Newsletter 111 Spring 2014
The news in the UK is generally optimistic. There are signs of growth in the economy. Violent crime is falling. Wages are catching up with inflation, and we have had a very pleasant spring. Is this the calm before the storm? I think that it is. Welcome to this edition of Trumpet Sounds.
In this issue
The Destiny of the Jews
The Great Anguish – Part 7 The Antichrist
Christy a Palestinian Christians plea to Dr. Saeb Erekat
Ten reasons why BDS is immoral and hinders peace
Who holds the power?
All roads lead to Rome
The Destiny of the Jews
I was recently copied in on some correspondence relating to the timing of the Rapture. It arose following an article by the first correspondent outlining why he no longer believed in a pre-tribulation rapture. The second correspondent took this up seeking to correct the former’s views. In the course of the exchange the second correspondent came up with the following key statement:
“In fact it lies at the core of his dismissal of a Pre-Tribulational Rapture, because, if you do not believe that God has future purposes for Israel DISTINCT FROM THE CHURCH, you will be compelled to deny a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.”
Has God got a future purpose for Israel distinct from the church?
The second correspondent maintained that Christians will be raptured to heaven to enjoy the wedding feast while the Jews are left on earth to suffer the time of Jacob’s trouble. When Jesus returns the Jews will accept Him as their Messiah becoming His earthly people while we as Christians remain in heaven as His heavenly people. It strikes me that this is replacement theology under another guise. It is also utter nonsense.
God’s way of salvation was first offered to the Jews by a Jewish Messiah. The only way of salvation for either the Jew or Gentile is through faith in Christ. As the Apostle Paul so powerfully wrote to the Galatians, there is no other gospel. He also wrote to the Ephesians that through the gospel the Circumcision and Un-circumcision, referring to the Jew and Gentile, are to become one new man in Christ.
When Jesus Christ physically returns to this earth the remnant of Israel will repent. As a nation they will be saved by faith in their Messiah. According to Romans 11 at that time they will join the church by being grafted back into the root of the olive tree from which they were broken off. We will share our common destiny in Christ.
At the rapture we will receive resurrection bodies in preparation for our return to earth. We will return with Christ to join the now converted Jews to become one new nation Israel. We, now counted as part of Israel, will reign on the earth for the millennium [1 Corinthians 6:2, 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 2:26].
We will be among those who come from the East and the West to be seated at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob [Matthew 8:11]. Are the natural descendants of the Patriarch’s, who have now come to faith, to be denied this privilege!
Now joined with natural Israel, we will become the bride of Christ and celebrate the feast on the holy mountain. The wedding cannot take place until the bride is complete. The bride is Israel to which we have been given the blessing of being joined. The bride is not complete until ethnic Israel accepts her Messiah.
Our destiny and that of Israel is one. All distinction falls away on that glorious day when Jesus returns and Israel accepts her Messiah. The place which Jesus has gone away to prepare for us is the New Jerusalem. In Revelation it is not seen until after the millennium when Israel’s work on earth is complete. Jesus is coming back to take us to that place but first an interlude in which the prophecies to the redeemed Israel [which now include us] will be fulfilled. To believe that Jesus is returning in advance to take us immediately to that place is reading too much into scripture. As is His return to take us to a wedding feast in heaven prior to the return for Israel as that would require two brides!
But here we admit that there is a slight difference in destiny. The redeemed of Israel and the Church who have come to faith in Christ prior to His return to earth will be in immortal resurrection bodies. The remnant of Israel who come to faith at His return will, it appears, be still in mortal bodies [Isaiah 65: 20]. They will have to wait until the second resurrection and final judgment before receiving their new bodies. Then all the redeemed will enter the New Jerusalem their final home.
The Voice of the Lord Conference
postponed from 29th March will now take place on Saturday 18th October.
There will be more details in the summer edition of Trumpet Sounds.
The Great Anguish – Part 7 The Antichrist
In 2 Thessalonians 2 we read that before the Day of the Lord the man of sin will be revealed. The previous article in this series compared the character of this man of sin with men described in various Old Testament passages. Taking three identifying characteristics we conclude that he is the person described as the little horn in Daniel 7, the small horn of Daniel 8 and the king of the North in Daniel 11 verse 36 onwards. He is also the Assyrian of Isaiah 10. If our study was limited to the Old Testament we would 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 and the Jews a time of terrible suffering. A time of anguish that is brought to an end by the intervention of the Messiah and the conversion of the nation.
