Newsletter 110 winter 2014
Will 2014 prove significant in the outworking of end time prophecy? With the sequence of blood red moons and solar eclipses which will take place both this year and in 2015 there are many who think it will. This edition of Trumpet Sounds looks at two events which could occur this year.
The global economy is an area where dramatic change could take place at any time. It is built like a house of cards. One jolt and the lot will tumble down. The recovery we see today is founded on a massive increase in debt. The best cards have already been played. If something occurs which causes a jolt there is little that can be done to save the situation.
Faced with consistent policy failure both at home and abroad, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are desperate to forge a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. To what lengths will they go to twist Israel’s arm? By the end of 2014 Israel will be more on her own than ever before, especially if she has to take direct action against Iran.
In this edition
The fall of Babylon
The Great Anguish – Part 6 the Man of Sin
Dishonest Reporting Awards 2014
Israel Palestinian Peace Talks
Babylon the Great and the Turkish Antichrist
Changing patterns in the Middle East
Fall of Babylon
Revelation ends with a vision of the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ. Before that in Revelation chapters 17 and 18 we are told of the fate of her opposite number Babylon the Great, the Harlot bride of Satan. The New Jerusalem is made up of all those who have trusted Christ as their redeemer. Babylon the Great comprises all that hate God and reject His ways.
The New Jerusalem is the kingdom of God. Those who faithfully represented the kingdom of God in this present age belong to her. Babylon the Great is the kingdom of this world. She stands in opposition to the truth.
John says in his first letter, “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” 1 John 5:1, strong words. Christians need to see the world as God sees it, and listen to the words he spoke through John. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2: 15 – 17
The Babylon story covers the period of world history, from the flood to the return of Christ. For the whole of that period there has been constant warfare between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world.
What we call civilisation came out of Cain’s rebellion. No longer under the protection of God, Cain seeks security in the founding of a city [Gen 4: 16 – 24]. Lamech five generations on from Cain adds to the rebellion against God’s created order by taking two wives. His offspring, living in the city, develop the arts, technology and agriculture. Technology leads to weapons which allow Lamech to overpower a younger stronger man. He boasts that he no longer needs to rely on God’s retribution. ‘Civilisation’ was born.
The rebellion was repeated after the flood by Nimrod who founded cities and gave protection to people from the animal kingdom which was going wild [Gen 10: 8 – 12]. Soon Babel which was founded by Nimrod was in rebellion. With history about to repeat itself the Lord intervenes [Gen 11: 1 – 9].
In scripture Babylon represents the kingdom of this world which is opposed to the people of God and at times triumphs over them. Rooted in an historical rebellion it becomes a symbol for any organised structure that attempts to replace God’s kingdom with a human or demonic substitute.
Whatever else Babylon the Great may have been, at the end of her days she has become preoccupied with money. She has enticed the leaders and the peoples of the world to follow after her in the pursuit of luxury. Babylon is a trading power filled with pride. All the merchants and those who have grown rich through trade with her will mourn when she falls.
In these closing years of the present age it is the western world which fits the description of Babylon the Great. The leaders of the world and the nations aspire to share in her wealth. For man she is the pinnacle of civilisation but in the sight of God she is evil, corrupt and soon to fall.
In the last Trumpet Sounds we commented on the parlous state of the world economy due to ever increasing national debt. There are many who believe that a crisis is inevitable.
If the global financial system collapsed, what would be the consequences? Gordon Brown’s spin Doctor, Damien McBride, claimed in his autobiography ‘Power Trip’, that during the 2008 financial crisis the deployment of troops on Britain’s streets was discussed.
McBride quotes Brown as saying; “If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cash points aren’t working, and people go to Tesco and their cards aren’t being accepted, the whole thing will just explode. If you can’t buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids, people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves. And as soon as people see that on TV, that’s the end, because everyone will think that’s OK now, that’s just what we all have to do. It’ll be anarchy. That’s what could happen tomorrow.”
According to McBride, Brown was gripped by the seriousness of the crisis. He saw it as having the potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order. His fears were born out in the riots of the summer 2011. With negligible provocation, city centre’s were torn apart by lawlessness. How much worse it will be if people are truly desperate due to the inability to access their money and buy the goods they need.
Civil unrest is a possible short term outcome following a crash. In the longer term crippling inflation, high interest rates and a very deep depression are the probable result. Faced with the prospect of chaos, lawlessness and inflation how should the Christian respond?
