Newsletter 121 Autumn 2016

In this edition of Trumpet Sounds:

Be wise as serpents – learning from Ashers Baking

The future of Israel – a future in the Lord’s hands

The kingdom of the beast –  Greece a warning of what is to come

When the money runs out – Venezuela another warning

Brexit – taking note of Norway’s experience

Trump v Clinton – perplexed?

Secondwife.com – eroding accepted standards

Spreading hate – the Jews are to be silenced

The festival of dangerous ideas – how to make a point in 30 seconds

“Therefore be wise as serpents, innocent as doves.” Matthew 10: 16

The summer edition of Trumpet Sounds celebrated a victory. The Supreme Court had ruled that the Scottish ‘Named Person’ scheme was unlawful. In this edition we recognise a defeat. The case of Ashers Baking has featured prominently in the media. At the end of October the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier court ruling that Ashers had discriminated against a customer by refusing to decorate a cake with the words ‘Support Gay Marriage’.

We commented in the summer edition that, in the past, Trumpet Sounds has described Christian activity in the political realm as fighting a rear guard action to hold on to what ground we can. It is the holding back of the flood of evil, while accepting that many battles will be lost.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has been widely criticised for supporting the case against Ashers Baking. The head of the Commission attempted to deflect the accusation that Ashers had been targeted by implying that if they had been explicit in their terms, that they would not accept political slogans, then the case would not have been supported. There are other cases which call those comments into question. Christians have been prosecuted for claimed discrimination, despite their stated terms of business.

Many of us remember the days when we lived in a reasonable, tolerant society. A society in which strongly held views were respected. A person would not be asked to act against their conscience. Instead a customer would just take their business to somewhere which did not have the same scruples.

We no longer live in a respectful, reasonable, tolerant society. Jews and Christians will increasingly be targeted as we head toward the end of the age. Behind this hatred of the truth is our “adversary the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5: 8.

To survive in this new environment we need to be wise as serpents, innocent as doves.” To call this a new environment is not correct. When sending out the twelve Jesus said, “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.”

The only new thing is that the wolves today have a different agenda from the wolves of previous generations.

In what way are serpents wise? A snake is not a clever creature. They have very small brains and operate largely on instinct. A characteristic common to most if not all snakes is that they will hide rather than face danger. In other words they try to keep out of trouble.

Another interpretation of Jesus’ words is to refer back to the Garden of Eden. There the serpent is described as “more cunning than any beast of the field”. Later in scripture the serpent is identified as our adversary the devil.

The two thoughts come together in our recognising that we are both up against a formidable foe and need to stay out of trouble. Like a lion stalking its prey Satan is always looking for his opportunities. Sin in any form allows him to go straight in. But beyond guarding against sin we must be vigilant. The only way in which we can out smart Satan is to keep close to the Shepherd in prayer. Every day and in every new situation we need to seek God’s wisdom.

Whether it is in business, the work place, the family or church, Satan is looking to trip us up. In the case of Ashers they had no doubt never conceived of an attack from the direction in which it came. We need to prayerfully ask the Lord to show us where we are vulnerable and how to take action to reduce the risk.

Sheep and doves are peaceful creatures. We desire to live at peace with all men. The Bible warns that peaceful existence is not always possible. For the Christian trouble will come. But, like the serpent which avoids trouble, if we can, we should prayerfully take steps to guard against it.

The future of Israel

The nation of Israel has no past, no present, and no future apart from the Lord. It was the Lord who called Abram out of Ur. The Lord who promised the land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord who took Israel down to Egypt and brought them out with a display of His power. The Lord who formed them into a nation and gave them prophets, judges and kings. When Israel fell into idolatry it was the Lord who sent them into exile and brought Judah back after 70 years. It was the Lord who came to them as their Messiah and when they rejected Him, sent them into exile once more. It is the Lord who has caused them to return to the land as promised. He has caused the fig tree to put out its leaves for summer is near. We see the hand of the Lord in all this therefore we can be certain that it is the Lord who holds Israel’s future. Without Him they have no future.

Israel is a privileged nation in many ways. One privilege is that it is the only nation on earth which has had its future written down in advance. There are snippets of information in the Bible with regard to the future of other nations but nothing that compares to the breadth of what is revealed about Israel.