Will the impact of the man of sin be limited to the Middle East and Israel? Does his influence extend over the rest of the world? In this article we move on to look at whether the New Testament changes or adds anything to our understanding of this man.
Significantly Jesus does not mention the man of sin other than in the reference to the Abomination of Desolation [Matt 24:15]. He sets that reference in Judea. The Sermon on the Mount of Olives is addressed to the disciples and beyond them to the believing church. The Abomination of Desolation standing in the holy place is used as a sign to His followers that a time of great anguish is about to begin. Jesus goes on to warn of many false christs and false prophets showing great signs and wonders. A universal antichrist with global dominion does not appear to be what He has in mind. The picture this passage paints is one of many false prophets and false christs arising with the satanic aim of deceiving the elect.
By not focusing on a single antichrist Jesus alerts us that the attack will come from many directions. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. Everything that is outside Christ can be used by Satan against us. Secular humanism, bogus science, religious fanaticism, cults, globalists, false prophets with their signs and wonders and many others are all part of his armoury. They have already been deceived. Satan’s one intent in these last days is to deceive the elect if possible.
“See, I have told you beforehand”. Matthew 24: 25. The seriousness of this warning is underlined by Jesus. His words could be interpreted as, ‘take note for you really need to know this’. As we enter the final years of this age, it is essential that we recognize that Satan’s primary attack on the church will be through deception. He is already hard at work within the church using false prophets to undermine the truth.
Among these many deceptions, we learn from 2 Thessalonians chapter 2: 1 – 12, that there will be one final great deception. The revealing of the man of sin and the apostasy are given as signs that the end of the age is near. This passage adds to what we have understood from the Old Testament. It makes clear that the revealing of the man of sin is entirely under the sovereign control of God. He will be permitted by God to be revealed in order deceive those who have refused the truth of salvation.
Thessalonians confirms what Jesus has already said that the deception will be accompanied by great signs and wonders and will cause a falling away. Wonders which are so great that the saints will be deceived if they do not remain vigilant. The man of sin will be Satan’s masterstroke. There will be many false prophets and false christ’s but the deception around this man will surpass them all.
It is said of the man of sin that he “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God” 2 Thessalonians 2: 4. He will throw down a direct challenge to God by claiming that he is God. Due to the delusion sent by God the people of this world will believe the lie. They will accept this man as God and by doing so condemn themselves to judgment.
Those who are condemned are said to have taken pleasure in unrighteousness. The man of sin will legalize what God has forbidden and forbid that which God declares as righteous. He will encourage the pleasures of unrighteousness liberating man from the burden of obeying God. As such he will be the culmination of man’s rebellion against God and earn himself the title ‘the lawless one’. Jesus also said that a time would come when lawlessness would abound causing the love of many to grow cold. We already see this spirit at work in the age in which we live. It will reach its zenith under this deception and be a cause of anguish to all who seek to live a sober, righteous and godly life during this present age.
The character of the man of sin is the same as his father the devil as revealed in Isaiah 14: 12 – 15. That passage outlines the extent of his blasphemies. He will boast equality with God, claiming to have set his throne in heaven. Writing before these things come to pass, it seems incredible that such a person will ever exist. It is hard to believe that the world would really accept the man’s claims to be God. But this is the sure word of prophecy. It is what God has chosen to reveal to us in advance so that we will not be taken in.
Acquiring a good knowledge of the prophetic scriptures is one way in which we can obey Jesus’ command to be vigilant in these last days and so avoid being deceived. One of the identifying characteristics of this man is the denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ. “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2: 22. The Christian who knows his Saviour will recognize that the man is a liar. Those who have never come to a personal faith in Christ will see the signs and wonders and accept the lie. The denial of Christ closes the only way by which we may come to the Father.
After warning of the dangers of deception Jesus proceeds to describe the manner of His return [Matt 24: 27 – 31]. It will be unmistakable for those who know the Bible. Any person who comes in another way will be a false christ, a deceiver. Sadly within the church there are those who are unable to recognize that this is the only description of His return which Jesus gave us. They prefer to read into the passage things which are not there. This description was given to protect us from deception. To propose that Jesus will come in another way is to place Christians at risk of deception.