The Christian Response
Rejoice!!!!!! We will rejoice because the kingdom of the world has been judged for all her sins. We will rejoice because our Saviour is about to come to begin His reign on earth. We will rejoice because we know that the marriage of the Lamb is at hand.
How should we prepare for the times which lie ahead?
God calls us to come out of Babylon [Rev 18:4]. We are called to come out of her, to live by different standards. If we allow ourselves to become caught up in the materialism of the age and craving after wealth, we are in danger of falling under the judgment coming on this world. Our security must be in God not in the riches of this world. We are to come out by living according to the standards of God’s Kingdom. Our values will be to do what pleases Him. We will have no part in the selfish striving to please only ourselves that characterizes the present age. You cannot serve God and mammon.
We are to believe that it is the intention of God, that in this time of chaos, His church will shine. We will be strong because of our trust in Him. Therefore we need to examine our hearts. Do we really trust Him or do we trust in salaries, pensions and savings. The very things the world trusts in but which may soon be taken away?
Do we walk in faith that the God of the Bible is still able to provide? To some God will give the faith that the bin of flour will not be used up and the jar of oil will not run dry [1 Kings 17: 14]. Others will understand that through offering to share meagre resources God is able to miraculously provide for all [Matthew 15: 36]. Some may be led to lay up stores in readiness [Genesis 41: 35, 36] but only as the Lord clearly leads. If not done in response to His leading, we will place our trust in our own efforts and not faith in Him. When the world seizes what we have laid up our faith will fail.
By demonstrating our faith in God we will lead many to righteousness. “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever”. Dan 12: 3
If the foundations are destroyed
what shall the righteous do?
How should we respond to the destruction of our Christian heritage and the growing hostility toward the Christian faith?
A day conference to be held at Crawley New Life Church,The Glade, Furnace Green, Crawley RH10 6JL
Saturday 8th March 2014
between 10.30am and 4.30 pm.
Booking fee £10.00 to include a buffet lunch.
John has been pastor of the South of Reading Christian Fellowship for 36 years. His ministry is teaching on the whole counsel of the Word of God, including Israel and End Times from a prophetic point of view. He has ministered widely in this country as well as abroad and has served on several boards of Christian ministries.
Chris trained for the Anglican Ministry at Tyndale Hall, Bristol. After a Curacy in Poole, he became Director of Pilgrims Hall, a Christian Renewal Centre near Brentwood in Essex. This was followed by a time as Principal of the Christian Life Bible College, based at the City Temple in London and resident Bible teacher at Mulberry House. Chris has an established Bible teaching ministry both in this country and abroad. He has also led more than 80 tours of the Holy Land.
The Great Anguish – Part 6 The Man of Sin
Can the return of the Lord happen at any time or are there events which must precede it? It appears that this question troubled the church in Thessalonica. Some among them were teaching that the day of the Lord was a past event. Perhaps like many in today’s church these teachers believed that Christ’s kingdom was spiritual, therefore there was no need to teach about His return.
In His first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul had described how that when Jesus returns we will be caught up to be with the Lord. In his second letter he writes to clear up the confusion surrounding the timing of our being gathered to be with Jesus. At the time the letter was written there were a number of prophecies still to be fulfilled. For instance the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple were still future. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul is led to select two key events which will precede “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him.”
Apostasy and the man of sin
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who 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” 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4.
Before Jesus returns for His bride, there will be a falling away and the ‘man of sin’ will be revealed. This ‘man of sin’ is central to our understanding of the time of great anguish which will close this age. From 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12, we learn that his appearing is entirely according to the will of God.
- He is revealed when God decides that he is to no longer to be restrained.
- He is permitted to appear so that the perishing are divided from those who love the truth.
- The delusion surrounding him is sent by God to ensure that all who love unrighteousness are condemned.
- He will be destroyed when Jesus intervenes.
Satan will be permitted to use all his power to create signs and lying wonders in order to deceive mankind. By these deceptions he will bring about the falling away warned of in scripture. Jesus also warned that there will be a falling away prior to the end. “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold”. Matthew 24: 12.
Identifying the man of sin
There are three defining characteristics set out in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1 – 12 which link the Man of Sin to other scriptures where the same person is described using other names.
The first is his pride and blasphemy. He will exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped. He will even go as far as usurping the place of God showing himself to be God.
