Newsletter 122 Winter 2017

Welcome to the first edition of Trumpet Sounds in 2017. There are many who sense that this will be a significant year. Will they be proved right?

In this year there are a number of major anniversaries.

It is 120 years since the first Zionist Conference which paved the way for the Jewish state. Then 100 years ago the Balfour Declaration opened up the possibility of a Jewish state. UN Resolution 181 which set out the intent to establish a Jewish State was passed 70 years ago and it is 50 years since Jerusalem was restored to Jewish sovereignty.

It is also the anniversary of a number of other events which have shaped the end time world:

In 1917 the United States entered World War 1 ending a policy of isolationism. Following this the US took over the mantle of global policeman from Great Britain. That year Britain took Jerusalem from the Ottoman’s making possible a Jewish home land. Also in October 1917, revolution in Russia spread Marxism around the world.

In the UK it will be the anniversary of two Acts of Parliament which have profoundly affected the nation. It is 50 years since the passing of the Sexual Offences Act which decriminalising homosexual acts and 50 years since the Abortion Act 1967 which legalised abortions.

Finally this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. This event is often taken as the start date for the Protestant Reformation.

Without the Reformation there would have been no great surge in the missionary movements that took the gospel to the world. Also without the Reformation there would not have been a Christian Zionist movement in Britain. The support of Christians was crucial in enabling the dreamed of establishment of the Jewish state to get off the ground.

The Reformation led directly to the fulfilment of two essential end time prophecies; the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom in all the world as a witness to all the nations and the return of the Jews to Israel.

Because of these anniversaries many believe that 2017 will prove to be a significant year. How significant and in what way we will have to wait and see.

In this edition of Trumpet sounds

Gender Confusion

Israel

Answers In Prophecy

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

City of Games for Revolutionary Children Park

Cashless Society?

Donald Trump

Gender Confusion

This year sees the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offenses Act which decriminalised homosexual acts carried out in private. It was argued that what two adults do in private was their own affair and should not be a criminal offence. Did anyone then foresee the devastating impact the decriminalisation of homosexuality would have on society?

The change started with the acknowledgment that certain people were homosexual. Then one or two public figures came out as homosexual. Soon coming out as homosexual was all the vogue for celebrities.

The Gay lobby became more and more aggressive in promoting homosexuality. Homosexuality was, without evidence, declared genetic. Any who disputed this or proposed corrective therapy were aggressively shouted down.

Then, under the nonsense banner of equality, came Gay Marriage. We are now getting to the stage where to hold a job in the public sector support for gay marriage must be declared.

Schools are now going beyond the promotion of various alternative lifestyles as normal. A pressure group called ‘Educate and Celebrate’ is widely distributing to schools a book with the title ‘Can I tell you about gender diversity’. It aims to explain medical transitioning to children seven years old and above.

The following is a quote from the book:

“the use of language in general throughout the school should …. veer away from the idea that there are only two genders. Using language as ‘boys and girls’ or ‘ladies and gents’ is not only exclusionary to trans-identity and gender variant young people, but subtly reinforces that gender is a significant difference about behaviour patterns.”

Recently there has been an intensification of the promotion of Gay and transsexual behaviour. The front cover January 2017 National Graphic Magazine, sub titled Gender Special Issue, carries a photo of a 9 year old ‘trans-activist’. This is a boy who has become a ‘girl’. The January edition of the National Trust magazine carries a feature on former residents of National Trust houses who pushed boundaries, ie: were gay.

Even gardening programmes on the BBC seem to delight in choosing a disproportionate number of gardens created by homosexual couples.

A recent Government White Paper setting out the terms of the BBC’s charter until 2022 stipulates 10 percent of the Corporation’s work force should be LBGT by 2020 despite less than 3 percent being homosexual in society as a whole.

Facebook used to offer 50 gender options such as asexual, polygender, and two spirited. They have now added a further 21 options. Professor Stephen Whittle, vice-president at Press for Change which advised Facebook said, “gender identities are complex and for many people, describing themselves as just a man or a woman has always been inadequate.”

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the right to develop our gender identity, as a key to our personal autonomy.

The University of Sussex Student Union has, like other Student Unions, adopted a Gender inclusive policy which mandates that: “Gender neutral language must be used in all areas of the Student Union.

In the Summer 2016 edition of Trumpet Sounds I wrote, under the heading, “Created in the image of God”, that being created male and female was the very essence of mankind. That is why Satan hates even the hint of distinct genders.

