Category Archives: Politics

Higher Powers

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)

The Wuhan Pandemic proves the willingness of Americans to voluntarily subject themselves to the “higher powers” without question or objection. At least that holds true for those of the population who generally comply with mandates issued by the powers that be.  Compliance comes without challenge to the legitimacy or legality of the edict.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Christian community. Ever since the government issued the “shelter-in-place” rules to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, churches have shut the doors to their facilities, ignoring the biblical mandate not to forsake the assembling together.[1] In so doing, they also ignore another biblical principle that we, the Church, are to obey God rather than men.[2]

In defense of these biblical infractions, church leaders cite Romans 13:1-7.  Writing from Corinth, Paul pens a letter to the young church in Rome expressing his desire to visit them on his way to Spain.[3] Paul’s “meaty” letter to the Romans contains much “heavy” doctrine as well as practical application of that doctrine to the Christian life. In this section, Paul gives instructions on how Christians should relate to governing authorities.

Paul wrote his letter to the Roman Church sometime around 57-58 A.D. Nero reigned as emperor of the Roman Empire.[4] History records that Nero initiated the “Great Fire of Rome” in 64 A.D.[5] in order to make room for one of his public works projects. In order to deflect the liability from himself, he cast the blame on Christians subjecting them to harsh persecution. It is said that he raised Christians on stakes and set them on fire to light the streets of Rome. It is this emperor to whom Paul exhorted the Roman Church to submit “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4). “He is a minister of God to thee for good”? He is “a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”? Was Paul really talking about Nero? Indeed he was.

Christians should submit to the governing authorities because, according to God’s Word through Paul, “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).  The Greek word translated “ordained” is tassō and it carries the idea of putting things in order; to station in place; to arrange; to appoint. I picture it as God arranging chess pieces on a chessboard. The Bible clearly affirms that it is God who sets up or takes down earthly kings. He does it to accomplish His higher purpose. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1).

Even though Nero used Christians as human torches, this was an isolated case. Systemic persecution of Christians did not exist at the time of Paul’s writing to the church at Rome. Isolated cases of persecution cropped up from time to time, but it was far from rampant. The primitive church in Jerusalem suffered the brunt of early persecution at the hands of the Jews, but except for Stephan[6] and James,[7] there is no biblical record of Christians being killed for their faith. The Jews beat Peter and threw him in prison, but an angelic jailbreaker let him out.[8] Early Christians did suffer individual and isolated cases of persecution, but it was mostly in the form of ostracism. In fact, the Bible records that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The moniker, Christian, was given as a term of derision, not as a compliment. That was mostly the extent of persecution in the early church. We, in America, suffer that kind of persecution today and it appears to be growing worse.

The kind of persecution portrayed in epic movies – Christians fed to lions, burned at the stake, dragged to death behind chariots, etc. – did not take place until much later. “Officially sanctioned Roman persecution was most intense during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Decius (249–251), Diocletian (284–305) and Galerius (305–311).”[9] For the most part, the Romans practiced “freedom of religion,” as long as people gave verbal assent to Caesar as lord. Declaring “Jesus is Lord” could get Christians into trouble, if such a declaration fell on the wrong ears; but I am sure Christians were safe as long as they watched their words.

My point in all of this is to show that Paul gave the church at Rome good advice in keeping the law and submitting to the authorities. Indeed, Paul took advantage of Roman law on more than one occasion.[10] Likewise, as Americans, while America remains, we must submit to our authorities and make use of the system of laws provided by the United States Constitution.

The greatest difference existing between the Roman Empire and the United States of America is the rule of man versus the rule of law. Our framers understood that fallen man cannot rule righteously and must be constrained by something (or someone) greater. Our founders understood that our freedoms come from God alone, and not from human government. We are free because God made us individually free, not because some benevolent human government bestows freedom upon us. Government only takes away freedom. Therefore, the framers of the Constitution, our Law of the Land, very simply designed a form of government of laws, gleaned mostly from the Bible and divided amongst three co-equal branches of government – the Legislative to write laws, the Executive to enforce the laws, and the Judicial to ensure that the laws written by the Legislative branch and approved by the Executive branch were in keeping with the Constitution. Further, the original Constitution included only ten amendments called the Bill of Rights that protected individual citizens from governmental abuses. The design of the Constitution purposefully complicated the process of legislation to prevent our “fallen” leaders from creating abusive laws willy-nilly.  The main intent of government was to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”[11]

Our authority is the Constitution of the United States, not our President, not Congress, nor the Supreme Court, and certainly not the unelected officials which pass thousands of laws and regulations unbeknownst to the rest of us. The first of the Bill of Rights ensures for us the freedom of (not from) religion, the freedom of speech and of the press, and the freedom to peaceably assemble. Specifically, freedom of religion guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion[12] [i.e., we cannot have a “national” religion, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.] or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [i.e. we are free to practice our faith in any way or in any place we want to].”[13] The freedom to peaceably assemble[14] also applies to our freedom of religion because that is what we, as Christians, do on the Lord’s Day, assemble peaceably.

