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Now just as it was foretold in the Bible, so in recent years it is also indicated by politicians and scholars... again, a few thousands of years later! To cite just one political case - Paul Henri Spaak (*11), a onetime President of the Council of Europe:
Send us a man who can hold the allegiance of all the people and whether he be God or the devil we will receive him.(Spaak was also Prime Minister of Belgium and once a President of the U.N. General Assembly: the utterance he made is a classic! ...lt is closely allied to Christ's prediction of John 5:43.)
Unity at all cost, even at the price of truth: this is a clear call for many who, it would seem, like rats, value 'survival' more than virtue, righteousness or goodness.
No bankcard... just an invisible mark on your hand or forehead - what a perfect way to begin 1984!... (For fuller treatment of this arresting episode, as here reported in the banking Journal, see Daniel File, pp. 906 ff., 967-968 infra.)
Not only is this so, but the number '666' is used in Revelation here. This too is appearing in computer and related areas - including the vast IBM company. Indeed, it is almost as if the world, having in its folly chosen evil, is hypnotising itself into fulfilling exactly what God said would happen. Actually, it is the quiet hand of God doing, as always, His will (Ephesians 1:11), and doing it to fulfil His word. This reached its most important point when Christ fulfilled the words about His own mission, stating He could easily escape His captors but 'How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be ?' Notice that 'must'. What God says, goes... (Matthew 26:54). Christ came to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28) and He quietly secured that at the Cross, as intended. Each member of our earthly race has or has not received Him as a ransom; and the reader should consider his/her position in this also.
Further predicted by Christ for the period approaching His return was another phenomenon (Matthew 24:24). It was: Many false prophets and false christs.
Here consult John 5:43 and 14:30, where the evil noted above, figures in the form of a central actor. The lead-up will be like foothills, numerous in kind and less obvious, though heavily in keeping with the end - (Matthew 24:14). In context, this is especially to appear towards the end. It commences earlier in its general sweep however (Matthew 24:5); and thus Muhammad started in early, Lenin complete with refrigerated coffin, a laughable malconformity to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Stalin ... and Mao1 have continued with several definitely undivine heavens, to which they felt they should usher the race; and we have long had the Pope.
The Pope ? Why yes! The Inquisition of the Popes, in earlier generations, evilly killed thousands in Christ's name! Inadvertently, this gave further verification of the Bible, the reading of which they so suppressed, strangling for example the heroic British translator, William Tyndale. How was this verification accomplished ? It fulfilled abundantly, if ghoulishly, the prediction in John 16:2-3:
Yes, the time is coming when whoever kills you, will think that he is doing God a service. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.II Timothy 3:12, also, has been abundantly fulfilled:
Yes, and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.Countless were those killed, tortured, strangled and mutilated; and there is no official condemnation of this orgy of folly, no sign of formal repentance, with exposure of the monstrous criminal popes responsible. Even in Communism, they make some efforts to show horror at earlier mass murderers, those finally responsible for authorising and maintaining such vileness, at times making formal repudiation; but here mass murdering devils still wallow in official sanctity. So far from embarrassing Christianity, however, they merely if abundantly, fulfil the sensitively accurate predictions of Paul and of Jesus Christ Himself, concerning misdirected religious passion, and its penetration into some of the bodies called 'Churches'.
There was here even a further fulfilment of prophecy: not only did the popes often kill and torture Christians in God's name; they specifically stated or had it stated that these killings were to the glory of God, that they were doing God a service. Now Jesus Christ predicted precisely this in John 16:2. Such 'serviceable' slayers! Thus once more, God makes the wrath of man serve Him, this time as prophecy-fulfillers (Psalm 76). Such evil, ecclesiopathic passion verifies Biblical prediction.
Again, on the Protestant side there have been many false prophets also, precisely in accord with what Christ indicated for the lead-in to His return (Matthew 23:24, 24:29-31). These have taught, and been heard or followed to significant extent, apparently by millions ... either directly or through indoctrinated pastors, passing on the pseudo-gospels, newly manufactured, often in Germany, the U.S. or even in Switzerland, home of Karl Barth.
Men with 'exciting' new things (II Timothy 4:3) under the name, but not in the truth of Christ, have scratched the ears of waiting devotees, especially that vast category of persons who want religion... without discipline. Rather have they moved far from Biblical teachings, dealing with suitably muted gods, transmuted gods, philosophically adapted or adjusted gods, but by all means accepted gods (II Peter commenting scathingly 2:1-3, but also with amazingly accurate forecast). All this could be called a multitudinous mess when men - or women - who do not lack in the massed and multiplying sects in particular - use the name and fame of Jesus Christ, to forward alluring ideas with many words and no knowledge of God (cf. Jude's prophecy so appositely on this contemporary field, in verse 16, and 11 Peter 2:18). Both "New Age" and ecumenical agnosticism swell the ranks (cf. pp. 743-744, 867-873 infra).