In 50 years we have gone from the decriminalisation of homosexuality to an assault on the very idea of fixed gender. This assault will intensify as we approach the return of Christ.

 Israel

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States should herald better relations with Israel than existed during the Obama years. One of Trump’s major pledges is to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The US government purchased a site some years ago for a new embassy in Jerusalem. The plot, known as the Allenby Camp, served as a British military compound after 1917. It stands empty in the southern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiot. It is adjacent to the Palestinian district of Jabal Muqabar and the mixed neighbourhood of Abu Tor.

In October 1995 the US congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995. The Act recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It allocated funding for the construction of a new Embassy and set a deadline of 1999 for that move to have taken place. President’s Clinton, Bush and Obama viewed this act as an infringement of the President’s constitutional authority over foreign policy and blocked the implementation of the Act.

The site in Talpiot is near to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation which is in Abu Tor on the aptly named ‘Hill of Evil Council’. By tradition it was on this hill that Judas met Caiaphas to plot the betrayal of Jesus. It was also the home of Antiochus Epiphanes IV who foreshadows the end time Antichrist.

The Palestinians vigorously oppose the proposed Embassy move. The recognition, by the US, of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would set back their claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. They stridently protest that the move would destroy the peace process.

However the peace process has been stalled for years due to Abbas being unwilling to talk to Netanyahu. There is also the question of whether Abbas has sufficient authority among the Palestinians to negotiate a deal even if he was willing.

Abbas has adopted a more subtle and effective policy which avoids direct negotiation. He is using diplomatic means to discredit Israel. By this he hopes that eventually Israel’s situation will become untenable.

UN Security Council Resolution 2334

Proof that the policy of non-cooperation is working came in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on the 23rd December 2016. That resolution effectively set boundaries for a future Palestinian State. It declared that all settlements beyond the pre 4th June 1967 boundaries are a “flagrant violation under international law”. The resolution was timed for the closing weeks of the Obama administration. It was widely known that Obama would withhold the US veto which had been used in the past to block previous anti-Israel resolutions.

The resolution is worth reading as an example of a document which has no connection to reality [see: http://www.un.org/webcast/pdfs/SRES2334-2016.pdf].  It wreaks of the frustration that all attempts at peace have fallen by the wayside. The resolution imagines that the only hope for peace lies in a two state solution. In that context Israeli settlements in the West Bank are seen as the primary obstacle to peace. It is proof that no one ever learns from history or in this instance Gaza.

Clause 3 reads: “Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;”

Even access for Jews to pray at the western wall is not taken for granted. Unless Israel is prepared to make concessions there will be a return to the pre 1967 boundaries. Up till then Jews were banned from praying at their holy site.

UK involvement

I am sorry to say that the UK involvement with this Resolution went further than voting for it. In the House of Commons on the 10th January Boris Johnson admitted that the UK was closely involved in drafting the resolution. Melanie Phillips commented, “The UN resolution of which Boris Johnson is so proud says in effect that it is illegal for Jews to pray at the Western Wall. It is therefore not just a strike against Israel but a strike against Judaism itself”

That Britain should have played a role in drafting this resolution does not bode well for the UK. Despite the words of support for Israel, which come from Boris Johnson and the Government, this was a stab in the back. The resolution will give impetus to all who hate Israel and provide ground for further attacks on Israel’s right to exist.

It is not all about Land

The false premise on which Resolution 2334 and other western policies are based is the belief that the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel is all about land. That trading some land here and giving away some there can form the basis of a long term peace.

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch has observed that while Western policy analysts routinely treat Israel’s conflict with the Arabs as a matter of a land dispute that can be settled by negotiations, Muslim spokesmen worldwide treat it as an Islamic matter. “Al-Sadr and many others are trying to make this move of the embassy into a showdown,” Spencer wrote. “They are trying to make President Trump back down, which would set an extremely damaging precedent.

Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, influential Muslim scholar and spiritual leader of the Muslim brotherhood, has written: “No Muslim be he in authority or not, is allowed to abandon any of the lands of Muslims. The land of the Islamic world is not the property of any president, prince minister or group of people. It is not up to anyone therefore to relinquish it under any circumstances.”

