Jun 26, 2017

Socialism Doesn’t Work, But People Keep Trying It 

It has been repeatedly proven that socialism is the worst form of government that mankind has ever devised. The Soviet Union tried for decades to create the worker’s paradise. It floundered because socialism thrives on the sins of greed, envy, and laziness. When you have the government handing you the fruit of other people’s labor, there is no need for you to be a productive member of society.

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, realized the error of socialism when he made a trip to Florida. Gorbachev went into a supermarket and he was shocked by all the food available on the shelves. He was particularly amazed at the variety of puddings. In the USSR, people were generally forced to buy whatever limited items were available at the time.

Even a nation with a wealth of resources can still be hampered by socialism. South Africa has been blessed with many mineral deposits. In 1975 it produced 75 percent of the world’s annual production of gold. Today, it only produces about 7 percent of the world’s gold.

The problem is not that all the gold in South Africa has been mined; the U.S. Geological Survey estimated in that South Africa holds about 40 percent of the world’s gold resources. With 90 percent of the world’s platinum resources, South Africa has precious metal deposits that are worth nearly $3 trillion.

The key reason for the steep decline in South Africa’s gold production has been political. When blacks took over the white-dominated apartheid government, they viewed the wealthy white mining magnates as exploiters of poor black laborers. The Johannesburg government has placed so many taxes, ownership restrictions and wage controls on mines, that there have been very few new investments.

It can take up to 10 years of development before a mine is ready to go into production. To justify the risk, a mining company needs strong assurances that its investment is not going to vanish overnight. There are elements in the ruling African National Congress that are calling for outright nationalization of mining firms

Venezuela is another nation rich in resources, yet poor because of its socialist ideology. According to OPEC’s 2015 figures, Venezuela has the most proven crude oil reserves in the world, with over 300 billion barrels. That puts it ahead of Saudi Arabia (266 billion barrels), Iran (158 billion barrels) and Iraq (142 billion barrels).

The liberal media blame Venezuela’s economic problems decline on the price of oil. The price slump cannot explain why the nation is in a total economic meltdown. The inflation rate, according to the IMF, will balloon to 720 percent this year. Food shortages have the people of Venezuela starving. Three out of four individuals surveyed reported an involuntary weight loss last year. Hospitals have completely broken down.

The impoverishment of Venezuela is the result of its leftist government using the nation’s oil industry as its own piggy bank. Immediately after the state kicked foreign oil firms out of the country, the production of oil began to decline going from 3.1 million barrels per day to 1.7 million barrels per day. The government was so eager to bribe the general population with cheap subsidies, it caused the nation’s oil industry to implode from a lack of reinvestments.

The lessons of South Africa and Venezuela are not reaching the ballot boxes in other countries. People are voting for candidates that promise the most financial handouts. Great Britain just had an election where the party of Jeremy Corbyn gained several seats.

A couple of years ago, Corbyn was being pressured to resign because of anti-Semitism in the Labor party ranks. He has made a comeback by promising goodies to younger voters. Last week Corbyn made a bold proposal to seize the empty homes of the rich to house the survivors of  the devastating fire at London’s Grenfell Tower apartment complex. The insane Marxist comment was reported by the press with little criticism.

Here in America, we are headed for a socialized medical system because no party wants to restore a true capitalist market that would drive down costs. Our leaders would rather avoid the short term pain and instead have the government (taxpayers) fund our ballooning medical expenses.

Margaret Thatcher gave one of the most concise assessments of why socialism cannot work: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” With tax rates near 70 percent for some people, the end of road must be very near.

It is very likely that the Antichrist will be the king of socialists. He will have a global population worshipping at his feet because he will be handing out spoils like no other world leader. His first task may be to plunder all the bank accounts of all the missing Christians.

“He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time” (Daniel 11:24).

–Todd


The Trump Testimony

First I must preface this week’s commentary. Those who have read my articles and books over many years–I prayerfully hope–know that I am not one who speculates wildly on what God’s Word has to say on any matter. The Lord knows that my overwhelming desire is to say no more and no less than what He wants me to say in any given instance.

Likewise, discernment is among the most important things that must be possessed by as well as employed by any writer who endeavors to put forth what the Holy Spirit urges him or her to write. More specifically, it is imperative that truth from the mind of God be at the center of each and every biblical examination and analysis exploring the issues and events of our times. My prayer is that I never violate this rubric.

