Mar 26, 2018

The Downfall of California

The State of California is the most populous and richest state in the union. It is a leader in the entertainment industry, defense, internet technology, and agriculture. California is such an ideal paradise, it has inspired songs like “California Dreaming” and “California Girls.” California has some of the best weather on the planet, which is largely the reason why 40 million people decided to live there.

The Dream that was California has slowly turned into a nightmare. Despite all its riches, the state is now ranked dead last in the quality of life. At 20 percent, California has the worst poverty rate of any state. Its schools are listed near the bottom of most cooperative lists.

California has some of the highest taxes in the nation and yet many cities are facing bankruptcy. The city of Santa Cruz is being swamped by skyrocketing increases in health and retirement costs. These costs have gone from 28 percent of general fund salary in 2004 to 43 percent of salary in 2015, to an anticipated 58 percent of salary in 2020.

The liberals have run the California State Legislature for 22 years. They’ve used this monopoly to hand out goodies to their political cronies. California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is the largest pension fund in the nation. Poor planning and poor investments have left the fund with only about 60 percent of the money it says is needed to cover pension obligations. CalPERS lost about $100 billion during the Great Recession a decade ago and has not fully recovered. Another downturn in the stock market would spell disaster for the CalPERS.

Another thing that spoiled California is all the rules. The California Legislature is one of only a few state bodies that works a full year. They are so busy passing new laws, they need the extra time. I was listening to a resident talk about his effort to build a new home on some property he owned. First, he had to pay $10,000 to tear down the existing house; he had to put fencing around all trees that were in the construction zone; he then had to apply for a permit to cut down one of 700  trees; and once he finished the house, his tax rate went up by a huge amount.

The left has done the most damage to California by allowing criminals to take over. In 2017, San Francisco experienced 31,322 thefts from vehicles alone — that is 85 thefts from vehicles per day — while an arrest was made in only 2 percent of reported break-ins. Most of the break-ins are attributed to organized gangs and are often committed by those with prior felony convictions. There is so much human waste and spent drug needles in the city, tourists are provided maps to avoid these areas.

The homeless population of San Francisco has become a huge problem. In a 47-square-mile city, we have around 7,500 homeless people, meaning there are approximately 160 homeless people per square mile. Large enclaves of tents have been set up by homeless people with little to no push-back from local authorities. All throughout San Francisco there are tent cities right next to $4,000-per-month apartments.

One would think that things have gotten so bad in California that reform would follow. So far, the reaction has been to move further to the left. Governor Jerry Brown is being forced to step down by term limits. The Lt. Governor, Gavin Newsom, tops the polls in replacing Brown. Newsom comes from the Bay Area, which guarantees that he’ll be focused on a culturally liberal agenda. He has already cursed the head of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement over the agency’s efforts to control the inflow of illegal immigrants.

Dianne Feinstein found out she wasn’t radical enough for the new political mindset when she failed to earn the endorsement of the California Democratic Party at its convention. When someone like Dianne Feinstein is being viewed as too moderate, the fundaments of our liberty are at great risk.

With all one-party-rule systems, the need for more power becomes the primary fixation. The Democrats don’t mind if California turns into Venezuela, just as long as they get to stay in power.

I’m sure most Californian’s still love their cities. There can be no denial that the luster of the Golden State has greatly faded. Tony Bennett sang whimsically about leaving his heart in San Francisco. If Mr. Bennett recorded that song today, he might choose some other city. Since the whole world is rapidly following California into chaos, my heart is in a place where liberal ideology cannot reach.

“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name” (Hebrews 13:14-15).


Growing Globalist Monstrosity

An email from a long-time visitor/friend to sparked this commentary. His concerns as he laid out in that email, I’m convinced, fester in the thoughts of many who read this column and others that often deal with Bible prophecy overlaid by the issues and events of these volatile times.

My dilemma in presenting his concerns is that I find it difficult to select only portions in order to keep the total number of words as few as possible. So much of what he presents is what I believe is in the minds of so many these days. Admittedly, some of it certainly dwells within the deepest crevasses of my own thoughts.

The emailer writes the following, in part:

I believed that God put [President] Donald [Trump] in there to be effective for at least four years.

