Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Time of The Antichrist

We just passed December 21, 2012.  This was the date of the Mayan Apocalypse.  The world was supposed to end that day.  They even had a scientific reason for it.  The planets in our solar system were to be all be lined up perfectly creating stress on the gravitational points on the sun that keep the various planets rotating around it.  Then on December 21, for the first time in 25,000 thousand years the earth was to cross the galaxy’s elliptical plane. This was supposed to create even more gravitational pressure on the sun leading to huge solar flares that would destroy the earth.  This is the simplistic explanation

But it didn't happen that way.  I have to tell you, I wasn't even worried that it would happen at all, because the Bible presents a very different version of the end of the world. So I want to submit a post today, on certain events that are foretold in the Bible that will lead to the end of the earth.

I believe that we are in the very last of the last days.  There are events that are taking place in the news today that are runners up to the final apocalyptic battle that will usher in the return of Jesus Christ.  Today, I want to write about on one aspect of those prophecies from this portion of scripture:

Mark 13:9-13 (NKJV)
13:9 But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

The Background

The Bible speaks of the lawless one, the Antichrist that will rise up in domination of the entire world. 

Revelation 13:5-7 (NKJV)
13:5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

This passage of revelation describes a beast that will rise from the sea.  In apocalyptic language the sea refers to the “sea of humanity.”  So a man will rise up and power will be given to him over all tongues and nations.  This means that he will have power over every nation of the world.  He will be a Global leader, one person with the highest authority in all the earth. 

You might be thinking that this time is not close.  You may argue that preachers have been declaring these to be the last days since Jesus’ time.  In fact, Jesus himself, referred to the time following his death as the last days.  But I would submit to you today, that we are very close to seeing these things take place in our lifetimes.

There are a number of things that are slowly being placed under global authority.  There is an attempt to destroy national sovereignty.  In fact look at this quote by one of President Clinton’s Deputy Secretaries of State, Strobe Talbot.

In the next century nations as we know it will be obsolete, all states will recognize a single global authority.  National Sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all.

He said this in 1998 one of the final years of the twentieth century, so he was saying this about the century we live in now; the twenty-first century. 

We have seen this beginning to take place.  In recent years, both Russia and China have called for one global currency.  That is one currency that is used throughout the world.  We have seen the rise of “coalition wars,” rather than one sovereign nation making war on another to protect its interests.  Individual nations are ostracized for acting on sovereign authority without the acceptance or permission of the United Nations.

Sanctions on nations that threaten world peace are issued by a vote of the Security Council the United Nations.  Most recently there has been a call for UN control of the Internet:

“Telecom companies across the world may be given the opportunity to dig through data passed across the Internet more easily following a move by the United Nations new authority to regulate the Web.

At a conference in Dubai this week, members of the United Nation’s (sic) International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agreed to work towards implementing a standard for the Internet that would allow for eavesdropping on a worldwide scale.

The ITU members decided to adopt the Y.2770 standard for deep packet inspection, a top-secret proposal by way of China that will allow telecom companies across the world to more easily dig through Web data, according to a report from Russia Today.”

Al Arabiya News, Dec. 6, 2012

A one-world body seeks an easier way to eavesdrop on private citizens on the Internet. To what purpose, though:  Why do they want to eavesdrop?  Because in eavesdropping there is control. 

Julian Assange , founder of Wikileaks, describes the use of social media networks as a way of informing on family and friends that is similar to the way the Stasi (secret police) in East Germany gathered information during the cold war.  What makes this so dangerous is that people are informing on others without realizing it.  Information is put together with information from other sources to create a picture of the subject’s political and ideological makeup.  This can be used to monitor, regulate the movements of, and control those that may be considered enemies:  Not be the enemies of a state or country but of a political agenda or ideology.  We’re talking about a leader’s ability to control people.  Look at this Assange quote:

Bill Binney, National Security Agency whistle-blower  who was the research head of the National Security Agency’s Signals Intelligence Division, describes this as a ‘turnkey totalitarianism’, that all the infrastructure has been built for absolute totalitarianism

Look back at verse 12 of our text:

Mark 13:12 (NKJV)
13:12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

This type of betrayal is possible now through the Internet.  These things are happening now in our day and hour.  It is possible for one man to rise up and gain power over the entire world.  One man, through the use of these tools, can rule the world.  All it would take is one event that necessitates the use of this information that is available for inspection now.

What Will He Be Like?  

Revelation 13:1 (NKJV)
13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.

