Biblical speculations

After giving it a bit of a rest for a couple of days I am back with the speculations I hinted to in Give it a rest. When I wrote that I was thinking partly about some of the poorly conceived interpretations of the Revelation you find on the net, especially you tube. When the false Messiah comes as the deceiver/Anti-Christ, I think we can assume that it’ll be someone carismatic, someone with a lot of influence over people, someone we believe has the power to unite. I could be wrong of course, but if we are going to be surprised it probably won’t be any of the likely candidates.

The list of Anti-Christs is long, and most US presidents make the list. Ronald Reagan and Michail Gorbachev were presidents of the USA and Soviet Union at the same time, but they were both labeled Anti-Christ. Today many are absolutely convinced that Obama is the one. The Pope is also a regular candidate and each time the Pope fails to deliver there are always some that say they’ll get it right next time. I believe even Prince William and the new Prime Minister of Greece have been labeled Anti-Christ as well. I am surprised George Bush didn’t make the list, or maybe he did? He seems to have made a bigger issue out of faith than any other recent president, but I don’t think even he was playing in that league.

I don’t mean to ridicule anyone, but let’s say I am skeptical. The entities I mentioned are of course likely candidates in the present world, but that could change rapidly. I suspect the present leaders will only play the role as initiators. I don’t think this is going to be that easy, as Jesus stated in Mark 13:32. We don’t know the when and probably not the who and the where either. We just know we need to be ready.

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come.” 

I guess this means we have to continue our routines and not do anything extraordinary (like some Jehova’s Witnesses that quit their jobs in the 1970’s because they believed they were being raptured). These things will come to pass and I believe our job is not being caught off guard, not being deceived. That’s why it might be a good idea to be public about what we believe in. When secular people take a look at Christians, what are they seeing? I guess that would depend on who they are staring at and listening to. If the first glimpse is of Steve Quayle they might get completely floored, or decide they never want to approach those lunatics again. I’ve never seen him; only listened to him on talk radio. Let’s just say he doesn’t come across as a fragile, delicate little creature. He’s more like an elephant in a china shop, but to some people Quayle might be the right messenger. We need a variety of different messengers.

Or imagine a couple of men man that have never read the Bible or heard a Christian speak, walk into a church. The first thing that meets them is a bunch of highly questionable characters shouting about a man that was nailed to a cross, and this man is splashing his blood all over his followers. That is supposed to make us clean? Then they tell these confused men that they’re going to be annointed in God’s grace. Ok, I think we’ll just back out of here, very quietly. No sudden moves and nobody gets hurt.

In Norway we call this speaking Canaan. There is a reason you don’t hear this in public, or maybe we should be more visible? We used to be. The first pentacost, described in Acts 2: 1-6, must have been a really crazy day. Perhaps there are parts that it would be wise to save for later, but the Book of Revelation certainly has some ideas that are worth talking about in the public sphere. When I studied theology at a university 20 years ago the professors didn’t exactly go into the prophecy. We studied the different theories, but mainly the leading scholarly unerstanding that this book didn’t have any relevance passed the first century, and some even question whether it belonged in the Bible at all. I believe it is relevant, however.

I do believe it should be there, and that it is speaking to us today too, also if you don’t go into the spiritual meaning. People could benefit from reading the Revelation, not because this is something dramatic and sensational, but because it is a good study of current events. It explains how to bring down a civilization, how it will be brought down.

People have been talking about the return of Jesus for 2000 years. It’s been a long time since I studied the Bible, so I am not going to serve you some mumbo jumbo trying to pass for theology. I do like following the news, however, and I’m going to speculate about some of the current events that could lead to something far down the road. This is why we might be getting somewhere this time.

Global power/take over

I’m not sure it’s a good idea to spend a lot of time listening to and watching videos on you tube about what a hellhole the Earth is turning into. Not without the hope we Christians have at least. There’s a lot of doom and gloom about planet x, asteroids, supervolcanos, poleshift, the magnetic field weakening, disease, terrorism, wars etc. You get a lot of that if you watch Discovery, History Channel and National Geographic Channel as well.

One of the things we are waiting for is one political system and one leader. Personally I believe we have a long distance to go yet, but we might be seeing the beginning of it. The new political system is not going to be achieved through war, but through diplomacy. That doesn’t seem very likely at the moment, but I think that’s the whole point. In order for the world to really believe this could happen, it has to be apparent that war didn’t give us the desired result. But for now too many people still believe weapons can fix everything.

First some background on Russia.

Russia was in deep shit, financially, and has spent some years regaining strength. They have been losing more and more geopolitical influence however. I think recent events shed light on the present situation in Ukraine for example. Crimea used to be a part of Russia, but the former leader Nikita Krutsjov gave it as a symbolic gift to Ukraine in 1954. It marked the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Tsardom of Russia. Wikipedia. Ukraine was probably very corrupt and mismanaged, but when the president the Ukrainians had elected themselves was removed from power, and the new leaders decided to make Crimea a part of Ukraine, Russia understandably got upset.

