Newsletter 137 Autumn 2020

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12.

In this edition

Nearing the end

Immanuel

Revelation of Jesus Christ

Are you woke?

Saeb Erekat

Watch

China

USA after the elections

Locust and wild honey

Nearing the end

It is not the virus, but where the virus is leading which should concern us. The present pandemic, sent by God or manmade, is the beginning of judgment on the kingdom of this world.

There has been a flood of comment on the internet with regard to the present pandemic. Some of the comment has achieved millions of views. Assertions are being made that this virus is a hoax, it is no worse than flue, it was pre-planned and engineered, it is being used to open the way to global government, etc. I can listen to these ideas but I am not qualified to comment.

There are also issues over a possible vaccine. With any vaccine there are safety issues such as has it been rushed into production without proper testing. Also we have to ask is it ethical? This relates to how the vaccine has been developed and cultured. Then some claim, that there is malign intent behind the push to vaccinate the whole global population? Others fear that the vaccine will come with a vaccination passport, without which a person will continue to live under government restrictions.

It is not certain that an effective vaccine will be found. For years researchers have unsuccessfully tried to find a vaccine for the common cold which is often caused by another type of coronavirus.

There will of course be a vaccine. Too much money and effort has been invested for there not to be a vaccine. Governments need to be seen to be doing something. Questionable measures, like the wearing of face masks, result from this pressure to act. If the vaccine fails there is the readymade excuse that the virus has mutated into a new strain.

God hates Babylon

We must move from speculation to certainty. The key issue, overlooked by commentators, is God’s hatred of Babylon. That statement should be underlined many times. Such is God’s hatred of Babylon that the whole of heaven erupts in ear deafening praise when she is destroyed. We find this difficult to understand because we are generally very comfortable living in Babylon. We easily forget that “Friendship with the world is enmity with God”. James 4: 4.

One day Babylon will fall, that is certain. Babylon represents the kingdom of this world. She has grown rich through trade and surrounded herself in luxury. But we read, in Revelation 18, that she has become the dwelling place of demons and every foul spirit.

It is a kingdom which from its inception at the tower of Babel has been in opposition to the Kingdom of God. According to the Bible, Babylon has been responsible for the shedding of the blood of the prophets and saints and of all who were slain on the earth (Revelation 18: 24). God hates her for her violence. Like Sodom of old, her sins have reached up to heaven. God can no longer restrain His wrath. Her fall will make way for the final short lived kingdom of the beast.

We don’t need to be experts to observe that this pandemic is having a devastating effect on the global economy. Whether this pandemic is pre-planned, engineered or whatever else, it is being used by God to prepare the way for Babylon’s fall. It is I believe the beginning of His judgment on the world system which He hates. The final fall of Babylon will be brought about by the 10 nations which then give their kingdom to the beast (Revelation 17: 16 – 17).

We are not there yet but the weakening of the global economy is preparing the way for the whole system to be brought crashing down. We have witnessed how quick governments throughout the world have been to adopt totalitarian powers in the face of (dare I say it) a fairly minor crisis. How much more drastic will be their response when faced with total collapse.

The time is short. Are we ready?

Immanuel

The first time a person reads through the Bible from cover to cover, coming to the closing chapters of Revelation feels like quite an achievement. The Bible contains an epic story stretching from before time began to beyond the distant future.

In the final chapters of Revelation we come to the end of one story and the beginning of another. The story which is ending is the one which started long ago at creation. In the beginning God created a perfect world and gave it to mankind to look after. Soon Satan entered that world. In jealousy he deceived Eve causing her to disobey God. The fall of man corrupted the whole world. The Bible recounts a story of decline and redemption as it leads through the history of a chosen nation up to the pivotal event of history. That event is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we who deserve punishment for our sin can, through faith, be forgiven.

Now it is revealed that this is not the end. The Bible is only the prologue to the real story. The final two chapters of Revelation provide us with a trailer for what lies ahead.

The close of Revelation is a description of the fulfilment of all that God intended when He created man. It is a description in words using things we know. That is the only means of revealing to us what “”Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him”, but God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2: 9 – 10. We should let the Holy Spirit use these words to thrill our imagination with the glory of all that God is doing and of which we can be a part. The symbolism in these chapters is explained in more detail in my book ‘Revelations of Jesus Christ’ (see below). This article only provides an outline of what lies ahead.

Revelation 21 and 22

The old creation has fled away from the presence of God. Everything sinful and evil has been cast into the lake of fire. The devil and his followers will never again disturb the peace of heaven.