But with the Democrat sweep of almost everything in the Virginia state elections (where I live) last November, the Roy Moore disaster in Alabama and now the failure in a Republican district in PA, I am troubled that the Democrats will take back one or both houses in November. There is so much insanity and deception going on in our country … that I wonder if our Heavenly Father does not want me to be focused on this anymore.

The President is hated by most of Washington, including many Republicans, and I see and hear it every day as I work there. The Washington Post is the bible to so many of the people here. I’m really distraught now after all these setbacks since Donald’s election. The Lord has not been answering my prayers. I’m sure there are many in the country who are like-minded with me and spend a great deal of their prayer time focusing on these elections. And I’m sure they’re as disappointed in these results as I am. And maybe wondering what to do now like I am.

I heard J Vernon McGee say we are not to be focused on cleaning up the town or creating good government. I don’t really like to hear that as I think that is part of our mission to be salt and light. But maybe I’m putting too much emphasis on it. And God is telling me to let it go or back off on it with all of these dismal results.

I’m left to wonder why God put Donald in there if he only gave him two years to accomplish anything. He accomplished a lot for sure including the American embassy move to Jerusalem. I didn’t want Donald and the Republican Party to just hold Satan at his line of progression where he was stopped in Nov 2016. I want them to roll back a lot of Satan’s progress and restore some of what we’ve lost before his time ends and the next Obama and that party inevitably take control again.

I know this is just a brief respite from the scourge of evil that has overtaken us, and I am ever thankful for that. But I was hoping it would last for at least four years and even eight years, if the Lord tarries and He is willing to let Donald continue into a second term. Now it seems like it will only last two years. I’m starting to wonder why God even bothered if this was all we were going to get!

So please give me your thoughts on how much emphasis I should place on this in my prayer life. Why is God allowing evil to take back over again so quickly? How are you approaching this area since Donald was elected?

Again, my apologies for using so much quoted material this week, but you can see, I think, the raw emotion in the emailer’s words is best left as is in order to get across his concerns. They are representative of many such concerns I’ve received as of late.

I preface this by first addressing one statement this dear brother writes. He says, “God has not been answering my prayers.”

Let me say that I believe from the perspective of a great number of years of living that God answers the prayers of His children. I hold to the statement that He sometimes answers “yes,” He sometimes answers “no,” and He sometimes answers “wait.” But He always answers the prayers of His children.

God answered the prayers of His children who prayed fervently leading up to election day 2016. He gave His people the results they prayed for, most of you reading this will agree. At the same time, the answered prayers of His people were in keeping with His foreknowledge of history as it continues to unfold–i.e., neither His prophetic foreknowledge nor human volition has been violated in any of these strange, often perplexing, developments.

God’s prophetic plan for the ages continues to roll out unabated, unaffected in any way whatsoever by Satan and His minions–neither demonic nor human. What we are witnessing is Daniel, chapter 2, playing out on a daily basis through hourly headlines. The pace is observably accelerating in prophetic stage-setting–particularly in that involving Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-image.

The summation in answer to the concerns wrapped up in our emailer’s words seems to be God saying ”Wait.” The Lord is perhaps saying to keep praying and watching the His Mighty Hand at work while end-times prophecy continues to unscroll–not unlike when Moses told the Israelites to watch the Mighty Power of God while Moses held the rod stretched in the direction of the Red Sea.

Globalist “Progression” Predicted

Our emailer writes, “I didn’t want Donald and the Republican Party to just hold Satan at his line of progression where he was stopped in Nov 2016. I want them to roll back a lot of Satan’s progress and restore some of what we’ve lost before his time ends and the next Obama and that party inevitably take control again”

Now I want to say respectfully to our friend that neither President Trump nor the Republican Party is going to–or even can–“hold” Satan’s “progression.” Globalism’s progress is a foregone conclusion. It is predicted in a number of places in God’s prophetic Word. One such place is in the aforementioned Daniel  2.

Daniel the prophet gave Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar the answer to his dream of the gigantic image of a man. The image was composed of four metals and indicated five successive world kingdoms. The feet and toes of the man-image represented the final world humanistic kingdom. That kingdom, Daniel prophesied, would be a revival of the fourth kingdom, which, in history, turned out to be the Roman Empire.