The second is the time of his appearing. He will be revealed just before the coming of the Lord. We are not to confuse this man with any of the other evil men who have come and gone in the past.
The third is his destruction by Jesus Christ.
The little horn
In Daniel 7 four beasts are seen rising from the great sea. From the fourth beast comes a little horn described as possessing eyes like a man and uttering great boasts. In verse 25 we are given more detail of this little horn’s blasphemy. “He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; they will be given into his hand for time, times and half a time.” The passage goes on to relate that the court will sit and this vile little horn will be annihilated and destroyed forever. Therefore the little horn of this passage shares the three defining characteristic of the Man of Sin. His outspoken blasphemy, his existence at the end of time and his destruction by the personal intervention of God, confirm that the little horn and the Man of Sin is the same person. His empire is described as; “dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong, and with large iron teeth”. He will crush the three preceding empires. His persecution of the saints will last three and a half years before Jesus intervenes to bring it to an end.
A rather small horn
After reading Daniel 7 we may want to know more about what this little horn will be like. Chapter 8 gives us an insight. It opens with imagery of a ram and a goat which direct out attention to the Persian and Greek empires. Verse 8 foretells how the Greek empire will be split into four separate parts. Between verses 8 and 9 we jump 150 years. We are told that out of one of these four empires a rather small horn will arise. The setting enables us to identify the small horn as Antiochos Epiphanes. He is the subject of the prophecy not because he is distinguished or a great leader, but because of what he does to the Jews. He brings about one of the most terrible times in their sorrowful history.
The second half of the chapter provides Daniel with an explanation on the vision. In the explanation we are told, “that the vision pertains to the time of the end”. There are aspects of the explanation which look beyond Antiochus to an end time king. His pride and opposition to the Prince of princes followed by his being broken without human agency all point to the Man of Sin. Antiochus was a fore runner who typifies what the final tyrant will be like.
The King of the North
Towards the end of chapter 11 we come across another blasphemer. “Then the king will do as he pleases, and will exalt himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods;” Daniel 11: 36. Up to this point chapter 11 has prophesied a conflict between the King of the North and the King of the South which lasted about 300 years. The conflict culminates with the rule of Antiochus Epiphanes.
At verse 36 there is a jump in time. The prophecy now closes with the time of trouble which precedes the resurrection. His blasphemy, the time setting of the prophecy and his end all indicate that the King of the North is yet another name for the man of sin.
The rather small horn told us about the character of the Man of Sin, this prophecy adds geographical location. The King of the North ruled the Seleucid Empire which stretched from Turkey to the Indus River. Therefore we expect the final Man of sin to arise in the Middle East and at the very least rule the swathe of land from Turkey to Persia and Afghanistan. The King of the South represents Egypt. Verse 40 says that there will be a rebellion against the King of the North. He will overcome this rebellion and gain control of Egypt and have support from Libya and Ethiopia. This passage indicates that the reign of the man of sin will be a troubled time with threats from outside his kingdom. It casts doubt on the monolithic global dictatorship many predict.
Another man consumed with pride is found in Isaiah 10:12-27. The prophecy is set at the time when the Lord has completed His work on Mount Zion. At that time the Lord will intervene to punish the arrogant heart of the King of Assyria. In Isaiah’s time Assyria was sent against Israel as the ‘rod of my anger to punish a godless nation. King Ahaz had sought protection by forming an alliance with the King of Assyria. As with all such alliances the protector soon becomes the oppressor.
In the last days another likened to the King of Assyria will arise against Israel. God will use him to bring the nation to repentance.
“Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 10: 20.
Rely on the one who struck them confirms the words of Jesus that there will come a time when Israel will accept another as their saviour in place of Him who they rejected.
The above are some of the passages from the Old Testament scriptures which describe the Man of Sin. From these we see him as a ruler rising out of the Middle East. The principal concern of the Old Testament is his impact on Israel. At the end of the age he will cause Israel a terrible time of suffering. This time is brought to an end by the intervention of the Messiah and the conversion of the nation.
Dishonest Reporting Awards 2014
I have a book by Alexander Solzhenitsyn with the title ‘We never make mistakes’. It contains a couple of short stories about the inability of the bureaucracy in Stalin’s Russia to ever admit to making a mistake. The unfortunate subjects of the mistakes end up in the labour camps but the bureaucracy never ‘made a mistake’.
