The Coming of the Antichrist
Are we living in the days of the Antichrist? According to the Bible this super bad man will come to power in the last days of this age and bring in a final world dictatorship which will go beyond even the great 20th century dictators, Hitler, Stalin and Mao.
As the world heads from crisis to crisis, people are fearful of what is coming on the earth. We need someone to come and sort out the troubles which are coming on the world.
The Bible tells us there will be a massive world crisis at end of this age. The good news is that there is someone on the way to sort it out – Jesus the Messiah who will come a second time, with all the power of God, to judge the world in righteousness and set up His Messianic kingdom in which there will be peace and safety for all believers. Meanwhile He offers peace and eternal security to all who accept the Gospel message that Messiah / Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead to give eternal life to all who believe.
The bad news is that before Jesus’ return to the earth there will be a time of great trouble out of which will bring a false messiah, known as the Antichrist or the Beast, to power. He will head up a world government and impose a new control system which will require people to submit to his demands if they wish to participate in society. This ties in with a number of developments in our world today, as we shall see in this magazine.
What does the Bible tell us about the Antichrist and what has church history said about him? The church has held different views on the identity of the Antichrist. The three major views are:
1. Preterist. The Antichrist is a past figure, specifically the Roman Emperor, who persecuted Christians and took the place of god demanding to be worshipped. The name of Nero Caesar in Hebrew has been worked out to have a numerical value of 666.
2. Historicist. The Antichrist is a recurring figure throughout history. Protestant Reformers said the Pope is Antichrist (whichever pope is in power). They said the Roman Catholic Church established a false system of Christian worship, putting the pope in place of Christ, persecuting true Christians and suppressing the Gospel. One of the titles of the pope, Vicarius Filii Dei, (Vicar of the Son of God) has been worked out to have a numerical value of 666 in Latin.
Alternatively evil dictators are seen as types of Antichrist, being given power by Satan, persecuting God’s people and setting up images of themselves as figures to be worshipped.
3. Futurist. The Antichrist / Beast of Revelation 13 is the world ruler who comes in the final 7 year period of tribulation before the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth.
I take the futurist interpretation. The types of antichrist can be seen in past figures, like the Roman Emperors, the popes and dictators like Hitler, Stalin or Mao. However the Antichrist must be a future figure who is alive at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. This is the moment when he meets his doom as he is cast into hell by the Lord at His coming (Revelation 19).
So is the Antichrist on his way now? We see many antichrists who have gone out into the world and are preparing the way for the Antichrist. There is persecution of Christian believers by many antichrist political and religious systems, in Communist dictatorships of China and North Korea and in areas where Islam is in control. In western nations we have a growing suppression of biblical Christianity and growth of antichrist influences which deny the true nature of Jesus Christ (for example, Islam, New Age, yoga, liberal theology and interfaith teaching in the church, cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons). We also see that world situations are preparing for the coming of the Antichrist as prophesied in Revelation 13, which we comment on in this magazine.
In the Bible he is given different titles. The letters of John are the only place where he is called ‘the Antichrist’. Elsewhere he is called the ‘little horn’ (Daniel 7), the prince to come (Daniel 9), the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2) and the beast (啟示錄13章).
Here is a brief run through of the main characteristics of Antichrist, the Beast as recorded in Scripture.
● 1. He emerges from 4th beast. Daniel 7 locates this beast as the Roman Empire. Some form of this will be revived in the last days. Revelation 17.9-13. Possible candidates are the EU, the UN or some kind of world government which comes out of the various initiatives to solve the problems of our world. Out of this will come the ‘ten kings’ who give their power to the beast.
● 3. He aspires to world power and briefly achieves it. (7-year tribulation period, divided into two periods of 3 ½ years). He brings in Mark of the Beast / 666 system. Revelation 13.15-18
● 4. He is the ‘prince to come’ who makes the seven year covenant with Israel which he breaks half way through. Daniel 9.27
● 5. He has supernatural powers given him by Satan. He ‘understands sinister schemes’. Daniel 8 He performs counterfeit miracles, causes people to believe the lie, and puts them under the ‘strong delusion’. 2 Thessalonians 2
The rise to power of the Antichrist
Here are three prophetic passages which tell us about the rise of the Antichrist / Beast to a position of world power.
Daniel 7 :
These prophecies indicate that some kind of world government will emerge out of the last days’ crisis and the beast will take control of it. These verses in Revelation 13.1-2 refer to past empires which have oppressed or occupied Israel (Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome). The spiritual power behind these empires goes back to Babylon/ the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) and is one of rebellion against God and idolatrous worship of false gods. This will be the power behind the last days Antichrist system.
It also says that the beast rises out of the sea. There are two meanings to this. Firstly Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome took power in the area around the Mediterranean Sea, specifically over the small country on its eastern shore, Israel, the Holy Land. So too will the Antichrist. Secondly the restless sea in scripture is used as a symbol of sinful humanity: But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Isaiah 57.20 His rise is supported by the nations in rebellion against God. In Revelation 13.3 we read, the world marvelled and followed the beast. In following the beast they are following the devil as we read, They worshipped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast.
In Daniel 7.7-8 we read of the fourth beast which is the Roman Empire. This prophecy, along with Revelation 17.9-11, indicates that there will be some kind of revival of the Roman Empire at the time of the end, out of which the ‘little horn’ (Antichrist) of Daniel 7 will emerge and speak pompous words against the Most High (God) and persecute the saints.
The Roman Empire was ruling Jerusalem and the land of Israel at the time of the first coming of Jesus. Prophecy indicates a restoration of Israel and a return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem at the end of days which will lead to a conflict involving all nations (Zechariah 12-14). At the beginning of the period of tribulation, the ‘prince to come’ (Antichrist) will make a deceptive seven-year peace covenant with Israel (Daniel 9.26-27), allowing the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. He will then betray Israel and place his image (the abomination of desolation) in the holy place (Daniel 11 and Matthew 24). This will set off the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30) out of which the remnant of Israel will be saved at the second coming of Yeshua / Jesus as Messiah (撒迦利亞書12.10 and 14.3-9). For more on this see the following article on ‘Dangers to Israel’.
