happen after the Messiah has come:
And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9.26.
This scripture gives the following sequence of events, all of which happened at the time of and following Jesus’ first coming as the Messiah.
- Messiah comes and is cut off but not for himself. This describes the crucifixion of Jesus, His sacrificial death on behalf of others. This is prophesied in more detail in Psalm 22.
- The people of the ‘prince to come’ destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. The Romans did this in AD 70 after the Jewish revolt against Rome. The prince to come is the future Antichrist who will make the peace covenant with Israel which starts the final ‘week’ (seven years) of this prophecy (Daniel 9.27), preceding the second coming of the Messiah Jesus to the earth.
- There are wars and desolations that follow. This describes the history of Jerusalem and the Jewish people since that time. Jesus said that this age would be characterised by ‘wars and rumours of wars’ (Matthew 24.6). He also warned of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and said that Jerusalem would be ‘trodden down of (ruled by) the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ (Luke 19.41-44, 21.20-24). Jerusalem returning to Jewish hands is a key sign of His approaching return.
The prophecies which have not yet been fulfilled, like Isaiah 2.1-4 quoted above, will happen after the Second Coming of the Messiah. Then He will come in His power and glory at a time of world conflict over Jerusalem and establish His rule on earth:
‘Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. …. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You. … And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “The Lord is one,” and His name one.’ Zechariah 14.3-9.
The glorious Millennial Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem as prophesied in Ezekiel 40-48. It will be the seat of power of the Messiah during His reign on earth.
‘Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. … And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. … Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.’ Ezekiel 43.1-5, 44.1-3.
The faithful of Israel are regathered and settled in the land God gave to Abraham and dwell in peace and safety there.
‘Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgement and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ Jeremiah 23.5-6.
Just as Jesus literally fulfilled prophecies of the Suffering Servant Messiah at His first coming, so He will literally fulfil prophecies of the Reigning King Messiah at His second coming. There will be a fulfilment of all prophecy in the Hebrew Bible at this time (Daniel 9.24). The Lord will be present in person in the restored Temple in Jerusalem, reigning on earth as in Isaiah 2.1-4 and bringing peace to the world and the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.
2. For God to have the last word.
According to Jesus’ own words this present age will end with a time of ‘great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be.’ Matthew 24.21-22. This time of unique trouble is a feature of a number of passages in the Hebrew Bible (Isaiah 24, Jeremiah 30, Ezekiel 38-9, Daniel 12, Joel 2-3, Zechariah 12-14 to mention some of them).
Revelation 6-19 gives details of this time, showing that the great crisis will come when the devil gives power to his man on the earth, the beast or antichrist, backed by the false prophet who will cause people to worship the beast as a god. Out of this will come the Mark of the Beast system bringing persecution on those who refuse to take it and the final persecution of those who believe in Jesus. This will be the devil’s final hour when he is in control of the earth in a way which goes way beyond anything we now see in terms of evil.
If the Second Coming of Jesus is the end of the world as many have taught in the prophetic view known as ‘a-millennialism’ this will mean that the devil has the last word in the affairs of this planet. A-millennialism means that there is no Millennial (1000 year) reign of the Messiah on earth as taught in Revelation 20. It says that the Second Coming of Jesus is the end of the world.
According to the pre-Millennial view which I hold, the Second Coming is not the end of the world, but the end of the age, to be followed by a glorious period of 1000 years after Jesus returns physically to the earth. This view is taught in the Book of Revelation and was the view of early Christians who were closest to the Apostles. For example Justin Martyr writes in Dialogue with Trypho; ‘And further there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell one thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general and in short the eternal resurrection and judgement of all men would take place.’ He gives his authority to the Apostle John who was ‘with us’ (i.e. known to him) and says that ‘all right minded Christians’ agree on this point.
At this time Satan will be bound (Revelation 20.2-3) and unable to influence people on earth. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11.9) and the ‘government will be upon His shoulder.’ (Isaiah 9.6). In other words Jesus will have all power and authority to run the government God’s way. So the Lord will have the last word showing us how the earth should be run, reversing the ruin brought about by sin and the devil’s control of the earth.