Jesus warned that the church would always be subject to tribulation. That is the normal expectation of those who go against the tide by obeying God. In Matthew 24: 9 we read, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for my sake.” At the end of this age the gospel will be rejected by the nations. In place of Jesus the world will accept a false christ who makes boastful claims to be divine. That rejection will be expressed in a universal hatred of faithful believers. It is because of the rejection and hatred that God will pour out His wrath on a rebellious world.
So far what has been added by the New Testament has not provided any reason to change our understanding of the man of sin from that contained in the Old Testament. There he is a Middle Eastern ruler who causes Israel a terrible time of suffering. We have learnt that his coming is entirely according the sovereign will of God. We have also added an understanding that he will be the focus of a very widespread satanic deception. Many will believe that he is God. From the teaching of Jesus we understand that there will be universal persecution of the church as the age draws to a close but not necessarily directly by the man of sin. Satan will use many different deceptions to delude believers and lead them away from faith in Christ. We have been warned in advance.
The next article will look at the book of Revelation to see what it adds to our understanding of the antichrist. In that book he is given the title of ‘the beast’.
The following is taken from the booklet ‘Time for Action’ published by Kairos Britain:
“In December 2009, leading Palestinian Christians launched a document called ‘A Moment of Truth; A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering’. This became known as the Kairos Palestine document ……” “At Pentecost 2012. A group of Christians from a variety of theological and church traditions met on the Hebridean island of Iona to engage with the Kairos Palestine document. They produced the ‘Iona Call’ …….”
Kairos Britain has been established as the outcome of these initiatives. Many of the initiators are the same as the sponsors of the ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ conference. The ‘Time for Action’ booklet introduces the movement and its aims. Its flavour can be sampled with another quote:
“We recognise, as Christians, our responsibility to our Palestinian sisters and brothers in the State of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the diaspora and in refugee camps in the occupied territory, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. We have failed them by our silence, and our failure to say, “Enough!” The ‘peace process’ has become no more than a means of perpetuating the colonisation of Palestinian land, and the intensification of the structures of dispossession and oppression.”
In a section headed ‘Our shame: Britain and the historical context’, Oxford historian Elizabeth Monroe is quoted as saying that the Balfour Declaration was one of the greatest mistakes in Britain’s imperial history. “It expressed British support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. It represented a betrayal of promises of independence made previously by Britain to the Arabs in the McMahon correspondence with Sharif Hussein in Mecca”.
[Did London promise Palestine to both the Arabs and the Jews? The documents involved have been described as creating a whole cottage industry of historical research. There is a strong argument that even if the documents are interpreted as promising Palestine to the Arabs, the promise was conditional on a level of Arab support which they failed to deliver].
In another section headed ‘Delegitimizing occupation: a theological response’, we read: “We call for repentance for Britain’s historic, and current, complicity in the on-going Palestinian suffering, and for those times when churches have promoted theological interpretations that support discrimination, dispossession, segregation and occupation. Mindful of the Kairos Palestine document’s statement that occupation is “a sin against God and humanity”; we repent of apathy that allows it to continue.”
The return of the Jews is presented as an historical mistake. Scorn is poured on those who give theological legitimacy to the re-establishment of Israel by claiming that it was a fulfilment of scriptural prophecy.
The Stones Cry Out
A film with the above title is being shown as part of the presentation introducing Kairos. This film purports to present a Palestinian Christian perspective on the problems faced under Israeli rule. There are a number of sad tales of suffering drawn from the time of Israel’s independence through to the present day. Limited historical context is given which enables the film maker to present Israel’s actions as arbitrary attacks on innocent Arabs.
It is so biased and one sided that I would think only the liberation theology fanatic would view it as anything other than Palestinian propaganda. Recently I attended a Kairos presentation in Crawley. The meeting was encouraging in that there were only 35 to 40 in the congregation despite it being widely publicised and organised by one of the signatories of the booklet. Of those all but 3 or 4 were well into their 60’s and 70’s. After the film I commented on the lack of historical context which led to a misrepresentation of the facts. On the way out several thanked me for speaking up about the bias and misrepresentation. So out of the few who were there, a number were unimpressed.
Kairos aims to encourage the furtherance of the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign and also persuade our elected representatives to cease supporting Israel. Like ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’, the entire blame for all injustice is placed on Israel. I pray that their one sided bias will be so obvious that they will fail to gain support.
Christy a Palestinian Christian’s plea to Dr. Saeb Erekat
If you do go to a viewing of the Stones Cry Out and even if you don’t, I recommend watching the Youtube video with the above title. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzCAqXrBGtU].