The beast will be given power by the devil. He will speak against God and His people and will persecute true believers in the Lord. He will offer a solution to the last days crisis which threatens the world and the future of the human race. He will offer some kind of ‘peace and safety’ but it will turn out to being greater trouble than ever before (1 Thessalonians 5.3, Matthew 24.21-22). He will be given power by ‘ten kings’ who are either heads of ten regions of the earth, or ten powerful figures who come out of the world government system that is being put in place. In the course of events three of these kings will turn against him. Daniel 7.24, Revelation 17.12-13
Other scriptures, including Daniel 8 and 2 Thessalonians 2 indicate that he will have supernatural power given him by Satan, which enable him to convince people to believe the lie, that he is the messiah, saviour of the world, to be worshipped as a god:
This deception may include a counterfeit death and resurrection:
The Antichrist and his fellow helper the False Prophet will cause people to worship an image that is able to speak. Note how the Roman Emperors and great dictators have had images of themselves set up to be worshipped by the people. Until our time it was not possible for an image to speak. Now with the development of television, computer technology, mobile phones and Artificial Intelligence, we are surrounded with images that can speak.
The Mark of the Beast
The most well known feature of the Antichrist rule is the imposition of the Mark of the Beast.
There have been many attempts to decode what the Mark of the Beast / 666 is. This passage speaks of the establishment of some kind of a mark which becomes a requirement for people to have in order to buy and sell. The Greek word used for mark is ‘charagma’ which has the idea of an engraving or some kind of tattoo. The passage in Revelation implies that this will be placed on or beneath the skin of a person in order for them to be able to buy and sell. It will also be a mark of allegiance to the Antichrist given to those who worship the image of the beast.
Being able to buy and sell is a basic requirement for participating in society and covers a range of human activities, from working for your living, getting the basics of life, food, clothes, a place to live in, transport and so on. A person who is not able to do this may be shut out of society and made homeless, unemployed and starving.
In the time when John wrote the Revelation buying and selling was done by coins or bartering. John could not have known about the kind of system we have now in which you can move money around without any visible cash via cards and computers. He could
not have known about the fact that in order to participate in this system you need a number assigned to yourself. But God knew it was coming and gave John this prophecy which could only be literally fulfilled in our time with our technology.
Now we are seeing moves towards a cashless society and the creation of digital ID systems like China’s Credit Score and India’s Aadhaar system. By these everyone is put onto an app which they need to buy and sell. This connects to a government controlled computer system which brings with it a form of social control, especially in China. Here the central authority is able to turn off or turn on your ability to buy and sell according to your conformity to what the government requires of you. As I have written in the following article there is concern that the push towards vaccine passports linked to a digital ID is the first step along the road to a similar system emerging in the western nations. For more on this subject send for our January 2020 edition and the article ‘The Technology Sign. 1984, Brave New World and 666.’ We are not there yet but if events continue the way they are going, it is not difficult to see how the current crisis could morph into the Mark of the Beast system whereby the Antichrist takes control of the system and forces people to submit to him or face social exclusion by being unable to buy and sell. According to Revelation 14.9-12 taking the Mark of the Beast will cause a person to lose their eternal soul and face eternal damnation, so whatever happens, do not take the mark.
Who is he?
Many people who are interested in the subject like to speculate on the identity of the Antichrist. Is he the pope or a Muslim leader or someone bringing in a totally new form of religion and government?
A number of scriptures indicate that he will ‘exalt himself above every god’, not just the true God (Daniel 11.36-37). In 2 Thessalonians 2.4 we read that he opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. The Bible indicates that he will may use existing religions in his rise to power, but his aim will be to destroy them and focus worship on himself and the devil who is controlling him.
In Revelation 17 we read of the ‘Woman’ who rides the beast. This does represent existing world religions headed up by Rome:
The woman represents the world religious system, headed by the papacy, which has its roots in Babylon (the Tower of Babel) and is bringing together all false religion in the world. This religious system is seen to be antichrist (drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus), even though part of it may identify as Christian (in name only). It is allied to the beast / the Antichrist as he rises to power and he is happy to use its backing to gain power, but he will turn against it in the end:
Interestingly Hitler used the backing of corrupted forms of Catholic and Protestant Christianity in his rise to power. However he despised Christianity and the Nazis intended to replace all forms of Christianity with a new occult Aryan form of paganism. In the same way the Antichrist may use the world religious system represented by the scarlet woman of Revelation 17, but his ultimate aim will be to destroy it. For this reason I do not think the Antichrist will be either the Pope or a Muslim.
Is he around today? It looks to me like we are not too far off the fulfilment of these prophecies, so it is likely that he is indeed around somewhere in the world. Maybe he is a rising star in some globalist set up, perhaps the EU or the UN. He is tapping into occult and demonic power with a view to rising to the highest place in the present world system. I will not attempt to identify him but his revelation cannot be too far off.
According to 2 Thessalonians 2 something has to happen before he can come to power. Something is now restraining him, but when this is removed he will be revealed:
What is the one who is restraining him? A number of answers have been put to this question throughout church history. Among these are the Roman government, Gospel preaching, the New Testament church, the Holy Spirit and the archangel Michael.
Here is an answer to this question given on the ‘Got Questions’ website (gotquestions.org), which commends itself to me:
‘Supporting the idea that the Holy Spirit within the church is the restrainer is the fact that the restrainer is referenced both as a thing (neuter gender, verse 6) and as a person (masculine gender, verse 7). Also, the power delaying Satan’s masterplan to unveil his false messiah must be of God. It makes much more sense to say that the Holy Spirit is curbing the devil than a political entity or even an angel. The Holy Spirit of God is the only Person with sufficient (supernatural) power to do this restraining.
The Spirit works through believers to accomplish this. The church, indwelt by the Spirit of God, has always been part of what holds society back from the swelling tide of lawless living. At some point, Paul says, the Spirit will ‘step aside’ from His restraining work, allowing sin to have dominion over mankind. 2 Thessalonians 2.7 can be literally rendered, ‘The secret of lawlessness is already working, only it cannot be revealed until he who now withholds disappears from the midst.’ We believe this ‘ disappearing from the midst’ will happen at the time the church leaves the earth at the rapture. The Holy Spirit will still be present in the earth, of course, but He will be taken out of the way in the sense that His unique sin-restraining ministry—through God’s people—will be removed.
In 2 Thessalonians 2 it is clear that the removal of the restrainer’s influence precedes the revealing of the Antichrist. Given free rein during the tribulation, the lawless one will ‘use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders’ to deceive the people of the earth (verses 9–10). After the Antichrist’s time is up, the Lord Jesus will return and overthrow the man of sin by ‘the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendour of his coming’ (verse 8). Evil is restrained right now; once the Church age ends, the hindrance to evil will be removed, and the rebellion will seem to be winning; however, the ultimate doom of evil is sure.’