Now, the Wuhan Bug[15] invaded our borders, and our governmental leaders locked down our nation effectively imprisoning all Americans in their homes “for their own protection,”[16] of course. If they intended to “insure domestic tranquility” they failed miserably. If they intended to “provide for the common defense” they failed at that too. Consider all the rioting and the calls to defund the police. Law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.[17] If they intended to “promote the general welfare,” they failed again. Consider all the jobs lost, businesses closed, and lives disrupted. We are “encouraged” to stay home and not to come out unless it is absolutely necessary, and then we must wear masks to cover our mouths and noses and keep away from other people. I could go on, but I will not belabor the point.

These draconian measures have effectively neutered the First Amendment. We are not allowed to peaceably assemble in our houses of worship, and we are, therefore, prohibited from freely exercising our religion. It was not many years ago that Christians were being discouraged from practicing their religion in public, as in school, at work, or on government property. We were encouraged to confine the exercise of our religion to our houses of worship. Now we cannot even go there.

I do not believe Paul would encourage us to obey unlawful orders. As noted above, Paul lived under the law of man, Nero. We, supposedly, live under the rule of LAW, not of man. Paul without hesitation exercised his legal rights as a Roman citizen under Roman law when his freedoms were violated. Comparing Roman law and American Constitutional law is comparing apples and oranges. We are not obligated to obey edicts prescribed by unelected officials, CDC, HHS, NIH, WHO, etc. They are not legitimate lawgivers, so any edicts put out by these organizations are unsupported by our Constitution – unless We the People voluntarily subject ourselves to them.

No intelligent person denies that COVID-19 poses a potentially fatal threat. However, the infection to death ratio is extremely small. Furthermore, those at high risk of death from this virus are those who are physically compromised – the elderly, the immunocompromised, those with respiratory illnesses, etc. Healthy individuals who are infected either exhibit no symptoms, or they experience symptoms akin to a severe case of flu.

The Wuhan Bug does not warrant the measures taken to combat it. What these measures do accomplish is to provide a large-scale test platform for population control. After all, these measures are “for our own good.” Our government is only trying to protect its citizens. Do not be deceived! The higher powers are testing the waters for greater restrictions to come. These are just the first fruits of tyranny. Sadly, our churches are unwittingly paving the way.

I am one lonely voice. If I could influence anyone, I would encourage church leaders to engage in civil disobedience.  “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). I know pastors are concerned about their congregations and do not want to be responsible for anyone getting infected or dying from the bug. I get that. However, we can meet together without masks, without social distancing, and without prohibitions against personal contact – shaking hands, hugging, etc. First of all, trust God that He will place His protective hand on the congregation. Second, encourage and trust people to exercise common sense. If someone suspects they have been infected they should stay home. If anyone has traveled out of the country or to a “hot spot” they should stay at home. If anyone feels a little “under the weather” they should stay at home. Third, provide plenty of hand sanitizing stations. Fourth, make an extra effort to keep the building clean and disinfected. If the higher powers protest, they do not have a Constitutional leg to stand on. You may have to fight it, but Paul gave us the example.

In the battle for American independence, it was the churches and the pastors that led the charge. It is high time the modern church exhibited the same kind of courage!

 Notes:


[1]  Hebrews 10:25

[2]  Acts 5:29

[3]  Romans 1:13; 15:22-24

[4]  “Nero” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero

[5]  “Great Fire of Rome” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Rome

[6]  Acts 7:54-60

[7]  Acts 12:2

[8]  Acts 12:3-19

[9]  “Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire

[10]  Acts16:35-40; 22:25;25:11

[11]  Preamble to The Constitution of the United States of America

[12]  By “religion” the founders had in mind Western religions which at that time included all Christian denominations and the Jewish religion. Eastern or pagan religions did not even occur to them.