The prophet Isaiah saw a time in the latter days when the nations of the earth would stream up to the mountain of the Lord to be taught His ways. The law would go out from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. It will be a time of universal peace.1 One whose name is Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, will be seated on the throne of David. His righteous government of peace and justice will never end.2

During this time the natural world will rejoice. “…the desert shall blossom as the rose; it shall blossom, abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing.”3 A foretaste of what will come has been seen in recent years. With careful irrigation, Israel has been able to make the desert bloom. The Bible promises that a time will come when there will be abundant water. “For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water;”4. Such will be the abundance when the sky no longer holds back its rain that the crops will be plentiful. “The days are coming says the Lord, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper,”5. Before the reaper has had time to harvest the crops it will be time to plough and sow again.

The Lord granted to Isaiah another vision of what it would be like on that glorious day. “For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of thorns shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of brier shall come up the myrtle tree; ….”6. Adam’s toil was placed under a curse. His work was rewarded by thorns and thistles. In this time of regeneration the curse is removed. Thorns and briers will be replaces with cypress and myrtle. There will be joy as the world becomes more wonderful, more beautiful, more healthy than anything yet experienced.  At the centre of this regeneration will be a repentant nation of Israel, living under the new covenant with God’s law now written on their hearts.

How will all this come about?

The secret is again to be found in Isaiah. “For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” At that time the Lord the king of Israel will stand as a banner to the peoples 7. As nations are brought into submission to the reign of Christ, He will heal their lands. The promise made to Israel that if they humbled themselves and prayed He would hear from heaven and heal their land 8, will now cover the whole earth. That healing is pictured in a stream of living water flowing out from Jerusalem to the East and West 9. Ezekiel sees the river flowing into the Dead Sea 10. Wherever it goes there is life and healing.

All this will happen during the reign of Israel’s Messiah, the Lord of Hosts. This is not futile speculation, it is the word of God.

But for now this vision of the future is far removed from the present reality. Israel is set among hostile nations which seek its destruction. Its short history has been a story of recurring conflict. Within the nation there are deep divisions. Very few truly fear the Lord their God.

Before the glorious reign of the Lord comes about, Israel will be sifted.

Not a pebble will fall to the ground

The prophet Amos writes of a time when God will turn his hand against sinful Israel to destroy it from the face of the earth. Immediately following that warning the prophet adds, “Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob says the Lord”. The prophecy then adds, “For surely I will command, and sift the house of Israel among the nations, as pebbles are sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest pebble will fall to the ground. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’”11.

The sifting precedes the raising up of the tabernacle of David in the last days. In Acts12, raising of the tabernacle of David is quoted to endorse the judgment that Gentiles can turn to God and be accepted while still remaining as Gentiles. In Jesus we have a king who is already reigning in heaven. The line of David has been restored. There is to be a greater fulfilment of the restoration of the tabernacle of David. The full restoration will come when Jesus returns to reign over His people Israel and all the nations.

In every situation God works for good. He will use a final time of anguish to sift Israel, dividing the sinners from those He will save.

Somehow God will preserve those who refuse to bow the knee to the false Messiah. They are the pebbles, who although sieved, will not fall to the ground. They may be taken through the furnace but at the end they will meet their Lord.

Through them God will fulfil His promises to Israel. He says that after He has gathered them from the nations; “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and cleanse you from all your filthiness and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be my people and I will be your God.”13.

This reconciliation between Israel and her God will take place on the day that Jesus returns to save Jerusalem from her enemies. They will recognise the one their nation rejected so long ago. “then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for His only son…. ”14. They will mourn when they realise that their fathers inflicted such suffering on the one who came to save them. They will also mourn as they recognise all the needless suffering the nation has experienced due to not accepting the true Messiah of Israel.

The protection of the righteous in Israel is also recorded in the book of Revelation. They are described as, “one hundred and forty four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel,”15. There are 12,000 from each tribe with the exception of Dan. Nothing more is said about them other than they are sealed. They are sealed before any harm is done to the earth, sea and trees.

The precise numbering of the children of Israel emphasises that God is watching over His people. Not one whom God has sealed will be lost. It will be a traumatic time for them. We would wish that none would have to go through it but even so God is watching over them to save. Possibly the tribe of Dan is missing in order to emphasise that this is still a salvation by faith. Dan was the only tribe who failed to have the faith to claim their inheritance in the Promised Land16.