The Son of God left the glory of His Father’s house, emptied Himself and became man (Philippians 2: 5 – 11) so that He would win a bride and bring her to a new home. That bride is now seen. The faithful have been prepared by the Holy Spirit to be the bride. They will live with the Bridegroom in the place prepared for them, the New Jerusalem. God and men will live forever in harmony. The lessons of sin have been learnt. Death, sorrow and pain are now things of the past. Even in glory Jesus has not changed. The One who washed the disciple’s feet will wipe away our tears. He will wipe away all the sorrowful memories of the past. In His presence, due to His love and wisdom, we will have eternal joy and peace.

Heaven on Earth

We are not transported to live in the spiritual realm. The reverse takes place. The Father and the Son come to dwell in their material creation. Creation becomes the new heaven. Two thousand years ago the eternal Son of God entered our world and became a man. Jesus used the title ‘Son of Man’. He remains a man and will live with us and rule His new creation as a man.

In this new creation Jesus will “transform our lowly body that it may conform to His glorious body” (Philippians 3: 21). We will receive new bodies in preparation for living in His new world.

Isaiah prophesied that the Son born to the virgin would be called ‘Immanuel’, (Isaiah 7: 14). Immanuel means ‘God with us’. The prophecy was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus the Messiah. The closing words of Revelation reveal that there is a greater fulfilment to come. Both the Father and the Son will come and dwell in their creation. We will serve Him and reign in that creation forever and ever.

I am coming quickly

We have been permitted to glimpse into the glorious future. The prophecy now closes. We are reminded of the opening words of the prophecy. This is a message sent direct from the throne of God. It is absolutely reliable.

“Surely I am coming quickly!” As at the beginning we are reminded that the time is near (Revelation 1: 3). If the time is near then it may be in our lifetime. Therefore every generation should study and take seriously this prophecy. The message contained in it is in fact for all time and every generation.

Jesus taught that the church should always be ready, alert, and watching (Matthew 24: 42, 25: 13, Luke 12: 35 – 40, 21: 34 – 36). By failing to watch, the church has many times and in many places become conformed to this world. Nowhere else in scripture are the consequences of being conformed to this present evil age so clearly spelt out.

Outside the city.

Outside the city is the lake of fire, where everyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life, will be thrown. Jesus used the term ‘Gehenna’ often translated as Hell to describe this place (Matthew 10: 28). Gehenna was the name of the rubbish dump outside the city of Jerusalem, from which the smoke of bonfires was always rising. He also called Hell “the outer darkness” (Matthew 22: 13). Hell is so far from the presence of God that His light, which floods His creation, never reaches it.

This is the final warning of the Bible to the unrepentant. God does not want anyone to go there. But if they continue in their rebellion they will be treated like rubbish consigned to a tiny, miserable, tormented, corner of His creation, destroyed and forgotten.

The blessing

The blessing which opened the prophecy is repeated here. “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 1:3. Having got this far, you will have read or heard these words. Now it is down to us to keep them.

Daniel was told to seal up the words of his prophecy until the end time (Daniel 12: 9). It is then that they would be understood. The message of Revelation is not sealed for it is not limited to the end of this age. It is a call to righteous living in every age.

The righteous are to persevere in their righteousness until He calls them home. They have heeded the words of this prophecy and are blessed by doing so.

Another warning

Such is the divine inspiration of this prophecy that it closes with a warning. Those who tamper with what it says will lose their place in the New Jerusalem. Both translators and interpreters beware; to alter the meaning and mislead the redeemed will be judged severely by God. The matters dealt with here lead either to eternal salvation or final punishment. Take care lest we cause others to stumble.

In conclusion Jesus Himself bears witness to all that is written in this prophecy. “Surely I am coming quickly”.

In reply the church affirms, “Amen, Even so, come Lord Jesus”.

The eternal story now begins – will you be part of it?

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Revelations of Jesus Christ

The series of articles ‘Twelve Revelations of Jesus Christ’ is now available as a book. In the book the series has been expanded to include more revelations of Jesus Christ and thoughts on related subjects. The following quote from the introduction to the book makes clear its purpose.

“The opening words of the book of Revelation confirm its purpose. It is ‘a revelation of Jesus Christ’. The Son does not glorify Himself. It is His Father who reveals His Son, so that we can give to Jesus the glory due. He is a Son who, in perfect humility, submission and obedience, has brought about the salvation of mankind.”

“The Son is central to all that follows. The future, our future, is entirely bound up in Him. If we want to understand the things which must shortly take place we need to understand Jesus Christ. Therefore as we come to study Revelation our primary question is; ‘what does this book reveal about Jesus?’”