Conversely, it is the duty of individuals and groups to strive hard to liberate occupied territories and retrieve usurped land. ……. Therefore I have issued a Fatwa indicating that it is unlawful for all homeless Palestinian refugees to accept damages in return for their lost land, even if they amount to billions. The land of Islam is not for sale; it is not to be relinquished and no damages can possibly make up for loss.” Quoted from Islam on-line ‘the Sacred Duty of Defending Jerusalem’.

Muslim protestors regularly chant ‘from the river to the sea Palestine will be free’. They are giving voice to part of the Islamic creed. There can be no peace until Israel is driven into the sea. Even then there will be no peace for if they were ever to achieve that end it would be the springboard to world conquest.

The most effective way to resist this pressure is to stand firm. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would be a sign to the Arab world that the nations are not going to give in. It would be a step toward a temporary peace.

The following is a helpful quote from Melanie Phillips’ newsletter.

“In Britain, Mrs. May’s tough-minded approach to Brexit closely followed her startling reversal of decades of British foreign policy by suddenly defending Israel against its enemies. Not only did she refuse to sign the statement issued by last weekend’s anti-Israel Paris conference, but she vetoed its attempted endorsement by the EU Foreign Affairs Council.”

“Yet only a few weeks previously, her government had played a key role in pushing through the UN Security Council’s Israel-bashing Resolution 2334. So what changed? Britain is hoping to pull off an all-important trade deal with the US. This would hugely strengthen its hand in its negotiations with the EU over Brexit. So a cynic would conclude that Britain is merely dancing to the tune of a new, very pro-Israel president.”

“There may be more to it than that. There are reports that Mrs. May was blindsided by her own Foreign Office over Resolution 2334. She is known to have genuinely warm feelings toward Israel and the Jewish people.”

“She may, though, also be largely ignorant of Middle East history and Britain’s shameful record within it. So it’s possible that she was indeed shocked by Resolution 2334 and is determined to promote a pro-Israel policy because she believes in it.”

“If so, this is all of great significance. For if a country gets Israel right, the chances are it will get other big things right too. The essence of the Israel-Arab impasse is the struggle between good and bad, victim and oppressor, truth and lies. Like the Obama administration, Britain has for decades been on the wrong side of that critical divide. Now Mr. Trump and Mrs. May might change that.”

Answers in Prophecy

The meetings are now held at The Barn Church, Francis Edwards Way, Bewbush, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 8GG

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.

11th February 

Revelation Study 5 – the trumpets

The rise of Antichrist

11th  March

Revelation Study 6 – Israel

Triumph of the Saints – the persecuted church

8th April 

Revelation Study 7 – The kingdom of the beast

Islam in the last days

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

At our monthly ‘Answers in Prophecy’ meetings we have started a series of studies in the book of Revelation. It is a book which opens with the words, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place;” The Father has chosen to reveal the future through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. With dramatic language and mind blowing imagery it describes things to come. Some are frightened by it. Others are obsessed by it.

But it is not just a revelation given by the Father to His beloved Son or even a book which reveals things to come. It is a book which reveals Christ. The book can be sub divided into twelve sections each of which brings a different revelation of Christ. [Please see the summary below].

This prophecy was given, not to confuse, but to bless. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near”. Revelation 1: 3.

It also carries a warning I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book”. Revelation 22: 18, 19. If we either add to it or take away from it we will lose our salvation. We are to treat it with reverence remembering that it was given by God the Father.

Reading Revelation will bless us with the assurance that Jesus has already won the victory over Satan. The final overthrow of Satan and ejection from this world is just a matter of time.

Seven times in Revelation those who keep the faith are referred to as blessed.

  • Those who read the words of the prophecy are blessed. Rev 1: 3
  • Those who die in the Lord are blessed. Rev 14: 13
  • Those who stay awake and keep their clothes on are blessed. Rev 16: 15
  • Those invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb are blessed. Rev 19: 9
  • Those who are part of the first resurrection are blessed. Rev 20: 6
  • Those who heed these words of prophecy are blessed. Rev 22: 7
  • Those who do His commands [washed their robes] are blessed. Rev 22: 14

Receiving the blessing requires keeping what it teaches. Therefore it is important that we study the book.

Revelation 1: 3 also adds “the time is near”. This is both an encouragement not to put off the reading and study of the book and also an assurance that God will delay no longer than necessary to complete His purposes.