[13]  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

[14]  “The Right to Assemble” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/14/the-right-to-assemble/

[15]  “Wuhan Bug” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/03/15/wuhan-bug/

[16]  “Unprecedented” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/04/19/unprecedented/

[17]  “Living in Fear” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/28/living-in-fear/

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Politics, Random Musings, Religion, Theology

Living in Fear

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Fear not! I have not counted for myself, but I understand that phrase, or some form of that phrase, appears 365 times in the Bible, one time for every day of the year. Yet it seems that these days fear dominates almost every area of our lives.

Beginning with the fear incited by federal health bureaucrats and the “fake news” media over the Wuhan Bug, a.k.a. COVID-19,[1] people fear leaving their homes without their self-poisoning surgical masks and plenty of immune-system-defeating hand sanitizer. This fear of the invisible predator has effectively imprisoned normal, healthy people, closed down churches[2], and heavily restricted or shut down businesses that rely on human traffic (not “trafficking”). Even the U.S. Navy fears the virus so much that it has effectively imprisoned all sailors.[3] President Trump recently spoke to graduating cadets at Annapolis who were all masked and properly social-distanced.[4]

It seems, however, that the Wuhan Bug discriminates among those it will infect. Apparently, Black Lives Matter (BLM) anarchists possess immunity against the virus. They wear masks only to hide their faces, and they do not practice social-distancing because it hinders mob vandalism. BLM and their support organization, ANTIFA, harbor no fear of the Wuhan Bug nor do they fear civil authority. In fact, it appears that the authorities fear the rioters more. While the police have “riot gear,” guns, bullets, tear gas and armored military vehicles, they hesitate to employ them for fear that they might be called “racists.” They have been rendered helpless by a word!

The local governments in charge of these police departments deserve the blame for this cowardice. They shackle those who “serve and protect” rendering law enforcement ineffective. Worse yet, many are beginning to yield to the rioters’ demands to defund the police departments. Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens are abandoned to fend for themselves while at the same time, leftists leaders push to violate the Second Amendment and disarm law-abiding citizens so that they are totally without protection.

So, now we also have a visible predator to fear. We can vanquish this one with little trouble and a little common sense. BLM is not about combating racism. There is no systemic racism in the United States. Any racism that exists, exists only in the minds of the propaganda spewing media and those leftists running the government (local, state, and federal) that feed propaganda to the media for public consumption. BLM is a Marxist organization[5] with the objective of destroying the American system of government and capitalism. Black lives do not matter to BLM; power does! BLM goes one step beyond socialism to communism. Neither the leaders of the movement nor the fools that follow them know the history of either socialism or communism. They have swallowed the utopian lie fed to them by their indoctrinators that such systems offer equality for all (except for those that are “more equal”). They believe in open borders, one-world order, and no law enforcement. Ironically, the “CHOP” experiment in Seattle, WA comes complete with borders and its own form of “law” enforcement. I heard somewhere, but I cannot confirm, that in its short existence, CHOP already finds defectors and those who would like to escape and cannot. Utopia only exists in the mind!

The solution to this problem is simple. Declare BLM, like ANTIFA, a domestic terrorist organization. When the rioters form, bring in well-armed police and military and use deadly force against these “enemy combatants.” By embracing Marxism, BLM betrays and rejects the Constitution of the United States thereby renouncing their rights under American law. They are enemies of the state.

These thugs are cowards. All they need is to see some of their comrades fall in a pool of blood, and they will quickly rethink their allegiance.  Look again at the passage from Deuteronomy quoted above. In the Mosaic Law, if parents had a rebellious son who would not obey and submit to his parents’ authority, the parents could bring him before the elders of the town and they would stone him to death. That sounds harsh to our sensitive, politically correct ears, but God’s reasoning for such harsh punishment was “so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:21). Do you know why BLM and ANTIFA have no fear of authority? It is because they have not seen one of their own put to death for their rebellion. Instead, it is our leaders who respond in fear and allow this anarchy to continue, and as a result, the rest of us have to live in fear of what these vandals will do next. Perhaps we will be the ones caught by a mob beating on our cars trying to drag us out to pummel us because we have been judged as “privileged.”

Of course, these riots are not unique to the United States. This is taking place all over the world. We just do not see it because the fake news tries to distract us to focus our attention only what is taking place here and only from the perspective of their camera lenses.

There is another source of fear for those who hold conservative values. According to some sources, it appears that our President, Donald Trump, stands a strong chance of losing the 2020 election, and we will get stuck with Joe Biden and whoever ends up as his running mate. That is a very scary thought. If that happens, there are Demonrat bills already waiting in the wings that will severely injure our First and Second Amendments. Who knows what other tyrannical legislation they will foist on us when all the stops are removed! On the other hand, if Trump is reelected and considering how his first election ignited their fury, imagine how they will react when he wins a second term. Either way, the next four years will not be pretty.