Christy provides a different report of what life is like under Muslim rule. Christy also appeared on Simon Barrett’s Middle East Report shown on, Revelation TV, on Friday 25th April. Growing up in Bethlehem in the 1990’s she experienced the reality first hand. She speaks of how life deteriorated after the Palestinian Authority was allowed to take over. Contrary to the claims of peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians made by Kairos, she describes the discrimination and persecution suffered by Christians under PA rule. Due to her honesty in speaking out on these issues her life is under threat.
Ten reasons why the BDS movement is immoral and hinders peace
The following is a brief summary of an article written by Alan M. Dershowitz and published by the Gatestone Institute.
1. The BDS [Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions] movement immorally imposes the entire blame for the continuing Israeli occupation and settlement policy on the Israelis. It refuses to acknowledge the historical reality that on at least three occasions, Israel offered to end the occupation and on all three occasions, the Palestinian leadership, supported by its people, refused to accept these offers.
2. The current BDS movement, especially in Europe and on some American university campuses, emboldens the Palestinians to reject compromise solutions to the conflict. Some within the Palestinian leadership have told me that the longer they hold out against making peace, the more powerful will be the BDS movement against Israel.
3. The BDS movement is immoral because its leaders will never be satisfied with the kind of two state solution that is acceptable to Israel. Many of its leaders do not believe in the concept of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
4. The BDS movement is immoral because it violates the core principle of human rights: namely, “the worst first.”
5. The BDS movement is immoral because it would hurt the wrong people: it would hurt Palestinian workers who will lose their jobs if economic sanctions are directed against firms that employ them. It would hurt artists and academics, many of whom are the strongest voices for peace and an end to the occupation.
6. The BDS movement is immoral because it would encourage Iran—the world’s leading facilitator of international terrorism—to unleash its surrogates, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, against Israel, in the expectation that if Israel were to respond to rocket attacks, the pressure for BDS against Israel would increase.
7. The BDS movement is immoral because it focuses the world’s attention away from far greater injustices, including genocide.
8. The BDS movement is immoral because it promotes false views regarding the nation state of the Jewish people, exaggerates its flaws and thereby promotes a new variation on the world’s oldest prejudice, namely anti-Semitism.
9. The BDS movement is immoral because it reflects and encourages a double standard of judgment and response regarding human rights violations.
10. The BDS movement will never achieve its goals. Neither the Israeli government nor the Israeli people will ever capitulate to the extortionate means implicit in BDS.
For the full article go to; http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4171/bds-immoral
Who holds the power?
A recent study published by Princeton and Northwest Universities asked who in the United States really held the power. The study, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens,” asks, “Who governs? Who really rules? To what extent is the broad body of U.S. citizens sovereign, semi-sovereign, or largely powerless?”
Researchers compared 1,800 different U.S. policies that were put in place by politicians between 1981 and 2002 to the type of policies preferred by the average and wealthy American, and those proposed by special interest groups. The researchers concluded that U.S. policies are formed more by special interest groups than by politicians properly representing the will of the general public. The conclusions of the report caused the Washington Times to comment, “America is no longer a democracy — never mind the democratic republic envisioned by Founding Fathers. Rather, it has taken a turn down elitist lane and become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy.
This comes as no surprise to those who have recognized for years that national governments have been influenced and controlled by small groups of very powerful people.
As far back as the 1840’s Benjamin Disreali, the future Prime Minister, characterized Nathan Mayer Rothschild as, “…the Lord and Master of the money markets of the world, and of course virtually Lord and Master of everything else. He literally holds the revenues of Southern Italy in pawn, and Monarchs and Ministers of all countries courted his advice and were guided by his suggestions.”
Later in 1852 Gladstone on becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer realised that the government exercised little real control over the national finances. He said, “From the time I took office as Chancellor of the Exchequer, I began to learn that the State held, in the face of the Bank and the City, an essentially false position as to finance. The Government itself was not to be a substantive power, but was to leave the Money Power supreme and unquestioned.”
President Lincoln of the United States recognised that he had a problem with the rich and powerful. In 1865 he said, “I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me, and the financial institutions in the rear. Of the two, the one in my rear is my greatest foe.”
The decades following the above comments have seen a considerable increase of the power of the few over the many.
A new player is rapidly entering the global power game. Google has become an influential non state actor in international affairs. Its ability to track information has opened the door to governments across the world. It can run predictive correlations from huge volumes of data to track and catch terrorists. This alone is invaluable to the security services.