The BBC is gaining a reputation as an institution which can never admit to making a mistake. That is why in the ‘Dishonest Reporting Awards’ for 2013 it won the title ‘Most Bullheaded Broadcasting Corporation’. The following is an example of why the BBC won this award.
Operation Pillar of Defence was carried out by Israel in 2012 as a response to the 800 rockets which had been launched from Gaza during the preceding months and the 120 launched between the 10th and 14th November. In the conflict a picture of a BBC cameraman Jihad Misharawi holding his dead baby gained wide coverage. It was a distressing image guaranteed to win the sympathy of viewers. While preparing a report on the conflict, the UNHRC visited the home where the baby had been killed. Their report concluded that the damage to the building was most probably caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli airstrike. However the BBC remained defiant preferring to rubbish the UN report rather than acknowledge that there might be another side to the story.
Images are a powerful weapon. Another widely circulated image of the conflict shows Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh holding the body of a dead girl. A death blamed on Israel but in this case it is known with certainty that the cause was a Hamas rocket. Recognising the need for images to tell a story the BBC’s Jon Donnison reused a photo of a dead Syrian child just changing the caption to Gaza. He was not alone in using photos from other conflicts and relabeling them as Gaza.
The overall winner of the ‘Dishonest Reporting Award 2013’ was the New York Times. One of the factors leading to the award was repeated, insulting and dismissive commentary on Israel’s fears over Iran’s ambitions to create a nuclear weapon. http://honestreporting.com/the-2013-dishonest-reporting-awards/
Prophecy Conference –
The Voice of the Lord
10.30 to 4.30 on Saturday 29th March 2014
A day for those who love the Lord, His word and His covenant people: a time to learn, pray and share fellowship.
Speakers: Gerald Gotzen and Rod Boggia
Rod is the SW area representative for PFI & an experienced bible teacher
The venue for the annual Prophecy Conference is Rora House, Liverton Bovey Tracey TQ12 6HZ. This is the home of the lively Rora Christian Fellowship.
At the Drumbridges roundabout on the A38 [for Bovey Tracey & Newton Abbot] take the 1st left turning off the roundabout coming from Plymouth, or the 3rd left if coming from Exeter, signposted Liverton: a series of signs off this road will lead you to Rora House.
While this is a day conference, if you wish to stay at Rora you would be most welcome. Please contact Rora House direct Tel: 01626 821746.
‘No fixed charge is made for any accommodation at Rora, or for the use of the facilities. We do trust however, that each person/group will be faithful in their giving and thus enable the work to continue.’
Details from the RORA web site www.rorahouse.org.uk
The cost of the conference is £8.00 per person which includes a light lunch and tea. [£5.00 without lunch]
Cheques should be made payable to Dr K Kite
Name ………………………………… Number Attending .……
………………………………… Post Code ………………
Phone number ………………………… E-mail …………………
Diatry Requirements [if any]
The booking form and cheque should be sent to:
Dr. Ken Kite, 9 Armstrong Avenue, Exeter, Devon, EX4 5DJ.
Tel: 01392 439408 mob: 07811 030551
Israel – Palestinian Peace Talks
At the end of December DEBKAfile published the main points of the draft framework agreement for a final peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. The framework drawn up by US Secretary of State John Kerry is largely based on proposals submitted [but not accepted] in 2008 by then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Mahmoud Abbas. Some points are as follows:
- There would be a land swap allowing Israel to retain the principal settlements in the West Bank in exchange for giving the Palestinians Israeli territory.
- A safe passage will be created between the West Bank and the Gaza strip. One suggestion is an express nonstop railway between Gaza and Hebron.
- Sovereignty over the old city of Jerusalem will pass to an international commission comprising the US, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and Saudi Arabia.
- An international foundation will be established to resettle the majority of the Palestinian refugees in Canada and Australia. [This proposal first put forward by Bill Clinton was rejected by Yasser Arafat].
- The Jordan valley will be largely evacuated of settlers leaving only a chain of Israeli security posts along the Jordan River.
- The Israeli settlers in the West Bank living outside the main settlements will have to decide whether to remain and live under Palestinian rule or relocate. There will be a three year period in which settlers are relocated.