Many Protestants of course reject this rationalism, experientalism, existentialism, modernism, post-modernism (the sad, disengaged stage of slithery unbelief, when there seems nothing much left to hit, and one has not hit it off so well in the novel forms), neo-orthodoxy (old terminology, new ideology), liberation theology, universalism, synthetic syncretism, 'inter-faith' theological dialogue, liberal (Roman) catholicism and the like. They reject it as their Reformation spiritual forbears rejected Rome. Then the error was somewhat central, now they have spread like weeds, as if to cover the earth. This fits Peter's many, Christ's (repeated) many and Paul's reference to the coming apostasy (a rending departure from the faith): seen in II Peter 2 and 3, Matthew 24:11,24, II Thessalonians 2:1-8 (cf. Acts 20:28-30).
Such numerous Protestant people reject this array of evil: because the Bible exposes and indicts it (e.g. Galatians l), foretells it and warns of it. It would be rather foolish in view of this to be duped by it; but then so insidiously subtle will it be - indeed it is so, now! - that Christ declared that within this period, if it were possible, the very chosen of God would deceived. (Christ used the verb form which indicates that it is, nevertheless, not possible for these to be so duped.)
It does of course constitute indirect but crucial guidance to the saints of God - something we must here mention because it constitutes likewise verification of the Bible - in this, that if any of these collated features predicted for the last times before the return of Christ were absent, this would falsify the prediction; but the continual verification is rather like a radio-signal picked up by an aeroplane whilst, and provided it is in the slot, the groove, the air space intended for it. The world flies in its slot.
What Protestant false prophets do we have, to match the 'master' syndrome of the papacy with the 'multitude' syndrome of those Protestants who also want to go astray (though not necessarily in the company of the pope) ? There might be: Barth, Brunner, Bultmann, Niebuhr, Tillich, Ritschl, Schuller with his self-esteem making a judgment on the inestimable realities of sin, preceded by Kierkegaard, Schleiermacher and followed by Moon in company with others reaching into pandemonium proportions with the many unscriptural varieties of Pentecostalism (which do not limit things as does Paul with teaching intent, in 1 Corinthians 14:26-34).
As a false prophet syndrome, this reaches through to the resurgence of fundamentalistic Moslem militancy, so fatally apparent in the deaths of more millions in extended war. As we have seen, the Moslem faith is in fact a Christian heresy, so that this renewal is one more phase of this many-sided mandate for latter-day error. (See also Chapter 10 infra.)
Perhaps, indeed certainly, never have we had so many people 'manhandling' Christianity, making up foolish substitutes, machinating meretricious artificiality, quite often starting with the 'give-away' proposition that God cannot be known! Give-away? yes, in this, that Christ stated that this is eternal life, that you should know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent...!
These ersatz Christian forms range from not knowing God, to a God who would scarcely know Himself, happily evolving away with the Mormons, although He declares He does not change (e.g. Psalm 90, Malachi 3:6, Exodus 3, James l), as observed earlier: they are almost without number, a sort of religious spectroscopy of various vapours, allied with a kaleidoscopic series of variants, formed from adding pollutants to various scriptural ingredients, heating with passion, and shaking them about with desire. The sects are a national phenomenon and with Scientology not least, a disaster area in the U.S. in particular. (Cf. 365-370 supra; Time Magazine, May 6, 1991; Reader's Digest, October 1991; )
The prophetic word on the symptoms, the syndrome of the end of the Age, is in this fulfilled with the same meticulous attention to detail, and abundant richness which is so characteristic of other ingredients. The Lord certainly ensured that the time when Christians should lift up their heads in relief and expectation, knowing that the return of the Lord would be near, could not rightly be mistaken (cf. Luke 21:28). As to that also, such clarity bringing to this hot field, grace: you would expect that of such a Shepherd as this; and that, this compassionate consistency, is itself one more verification of the Biblical teaching on the character of Christ, sustained in such ways continually (Matthew 11:28-29, 14:14, 9:36, Luke 9:54-56, 18:31-33, 19:42, John 10:11, II Peter 3:9, Hebrews 5:2, 2:1, 17-18, Lamentations 3:32-33, Psalm 86:15). It is seen expressively in John 14:2, for example.
