Nov 18, 2019

The Mexican Murder Meltdown

Mexico is quickly becoming a nation ruled by violence. Our southern neighbor had record murder rates in 2017 and 2018. Figures for the first nine months of 2019 suggest that this year’s homicide toll could surpass that of last year.

In December 2006, then-President Felipe Calderón launched a “war on drugs,” deploying more than 50,000 soldiers and federal police officers. Since that campaign began, over 300,000 people have lost their lives. In 2018 the number of people killed was more than four times that in 2007.

The liberal media have a set agenda of downplaying the bloodshed. Because Trump cited the violence in Mexico as justification for building his wall, the press has had a blockade on all negative news from that nation.

The violence in Mexico occasionally reaches a level that forces the liberal media to report the truth. About two weeks ago, nine Americans were killed during a highway ambush by drug cartel members. The victims were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that have lived peacefully in Mexico for over 100 years.

The situation keeps going from bad to worse because violence has reached the point where it feeds on itself. Impunity in Mexico, where 95% of killings go unpunished, has spurred more people to take up arms — and carry out their own justice.

The Justice system in Mexico is simply rotting away. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, commonly known as “El Chapo,” was sent to the U.S. primarily because Mexico had become so corrupt, it could no longer contain the man. El Chapo was able to escape two major prisons in spectacular fashion largely because the guards were paid to look the other way.

In October, one of El Chapo’s sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, was freed on the orders of the Mexican government after Sinaloa cartel gunmen flooded the city of Culiacán and surrounded security forces to press for their boss’s release.

Even the wife of El Chapo has gotten into the act. She will be appearing on VH1’s reality TV series “Cartel Crew.” The wealth she enjoyed was from drugs that destroyed probably over a million people, and she is being glamorized as a drug kingpin’s celebrity.

The end point of the Mexican drug trade is America. You don’t hear any talk about our moral responsibility for the carnage we create with our collective hunger for drugs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics finds that the number of overdose deaths involving cocaine almost doubled in two years — jumping from 5,892 in 2014 to 11,316 in 2016, the most recent year for which data was available.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, the rise in cocaine use can be attributed to increases in availability. The Drug smugglers are always a step ahead of DEA ability to uncover the means of distribution. When we find all the drug tunnels between Mexico and America, the Cartel is now moving drugs to the states by way of cheap submarines. Eventually, the package of cocaine that DEA agents posed with for News shots will be sold on the streets the next day because the feds are on the payroll of the Cartel.

We do have a fake drug crisis that can put the public’s mind at rest. Doctors that overprescribe opioids to Grandma for legitimate pain are being sent up the river. Many politicians are ready to blame the whole Prude family for being the source of the Great Opioid crisis. Meanwhile, a ship with enough fentanyl to kill 30 million people arrives in Philadelphia and gets little coverage when the ship is impounded.

I don’t think Mexico’s problem is that it needs an elite force of untouchables to clear out the corruption. When the whole nation is in moral bankruptcy, no one will tolerate a group that interferes with the system. The cop that arrested El Chapo’s sons was shot 155 times. His fellow officers must have just shrugged and wondered why he didn’t just take the bribe like everyone else.

God is in full control of all world events. As we get closer to the tribulation hour, the Lord is slowly granting Satan more freedom to do the evil things taking place in Mexico. At some point, God will say enough is enough, and He will trigger the rapture. There is no way to second guess the greatest Being in the universe. Anyone with an IQ above 70 would know that his patience is likely to run out in short order.

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

–Todd


Catholicism’s Conundrum

Let me start by saying I have family and friends who are Catholics. I believe most of these I love and know well are genuine believers –that is—they Know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But these are “in Christ” in spite of their Catholic beliefs, not because of their Catholicism.

Let me make a case for the above opening.

Pope Francis is at it again. Some months ago he declared on several occasions that there are many ways to God and Heaven. He later pronounced that there is no place called Hell and even more recently the Catholic pontiff proclaimed that even atheists will be in Heaven.

Now he is putting forth that Christ didn’t resurrect from death–at least not in the way the Bible tells us He arose.

Some of the Catholic clergy call these pontifications by this prelate heresy. Heresy, of course, is any teaching that varies from doctrinal positions to any major extent. While Catholic doctrine certainly is, in a great many cases, far from fundamental, evangelical, Protestant doctrine, we agree with those traditional Catholics that these declarations by Francis are heresy according to any fundamentalist, Christian teaching. That is, the pope’s expressed thoughts on these matters are not only unbiblical, but, I would say, they are anti-biblical.