The revived form of this fourth empire would, according to Daniel 7 and John 13, be a composite beast-kingdom (a combination of all world kingdoms that preceded it). It would be more evil and world-rending than any that went before or would come after. Jesus even said that this kingdom will produce the worst conditions for Israel and for all of humanity that has ever been in world history (Matthew 24: 1).

This is the kingdom we have been watching develop, particularly over the last decade. It was on a very fast track to reach the moment Daniel prophesied, when it will dominate most all people on planet earth.

Like I am convinced–and like our emailer-friend believes–the election of this president slowed that progression significantly. But, remember, it was God’s intervention, not ours, that did the slowing. The results have been demonic enragement on a global scale, the likes of which have never been experienced. The spiritual warfare described by Paul in  Ephesians 6 starkly manifested for all who have spiritually attuned eyes to see and ears to hear.

There is a growing anxiety among such Christian observers that it is but a matter of time before the temporary roadblock God put in the way of the globalists’ progress will be removed. This is also something prophetically scheduled to happen. The platform for launching the most terrible regime of all history is still being constructed. Antichrist is waiting in the shadows for his time to step into the global spotlight.

But, the roadblock the Lord so obviously placed in the path of the globalists building Antichrist’s power base will NOT be removed until God says so.

The reason it is in place is so the Holy Spirit can speak to the hearts of those who are lost–those who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ for the slvation of their souls.

So, what are we to do now, as our emailer asks? We are to pray and witness while there is time to do so. This is the primary reason we are here on this planet. We are to lift the name of Christ so the world will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to His saving grace

If we concentrate on doing our job–our primary job–our worries about the politics of today and what might happen will fade. After all, we are not appointed to God’s wrath (Revelation 3:10), which is the future time ruled by Antichrist. We are to look for Jesus, our “blessed hope (Titus 2:13).

When the time of the Gentiles is completed, God’s next phase for fulfillment of His prophetic plan will be put into effect. The last person to accept Christ during this dispensation, the Church Age (Age of Grace) will be received into God’s family. Jesus will call all living believers into His presence, along with all believers of the Church Age. The cares of this judgment-bound world will be left behind.

While we see the globalist monstrosity–the so-called new world order–continuing to rage toward its fulfillment as the power base of the Beast of Revelation 13, let us remember for Whom we are watching (Luke 21:28).


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Mar 19, 2018

Russia and West on Collision Course

The relationship between Russia and Western Nations has been in continuous decline the past several years. The key point where it became clear that we were headed for a new cold war is Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The West responded to the move with a series of sanctions on Russian interests.

What has caused the most amount of damage to Russia-US relations is the uproar over Russia’s attempt to meddle in the 2016 election. There is no indication that Russian agents had any major impact on the vote, but nonetheless, the result was more sanctions. Last July, the House and Senate both passed the Russian Sanctions Bill by an overwhelming majority, 419 to 33 in the House and 98 to 2 in the Senate. The Russian Foreign Ministry retaliated by seizing two properties owned by the U.S. Embassy, and by cutting the authorized embassy and consulate staff by 755 employees, from 1,210 to 455.

Vladimir Putin may have enjoyed the early days of the Russian collusion investigation, but if there was ever a case of too much of a good thing, this caper would qualify. Month after month, Putin has been accused in the Western press of plotting with Trump in committing the crime of the century. Democrats and the liberal media are unable to find any evidence of collusion, but they are determined to keep searching for their preferred version of the truth.

This madness has clearly taken a toll on the Russian leader. He has been increasingly talking more like he was the leader of North Korea. In a recent two-hour-long address, Putin said Russia has tested a new generation of nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted and are capable of hitting any part of the US. The Russian president accompanied his announcement with a computer-generated video which showed the missiles arcing towards the US on a map of the world. He also said that Russia needs to prepare for World War III.

Another sign of the growing tension was the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Great Britain. The detection of Novichok, a military-grade chemical that was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, left little doubt that the Kremlin was behind the attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May gave Putin 24 hours to respond to claims of his government’s involvement. The Russian foreign ministry issued a chilling response, warning not to “threaten a nuclear power.”

The Russian embassy piled on by issuing a statement which read: “The temperature of Russia-UK relations drops to minus-23, but we are not afraid of cold weather.” The embassy added in a separate tweet: “We consider this hostile action as totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted. All the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-UK relationship lies with the current political leadership of Britain.”