One Pentecostal pastor once told me that the gospel record was not so very important; the Christ that mattered was the one in your heart! One should have thought it wise, with so many religious mutants about, to ensure that it was the Biblical one: glad-wrapped 'Christs' are easily available. The cursed corrupting of His name to forge new 'faiths' illicitly, is trading freely on what He did, in that He justly secured attention like no one else. (Cf. II Corinthians 11:2-13.)
There are indeed, as He predicted, many who corrupt His name, misuse, abuse it, with autonomous liberties: as if His words and works could be hired, like a playground or a sporting complex, to see what one could... do with it! (John 15:21-23, Jude 3,4,16-18.)
Churches have split on such issues, world-wide - especially over the last fifty or sixty years. The process has become almost endemic to twentieth century Christianity - you could say epidemic. Thus that Australian church erred also, which the writer attended in his youth; so that he was in conflict with it after exposing disastrous doctrines in it, before being miraculously reaccepted; as he also confronted a body similarly moving from its Biblical moorings in the well-known case of Principal Geering of New Zealand. Before that case was over, it reached not only Press but TV.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies (false teachings), even denying the Lord ... and many shall follow their pernicious ways (most harmful ways); by reason of whom, the truth shall be blasphemed ... II Peter 2:1-2.Accordingly, Paul refers to a categorical and historic 'falling away' (*13) and of course, to 'fall away' you need first to be 'up there.' The context is teaching about the evil works of Satan and the destructive working of deceit. It is in the area where the 'man of sin' is noted. The already noted words of Jesus Himself relate here also:
For there shall arise ... false prophets ... insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ( 'Elect' means simply 'chosen' - it is not possible to deceive God's chosen people; but if it were, so great is the evil in view, they would indeed be deceived. God however has chosen them.)Thus not even all Protestant churches have stayed upright.
This falling away has resulted in the splitting of many large churches, this century - some involving millions of people. Scandalous cunning (cf. the prediction of II Peter 2:1-3) was deployed as many of the people, moving from the faith, tried to gain control of their churches, dragging them away from the Bible, and thus challenging the saints (true believers) with erratic and adventitious novelties.
And why should not the saints be challenged ? On the contrary, it is predicted, and this by Jesus Christ, that just as He was subjected to the loathing liberties of those who would not keep His word, so this would apply to His disciples, who were not greater than their Master (John 15:19-22, Matthew 10:22-25).
All these things they will do to you for my name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me (John 15:22).Christianity involves the Saviour with His Cross, and disciples who take up their cross daily (Luke 14:27-33). It is a pilgrim work of delight and discipline, in a hostile world which crucified Christ and would do it again, thus ensuring its judgment in righteousness and truth.
Vast bastions of church power, thus, have dwindled in many cases, while the power ripped from these formerly great institutions has usually been used for very different purposes, once it has been gained. This does not distress the Christian, for if this had not happened, how then would the Scripture have been fulfilled ? ... cf. Matthew 26:53-54. This way, however, he sees his heavenly Father letting the freedom of man reach its height - and its depth. (For detailed data, see also Chapter 9, Section 4, Pathology; also Chapter 10 infra.)
In the Church of England, formerly the 'Red Dean' and later the topical bishop of Durham, so widely focussed in the Press for denying actively and, it appears, derisively some of the basic elements of the Christian faith: these are mere examples. In 1990 Archbishop Runcie declared an irrevocable end of mere co-existence with Rome, though repentance is far from her (pp. 1056-1060, 1065-1074 infra). Indeed Archbishops of Canterbury have been on record in the last few decades, with statements one would have expected from their enemies. C.S. Lewis's dire and tragic comment (*14) is a good reflection of the position: Now, said he, the sheep may have to teach the 'shepherds'.
What is more, and perhaps not surprisingly, the percentage of population attending Church in the U.K. (like 'Protestant' England's military power and the British global might) has fallen grossly. In Australia it is almost a joke (and such 'jokes' often lack a funny ending...). The State increasingly makes its own 'morals' and 'anything goes.' That is a falling away and that is happening. Itis fulfilled - this great prophecy.
Jesus did not predict a world glowing with faith, but one inviting the judgment of His return. Indeed, He said of the character of this world (Luke 18:8):
When the Son of man comes, will He really find faith on earth!The 'narrow' way used by 'few' is here reflected, just as it appears in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-14). Most people perversely refuse His practical provisions. Distinctively, as the End comes near, so does the fashion of double-dealing, of double-speak, of new-speak, of a proud and pompous paraphernalia of cunning propositions masquerading as the truth, deceitfully entering into churches, with all the social results. Most decidedly, it has come to be, and such books as The Protestant Revolt (Murch), Baal or God (Otten), Your Church - Their Target (compiled Ingwalson), Freeway to Babylon (Wilson), The Seduction of Christianity (Hunt and McMahon) and C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, well attest it. In parallel, a pagan internationalism flourishes outside (see pp. 749, 919-931 infra).