If the answer is the true church, then this is another scripture pointing to the removal of the true born again church in the event known as the rapture of the church, before the Antichrist comes.
Paul spoke of this event in 1 Thessalonians 4.15-18.
It may be that the rapture in itself will be the cause of the rise to power of the Antichrist, as he gives a false explanation for the sudden departure of millions of people. This event could also explain the great number of people who turn to Christ at the beginning of the tribulation period and are described as coming ‘out of the great tribulation.’ Revelation 7.9-14. They see that the rapture has happened and recognise that this has something to do with the second coming of Christ and then turn to Jesus. They become the martyrs who are killed by the Antichrist.
On the other hand there are many who say that the rapture will not come until the middle or at the end of the tribulation and therefore Christians today must be ready to face persecution and martyrdom for their faith under the Antichrist. The truth on this matter will be revealed in its time, and Christians should not fall out over this issue. Either way, the answer is for people now to turn to Jesus Christ as Saviour and so be ready for what is coming. Those who do have reason for great hope for the future, even as we see the growing darkness in the world:
Maranatha – come Lord Jesus.
Covid 19. How’s it going to end?
This is the question many of us are asking about the Covid crisis. Or maybe we’re asking ‘Will it ever end?’
The UK government has ordered 114 million extra Covid 19 vaccine doses so booster jabs campaign can be repeated for years to come. The minimum dose interval should be halved from six months to three months. At the time of writing this article, the government has moved to its ‘Plan B’ to deal with the spread of the virus, meaning a return to more restrictions and the beginning of a vaccine passport system, being required for entrance into some large venues. The mass vaccination with a third booster shot is said to be required in order to prevent another lockdown in the New Year.
Dr David Nabarro, special envoy for Covid 19 from the World Health Organisation said on Sky TV (2/12/21) that the vaccine will not end the pandemic, that it does not stop transmission of the virus and that we need to
In other words, we need vaccination plus continual social distancing, mask wearing, lockdowns as a resource for keeping the virus at bay. We need all these other things because the vaccine does not work at stopping infection and transmission of the virus. New variants like Omicron will continue to emerge and so we need vaccinations every few months. The people who refuse to be double or treble vaccinated are the main problem in causing its spread and they need to get into line or be forced into submission.
In the US, the White House’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci said that
This means that all of the infrastructure that they are now putting in place will be with us from now on. Israel is now preparing its fourth booster shot with warnings from the Health Ministry that a fifth, sixth, and seventh shot – followed by an endless amount after that – are next on the agenda. The CEO of Pfizer says that
You are going to keep getting shots year after year after year in order to keep earning the ‘privileges’ that you have been granted.
So there is no end in sight for the crisis caused by the virus that spread across the world two years ago (most likely from the virology laboratory in Wuhan, China). The most serious health crisis in living memory will continue with vaccinations every few months and the imposition of lockdowns, social distancing and mask wearing, as well as the threat of social isolation being imposed on those who do not comply with government orders.
We will continue to suffer the disruption of normal society, loss of jobs and businesses, loneliness, boredom, mental illness, and increase of deaths from preventable diseases which are not being treated by the health service.
Add to this is the prospect of a financial crisis. States and central banks have thrown almost $20 trillion into the worldwide monetary system to pay for the crisis. Most of this money is created artificially, which means that a financial crisis with inflation and the collapse of major currencies may happen sooner or later.
Is there an agenda behind all this?
Some people are questioning this strategy to contain the disease. The measures being used against the virus have not resolved the situation. The announcement of the need for third and fourth shots of the vaccine show that the aim of preventing the illness by this method has failed.
Doctors, who don’t toe the party line, are warning of the dangers of multiple injections of the vaccine. They say that there will be an increase in people falling seriously ill to common diseases which their natural immune system can no longer deal with, because it has been compromised by the repeated vaccinations. They also say that mass vaccination is encouraging the developments of variants. They quote the very high number of side effects, some fatal, from taking the vaccine.
Early on in the pandemic 44,000 scientists and doctors signed the Great Barrington Declaration, claiming that the measures being taken were harmful to ‘short and long term public health.’ They advocated natural measures through good diet, vitamins and exercise, as well as treating the disease as a variant of the SARS virus. They hoped that this will lead to herd immunity and the eventual ending of the epidemic. Indeed, it was originally announced by UK government scientists that the herd immunity route was the best way forward. We will never know if this approach would have worked because governments worldwide have committed to the lockdown plus vaccination strategy.
So is there an agenda behind this? Contrary views to the mainstream are suppressed on TV media like the BBC. The attempt to censor any opposing views to the mainstream has now extended to social media. Microsoft founder and multi billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates has said governments worldwide should issue punishments to online users who question mask and vaccine mandates.
Bill Gates was present at the Event 201 conference with the John Hopkins Centre for Health and Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. All these are multinational enterprises with huge sums of money at their disposal and power to advise governments and media around the world.
The conference was held in New York in October 2019, just before the outbreak hit the world. This was a simulated exercise in how to prepare for an imagined global pandemic which ends up causing the death of 65 million people. It proposed ways governments, industry and international organisations can prepare for and deal with such a crisis and advocated some kind of global government to deal with the emergency.
The Event 201 envisaged some form of global governance coming out of a pandemic. Amongst the things that it advocated were:
• Enforced quarantine,
• Control of population, people’s ability to travel, trade, meet together.
• Control of information sources. Only government sanctioned information allowed.
• Control of the Internet, social media. Punish dissenters.
• Take cash out of circulation. All financial transactions by electronic means.
• Compulsory vaccines with microchips for ID.
The World Economic Forum Chairman, Klaus Schwab, advocated using the Covid crisis to bring about the ‘Great Reset’ which aims to ‘Build Back Better’ after the crisis. In his book ‘Covid 19 – the Great Reset’ he said,
He went on to speak of a new order which will ‘only come about through some form of EFFECTIVE GLOBAL GOVERNANCE.’ In other words the ‘Great Reset’ is about global government. More on this subject is available in our January 2021 edition.
Bill Gates, who has been advising our government and power centres around the world, has said that ‘normalcy only returns when the whole world is vaccinated’. He wants to put everyone onto his ID2020 computer system. He also wants governments to plan for future pandemics and set up a global pandemic task force to deal with this.
Toe the government line … or else?
