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March 2016 Prophetic Observer

For printable version, click here.


 

End Times Aspirations

by Bob Glaze

Southwest Radio Church as a ministry never endorses a candidate on any level—local, state, or national. Although every person here may have a personal choice, it does not translate into a policy of the ministry. However, we as a ministry do support honesty, moral judgment, civility, a sound mind, and support of the Constitution as written based upon biblical principles, and especially a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Will we get a president with those qualities? We don’t know, because we don’t know exactly what God’s will is for this nation in an end-time scenario. Our responsibility as a Christian is to pray for His will that our nation receives a leader with those innate qualities. 

We must pray that we will receive a leader that will do away with ungodly special interest groups such as Planned Parenthood, abortion, and will treat homosexuality as sin and not a mistake of nature. It has been estimated that over 6 million
Christians stayed home in 2012 and did not vote. Therefore, we did not get the better choice. We believe that it is the duty of the Christian to vote—remember, a no-vote is a vote for the other candidate. Sometimes it is matter of voting for our cleanest dirty shirt in order to keep out the worst of the lot who will most certainly take us to the cleaners. 

Many Christians do not know what the candidates stand for. We look for candidates that have convictions, not opinions, remembering that some may have changed their views based on facts available at the time of decision. Following are a few of the major issues at hand and what the candidates wish to convey. Please note that not all remaining candidates are listed below. (Taken from www.ballotpedia.com)

Gay Rights and Same-Sex Marriage

  • Hillary Clinton: Endorsed the Equality Act (Obergefell v. Hodges) which protects LGBT persons from total discrimination. Said, “gay rights and human rights … are one and the same.” (Methodist)
  • Bernie Sanders: Endorsed the Equality Act; said, “For far too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people.” (Born Jewish but presently not affiliated with any religious group)
  • Jeb Bush: Believes in traditional marriage. Same-sex relationships should not be given same legal status as traditional marriage. (Roman Catholic) 
  • Ted Cruz: Believes the definition of marriage should instead be “left to the states and left to the people.” (Southern Baptist)
  • Marco Rubio: Believes marriage is between one man and one woman. He disagreed with the Equality Act but stated that “we live in a republic and must abide by the law.” (Roman Catholic)
  • Donald Trump: For traditional marriage. In 2011 said that gay couples should not be allowed to marry or receive the same benefits as married heterosexual couples.(Presbyterian) 

Planned Parenthood

  • Clinton: “I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood. I’ll never stop fighting to protect the ability and right of every woman in this country to make her own health decisions.”
  • Sanders: “The attempt by Republicans to cut off support for Planned Parenthood is an attack on women’s health.”
  • Bush: Said he did not believe Planned Parenthood should receive any federal funding because “they’re not actually doing women’s health issues.”
  • Cruz: Argued that Congress should defund Planned Parenthood
  • Rubio: Discussed defunding Planned Parenthood possibly by shutting down the government.
  • Trump: Said that as president he would defund Planned Parenthood and try to overturn Roe v. Wade.

International Trade

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP)—a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries including the United States. 

  • Clinton: Does not support the TTP
  • Sanders: Does not support the TTP
  • Bush: Supports the TTP
  • Cruz: Supports the TTP if certain safeguards are taken; says that the TTP should not be voted on during a lame-duck session.
  • Rubio: Originally supported TTP but lately has reservations.
  • Trump: Does not support; says that the TTP is an attack on America’s businesses. 

Immigration

  • Clinton: Original sponsor of the Dream Act; supports sanctuary cities
  • Sanders: Supports path toward citizenship for 11 million undocumented aliens
  • Bush: Opposes mass deportation; supports path to citizenship.
  • Cruz: Enforce Constitution and deport illegal immigrants; against sanctuary cities and for securing border.
  • Rubio: Against amnesty, supports building the wall, hire 20,000 new border agents, mandatory e-verify.
  • Trump: Would deport all illegal immigrants and build a wall on southern border. 