Crimea had become a part of Russia in 1917, was downgraded to an oblast in World War 2, and as previously mentioned transferred to Ukraine in 1954 (Ukraine was a Soviet republic, so it wasn’t really like giving it away). When Ukraine became independent in 1991, Crimea was granted autonomy, but they have had close ties to Russia, and the Russians have a large navy base there. Wikipedia

map of crimea
Map showing why Crimea is important to Russia. NATO will be awfully close if they lose Ukraine and Crimea, and they won’t have access to large waters. Although they have to pass through Turkey, Crimea would give the Russian navy access to the Meditteranean.
Wikimedia Commons

I think this explains some of the anger in Russia. Putin was under a lot of domestic pressure, and I think he felt that this was absolutely the last fight he could withdraw from. This could, however, have been the last opportunity for a friendly relationship between Russia and the USA/EU. I am just speculating of course, but I think we are seeing the start of a return to the world before the Soviet Union fell apart. Russia has become more a apart of Europe in recent years, but I think this will push them towards China. It is possible we are seeing a state of war between the USA and Russia already, a sort of clandestine war where forceful diplomacy and aggressive economic measures are being used. Russia is probably a lot more vulnerable than the USA as they get 70 % of their export income from oil and gas. If influential countries agree to keep the oil-prices low, I believe Russia will bleed heavily. I don’t know much about econmics, but I think this is at least contributing to the enormous instability of the Russian currency. If this is true the USA and Saudi Arabia most likely planned this long before the crisis in Ukraine started.

There could also be a risk for the US in doing this, if that is what they are doing. Russia and China are coming closer towards a new currency that could become a global system, like the US dollar is today. It seems like the new war is economical, but at the same time there are clear signs that Russia is testing Europe. There have been several “situations” where Russian military planes are deliberately violating the air space in Norway and Sweden, and they they have come literally within a few meters (less than 100 m from civilian traffic in Sweden and Denmark and 20 m from Norwegian F-16’s). These flights have gone as far south as Portugal before they returned north. Something seems to have changed. Maybe they dont have the means to play the money game? We know Putin is very good at playing a strategic games, so who knows, maybe this is a part of a plan? I don’t know what it means, but I believe it means something.

Middle East
Western leaders have been talking a lot about bringing democracy to Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt (but not to allied countries like Saudi Arabia). We may give them the benefit of the doubt, and admit that their intentions were noble, but the result is possiby the opposite. The fighting between Muslims doesn’t have much to do with faith. It’s mostly about political power. After the prophet Muhammad died in 632 those who wanted the Prophet’s closest associates to take over his position became Sunni Muslims. Those who wanted Muhammad’s descendants to inherit the power became Shia Muslims. This is how Islam split into two main branches.

Saddam Hussein came from the Sunni minority in Iraq and ruled over the Shiite majority. The situation is the opposite in Syria, a Shiite minority rules a Sunni majority. One of the reasons it is so difficult to make peace in this region is that it is easy to arouse the old enmity between the two groups, and to disrupt the fragile peace, which has maintained a certain balance. We are seeing a secterian division today that terrorists exploit. The problem is that we are forcd to resort to short term measures where we support terrorists and other enemies for periods because there is a bigger threat we need to deal with first. We see this in Syria where it is not always clear what kind of alliances we have because everyone wants to get ISIL out of the way. To use a hackneyed phrase, this is an unholy mess.

We may think that bombing these countries to smitherens, and getting rid of the dictators we used to support, will set things straight, but that’s just half the job. What we are seeing now is trying to stabilize these countries, but that is going to take a long time. If we are not willing to do that job for decade after decade these societies will be very vulnerable to terrorists and new dictators. That’s a good place to start for the first one that comes along with a peaceful solution. There are some that have suggested a Muslim as Anti-Christ, and that is not an unreasonable suggestion. I believe the traditional view is that antichrist will be of Roman descent, a christian or jew, so that wouldn’t be quite according to the Scripture, but I think the possibility of peace between Christians and Muslim would have many ignore the flashing warning lights.

The other thing is that the Bible says that a lot of people are going to die. That doesn’t seem very likely as the population just keeps growing.

Famine

To many in the West this is a very biblical concept, but not a reality, like it is to many in the developing world. It’s not likely to happen here anytime soon, so we don’t think much about it. This is one of the reasons I believe we need to prepare. Is it possible with widespread famine in Europe for example? This may surprise many people because that is actually quite possible. So far food shortage and malnutrition has been most relevant to Africa and Asia, but according to the German plant geneticist Hans-Jörg Jacobsen that’s our future. He says it’s not reaistic to increase the amount of farm land, so we need to grow more on the existing land. That can be done through genetic engineering.

Science always wants to tell us that they have the answer, and these days GM crops are going to prevent famine, but studies show that they don’t perform especially well. I’m not going to repeat all the information, but I recommend you read this article from Institute of Science in Society (ISIS). It basically says that conventional seeds gives a better result. That was in 1998, and you might say that things have improved. Not really.

This farmer from Iowa is just one of many that have returned to conventonal seeds as that was more profitable. This is another article about farmers abandoning GMO seeds. These farmers have a chance to recover, but some are not that fortunate.

Farmers in India were promised much better harvests and income if they changed to GMO seeds. These farmers loaned the money, and when the harvest failed, and they lost their land, they committed suicide. When this article was published in 2008, 125 000 farmers had killed themselves in “the suicie belt.” There is still a strong caste system and exploitation of poor people with low rank in India, so these families probably ended up more or less as slaves. I believe it’s truly evil people forcing the world to produce and eat this food when they know the result.