“The following studies bring different insights into the character of Jesus. Some revelations confirm what has gone before, others occur nowhere else in scripture.”

“One day all of heaven and earth will bow before Jesus Christ. Revelation is a foretaste of the glory which belongs to Him alone.”

In these last days we need to keep our focus on Jesus. Whatever trouble may come if we look to Him, He will carry us through.

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Copies of this book are available from, Trumpet Ministries, contact@trumpetsounds.net. The cost including postage is £10.00.

 

Are you woke?

Woke/Wokeness: A supposed state of social and political awareness to the injustices of society for any one people group seen to be oppressed. The result is supposed to be a desire to challenge certain norms that society has taken for granted and modify one’s behaviour to reflect the need to become an activist for change. However, the term, used frequently now in social media, has become more of a way to discriminate (are you “woke” or not) against those who may see the injustices of society but do not necessarily become vocal activists but live their lives treating all humans justly and lovingly. “Woke” activists, however, reject that and say “Silence is Violence.”

Here are a few more terms from the social justice movement which are used by those who are woke. The definitions are taken from, S is for Social Justice the Language of Today’s Cultural “Revolution,” by Mary Danielsen and published by Lighthouse Trails Research.

Cancel Culture: “Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (cancelling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.” An example of cancel culture would be a social media blitz against a company that has publicly spoken up against “gay” marriage or transgender bathrooms

Cisgender: A term to label one who identifies with the gender he or she is born with. It is not related to sexual orientation, however, merely gender. It is the opposite of “transgender”. From a biblical point of view, it would be those who do not denounce or try to change the gender with which they are born.

Critical Race Theory (CRT): The idea that the law is inherently racist and designed by Caucasians to maintain or further their standing in politics and economics over minorities. It has branched out to include liberal feminists, LGBTQ, and other minorities. Proponents believe that even the Civil Rights laws, which they claim did nothing to benefit people of colour, mainly benefited the whites only.

Identity Politics: Where the focus is on who you are regarding race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender rather than what your political views and moral persuasions are.

Intersectionality: A term coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a civil-rights activist. The theory behind it is that there are multiple sources of discrimination in people’s lives simultaneously. For example, one can be oppressed as a woman, and as a LGBTQ woman, and as a black LGBTQ woman. These categories of oppression intersect with each other, increasing the victimhood exponentially regarding entitlements and subjective justice.

Oppressed vs. Oppressor: In Critical Race Theory, you are either an oppressor or an oppressed. Oppressed groups would include women, the low-income, people of colour, LGBT, etc.; oppressor groups would include men, the wealthy, white, conservatives, etc. Members of oppressor groups must refrain from voicing their views as it may intimidate those in oppressed groups. In actuality, Critical Race Theory has adopted a prejudicial and even racist mindset. It also causes dissension, distrust, suspicion, and hate toward people because of their supposed oppressor traits.

Queer: “An umbrella term within the LGBTQQIA community that refers to anyone who doesn’t prescribe to traditional societal views of gender and sexuality; implies elasticity and a resistance to the notion of a predetermined gender and sexual identity based on biology.”

Virtue Signaling: Expressing opinions that are designed to align with a certain politically correct or socially acceptable cause. It claims some sort of agreed-upon moral high ground with the attending feeling of moral superiority (i.e., good works for a social-justice climate). The church of the social gospel is also not immune from virtue signaling in its efforts to mimic the world’s causes and bring the culture into the church to appear to be more appealing to the lost and please men instead of God.

Saeb Erekat

Has played the dual role of negotiator in chief for the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and propagandist for Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. As propagandist he has been responsible for repeated lies and twisting of the truth about Israel. He is an architect of the $400 million a year Martyrs Fund which pays salaries to terrorists. In part using foreign aid money. He promotes ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ which has the stated aim to bring about Israel’s total destruction. As part of the Palestinian Authority leadership he has been responsible for the recent non-cooperation with Israel, which has led to many ordinary Palestinians not receiving the treatment for Covid-19 which they needed. A more recent anti-Israel slander from Erekat was his announcement, in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on March 20, that Israelis were “spitting on Palestinian cars and property in order to transfer the corona disease to them”

As I write, Erekat has contracted and is seriously ill with Covid-19. In an act of total hypocrisy he has sought treatment in Israel. He is being treated in the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. It illustrates how the leadership of the Palestinians look after themselves, while caring little about the well-being of their people. In contrast Israel is making available, to their sworn enemy, some of the best hospital treatment in the world.