Iran Deal

  • Clinton: Supports Iran deal. 
  • Sanders: Supports Iran deal. 
  • Bush: Against Iran deal
  • Cruz: Against Iran deal
  • Rubio: Against Iran deal
  • Trump: Against Iran deal

The above article only includes six of the presidential candidates that are still viable in the race. Of course, any of these could drop out at any time or after a discovery is made that disqualifies them. It is also possible that if Trump’s numbers start to drop he could run on an independent ticket, virtually insuring that a Democrat would be ushered into the White House. 

There are also aspirations that must be considered. Recently, at one of Hillary’s whistle stops, a supporter asked if she might consider putting Obama on the bench as a supreme court justice if elected. She stated that idea had not occurred to her, but she seemed delighted at the prospect. Does this scenario have a precedent? In fact, it does. In 1908, William Howard Taft was elected by landslide to the office of president as a Republican. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft chief justice of the United States. Taft became the one and only person ever to hold both the office of president and chief justice. 

If Hillary were to put Obama on the bench, it would certainly present several problems for both of them, so her excitement might only be feigned. First, Obama can most certainly give Hillary a presidential pardon for her crimes against the federal government. That arrangement could be made with the guarantee that Obama could be presented to Congress, which would in all probability be passed. Second, since neither knows the meaning of truth or forgiveness, Hillary would be giving Obama a chance for retribution for all the acid reflux she caused him as secretary of State. Each could recommend impeachment of the other.

However, that scenario doesn’t seem plausible, because Obama has aspirations of a much higher magnitude: UN secretary-general. Obama will turn over the reins of the White House on January 20, 2017. It just so happens that the current secretary-general of the United Nations term ends on December 31, 2016. 

“It would be interesting if Obama resigned on New Year’s Day 2017 and let Joe Biden become President for the final 20 days of his term.” This could also be interesting if Joe Biden threw his hat into the ring for nomination, outpointing both Hillary and Bernie and win the presidency. He could just stay in office for the next four years. Outlandish thought—who knows? 

“For a citizen of the globe like Obama being President of the United States is an office too small for his lifestyle, ambitions, and ideology. Should Obama become UN Secretary-General, he could become the President of the Whole World” (www.spectator.org).

Would President of the World be equal to the Beast of Revelation 13? He “would still have a pen and a phone, could disrupt New York City traffic, and travel all over the world and hear himself talk as he gives speeches about Islam’s contributions to the world, climate change, gun control, police brutality…while staying in opulent hotels and eating in the swankiest restaurants. But the best part of the job is that Obama could continue to make life a living hell for Israel especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” (www.spectator.org)

However, Obama may have some competition: Pope Francis. According to the Huffington Post, “Pope Francis Wants To Be President Of The World.” The article states that although this is not a real job, “But shrewdly, methodically and with a showman’s flair, the soft-spoken, 78-year-old Argentinian Jesuit priest named Jorge Mario Bergoglio—Pope Francis—showed Thursday that he is running to become president of the planet.” 

In the first ever address to Congress by a pope, he never mentioned abortion, yet defended the family but did not define it by gender. Instead, he focused on lecturing Congress on honoring communal morality taken from the Catholic social gospel. He asked the lawmakers to use their powers to lift up extreme poverty, establish racial equality, make peace with former enemies, welcome immigrants with open arms, end arm sales, and save the planet. 

In his address delivered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 25, 2015, Pope Francis opened his speech with, “I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.” (abcnews.go.com) These are the sentiments of someone destined to be a leader on the world stage. 

However, both Pope Francis and Barack Obama cannot be the president of the world unless secretary-general and president are two different offices. Could it be that this pope or any pope could be the Antichrist’s partner mentioned in Revelation 13:1,11,13: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. … And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. … And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” 

We are living in the end times and certainly can see the soon approaching fulfillment of prophecy. The teaching of prophecy is one of the greatest witnessing tools available to the Christian. Over 25 percent of the Bible contains either fulfilled or yet to be fulfilled prophecies with none left to be fulfilled before the Rapture of the Church. How long will it be before the Lord comes back for us? No one knows the exact day or hour, but we can know the season, and this is the season. “The lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come unto repentance.” (2 Peter: 3:9) “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”


 

Infiltrated III: The Painful Demise of a Great Nation

By Larry Spargimino

America is in deep trouble. There are threats of every imaginable nature ranging from military, economic, and social to domestic and local. Campaigning presidential hopefuls are all espousing their own solutions but there is that inner gnawing sense of despair in every heart that nothing will really work. Might we be missing something? A simple parable may help.