3. To restore the kingdom to Israel.
Just before His ascension, the disciples asked Jesus, ‘Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ Acts 1.6. This was the last recorded question they asked the Lord before His departure. Many Christian commentators dismiss this as a dumb question based on their Jewish hopes of a Messianic kingdom along the lines of the passage from Isaiah 2 quoted above. They say the kingdom has now changed from Israel to the Church and God has now finished with Israel. In fact Jesus answer does not dismiss the idea, but corrects the timing of it.
His answer was, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority’. This means it is not going to happen immediately, because the programme now is for the disciples to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and take the Gospel into the world. However there will be a future time when the kingdom will be restored to Israel. The disciples won’t see this happen now, because it will at an unknown date in the future only known to the Father (see Matthew 24.36).
Forty years after this, the great dispersion of the Jewish people would begin following the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation which began in 66 AD and was crushed by the Romans in 70 AD. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed and the long dispersion of the Jewish people began as Israel was scattered to the Gentile lands, where they would suffer great oppression, especially in the dreadful events of the Nazi holocaust.
But God preserved the Jews as a people and in one of the most remarkable events of history regathered them to the land of Israel in fulfilment of many prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures. ‘For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.’ Ezekiel 36.24. See also Isaiah 11.11-12, Jeremiah 31.10 and many other scriptures.
At present we see a partial restoration of Israel. This restoration is a pointer to the return of the Messiah, as the Psalmist wrote: ‘For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory.’ Psalm 102.16 The Psalm goes on to say that this will be a sign for ‘the generation to come.’ The Hebrew ‘le dor ha acharon’ could also be translated ‘for the last generation.’ Jesus also implied that this event would be a sign of His coming, when He said “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” Matthew 24.32-33. The sign of the fig tree speaks of Israel’s national birth, which is a sign that the Lord Jesus is about to return.
He will return at a time of great conflict over Jerusalem (Zechariah 12-14), during which time the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem and they will ‘look on Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an Only Son.’ This means a recognition of Yeshua / Jesus as the Messiah who has come and suffered crucifixion as a sacrifice for sin and who will return. Zechariah 14 tells how He will come to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem and bring an end to the war and bring in the Messianic kingdom in which He will reign from Jerusalem.
Then He will fulfil the promises of a full restoration of Israel to the land and to the Lord, delivering on the covenant promise made to Abraham in Genesis 15 and on many promises given in the Hebrew prophets. Paul also spoke this restoration coming in order that the words of the prophets might be fulfilled: ‘And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob, for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’ Romans 11.26-27.
4. To judge the world in righteousness.
In Acts 17 Paul said: God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17.30-31.
In this passage God is commanding (not suggesting) that all people everywhere repent and believe the Gospel (that Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead). The reason is that He has a day coming when He will judge the world in righteousness according to how we have responded to that message.
At the present time we have a choice to accept or reject the Gospel message. In His first message in the Gospel Jesus says, ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.’ Mark 1.15.
Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. The message of the Gospel going out to the nations of the world is another sign of the Second Coming of Jesus. God will judge the world at His Second Coming on the basis of how we respond to the Gospel.
The implication of the last days’ prophecies is that the great majority of people in the world will reject God’s offer of salvation in Jesus. Many scriptures describe the time before Jesus’ return to the earth as a time of great wickedness in which people demonstrate their rebellion against God. Jesus said it would be as in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17.22-37), a time of great wickedness when violence and sexual immorality would be rampant. Many other passages speak of the wickedness and rebellion against God which will take place in the last days of this age (Psalm 2, Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3, Revelation 13 are some examples.)
Because of this God’s judgement will come upon the world. In this time of judgement God will separate the lost from the saved. In His explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus said: “
He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares (weeds) are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’ Matthew 13.37-43.
A number of passages speak of a series of judgments taking place in which the lost are separated from the saved: Daniel 12.1-3, Ezekiel 20.33-44, Matthew 25.31-46, 1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.10, Revelation 19-20.