With that said, I want to consider a most unusual matter involving the all but totally unexpected rise to presidential power of Donald J. Trump. I say “all but totally unexpected” because there were hundreds of thousands of us–if not millions–who knew the 2016 presidential election could well go in the direction opposite of what the politicos and pundits were saying. We knew that 2 Chronicles 7:14 was still in effect. The Lord could, if it was within His holy will, turn America in a different direction in answer to His people’s prayers.

Those prayers were answered in a spectacular way. In that regard, now is time to continue praying that the Lord will restrain the evil that is attempting at every level of culture, society, and government to undo that election.

The effort of the combined, globalist cabal to bring down the Trump presidency should be obvious even to the casual observer, it seems to me.

It is equally obvious that Mr. Trump is not president of the United States because he is a godly man. But that he is God’s man for this critical hour cannot, in my estimation, be denied. He is in that position, the most powerful in the world, because the God of Heaven put him there. He is in office for some divine purpose. I believe we are about to be witness to that purpose over the coming weeks, months, and perhaps years.

Now to get to the factor that caused me to ask that you remember my fidelity to handling God’s Word with great care over my years of writing commentaries and books. This isn’t meant to simply convince you of how faithful Terry James is. It is to remind you that I’m not one with a history of kooky dissection of our times by using God’s Word to create sensationalism in any form–i.e., the things I’m about to consider here will take the reader’s sense of credulity perhaps to its limits. Please bear with me, nonetheless.

It was July of 2016. Someone with whom I’m an occasional email correspondent sent me a link to a website. It was a link to a cybercast program of True News.

I rarely ever listen to programs, unless they are recommended by trusted friends and associates. This is partly because my time to do so is limited, and, admittedly, I have listened to some that are speculative beyond the pale.

I listened to this particular program. It was, at that time in July, almost four months until the presidential election of November 8, 2016. The program host and cohost were interviewing a retired fireman named Mark Taylor. Mr. Taylor went through a most fascinating story of a “vision” he said the Lord had given him. He said he could think of no other word to call it than a “vision.”

Taylor laid out his “vision” that gave details of how Donald Trump would become president. The details included the fact that the very foundations of hell would come against him. This force include the mainstream news media, entertainment media, and the entire globalist cabal, as I recall.

I filed that cybercast program, thinking I would be checking back to see how wrong this “visionary” had been. I subconsciously hoped he was right, but could not, of course, bring myself to believe in such sensationalism.

Here is a brief excerpt of what I wrote to my emailer-friend upon receiving the link to Mr. Taylor’s “vision”:

Sondra,

I’m sorry, but I just can’t put credence in these kinds of predictions based upon dreams.

Sorry if that disappoints you, and if it seems hypocritical based upon my own reports of the visit to the periphery of Heaven when my heart stopped those three times on good Friday of 2011.

I’m for Trump over Hillary. There’s no way this nation can survive such a government as she would bring upon us, with Obama having already set in motion our spiral downward. So, I certainly want him to win the election. (Although, I’m, sadly, very skeptical that the nation will turn around regardless of who becomes president.)

Here is the link my friend sent at the time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axhClQmJMHw

Regardless of my note of reply, Mark Taylor’s story of his “vision” stuck deeply in my mind.

In telling the story, he gave proof that he had been given this “vision” years before–in the year 2011–before Donald Trump ever announced as candidate for president. His is such a vivid and detailed picture of just how things turned out and continue to unfold that I had to contact him. He proved to be a man I now call friend and brother in Christ. He has a book coming out soon detailing the scope of the vision he believes he has been given. Here is the link to that book. It’s title is The Trump Prophecies: The Astonishing True Story of the Man Who SawTomorrow

https://www.amazon.com/Trump-Prophecies-Astonishing-Tomorrow-Coming/dp/

You can get more information about Mark Taylor and the book at the following.

http://www.skywatchtvstore.com/SupernaturalAwakeningsCollection-p/tp-rad-aaa.htm

As those who follow our “Nearing Midnight” commentaries each week know, we have dwelt on the ongoing details of the political season and things that have unfolded since. There are, I believe, deep, spiritual intrigues taking place with each day that passes. It is a certainty in my view that Donald Trump’s election and the tremendous resistance to his being put into office is testimony to the reality that we are in prophetic times very near the end of the Age of Grace.

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (Daniel 2:20-22)

–Terry

Jun 19, 2017

Cancel Your Reservations to Europe 

The people of Europe have all but surrendered to the Islamic terrorists. They have basically decided that the monthly mass murder events are just part of life. The reaction can be likened to when lions take down a member of a herd of cattle. The remaining cattle momentarily lift their heads to watch the carnage, but then quickly go back to grazing.

