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Acts of terror, regardless of who perpetrates them, all have the same final outcome: the reduction of freedom. This means less freedom of movement, less freedom of association, less freedom of speech, less freedom of the press, and so on. The initial gut-level response to terror is almost always fear and the desire for revenge, but the long-term fall-out is always – ALWAYS – less freedom. Think of how the Patriot Act has stripped Americans and their allies of freedom since 9/11. From this, we can assume that all acts of terror have as their ultimate aim the reduction and curtailment of freedom.
Likewise, from this, we can assume that whoever is ultimately behind all acts of terror is someone who wants to take away our freedom and thereby control us.
God gave every one of us free will and has never asked for it back. Paul said that all things are possible, but not all things are good. That’s why God engraved his laws on our hearts and set the Ten Commandments in stone, so that we would always be able to discern the good within the possible, regardless of how beguiling the temptation was to do bad. But God still permits us to do bad, if that’s what we choose to do. He does not intervene in our freedom either to do good or to do bad, but he does try his hardest to persuade us to choose the good.
That is free will.
Given this reality, it must therefore be someone who is opposed to God who is behind terrorist acts. Anyone who wants to forcefully remove or curtail the freedom of others is not mirroring God’s way and is not acting as God’s ally. In other words, they do not respect our God-given free will. We know, from Jesus, that the world is under Satan. So whoever is working behind the scenes to perpetrate terrorist acts with the ultimate aim of controlling the population is working for Satan, as are all those who willingly agree to have their freedoms curtailed in direct response to terrorism.
The New Testament mentions “the synagogue of Satan” a few times. This is in reference to “Jews who call themselves Jews but are in fact not”. Muslims call the United States “the great Satan”. These references to Satan point to power strongholds in the world at any given time. The truth is that all people, regardless of where they live or what religion they espouse, are under Satan unless they are born-again followers of Jesus. Born-agains are in God’s kingdom on Earth and have pledged their allegiance to God. Those who have not done so are defacto worshippers of Satan and thus automatically fall under Satan’s jurisdiction.
So what does this mean for acts of terrorism like the one unleashed on Paris on Friday the thirteenth of November, 2015? It means that Satan is behind these acts, regardless of who gets the finger pointed at them. It means more freedom will be forcefully removed and also willingly forfeited. It means that the world on Saturday the fourteenth of November, 2015, is less free than it was the day before. It also means Satan’s control of the world is expanding.
Satan goes by many names and wears many hats. His favourite disguise is The Invisible Man because he fancies himself to be like God. He and his minions slip in and out of people’s minds, beguiling them to act in ways that they know in their heart is wrong. Sadly, most people give into them.
The only way to win people back from Satan is to do as Jesus told us to do: love our enemies. We need to pray for the human perpetrators of terrorism as much as we pray for those who suffer from their acts. We need to pray, not curse them. If we find them, we need to imprison them, not torture or kill them. We need to give them time to repent of their acts, in the same way as God gives us time. We do not repay an eye for an eye, but nor do we just let them get away with their crime. Jesus says not to overcome evil with evil but to overcome evil with good. He also says that praying for our enemies is like pouring hot coals on their heads. So pour away, my friends. Pour away!
It may be, from all the prayers pouring out of us, that even one evil-doer may some day turn, just as I did and just as you did.
This is how we win people back from Satan and in so doing make the world safer and freer.
We know from scripture that the devils speak the truth as well as lies. Demons were among the first to ‘out’ Jesus as the Messiah, and he had a devil of a time shutting them up. Paul and Peter later had the same problem, with a demon-oppressed fortune-telling slave-girl following them around and declaring: “These men are the servants of the most high God, which show us the way to salvation” (Acts 16:17).
What should be a good thing – declaring Jesus as the Messiah, and his way as God’s way – turns into a bad thing when it’s spoken at the wrong time to the wrong people. Rather than promote to the general public that he was God’s Christ, Jesus requested the people he healed not to reveal who he was. You would think that hiding rather than proclaiming who he was would be the opposite of Jesus’ mission, but in this, as in everything else Jesus did, there was a method to his perceived madness.
Jesus often mentioned that the Jews were out to kill him. He meant the Jews in positions of power in Israel, not the everyday-Joe Jews. The Jews in power wanted to kill him because if the everyday-Joe Jews saw Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, their established power and authority under Roman rule would be threatened. The establishment Jews had the most to lose both in Jesus being the Messiah (eternal damnation) and in Jesus being seen as the Messiah (worldly loss of power), so the best way to rid themselves of this all-round threat was to get rid of Jesus.
Knowing this, Jesus avoided traveling and preaching in some areas. So when the demons ‘outed’ him by speaking through demon-oppressed people and taunting him with “we know who you are”, Jesus told them to be quiet before casting them out. Paul and Peter did the same thing to the demon who spoke through the fortune-telling slave girl. In these cases, the demons were speaking the truth, but at a time and place that put Jesus’ and the apostles’ lives at risk. The truth, when spoken by demons, is always bad news.