The result in the long run could be less food. These seed producers have said they are not going to do it, but they are capable of producing sterile seeds so that the farmers might have to buy new ones every year. There is also an alternative where the farmers have to buy a special chemical every year to get the GMO-advantage. We don’t know what the consequence will be, but these things could be a preparation for a world that welcomes a false Messiah.

I could have written about vaccines and disease too, but I’ll save that for another post. What I have outlined here isn’t something that will culminate soon. I think there will be a long development, but I believe something has started. Everybody waited for something to happen in 2012 becuse they were looking in the wrong place, which is anywhere but the Bible. I believe something happened, something that will develop slowly.

But there is hope as C.S. Lewis reminded us of shortly after World War 2:

New Monetary System?

New Global Currency?

Food shortages in Europe

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39 thoughts on “Biblical speculations

  1. You’ve obviously put some effort into this consideration. I like the connection you made between current events and the Revelation. Although I can’t claim to understand much of it, I do believe what we read is a panoramic unfolding of salvation history

    There truly are some crazy interpretations of “end times” prophecy. And it leads Christians to do some foolish things. It is interesting that misunderstanding of the return of Christ has been around since the beginning of the so-called church age. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to correct their check-out-of-life-and-just-sit-around-waiting-for-Jesus approach.
    The pre-trib rapture doctrine is a problem for me, as I just don’t see any significant support for it. It’s one of the illusions God took from me when I figuratively fell on my face.

    Anyway, your point about continuing to live and do what is right is totally in line with the scriptural perspective.

    It was a surprise to me to discover that the only biblical mention of “antichrist” is in John’s first and second epistles. And he even defines what an antichrist is in 2 John 1:7
    For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

    A historic view of the Revelation views the ultimate manifestation of antichrist is the attempt of the devil to infiltrate and corrupt the church via the papacy. That the death grip was finally broken during the Reformation, and the true gospel was once again liberated to circulate around the globe. This explanation makes the most sense to me, but it’s not a hill I’m ready to die on.

    In the end, antichrist is anyone who is against Christ and His rightful claim to ruler of the world. And, as you noted in your post, there have been many of these who have had significant impact on world history.

    John also wrote the Revelation, and, although he speaks of beasts and dragons, one would think that if we are meant to look for a specific, individual Antichrist at the very end of all time, he would have used similar terminology.
    I wonder sometimes if we’ve gotten the message confused. If Christians are always preoccupied with the rise of some evil, world-dominating super-villian, how could we possibly be simultaneously focused on Christ and His desire for us to simply obey in the moment?

    1. You are correct. I did put some effort into this. I lost my concentration many times while writing, and was almost sorry I started, but I thought it was a shame not to finish. I like speculating about what’s really going on in the world, but i never know whether or not my texts are going to interest anyone else. Most of the time they don’t seem to, and this was one of those times when I really wasn’t sure.

      You liked some of it, so I guess it wasn’t totally crap. I tend to be very hard on myself.

      I agree with you, there are some that obsess about this. I remember a man from the Baptist church I used to attend. He obsessed about Israel and the end times, and didn’t realize people were avoiding him like the plague. It was the only thing he ever talked about, even at work.

      To be honest my head is still spinning after all the different interpretations I’ve heard, and of course everyone has the one true understanding of the book. Never thought of an organization as antichrist, but that makes sense when you look back on European history.

      I agree that we are not going astray if we focus on Christ.

    2. Yes, Christians who obsess over trying to read the end times signs can create unnecessary division within the body.

      The historic method of interpretationreally does make sense. After having been raised as a default dispensational, it offered a very reasonable explanation for much of the symbolism in the Revelation.

      Individuals who struggle with perfectionist traits tend to judge themselves quite harshly.
      Don’t ask me how I know this. :/

      It’s a good post.

  2. John and Heather,
    Check out the following link: http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/02/pope-to-copeland-catholics-and-charismatics-must-spiritually-unite/

    Looks like the current “church leaders” of the Protestant world are stating that the Reformation had it all wrong. I guess these modern “church leaders” think all those believers that died for their faith, and died so that we could read the Bible in our own language were…just misguided. Wow….Christians really need to turn off the CBC and “Christian” TV (what an oxymoron) and study their Bibles and church history.
    These guys turn “unity” into some kind of creepy golden calf.

    1. Wow! I have noticed that the Lutheran church in Norway has started with some of the Catholic traditions it abandoned a long time ago. There has also been a development towards a sort of “anything goes kind of theology”. Some of denominations that used to be in strong opposition to the Lutheran church don’t seem to offer much of an alternative anymore. So I knew there was something going on, but this was shocking. In fact, this is creepy. It’s almost like the Vatican wants to co-opt Christians into a one world-religion, to undo what Luther started and others developed further. We are definately moving towards a time when we have to fight for what we believe in.

      Thank you for the comment. I don’t have time to watch the video right now, but I certainly will tonight.

    2. Don’t know if I posted something, but I was working on a reply, but when I picked up my phone again it was gone. So I’m trying again.

