Jan 7, 2019

A New Year; New Regulation  

Every year hundreds of new California laws take effect Jan. 1. In 2016 and 2017, California lawmakers passed 900 new laws each year — that’s about 7.5 bills per legislator. California has easily become one of the most regulated states in the union.

There is so much government control emanating from the state capital of Sacramento that, at some point, we have to question if Democracy still exists in the Golden State. If the person who owns a home has little control over how they manage their property, do they really own it? California tells residents what trees they are allowed to cut down, what amount of water they’re able to collect or use, and what types of building materials they’re allowed to use for new construction.

The problem is not just the quantity of regulations. In recent years, California lawmakers have passed bills that involve the most trivial details of people’s lives. I found one news article that listed 20 pages of new laws for 2019. I picked out four of the craziest regulations:

AB 1884: Plastic straws
Dine-in restaurants in the state will be prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws unless they are requested by a customer. Businesses that don’t comply will be fined $25 a day and up to $300 a year.

AB 2274: Divorce and pets
Judges will be able to decide who gets custody of a family pet during a divorce. The judge will consider factors like who takes care or feeds the pet.

AB 485: Pet stores
Pet stores will be prohibited from selling live animals like dogs, cats or rabbits that come from breeders. The animals must be obtained from an animal shelter and the store must post the name of the agency where it got the animal.

AB 1755: Bicycling crashes
Bicyclists could face felony hit-and-run charges if they leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or died.

I don’t understand the fixation with plastic straws. Somehow banning this tiny amount of plastic is going to save the world’s oceans from the vast tons of plastic that come from other sources. Dine-in restaurants might as well have been told not to bring silverware unless you request it from your server.

It may seem progressive to have authorized a judge to decide who gets custody of a pet. If adults can’t decide this among themselves, then the judge might as well decide who gets custody of the house plants and toiletry products.

The requirement to have pet stores sell animals that come from an animal shelter is going to match some child up with a dog that is a biting hazard. There were already laws banning puppy mills. Telling pet stores what they can sell is Soviet-style central planning.

The law about bicycling crashes is bad because it’s unnecessary. If you hit and injure someone with your bike, you should stop and render assistance. This new law allows the police to create infraction that didn’t previously exist. If someone else hits a person with their bike, you can be charged for leaving the scene of a crime.

There is always the possibility that people will reach their breaking point with government regulation. In France, the “yellow vest” protests sprang from profound cultural tensions, especially between rural and urban France. The Paris government already had massive taxes on diesel. The government had decided it was necessary to “protect the environment” and “combat climate change” by jacking up fuel prices by almost 20 percent. Truckers suddenly decided they had enough and they went on a rampage.

The intensity of the protests quickly forced the government to permanently shelve its plans for fuel-tax increases. The “yellow vests” quickly became part of the problem by demanding a series of further concessions from the government. Their requests include a redistribution of wealth as well as the increase of salaries, pensions, social security payments and the minimum wage. Some say they will not settle for anything less than the president’s resignation.

I wish there was a massive revolt against all these nanny-state laws, but the Bible seems to indicate government control will only get worse in the coming years. By the time the Antichrist comes to power, a global government will have the authority to behead anyone who fails to worship the head of state.

“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).


2019 Prophecy Prospective

Part I

We use the word “convergence” to express the urgency of the prophetic hour. That is, those who think and write about Bible prophecy from the Pre-Trib perspective use the term in trying to forewarn that Christ’s call to His Church looks to be very near.

The year 2018 drew into focus the convergence of issues and events that we believe have immediate prophetic significance. I hope to file through some of these things, with a bit of conjecture as to where it is all leading, prophetically speaking.

I, of course, cannot foretell the future precisely in terms of exact timing. Neither can anyone who draws breath upon this planet that is prophetically destined for judgment. However, following God’s Word on things to come, combined with careful analysis of the above-mentioned issues and events, and with prayer and Holy Spirit guidance, one can discern the direction the world is taking toward its date with supreme justice. And with the level of wickedness we witnessed developing throughout 2018 and seeming to increase hourly, the need for the date with justice dispensed by the True Supreme Court is becoming ever more understandable.

We will begin looking at what the year 2019 might portend by considering the number 2 signal of how near we are to Christ calling His Church to Himself. That sign is Israel.

Yes. I say the number 2 signal is Israel.

This is a departure from what we Pre-Tribbers have until the year just past considered the number 1 signal of where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. The year 2018 has, I believe, brought most of us to the point that Israel might have to take second place in our eschatological outlook. Explanation is forthcoming in a future commentary of the series…

Things happening in and around Israel are shaping in a profound way. The latest development is President Donald J. Trump’s seemingly flabbergasting decision to remove US military forces and some diplomatic influences from Syria and possibly from Afghanistan. Many believe this will leave the Jewish state vulnerable to hostile forces gathering to its north.

The American president said of such criticisms: “Israel is capable of taking care of itself.”

The rather strange thing about the ostensibly flippant remark is that, as far as I can determine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had little to say. It is if this has long been understood to be a course of action that is acceptable to the Israeli government. There is little doubt among those who truly understand the military power structure status in that region that Israel can indeed “take care of itself,” if it comes down to that necessity.

Any assault that might possibly be lethal to Israel’s continued existence would bring nuclear holocaust and utter devastation to all involved. Israel’s enemies, whether speaking of the many terrorist entities who hate the Jews, Syria, Iran, or even Russia–none harbors any realistic desire to join such an attack while Israel possesses the ability to destroy them in return. There will be no such attack against Israel–as long as their nuclear capability is in place.

With that as an absolute, so far as I’m convinced the present military stand-off exists, I believe strongly that we have definitely seen a shift that will lead to the Ezekiel 38-39 scenario. America’s withdrawal from the region is right in line with how the Gog-Magog prophecy should be shaping at this late, prophetic hour.

Israel will grow increasingly to be the number 1 troublemaker in geopolitical thinking. Zechariah chapter 12 is materializing an hour at a time through our headline news.

The volatility–the danger of all-out nuclear conflict involving the Jewish state–and America’s withdrawal are setting the stage for the great peace broker–Antichrist– to “disarm” the situation…disarm Israel, that is. I believe he will do this through satanic subterfuge, setting the stage for the now-gathering coalition–the Gog-Magog forces. These are certain to strike at Israel, once Israel has agreed to that Isaiah 28:15-18 covenant of false peace made with death and hell.

I believe 2019 will see Israel make some startling breakthroughs in several areas of significance involving geophysical resource discoveries and technology. These, I conjecture, will add to the “spoil” the prophesied leader called “Gog” will one day, perhaps very soon, consider in having his “evil thought.”

Before that “evil thought” can come into that demonically possessed leader’s mind, something eternally profound must take place: Jesus Christ’s call (see Revelation 4:1) to all born-again believers (see Romans 10: 9-10) will be heard by those who belong to God’s family. You don’t want to miss that call!

We will continue looking at prophetic potentiality for 2019 in next week’s “Nearing Midnight” commentary.