There were two brothers, Jimmy and Billy. They were both in elementary school. Jimmy was doing real well, but Billy just wasn’t getting it. Jimmy’s teachers wrote home and told his parents how good he was doing: he was on time, did his homework conscientiously, and never talked without first raising his hand. However, Billy was just the opposite. His dad tried everything from a variety of rewards to a variety of threats and punishments. One day dad got real angry and gave Billy a good beating. Dad even threatened to take away his bicycle until his work and behavior in school improved. But it never did.

One day Billy’s teacher asked his parents, “Have you had Billy’s eyes checked? I think he has trouble seeing the board and reading his assignments. He said his eyes hurt.”

Not Flesh and Blood

In this series of studies in the Prophetic Observer, I have argued that America has a problem that few have acknowledged: we are in the throes of spiritual warfare and few acknowledge that fact. Not acknowledging this can have disastrous consequences, even for those who are trying to do good in a morally bankrupt culture.

In a recent opinion blog by Michael Brown, we read: “In a very troubling video, Theodore Shoebat, son of former Muslim Walid Shoebat, has claimed that if ‘sodomites’ had walked into the temple of Jerusalem, Jesus would have killed them. Mr. Shoebat, I urge you to repent” (charismanews.com).

Brown is certainly not being “soft” on homosexuality. He acknowledges that “homosexual practice is detestable in God’s sight” and that “homosexual activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of religion, speech, and conscience,” but acknowledges that physical violence and using bad names—Shoebat calls them “faggots”—is not the way to handle the problem.

In the video, Shoebat argues that it’s a good thing when Christians physically attack gays and lesbians who are marching down the street in a gay pride event. He says that in a Christian country, Christians won’t be punished for beating up on gays and lesbians because “there’s a law written in the heart of the people” showing that “God detests homosexual practice.”

America’s problems are, at root, profoundly spiritual. There are dark, unseen forces, that are operative in ways that few realize. These forces often show themselves by producing aberrant behaviors and emotional confusion. Because human sexuality is such a powerful force, especially when unrestrained by the teaching of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit, these dark forces find sexual perversion an effective tool for bringing a culture to ruin. Physical violence, in the form of beatings, threats, and intimidation, simply won’t work. Just as beating little Billy did not solve the problem of low grades, beating gays and lesbians who are marching in a peaceful parade won’t work either and, in fact, will have some unintended, and often harmful consequences. “Not only, then, are Theodore’s words terribly dangerous” writes Brown, “since some unstable listeners might think they are doing God’s service by attacking or even, God forbid, trying to kill homosexual men and women. They  also bear false witness to the character of Jesus.”

Gods, Idols, and Demons

Though we may think that our generation is especially perverse, the ancient world of the New Testament era was very much like our world today. A tourist visiting Athens would get an overwhelming feeling of awe in seeing the Parthenon and the adjacent structures—the temple of Athena Nike, the theater of Dionysus, and many other magnificent edifices. Yet when the Apostle Paul was in Athens, he was not impressed by the architecture, but rather deeply distressed that the city was full of idols (Acts 17:16). In his book Powers of Darkness: Principalities and Powers in Paul’s Letters, Clinton E. Arnold writes:

Pagans believed their gods were alive and could help them in practical ways for their earthly needs and, in many instances, bring them a blissful afterlife. The early Christians, including Paul saw these gods as alive too, but in a different sense. They believed demons, the powers of Satan, inspired and perpetuated these pagan gods. These idols greatly distressed Paul because they represented a supernaturally inspired opposition to the gospel which Paul came to proclaim.—pp. 35–36

Indeed, the Apostle Paul saw more in idols than just grotesque images and statues made of wood and stone. They brought devotees into fellowship with demons. “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Corinthians 10:19–20). The apostle denies that the idol is “anything”—it’s just wood, stone, or clay. However, there is a connection between the idol and demonic forces. The connection is so real that it could lead to “fellowship with devils.”