I am exhorted by many conservative groups to participate in the legislative process. Get involved. Write to your Congressman and Senators. Write to the President. Get involved in local and state politics. I do. I have always participated and will continue to do so as long as we have the privilege. However, I am no Polly Anna. I can read the writing on the wall. This country is already lost, and if not, it soon will be. Soon, we will be faced with two options: submit or fight. I know what is in my mind. I have lived my threescore and ten years in freedom. I will not submit to tyranny, but every person will have to make that choice for themselves.

Do you know what I fear? I know that Jesus will return for His Bride very soon. I can almost see the angel puckering his lips to blow that last trumpet, and we will be out of here. I do not want to miss that experience and the sensation of instant metamorphosis in the “twinkling of an eye.” My fear is that I will die before that event. On the brighter side, death will only mean that I will rise first. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, emphasis mine). Either way, I look forward to being with my Savior for eternity.

We are living in fearsome times, but if we have placed our trust in Jesus, we should not live in fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). Take courage. Our Lord is coming soon!

Reader, if you are living in fear and are insecure about the future, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Wuhan Bug” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/03/15/wuhan-bug/

[2]  “The Right to Assemble” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/14/the-right-to-assemble/

[3]  “The US Navy Officially Becomes a Prison for Sailors” – https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/06/us-navy-officially-becomes-prison-sailors/

[4]  “Trump tells West Point graduates America’s institutions endure against ‘passions and prejudices of the moment’” – https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-west-point-graduates-america

[5]  “Black Lives Matter co-founder describes herself as ‘trained Marxist’ – https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/

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Filed under Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Politics, Random Musings, Second Coming of Christ

Looking for Antichrist

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:18)

For longer than I have studied end-times prophecy (and I by no way count myself as an expert), prophecy watchers have sought to determine the identity of the end-times Antichrist. Our starting verse above suggests that someone with “wisdom” can know the name of the “the beast,” the Antichrist, by calculating the “number of his name” – 666. By assigning numerical values to the letters of the alphabet, some in the past (perhaps even now) have used this “clue” to determine the name of the Antichrist. However, these overlook the fact that the Revelation was written in Koine Greek, and they apply this method to the English alphabet. Hence, several candidates have come and gone: Napoleon, Hitler, and several U.S. Presidents among others.

Personally, I believe that the identity of the Antichrist should be of no concern for Christians for reasons I will discuss later. When the Antichrist arrives on the scene, how will the world recognize him?

The Antichrist appears first in the Book of Daniel where the prophet characterizes him as a “little horn”[1] that rises out of a ten-nation confederacy. Without going into a lengthy explanation, a “horn” symbolizes a “kingdom” or a “king.” That the horn is “little” suggests perhaps a political leader having little authority at first, but then rises to power. Adolf Hitler is a good example of how this can happen. In my opinion, the “little horn” is alive and politically active right not, but because of his “little” position, he does not occupy the limelight. However, according to Daniel, he will arise and assume great power.

The Antichrist next appears in the Book of Daniel where the prophet characterizes him as a “prince.”[2] The Hebrew word translated “prince” is nâgı̂yd, which means “commander” (civil, military, or religious). “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27, emphasis mine). The “one week” is a translation of the Hebrew “one seven;” in other words, a group of seven years. This is the final seven years of Daniel’s 70 “weeks” of years determined for Daniel’s people, the Jews[3] that we know as the Tribulation.

According to the prophet, the “prince” will “confirm the covenant” for seven years (one week). This suggests that a covenant (treaty or agreement) already exists that has not been ratified. He does not “make” the covenant, but he makes the covenant effective.

Unless you live under a rock, you should be aware of all the problems with Israel and its Arab neighbors. So persistent are the “wars and rumors of wars”[4] in Israel that the media does not even bother to report on it unless they can somehow vilify Israel. President Donald Trump with the help of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has devised the “deal of the century” to bring peace to the Middle East particularly as it involves Israel and the “Palestinians.” However, the plan finds strong resistance from the Palestinians and other Muslim nations.

Could this be the “covenant” that Antichrist will confirm? Who will rise to make the covenant effective? As noted above, the “little horn” will not be known until he comes to power and confirms the covenant with Israel for seven years. If you are around when that happens, you are in for a long, hard seven years, but even then there is hope.