All this is leading to a state in which people are required to toe the government line and have multiple vaccinations in order to enter society. Once vaccines become mandatory, vaccine passports will be absolutely necessary for anyone who still wants to live anything that even resembles a normal life. European Union President Ursula von der Leyen wants to make double and treble vaccination compulsory in Europe. This is already happening in Lithuania, where people who do not have the pass showing they have been vaccinated can no longer work or enter any shops and must rely on friends buying food for them in order to survive. Austria will require people to be vaccinated from February or pay a fine of €7200. If they don’t pay they will go to prison. Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to impose a vaccine mandate on every single German starting in February. The German state of Hesse has already brought in a rule that non vaccinated people may not enter food shops.
Australia has become a kind of Covid police state, sending troops onto the streets to enforce strict lockdowns and police going door to door to check people are keeping the rules. In the Northern Territory people have been forcibly removed from their homes and put into quarantine centres which are a form of imprisonment.
If this trend continues world wide we will see dissenters from the government line excluded from society, unable to work, enter various facilities, including shops. They may even be forcibly removed from their homes and put in isolation camps. Churches will face conditions being placed upon them if they want to stay open including refusing entry to those who are unvaccinated. If not they may be fined and closed down.
Those who do what the government tells them may find their health compromised by the vaccines. They will also find that the vaccine passports, which give them entrance into society, also become a means of control by the government. As I wrote in the previous edition of this magazine,
One issue which has been raised is the fact that there is already a black market for fake Covid certificates. Some believe the only way to crack down on such forgeries will be biometric enforcement which leads to the necessity of biometric surveillance. Such biometric surveillance could be made by some kind of chip being inserted beneath the skin able to transmit and receive information from a central computerised system. This is already available according to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet which announced that you can get your Covid certificate in a chip in your hand or elsewhere under the skin (28/10/21).
A very interesting article by Rema Marketing likened the response to Covid as a new religious movement which it termed Covidanity. It then compared this to totalitarian movements from the past. (https://www.globalwatchdisclosures.com/covidanity.htm)
‘Two years of lockdowns and restrictions have ensued where governments continue to restrict our basic Charter freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, religion, conscience, travel, and movement.
Meanwhile, our economy lies in ruins. Our children and grandchildren will need to repay hundreds of billions of dollars of lockdown debt. What started out as a reasonable, precautionary response to an unknown virus has turned into an ideology that threatens to destroy the free society, perhaps permanently.
A political ideology is a fanatical belief system that exalts one single aim over everything else, while disregarding the terrible costs of forging ahead blindly. Ideologies refuse to consider the fullness of reality, its complexity, and its interconnectedness. An ideology identifies one villain, fixates on one injustice, and uses coercive state power to pursue one goal and to crush anyone who dissents from the official narrative.
The ideology of communism explained reality as a class struggle between good, oppressed workers and evil, exploiting capitalists. Nothing could stand in the way of building the workers’ paradise. In pursuit of this singular goal, individual freedom were eliminated as the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot murdered tens of millions of innocent people. The Ukrainian kulaks (successful peasant farmers) were starved to death.
Nazism explained reality as a racial struggle between Aryans and non- Aryans (Jews especially) and promised a glorious future for Germany under a thousand-year Reich. Germans allowed themselves to be guided, manipulated and managed like sheep while the state trampled basic human liberties, euthanized the handicapped, prepared for war, and increased its persecution of Jews to the point of killing millions.
The ideology of Covidanity holds that everything must give way to the sole objective of stopping the spread of a single virus (and its variants). Nothing else matters. Not our mental and emotional health, which depends on connecting in person with friends, family members, and fellow believers at a house of worship. Not the strength of our immune system, which depends on good physical health, nutrition, exercise and fresh air, and avoiding a continual state of fear and anxiety. Not our economic prosperity, which is necessary to create the wealth required to look after vulnerable members of society.
Ideologies also contain a kernel of truth. Workers have been oppressed; the 1919 Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany; racism and sexism are wrong. However, ideologies elevate one kernel of truth to the status of being the only truth that matters, and the truth that must govern everything else.
Covidanity’s kernel of truth is that people should make reasonable efforts to protect seniors and other vulnerable individuals from a virus that will shorten their lives. Covidanity perverts and corrupts this truth by imposing unscientific measures that destroy our economy, shred the fabric of civil society, harm our mental and physical health, and drive people into unemployment, poverty, depression, anxiety, and despair. Politicians disregard disturbing facts by claiming repeatedly that lockdowns save lives; yet they do not produce actual evidence to back up their claim.
Many ideologies are unfortunately based lies and unfortunately the pattern has not changed here. Covidanity was leased life from Dr. Neil Ferguson’s false March 2020 prediction that COVID would be as deadly as the Spanish Flu of 1918, which killed 50 million people (when world population was barely a quarter of what it is today). But the government’s own data and statistics tell us that this virus is like the Asian Flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968, not the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Ideologies eventually collapse under the weight of their own contradictions, lies and lack of science — but not before inflicting incalculable damage on millions of people. But there is hope: truth eventually prevails over falsehood.’
Sadly I am not sure that in this case truth will triumph over falsehood. This brings us back to the question we ask in the title of this article: ‘How’s it going to end?’ On present form it looks highly likely that this is heading for the collapse of society, especially in the western democracies, to be replaced with a form of dictatorship in which freedom of speech, freedom of movement and freedom of religion will be ended.
In Matthew 24.6-7, when asked about the signs of His return, Jesus said:
The ‘beginning of sorrows’ will lead into the time of the ‘great tribulation’ of which Jesus said,
Out of the great tribulation will arise the Antichrist, or the Beast who will impose the Mark of the Beast system of 啟示錄13章 of which I wrote in the previous article.
These things are happening in a society that is under the judgement of God for its sin and is heading for the last days’ period of great tribulation which will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which is our only hope. So when you see these things beginning to happen, don’t panic, but
Dangers to Israel
Israel today is facing danger on four main fronts. These are:
- 1. Jerusalem and relations with the Arab population.
- 2. The Virus and the Vaccine
- 3. Failed states on its borders.
- 4. A nuclear Iran and the war of Gog Magog.
Jerusalem and relations with the Arab population
Israeli PM Bennett has ruled out negotiations for a Palestinian State and stated that ‘Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel and of no other country.’ In response Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas told the UN, the PA would withdraw recognition of Israel unless it withdraws from its territory (east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria / the West Bank) in one year. There is no possibility of Israel doing this, so this would mean the PA formally abandoning the peace process.