      Thank you for all the comments and links. I’ve had a long period where everything seemed overwhelming and uncertain to me. I have wanted to start studying the Bible for a long time, as well as reading astronomy, which was an interest I had as a teenager. I also want to write something that might have a chance of being published, but nothing seems to be happening.

      I guess it’s been easier obsessing about the blog than dealing with the other things. I am going to start with re-reading these comments and visit the links, and hopefully pull myself together. I am not very structured, so I think I need to make instruction for myself.

    3. Hi Jay,

      There are many troubling RCC doctrines and it isn’t at all surprising to note that prominent false Christian teachers are working to lead the sheep to their deaths. Catholicism, the prosperity and word-of-faith teachings, Mormonism, JW’s, Islam, New Age, atheistic humanism…all of these religions find a source of revelation other than Christ. So, it’s no mystery that they can find common ground in order to “co-exist”. It’s demonic.

      I appreciate the invitation, but am not free to visit your link as I’ve already been down the internet religious research path once and it nearly cost me my sanity. I don’t wish to tempt God to rescue me a second time.

      However, I’m free to discuss what I already have learned, if anyone cares to hear my perspective.

      By the way, are you guys aware that modern futuristic interpretation of Revelation finds much of its inspiration in the writings of a Jesuit priest named Francisco Ribera? He was commissioned by Rome to counter Reformation interpretation of the papacy as the historic fulfillment of the beast symbolism.

  3. John,
    If you can find a copy, read A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days, by Dave Hunt. I have been reading quite a bit on the topic of ecumenism, and this blending of religions with the Vatican and the Pope leading the way. Just a few months ago, there was some kind of event held in Rome, where all these religious leaders: Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Protestant, etc. had some kind of service, where basically the gist was all religions are the same, and the Pope assured them all that they could be Catholics and keep their original religions. But to me, the sickest, most disheartening thing of all is watching Protestant church leaders lead Christians back to Rome.

    Heather,
    As someone who probably does a bit TOO much religious internet research, I understand where you are coming from. Though I have not experienced it like you describe, I have learned much that has been very disheartening, frightening, and alarming.

    I spent nearly 3 years in a church that preached the prosperity gospel. I believe that many of the ministers that teach this doctrine start out right. There is a biblical basis for the idea (to an extent), but it doesn’t seem like it takes too long for it to become perverted and twisted, and suddenly the church becomes a mirror image of the world. I remember thinking there must be something “wrong” with me because I really didn’t care about getting rich, have a big house, and driving a BMW. A good friend of mine, and the most Christ-like Brother I have ever met (who also went to church there) became convinced that he did “not have a strong testimony,” because he did not have all the material things that he had been taught he should have. He thought his faith was weak, and that he was a poor example of a Christian. It was that comment from him that really made me start seriously examining the doctrine of the church. Another member of the church, when I questioned the doctrine, when I asked about our Brothers and Sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in China and Muslim countries, told me that those people “just didn’t have enough faith. Their faith wasn’t strong enough”. I was dumbfounded, since we were speaking of people who had been beater, tortured, imprisoned, threatened, denied jobs, education, and reduced to poverty and homelessness FOR their FAITH!

    I am very interested in hearing your perspective, Heather, and your experiences that shaped those perspectives. I don’t usually comment on blogs, but John’s wife is a very dear friend, a sister to me, and I follow John’s blog, and I decided it was time to comment and support John in his writing adventures.

    I am not exactly sure what you mean by “modern, futurisic interpretation of Revelations.” I would not be surprised by the Catholic’s church’s involvement in displacing scrutiny on itself. There is a verse in Revelations, can’t remember where, where it describes a kingdom or nation, or maybe a “beast” “that was and is no more, but shall be again.” To me, this fits the RCC. It was during the Apostles’ time and the early church, and then eventually its influence waned, thanks to the Reformation, and it seems possible to me that the RCC will rise to prominence, dominance, and power once again.

    1. Thank you for the considerate response, Jay. I’ve been praying that John would receive support from a gentleman believer and I’m excited to see that He responded so quickly 🙂

      The prosperity gospel is a horrible deception and I’m ashamed that the mainstream American church seems to be so set on spreading this garbage around the globe.

      I am not exactly sure what you mean by “modern, futurisic interpretation of Revelations.”

      I was referring to what we typically call dispensationalism (ala John Nelson Darby). Specifically, my concern is with the end-times interpretation from this view of scripture. There are a couple main variants (usually involving a literal 7 year tribulation, rapture and heavy focus on national Israel and rise of an antichrist figure). This view basically places the majority of the events of Revelation as a view of the last 7 years of time as we know it.
      There are a host of completely off-the-wall end-times scenarios which have also sprung from this root, and the attendant chaos is disturbing .

      My husband and I were raised under dispensational influence…he more than I, as his father was a pastor for many years. I fell apart spiritually several years ago and we’ve reexamined several beliefs that were handed to us through the church culture we grew up in.

      While digging for answers, we discovered that before dispensationalism took over our seminaries, many Protestants held to a historic view of prophecy, which recognizes an unfolding of history from the time the Revelation was written until the return of Christ. The Catholic church plays a central role in this view as the “harlot” who rides the beast. My understanding is that the beast represents satan’s spiritual kingdom on earth and is reminiscent of Daniel’s vision of kingdoms represented as beasts.