In the light of this we should all be prepared for the return of the Lord by repenting of sin and believing the Gospel so that we will have a place in the coming kingdom of God.
5. To give a hope to those who are redeemed.
In Paul’s letter to Titus he wrote:
‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.’ Titus 2.11
Despite the gloom and doom of the last days’ prophecies of judgement coming, there is a ‘blessed hope’ in the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.
Those who die before Jesus’ return will be resurrected to eternal life and those who are still alive will be taken to meet with Him in the air and then be with Him for ever. According to the pre-tribulation view of prophecy this event will happen before the great tribulation starts and so it could happen imminently at any time. The moment of our death could also happen at any time, so we should always be ready for it. Those who are taken to be with the Lord will return with Him to be part of the glorious time when He is reigning on earth during the 1000 year Millennium, to be followed by an eternity in His presence in the new heavens and new earth. Therefore there is a wonderful future beyond the power of any writer or preacher to describe that awaits all those who call on the name of Jesus now for salvation.
To be ready for this great event and to be able to face the future with confidence and hope, repent of your sins and ask God to save you as you put your trust in the Lord Jesus who died for us once and rose from the dead to give us forgiveness of sin and eternal life and who is coming back again soon to judge the world in righteousness according to how we have responded to that message.
Here is a prayer to make sure you are ready for that event to happen.
Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus the Messiah died in my place, shedding His blood to pay for my sins, and that He rose again from the dead to give me eternal life. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Do Black Lives Matter?
Of course black lives matter. All lives matter.
If I thought that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was about creating a better deal for black people and better relationships between all races, then I would support it. I realise that many grave injustices have been done to black people at the hands of white Europeans and Americans, especially in the appalling slave trade. I also recognise that injustice remains in many areas of western society, as witnessed by the disgraceful police action that resulted in the death of George Floyd and triggered the protests in America. However for reasons I give here I do not support BLM.
It may be that many people have joined the movement to try to improve the situation for the black community, but as we see the outcomes, especially in the USA, we have to conclude that BLM is really about a quite different agenda. US Attorney General William Barr claimed there is a new form of “urban guerrilla warfare” with the ultimate goal of toppling America’s present political system. Commenting on the continuous Black Lives Matter-led protests and rioting around the country, Barr said the various Left-wing groups are pushing “some form of communism.” “They are a revolutionary group and their tactics are fascistic, even though Antifa claims to be anti-fascist.”
The Gatestone Institute writes: ‘BLM states that it wants to abolish the nuclear family, police, prisons and capitalism. It seeks to replace the foundational cornerstones of American society: 1) abolish the Judeo-Christian concept of the traditional nuclear family, the basic social unit in America; 2) abolish the police and dismantle the prison system; 3) mainstream transgenderism and delegitimise so-called heteronormativity (the belief that heterosexuality is the norm); and 4) abolish capitalism (a free economy) and replace it with communism (a government-controlled economy).’
Not just in the US but here in the UK we see a movement aiming at a radical transformation of our society in which every aspect of history, culture and religion is subjected to ‘Critical Race Theory’. Britannica.com defines Critical race theory: ‘the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour.’
In other words all white people are racist, and ‘white privilege’ is the root of evil. Resources distributed to schools by the Chartered College of Teaching claim that the whole of society needs to be re-educated in order to be purged of ‘whiteness, including white racism, white identity, privilege, power and intersectionality’.
Out of this has come the so-called ‘cancel culture’ movement in which statues are torn down, history has to be rewritten, literary and artistic figures re-evaluated. Its ultimate aim is to cancel Biblical Christianity as an influence on our society too.
BLM should be renamed ‘Some Black Lives Matter’. They matter if they can be used as martyrs to the so-called racist police. They matter if they can be used to show the evils of western Capitalist society. But they don’t matter if they are being killed as a result of riots or drug gangs, or having their business and homes burned down as law and order melts down in US cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis as a result of protests and riots and the policy of defunding the police.