“And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.”17. On that day when the Lord of Hosts comes back to deliver Israel, the sealed whose names are written in the book will come to faith. They will recognise their Saviour and accept Him as the King of Israel. On that day Israel will become pure and perfect with God’s law written on her heart. She will be grafted back into the rootstock18 from which she was broken off. Israel will join the Gentile wild olive branches already grafted in to become one new man in Christ. God’s eternal promise and calling to Israel will be fulfilled.

1 Isa 2: 1 – 4, 2 Isa 9: 6 – 7, 3 Isa 35: 1, 2, 4 Isa 35: 6 – 7, 5 Amos 9: 13, 6 Isa 55: 12, 13, 7 Isa 11:9-10, 8 2 Chron 7: 14, 9 Zech 14: 8, 9, 10 Ezel 47: 8 – 10, 11 Amos 9: 9,10, 12 Acts 15: 16,13Ezek 36: 25 – 28, 14 Zech 12: 10, 15 Rev 7: 4, 16Judges 18:1, 17Dan 12: 1, 18Rom 11: 23,

Answers in Prophecy

The meetings are held at Crawley New Life Church, The Glade, Furnace Green, Crawley, RH10 6JL. Sessions run from 7.00 pm to 8.45 pm on Saturday evenings and generally will be in two parts.

We will continue the series of studies in the book of Revelation. This is a twelve part series covering the whole book. The other session will be on a topical or prophetic theme as listed below.

There will be a coffee break between the sessions.

12th November

Session 1 Revelation Study 3 – a vision of heaven.

Session 2 Speeding the return of Christ

14th January

Session 1 Revelation Study 4 – the seals

Session 2 The preservation of the Jews

The ministry of Answers in Prophecy was shared with Jim Cottington. After a long period with cancer Jim was called home to be with the Lord on the 24th September. It was fitting that at the last Answers in Prophecy, just two weeks before he was called home, he changed the changed the subject of his talk to, ‘what happens between our death and the day of resurrection’. His regular contribution will be missed.

 The Kingdom of the Beast

“In Greece, ‘the coal mine of the Eurozone’, the canary seems to have died.” Maria Polizoidou.

The canary is a reference to the practice of taking canaries down coal mines to give advanced warning of the build-up of toxic gases. Maria Polizoidou was commenting on the recent prosecution of Markos Vasilakis the Bishop of the Chios Islands.  His crime? He commented in a sermon that the majority of refugees arriving in Greece are economic migrants, a fact borne out by Greek government statistics.

The Secretary of Human Rights has decided that Bishop Markus should be prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred. Nothing could be further from reality. The island of Chios has received a large number of refugees, being only 3.5 nautical miles from Turkey. From the beginning of the migrant crisis, Bishop Markus showed compassion by opening churches and distributing food and clothing. But now he is branded a racist neo-Nazi for telling the truth.

Several factors lie behind this prosecution. First is the impending breakdown of the EU deal with Turkey to limit migration. The Greek government has no policy to deal with the likely flood of migrants. The official policy of SYRIZA the governing party is to have open borders allowing any who want to come to settle in Greece. SYRIZA is also ‘Christophobic’. Members of the party will not even enter a church. Many believe that the Government is targeting a senior member of the church in order to pursue its policy of secularising Greece.

Greece has suffered seven years of severe economic down turn. Past mismanagement of the economy coupled with wide spread corruption and tax evasion has led to the EU taking control of the government finances.

But a naive left wing government and financial ruin are not the only problems confronting Greece. Maria Polizoidou again, “What does an occupation army do when it is installed in a country? It occupies the land, forcing residents to follow its own way of life. It implements measures against the country’s inhabitants, it propagandizes its beliefs and uses force to have them imposed. This, sadly, is what has been happening in Greece from the migrants who seem to “forget” that they are hosted in Greece and force the Greeks to feel like guests in their own country.”

The migrants riot when they do not receive all their demands, often destroying property given for their welfare. Private property has also been destroyed during migrant riots. There are places where migrants have set up road blocks intimidating Greek citizens and demanding to see their ID. When challenged over their actions Muslim migrants in Crete responded, “Allah requires from the believers to be masters of the land where they live, and only they can have property, and only we will be able to own the land.”

Gun sales in Greece are escalating as the population realises that the government is either incapable or lacks the will to defend its citizens. With free speech being suppressed it is a recipe for anarchy.