The politicians will continue to voice outrage, but the condemnations have become nothing more than hollow platitudes. After the London Bridge attacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Enough is enough and things have got to change.” May was Home Secretary under Prime Minster Cameron, and responsible for national security under a slew of escalating terror attacks.

The key problem with the surge of Islamic terrorism is the unwillingness of authorities to recognize that Islam is a religion that inspires people to carry out acts of murder. The solution is to either kick Muslims out of the country or separate them from the general population.

As the attacks become more gruesome, there is a growing effort to cover them up. After the Manchester bombing the politically correct talking points against “Islomophbia” dominated the media—warning against religious hatred. There is a desperate need for policy change when you have a guy blowing up teenage girls at a concert hall.

The British Media outdid themselves with the reporting on the London Bridge attacks. They said the attackers were a crude “team of lone wolves.” Previously, a lone wolf represented a single Muslim terrorist. It is now plural because the media needs to continue their word games to avoid using the “M” (Muslim) or “I” (Islam) word in relation to terrorism.

We have made it so easy for Islamic terrorists to operate; their fellow Muslims no longer need to hide their support. When Saudi Arabia played Australia for a World Cup qualifier at the Adelaide Oval stadium in South Australia, an announcement was made for a minute of silence to honor the victims the London concert hall attack. The Saudi team ignored the call. The game should have been cancelled for that reason alone, but it was not.

A day after that London attack, a small group of Muslims were shown on the news holding up signs condemning terrorism. It turns out the protest was staged by CNN. A bystander posted a video of reporters instructing the group in how to express outrage (which they obviously lacked).

Islamic terror has turned Europe into a continent of quivering cowards. Last week a loud boom occurred at an outdoor event in the Italian city of Turin. The false alarm caused the crowd to stampede, and over 1,500 people were injured.

Most people traveling to Europe are oblivious to how much Islam has corrupted Europe. Japanese tourists have been very misinformed about the threats they face. They come to France with wildly high expectations of romance and fine dining. When they get there they are shocked by areas of the country that look like the worst of the third world.

Around six million Japanese people visit France each year. The Japanese embassy in Paris repatriates several tourists a year, sending them home with a doctor or nurse to ensure they recover from the shock. The embassy also runs a 24-hour helpline for expatriates experiencing culture shock.

I think it is unwise for people go to Europe as long as there is a chance to get caught up in a terrorist event. Most tourists probably assume that it’s all right to visit Europe because the risk of be killed is low. With attacks becoming a regular occurrence, there is a high risk of having a vacation spoiled by a lockdown or an even worse scenario.

The only way to convince Europeans to take Islamic terrorism head on is for tourists to stop visiting those key Islamic targets. A boycott is badly needed when you have London’s mayor saying that terrorist attacks are just the price of living in a big city.

About 110 million tourists visit Britain and France each year. If a sizable number of them could be convinced to visit a safer location, the economic pressure could force a change.

I’m doubtful it is possible to fix the terror problem. A spiritual blindness is preventing people from using simple logic to recognize basic evil. The level of cluelessness  we see in Europe is a strong indication of how close we are to the “Days of Noe” prediction.  Violence is all around us, yet people eat and drink without a care.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).

–Todd


Conditional Security and Rapture

Truth about what God promises those who are “saved” continues to be mistaught and misunderstood. Nothing is more important to lost humanity than truth regarding the disposition of the soul in relationship to Jesus Christ and to God the Father.

Religionists of the world teach a variety of pathways through life. These propagate many false teachings about how to attain their various ideas of life after death.

Most such ministers advocate conducting one’s life in a way that displays good works. A social gospel of works is perhaps the most common thread found throughout this sort of religiosity.

Good works, however, like is said of beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. Good works are one thing to someone who is a Hari Krishna devotee. Good works mean something quite different to a follower of Allah who holds strictly to Sharia Law. One might hold out flowers to another person in his or her version of peace and love in an attempt to evangelize. The other too often whips out a scimitar and threatens decapitation if the one being witnessed to doesn’t bow the knee to Allah. Point is, each effort to make new converts is, in that religion’s view, considered “good works.”

But it is the erroneous teaching on the topic of salvation within Christianity that is the most problematic to the true believer in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, as I see it.