Also they don’t matter if they are victims of modern slavery. There are currently an estimated 9.2 million black slaves in Africa. Slavery, according to the index, includes forced labour, forced sexual exploitation and forced marriage. (Global Slavery Index, 2018). In Mauritania, it is estimated that up to 20% of the population is enslaved, even though slavery was officially outlawed in 1981. The slaves are mostly from the Haratine minority, who are black Africans, as opposed to the nearly half of the population who are Arabs or Berbers. The issue of Arab enslavement of black Africans, which goes back centuries before white slavery and continues to this day, is never mentioned by BLM.
Now we have the mainstream media obsessing about racism, describing violent assaults and destruction of property in America as ‘peaceful protests.’ Schools are being told they must ‘decolonise the curriculum’ and teach BLM material to our children. We have footballers, the police, the politicians bowing the knee to BLM. We have religious and political leaders lecturing us about how racist we are and saying we have to repent of white privilege and slavery. People who have never held slaves are being told they have to make reparations to people who have never been slaves.
Frankly this is nonsense. I am sorry that slavery happened. I am sorry that there have been oppressions and ill treatment of people, but unless I am responsible for this personally, I cannot repent for it. The idea of collective guilt goes against the teaching of the Bible. Saying as a white man living in 2020 I have to apologise and be sorry for something done by some of my ancestors 200 years ago actually leads to the same kind of error which says all Jews throughout history are guilty of the death of Jesus because of the actions of some Jews nearly 2000 years ago. This false idea led to centuries of anti-Semitism in the name of Christianity, which was an absolute disgrace and denial of the true message of the Gospel. Nick Timothy writing in the Daily Telegraph correctly pointed to the scripture in Ezekiel 18: ‘A son shall not bear the iniquity of the father and the father will not bear the iniquity of the son.’ We are responsible before God for the trespasses that we commit but not the trespasses of others.
BLM is perhaps best understood as a kind of religion. It demands moral purity and brooks no dissent. It seeks to control public discourse by deeming certain words and ideas ‘problematic’ or supporting legislation against ‘hate speech’ which can often just mean disagreeing with BLM or LGBT propaganda. In so doing it is becoming a threat to free speech. It advances a modern-day equivalent of Original Sin in the form of concepts such as ‘systemic racism’, ‘whiteness’ or ‘unconscious bias’, unproven theories that are nonetheless asserted as truth. Some of its devotees have been observed holding hands and moving round in a circle chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ in a kind of religious ritual.
In an analysis of the movement from Rock Harbour Church, Brandon Holthaus described it as a coming together of liberal humanism, cultural Marxism and globalism in an attempt to destroy moral values and norms based on Biblical concepts and to unite the world under the Babylon religious system described in Revelation 17. He said “Cultures and societies throughout the world—especially in America—must be altered drastically to pave the way for the coming Antichrist regime.’
One of the fruits of BLM has been an attack on the forces of law and order in society. Seattle is moving to disband and replace its police force with a community-led initiative over accusations that the force “perpetuates racism and violence” and upholds “white supremacy culture.” Liberal left wing state governors are going along with this madness. A critic of the development said, “If Seattle moves forward with its plan to abolish the police and permanently close the region’s largest jail, it will lead to the immediate collapse of public order.”
This pattern is being followed in a number of Democrat controlled US cities, which are being plunged into chaos with violence and crime increasing. Across America the great cities, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco have become scenes of flight of those who are able to leave. Shops in city centres are shut down in fear of looting and levels of violence and anarchy that are frightening to behold. Estimates of damage to property are about $2 billion and rising. Looting of shops has even been justified by some as a way of bringing reparations to poor black communities. As the violence increases, armed groups on both sides of the issue are confronting each other. There are fears that the coming US Presidential election may result in a civil war taking place in America and the possible collapse of the nation.
Jesus said that one of the signs of His return is that ‘lawlessness will abound’ (Matthew 24.12). The Greek word used is ‘anomia’ meaning against the nomos – the law, the Greek word used for Torah / Law in the Bible. It means a trampling underfoot of the 10 Commandments given by God for the good of humanity. In Psalm 2 there is a prophecy of the last days when the kings of the earth and the rulers set themselves and take counsel against the Lord and His Anointed / Messiah. They say ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us’. This means let us throw away the commands given in the Bible which are restricting our freedom to do what we want. One paraphrase of this translates it ‘Let’s have done with all this slavery to God’ which actually sums it up very well. Some BLM supporters tweeted that their aim is to ‘attack and dethrone God.’