Putin has no immediate need to modify his behavior. Russia has learned to deal with previous sanctions, and there is little chance of any major new ones being enacted. Putin has an election coming up, and the Russian people wildly approve of his standoff with the West. It was pure Putin for him to snub his critics by making a campaign stop in Crimea.

The greatest chance of a conflict between the West and Russia would be over the nation of Syria. Top Russian officials have threatened to retaliate with force if President Donald Trump orders an attack that could endanger the lives of its soldiers stationed there in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syria has become a crazy quilt of land occupied by six foreign powers, so a major miscalculation is probably only a matter of time.

Russian military police that are standing guard over the Syrian capital, Damascus, probably have no knowledge of the Bible passage that warns of the city’s complete destruction. I find it very interesting that Damascus is one of only a few cities in Syria that has escaped major damage. At this point, the residents of Damascus should have the same type of puzzlement that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had over their luck in escaping allied bombings.

There are an infinite number of outcomes over what will happen when the Isaiah prophecy is fulfilled. Since the stakes are very near to the ultimate danger, it is my prayer to not be around to see the consequences.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).


How Near?

One of the prophetic Scriptures most poured over by those who hold the pre-Millennial, pre-Trib view of eschatology is the following.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35)

Despite the fact that the seminaries more often than not teach that Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse, addresses only the Jews (Israel), many, including this writer, believe Jesus is speaking not just to Israel. He is speaking here to all, Jews and Gentiles alike, who will accept Christ for salvation down through the ages.

Although there are differences of opinion in precisely what the prophecy means, most agree that the fig tree in Scripture refers most often to the nation Israel.

This prophecy, given by the Lord Himself, is thought by many to be among the strongest scriptural reasons to believe that this present generation will experience Christ’s return to planet earth. Israel, as is said, is God’s prophetic timepiece. The view holds that this generation will see the prophecy  fulfilled within the definitive timeline framed by Israel being back in the land God gave them.

Certainly, recent history, in combination with current events, seems to present a strong case that gives this view credibility.

That case is built upon the following:

1) The Bible gives the definition of a generation as 70 years.

2) The nation Israel was reborn–in a single day, as prophesied–in 1948.

3) We are in the year 2018–70 years since Israel came back into the land as a nation following World War II.

4) America is scheduled to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, letting all the world know that we consider Jerusalem the Jewish state’s capital.

5) This is scheduled to happen May 14, the exact anniversary of the month and day of Israel’s rebirth into modernity.

These factors are not all to consider in thinking on Jesus’ prophecy. There is strong reason to believe that this foretelling speaks clearly to a pre-Tribulation Rapture, admittedly the view held today by fewer and fewer pastors and professing Christians.

The Lord next said the following:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

Jesus is here talking of a specific day and hour that no one will know. It will be an unannounced event, so far as timing is concerned. This cannot be the Second Advent when Christ returns as given in Revelation 19:11. There are precise number of days when that great event will take place, as measured from the midway point of the 7-year Tribulation. This unknown day and hour Jesus talks about is, rather, the first phase of His Second Coming–the Rapture of the Church!

Immediately after Jesus talked about the generation that would see all the prophecies fulfilled, He spoke of the human condition that will be prevalent at the time of His return. In fact, He spoke of several conditions that will mark that last generation before the first phase of His Second Coming.

We have been over these conditions many times over the past number of years. I refer to Christ’s “days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecy.

The Lord spoke with precision as to what that generation will be doing with regard to carrying on life in general. This is all outlined immediately following Him saying that no man knows the day or hour when His next intervention will take place into the affairs of mankind.

Read again Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30 to understand the time of His sudden, catastrophic intervention into life on earth.

My contention has been for many years that this time when he suddenly comes for His Church will be in the middle of an economic boom. Economists and others have for years been predicting an economic downturn–even another Great Depression. And, admittedly, by all fiscal principles one can bring forth from economic physics, the world should have long ago fallen into depression.

Then came Trump. He came out of the prayers of those called by the Name of Jesus Christ, who implored the Lord to act leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The miracle occurred. The nation was given, as I’ve said before, not a godly man, but without a doubt–in my mind at least–God’s man for the hour, a president who has put in place policies and structure for a profound economic uptick.

All of this appears to be God’s preparation for bringing this generation to very near the moment of Christ’s shout: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)


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