Abbas himself may not last another year as he is 85 years old, unpopular with most Palestinians and needing to retire. The Palestinian Authority is facing a financial crisis, severe enough to threaten its existence. Palestinians have been radicalised by their leaders with constant messages delegitimising Israel from the Palestinian government, mosques, media and education system. Many people, especially the young, reject the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993 between Israel and the PLO. The only peace process they would support is one that leads to the elimination of Israel, going back to the old PLO slogan, ‘Peace for us means the destruction of Israel.’
Hamas may take over and turn the territory into another base to confront Israel like Gaza. Returning Jerusalem to Islamic control is a key aim of Hamas.
According to the Bible the question of who rules Jerusalem will be a focus of world attention in the end times. Zechariah 12.2-3 reads:
Significantly the UN, the organisation representing all nations of the world, wants to divide Jerusalem into the capital of Israel on the west and the capital of Palestine on the east (including the historic Old City of Jerusalem). Israel says Jerusalem must remain the ‘eternal undivided capital of Israel.’ The minimum demand of the Palestinians is for a state in the territories occupied by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
In this quotation Zechariah indicates that the status of Jerusalem will be on the agenda of the nations at the time of the end and the conflict over Jerusalem will lead to the last battle which will bring back the Messiah. Zechariah 14 describes the final gathering of nations to battle against Jerusalem when the Messiah stands on the Mount of Olives to bring an end to the war and brings in the Messianic kingdom as prophesied in Isaiah, Ezekiel and other prophets. In New Testament terms this event is the Second Coming of Jesus as prophesied in Matthew 24, Revelation 19-20.
Another major problem for Israel is the growing breakdown of law and order in its Arab areas (inside Israel). Israelis were shocked at the time of the Gaza war by the anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activities amongst its Arab population, leading to brutal attacks on Jews and their property.
There is a growing problem of crime, lawlessness, and mafia type activity in Arab villages and towns where the traditional Arab family structure is disintegrating and youth unemployment, drugs and violence are endemic. To address these problems the Israeli government has supported and funded local Arab organisations like Al-Hirasa (The Watchmen), a social movement providing aid to the needy and protecting people from crime.
The government is feeding them with billions of shekels in the hope they will help maintain order in the Arab villages and towns.
The problem with this is that Al Hirasa is a religious organisation run by the Islamic Movement, following the policies of the Muslim Brotherhood, which aim ultimately at the elimination of Israel. It is allied to the Ra’am party, now a member of ruling coalition government. Ra’am’s leader, Mansour Abbas, said he has ‘set aside his national aspirations’ in order to cooperate with the Israeli government. His ‘national aspirations’ are the establishment of a Palestinian state ‘from the river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean)’. In other words, the end of Israel.
Israel’s policy towards Al Hirasa is similar to the one it had in the beginning with Hamas, supporting it as a local Arab movement providing a counterweight to the PLO. That did not turn out too well as experience in Gaza has shown. So now Israelis are asking, ‘Will Ra’am and al Hirasa go the same way as Hamas?’ Their influence is growing especially in the Arab areas in the north of Israel and in the Negev, threatening Israel with another front of militant Islam seeking its destruction, aided and abetted by the Israeli government.
Israel is being touted as the world’s real-life COVID-19 lab, with researchers around the world monitoring its progress and seeing it as ‘a working experimental lab for us to learn from.’ Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said,
If Israel is the lab experimental country, it’s not good news for Israel or the world. Israel has among the world’s highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19, but also one of the world’s highest infection rates.
Most are in fully vaccinated people, stoking concerns that the benefits of vaccination ebb over time. So a third vaccine is now required for Israelis to keep the keep their ‘Green Passport’ giving them access to society. Israelis have been told that the mass vaccinations will break the chain of infection and bring an end to this fourth wave.
Not everyone agrees. Critics of the programme warn of the dangers of repeated doses of the vaccine. One of these is known as ‘antibody dependent enhancement’ whereby repeated doses of the vaccine compromise the body’s natural immune system and make people more susceptible to common diseases, as well as encouraging the spread of variants.
A video has been released in which Israelis testify to negative reactions to the vaccine, blood clots, healthy young people incapacitated, some even dying, people left very tired, unable to walk, having allergic reactions, women having unnatural periods, losing babies. In particular it seems that people who are involved in high pressure activity like athletes are vulnerable. This is not good news for Israel’s army which needs a reserve of fit young people to defend the country.
Israeli Dr Feinstein is opposed to the current vaccination programme and is part of a spontaneous organisation of citizens that comprises doctors, lawyers and academics in response to violations of human rights in Israel. In an interview with Israel Today, he said:
He is not satisfied that this is the case. His conclusion is that the medical experiment being carried out in Israel is putting its population into danger.
Failed states on its borders
Both Gaza and the Palestinian Authority area are failed entities, with little money and restive populations subjected to corrupt and incompetent leaders. Lebanon is effectively bankrupt, with no power, money, little food and an increasing desperation amongst its people. Responsibility for the calamity that has befallen the country lies with the Islamic radical Hezbollah allied to Iran which has turned the country into a major confrontation state against Israel with thousands of rockets pointing at Israel.
After years of civil war much of Syria remains in ruins, with Russian and Iranian forces in the country, keeping Assad in power. Iran and Hezbollah are operating in the border areas of Syria in the Golan facing Israel. Iran has doubled its presence in southern Syria’s Golan Heights, while building a military infrastructure in the region, specifically for a future conflict with Israel.
Iran’s threat to Israel
General Hossein Salami, the chief of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has made the Iranian regime’s plans vehemently clear:
As an ally of Israel, the USA has played a major role in keeping radical Islamists, especially the Iranian Islamic regime, in check. Now the US has been trying to revive the Iran nuclear deal, which many see as a reversal in policy which threatens Israel. If successful this would allow Iran to achieve global legitimacy and allow the release of money to Iran, with which to continue its destabilisation of the Middle East. At present it looks like the programme will fail, as the US begins to lose patience with the intransigent Iranian regime which continues its progress towards a nuclear bomb.
Israel fears Iran is close to being able to produce a bomb and sees this as an existential threat. The Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi revealed that Israel has operational plans for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program as well as its missile and rocket sites.
Gog and Magog
Russia and Iran are allies with forces currently stationed in Syria just to the north of Israel. Russia is one of the few world powers that consistently defended the existence of Iran’s nuclear programme, which should be expected since they helped fund the work and sent Russian scientists to help develop it.
Turkey, which used to be an ally of Israel and pro-West has made a dramatic shift over the last decade. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been consolidating power in Turkey, replacing its former secular government with an Islamic Republic aligned against Israel. The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan is also strong and growing. Turkey too has forces in the north of Syria.