2 Thessalonians 2 says that the Man of Sin, the Antichrist, is the ‘lawless one’, who will arise out of this spirit of lawlessness and rebellion now affecting humanity worldwide. He will also bring a strong delusion on all those who refuse to repent and believe the Gospel. The idea that the kind of behaviour that has come out of BLM protests, like rioting, looting and burning down buildings, will bring freedom and a better life for black or white people is totally delusional. It is another factor leading humanity on the path to the world’s last dictatorship prophesied in Revelation 13.
The origin of races – what does the Bible say?
In Acts 17.26-28 Paul says
‘God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17.26-28.
In this he is saying that all humans come from one blood, therefore there is one race, the human race. The Bible teaches that all people are descended from one set of parents, Adam and Eve. It is interesting that evolutionists have also come to the conclusion that the whole human race is descended from a single set of parents, while denying the Bible’s account of course.
The Bible tells us that
‘God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female, He created them.’ Genesis 1.27.
In Genesis 1 God tells us that all living things are created with their ‘seed’ within them, able to reproduce ‘after their own kind.’ Two members of the same species, male and female, are physically different, and have to come together at the same time and in the same place to produce the next generation. Since evolution demands millions of years for the development of complex life forms, this simply would not work for reproduction, which requires the process to work perfectly in the first generation or the species dies out. Therefore God in creation not evolution explains how we come to be here. He created one species of human beings out of which all the variations of racial types have developed over time.
Paul goes on to say that God determined ‘their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings’. This ties in with the development of human society recorded in the Bible after the Flood. According to Genesis all land dwelling life on earth was destroyed in the flood apart from Noah and his wife, his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives and the animals which went into the ark. We have already written in the magazine of evidence for Noah’s flood as a historical event. Further information available on request.
This means that all humans are also descended from Noah and his wife, and from one of the three sons of Noah, who were Shem, Ham and Japheth. In Genesis 10 we read of the division of the nations according to their descent from Shem, Ham and Japheth. ‘From these the coastland people of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. … These were the families of the sons of Noah according to their generations, in their nations and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.’ Genesis 10.5, 32.
Genesis 11 tells us more about the division of nations as a result of the Tower of Babel event. After the Flood they wanted to stay together in one place, which was not God’s will. They joined together to build the Tower of Babel, which was an act of defiance against God, asserting their own will and collective power against the will of God. God saw the danger of a united world working in rebellion against Him. So He caused them to stop building the tower by confusing their languages and ‘scattered them abroad over all the earth.’
The result of this scattering and the division of the languages was that people could only communicate with those they could understand. So they formed into groups speaking the same language, and having children within these groups and migrating with people in these groups. In the process the different physical characteristics of original parents became more and more pronounced, resulting in different skin colour, hair and eyes and so on. These external differences did not alter the fact that they were all still of one original race.
Once settled in different regions for the most part they did not move from there, so the different physical characteristics of the nations developed, Middle Eastern, East Asian, African, European and so on. For centuries the majority of people lived and died in same place, hardly travelling far from it. Most black people living in Africa never saw a white person, while most white people living in Europe never saw an African.
During this time the various tribes developed different cultures and religions. Paul says in Acts 17 that people should ‘seek the Lord, because His is not far from us and in Him we live and move and have our being’. Genesis 1.27 shows that humans are made in the image of God, with a spiritual nature distinct from animals. There exists a God shaped space within each one of us whether we acknowledge it or not.
In Romans 1 Paul writes that the evidence of God’s power and nature is visible in the natural world which He has created. However people did not acknowledge or recognise this and turned from the true Creator God to worship gods they had created. They ‘exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature (the thing made) rather than the Creator who is blessed forever.’ Romans 1.25.