The Jews indeed had their time too, and fouled it similarly: climaxing of course in evil when their churchmen - in the time on earth of Jesus Christ (*15) pushed heavily for His crucifixion. Now the other nations (Gentiles- including our own) are in the same boat. The Biblical Christ and His commandments are largely outré.
The word of God written, the Bible, is now being highhandedly assaulted from within many churches, if anything with more venom and irrationality than is the case outside them! Figures such as the Bishop of Durham are far from unique, but rather highly modish, with multitutudes of 'theologians' having prepared the path, these past 50 years with an almost frenzied relish. The feverish desire to escape is seen very nearly on all sides, while charades replace the divine charity in the abundantly merciful God through the sole appointed Mediator, Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2:1-6).
"We will not have this man to rule over us," booms and echoes in religious circles with surprising frequency now, just as it did in Christ's own day (Luke 19:14); new Christs or non-Christs, or pseudo-Christs or para-Christs or anything at all, so long as it beckons and does not rebuke. Often it is cleverly disguised with a form of reverence, just as it was then. (Again see Chapter 9, Section 4, Pathology, and Chapter 10 - esp. pp. 842-848, 867-874, 991, 1023ff.; cf 699-707 infra. Refer Separation.)
Thus we must realise that a sensitive and kind attitude to the Jewish people does not require, as is the way of some, a denial of Peter's charge (himself a Jew), to his people (Acts 2:23). Rather required is an acknowledgement that the Gentiles2 have to a quite staggering degree in their own religious settings very often, betrayed and assaulted Him, the Lord Jesus Christ also.
This they have done, do and continue to do by their attitude to His word. While the face of Christ is not now available for attack, yet its utterance, His Word, remains to show the spirit behind the religion now (cf. Hebrews 12). What nails did then, the pompous confusions of unbelief hack out now, not least in laying violent hands on the souls of unprotected children (*16) in propagandised classes, under government control, where relativistic humanism, evolutionary mythology and Statist supremacy vie for pre-eminence. Now as then, religious fraudulence attests the heart of man just as capable of distorting religious passions, as of seeking to avoid the love of God altogether.
In Christ's day, some Jews remained faithful and so do some Gentiles now. Some found Him then, and some find Him now. Have you found Him, reader ? What says the scripture?
Seek the Lord while He may be found,What tests ?
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For you will go out with joy,
And be led out with peace ... (Isaiah 55:6-7,12).
For My thoughts are not as your thoughts,The word of God is an ambassador for Him, and its treatment speaks of the attitude to the Master who spoke it! (Cf. John 12:48-50, 5:44-47.)
Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts...
So shall My word be that goes forth out from My mouth;
It will not return to Me void,
But it will accomplish what I please,
And it will prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11 excerpts.)
Narrow indeed is the path leading to life, and few there be that find it; whilst broad is the way - to what ? to destruction and many go on it (Matthew 7:13-14). It was so and it will be so, till He comes. And that is what He said.
What do we notice from this brief preliminary study in prophecy ? It is this. All these things are happening simultaneously, and that is the fulfilment of simultaneously organised prophecies, sent as a cumulative sign through various writers in the name of Jesus Christ, and indeed through His own lips, to advise ... of what ? of the near return of Jesus Christ.
It was He who spoke - as the mouthpiece - the divine and express speech of God incarnate, the word of God Himself. He spoke; it is not intelligent men indeed who could conceive a better devised world than this, before a dumb God. The case is that of dumb and eloquent men before a God who has spoken, men, yes a race which in its billions has rejected the God who has spoken, blaspheming as they go, like careless travellers throwing out their 'empties' as they go, and cursing as they do it. What then did Christ say of this collation of prophetic indices ? It was this:
When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:28.)Here - souls already redeemed, those who know Christ (Romans 8:16, Ephesians l:7, Matthew 20:28) see the near approach of the deliverance of their bodies from the salient sufferings of this time, and come to the place where the body itself will be redeemed and resurrected. This is the teaching of this demonstrably true book; this is the comfort of Christians who purify themselves with this assured expectation (I John 3:1-3). This is the warning to the world. It has not gone mad (though millions in it constitute a mental-malady plague, likewise fulfilling the prophecy on plagues); it has simply rebelled. Freedom permits it, and judgment both intrinsic (the natural result of folly) and extrinsic (the divine comment, restrained but realistic on such folly), holds it and places it so that it all becomes... history.