Daniel foretells that Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel after 3½ years by desecrating the Temple. Right now, there is not a Temple in Jerusalem, but the Temple Faithful[5] have everything needed to rebuild the Temple. The original Ark of the Covenant is hidden for now, though they claim to know its location. In order for Antichrist to desecrate the Temple, a Temple must exist. Jesus said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation [i.e. the Antichrist], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16). Perhaps rebuilding the Temple is part of Trump’s Deal of the Century!

The Apostle Paul refers to Antichrist as “that man of sin” and “the son of perdition.”[6] This is the one “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4, emphasis mine). Antichrist is an atheist. He opposes everything pertaining to God and even exalts himself above God. Daniel also makes this point. “And the king [i.e. the “little horn”] shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done” (Daniel 11:36, emphasis mine). Worse than being an atheist, Antichrist will actually worship Satan. “But in his estate shall he honour the [g]od of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (Daniel 11:38). The “god of forces” is Satan, who controls the powers and principalities who are the demonic realm.

This “spirit of antichrist” prevails in our world today. Humans reject God, and in effect, make themselves gods. The Apostle John, author of the Book of Revelation makes this point: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). That applies to many today. “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3, emphasis mine). “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18, emphasis mine). However, the Antichrist will top them all.

In the Book of Revelation, John describes the Antichrist as a “beast” rising “up out of the sea.”[7] Symbolically, the “sea” refers to the masses of humanity. He receives his power from “the dragon,”[8] i.e., Satan. Apparently, sometime in the first half of the Tribulation[9] he receives a deadly head wound from which he revives.[10] This “miracle” imitates Christ’s resurrection from the dead so that the people of the world “worshipped the dragon that gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast” (Revelation 13:4). After this, he gains power for the remaining 3½ years of the Tribulation. This seems to be the time when he desecrates the Temple. Perhaps after “rising from the dead,” he convinces himself that he is god. “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:6, emphasis mine). “Tabernacle” and “Temple” are synonymous. Further along in the chapter, a “second beast” is described. Prophecy students understand this beast to be the “false prophet” imitating the Holy Spirit. He erects an image of Antichrist and forces all people of the world to worship the image. Some think that the false prophet erects the image in the Temple, which is actually what desecrates the Temple. Note the counterfeit trinity: Satan in the place of God, the Beast in the place of Christ, and the False Prophet (the second beast) in the place of the Holy Spirit.

In brief, this is how Antichrist will be recognized. I do not believe that Christians will be around when Antichrist makes the scene. Paul assures us that the Rapture of the Church will take place before the Antichrist is revealed. He says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (2 Thessalonians 2:3, emphasis mine). That “falling away” is apostasia in the Greek, which refers to a defection or turning away from “the faith.” We see that happing all around us, as churches and denominations reject the teachings of the Bible and substitute entertainment for true worship. I wonder if churches closing out of fear of the Wuhan bug demonstrates a lack of faith for God’s protection and His admonition to “Not forsak[e] the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25, emphasis mine).

The “falling away” continues. Paul goes on to say that Antichrist will not show up until the “restrainer” is taken out of the way. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he [the Antichrist] might be revealed in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6, emphasis mine). “Withhold” is the Greek word katechō, which means to “hold down fast.” Paul admits that iniquity exists even now, but its full power is restrained until “he who now [katechō] will [restrain], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). That “Restrainer” is the Holy Spirit who resides within every true believer that makes up the Church, the Bride of Christ. When the Holy Spirit departs, the Church departs because Jesus promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). He said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter [i.e., the Holy Spirit], that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16).

So, don’t waste a lot of time and effort trying to figure out who the Antichrist is. Rather, study the signs of the last days given in the Bible. Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you. Especially, look at what is going on in Israel. The time is very near. And if you are unsure of your position with God, Read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Daniel 7:8

[2]  Daniel 9:26

[3]  Daniel 9:24

[4]  Matthew 24:6

[5]  The Temple Faithful – http://templemountfaithful.org/

[6]  2 Thessalonians 2:3

[7]  Revelation 13:1

[8]  Revelation 13:2

[9]  The Tribulation is detailed in Revelation 6-19

[10]  Revelation 13:3

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Too Good, Too Late

For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. (Isaiah 57:16)

Of all of God’s attributes, one is that of patience or longsuffering. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s patience is infinite, as He is infinite. However, God sets a limit on His patience as our starting verse makes clear; He will not “contend” with us forever. The Hebrew word translated “contend” is rı̂yb and it means “to toss, that is, grapple; to wrangle, that is, hold a controversy; to debate.