Obama and Kerry are determined to seal an agreement before they leave office. How far are they prepared to go in twisting Israel’s and the Palestinian’s arms to accept the framework? Kerry has threatened the Palestinians with the reduction in aid while setting Israel up to take the blame if the talks fail. He has said that it will be Israel’s fault if there is a third intifada, and that Israel will face increased isolation and delegitimisation within the international community.
A trap has been set for Israel. The Palestinians know that as they make more and more demands Israel will give up on the talks. The violence which then erupts will be blamed on Israel. The Palestinians can follow this up with an about turn. They can claim the moral high ground by dropping their demands and accepting the agreement. This will force Israel to accept it however much it disadvantages them. Some Palestinian leaders advocate acceptance as it will leave Israel weak and one step nearer annihilation.
There cannot be peace for Israel so long as the Arab nations refuse to accept the right of Israel to exist. It is this Arab intransigence which will bring down God’s judgment on the surrounding nations as foreseen in the Prophets.
Babylon the Great and the Turkish Antichrist
Recently my attention was drawn to a ‘youtube’ video with the above title. [See the link below]. It contains a lot of information supporting the idea of an Islamic Antichrist. It also proposes Saudi Arabia as the harlot of Revelation. This idea has been advanced by Walid Shoebat and others. Although I believe that the harlot has much wider significance as the kingdom of this world in contrast to the kingdom of God [see my earlier article], I recommend the video as worth watching. It is certainly true that an attack on Saudi Arabia would be a jolt that sends the world economy crashing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY20IFaWlsQ.
While the US refuses to release the text of the deal drawn up with Iran it seems that the terms of the deal have already been brought into question. According to the Times of Israel, Iran is pressing ahead with testing new and more efficient centrifuges for the enriching of uranium. At the same time the Iranian Parliament has passed a bill which demands that uranium is enriched to 60%, just under what is required for a nuclear weapon.
Top Iranian cleric and lawmaker Muhammad Nabavian said that this programme approved by parliament would enable Iran to produce a bomb in two weeks. He added, “We are not looking for a nuclear bomb, but having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put Israel down”. He also confirmed that the November agreement with the P5+1 had had a beneficial effect. Already Russia and China were lifting sanctions on Iranian banks allowing the transfer of revenue from oil sales.
President Theodore Roosevelt described his foreign policy as “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, today the US prefers to “Shout loudly and carry a big carrot”. Unfortunately the objects of their foreign policy eat the carrot and put in ear plugs.
Changing patterns in the Middle East
There are now three groupings of nations in the Middle East.
1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.
2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar,
Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.
3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.
The first two groups are on opposite sides of the Syrian civil war, while the third group is rumoured to be cooperating with Israel in planning how to deal with Iran. None of these groups are looking to either the USA or Europe for leadership. Russia and China are gaining influence as that of the West wains.
The former Prime Minister of Israel passed away in January. True to their anti-Israel bias much of the news media was quick to produce condemning obituaries.
The Daily Telegraph [a generally pro-Israel paper] accused Sharon of being incapable of a pro Arab emotion. To support this they quoted him as describing the Palestinians as ‘drugged cockroaches’. Actually it was Rafael Eitan who used the phrase which needs to be set in context.
Both Sky and Channel 4 News used the attack on the West Bank village of Qibya in which 69 villagers died to create an impression of his belligerence. The context, which was a response to long running attacks on Israel from the village, thought to be deserted at the time, was not given. Sky, along with other news media, also resurrected the discredited report that Sharon’s visit to the Temple mount ignited the second intifada.
CNN gave Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch freedom to vent her intensely anti-Israel bigotry. She lamented that, “He went to his grave without facing justice for what he did”. The Times and Associated press also carried comment by Whitson which included this lament.
The Daily Mail adopted the headline, “Ariel Sharon the Butcher of Beirut turned peace maker dies at age of 85”. The Mail article included the following: “But millions more will remember him as the Butcher of Beirut, infamously allowing the slaughter of refugees in Lebanon”. Israel’s Kahan Commission concluded that Sharon was indirectly responsible for the slaughter, because he did not anticipate the likely actions of the Lebanese Phalangists who carried out the act. Following that verdict Sharon resigned as defense minister. To call him a butcher implies that he had direct involvement in the massacre.
The Butcher accusation was repeated by Robert Fisk writing in ‘The Independent’. True to his entrenched hatred of Israel he twisted the facts to support his revisionist take on history.
Main source: http://honestreporting.com
Web Site: www.trumpetsounds.net.
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