We have reviewed the display of signals, the divine flags giving the Admiral's message to those voyaging through life. His near return is what this indicates; but the important point, systematically here, is this: This prophecy of Jesus Christ has been fulfilled. The cup of prophecy runneth over.
In the next chapter, we shall see that there is a veritable stream running from it.
However, in addition to the general malaise and concern, has been the enormous cost even with present conditions, short of outright major war, involving strenuous efforts in the grand manner. There have been stout efforts in the form of Chernobyl, then of the U.S.S.R., and of Bhopal in India; though the former had more power to give long-term effects, including those on the thyroid glands of growing children. It stays around, this radio-activity, in various ways.
It is not necessary here to trace what multiplied Chernobyls would produce in terms of such results from times when, tempers or fears or desire past bearing, efforts were made to increase the yield results and decrease the cost required to produce them. However guiltless men may claim to be, the results accrue.
What is important is the current state of Eastern Europe; for this is something of a revelation. Not only does it reveal the dirt-syndrome of dedicated Communism and its morals (as rabid and crude exploitation of resources, that might have been thought of for 'other' systems, is found to be a high-volume industry): but as a human menace - it needs more thought.
What is said elsewhere on human systems needs no repetition here; it is not the system which produces morals, but rather, in God's hand, morals which produce the system - whatever those morals may be. If the land is in freedom, and morals are possessed by some, at least it is not then a case of systematic madness forced on the whole nation by denial of the only possible source of morals... Rather then it is the chained desire of this or that person or group, who, depending on that desire, may seek any or all means to get it. Communal selfishness is just as possible as any other; and more mandatory!
However it is the contribution to the plague, to the pestilence position relative to prophecy, which here engages us... to the dwindling habitability of the earth, with its toxic thoughts, toxic morals and toxic men, intoxicated more and more - without God - with their wills, their ways and their work, be it what it may. The scenario that would find its maturity in an earth in which mankind could not endure, is Biblical; and radioactivity is merely one of the many ways in which men rush towards it. (Cf. Matthew 24:7, and "calamities" of Revelation 9:20, 11:6, 15:1,8, 16:9, 21:9.)
What fascinates, apart from the revelation on the communist system, that Eastern Europe appears in far worse plight than the West environmentally, is the extent to which Europe, that great sophisticate, is spoiled already. This is in ways that seem incredibly retrogressive with a 'cure' tab, the cost of environmental remedy, set in hundreds of billions.
Time magazine, April 9, 1990 gives one more page of the book leading to the final, fatal and fateful fulfilment of the Saviour's predictions in Matthew 24:7,22. It sends forth its witness as well as its warning, when set in prophetic perspective.
Eastern Europe's pollution does more than degrade the quality of life; it dramatically cripples and shortens the lives of human beings.
Near Leipzig, it is indicated that '4 out of 5 children develop chronic bronchitis or heart ailments by the age of seven.' Near Copsa Mica in Romania, it is claimed: 'Even horses can stay here for only a couple of years. Then they have to be taken away or else they will die.'
Information in the 'thaw', now being revealed of the formerly 'closed' East Europe developments is not all like this; high points are noted. Yet the study by the West German Institute for Economic Research which proposed perhaps $200 billion as needed in 20 years just to clean up the pollution in Eastern Europe, suggests that the high points exist on the gravely compromised profile. Not a luxury but a question of survival - this is the cited phrase of Thierry Lavoux, Director of the Paris office of the
Independent Institute for European Environmental Policy. Among the more potent dangers, as distinct from what has happened already is 'an even greater hazard' that may be 'lurking' in the East. It is the peril of further accidental nuclear explosion.
This drifting legacy - not of love - that has already smitten such heartlands of purity as Scotland and Scandinavia, as it were, without really trying - gives powerful comment on what might be accomplished in 'incidents' that are not accidents, in times to come. Swathes of the earth's surface can be 'handled' by winds in a little while, for radioactivity dissemination purposes.
Even accidents however have their force. Time magazine cites two dozen Soviet-built nuclear plants in four European nations, noting the E. C.'s Ripa di Meana's warning that these "operate with technology and personnel that aren't adequate for the risk... It's a recipe for a nuclear accident." With a little 'help' from Libya's technical efforts in chemical - if not biological warfare - Iran's renewed chemical energies, and Iraq's diligent developments in multiple destruction techniques, as it ponders amongst others, little Israel: the sea of sorrow should be equipped to drown many in much more than emotions (cf. Revelation 9).