The earliest example we find in the Bible appears in the account of the Global Flood.[1] For almost 1600 years following Creation, men grew progressively perverse even though God’s witnesses existed in abundance. Their original father, Adam, lived for more than half of that time.[2] The letter to the Hebrews records that “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5, emphasis mine). Jesus’ half-brother, Jude, noted, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 1:14-15). Yet, with all these witnesses over the many years, the wickedness of humans only increased. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). God’s patience reached its limit, and He sent the Flood.

However, God’s plan for the redemption of man never deviated. God’s salvation would come through Abraham and through his “seed.”[3] Abraham’s seed went through his son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob/Israel. Israel, that is the descendants of Jacob, soon put God’s patience to the test shortly after He rescued them from Egyptian bondage.

Not long after their exit from Egypt, they fell into idolatry by worshipping the golden calf[4] even though God earlier gave them His Ten Commandments. Then, one generation after entering the Promised Land, they fell right back into their old idolatrous ways. God would punish them, they would repent, God forgave and they would do it over again. This remained true throughout their history.

After King Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam failed to keep the nation united and the northern ten tribes seceded and formed their own nation, Israel. The southern kingdom survived with two tribes, Benjamin and Judah and went by the name of the larger tribe, Judah.

Israel immediately fell into idolatry and all her kings “did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.” God’s patience with Israel reached its limit after 200 years, and the Assyrians under the King Shalmaneser[5] invaded and expatriated the entire population of Israel and deported them to “Halah and in Harbor by the river of Gozan, and the cities of the Medes” (2 Kings 17:6), which is somewhere in present-day northeastern Iraq.

Judah fared somewhat better. Most of her kings “did that which was right in the sight of the LORD;” however, they tolerated idolatry in the land even though they themselves may not have practiced idolatry. It all began with Solomon who actually built temples to the gods of his many wives and even joined them in the practice while maintaining the worship of God. After Solomon, the kingdom of Judah survived for 333 years, about 100 years longer than Israel. Judah had many “good” kings, but the ones that were bad were very bad.

Manasseh probably ranked as the worst of Judah’s bad kings. Not only did he follow “after the abominations of the heathen” but “he reared up altars for Baal,” “worshipped the host of heaven, and served them,” “built altars in the house of the LORD … in the two courts of the house of the LORD,” “he made his son pass through the fire,” and “he set a graven image … that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David … I will put my name forever”[6] Manasseh “seduced [Judah] to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel” (2 Kings 21:9).

Judah encountered the limit of God’s patience with Manasseh. “Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations … Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. … I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day” (2 Kings 21:11-15, emphasis mine).

Manasseh’s son, Amon, followed in his father’s footsteps, but his reign lasted only two years. However, his grandson, Josiah, was arguably Judah’s best king ever. He was only eight years old when he took the throne, but he did what his predecessors failed to do. He destroyed all the places of idol worship throughout the land and executed the pagan priests. He renovated and rededicated Solomon’s Temple that had fallen into disrepair and had been desecrated by Manasseh, Ahaz[7], and others. In the process of cleaning up the Temple, Hilkiah, the high priest, discovered “the book of the law in the house of the LORD.”[8] “And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes” (2 Kings 22:11). Of Josiah, Scripture records, “And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him” (2 Kings 23:25).

Judah made a great turn-around because of good King Josiah. It was almost too good, but it was too late. “Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there” (2 Kings 23:26-27, emphasis mine). About eleven years later, Nebuchadnezzar came and subdued Judah and took her children off to Babylonian captivity. Josiah was too good, too late. God’s plan would not change.

When I read the history of Israel in the Bible I cannot help but draw a parallel between that nation and the United States of America. There are many comparisons that can be drawn. However, there is one major difference that we often overlook. Israel was chosen by God for a specific purpose that is yet to be fulfilled. The United States was not. As we see the “end of days” on the horizon, Israel is very much in the picture; the U.S. is not.

However, there are some similarities, especially in the spiritual sense. Both nations had a strong foundation on the Word of God, and both nations lost their moorings from that foundation. The founding of the U.S. started long before 1776 or the signing of the Constitution in 1787. It began with the arrival of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock in November 1620 “for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith.”[9] If the U.S. is chosen by God, it is chosen only because of His people who maintain and uphold the Christian Faith, but those numbers are diminishing. Israel was chosen by God with a non-conditional promise made to Abraham, and regardless of Israel’s lack of loyalty or devotion to God, God will not renege on His promise. The U.S. does not enjoy that kind of commitment from God. We are nothing special.