In recent years the identity of the earthly author of this book has been questioned. The early Church Fathers attribute Revelation to the Apostle John. There seems little reason to doubt their testimony. The book was written towards the end of the first century when John was about 95 years old. At that time he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos. Below is an outline of the 12 talks:

 12 Revelations of Jesus Christ

Studies in the Book of Revelation

 1. The Glorified Christ – Ch. 1 Introduction.

Subject: An introduction to the co-authors, Jesus and the recipient John. It reveals a glorified Jesus.

Period covered: A day towards the close of the first century AD.

2. Christ and his church – Ch. 2 – 3 the Churches.

Subject: The care and concern that Jesus has for each congregation is revealed. It is a message of discipline and encouragement to the churches. Written to named churches, there is a universal application to churches, throughout the age.

Period Covered: Initially the early church but relevant to the period from Pentecost to the Second Coming.

 3. Christ in eternity – Ch. 4 Heaven.

Subject: A revelation of the unchanging reality around the throne of God. The symbolism used to describe the scene is drawn from the Old Testament.

Period covered: Eternal

4. Christ in history – Ch. 5 – 8:1 the Seals.

Subject: An outline of the conflict, throughout history, between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. All the victories that follow are due to the triumph of the Lamb on the cross. The seventh seal completes the history of this world. There is peace as the conflict is ended.

Period covered: From the Flood to the New Heaven and New Earth.

 5. Christ the Sovereign – Ch. 8:2 – 11:18 the Trumpets.

Subject: The conflict which rages in the heavenly realm. All the judgements have an angelic component. There are warnings of impending judgement, followed by the final conflict of the age and the great deception. In all this God promises that He will not be left without witnesses.

Period covered: The closing period of the Church Age.

6. Christ and Israel – Ch. 11:19 – 13:1 Israel and the victorious church.

Subject: The assurance that God still cares for a faithful remnant in Israel and the victory of the church.

Period covered: The whole history of Israel but focusing on the very end of the Church Age.

7. Christ Triumphant – Ch. 13:1 – 14:5 the Kingdom of the Beast.

Subject: Detail is provided of how for a very brief period at the close of the age, a trinity of evil will be allowed to counterfeit the work of God in order to deceive men. It closes with a vision of the redeemed triumphant over the kingdom of this world

Period covered: The final three and a half years of the Church Age.

8. Christ and the harvest – Ch. 14:6 – 20 the Harvests.

Subject: Final warnings to this world followed by the two harvests which Jesus will reap; one of wheat and the other weeds.

Period covered: The close of the Church Age.

 9. Christ the just – Ch. 15, 16 the Bowls of Wrath.

Subject: The fruit of the two harvests, one in glory in heaven, and the other on earth experiencing the wrath of God as a last call to repentance.

Period covered: The close of the Church Age.

 10. Christ the judge – Ch. 17, 18 Babylon the Great.

Subject: A look at the fate of the kingdom of this world, the great enemy of God and persecutor of the saints through the ages

Period covered: Babylon falls just before the Kingdom of the Beast is established.

 11. Christ the king – Ch. 19, 20 Victory and Judgement.

Subject: The Lamb’s triumph over the Antichrist followed by the judgement of his followers and the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth.

Period covered: The close of the Church Age and the next 1000 years.

 12. Christ and His bride – Ch. 21, 22 A New Heaven and a New Earth

Subject: Looks to eternity and completes the vision.

Period covered: Eternity.

Recordings of these talks will be available on the Trumpet Sounds website. They will also be serialised in future editions of Trumpet Sounds and then published in a booklet.

City of Games for Revolutionary Children Park

Mashad is Iran’s second largest city. Last September it opened an amusement park for 8 to 13 year olds. According to MEMRI, It has 12 stages of Jihadist indoctrination.

“Children dressed in camouflage fatigues crawl under child-sized barbed wire obstacles, learning to move and shoot with child-sized replica AK-47 rifles and launching plastic mortars, one could be excused for thinking that the children were sent off to war soon. The children shoot bullets and mortars at effigies of the Israeli Prime Minister, the American and Israeli flags, the Saudi Royal Family and ISIS fighters.”

“Using sandbags for cover and fighting to protect religious shrines, the children receive their violence with a hefty dose of Iranian propaganda that leaves no doubt who the great Satans are in the world”.

 Cashless Society?