CNS News reported the revelations made by an apparent friend of Pope Francis. Eugenio Scalfari, a left-wing atheist journalist, published the remarks in the periodical La Repubblica. Scalfari also wrote about the pope’s declarations in a new book.

Scalfari states in the November 5 edition of La Repubblica and in the introduction to his new book that Francis said: “He [Jesus] was a man until he was placed in the tomb by the women who recomposed his body. That night, in the tomb, the man [Jesus] disappeared and came forth from the grotto in the semblance of a spirit that met the women and the Apostles while still preserving the shadow of the person, and then he definitely disappeared.”

When asked about the strangeness of Francis’ variance from Catholic doctrine, the true nature of the Roman Catholic Church became overwhelmingly apparent. The Catholic Church’s PR/information establishment gave a ring-around-the-rosaries answer. The response said: “As already stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes in quotation marks to the Holy Father during the interviews he had cannot be considered as a faithful account of what was actually said, but rather represent a personal and free interpretation of those who listened, as appears completely evident from what is written today regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ,” the Holy See statement said.

I.e., the official Vatican response was NOT a denial, rather was a confutation filled with gobbledygook that left it open to interpretation to the reader or hearer of the pope’s words.

According to CNS News, there has been “no clear denial, no demand that Scalfari correct his article or retract it, and no denial by the Pope himself.”

CNS News reported further that the Vatican’s response was similar when Scalfari reported that Francis told him in 2018 there is no Hell and, recently, when the journalist claimed the pope told him that once Jesus Christ became incarnate, He was a man, a “man of exceptional virtues,” but “not at all a God.”

Now, we are seeing some extremely combustible possibilities seeping from the once seamless confines of the Vatican walls. Most distinct among these is the question: Just how Christian is the Roman Catholic Church?

If this Vicar of Christ has an infallible side, as claimed of popes down through the history of that supposedly Christian body, where does that infallibility fit within this pontiff’s statements denying the very words of Jesus Christ?

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father but by me” (John 14: 6).

Yet Pope Francis says there are many ways to God.

Pope Francis declares that there is no place called Hell. Despite the biblical truth that Jesus Himself talked about that infernal place even more than He talked about Heaven (Mark, chapter 9, for example).

This pope says Jesus didn’t resurrect in bodily form as Jesus claimed. Yet Jesus proved on many occasions after the resurrection that He rose from the dead bodily, not merely spiritually. Remember, for instance, His confrontation with doubting Thomas.  (And, Jesus is the Word, John 1:1, so He cannot lie.  )

This pope has proclaimed that even atheists will be in Heaven. By doing so, Francis nullifies the very reason Jesus came to die on the cross, be buried, and resurrect to life so that the lost who accept God’s grace offer can be redeemed.

All of that said, the Catholic Church’s conundrum, as implied in this commentary’s title, goes much deeper than the heresy of this particular pope. That religious body is faced with the truth in God’s Holy Word that is completely antithesis of what the Vatican has always proclaimed.

The conundrum could not be more starkly presented or illustrated than with the following Scripture: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

One evangelist who came out from deep within Roman Catholicism to preach the solid Word of God on every issue affecting humanity writes the following:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). This verse establishes the supreme authority of God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant Word, which can be used to correct and reprove the teachings of Catholic bishops and religious traditions.…

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He (Jesus), “having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:11-12). When the Lord Jesus finished His perfect, all-sufficient work of redemption, He cried out in victory, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Catholic priests, who continue on altars what Jesus finished on the cross, are leading their congregations in the idolatrous worship of the Eucharist. (Mike Gendron, “God’s Word Continues to Set Catholics Free,” info@proclaimingthegospel.org, November 2019)

Neither the lost nor the saved need go to a priest, who then goes to Mary, and then who goes to Jesus, who then goes to the Heavenly Father. When the Temple veil rent from top to bottom at the very moment Christ gave up His life to death, Heaven’s throne room–following Christ’s resurrection on the third day–was open to all who repent, who seek reconciliation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mike Gendron writes further: “Not only is Mary not a mediator, she was also a sinner who needed a Savior (Rom. 3:23). She said, ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior’ (Luke 1:46-47).”

A growing number of Catholic theologians are beginning to question whether Pope Francis might be the second beast of Revelation chapter 13. I, personally, don’t think he is. The apostate pronouncements he consistently makes, though, are certainly in alignment with those things that one called the false prophet will espouse.

Catholicism’s real conundrum, however, isn’t having to deal with a rogue pope. Its most pressing conundrum is having to strive to confute the very Word of God.

–Terry

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