Truly God has blessed this nation because of His people that inhabit this land and because our nation has, for the most part, obeyed God’s word and maintained that “In God We Trust.” However, over the years, that loyalty to God has waned, and we have allowed pagan gods to influence and even to dominate our government and our society.

After World War II the moral state of our nation took a downward turn. We banned prayer and the Bible from public schools. Then we sanctioned abortions on demand. At first, abortions were limited to the first trimester, but now many states accept infanticide as “a woman’s right.” Homosexuality was once a shameful practice kept “in the closet,” but now every kind of sexual perversion is not only tolerated but encouraged.

The Obama Administration saw the morality of the nation cascade like going over Niagara Falls. The sins of the nation brought with it a sharp decline in the prosperity of the nation. Things looked grim. Then came Donald Trump. Perhaps not the perfect picture of a Christian, but he has done more to promote the Christian Faith than any president before him. He declared Jerusalem the rightful capital of Israel and moved our embassy there. He blessed Israel and God says, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Genesis 12:3). President Trump has done more to turn this country around than any previous president.

Then the Wuhan Bug hit. Many economists believe that our country may never recover. This downturn in the economy affects the whole world, not just the U.S. Many of our leaders and leaders of other nations are calling for a one-world government to fix the mess in which we find ourselves. The Bible warned that such would be the end of days. So, for all the good President Trump has done, it may be too good, too late.

Christians everywhere claim 2 Chronicles 7:14 hoping for a turn-around. However, that verse was specifically for Israel. The U.S. is NOT Israel, and we, the Church, are not Israel. When God’s patience reached its limit and Nebuchadnezzar surrounded Jerusalem, Jeremiah prayed fervently for deliverance. God answered, “Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence” (Jeremiah 14:11-12, emphasis mine). If that was God’s attitude toward His “chosen people,” why should we expect better? Instead, “I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 24:14).

Since the “lockdown” went into effect, I hear that many are “seeking the Lord.” Online Bibles are being downloaded and read. Churches are seeing a rise in “virtual” attendees. I have seen this before – Y2K, 9-11. As soon as the crisis subsides, things go back to “normal” and society continues on its moral decline. I doubt this will be any different. Don’t get me wrong. I rejoice that some are truly turning to the Lord, but Jesus’ Word will not fail. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14, emphasis mine). For all the good President Trump, like Josiah, has done, it may be too good, too late.

Reader, Jesus is coming very soon. Everything that is going on in the world today tells us that His coming is very near. Are you prepared to meet Him? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life” and settle it once and for all.

Notes:


[1]  Genesis 6-9

[2]  Genesis 5:5

[3]  Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:16

[4]  Exodus 32

[5]  2 Kings 17:3

[6]  2 Kings 21:1-7

[7]  “Trading Old For New” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/05/10/trading-old-for-new/

[8]  2 Kings 22:8

[9]  Mayflower Compact, November 21, 1620

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Assault Weapons

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:21-22)

All the Demoncrat (misspelling intentional) presidential candidates are campaigning on the platform of banning assault weapons and some even advocate confiscation of all firearms. The push clearly violates the Second Amendment, which exists in part to protect the First Amendment. Their assault on assault weapons presents only one avenue for denying citizens of their God-given constitutional rights. The “Green New Deal” additionally would deprive citizens of anything they, in their reprobate minds,[1] perceive as harmful to the environment. They hypocritically play on the emotions of the ignorant while they surround themselves with armed bodyguards, travel across the country in private jets, eat the flesh of air-polluting bovine, and live in mansions that consume three and four times the energy than the average American family. However, for now I only want to focus on their war against assault weapons.

What is an assault weapon? Dictionary.com defines an assault weapon as “any of various automatic and semiautomatic military firearms utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge, designed for individual use.”[2] However, I would argue that is an incorrect definition. In the first place, we are looking at two words, not one. The first is an adjective modifying the second, so of the two, the second word – weapon – is the most significant.

Dictionary.com defines “weapon” as “any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle or cannon,” or “anything used against an opponent, adversary, or victim.”[3] Here we see that a weapon can be used for offense (“attack”) or defense. We also see no special attention is given to “automatic or semiautomatic military firearms.” A third definition offered is in the area of zoology: “any part or organ serving for attack or defense, as claws, horns, teeth, or stings.”[4] Obviously, a weapon can either be used for defense or assault. Therefore, an assault weapon can also be a defensive weapon depending on its application. However, in order to remain consistent in our theme, we will keep our focus on “assault weapons.”