Obama has a way of saying things about Christianity that casts Jesus in a bad light and therefore threatens those who follow him. Obama’s latest attack on Christians was launched at the National Prayer Breakfast a few days ago. At the breakfast, Obama stated that Christians should “get off of their high horse” about how brutal the Muslim religion is, considering how brutal the Crusades and Inquisition were, both of which, Obama declared, were carried out “in the name of Christ”.
Obama is speaking the truth in saying that the Crusades and the Inquisition were brutal and were carried out in the name of Christ (meaning, under the banner of Christianity). However, in pointing out atrocities that were carried out in Christ’s name, Obama puts Christians in the same boat as Muslim fanatics who are carrying out mass murders and other atrocities today. In equating Christians with Muslim fanatics, and Muslim fanatics with terrorists, Obama condemns both Christians and Muslim fanatics for the same crimes and thereby implies that these groups are equally dangerous and thus equally enemies of the free world.
This is how demons speak the truth – with the intent to harm, not to help, and their target is almost always followers of Jesus. Yes, the Crusades and the Inquisition were horrendous, and yes, they were carried out in the name of Christ, but Obama’s dredging up of past crimes against humanity serves as a means of deflecting from current atrocities carried out by so-called “extremists”. Obama’s statement is also only “truthful” if taken at face value, considering that the Inquisition was carried out first and foremost to find and ‘convert’ to Roman Catholicism genuine followers of Jesus who refused to submit to the pope. That it was carried out under the banner of Christianity doesn’t mean it was a Christian act.
It should not be surprising that Obama would defend Islam and attack Christianity, given his Muslim upbringing. It should also not be surprising that Obama would attack Christianity, given that the world is under Satan and the POTUS is one of Satan’s chief spokespersons. Islam is a fanatical ideology whose founder was a murderer who encouraged and sanctioned murder. The Koran is filled with exhortations to kill and torture ‘infidels’, meaning all those who refuse to submit to Islam. In contrast, Christianity is an open invitation to live your life by faith by following the example of its founder, Jesus, who never committed murder and always counseled his followers against murdering anyone. The New Testament is filled with exhortations to “love your enemies” and do good to them. The two ideologies – Christianity and Islam – could not be further apart, either in word or deed.
Yes, horrendous acts were committed long ago in the name of Christ, but these acts were carried out by demon-inspired people who did not know God, did not know Jesus, and did not know the New Testament. The horrendous acts being carried out today in the name of Islam use the Koran as an instruction manual for those deeds and bear Mohammad’s seal of approval. The demon speaking through Obama at the Prayer Breakfast may have been speaking the truth, but its intention was not to enlighten, as truth should; rather, the demon’s aim was to deflect blame from the guilty and, in so doing, condemn the innocent.
There is an epidemic of offense going around these days. Everyone, it seems, is offended by something or someone. Jesus advised his followers not to be offended by what he said, because he spoke the truth. Despite his warning, many were and still are offended.
The truth resonates in every soul, but most people have closed themselves off to it. They would rather keep believing their self-satisfying and self-protecting version of reality than accept even for an instant that maybe, just maybe, they might be wrong, or maybe they’re just taking themselves way too seriously.
Freedom of speech is a hard-won and precious right that is currently under attack in the free world. We shouldn’t throw away freedom of speech just because some people’s sensibilities are offended by insults to, say, their religion or confusion over their gender. As we see in scripture, the response of being offended arises in people who don’t want to hear the truth. They are presented with the truth, and they reject it. The offense isn’t because people are speaking the truth; the offense is because people don’t want to hear the truth.
There was a protest march yesterday in Sydney, Australia, AGAINST freedom of speech.
Let that sink in.
I’ll rephrase it, while you’re letting it sink in: Using their hard-fought and hard-won right to openly voice their opinions, a group of Australians protested against their hard-fought and hard-won right to openly voice their opinions.
You can’t make this stuff up.
The protest group was comprised of around 800 young Muslims, and the catalyst for this particular protest was the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Mohammed. Trying their own hand at creating and promoting offensive material, some protesters displayed drawings of dogs urinating on the graves of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
I don’t find either the Charlie Hebdo or the anti-Charlie Hebdo drawings offensive; I just find them childish and petty. If people took themselves less seriously, then maybe they’d share my opinion, which I suggest is a healthy and sustainable one.
I prefer to take Jesus’ advice and not be offended, as there really isn’t anything to be offended about. You shouldn’t find the truth offensive, and you shouldn’t find petty insults offensive.
THANK GOD, in free countries, people are still legally entitled both to hold and express their own opinions, whether in spoken, written or graphic form, however unsavory and downright ridiculous those opinions might be to others. There should be no limits to freedom of speech. Those who want to limit the expression of your opinions really just want to control you.