In the past I have written in Trumpet Sounds on the fall of Babylon the Great. Europe, formerly called ‘Christendom’, is the current embodiment of Babylon. The beast empire arising out of Islam will destroy the Harlot, Babylon. “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.” We see in Greece the warning of the destruction to come. Secular atheism is unwittingly combining with Islam to bring about a state of lawlessness which will destroy the Harlot Europe leaving her destitute.

Main source: Maria Polizoidou, Gatestone Institute.

When the money runs out

Secular atheist socialism hardly needs the helping hand of Islam to bring nations to ruin. Venezuela with its considerable oil reserves was once the wealthiest nation in South America. Now it is a nation which proves that “the trouble with socialism is that it eventually runs out of other people’s money”.

Hugo Chavez replaced the rule of the former oligarchy with his socialist dream. Free housing, petrol at 2 cents a gallon and handouts to the poor were hailed as the new Bolivarian revolution. But by 2005 the money had run out.

Today Venezuela is a tale of food shortages, lack of clean water and electricity, and crime ridden streets. The capital Caracas is rated as the most dangerous city in the world.

Food lines can start as early as three in the morning only to find that the promised delivery to a supermarket never arrives. A dozen eggs sells for $150. A kilogram of meat or cheese costs a quarter of the monthly minimum wage. Some resort to a Bata economy, but that only works if you have something to trade. For most their money and possessions ran out long ago. It is even said that zoo animals have been slaughtered for food.

With inflation rocketing the government instructed farmers and other producers to sell their produce at below the cost of production. This forced many out of business, aggravating the problems. In an attempt to avoid wide spread starvation the current president Nicolas Maduro issued Government Decree 9855. Under these emergency powers any Venezuelan can be forcibly relocated to an agricultural labour camp for a period of 60 days in order to combat the wide spread food shortages.

In another step, reminiscent of the ‘mark of the beast’, Venezuela has adopted a national ID system. The finger prints of every citizen have been recorded. Initially voluntary, now mandatory, the Food Safety Biometric System was intended to end Venezuela’s food and medicine shortages. The stated intention was to stop panic buying and hording.

It has become the world’s most intrusive population profile data base. Buying a kilogram of flour, at a price controlled supermarket, has become a complex procedure in which a shopper has to give an ID, full name, phone number, address, date of birth and place both thumbs on the finger print scanner. They also have to make sure that they have come on the right day as the ID number determines which day of the week they are allowed to shop.

All this information is stored by the government. It is sufficient to construct a detailed profile of every citizen. Any who purchase more that the established rationed quotas are blocked from the system forcing them to rely on the black market.

The system is also being used to block those who are known to oppose the government. Venezuela has what is referred to as the Tascon List. This is the names of those who in 2003 petitioned to remove President Chavez. People on the list have found that they have been denied access to essential food and medicine. They have also been refused jobs, loans and scholarships.

In the Bible the ‘mark of the beast’, is foreseen as an end time system of control. Why is there the need for a mark if control can be achieved through the use of biometrics? The mark is more than a system of control, it is to be a sign of allegiance. All who refuse to bow down before the beast will be put on his ‘Tascon’ list.

Brexit

The people of Norway have twice rejected membership of the European Union, first in 1972 and then in 1994. Public opinion remains firmly against membership and yet their politicians negotiated the EǾS Agreement which effectively makes Norway an associate member of the EU. Norway has ended up with all the disadvantages and none of the advantages of full membership. The EǾS agreement which allows membership of the single market forces Norway to accept free movement of people, capital, goods and services with the EU. Norway is also part of the Schengen open border area.

Out of all the 31 members of the EU, Norway is the only country which regularly adopts all EU directives before the deadline. In 2016 Norway’s Parliament adopted a bill which ties the nation’s financial services sector to EU rules, further eroding national sovereignty.

For the United Kingdom, Norway’s experience highlights that there is no middle way. With the European Union a nation is either fully in or fully out.

There are many who will do all they can to keep us in the EU. The battle is far from won. We must continue in prayer. The EU is an ungodly alliance. As a Christian who believes that Brexit is primarily a spiritual matter I pray that the government will to hold to its talk of a hard Brexit.

Trump v Clinton

Perplexed by the presidential election in the United States?