This is the language of prophecy.  It is written in symbolic ways.  Let’s look at this passage for a moment.  I saw a beast rise up out of the sea.  The sea represents humanity, so he rose up being superior to other people, a charismatic leader.  There is a reference to ten crowns.  The crowns represent kingdoms.  So the one that will rise up will be a political leader.  But look at this:

Revelation 13:4-5 (NKJV)
13:4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

The dragon that symbolizes Satan, will give power to this man.  He will be the leader of a powerful nation and a powerful army.  He will be an incredible speaker.  He will have demonic power and he will rule forty-two months.

Revelation 13:7 (NKJV)
13:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

This is where our text ties into the things we’re talking about; betrayal, death persecution, and hatred.  He will make war against the saints.  That’s Christians.  You can see the war on Christianity that is taking place already.  More and more Christian symbols, beliefs and values are being removed from the public view, and society in general. 

This year the president of the United States had fifty-four Christmas trees in the various parts of the White House, except they aren't called Christmas Trees, they’re called holiday trees.  Which, of course, prompts the question, “What holiday is it?”  What holiday are they for?  Arbor Day? 

Crosses are coming down in public places all over America.  “Under God,” is under assault in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, and there is a movement to remove the words “In God We Trust,” from U.S. currency.  Soon preachers won’t be able to mention homosexuality without it being judged as hate speech and facing legal charges.  This is happening now.  People will begin to betray others and inform on others and the power of the Antichrist to control will be complete.  What’s happening today is spiritual.  It’s the dragon, “that dragon of old,” Satan that gives this man his power and influence.  Finally, there’s this:

Revelation 13:8-9 (NKJV)
13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

The man will be worshiped as if he is God.  How can this be?  How can we be convinced to accept a politician as God?    Look at some of the things that were said about presidential candidate Barak Obama in the 2008 election:

“He communicates God-like energy.  He’s a lot closer to a Jesus type than any other candidate….What if God decided to incarnate as men preaching “hope and change” and we didn't listen to them, because we are so dull and let them slip away, not availing ourselves of the chance to be led by God.”
                                                                                                Steve Davis

He’s like Jesus.  God incarnated as man.

“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite…They do not inform.  They don’t even inspire they elevate…he is not the word made flesh but the triumph of the word over flesh.  Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our higher selves.”
                        Ezra Klein, Associate Editor, American Prospect Magazine

He’s not the word made flesh he is the triumph of the word over flesh.  He’s better than Jesus.

“Obama comes along and he seems to have all the answers…This is New Testament.”                                          Chris Matthews MSNBC

Chris Matthews is saying that Barak Obama is the same as Jesus.

Finally, recently Jamie Foxx, introduced Barak Obama to a crowd at the “Soul Train Awards” using the words, “Our lord and savior, Barak Obama.” 

This is the media; the shaper of people’s thoughts and beliefs calling him a god and people will believe that follow him as if he is God.  Even in Taiwan, people tell me all the time about how great President Obama is because of the things they've heard through the media.  This man, I’m referring to the antichrist, will be lifted up far beyond any adulation that is given to Barak Obama.  He will bring pace to the Middle East and the entire world, and then will rule as the greatest dictator we've ever seen.

All of his power will be derived from the devil.  Seven years after his rise to power all of the world’s armies will come together in the plain of Meggido, for the battle called Armageddon.  Those seven years are called the tribulation.  You can read in the Bible what will happen in those days.  There will be battles and earthquakes and disease.  Men will pray for death but it will not come.  There will be darkness and suffering and then the end will come. 

What About the People of God?

Mark 13:13 (NKJV)
13:13 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

He says that he who endures to end will be saved.  This is interesting, because it refers to those who are saved after the Antichrist appears.  Before this happens, though, we will be caught up. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (NKJV)
4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 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. 17 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.
This moment, called the rapture of the church, will take place before the Antichrist rises to power.  This will happen before we are required to endure the suffering and persecution of that time.  Jesus will come back for His church.  If you are a Christian today and remain fixed in the will of God you will not have to endure the Antichrist and his tribulation. 

What we are seeing now is the buildup to those events.    We are seeing things being put into place.  We are seeing the beginnings of labor pains.  Barak Obama is not the Antichrist but he is a harbinger of the Antichrist to come.  I believe that man is alive and working in the world today, preparing for his destiny.  The time has not come for him to be revealed, but I believe that time will soon be upon us.

As for us, we still have time to reach others.  We still have time to labor for Christ.  We still have time to worship God freely, but it is time to begin to listen for the shout.  It’s time to begin to listen for the trumpet of God.  It is time more than ever to dig in and really labor to draw other people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.   Time is of the essence.  Time is winding up.

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