Jesus told us to “watch” and be aware of what is happening. Our Lord was critical of those who knew the signs of the weather (‘red sky at night’), but who “cannot interpret the signs of the times”. (Matthew 16:1-5). In the Old Testament we learn that the Sons of Issachar were “men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (I Chronicles 12:32). The relevant question for this day and time is: Do we UNDERSTAND what is happening in our times? Are we missing “the signs of our times”? Below are a few of those signs, some more critical than others, but all matters of which we should be aware and which we need to understand.
A. The President of the Daughter of Babylon’s Use of a Biblically Symbolic Name – Prophecy gives us 30 clues to the identity of Mystery Babylon/the Daughter of Babylon. A major clue is that this prophesied end times nation would be “the hammer of the whole earth” (Jeremiah 50:23). The US certainly fits that role with its 800 plus military bases scattered across the globe and military spending approaching a trillion dollars a year. In the President’s speech at West Point this week he said:
“Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.”
The Oxford English Dictionary contains over 171,000 words, many of them nouns. Instead of choosing any one of those words to describe America, the President chose “hammer”, the same word used by Jeremiah. Interesting.
B. National Celebrity Attacks the Constitution and the Bible, and Declares Victory in the Culture War – Bill Maher is the host of HBO’s Real Time and is a widely-watched political commentator and comedian. This week on his show he aired a news clip of a gay NFL player kissing his male partner. He attacked the NFL player who tweeted a criticism of the televised kiss, but said he had the right to say what he said under the “a__hole section of the Constitution”. Really? The First Amendment is the objectionable part of the US Constitution? In addition to the fact that our free speech rights under the First Amendment allow Maher to spew his objectionable views, we should not forget that religious freedom is included in the First Amendment. We certainly should be wary when such a critical part of the Constitution is attacked on national television – with no objections raised.
Maher further said, “Folks, we had a televised, celebrated inter-racial gay kiss during the NFL draft. The Culture War is over and we won!” (Heavy applause). Maher then criticized the Benham Brothers’ beliefs in support of traditional marriage, applauding HGTV for dropping their proposed TV show. He said, “But if you’re a Christian, you may condemn their homophobia, but they got it out of the same dumb book which you also revere.”
Whew! Did you read that any Christian leader or spokesman, anywhere, stood up and objected to the attack on the Bible, or objected to Maher’s declaration of victory in the Culture War? Is that because in their hearts and minds they know that Maher is right – the Culture War is over and the devil has won? Nineteen states now allow same sex marriage, with more federal judges each month joining the parade. US Senator Orin Hatch, a Mormon, this week said, “Let’s face it: anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn’t been observing what’s going on.” The cover story of TIME magazine last week featured a transvestite man dressed as a woman. The title of the cover article? “THE TRANSGENDER TIPPING POINT – America’s next civil rights frontier.” Any doubt about who won the Culture War?
C. The US Government Opposes Pro-Israel Groups – A federal judge in DC this week allowed a lawsuit by several Israel groups against the IRS to go forward. The IRS has tried since 2009 to get the suit dismissed, but failed, as it must now respond to the claim that the IRS has discriminated against pro-Israeli groups who submitted tax-exempt status applications. Z Street, the plaintiff, has alleged that any application with the IRS that appeared to be from a group that favored Israel “was sent to a special unit in the DC office” to see if their activities “contradicted the administration’s public policies”. God promises that any nation that curses Israel will be cursed. (Genesis 12:3). We invite His judgment when we harm His chosen people.
D. Who is This Pope? While we’re on the subject of hurting Israel, did you see the news coverage of Pope Francis’ recent trip to the Middle East? Where did he begin his trip? At a section of a wall near Bethlehem on which was spray painted an attack on Israel comparing it to the Warsaw Ghetto. 33,000 Jews died in the WWII ghetto. No Muslims are dying in Bethlehem, in fact most Christians have been forced out of the town of Jesus’ birth. The Pope placed his hand on the offensive wall and prayed for a “free Palestine”. The Vatican said that the Pope intended to be the “Che Guevera of the Palestinians”. While there the Pope endorsed “the State of Palestine”, which will require Israel to give up much of its God-given land, in spite of the fact that God told Israel not to give up its land.
E. Iran Calls for Destruction of Israel and America and their Nuclear Weapons – Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last Sunday that Iran would no longer discuss its nuclear weapons plans and that Iran’s “ideals include destroying America”. The Defense Minister of Iran this week said that instead of discussing how to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, instead the world should agree to rid Israel and America of their nuclear weapons, in what he called a “complete annihilation”.
F. Where is the Church? – Why are all these things happening? Where is the Church in all this? The Barna Group released a survey of young American adults showing that the percentage who follow Biblically based values for living has now dropped from 65 percent after WWI to 4% today. Since 45% of Americans claim to be born-again Christians one has to wonder why we have not had a significant impact on the nation. II Chronicles 7:14 has never been repealed, and unfortunately nor has it been fulfilled in our lifetime. Franklin Graham in a speech at the Watchmen on the Wall conference in DC last week said, “I have friends who are pastors who say they want to preach the Gospel and not become targets. Well, don’t you think the Lord Jesus Christ was a target? Could we get our heads chopped off? We could, maybe one day. So what? Chop it off.” He further said, “God hates cowards…We have a responsibility to speak on the moral issues. Abortion, homosexuality, these are moral issues…I want you to know it’s a sin against God. This is a sin.”
SIGNS OF OUR TIMES - A time is coming, and coming soon, when a speech like Rev. Graham’s will be a criminal offense. Soon, very soon, anyone who expresses, publicly or privately, their Christian view of marriage and homosexuality will be labeled as a criminal, a bigot, a fool, an ignorant homophobe, a miscreant who must be fired from their pulpit, from their job, from their club, from their neighborhood and excluded from public life. Throwing in with the new Culture Wars victors and agreeing that the “dumb” Bible is wrong may not work for those who turn their back on their prior Christian views. If you ever were pro-life, or ever contributed to a pro-traditional marriage campaign, or ever did or said anything that’s not acceptable to the new thought police, you are likely to be punished no matter what you say now.
Don’t believe it? Ask Brendan Eich who was forced to step down as the CEO of search engine giant Mozilla. What was his crime, his offense? When 52% of California voters approved Prop 8in 2008, affirming traditional marriage as the law in California, Eich pledged $1,000 towards the campaign to support marriage as the world has known it for 6,000 years. That’s it. But, in 2014 he can’t be a CEO of a large company which he helped found because a few years ago he pledged money towards a cause which today is just not acceptable, according to the culture. If that’s true today, what do you think tomorrow will bring?
For more details on what the Bible says will happen to the Daughter of Babylon/America go to www.endofamericabook.com . If you like to read fiction, based on scripture, there are links on the website to three novels based on THE END OF AMERICA: SECOND TERM, THE WARNING and THE DAY.