Meanwhile, the recipient of multiplied billions of US government money, citedly some $800,000,000 annually in recent years (The Cancer Answer, Albert Earl Carter pp. 86-87), the scourge of cancer assumes plague proportions and aroused Nixon's War on Cancer with the multiplied funds lavished on its control since then. With some 480,000 reportedly (Carter, loc. cit.), dying of cancer (not merely contracting it!) annually, in the U.S. alone, this is scarcely surprising. What is surprising is this: that with a population not much more than doubling since say 1930, the U.S. has cancer deaths growing to a four fold increase since that time. True, diagnosis may be more efficient ... but to say that cancer death was systematically or substantially overlooked is not quite so easy.
With destabilising agents at work on the cells and misanthropic mutants given the two-step go-ahead (as Carter points out), indeed given it on a massive chemically abounding scale in our advanced society, this becomes more understandable; but not less threatening. Carter's address to the body-mutilating, energy sapping, devitalising efforts, by bodily bombardment with chemicals and radiotherapeutic means, is fascinating.
Claiming that the real answer is immune system maximisation, and focussing that here lies the 'silver bullet' or cancer selecting knock-out agent, Carter stresses the immensely sophisticated way in which law-breaking diseased cells are brought out of action by a healthy immune system. This, he observes, results in the deliverance of the body in large numbers of cases, only breakthroughs however, being successful in deliverance from the actual cancer. His emphasis is preventive health, and his excursion the efficiency of our immune system, given proper health and activation by wise living, even in the current, toxic environment.
Carter states that much of the action is not realised and perhaps 90% of potential cancers are cut off by the lymphocyte and allied armies, he indicates, evidently with no indications of their presence at all. Others are arrested as they begin.
It seems in some ways typical of this generation that exotic chemicals and medically destructive - if well-intentioned - means have been so widely used, in terms of emphasis, when the body's own equipment, with the typically brilliant provisions made by the Creator for fighting such things as cancer... is the instrument so effective, crying for maximisation even in such plaguing times.
No small plagues are man's misconceptions of his Creator. It is these which despite much magnified microscopic means of seeing His handiwork, not merely encourage him to gamble with life in his industrial licence, but with medical 'hopes' for marvels of deliverance that in the end, will need an understanding that the systematic spiritual ignorance tends so fatally to block.
Thus chemical and radiotherapeutic procedures have blasted withering bodies in frequently failed attempts to stop cancer, and this has been a biological disaster, a people-plague in itself. With whatever wisdom this or that means is used, while God is not sought, and His equipment is abused, in spirit, in mind and in body, in industry, exploitation of man by man, by machine and even at times by medicine, there may be expected such stimulated, but unstimulating ironies as this: for life is not not available for manipulation or protection without the Lord.
In the end, the end of the biological beginning has indeed become the beginning of the biological end. Exceptthose days were shortened ... said Christ (Matthew 24:22) of the accumulating anguish and impotence to deliver: which man would beget for man! In this, unprincipled pollution by chemicals, radiation, in gases, liquids, of water, of mind, of body, of spirit has a cumulative consequence in ever-new agonies of arthritic arrest, psychosomatic (stress induced) complexity, or of psychopathic mental and allied conditions of heart, both bodily and in the spiritual sense; and while politicians, TV and languid literature constantly try to glorify the brilliantly daft residue of man, their efforts are becoming less insidious than comic.
For all that, such is the weariness of God on the part of the ungodly, the desperate and continuing desire, unrepentant as ever, to play His part for Him; such is the desire to omit their Maker from memory and their Master from the scene of their service, that the comedy may be rather more slowly realised, than the more pressing pangs of the tragedy: the consequences of fictitious living. For that, plague is not only predicted: it now is virtually predictable. Misused life does not lose its dynamic, and dynamism misdirected can indeed plague its possessors.
Carter of course, in dealing with the alleged higher cancer incidence just noted, makes the point that the extra work imposed on the immune system having to clear away the sludge of dead cells, limits its availability for cancer protection.
Meanwhile,'control' of insects leads to pesticide and other industrial waste (often derived from other efforts to control this or that) seeping frequently into the ground-water supply, one widely used both in the country and in some cities. A 1975 test carried out by the National Academy of Sciences, Carter notes, revealed 74 pesticides in drinking water and 22 carcinogenic compounds; while on chlorine in particular, he notes that Russian scientists carried out tests showing a correlation between chlorine in 1.4 parts per million concentration in drinking water, and higher blood pressure: compared with the case of a control group with lesser concentration of the chlorine 'remedy.'
So barriers to plagues create new barriers in this setting, and no simple answer smiles from the lips of a triumphant science.