As the races were divided across the earth, different nations developed their own religions which became part of their identity as people groups. Interestingly no one has ever discovered an atheist tribe. The word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin meaning to ‘bind together’. So religions become a way to bind people together. According to the Bible ‘all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.’ Psalm 96.5.
God revealed the truth about Himself to Abraham (that He is one God not many gods) and He gave His Law or Torah to the people of Israel through Moses. God’s purpose was that Israel should be a light to the nations, to show what it is like to live in a nation that is governed by God’s law. The Old Testament shows how Israel was blessed when they kept God’s laws but came under judgement when they broke these laws (Deuteronomy 28). The Hebrew Prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah who would come as the sacrifice for the sin of the world (Isaiah 53). He would bring in the new covenant through which sin could be forgiven and people of all races could come to know God in Spirit and truth (Jeremiah 31.31-34). This was fulfilled through the coming of the Lord Jesus to die for our sins and rise again from the dead and send out the disciples into all the world with the message of the Gospel.
How does this apply to modern race issue? Historically there has been a division of people living in different areas of the world. Here they developed different languages, customs and religions, and racial characteristics. For centuries they had little communication with peoples of other groups.
Where they did mix it was generally for reasons, trade, migration or war. Trade is a legitimate reason to mix, an opportunity to exchange goods and exchange ideas. Sometimes people would migrate from one place to another for reasons of famine or difficulty in their own lands, as seen in the Bible’s book of Ruth. The Bible has injunctions to be kind and welcoming to the stranger in your midst. ‘He (God) administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’ Deuteronomy 10.18-19.
On the other hand history is full of examples of different peoples coming into contact with each other for reasons of war, invasion and slavery. In this case the stranger coming into your midst does you harm, pushes you out of your home or enslaves you. In the British Isles we have had Celts, Romans, Saxons, Normans coming to these islands and generally oppressing each other in some way. We have seen the Mongol invasions into Europe and the Middle East in the 13th century, the Turkish invasion into Greek speaking Byzantium in the 15th century as examples.
In modern times we have European empires which stretched around the world, the British Empire being the most widespread. We have also seen the American continent taken over by European migrants, who also brought slaves over from Africa. In the process the native people of America were subjugated by the new immigrants. The empires brought both good and bad to the peoples they ruled over. The bad aspect of European dominance was oppression and exploitation of native peoples and slavery, which was an abomination to God. The good aspects were improvements in living conditions, medical help and the spread of Christianity. Christian influence brought freedom from oppression to evil spirits through witch doctors in Africa and the outlawing of harmful practices like sati in India, whereby the widow of a man who had died was burned alive on his funeral pyre. Christian influence through William Wilberforce was also responsible for the abolition of slavery within the British Empire in 1833.
Now we have a change in our world in which migration to Europe has come from former colonies to Europe and also people fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East. This has changed the racial make up of our countries. In the USA the civil rights movement brought greater equality for black people. Leading this movement, Martin Luther King said that people should be judged by the content of their character not the colour of their skin, something we completely agree with. Nevertheless black people complain of continuing oppression in USA.
Because of historical and cultural reasons it is inevitable that bringing people together from different racial backgrounds will cause some friction and problems. People are naturally prejudiced in favour of people who look like them and share a common culture and against people who are different from them. I am not saying that is a good thing, just that it is something that comes with being human. It becomes a serious problem when this turns into hatred, violence and oppression of one people group by another. Racial injustice can never be put right by the kind of violent revolution we have seen in the BLM protests.
The answer to this is to recognise our common humanity as taught in the Bible. We are all created in the image of God and are equally valuable to Him. We are also all equally out of fellowship with God because of the sin problem which affects all people everywhere. This causes all of us to be alienated from God and from one another, as we break His commandments and fall short of His glory. There is one solution to this problem, to repent of sin and receive salvation through Jesus Christ, who died as a sacrifice for our sins and rose again from the dead to give eternal life to all who receive Him as Saviour.
Today people are very concerned about asserting their racial identity, however in the end the only distinction that really matters is whether we are lost or saved. There is only one way to be saved, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, who is the one mediator between God and humanity. He said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.’ John 14.6.