There are several scriptures that speak of the true God being greater than all other “gods” (e.g. Ps. 86:8; 96:4; 135:5). This is not a denial that there is only one true and living God—blessed Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—but an affirmation that there are spiritual beings who are intelligent and sometimes malevolent and who are allowed  a measure of autonomy to do their own will. These lowercase “gods” are not just idols. Deuteronomy 3:24 asks if there are gods “… in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?” Psalm 97:7 is similar: “Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols. …” It would seem as if the Psalmist is talking about graven images; yet his next words are: “… worship him, all ye gods.” Graven images cannot worship; but these “gods” are real spiritual entities: “And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils” (Psalms 106:36–37). As I have noted earlier in Part II of this series, the universe is not a universe, but a multiverse. This is exactly what we would expect in a multiverse of parallel realities.

False Teaching

First Timothy 4:1 explains the effects spirit forces can have on a church’s ministry and teaching. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” According to the apostle, there are those who will become apostates because they have given “heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

The apostle relays this information to pastor Timothy because the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to Paul about this emerging problem. Consequently, he is warning Timothy. There will be churches that will be subject to demonic influence through false teachers who have imbibed the teachings of demons. Of special significance is the effect that the teaching of demons will have on those who heed them: “Having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” They will be unable to discern right from wrong, good from bad. Is this a possible reason why there is so much bad doctrine in American churches?

Because of this reality, the apostle gives Timothy special instruction regarding how to handle those who have been “infected”: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:25–26) .

Timothy is to instruct “in meekness.” There is no thought here of a physical beating! These individuals who have been led astray by the spirits are to be objects of compassion, not objects of scorn, for they “oppose themselves.” Just as the Gadarene demoniac lived a self-destructive lifestyle (Mark 5:1–20), so too, these individuals are harming themselves and practice that which is destructive to their best interests.

Christian Persecution

The persecution of Christians has been a reality from the beginning of the New Testament era. Jesus told His followers to expect it. Civil government will be especially hateful because of the Christians’ refusal to recognize the emperor—king, president, human potentate—as supreme. Jesus told the church at Smyrna, “The devil will cast some of you into prison” (Revelation 2:10). It is doubtful that Jesus meant the devil will show up with a pitchfork and wearing a red jumpsuit. He will accomplish his evil purposes using deceived people.

Again, in Revelation 2, we see evidence of Satan’s hatred for the Body of Christ. In the Lord’s message to the church at Pergamos we read of Antipas (antipas, Grk, “against all”) labeled “my faithful martyr.” He was “slain among you, where Satan dwelleth” (Revelation 2:13).

Is there persecution in America, and in the world, today that has a satanic origin? It is impossible to deny that there is. Revelation 12–13 speak of Satan’s rage against Christians. The red dragon persecutes the woman (Revelation 12:13), and wages war against her seed (Revelation 12:17).

Perhaps one of the greatest opponents of biblical Christianity today (though certainly not the only opponent), is radical Islam. We would do well to focus on the demonic source of the opposition, and to have compassion on the people. Joel Richardson writes of our duty to Muslims:

… Believers must demonstrate the Father’s amazing, unrelenting love to Muslims. The Islamic world is not a culture of the cross. As such, when the Church truly lives as the body of Messiah crucified, Muslims will be touched. And many will be changed forever. … The praying Church must seize upon the prophetic promise that the Father has placed with Ishmael’s name and cry out, “Father, once more, hear the cry of Ishmael! Do for his offspring what you have done for us. Open their eyes. Remove their blindness and reveal Jesus to them as the Son of God. Save a multitude of Muslims, O Father!”—Mideast Beast, pp. 256–257