Don’t let them.
The moral of the story is: Go ahead and protest against the right to protest, if that’s what you want to do, but don’t be offended if I laugh at you. You’ve earned it.
Everyone loves a hero. Everyone loves the rush of being caught up in the worship of someone who just seems to have it all – looks, money, talent, charm, intelligence, power, charisma – especially when that very special person swears that his entire purpose is to bring world peace and fulfill everyone’s deepest desires.
Who wouldn’t, I mean, WHO COULDN’T love such a person?
I remember feeling that heady rush of worship for David Cassidy when I was 8 years old and he was starring as “Keith” in the 1970’s sitcom “The Partridge Family”. I’m not sure if “Keith” ever specifically addressed the issue of world peace during any of the half-hour episodes, but I would nevertheless have followed him anywhere and done anything he asked of me. And I wasn’t alone in my worship of Keith. His female fans were (and still are) legion.
The Muslims have their own version of Keith Partridge in the figure of the Mahdi. The Mahdi is a political, military and spiritual leader who is prophesied to emerge in the end-times, rule over the entire world, and usher in an age of peace and plenty. He’s supposed to be charming, handsome, brave, generous, and kind.
And then there’s the Antichrist. In the New Testament, as well as in verses in Daniel, the Antichrist is described in terms similar to
Keith Partridge (just kidding!) the anticipated Muslim hero. However, for born-agains, the prophesied Antichrist is no hero. In fact, he’s going to be our worst nightmare.
So what does all this have to do with the here and now?
As with all prophecies, whether real of fake, the Mahdi prophecy comes with a long-standing series of signposts and timelines indicating what to expect and when to expect it. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of the prophecy, mainly because it contains elements that are highly contradictory, depending on which sect of adherents you ascribe to. Instead, I will present a brief overview of some features that are common to both the Mahdi and the Antichrist. I think you’ll agree, when you see these signposts and timelines, that something is definitely afoot in world events today, and we should remain alert.
The Mahdi is characterized as a leader who will first and foremost bring “peace” to the world. He’ll espouse a religion that all of the world’s people, regardless of their former beliefs, will accept and adhere to, and he’ll usher in an age of material wealth that extends to all people. His reign is expected to last around seven years.
Sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it?
Maybe too nice.
The Antichrist is also supposed to usher in seven years of world peace and plenty, but at the barrel of a gun. And those who don’t buy into his Keith Partridge act will be kissing their own heads good-bye.
To get a good idea of the Antichrist, think of him as being the polar opposite of Jesus. So, where Jesus was of humble birth, the Antichrist will arise from the ruling elite; where Jesus lived in subsistence-level poverty, the Antichrist will be stinking rich; where Jesus was not classically good-looking, the Antichrist will be handsome and sexy; where Jesus claimed his kingdom is “not of this world” (meaning, he’s Lord of the spiritual realm), the Antichrist will lay claim to the entire world and all the ‘stuff’ in it, including people; where Jesus predicates his teachings on truth (a.k.a. God), the Antichrist will promote lies; where Jesus invites us to worship God, leaving it up to us whether we accept his invitation, the Antichrist will force us to worship him as the supreme being; where Jesus defers to God in all things, the Antichrist will defer only to himself; and where Jesus leaves all decisions about spiritual and material life in our hands, respecting our God-given free will, the Antichrist will force us to do things, denying that we even have free will.
Seen in this context, is the Mahdi really just the Antichrist viewed through rose-colored glasses?
Absolutely. Yes. Without a doubt.
And here’s where the timeline gets particularly timely.
The Mahdi is supposed to appear soon after the Saudi King, Abdullah, dies (check), when Yemen is in political turmoil (check), and when brutally violent armies flying black flags overrun the Middle East (check, check, check).
According to Shiite hadiths (traditional prophecies), following “the death of a king named Abdullah in the Hijaz — a western region of present-day Saudi Arabia — no successor to the throne would be accepted, and disagreements would escalate and persist until the rise of Imam Mahdi…. Some believe that the rise of terrorist groups in the Levant, along with their black flags, is another sign of Mahdi’s resurrection…. Black flags can suggest the Islamic State, which is killing [tens of thousands] of innocent people in the region with brutality.”
The disturbing aspect to these prophecies is that while genuine Christians are dreading the coming of the Antichrist, Muslims are eagerly awaiting the Mahdi. In fact, they want to help him come to power.
One Muslim scholar, giddy as a school girl, recently stated: “Many [Muslim clerics] believe that the rise of Imam Mahdi is imminent. Even important figures in the seminary have expressed their hope for this event to happen and have called for our readiness to help him.”
If the Mahdi is the Antichrist, then we born-agains need to keep vigilant watch – not in eager anticipation to help him, like the Muslims, but in readiness to expose his lies and withstand his evil acts, even if he does come crooning “I Think I Love You.”