Far from it: indeed Time magazine, April 23, 1990 in an article by Marguerite Johnson cites Hoimer von Ditfurth in his Reflections by a Member of the Species, a West German contribution as commenting: "We are celebrating our consumers' party on the edge of a volcano." What, however, is being consumed is the time to repent not of the fact, but of the motive for consumption; and even more of this: of the motives mismatched in millions, with the lives they live.
Johnson also notes Michael Mueller, a Bundestag member, professor of natural philosophy, in terms of the following analysis:
Despite extraordinary growth in environmental awareness,the sellout of the world's natural resources has not stopped: more than 50% of global ecological damage occurred in the past three decades. In the foreseeable future, 40 countries will not have adequate water supplies. The drought in Africa is spreading at a rate of 2.3 million sq.mi. a year. The world's rain forests, the earth's "green lungs", will cease to exist within 50 years at the current rate of destruction. Add to this projected population growth from 5 billion today to 8.5 billions by the year 2025 - plus the potential for a climatic catastrophe - and the specters of starvation, mass migration and social conflict become all too plausible.(Italics added.)The predicted 'Wormwood' of Revelation 8, producing bitter water for bitter minds, seems to foreshadow its coming.
The resources of Time itself, time to repent, are also being hideously depleted, for the Lord is not slack in His promise to return, as Peter tells us, but not willing that any should perish: while men gambol, or squirm, according to mood, the gospel of God goes forth to the day appointed, and the earth conforms with rigour to the stated plan. Meanwhile, God does not cease in compassion and charity to proclaim His remedy, which would lead not only to removal of inward pollution menace, but outward judgment, should the world have only heard:
God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30),and again:
In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold,now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (11 Corinthians 6:2).
If the world will not hear, there is no need for each of its inhabitants to be deaf, for God is still calling (Hebrews 3:7). It is not as if God is without love because He is equipped with plan, or unconcerned because things will draw to their completion. He completed His work (John 19:30); man is required to accept what He did, and to entrust his life to Him.
Yet there is not merely a failure to respond, with many, and that in religious places; there is a rebellion of method as well as of fact, which bids fair to become the worst affliction of all.
A new plague, given some more reputable beginnings in the largely ineffective League of Nations, and the United Nations, helped by the World Council of Churches, unity-religions, and the whole tribe of human tantrums to push back God's words in Christ into His mouth and 'run the blessed thing themselves', this little world of ours: This is to come and is coming. Revelation speaks of the kings at the last giving their power to the ultimate 'answer' of man, the 'beast', the unifying ruler with its worldly religion (cf. Chapter 9, Daniel File, Part B, The Coming Consummation, infra.)
These are of one mind and will give their power and authority to the beast - Revelation 17:13.
We have tasted the repressive ... expressive and suppressive power of police-state Nazism and Communism; but this will be a plague (*17) to remember - as an instructive episode in the history of disaster-seeking, rebelling man; or to forget - for those caught in its turmoils, without Christ.
The drive to unity without God, this becomes a tertiary pollution problem; it is logically subsequent to the primary efforts at (physical) control, and the secondary problems with the consequences of the controls. Here is the ultimate control; and its pollution also is ultimate: the determinate dereliction and desolation of the human heart. The language of Daniel of this phase, long after the predicted killing of the Christ (the Messiah of Daniel 9:26), as the end prior to judgment itself rushes forwards like a sprinter from the starting blocks (having, as it were, become exasperated with the delay, and acting at last... 11 Peter 3:1-5)... this Danielic language is expressive:
And till the end of the war, desolations are determined... and on the pinnacle of abomination shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolator - Daniel 9:26-27. (It is this desolator to whom Christ refers, concerning the last times, before His return, in Matthew 24:15.)The sense of prolonged chronic pollution of mind, body and soul, coming to a suitable fever crisis is seen from Christ's depictions, which we pondered, and here also; they touch also the earth, in which no Biblical prophecy concerning it will fail to be fulfilled; or ever has failed.
This drive to earthly unity as one of the 'control' measures of a desperate though wholly misnamed 'world community' (such a title, now a cliché, almost seems like deliberate satire, as events unroll...), this will bring the fears of a polluted and misused environment into proportion.
Why ? or how ? Man the environmentalist will then be struggling not merely nationally, as in the French (*18) and Russian revolutions, or in the Chinese, with its Tiananmen Square, dripping with blood but also with tears of broken dreams, shattered ideals, betrayed hopes: and indeed in endless seeming tyrannies from other and equally proud quarters. The struggle will then also be international, with the misdirected sacrifice of sovereignty, national sovereignty on the international altar: Yes, and more than that, Mrs Thatcher ... though the attempted 1992 'union' in Europe is a start! (Nov. 1, 1993) indeed sees the Treaty for 'European Union' in force.