      We have not yet found a completely satisfactory answer, but this earlier view makes a lot more sense than much of the current “Left Behind” type stuff.

      I tend to talk too much on other people’s blog sites, so, if you had specific points of interest, it would probably be better for me to respond to you instead of take over the comment section by rambling.

      I hope you don’t mind my saying again that your current involvement here is truly an answer to prayer. It is awesome to be able to see proof of His concern for His children.

    2. This is anarchy. Women with a blatant disregard for the rules keep posting these long comments. 😉

      That was a joke. I do appreciate considerate conversation on my blog. I am starting to get a few followers and many of them are men, but for some reason they don’t comment. I have looked around for some blogs myself , but not for a while. I think I’ll have another go. I agree, it would be good if I could find someone I could connect with. I would probably enjoy that if it happened.

    3. 😀
      You know what happens when you let the camel stick its nose in the tent…

      I agree with Jay. When you choose to respond, the discussion is worthwhile. I feel obliged to ask sometimes whether I’ve crossed a line though, as I’ve a history of being aggressive with my commentary. It’s one reason I had to take an extended break from the sphere.

      Keep writing about what interests you. God has a way of connecting individuals. Most of the bloggers I read are people who discovered me first, but if you’d like a suggestion or two, I can offer links to some of the Christian men’s sites I visit. There might be something of interest there.

      Male or female, it is wonderful to see that you have support here from someone you know.

    4. My apologies. I made an assumption that you are a man from your name…and then recalled that I am acquainted with a woman who also is named Jay. I hope I have not offended.

      That the Lord would bring alongside a friend of his family is beautiful, either way.

    5. I am definitely going to buy that book later. I looked it up and it’s available on Amazon. What you are saying seems to be similar to something Tom Horn has been writing about (I liked him before when he worked with Chris Putnam).

      He thinks the Vatican is preparing for the arrival of an alien god, and that we will be expected to re-read the gospel and renounce our faith in God. There are a couple of statements all over the net contributed to Vatican astronomers, especially Father Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti and Father Guy J. Consolmagno. It’s easy to get excited about this, and many clearly do as there are a lot of sites about endtimes and prophecies writing about this, but I am trying to avoid going into conspiracy mode. The problem is that I can’t find any reputable sources.

      It is interesting, however, that there are some comments made to mainstream media that might point in the same direction. There are many statements from the Vatican’s chief astronomer where he doesn’t say anything explicitly, but I believe he implies to what Tom Horn claims is the Vatican position. In an article from the Catholic News Service, Jesuit Father Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, said that “If aliens exist, they may be a different life form that does not need Christ’s redemption.”

      He speculates in an BBC-interview that “some aliens could even be free from original sin.”
      Not that I needed new reasons to stay away from the Catholic church, but things are definitely moving in the wrong direction. Still everybody is so concerned with accepting the Catholic church.

  4. I see there’s been a lot of activity on my blog while I was sleeping. It was interesting waking up to these comments from Jay, Heather and nomemoleste. Writing comes relatively easy to me. I’m not that good at dialogue, but I’ll try to give some adequate responses during this day.

  5. Heather,
    No offense taken! I am female, so keep praying for that gentleman believer to join in! “Jay” is a nickname, taken from my actual name.

    Thank you for your explanation of “modern, futurisic interpretation of Revelations.” I am familiar with the basics of dispensationalism and John Darby, but I just hadn’t heard it described with the terminology that you used in your comment. Like you, I cannot accept that doctrine, and it seems to seriously skew Christians’ focus. As I have gotten older, I have found the literal 7 years business to just sound nonsensical. I am still not sure where they come up with that–somewhere in the book of Daniel, I think. The dispensation approach is the one of the reasons I have find the whole biblical prophecies that apply to history, the end times, etc. to be so completely confusing.

    My parents rejected dispensationalism as a doctrine, yet ended up accepting some of the conclusions and off-shoots of it. They sort of blended that with the historical view. I find I kind of do the same. I don’t see why it can’t be both historical (in the past), AND in the future. It is still unfolding, or so it seems to me. I too, am deeply troubled by the fixation on the national state of Israel, the obsession of trying to connect current political events to Revelations, the obsession with Identifying the “King of the North” with Russia and Putin. The last few years, Obama was the anti-Christ, but now Putin is. I have been hearing this nonsense at church since childhood, and the “identity” of these nations, kingdoms, etc. keep changing. I don’t think God wants his people focused on such minutia. But I do believe that we need to be aware enough of the developments around us so that we can at least recognize the Mark of the Beat. Right now it seems it has a lot of precursors.

    Oh something else I wanted to mention about Dispensationalism…..in your research on the history/development of it, did you happen to find anything about it’s parallel development with and connection to Zionism? I have read that the two developed hand in hand. Without the acceptance of Dispensationalism, would Western Christians have supported the establishment and the ongoing support of the State of Israel? Could either ideology existed and lasted without the other?

    John,

    I am familiar with Tom Horn’s and Chris Putman’s work. I have read EXO-VATICAN, and it is one of the creepiest books I have ever read. Yes, the authors kind of go to the “outer limits,” yet I find many of their ideas plausible. I am sure they sound “crazy” to most Christians, and frankly, I wouldn’t be comfortable discussing their ideas with most Christians in person. But I think the work they are doing is essential. They are right that the Christian church needs to explore those issues, and be prepared with a scriptural answer to such developments. Without that, too many Christians will be deceived.