WATCH

In speaking about the end of the age Jesus warned, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24: 24.

Can the elect be deceived? The message which comes clearly through all Jesus’ teaching on the end of this age is that we must ‘watch’. Therefore we conclude that there is a danger of being deceived if we fail to ‘watch’. To underline the importance of being on our guard Jesus adds, “See I have told you beforehand.”  Matthew 24: 25. Put another way He has told us ‘You have been warned’. Having been warned of danger by our Lord it is imperative that we take note and act on that warning.

One hundred years ago much of the church in the UK was intent on understanding prophecy. Prophecy meetings were common place in most towns. There was a great interest in the Second Coming of Christ and the need to be ready.

Today the Second Coming rarely gets a mention. Far from being our “blessed hope”, it is treated as an unnecessary distraction. There are even globally known Christian leaders who warn against the study of prophecy. They believe that the church today is building the kingdom of God without the need for Jesus to intervene. By losing sight of what God has planned, despite all its outward activity, the church today has fallen asleep.

What will happen to those who no longer watch? Jesus told a parable which perfectly illustrates the danger those people place themselves in. We know the parable very well. It is usually referred to as ‘the wise and foolish virgins’ Matthew 25: 1 – 13.

The virgins have the distinguishing marks of believers. They are virgins which represents purity. They have oil which represents the Holy Spirit. They are waiting for the Bridegroom to come and all of them expect to enter the wedding feast. However the foolish virgins were not prepared for a long wait. They didn’t bring any extra oil. When the call of the Bridegroom came at midnight their lamps were going out.

The point of this parable, as Jesus makes clear in verse 13, is to encourage us all to watch. All the virgins fell asleep. They were no longer watching. As such they represent the majority of the church in the United Kingdom which has no interest in prophecy.

Despite not heeding our Lord’s command some of the virgins make it into the wedding feast. They may have slept but they had sufficient oil to be able to trim their lamps and be ready. Although careless about watching they have a strong faith and are able to distinguish between truth and falsehood. They have not been deceived by the signs, wonders and false doctrines of the devil.

When the cry goes up that the bridegroom is coming the lamps of the other virgins were going out. By the time they returned with more oil, the bridegroom had gone in to the feast and the door was closed. The foolish virgins still believed that they would be admitted to the wedding feast. Their knocking on the door is met with a rebuff. The Lord answers that He does not know them. For the Lord to disown them indicates that they have denied Him (2 Timothy 2: 12).

By failing to watch they have been deceived by false prophets and have wandered from the truth. Unprepared for the tribulations which will close this age they have not had the strength to stand firm against the trials which will come. Remember that all Satan’s signs, wonders and false teachings have one end in view. They are designed to deceive the elect. All the rest of the world he has deceived already.

The study of prophecy is not a distraction. It is essential protection for the believer from the deceptions of the false prophets’ which will increase. With the prospect of many who once served the Lord falling away and not entering the kingdom, we must continue to challenge people to take seriously the need to ‘watch’.

An important warning

The danger of deception is illustrated by ‘A Time of Departing’ by Ray Yungen. The following quote is taken from the back cover of the book.

“Ancient mystical practices are being introduced into countless churches under the umbrella of the spiritual formation movement. Also known as contemplative spirituality, the belief system has roots in mysticism and the occult. A ‘Time of Departing’, exposes the truth about the new spirituality that is entering the Christian church.”

Ray Yungen has documented the spread of these false ideas within the church. He quotes a number of internationally well-known Christian leaders who have endorsed the contemplative movement. Some of these leaders are those who pour scorn on the study of prophecy. The book illustrates the danger of listening to false prophets. I add, especially those who have sold millions of books.

If we follow the teaching of these false prophets we open the door to demonic powers. The Holy Spirit will be grieved leaving us without oil on the day our Lord returns.

Can the elect be deceived?

It seems that a large section of the church already is.

China

In the Roman Empire of the first century people were allowed to worship any gods they chose provided the Emperor was one of them. In today’s China you are no longer allowed to worship any god, all are to be converted to atheism. Reports have leaked out from China of the treatment of the Muslim Uighurs. They are rounded up and held in re-education camps. The reports have come from ethnic Kazaks who have been able to flee the camps. It is known that Christians and Buddhists are also being held but little news has been received about them.

In the Roman Empire there were certain days when a person had to show their allegiance to the Emperor. In present day China those in the camps are monitored by camera 24 hours a day. In Rome refusal to declare before magistrates that ‘Caesar is lord’ was treated as treason. In the Chinese re-education camps those interned are told that they will learn to worship President Xi Jinping and learn Chinese. Every part of every day is controlled. These camps have been described as worse that Stalin’s Gulag.