But Google is also becoming more sophisticated in the amount of information they access about users. Google scans our emails. It knows where we are. It anticipates what we want before we even know it.
Google has invested billions in driverless cars, wearable gadgets and many other emerging technologies. It now owns an extended list of companies operating in the security and surveillance fields. Titan Aerospace, builds high-altitude, solar-powered drones that provide access to data services around the world while Boston Dynamics builds robots for the US military. It also owns at least 12 other robotics companies. Even the smart thermostats made by recently acquired manufacturer Nest can be used to harvest information about you. The company has been described as an unelected super power. At present it is benign, but what of the future?
Answers in Prophecy – Summer 2014
Philip Wren and Jim Cottington both speak at these meetings which are held at Crawley New Life Church, The Glade, Furnace Green, Crawley, RH10 6JL. Sessions start at 7.00 pm.
10th May – Globalism
Who are the globalists? What are their aims?
How much power do they have?
14th June – Living apart
In the world but not of the world in the 21st century
Why separation is essential as we draw to the close of this age.
12th July – The Mark of the Beast
Various interpretations of the mark of the beast
Who will it affect? What are the key issues?
Warren Buffet with a personal fortune of $58.2 billion is listed as the world’s fourth richest man. Research undertaken by the Christian Post identified that in 2011 Buffet gave $110 million to pro-choice groups, a significant proportion of the money paying for abortions. His activities in promoting abortion are not limited to the USA but extend across the globe.
Buffet is not alone in the rich list to promote population control. George Soros, Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg and Oprah Winfrey all use part of their vast fortunes to that end.
Ted Turner, the Time Warner media mogul, said that the present population should be reduced by 95%. He believes in a one child policy for all while having five children himself. Over the last 25 years he has given nearly $1 billion to the United Nations. Much of the money has been used to fund population control programmes.
Bill and Melinda Gates, through their Gates Foundation, have called for reducing the world’s population by 11%, or one billion. Another billionaire George Soros through his Open Society Institute is recognised as a pro abortion activist, while TV host Oprah Winfrey has long endorsed homosexuality and abortion.
The belief that those in power should assist in the control of population stems from Thomas Malthus. In his ‘An Essay on the Principal of Population’ he argued that the relief of poverty among the lower classes could be achieved by population control. In this respect there were positive checks such as war, disease and famine which raised the death rate and preventive checks such as abortion, birth control, prostitution, postponement of marriage and celibacy which reduced the birth rate.
His work influenced Charles Darwin as demonstrated by the following quote from Darwin’s autobiography:
“In October 1838, ….. I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long- continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The results of this would be the formation of a new species. Here, then I had at last got a theory by which to work”.
When people reject the wisdom of God they must rely on the wisdom of man. Proverbs 14: 12 is an appropriate comment.
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”
All roads lead to Rome
The steady progress towards a reunited Christianity under the umbrella of Rome continues. It is not just the older denominations which seem keen to heal the rift and move toward unity.
In a recent interview with the Catholic Channel EWTN in April, Rick Warren pastor of Saddleback Church California praises Pope Francis referring to him as our Pope. Warren also identifies EWTN as his favourite Christian TV channel. For Rick Warren embracing Roman Catholicism has been a steady progress, back in 2005 he published Purpose Driven Life Catholics. He has also made the inclusion of Roman Catholics a key part of his global P.E.A.C.E. plan.
Kenneth Copeland is another well known leader that Rome is ready to embrace. Recently Pope Francis sent him a video message urging reconciliation between Catholics and Charismatic’s. Copeland is reported as giving the following enthusiastic response: “Heaven is thrilled over this …. You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into ministry 47 years ago this was impossible.”
Many other Evangelical, Charismatic and, Pentecostal, leaders are following the same path back to Rome. They are being encouraged by Pope Francis who like his predecessors is an inclusive Pope. Of Muslims he has said, “We must never forget that they ‘profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day.’” [How can that be when Muslims deny the divinity of Christ and His atoning sacrifice? Those, including the Pope, which make such a claim know little of either the Christian gospel or Islam.]
Rome is leading the way to uniting world religions. Although I do not believe that the Pope is the Antichrist, he is preparing the way for the coming of the ‘man of sin’. The seduction will lead many to bow the knee to a false God. The consequence of such folly is eternal punishment.
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