    That said, the book by Dave Hunt, is different from EXO-VATICAN in that the focus is solely historical and and Scriptural. They document everything with Scripture and the historical record. It is a heavily documented book. I really need to get my own copy, and I believe “A Woman Rides the Beast” is really a book every Christian needs to read.

    It was reading this book that really opened my eyes to the danger of Christians accepting that Catholicism is “Christian.” It is NOT. And we do not do any Catholics a service by going along with this deception. However, I have not yet found a way to talk about this in person without sounding like I am attacking Catholics. I know some dear Catholic people, and after reading “A Woman Rides the Beast,” I became alarmed for them, and want to talk to them, but don’t know how.

    One of the ways that Protestant Christians first started becoming so enmeshed with Rome came about through the Pro-Life movement. Protestants and Catholics have worked so closely on this issue for decades, that I think it became easy for Protestants to just accept that RCC is Christian. I know atheists and Buddhists who agree with me on all sorts of other issues (some of them Biblical or moral), but that doesn’t mean they are Christians.

    Oh, and John, you seem to be doing just fine with dialogue. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but most of my comments had more to do with YOUR comments than even the original post. I’m sorry if I am making too long of comments. I am new to this and do not know all the protocols and etiquette, so I am doing something rude here, please let me know.

    1. Thank you for the comments. I’m going to read more thoroughly later tonight. After 3 years of literally just a handfull of short comments, I’m enjoying this explosion of words. Would be nice if some men would join in on this global conversation too, and hopefully this is just the start. It’s interesting, by the way, how many have the oportunity to join in. I talked to a man from Somalia 3-4 years ago. He said the northern part of his homecountry had internet service, which surprised me, and I suspect many people have some access to computers and phones.

    2. Jay,
      .in your research on the history/development of it, did you happen to find anything about it’s parallel development with and connection to Zionism?
      There is a connection, although I’m still waiting for God to absolutely confirm it in my heart. A friend loaned My husband and I a copy of Robert Caringola’s Seventy Weeks, which addresses the historic Daniel-Revelation connection, the rise of dispensationalism and the RCC’s involvement in the swing away from historic interpretation. We bought a copy to keep and his other book, The Present Reign of Jesus Christ, which outlines the prophecy of Revelation in historical terms
      It is in the second book he addresses the three spirits which appear as frogs
      .Rev_16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
      According to the historic interpretation, these represent the deceptive teachings of Communism, Islam and Zionism…and that these three ideologies are destined to war one another into oblivion.
      It is worth noting that, although Caringola speaks harshly of these three beliefs and Catholicism, he clearly states that he is not “anti-Semitic” or otherwise hateful to the people who adhere to the false teachings. On the contrary, he recognizes the need for all to hear the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to have the opportunity to “repent and believe” on Him.
      If you or John are at all interested in this view, I would highly recommend these books. The second one appears to be out of print, and is more expensive, but it is the one which focuses on the unfolding of history as the fulfillment of the biblical text.


      Seventy Weeks – The Historical Alternative

      http://www.biblio.com/book/present-reign-jesus-christ-historical-interpretation/d/728751802

    3. Heather,

      Thank you for the book recommendations. I am going to check them out, particularly the first one, as it seems more affordable. Maybe this book would help me better articulate (and understand) my own position better, and would help me teach my teenage son, as well. Who knows…maybe I will buy this book and pass it on to my friend who embraces pre-trib and the State of Israel obsession.

      The interpretation of the “unclean spirits” as Communisim, Islam,and Zionism is truly fascinating, and it makes me want to read the book and learn more. That makes so much more sense to me that what I usually hear on Revelations.

      I appreciate you even responding to my question about the Dispensation/Zionist connection. I am usually too afraid to talk about that topic. Either people freak out and scream, “anti-semitic” or those who are willing to seek out the truth on the matter are also afraid to talk about it or admit they question the official dogma on the matter. Both responses have a tendency to squash any dialogue on the topic. I believe that for far too many Christians, Zionism has become another golden calf. I won’t go much further on this topic, as 1) I am not sure John would appreciate such a controversial discussion on his blog, and 2) as you said, you are waiting confirmation from the Holy Spirit, and I respect that.

    4. Jay,
      I can relate to the debate experience you shared with John and the Lord severely chastised me over my earlier behavior. I won’t freak out if you touch on a hot-button topic. In truth, I lean heavily in favor of a view that places Christ as “true Israel”, and that, regardless of our national identity, we are either for or against Him.

      I’m relieved to hear that you found something of value in my Contention post. Sometimes I wonder whether my thoughts will prompt readers to angrily react with “And you dare to call yourself a Christian?!”

      Your presence is welcome at my site. We don’t fight over there, either 🙂

    5. Heather,
      It is sort of weird to be relieved to hear that I am not the only one who succumbed to the temptation to engage in over-the-top blog commenting obsession! 🙂 I am a person who loves debate, is very competitive, extremely analytical and skilled at picking arguments to bits. Now, so far, I have never done that sort of thing on Biblical or religious issues, but on other topics, I have really gone too far with it. That is a part of the “flesh” that doesn’t seem quite crucified in me!

