Nov 11, 2019

Political Gridlock Around the World

There has been a sharp increase in the level of public unrest all around the world. We currently have protests going on in France, Spain, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia. Not since the protests of the 1970s have there been so many street marches.

It would be logical to conclude that all this fighting and protests would translate to the political worlds. Amazingly, there has been little reaction from most politicians. In key nations like the U.S., Great Britain, Israel, and China in respect of Hong Kong, political gridlock is the rule.

In the U.S., there is an endless battle between President Trump and Republicans on one side and the Democrats and the liberal media on the other side. A massive chasm has formed between the two sides. Nothing is getting done in Washington, DC, because most of the city is fixated on one subject: Donald Trump.

“It seems like Republicans and Democrats are intractable,” said Mark Updegrove, a presidential historian and chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. “They are both adhering to their own versions of reality, whether they’re based in truth or not.”

Polling conducted by Gallup shows that an average of 86% of Republicans have approved of Trump over the course of his time in office, and no less than 79% have approved in any individual poll. That’s compared with just 7% of Democrats who have approved on average, including no more than 12% in any individual poll.

The anti-Trump crowd has failed time and time again: He will never run for president, he will never be the GOP candidate, he will never be president, the markets will crash if he is elected, he will never make it one year, Stormy & Avenatti will take him out, Robert Mueller will bring him down, and we’ll find something to impeach him on.

Great Britain has been in gridlock over the subject of Brexit, which involved a scheduled withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Following a June 2016 referendum in which 51.9% voted to leave, the UK government formally announced the country’s withdrawal in March 2017.

The withdrawing has been delayed several times. Every time the British Parliament was presented with a method to deliver Brexit, it would be voted down by the members. Because of the impasse, Prime Minister Boris Johnson found himself forced to call for early elections.

Israel has the most profound level of gridlock. After failing to form a government for the second time in two consecutive elections, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, will likely need to call for a third vote.

Netanyahu is considering the option of holding direct elections for the prime minister if coalition talks fail. It’s not certain that the dysfunctional Knesset could be relied on to pass a law making a direct vote possible.

I find it very odd that China would be gridlocked over what to do with the protest in Hong Kong. In the past, tanks and bullets would be the response to any region protesting authority of the central government. In the Muslim Uighur province, Chinese men have been assigned to monitor the homes of Uighur women whose husbands are sent to prison camps. They were told to sleep in the same bed with the women.

The endless protest in Hong Kong has had a hugely negative impact on the local economy. The latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) crashed to 39.3 in October – the lowest since November 2008, with business activity crashing at the fastest pace in the survey’s 21-year history. I know that the leaders of Beijing doesn’t want to violate the agreement that made Hong Kong an autonomous territory because of the economic impact such a move would have. With China already being a brutal dictatorship, it seems odd that monetary concerns would hold back a crackdown.

I think a key reason for the political gridlock is that the stage is being set for the arrival of the Antichrist. When he comes, he will solve all the world’s problems. With the world already in a profound mess, the time seems about right for the arrival of this false messiah.

“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25).

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:7-8).

–Todd


Discerning Right/Wrong Side of Things

There is talk in every political season of one “litmus test” or another. By this it is meant that in order to get the endorsement of one faction or another, a candidate must show–through a litmus test—that he or she supports the programs, platforms, proposals, or whatsoever of those whose endorsement they seek.

For example, a candidate, to be accepted by today’s Democrat party, must get behind a woman’s right to choose. That is, he or she has to totally embrace abortion at the level the Democrat Party champions. If a prospective candidate goes against this or any other litmus test, they can forget getting anywhere so far as concerns Democrat Party electibility.

The Democrat Party rules committee determines who is “right” or “wrong” in this sense. One is determined to be on the “right” side or the “wrong” side of any given issue by what is considered acceptable ideology or viewpoint by the party’s rules.

By this process, the candidate is accepted or rejected as worthy or not.

The Democrat Party has been shown to support abortion, LGBTQ, open borders, sanctuary cities, anti-Second Amendment right to have and bear arms, anti-law enforcement issues, anti-Israel proposals and actions, and other such propositions that directly oppose conservative Christian views.