The sacrifice will become, increasingly clearly, what it always has been for the 'world' in principle: it is the sacrifice of the soul and its everlasting destiny handed over to the world, for what does not profit, no, not if one should get all of it. Isaiah puts the underlying position poignantly:
Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread ? And your labour for that which does not satisfy ? hearken diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come to Me: hear, and your soul will live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and a commander to the people... Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near... (from Isaiah 55:1-6 - italics added).The issues were always clear; but now the pride and power of man will be projected on an international scale; it will indeed transcend even Empire (*19). It will be, as far as this world is concerned, of a universal dimension: with no 'land of the free' for escape.
The price of such a 'control' on man, to contain the damage of his spiritual sin, expressed so diversely and inventively in so many ways: the 'system', the 'plan' or 'new age' or whatever else it be called. This will give the undoubtedly this-worldly majority an opportunity to 'manage'. To manage what ? To manage their own unity; and there will be given a man, the 'man of sin' (II Thessalonians 2), to manage it, with strong hands and sightless eyes, fittingly representing a race that is lost and has lost, and will not receive the victory (1 John 5:4). From that pollution, the power of God will keep the people of God (Revelation 13:14-15, Matthew 24:24, Revelation 7:14, Luke 21:15, Revelation 12:10-11, 14:13):
And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they did not love their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).
British author statesman, C.P. Snow is reported as saying:
Everything that has happened in public has pointed in the direction of anti-hope. If I make you depressed you will have to forgive me, because it's the facts that are depressing you, not me. In fact, I'm a comparatively amiable fellow in private.Speaking some years before the famine focus on Ethiopia in its current sharpness, he asserted:
Many millions of people in the poor countries are going to starve to death before our eyes - or, to complete the domestic picture, we shall see them doing so upon our television sets.Looking at some of the human sins, he could see no solution in various universal problem areas.
H.G. Wells wrote the work Mind at the End of its Tether, later in his life. We are often warned of temperature changes through carbon dioxide concentration, ozone dangers, the tyranny of power in increasing knowledge, the escalation of terror through morality failing before technical advance, radiation, consternation, contamination, explosion, chain reactions, bacteriological warfare, chemical warfare, of inveterate hatred using any means to satisfy itself, and seeing such things in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia... we have seen it in near genocide in Biafra, most officially, and repeatedly see it in the Middle East. A worse scene of escalating moral intensity may have been that of State victims in Russia, with psychiatric chains of mental warfare, where the mind is assaulted with drugs while the ear is injected with propaganda. Such is the humane 'liberation' of Marx.
We even see the moon of age-old romance, now offering as a base for weaponry, a stable and enticing space platform for estimation; and behold the novel genetic engineering, allowing experimentation with the forces of life without having available the knowledge or the mind of God, for the purpose! The time is indeed coming when the antichrist will be well equipped in his predicted bid to "change times and law" (Daniel 7:25, cf. II Thessalonians 2:4), whilst speaking "great words against the Most High."
It is really quite simple in one sense. Man is gaining more of that technical knowledge which God has vested in creation; and without repenting, he will be blighted by an increasing power: arrogance and the curse that is due, progressing with some degree of unison! (Revelation 9:20-21; 8:1-13). Blight and disobedience move with awe-ful continuance. Repentance is hidden from their eyes, who lust to be, or invent what is divine...
The movement of arrogant foolishness and dismissal of Him who IS divine, is visible to the watchful eye over just one generation. Not many more times could sustain growth in this direction, of this magnitude ... with these results! For many in power, if not most, nothing is sacred - or so sacred as the desires of the human mind.
With profound and simple accuracy, speaking of the nature of the final phases of history before He returns - to whom the honour is due to rule (Ezekiel 21:26-27) - completing His total mission, Jesus made a statement that accords like that of a current reporter to what we now observe:
Except those days were shortened,no flesh could be spared (Matthew 24:22).It is interesting, if poignant in its calamity, to see just how precisely such things are coming to be; and from how many grounds!
As Jesus Christ expressly put it of the escalation before His return: "Iniquity will abound" (Matthew 24:12). It does. It multiplies in its evil magnitudes, like teaming fish in the sea.
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1. As Jung Chang put it: If this is paradise, what then is hell ...That false Christ (see p. 725 infra) has already afflicted nearly a quarter of our race. U.S.A.'s David Koresh explicitly and Japan's highly placed Aum movement implicitly, are recent examples of the rule of Matthew 24:24, amid chameleon false christs. Many Jews likewise acclaimed a 1990's 'Messiah'.
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2. All races need vinegar's truth before butter's balm (John 16:8-11).
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