On the 8th November 2016 Prime Minister Modi of India made an unscheduled televised announcement to the nation. As of Midnight that night all of the current series of 500 and 1000 rupee notes were to withdrawn. That is 86% of the countries bank notes in circulation. The notes could no longer be used for transactions. The population had until 30th December to exchange at a bank the old notes for a new series issue.

The reason given for the withdrawal was a clamp down on tax evasion and corruption. Ending corruption was a key election promise on the part of Modi. So far, half way through his term in office little had been achieved.

Following the announcement chaos ensued. The Indian economy runs on cash with 90% of all transactions using hard currency. The poor bore the greatest impact. Day labourers could not find work due to employers not having cash to pay them. Small traders were ruined due to not being able to sell perishable goods. Small producers who rely on moneylenders could not raise cash. Women, 80% of whom don’t have bank accounts were left with no money. There were even reports of deaths while people waited days outside the banks to exchange their bank notes.

Even by the deadline, to exchange the old notes, of the 30th December the central bank had not completed the task of printing the new notes. To cope with the demand, restrictions were place on the amount which could be withdrawn from ATMs.

Faced with the chaos that the withdrawal of the bank notes had caused, Prime Minister Modi used a monthly radio address to the nation to call on small traders and wage earners to embrace the digital world. He presented it as an opportunity to move from a less-cash society to a cashless society.

After the pain, India will soon revert to its cash based economy. Modi called the action a surgical strike which would involve some collateral damage. Commentators have described it as smoke and mirrors. A need to be seen to be doing something while achieving little.

A Unique identification Number

Another Indian programme aimed at dealing with corruption is the Unique Identification Number [UID]. Although the legislation has still not been passed into the law by the India parliament, it has received government funding. The registering people for a UID started in 2009. By December 2016 it is reported that 85% of the population had received a UID. To be issued with a twelve digit UID a person is photographed, has an iris scan of both eyes and all 10 finger prints are taken. All the data is held on a centralised database.

The system is supposed to be robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities. This is questionable as for example in Delhi 20.3 million UID have been issued to a population of 17.7 million. The UID is part of the Digital India Plan which aims to provide all government services to citizens electronically with expected completion by 2018.

Was I wrong?

In Trumpet Sounds 113, I wrote, “Many interpretations of prophecy relating to the time of anguish at the end of this age look at it through western eyes. The ideas put forward assume that the whole world is like the West with the same political, economic and technical conditions. Therefore the man of sin is presented as a political leader who enforces his rule through the power of technology.”

“But the population of the western world is a small proportion of the whole. The conditions which might enslave the West do not apply in Africa, India or China. In India teaming millions have little regard for rules and authority. It is recognized that there are several economies which function in parallel. Hundreds of millions live outside controlled economy. Satan, given three and a half or even seven years to enforce his rule will be faced with an impossible task. Politics is not strong enough to bring everyone under his control; therefore other strategies will need to be employed.”

Does the example of India prove me wrong or does it prove that to introduce such controls is a huge task too great to be accomplished in a short time? Back in the autumn 2014, I was making the point that to gain the allegiance of the nations the Antichrist will need more that technology. First will come a time of chaos. He will then appear as a deliverer. He will be seen as a prophet rescuing the world from disaster and showing the way to a better future.

Donald Trump

A year ago in the UK we knew little about Donald Trump. His visits to Scotland to buy up land for Golf courses with ensuing battles with Planning Authorities sometimes made the news. A year later he is the President of the United States. I have heard Christians express opinions of him ranging from saviour of the western world to the Antichrist. Secular media is just as divided over what to make of him.

His first week in the White House was marked by a flood of executive orders. Most of these orders have been designed to give a public demonstration that he is keeping campaign promises. But much of it is window dressing. Those orders which require funding will have to be approved by Congress. Other orders will need State approval or even Supreme Court rulings. Like his predecessor, he will soon find that as President it is not easy to get things done. The American system has many checks and balances.

Dependent on your political views that will leave you either disappointed or relieved. But it is not policy which concerns me.  It is his temperament. Those who have done business with him say that he is always acting. Trump plays Trump.

World events tend to hijack a Presidency. We do not know what is going to arise in the next months or years. It is unlikely that George W Bush would have invaded Iraq if there had not been a 9/11. Faced with a crisis, which we cannot predict, how will Trump respond?

I have a sense of unease that when the crisis comes Trump will respond in a way which escalates it out of all proportion. His response may well create chaos and be the reason why 2017 becomes a very significant year.