      My view on the Israel matter is something similar to yours. I sort of see it more like “Israel” is simply God’s people. In the Old Testament they were a particular group of people, but in the New Testament they become a broader group. True Israel to me is simply those who believe in Christ, regardless of their ethnic or national origin, just like Paul said, Jew and Greek, Male and Female, Slave and Free….all are one in Christ Jesus.

      With regards to your “Bone of Contention” post, I think anyone who responded as you feared would be someone who was looking for something to criticize. For do we not all have such experiences? You were just honest about it and put it out there for all to see. I wouldn’t have such courage. I could relate to that post for so many reasons. I have been grappling for awhile now with a matter of “holding a grudge” and struggling with bitterness and resentment toward a person who is also a believer. It is a matter too private to discuss in detail here, but that is why your article resonated so deeply with me.

    6. I agree, this is completely crazy, but perhaps something Christians should at least keep in the back of their minds. It’s probably not a good idea to be very focused on this, but there are some mysterious statements from the Vatican that suggest they might be thinking along those lines. At the same time we see the idea that aliens created us, being used more in popular culture. This seems to be an idea someone wants us to embrace, and I believe it’s a strong warning sign when there are forces at work trying get our focus away from the accepted gospel. I believe it will have to be something huge, something most Christians haven’t thought about, and this is probably the biggest gamechanger you could probably create because in most people’s mind it’s impossible.

      Again, I welcome long comments. Before Heather and nomemoleste started commenting a few weeks, I think I had picked up 5 comments since I started this blog in 2011. It’s nice to see that people are reading my texts, but I guess it was my recent decision to write more about faith that changed this. The comments helps me with some of my issues with faith of course, but they should also help me become a better writer. It is in fact my ambition to write professionally, but I suspect I have to develop my skills further before that can be achieved.

      I don’t mean to insult, but I just have to share a rather amusing memory. I’m usually the only on laughing when I’m trying to be funny, and I always tell myself that was the last time. Guess I’ll never learn. I took a one year course at the Baptist Seminary in Oslo in 1993/94, and I remember especially two guys studying at the 4 year pastor course. They tried their best to tease the female students, but as they heard the same joke every day, no one payed these two any attention. It was almost like a ritual. One of them quoted the Revelation where it says there was silence in heaven for half an hour.

      This was followed up with the question: Does that mean there won’t be any women there?

    7. John,

      I’m glad you are aware of the symbolism and ideas being promoted in popular culture that parallel what is found in Horn and Putman’s books. Though I am not sure about the details, I do believe there is something truly “big” and strange going on. I just ask Him to reveal His truth as ” whatever this is ” unfolds and is revealed. (Have you ever checked out the website, “Vigilant Citizen”?

      As far as your writing goes, I have seen you grow as a writer over the years, and it appears to me that you write the best when you write about matters closest to your heart. Also, I’ve notice you become very bold as to the topics you write about. If any participation that I can offer with comments helps you improve your craft, then I am happy to do my small part! 🙂

      As far as your joke, I actually thought of something similar earlier (or was it another thread?), where you said something about male readers who don’t comment. I started to say, “Maybe it is because we ladies are doing too much talking!” (of course, I don’t actually believe that! 🙂 So, don’t worry, at least as far as I go; I am not offended. 🙂

    8. Does that mean there won’t be any women there?

      Ha! This had me laughing as I was thinking earlier that two great ways to boost your comment ratings are

      1. Make a habit of focusing on controversial topics

      2. Invite a pair of women to interact freely. 😀

      I suppose we all need to be able to laugh at ourselves on occasion. A merry heart is good medicine.

      But seriously, there is a lot of weirdness surrounding the highest levels of Catholic hierarchy. I accidentally ran across something a couple months ago which tied the RCC to the rise of Hitler’s regime. Evil stuff, if it’s even remotely accurate.

    9. Heather,

      That book I mentioned earlier, “A Woman Rides the Beast,” by Dave Hunt addresses what your mentioned at the end of your comment. What your read about the RCC is unfortunately accurate, as he documents so well. I had already known that the Catholic Church supported Hiler’s regime, but I did not know until reading Hunt’s book the the role it played in the RISE of it.

    10. 😦
      I was really hoping that site was bogus.

      I noticed you asked about italics, but didn’t see a response yet. At the beginning of the text you wish to highlight, place with i between the symbols. At the end of the text, place with /i between them. I hope that is clear. I’m afraid if I try to demonstrate, you’ll just see italicizes letters.

  6. John,

    You are welcome! And I am sorry I did not join in sooner. I have been following your blog for a couple years now, but was reluctant to comment. Perhaps you are familiar with the story of how a few years ago your wife and I became enmeshed in a particular blog and had quite an unpleasant experience that led to a temporary “obsession” with debating certain individuals in the comments section. Actually, for me that was the second such experience, and I decided I would refrain from commenting on blogs. It was something that sort of took over my life, and since the nature of the dialogue was very heated and adversarial, I realized it was something that was a waste of time, not productive at all, and not Christ-like at all. The fact that I was responding to provocation did not justify it.