Most of God’s children–those who are truly saved–can recognize the cults and isms of the world’s religions as false. Christians who fail to study and pray over the Holy Scripture, however, are, sadly, all too often easily misled about doctrinal truth found in the Bible. Even otherwise solid teachers of biblical truth are sometimes egregiously wrong when teaching on salvation and the security of the believer.

Again: Nothing is more important than our soul’s relationship to Jesus Christ and to God the Father. While one who teaches conditional security of the believer isn’t necessarily in the same classification as the false religionists of the world who preach and teach “another gospel” than Jesus Christ and Him crucified, their error is very serious.

Theirs is serious error because it, like the false religions of the world, holds up works as necessary for salvation.

They teach that believers, after accepting Christ, as given in Romans 10: 9-10, must then work to maintain their salvation. They must live holy lives throughout their remaining time in this flesh. They must, through their own devices–assisted by constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost–hold on to the salvation or else risk losing it. Thus their salvation–in this system of teaching–is conditional upon the work of the believer.

Living a life of being holy and of being filled with the Holy Spirit is, of course, ideal. We must all aspire to live such a life as Christians. But, we all sin, and we are told in 1 John 1:6-8 that if we say we don’t sin we are liars. The truth is not in us.

We certainly should constantly repent of wrong in order to be cleansed of all unrighteousness, we are told in 1 John 1:9. But nowhere in Scripture are we told that, once saved, we can lose our salvation through sin and then be reborn again.

Rapture Not Conditional

Like in the matter of salvation, the believer is unconditionally secure, in that he or she will go to be with Christ in the Rapture. This is true no matter the Christian’s walk with the Lord at the time of that great event.

Some years ago, I wrote the following in this regard.

Going to Christ when He calls as Paul outlines in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and given by John in Revelation 4:1-2, is a salvation matter. We know that from the overall gospel message and from the total context of God’s dealing with His family. Remember when Jesus prayed that beautiful prayer to His Father, as the Lord faced the cross (John 17)? Read it again, and you will see that it is absolutely clear that born-again believers are forever secure in the Father’s hand, based upon what Jesus did on the cross.

We know with absolute certainty that we are once and forever in God’s family because of the words of the One who created all that exists: “My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29).

Paul confirms that the Rapture is a salvation matter as follows: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).

The Rapture will be Christ keeping us from the hour of temptation or Tribulation (read Revelation 3:10). The Tribulation is the time of God’s wrath–to which Paul tells us we are “not appointed.” However, there are many who insist that Christians who haven’t properly confessed their sins will go through that time of God’s wrath (and the entire seven years of the Tribulation will be God’s judgment and wrath). These use the following verse to make their case: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).

The key word they hold forth as relevant here is the word “worthy.” Does this word not mean that we as born-again believers must be good enough to stand before Jesus in that raptured throng? Does this word not mean, therefore, that if we fail to live up to God’s standards while on this Earth, we will (at some point in God’s holy view of what it takes to fall from being Rapture ready) lose our ticket in that translation moment, thus not be taken when the shout is heard, “Come up hither!”?

Like in examining the issue of salvation itself,  we now look at the word “worthy.” What does it mean to be “worthy,” as given in this Rapture example? Again, the answer is wrapped up in the same name as before: “Jesus.” Jesus is the only person “worthy,” in God’s holy eyes, to be in the heavenly realm.

Remember what Jesus said to a man who addressed Him as “Good Master”? “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God” (Luke 18:18).

Jesus, the second Person of the Godhead, was not seeking to chastise the man for addressing Him in this way. The Lord was confirming through this question that He is indeed God, the only good, the only righteousness. Righteousness is the only ticket to Heaven–either through the portal of death, or through the Rapture. Only through Jesus–being born again into God’s family through belief in Him–can a person enter the heavenly realm.

Jesus spoke to this all-important matter by addressing Nicodemus: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

God’s Word says about fallen mankind: “As it is written, There is none righteous no not one” (Romans 8:10) and, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

So, Jesus is the only person “worthy” to enter Heaven. It is through Him that any of us are worthy to stand before Him in that heavenly realm. That is the truth found in the Scripture in question.

On a less magnificent scale, the word “worthy” in this passage means that we should be in a constant mindset of prayerful repentance. We should always want to be found “worthy”–cleansed of all unrighteousness, as stated in 1 John 1: 9, so that we will hear our Lord say to us on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

That said, if you have in your heart (deepest reaches of your spirit/soul) believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and have confessed with your mouth that He is your Savior, your salvation is sure. You’re going to be with Him when He calls–either through death or in the Rapture. That is certain.

–Terry