The leaders of these three countries have met several times to increase co-operation among their nations. A first strike attack by Israel against Iran’s nuclear program would certainly lead to a military response by Iran. Such an attack could provide Russia, Turkey and others the excuse they need to launch an invasion of Israel.
In this war the combined Russian and Islamic forces come against Israel in an invasion from the north aimed at destroying Israel:
Then God moves in and supernaturally destroys the invading army from the north saving Israel from destruction (Ezekiel 38.14-23).
As a result Israel turns to God (not necessarily yet to Jesus as Messiah). The Antichrist arises from a European alliance in the region of the former Roman Empire (the EU?), backed by the UN (啟示錄13章 and 17). After this war in which Israel is saved supernaturally by God, the world powers led by the emerging Antichrist make the peace covenant prophesied in the Book of Daniel 9.27.
This treaty with Israel promises peace, but turns out to be the covenant with death of Isaiah 28. It breaks down half way through and leads to the abomination of desolation and the final period of great tribulation prophesied for the last days in Daniel 11-12 and Matthew 24.
In the course of the Gog and Magog war there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, resulting in walls falling to the ground (Ezekiel 38.19-20). This may include the Dome of the Rock and al Aqsa mosques on the Temple Mount, as well as the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
As part of the peace agreement the Antichrist allows the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, which he later defiles, placing his image there to be worshipped as a god. This is the abomination of desolation standing in holy place, which Jesus said would set off the final period of great tribulation before His return to earth (Matthew 24.15-22). The Jews realise they have been deceived and flee from the scene and the final period of trouble begins.
In this time of trouble God reveals the identity of the Messiah to the Jewish people:
The one who has been pierced is Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, who died for our sins and rose again from the dead to give salvation and eternal life to all who repent and believe the good news / Gospel. His death by crucifixion is also prophesied in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. The prophecy of 撒迦利亞書12.10 shows that God will reveal the truth about the Messiah to many surviving Jews at the time, just before He returns to save Israel at the last battle over Jerusalem.
The end of this age then comes as the armies of the world gather for Armageddon (Zechariah 14, Revelation 16 and 19) and Yeshua / Jesus returns to earth in person, with all the power of God at His disposal to bring an end to the war, judge the world in righteousness and set up His Messianic kingdom on earth.
On His arrival He will stand on the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem from where He will begin His Messianic reign, bringing peace and justice to the earth for 1000 years (Isaiah 2, Revelation 20). Jerusalem and the Temple will be rebuilt and become the centre of the good world government of the Messiah.
Signs of the Times
One minute to midnight
The Cop 26 Climate Summit in Glasgow began with a number of predictions of impending doom if humanity does not resolve the problems caused by ‘Anthropomorphic (man-made) Global Warming’.
Boris Johnson said,
Prince Charles said Cop 26 is the last chance saloon:
Sir David Attenborough said,
In the event the final agreement was something of a disappointment for climate activists. Russia, China, India and Saudi Arabia all failed to come into line with the aim of reaching zero carbon by 2050. The outcome document, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, calls on 197 countries to report their progress towards more climate ambition next year, at COP27, set to take place in Egypt.
The UN Secretary General Guterres said,
He hopes the future conferences held yearly will bring governments into line with the UN Agenda 30, which is basically a plan for world government.
Crucial to the success of this programme will be the weather. All this assumes that there will be continual warming, with predictions of warming based on computer models. Many scientists question this view.
According to the 15 x NASA satellites that measure every square inch of the lower troposphere (where us humans reside), earth’s temperature was actually warmer back in 1987 than it is today. The evidence of present weather patterns is for colder weather generally, as a result of factors like the absence of sunspots, changes in the flow of the jet stream and conditions in the oceans. November 2021 saw a sharp decrease in solar activity, coupled with colder temperatures generally on earth.
The recent winter in the southern hemisphere was colder than usual with the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Antarctica and unusually cold weather in South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. As we enter winter in the northern hemisphere there has been some very cold weather bringing heavy snow to northern Europe, Russia, China and northern India. The ice in the Arctic is not doing what it is supposed to do (melt away). It is currently at its second highest level in 15 years and growing. It froze over earlier than usual this year, trapping a number of ships in thick ice.
Bible prophecies do indicate that there will be environmental catastrophes in the last days, but these will be the result of the judgement of God rather than human actions. Interestingly the world leaders gathered together in Glasgow to discuss how to save the world that God made, without anyone referencing our Creator or asking His opinion on the situation. If they had asked, He may have directed them to Psalm 2.
The Islamisation of France
Two thousand military servicemen signed a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron and the government, warning that France is on the verge of collapse and civil war because the state has ‘surrendered’ to radical Muslims. The letter followed an appeal by 20 retired generals and hundreds of former officers, in which they speak of ‘disintegration and Islamisation’ in progress. They said,
France’s General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) has mapped 150 districts ‘in possession’ of Islamists. These neighbourhoods have become enclaves in the hands of fundamentalists, who shape the areas according to their ideology, which, as the word Islam itself denotes, is one of submission. In many of these areas the police and public services are afraid to go and lawless gangs control the streets.
Said Edouard de Lamaze, president of the Observatory of Religious Patrimony.
French historian Georges Bensoussan said,
'In 2050 we will be a half-Islamic country, in 2100 we will be an Islamic republic’, according to Éric Zemmour, the journalist and presidential hopeful in 2022. Zemmour is campaigning on an anti Muslim platform. He has said,
Giulio Meotti wrote:
In Germany demands from Islamic organisations backed by Turkey, have forced the city of Cologne, once a stronghold of Christendom in Germany, to authorise mosques in the city to begin sounding Muslim calls to prayer over outdoor loudspeakers every Friday between noon and 3pm.
The move represents a significant step toward the cultural normalisation of Islam in Germany. Cities such as Dortmund, Hamm, Siegen, Düren and Oldenburg have also allowed mosques to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer over loudspeakers. In Nuremberg, which hosts a dozen mosques, allowing the call of the muezzin is apparently ‘not a problem’.
Observers believe that Cologne is establishing a national precedent, and that many of the more than 3,000 mosques in Germany will soon also begin publicly calling Muslims to prayer. The prayer calls (known as adhan in Arabic) can be heard from great distances when amplified through outdoor loudspeakers atop minarets. The muezzin proclaims religious slogans such as ‘there is no god but Allah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is the Greatest’). The standard adhan can be translated as: ‘Allah is most great. I testify that there is no god but Allah. I testify that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. Come to prayer. Come to salvation. Allah is most great. There is no god but Allah.’