    But I actually know you. I know you are not some “wacko,” nor are you the sort of guy that will allow people on your blog to abuse other commenters. So I realized recently, especially as I read posts of yours that addressed Biblical issues, your doubts, your questioning whether you really believed, and your difficulties with communication and interacting with others, that in this particular case, my reticence about commenting was not a good thing.

    I understand your difficulties with connecting with people, and am also aware of the “other” challenges you all face in finding a real community of believers (in person) who will accept you. I still hope and pray you all will find such a community. But until then, perhaps this online community of believers will “stand in the gap.” It is as such that I have joined this community.

    Another reason I am commenting is that I admire your boldness in some of the topics you write about and the views you express. I also admire and appreciate your openness and honesty in sharing your own doubts and questions in such a public forum. I think most Christians at various times in their lives have such experiences, but I think many of us are afraid to admit it, at least out loud to each other. I think this isolates us and makes us more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks on our faith and our minds. You are not alone in this experience.

    I am going to talk to a couple of Christian guys that I know about reading your blog, and hopefully they will consider joining the dialogue.

    Heather,

    Speaking of blogs, I just visited yours a few moments ago and bookmarked it. I really enjoyed your posts on faith, and your “Bone of Contention.” I will start checking it out. I have enjoyed the dialogue with you on John’s blog, and you seem like a solid, decent person with a sound grasp of Scripture….so I may even comment on your blog, too! 🙂
    (I don’t know how to do the smileys. I hope when it posts, it is a real one).

    1. Thank you for the kind words, and for not labelling me as some wacko. 😉 Yes, I knew about that experience. I’m not sure about the correct term, but in Norway we frequently refer to net trolls, or just trolls. I read an article last year about a Canadian study where they concluded that many of these trolls showed signs of sadism, narcissism, and a tendency to manipulate and disrupt. There’s a lot of that, and it’s wise to be careful. It wasn’t on the same level, but I experienced some of the same in 2012 when I wrote a post about the postive role the church had played in the development of the Norwegian society. This received a lot of attention because one of the biggest newspapers shared it. But it wasn’t so bad, just the regular atheist crap, and when they went too far, I didn’t approve their comments.

      I guess there are many reasons why I started writing more openly about some of the things i struggle with. I suppose I felt it was alright to release some of it after keeping it inside for a long time, and I didn’t have any career to worry about,but I am also trying to show that life isn’t easier if you believe. Many Christians and churches give the impression that all your troubles go away if you are a Christian, but with the direction the world is moving towards, perhaps that assumption is more wrong than ever. It’s attitudes like that, in my opinion, that make many feel like they are not successful as Christians.

    2. John,
      You are welcome! Yes, the term trolls is used here, too. However, I was labeled a troll in my previous blog adventures. Not just a troll…but a sock-puppet, too! 🙂
      Since then, I am hesitant to use that term in dialogue. I know there are true trolls, but I am just not sure when I am really dealing with a troll, or just a person standing their ground or simply expressing themselves belligerently. I heard about your tangle with the atheists, and it made me wish I could read Norwegian so I could have read the comments.

      As a retired teacher myself, I can definitely relate to freedom you have found to express yourself more freely without having to worry about the repercussions on your job. When I was a teacher, I just kept my mouth shut on everything that was not immediately pertinent to the education of children. And even some of that I had to keep quiet, too, as being too vocal on some of the craziness we do in education doesn’t seem to be conducive to keeping a job! Now, I find I will speak to people about topics I previously stayed tight-lipped about. And I can even criticize Common Core and its arch-villian progenitor Bill Gates to my heart’s content! 🙂

      I agree with you about too many churches conveying the impression that all ones’ troubles go away when you become a Christian. As Heather mentioned earlier, the Prosperity gospel has unfortunately encouraged this trend. Jesus said, “In the world you will have troubles, but I have overcome the world.” I appreciate how you are willing to grapple publicly with the “troubles,” even the very personal ones.

      P.s. How the heck do you guys do the italics? I can’t figure that out.

  7. John,
    With regard to building a reader base: I was wondering how you tag your posts?
    It occurred to me that your first visit to my blog was by way of something I’d tagged under ‘depression’, but that post probably has 5 or 6 other related labels as it also touches on faith, relationships. religion and Christianity in particular. Using at least five, but no more than ten appropriate tags, can increase potential interest on the WP reader.

    1. There might be a problem with my tags because I don’t get many visitors from search engines. I get a few everyday on my Norwegian blog, but hardly ever on my English one. I should probably spend more time on that.

    2. Ah, I see the tags for this post, now. For an article like this, you could use religion, Christianity and faith. Opinion and Perspective also seem to draw English-speaking readers. More introspective theological posts often turn up under devotional thoughts or inspiration as well.

  8. I know you’re not asking, but one other piece of advice I got during my first experience with blogging is to keep most posts around 1,000 words and split a longer thought into separate installments. Many people will pass over a really great blog just because they see a high word count.

    1. John,

      Likewise I share the tendency, as my comments demonstrate! 🙂

      A few hours ago I just figured out that I did not have to reply to two people in one post. I finally noticed the “reply” button under each comment! Duh! 🙂

      But I agree with Heather on that, maybe create a series of shorter posts. I have no problem reading longer pieces, but a lot of people are skimming and lose interest if it is too long.

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