Democrat positions are considered on the left side of the political spectrum. That is, they are liberal or progressive in their ideological leanings. In these hyper-charged days in regard to politics, the views held by the Democrat Party are ultra-leftist in the view of most who want to maintain traditional American values–i.e., those generally held sacred since the nation’s founding. Those of us who hold to traditional American values are considered on the political right. The leftists consider us as radical right-wingers.

I agree that we who hold to the common-sense side of things in the world of culture and society are right. And those on the left are wrong.

They are not wrong because I say so, or because the US Constitution says so. They are wrong because God’s Word confirms they are wrong.

Todd Strandberg and I just released a book with sixteen other authors who laid out the case for discerning right and wrong from God’s unerring perspective. Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days covers much of the wrong issues assaulting our nation and world today.

Discernment is not an option for the Christian. Jesus told every believer who would come down through the ages: “What I say unto one, I say unto all. Watch” (Mark 13:37). He was telling those of today who are in the middle of enduring the wrong being done that we are to observe these things and know how near He is to coming back to rectify that wrong. We are to know the times and seasons. This is a commandment, not a request.

We know what is right and what is wrong by comparing the things going on around us to what the Bible has to say about these things.

In the case of the issues championed by the leftists as given above, we, as Christians–as believers in the veracity of God’s Word—are to be discerning. We are to examine each issue and compare it to God’s Holy Word to discern whether the issue is right or wrong. 

Let’s do so to just a few of the things the political left champions.

Abortion

The progressive/left side of the political spectrum has championed this travesty that has killed more than sixty million babies in their mother’s wombs since 1973. They now, by and large, support the killing of a baby who survives the attempted abortion. They have seen to it that the right to carry out this grisly process has legal backing in a growing number of places. God’s Holy Word says that shedding the blood of the innocent is something He hates.

LGBTQ

The progressive/left fully backs the LGBTQ and all that organized anti-God coalition ravenously pursues. They demand that male can love male and female can love female in the romantic or sexual way without consequence or judgment from God or anyone else. They proclaim that marriage between the same sexes is the equivalent in moral legitimacy to heterosexual marriage. They declare that all have the right to become a gender other than that to which they were born. It is their choice, not any religious entity of any sort.

The Bible says it is an abomination for man to lie with a man and woman with a woman. It is a most egregious sin in God’s Holy eyes. His Word says that He created man and woman. He created them male and female. He ordained one man and one woman to be together in marriage for life.

Anti-Israel Proposals and Actions

The most prominent sign that lets the discerning Christian know where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline is the nation Israel. That nation–the Jewish people—stands starkly against the darkening backdrop of these last days. Israel and the world’s treatment of that nation demonstrates clearly that the time of Christ’s return must be very near.

First and foremost, in my estimation, is the denial that Israel is the Israel of old–the Jews of which the Bible says God brought from the loins of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

There is a growing denial even in the evangelical church that today’s Israel any longer is a nation blessed of God to be His chosen people. This lie is from the pit. Read Romans chapter 11 to get the absolute truth about God’s heart for this people. That heavenly embrace will never change!

This doesn’t mean that today’s Israel–the Jewish people–are perfect. They are far from it. They are in total spiritual blindness, the Scripture tells us. This is yet another confirmation from Bible prophecy that we are at the end of the Age of Grace. Only a remnant of the nation Israel will ultimately recognize their Messiah–the Lord Jesus Christ—when He returns at Armageddon. Only that remnant will be saved to repopulate the millennial Israel under the throne of David.

Still, they belong to God. Israel is the same Israel of old. God loves them and will move heaven and hell during the Tribulation to bring about a remnant that will believe in His Son Jesus as their Messiah.

And Israel is the chief signal by which we can discern what is right and what is wrong in looking at the political left. Here is a litmus test for you in this political season. There is a disdain for God’s chosen nation at the very heart of the Democrat Party. The following news excerpt tells the story.

Not a single 2020 Democrat candidate from the massive field spoke at AIPAC’s pro-Israel summit in the spring. But 5 of the 2020 Dems, Sanders, Buttigieg, Castro, Klobuchar, and Bennett, were featured at the J Street conference alongside anti-Israel activists, BDS supporters, and terrorists.

Those 2020 Dems who couldn’t attend the anti-Israel hatefest in person sent video messages.

Elizabeth Warren sent in a video message threatening to cut off aid to Israel unless it surrenders to Islamic terrorists. Then she promised to divide Jerusalem, turning half the ancient holy city into a killing ground for the murderous terrorists already occupying Gaza and portions of the West Bank.

Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Marianne Williamson, and even Andrew Yang joined her in sending messages of support and friendship to the anti-Israel group which has featured BDS supporters and terrorists.

The majority of the 2020 Democrat field has aligned with an anti-Israel organization. (“2020 Dems Stand with J Street, Hamas and ISIS Against Israel – Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders declare war on the Jewish State,” Daniel Greenfield,  Frontpage Mag, Nov 1, 2019)

Discernment in today’s world is all important. God’s Word is the only measurement that can validate truth. “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalms 119:160).

–Terry

Nov 4, 2019

The Late Great State of California

No other state outranks California in the prosperity of people and financial wealth. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. California’s economy, with a gross state product of $3.0 trillion, is larger than that of any other U.S. state and is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the fifth-largest economy in the world.

The Golden State has recently lost its luster in some profoundly karmic fashion. In the richest urban areas, there is a growing homeless problem with tent compounds, used needles, and human excrement on the doorstep of million-dollar homes. Because everything is so expensive, California has the highest poverty rate in America. Here in Arkansas, we spend $2.25 for a gallon of gasoline; in California, some people are paying $4.49 per gallon.

California’s notoriety as the nation’s most impoverished state doesn’t stem from a lack of programs designed to alleviate poverty. The state is currently spending hundreds of millions on the homeless crisis. San Francisco is on the verge of havoc generated by a homeless population, which is roughly 1% of the total populace (around 9,000 homeless and a total population of 860,000.) The problem could easily double or triple.

It’s obvious that California is going down the drain because it has political leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters. I recently read about a Rep. Katie Hill who had to quit because she had an inappropriate sexual relationship. The California voters decided it would be nifty to elect the first bisexual congresswoman. A couple years later, a video of Hill shows up in a British newspaper that has her naked in an adulterous situation with a female staffer; they are smoking pot, and Hill has Nazi tattoos on her body. The only reason she had to resign was because of a House rule barring members from sleeping with their subordinates.

I had given up on California when it decided to return former Governor Jerry Brown to the office that earned him the title ‘Governor Moonbeam’ in the 1970s. When Brown was forced to step down by term limits, the voters replaced him with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. He came from the Bay Area, which guarantees that Sacramento would stay focused on a culturally liberal agenda.

The most glaring indication that California has lost its way are the power blackouts. Over the past month, more than three million people have lost power across California as part of a deliberate blackout by utility PG&E Corp, which is designed to keep power lines from igniting wildfires. PG&E’s equipment was identified as the cause of the Camp Fire in November 2018 that killed 86 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. It was the deadliest blaze in California history.

Another major blaze has already erupted, and the now bankrupt PG&E is facing an uncertain future. The company is already saddled with an estimated $30 billion in liabilities. PG&E’s stock price has gone from a recent high of $70.38 to a low last week of $3.55. California has truly reached a third-world status when the wind speed determines if your home is going to have electrical power.

A recent poll of the state’s registered voters by Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies revealed that half have considered leaving the state. The top reason was the high cost of housing, high taxation, and crime. Many people are leaving California, but the inflow of illegal migrants keeps the numbers fairly balanced, resulting in a net population loss of only 38,000 for 2018. With many of the millions of migrants taking advantage of California’s welfare system, the state will someday run out of money.

I’m sure most Californian’s still love their cities. It is a land of some of the most glorious wealth on the planet. There have been many songs written about the state, but the only one that is still appropriate is the sinister theme of the Eagles “Hotel California.” The dream of heaven on earth has turned into a hellish nightmare. Unlike in the song, believers in Christ have the ability to check out and leave the socialist mess that will eventually sweep over all 50 states.

“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).

–Todd


Going Blind

“I believe what you have is retinitis pigmentosa,” the retinal specialist said after the test. It was what I believe he called a scleral exam.

In conducting the test, the retinal specialist uses the lower skeletal bone surrounding the eyeball as a fulcrum. He places a hard, plastic instrument that looks like a small shoe spoon beneath the eyeball, and then uses the lower bone forming the eye socket to pop the eyeball out to some extent.

I once heard Sugar Ray Leonard, the welterweight and later middle weight boxing champion say that he would rather go fifteen rounds with his chief nemesis Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns than to again have that examination. Leonard suffered a detached retina from about, so had to have the same type of exam.