This is a creed and a statement of political Islam, a statement of intent to dominate and cause all to submit to Islam. The call ‘Allahu Akbar’ is not only a call to prayer, but it has also become the battle cry of jihad by Islamist terrorists like the Taliban who have just conquered Afghanistan. As Europe abandons all forms of Christianity, Islam is ready to move in and fill the void.
Pope in alliance with Islam
While Islam eats away at the Roman Catholic roots of Europe, the Pope is busy making an alliance with Islamic leaders in his attempt to save the world. At a recent meeting with Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, the spiritual leader of the Sunni Muslim world, Pope Francis vowed to cooperate and consolidate the growing ties between Rome and Islam.
Both leaders discussed the religious, humanitarian, and moral issues that haunt the world today, and the challenges posed by changes and events on the global scene. The two sides also discussed the real role that religious leaders and scholars should play to reduce the intensity of war and division experienced by different regions around the world, and confront extremism.
They also expressed their keenness to continue the constructive dialogue and joint cooperation they started together recently, which has produced a historic document, the Human Fraternity Document, which was announced from Abu Dhabi in 2019. They appealed for a return to the teachings of religions in order for the world to escape from extremism, division and tyranny. Of course there was no reference to the way Islamic extremists are persecuting and killing Christians and suppressing the Christian faith in so many parts of the world.
The Pope has also denounced evangelism to people of other faiths as an unchristian activity, saying Catholics should not try to convert Muslims to Christianity.
Christians In Terror-Filled Nigeria
When Pastor Silas Yakubu Ali didn’t show up to preach on Sunday morning, there was one overriding feeling: dread. It wasn’t like the 55-year-old leader of the Evangelical Church Winning All to be late. As the hour grew later, people in the congregation left to search – each one praying that his disappearance wasn’t what they all feared.
In Nigeria, they knew, being a Christian or going to church could be a death sentence – one that had been carried out thousands of times this year already. A third of a mile from his house, Pastor Silas was found – his lifeless body next to the motorcycle that had run out of gas minutes from possible safety. To the church members’ horror, he had been macheted to death.
Like most pastors, Silas understood the threat of openly worshipping Jesus – and accepted it anyway, determined to preach the word of God in a country that’s become a killing field of Christians.
In 2021, the massacres happen almost nightly. The day after Pastor Silas’s murder, gunmen went after his congregation – slaughtering young boys in the fields and 11 more. One pregnant woman was ‘hacked to death,’ the baby cut out of her womb and laid on her then-empty stomach – one of countless grisly scenes. These last several months, the gangs of Fulani, Boko Haram, and other armed militants have become even more brazen, torching entire villages and farms, ambushing, and killing innocent people in gory, unspeakable ways.
The numbers, deep into 2021, are almost unfathomable – the worst, many believe, it’s ever been. Mass killings, the kind that used to be sporadic, are a national emergency now. One report estimated that as many as 8,000 Christians had been murdered in cold blood – just between January and September.
Islamist violence is spreading across the Sahel region of west Africa into countries like Mali, Mauretania and Burkina Fasso, and also in east Africa with recent attacks from al Shabab terror group linked to ISIS in Uganda and Mozambique. Christians are the prime victims of this terror.
Conversion therapy, prayer, and Christian counselling
This article from Archbishop Cranmer’s blog explains the moral and social implications of the government’s proposed Conversion Therapy (Prohibition) Bill.
‘As the government’s consultation on their conversion therapy bill nears its end, there is a sense of confusion and exasperation, if not of fear and despair. Not among those who have experienced past abuse … but among priests and pastors who wonder if they’ll ever again be able to counsel a teenage boy struggling with his sexuality, or pray with a girl who finds herself attracted to her best friend’s mother.
Those who seek to prohibit all forms of conversion therapy are urging the Government to outlaw non-physical conversion practices in religious settings, including prayer. Such things are coercive and abusive, they say, and may cause profound depression in the most vulnerable, if not drive them to suicide. So ‘conversion’ prayers along the lines of ‘Please Lord, please take this temptation away’ must be prohibited, and so must all pastoral counselling which does anything but affirm a person’s sexual orientation and essential desires for homosexual exploration. To encourage them to question or resist such urges will constitute a form of abuse. To allude to any sexual behaviour being unnatural will be an expression of hate. Even if the counselling is voluntary and consensual, the priest or pastor may not quote Scripture or refer to the Church’s moral teachings in this context, as this will be a form of manipulative coercion, or undue spiritual influence.
Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss has committed to defending freedom of speech and religious liberty; that is, ‘the ability of adults to consent and the freedom to express the teachings’. The problem is that there are those for whom consensual prayer and orthodox teaching are coercive and abusive, simply because they can make a person feel ‘negative’ toward themselves. Whether that feeling is one of being possessed by demons and consumed by self-disgust, or simply that of having a sense of sin in the light of the holiness of Christ, there is no apparent distinction to be made.
Then there is the Christian home life: will parents be able to raise their children in accordance with the values and morality of Scripture and Church teaching? Or could the police be called when a boy’s conversation with his father begins to feel like ‘therapy’ about sexual orientation or gender identity? The Conversion Therapy (Prohibition) Bill is unclear on this, so the Act of Parliament (should it become so) is likely to lead to dozens of false allegations against priests, pastors and parents simply for having a conversation about same-sex marriage or trans identity issues.
The Coalition for Marriage outlines some possible scenarios:
• Noah, aged 13, asks his dad what he thinks about same-sex marriage. His dad says he’s totally against it. Noah disagrees. He tells a youth worker about the argument, saying, ‘I might want to get married one day, and who knows whether it will be to a man or a woman?’ The youth worker claims to the police that the father was trying to change Noah’s sexual orientation.
• Parents find out that their daughter Olivia, aged 14, has been visiting the website of Mermaids, a controversial trans group. Her parents block her access to the website. Olivia mentions it to her teacher in passing. The teacher reports it because he believes Olivia is actually a trans boy whom the parents are trying to change. Police interview the parents.
• A school is heavily promoting trans rights, using Stonewall and Mermaids materials. A teenage boy, Jack, tells his school teacher he thinks he’s a girl trapped in a boy’s body but doesn’t want his parents to know. The school treats him as a girl. When Jack’s parents find out, they withdraw him from the school. The parents are reported for conversion therapy.