Believing in Jesus gives us a new identity as children of God, which will go with us into eternity, unlike our natural identity which passes away at death. When a body is lying in a grave or is burned up in cremation, the colour of the person’s skin disappears for ever. But the soul of the person continues for ever either in heaven or hell. So the most important thing we can do in this life is to prepare for eternity by accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord:
‘As many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ John 1.12-13. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3.16.
In Jesus racial and social differences are done away with, as Paul wrote in Galatians 3.28: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’
The answer to all the hatred and fear that is being unleashed on the world as people turn against each other in violence and conflict, is found in Jesus. He is able to reconcile us to God and to one another.
He tells us:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13.34-35.
He even tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5.43-45.
A good idea for an ‘All races matter’ manifesto.
The other day I chanced to turn on our TV to a channel showing the ‘Chernobyl’ film, a dramatic reconstruction of the nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986. It was at the moment in the film when Soviet leader Gorbachev was being informed that in 48 hours the fire in the reactor would cause it to melt down into the water tank below. This would cause an explosion which would destroy everything within a 30 mile radius, including the other 3 nuclear reactors on the site. The resulting nuclear explosion would make Ukraine and Belarus (population 60 million) uninhabitable for a hundred years. Radiation would contaminate the ground and water in most of Eastern Europe, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and beyond, making life difficult if not impossible there too. The only way to avoid this was for men to go into the tank filled with radio-active water and open the sluice gate to drain it out.
Three men did this, going on a suicide mission to save the region from catastrophe. These heroes of Chernobyl were remembered in the memorial which stands there today, showing an angel blowing a trumpet, linking it to the wormwood prophecy of Revelation 8.10-11. ‘Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.’ Significantly there is a connection in the Russian and Ukrainian languages between the name Chernobyl and the plant that grows by the river there, which is known as wormwood.
The world was saved from apocalyptic disaster, but only just. The event with its connection to Revelation was a warning from God to change our ways before the time of great tribulation comes bringing an end to the world as we know it. Instead of turning to the Lord, governments, religions and people of the world are going farther away from Him – persecution of Christians, wicked laws and corruption, production of ever more dangerous weapons, terrorism and war, and growing apostasy in the church.
We see signs of God’s judgement coming and the last days’ prophecies being fulfilled. The Middle East situation lines up with Bible prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel and the conflict over Jerusalem. Now we have the Covid pandemic, the lockdowns around the world, the prospect of economic and social collapse and the potential for a new kind of control system as described in our leading article in this magazine. We have natural disasters worldwide, earthquakes, volcanoes, great storms, floods, droughts, fires, a locust plague eating up crops across Africa and much of Asia.
If you join all the dots together you can see the ‘beginning of sorrows’ period which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24.7-8, nation against nation, famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various place. This will lead to the time of ‘great tribulation unlike any that has been or ever will be’, which would cause the end of life on earth if God did not cut it short (Matthew 24.21-22). Then will come the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory. (Matthew 24.29-30).
Back in the 1980s around the time of Chernobyl, I began writing Light for the Last Days, with articles about end time prophecy and the coming of the Lord. A church leader told me this was the wrong message. We should be telling people about the great revival which is coming with signs and wonders and the church taking over the world and Christianising it before Jesus returns. Another told me to forget the Second Coming and work for world peace through uniting the world’s religions. I disagreed with both.
30 years on there has been no great revival, but wickedness has increased and the church worldwide is suffering either persecution or apostasy, or just shutting down because of Covid, but certainly not ruling the world. The Pope is working to unite the world’s religions to support a world government in the cause of peace and saving the environment. The UN and the World Economic Forum are calling for ‘Agenda 21’ and a ‘Global Reset’ to bring this to pass. Neither will save the world, but may well help the Antichrist to come to power. Sinister forces are working to suppress the message which offers ‘the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us.’ Titus 2.11.
So what is to be done? Soon Jesus will come to take His church to Himself in the event we know as the Rapture of the Church. In the meantime God wants us to get the message of the Gospel out and tell people how to find salvation before it is too late.