Since it is the modifier that makes the distinction, we need to know the meaning of “assault.” Dictionary.com defines “assault” as “(1) a sudden, violent attack; onslaught: (2) Law. an unlawful physical attack upon another; an attempt to offer to do violence to another, with or without battery, as by holding a stone or club in a threatening manner.”[5] This definition excludes the use of a weapon. By this definition, even words might be considered assault weapons. One example given is “an assault on tradition.”[6] Clearly, the rhetoric by the Demoncrats constitutes an assault on our liberty and the Constitution.

We have learned that assault weapons can be any instrument, including words, used in a sudden, violent attack upon another person. Since weapons are not restricted only to firearms of any kind, it may be informative to examine the different kinds of weapons that can be used in an assault.

Probably the first and oldest assault weapons known to man are hands. An open hand can land a stinging blow to a victim’s face which can cause contusions and even blindness if the blow lands on an eyeball. A closed hand becomes a club which can break facial bones and even cause death. Hands can be used to strangle the life out of a victim and are capable of crushing the larynx. Hands constitute assault weapons. Feet, knees, and elbows can also be used as clubs and make formidable assault weapons.

Speaking of clubs, these come in many shapes and sizes and are readily available from any sporting goods stores. I am speaking, of course, of baseball bats. Walking canes and sticks make good clubs, and speaking of walking, one can usually find a good assault weapon laying on the ground. We call them rocks.

The average home is full of excellent assault weapons: hammers, knives, scissors, iron skillets, rope, plastic bags, pillows, etc. Some of us carry assault weapons in our shirt pockets and do not even know it. I am talking about ballpoint pens. Jab that thing with enough force into someone’s eye, and it will likely penetrate the brain causing death.

The cars we drive can also be used as assault weapons. Perhaps that is why the Green New Deal would like to do away with them.

If the Demoncrats seriously want to ban assault weapons, think of all the things we would need to give up. No, the Demoncrats do not really concern themselves with assault weapons; they want firearm confiscation because a disarmed populous offers no resistance to their desire for controlling power. The Demoncrats strategically use rhetoric as an assault weapon against liberty by redefining terms. They have redefined “assault weapon” to focus primarily on semiautomatic rifles that resemble those used by the military, like the AR-15, primarily because they “look scary” and because they seem to be the weapon of choice by mass murderers due to their high magazine capacity. However, 2017 statistics[7] indicate that rifles (of which AR-15s are only one of a kind) accounted for only 403 murders while sharp instruments accounted for 1591 murders. Handguns, both revolvers and semiautomatic, accounted for 7,032. Perhaps Demoncrats do not make as big a fuss about handguns because that is what their personal bodyguards carry.

In conclusion, almost anything can be used as an assault weapon. By the same token, an assault weapon can also be used as a defense weapon; it all has to do with the intent of the user. The nature of a weapon depends on the its modifier and its application. I keep several firearms in my home. Most of my firearms are semiautomatic. I also keep several knives with blades ranging in length from two inches to 28 inches (my samurai swords). Most of these weapons stay in their place and collect dust. None of them are used for assault. However, if needed, they can all become defense weapons.

The Demoncrats are disingenuous with their assault on assault weapons, because the problem is not the weapon. The problem is the condition of the individual’s heart. The reason they fail to see this is because their hearts are every bit as perverse as the hearts of those carrying out mass murders.

I started this article quoting a verse from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He identified murder as being a matter of the heart. “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…” (Matthew 5:22, emphasis mine).

Violence in our nation and in the world is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and denying law-abiding citizens their right to self-defense with firearms will not retard the rise. The only thing that can reverse the trend is a healthy dose of the fear of God in every human heart. Considering that the Demoncrats cut God out of their platform and embrace every pagan religion while rejecting Christianity, especially Evangelical Christianity, every form of violence, not just gun violence, will continue to increase. Our only real hope is for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to return and reclaim His creation. When He comes, He will rule with a “rod of iron”[8]  He will rule as the true “Prince of Peace.”[9] In the meantime, let us not be intimidated by the Demoncrats into giving up our “assault weapons.”

Notes:


[1]  Romans 1:28; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16

[2]  https://www.dictionary.com/browse/assault-weapon?s=t

[3]  https://www.dictionary.com/browse/weapon?s=t

[4]  Ibid.

[5]  https://www.dictionary.com/browse/assault?s=t

[6]  Ibid.

[7]  https://www.statista.com/statistics/195325/murder-victims-in-the-us-by-weapon-used/

[8]  Revelation 19:5

[9]  Isaiah 9:6

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