In September David Dolan wrote: “As for the American presidential election, I have already stated that it really does not matter whether I vote or not since I live in one of the 30 or so states that are “not in play” as the political commentators say on TV (actually, due to our antiquated “electoral college” system, only some 12-14 states are where the contest is actually fought).  Neither big party even bothers to run political ads in my state.  In fact, it has not voted for a Democratic candidate ever since Lyndon Johnson squeaked out a narrow 50.9 % to 49.8% victory over Barry Goldwater in 1964.  So Donald Trump will be the winner here for sure, going against the far less popular Hillary Clinton. Frankly I suspect that the Sovereign Lord is allowing the United States to get the candidates it deserves—both of them self-inflated old east coast millionaires with long connections to shady people and things, including to each other.  To me, it is definitely not a good sign for the future of America….”

Has the United States really sunk so low that the Sovereign Lord is giving it the President which it deserves? If we draw that conclusion, the US is on the verge of a great shaking in judgment. It is impossible to predict what either candidate will be like as president, as neither is trustworthy.

The only hope is true heartfelt repentance by those who know the mind of the Lord and will stand in the gap, interceding for their nation. Because the President of the United States has global significance, we all need to join them in prayer for their leader.

Secondwife.com

“then marry women of your choice, two or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly, then only one”  Quran 4:3

Secondwife,com, which is based in Manchester, describes itself as: ‘a Muslim polygamy matchmaking service’. The service was set up to revive the teaching of the Sunnah that encourages polygamy. It is a service for practising Muslims who are seeking marriage and accept polygamy as a lifestyle. Of Polygamy it states; “This is where an individual has more than one spouse and everyone is in agreement. This is not cheating and certainly is not bigamy. Polygamy is a choice and a way of life for thousands of people worldwide.”

Azad Chaiwala, who founded the service, admits that he hopes to remove the local [UK] taboo with regard to polygamy. Polygamy is illegal in Britain. To get round this, Chaiwala advises a religious ceremony at which families are present, while accepting that the marriage will not be legally recognised.

Under this arrangement the wife will have no protection under the law, other than that provided by the Sharia Courts, which always favour men. Chaiwala believes that gay rights have set a precedent which will in time lead to the legalising of polygamy.

 Spreading Hate

I have in front of me a cutting from the Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2016. The heading is, “Jewish students forced to hide by protestors”. The article continues; “Dozens of police officers were called to a university [University College London] to quell a violent anti-Israel protest which left Jewish students barricaded in a room, after being told their safety could not be guaranteed if they were left alone.”

The protestors were said to be aggressive, violent and threatening. They chanted and banged on windows coming close to breaking them.

The speaker at the meeting was Hen Mazzig a former commander in the IDF. He had been asked to speak on his humanitarian work in the West Bank, building a school, medical facilities, roads and water infrastructure. Mazzig had to be disguised as a security guard and smuggled out of a back entrance.

Mazzig said: “I don’t think that even in my days in the IDF it was as bad as it is right now. It’s really scary. I hear they’ve been attacking some girls, Jewish girls who came to support my talk and wow, it’s crazy, they’re really out of their mind.”

The protest was led by the UCLU Friends of Palestine Society President Yahya Abu Seido. The protesters which from a video of the protest appear to have been mainly Muslim chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free”.

In a statement University College London Union claimed that the protest had been peaceful. However on video, Seido is recorded saying, “hope that you will think twice now next time you think about coming here”, which is blatant intimidation.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas           

A festival of dangerous ideas was held at the Sydney Opera House 3/4th Sept 2013. Part of the festival was a panel discussion which included Germaine Greer [Feminist], Hannah Rosen [Women’s Rights advocate], Dan Savage [Sex Advice author and Gay activist], Peter Hitchens [Trotskyist turned Conservative],

In the last 3 minutes a final question was put to the panel: “Which so called dangerous idea do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if put into practice?”

Dan Savage answered that there were too many people on the planet therefore there should be compulsory abortion. Hannah Rosen needed to think about it for a moment. Germaine Greer thought that freedom was dangerous, to be free is terrifying but we must be free the make choices and make mistakes.

Then came Peter Hitchens. If you watched the debate it was clear by now that Peter was facing a hostile audience numbering several thousand. Quoted below is his answer:

“The most dangerous idea in human history and philosophy remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and rose from the dead. And that is the most dangerous idea that you will ever encounter.”

Asked why that was dangerous he went on; “It alters the whole of human behaviour and all our responsibilities. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a place where there is justice and there is hope and therefore we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope. It alters us all, if we reject it alters us all as well. It is incredibly dangerous, that is why so many people turn against it.