I know exactly what Mr. Leonard meant. It was extremely painful and excruciatingly lengthy. The specialist then keeps putting the pressure at different points along the lower eye-socket bone to best pop the eyeball out while shining a painful light on the retina. He then stops to make scribbles on some sort of chart before returning to torturing the patient.

The exam was complete in about forty minutes. The doctor then put his thumb and index finger to chin and said, “I believe what you have is retinitis pigmentosa.”

My obvious question was, of course: “What’s that?”

“Well, it’s one we don’t know much about. It’s a degeneration of the rods and cones that make up the retina.”

“What does that mean?”

He said very matter-of-factly, as if giving a clinical report to a student, “It means the retina is being dissolved.”

“What does it mean about my being able to see?” I naturally asked.

He was looking at some sort of book. “It says here that most with the disease go blind.”

That was all in 1977. They didn’t know much about the disease at that time. They know a lot more today, but still can do nothing about the malady–i.e., it can’t be cured, although they are reportedly making strides toward artificially restoring some degree of vision.

Now, to all who are having retinal problems and must face a retinal specialist’s exam, I must offer this bit of comfort: They now have technological means (machinery) to do–with painless procedures–what the doctors did during that scleral exam. Never fear: You most likely will never have to face the procedure Sugar Ray and I had to face.

I am also commissioned, however, to forewarn a procedure that is going to be infinitely more painful: the Great White Throne judgment. It involves examination of a world of people going, well, blind–spiritually blind.

Thankfully, the Lord of Heaven has been with yours truly all these years of going blind. And, that’s exactly what God has made it possible for me to do. That is, He has kept me going while physically blind.

I’ve been blessed beyond measure by His providing all necessary to accomplish things on His behalf in writing, speaking, and other ministry. I continue to, literally, keep going while totally blind, through God’s grace and permissive will.

What God gives us to do, He makes clear. It might take some time, but, eventually, ultimately, He will dissolve the haze and make our pathway clear.

Of course, we must make every effort to obey. As Dr. Charles Stanley puts it, “Obey God no matter what, and leave all the consequences to Him.”

Proverbs contains the Scripture that encapsulates this directive from on high: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). It is with that divine imperative that my pathway was made clear on Good Friday, April 22, 2011. I’ve written of it many times in this and other forums, as well as spoken about the profound intervention God performed that Good Friday.

I died clinically three times because of the widow-maker heart attack. I knew precisely each time my heart stopped. I was instantaneously in the presence of heavenly beings–beautiful young men and women who were jubilant and inviting me to join them.

The third time my heart stopped and I was with them, I was running with them, as if in a glorious victory celebration.

The Holy Spirit has shown me on a number of occasions since that this was Hebrews 12:1-3 in action. The specific celebration was to impress upon my spirit that the Lord approves of, in particular, the message that Jesus is on the very cusp of returning. Even more specifically, I have had it validated in the deepest reaches of my spiritual heart that He is coming very soon in the Rapture for the Church–all born-again believers, according to Romans 10:9-10.

This will occur before God’s wrath and judgment must fall on an incorrigibly wicked world of rebellious God-deniers. And this gets back to that world of people who are going, blind. Sadly, they think they see clearly their pathway ahead. They believe humanistic endeavor can guide them to a preferable destination. But their vision is shortsighted. They suffer, you might say, from spiritual retinitis pigmentosa, at the basis of which is the soul-destroying infection called sin.

They keep going, while blind to truth, down that broad way that leads to destruction and the black abyss of eternity. So, my mission, my assignment, is to keep going, even though physically blind. Witness of Christ’s saving power is our heavenly mandate. That is what I intend to do. And, that is what you, as Christ’s representative on earth–His royal ambassador—are to do also.

The heavenly rewards for such faithful service are staggering to contemplate: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Our spiritual eyes must stay turned toward Heaven as we negotiate this darkening earthly traverse. The light of Jesus Christ will illuminate our pathway as we obey His commandment to go forth and witness of His power to save the soul, no matter how sin ridden.

Christ’s promises are beyond our ability to fully imagine. Things of unparalleled splendor and glory that we will experience at the moment of Rapture–or death, if we pass instantaneously through that doorway—are incomprehensible from this present perspective. Our vision will be made perfect at that time: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

–Terry