What the debate around conversion therapy in religious settings seems to ignore is that for the Christian the whole of life is one of perpetual inner transformation; of constantly turning away from sin and sinful desires, and renewing the heart or turning the mind toward the light to discern a right spirit that better reflects the purity of Christ. Prayer is integral to this, and prayer which intervenes to bring healing and wholeness is intrinsically therapeutic, not least because that is the etymology of the term: therapeia (Gr): to heal; to minister to. In Christ we have a new identity; we are a new creation, and discovering it is a lifelong pursuit of continual conversion.
The whole of the Christian life is one of self-therapy, and of shared mutual therapy in communion with others. We are all called to be faithful, including in our sex lives, and one person’s voluntary abstinence is another’s coerced repression. If a priest or pastor is free to preach against men and women giving free reign to their passions and lusts, why may they not then counsel the same-sex attracted person against doing the same?
The Conversion Therapy (Prohibition) Bill does not simply concern itself with physical and emotional abuse in the realm of sexual identity, but with the definition of sin and the nature of temptation in the realm of spirituality. Religious exemptions and freedom protections may find their way into the Conversion Therapy (Prohibition) Act, but these will be ineffectual in the face of totalitarian demands for gender- identity ‘neutrality’ and compassionate counselling conformity.
We return to the fundamental question which nobody advancing this agenda seems to be willing (or able) to answer. Why should consensual spiritual counselling be banned when it concerns unwanted same- sex attraction in teenagers, while irreversible medical interventions with profound developmental consequences are encouraged in the context of gender transitioning children? Why should homosexual affirming organisations like Stonewall and Mermaids be free to encourage children to practice homosexuality or to change sex, but Christians be forbidden to say this is not in line with the will of God?
Surely a Conservative government is not going to make windows in a pastor’s soul and coerce them by law to affirm that a person is transgender and ensure that they propagate the state’s definition of sin? Surely a Conservative government isn’t going to make it illegal for people to be ‘transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’?
Quoted with permission from https://archbishopcranmer.com
Rumours of wars
A Russian invasion of Ukraine could trigger the biggest conflict in Europe since World War 2, said Sir Tony Radakin, head of UK armed forces. Ukrainian military intelligence believes Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine at the beginning of 2022 as its forces are massing on Ukraine’s eastern border.
At least 90,000 troops backed by hundreds of heavy artillery weapons and tanks are already in place and reports suggest this figure could rise to 175,000 by next year. Russia has already taken Crimea into its territory from Ukraine and is supporting separatists in the east of the country who want union with Russia. It could occupy much of the east of the country and then demand a pro Russian government be put in place in Kiev as a settlement. Ukraine’s intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that the US should deter a Russian invasion by increasing its military support for Kiev.
Russia denies that it has any intention to invade Ukraine. However it is opposed to the current Ukrainian regime which seeks closer ties to the EU. Putin has sought assurances that Ukraine will not be permitted to join NATO but to no avail. Ukraine is not currently part of NATO so it is unlikely that there would be any military intervention from the US or Europe if there is an invasion from Russia. A hot war between Russia and NATO would be catastrophic. A lesser deterrence to Russia would be sanctions on Russia’s gas supply to Europe, which is heavily dependent on Russia for its energy needs, especially Germany. As well as harming Russia such a move could cause power shortages, as the lights go out all over Europe.
The leader of Taiwan, the island at the centre of rising tensions between the United States and China, said the threat from Beijing is growing ‘every day,’ as for the first time she confirmed the presence of American troops on Taiwanese soil.
Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war more than 70 years ago. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping has spoken of China’s goal of taking over Taiwan:
Earlier this month, China’s military sent a record number of warplanes into the air around Taiwan while diplomats and state run media warned of a possible invasion unless the island toes the CCP line. China warned that it may use nuclear weapons if any outside country involves itself in a conflict over Taiwan. There are some US forces currently stationed in Taiwan and there is a defence agreement between the US and Taiwan.
Either of these situations risks the threat of nuclear armed Russia and China being drawn into conflict with the US and its allies. Because of the enormous risks involved we can only hope that there will be no war, especially one involving nuclear weapons. While Bible prophecy puts the last war in the Middle East it is possible that limited wars will take place before then. Any conflict involving Russia, China and the US and NATO could have catastrophic consequences for the world. So we pray that this will not happen.
Last word – Last hour – Last days
This is the verse which we started this magazine with. John speaks about the coming of the Antichrist and the last hour. Critics of the Bible say this was written nearly 2000 years ago and the last hour has not come, so there’s nothing to worry about in all this talk about the last days.
Two points to make on this issue. Firstly the ‘last days’ actually began at Pentecost (note Peter’s use of the prophecy of Joel in Acts 2.17). The coming of the Antichrist will be one of the last of the last days’ events, coming just before the second coming of Jesus.
Secondly in the original Greek the text reads ‘eschati ora’ which means ‘last hour’ with no word ‘the’ included.
John is saying what he sees happening in the Roman Empire at the end of the first century is a sign of the crisis that will come at the end of days before the coming again of the true Messiah. There were persecutions at hands of Rome, especially when the emperor declared himself a god and demanded to be worshipped as lord, something the Christians could not do. John was also seeing the rise of false teachers, who are the ‘many antichrists’ he refers to. These denied the central truths of the Gospel, that Jesus is Lord, Son of God and Son of Man (1 John 2.22-3, 4.2). They became known as the Gnostics. For information on this send for our article on the Gnostic Gospels or go to https://lightforthelastdays.co.uk/ articles/alternative-spiritualities/the-gnostic-gospels-2/. John is saying that these teachers are typical of the many ‘antichrists’ who will precede and prepare the way for the final Antichrist.
But now we really do see the signs of the last days taking place around us. There are many antichrists and the world situation is leading us towards the end of days scenario and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The world is entering a crisis time with no way out which will cause people to be afraid of what is coming on the earth. Wise people see what is coming and ask God to save them from the judgement of God to come. Scoffers mock the Gospel message and stay in their sins as the times get darker.
Our redemption comes when we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus. Those who do this will be ready when Jesus comes to take us to be with Himself in His eternal kingdom. Then we will have a glorious future and hope and can look up and lift up our heads even as the world gets darker.
Don’t be left behind. Now is the day to put your trust in Jesus and have eternal salvation. Here is a prayer to ask Jesus into your life and give you eternal salvation:
All the things that we write of in this magazine are pointers to the fulfilment of Bible prophecies of the last days in our day and the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The most important thing we can do, in the light of this, is to call on the name of the Lord for salvation, so we are ready to meet Him at His coming.