Pressure to conform to the atheist vision of the state extends outside the re-education camps. A vast surveillance system linked to the Social Credit System is being rolled out all over the country. It uses artificial intelligence to rank the trustworthiness of individuals. Trustworthiness is measured by loyalty to the atheist communist state. The system employs the slogan, ‘once untrustworthy, always restricted’.

Actions such as unauthorised meeting for religious worship, prayer or Bible study would lead to a person being penalised as untrustworthy. Penalties may extend to a person’s family, friends and even their employer, leading to pressure on businesses not to employ a person who may be found untrustworthy.

Worship is permitted in the state registered churches but with increasing interference from the authorities. The Bible is being rewritten to discredit Jesus. In places, churches have been ordered to replace the Ten Commandments with the thoughts of Xi Jinping. Portraits of Mao and Xi are to be displayed in the church. Preaching is monitored to ensure that it is supportive of the State and crosses are removed.

The global response!

In April, China was reported to be the world’s foremost violator of human rights and religious freedom by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

In October 2020 the General Assembly of the United Nations elected 15 new members to the Human Rights Council. China was one of them!

USA after the elections

I have delayed circulating this edition of Trumpet Sounds until after the Presidential elections in the United States. All elections are described as the most important in recent years. This election really is a watershed with regard to the future of the United States. The fall out will not only be felt in America but throughout the world.

President Trump has achieved a great deal in the last four years. His support for Israel has been unparalleled. His withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal was necessary. As was his withdrawing the US from the farce that is the UN Human Rights Council. He has recognised that China poses a threat to the United States. The normalisation of relations between Israel and an increasing number of Arab states is a significant achievement, although I recognise that many Christians are concerned at what cost. The epitaph on his Presidency may well be ‘he nearly made America great again’.

Biden has promised that as President he would reverse much of what Trump has achieved. He is likely to recommit the US to the Iranian Nuclear Deal. An agreement which Obama presented as a triumph but Iran never signed. He will probably seek to repair relations with China, ignoring the political and economic threat that nation poses. Biden is not sympathetic toward Israel. He is likely to re-join the UN agencies from which Trump withdrew the US, despite the anti-US sentiment in these bodies.

A concern with Biden is his early signs of dementia. He regularly loses his chain of thought when trying to explain things. He is not mentally fit to be President of the United States and is unlikely to last a four year term of office. This opens the way for Kamala Harris as the Vice President to become President when Biden has to stand down or is stood down. She will be the most left wing President in US history.

As mentioned at the start of this newsletter I believe that the Covid-19 virus is weakening the world economy in preparation for it to be brought crashing down. The significance of the current US elections lies in the timing of that crash. As the leading global economy, the US has a decisive impact on the rest of the world.

A Trump victory would lead to a stay of execution not just for his term in office but would last for a while after that. A Biden victory I believe points to that crash coming much earlier. As I write, it looks as if Biden will become the next President of the United States with Kamala Harris as his Vice President. With that in view, I predict that the crash will come within the next four years. Sooner if Kamala Harris becomes President.

Locusts and wild honey

Though normally eating bugs is an unappetizing and distinctly anti-kosher topic, an Israeli start up, ‘Biblical Protein’, is challenging that notion. They’re doing it in a manner that may solve world hunger to the delight of both environmentalists and Biblical scholars alike.

In Judaism, this reluctance is a part of the laws of Kashrut (Kosher) which strongly prohibit the consumption of insects. Except for one. “These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.” Leviticus 11:22.

Grasshoppers are already the most popular insect eaten by humans with 2.5 billion in Asia, Africa, and Central America. In some countries, grasshoppers are considered a delicacy and sold for exorbitant prices. But that is due to short seasons during which the insect can be harvested in the wild. ‘Biblical Protein’ is the first that has succeeded in raising the insect commercially.

Health-conscious consumers will love Biblical protein. It has superior nutrient content with up to 70% protein, all essential amino acids, omega-3, omega-6, iron, zinc, folic acid, and chitin. Compared to animal-based protein, it has much lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, as well as having a greater density of amino acids.

‘Biblical Protein’ currently have three products for sale: whole grasshoppers freeze-dried, protein powder, and protein bars. But the possibilities are as endless as the human appetite. They are developing an assortment of locust-based products including protein powder, protein-enriched meats, nectars, chocolate, energy bars and so much more. Their lines of gummy bears and hot dogs were sold out. From a report on www.prophecynewswatch.com.