Issue 71 Spring 2004
|Warm Christian greetings in the name of the
risen Lord. In a world of growing darkness the light of the
resurrection shines ever more brightly. “If Christ be not
risen” we have no declaration that Jesus was the Son of God (Rom
1:4), we are still in our sins (1 Cor 15:17), there is no deliverance
from the fear of death (Heb 2:15) and no living hope of the
resurrection to eternal life (1 Pet 1:3). Praise God “now
IS Christ risen from the dead”. It is encouraging to note
several shafts of light in these turbulent and uncertain days. (a) Just
before holy week began the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem circulated an
urgent appeal for funds. This followed a request to CMJ from the
Knesset for help in providing for the Passover needs of poor and
destitute Israeli families, an impressive witness to the work of the
Embassy. (b) The Chinese government has instituted a crackdown on
Christians, as it has realised that their numbers now exceed those of
party members! (c) We have seen the outstanding success of the
film “The Passion of the Christ” in drawing the attention
of millions to the physical cost to the Lord of our redemption.
It underlines graphically the consequence of the “divine
exchange” in 2 Cor 5:21: “For He made Him who knew no sin
to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in
Him.” (d) The recent government decision to allow a
referendum on the contentious issue of the European Constitution is
encouraging, though what question is asked will be crucial.
In this edition Philip Wren continues to develop his theme on the nature of the Antichrist.
Miracle in Zimbabwe
Understanding the times
The Fall of the USA
THE ANTICHRIST (PW)
This is the third in a series of articles on how Britain will become an Islamic State and the role of Islam in the last days of this present age. In the first article we looked at Islam’s Christ and found that he will be the Antichrist of whom we are warned in scripture.
An essential part of Islam’s belief about their Christ is that he will descend from heaven as a man.
Within the Protestant church the Antichrist has been understood as either the Pope of Rome or an evil tyrannical political ruler who will take power at the end of this age. Of this second category the fictional character Nicolia Carpathia in the ‘Left Behind’ series of novels is a good example. The common ground of both views is that the Antichrist will be a living person who is taken over by Satan.
Islam’s expectation is different. Their Christ comes down from heaven. He is not a living person who is corrupted, but a pre-existing person who returns. Does this rule out Islam’s Christ from serious consideration, or does it awaken us to a truth which we have overlooked in our conventional understanding of the Antichrist?
A Fatal Wound
And one of his head as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. Rev13:3
… the first beast whose fatal wound was healed. Rev 13:12
…to make an image of the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. Rev 13:14
One of the distinguishing features of the Antichrist is a fatal wound which has been healed. Fatal means that he died. That the wound was healed informs us that he has been raised from the dead. According to conventional interpretations the coming Antichrist will in mid career receive a fatal wound, after which Satan raises him from the dead to the amazement of the world. It is at this point the Antichrist becomes totally indwelt by Satan.
In Revelation 13, there is no indication of the length of time between the wound and the healing. It just states that the Antichrist has both received a wound and been healed from it.
From The Abyss
The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and goes to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that he was and is not and will come. Rev 17:8
The statement that the beast ‘was and is not’ could be looking forward to a future fulfilment in the death and resurrection of the coming tyrant. It is more likely that the man who is spoken of lived before John received this prophecy (was). At the time Revelation was received he was dead (is not). His resurrection is future (will come).
There is another statement in this verse which makes it improbable that the time between the Antichrist’s death and resurrection was short. He is described as ‘about to come up out of the abyss’.
The abyss is a terrible place, even demons live in fear of it. When Jesus cast the demons out of Legion they pleaded with Him not to send them to the abyss (Luke 8). In mercy he allowed them to enter the swine. Jesus demonstrated that He has power over the abyss, who goes in and who comes out.
The Key to the Abyss
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth: and the key to the bottomless pit (abyss) was given to him. Rev:9:1
The star fallen to earth is the same as the one spoken of in chapter 12:9. It is Satan who, on being cast out of heaven, is given permission to open the abyss and release those imprisoned there.
One of those released is Abaddon, also called Apollyon. He is referred to as king of the abyss and his names mean destruction or destroyer, which are both terms for the Antichrist. Isaiah 16:4 refers to the destroyer who will oppress the land prior to a throne being established in loving kindness. In 2 Thess 2, the Antichrist is called the son of destruction (Gk apoleia). This king of the abyss is the Antichrist who has been imprisoned for centuries ready for this hour.
A False Christ.
Following the release of Abbadon we read in Revelation chapter 10 of the coming of a strong angel from heaven. Is it Christ or Antichrist? There is much which appears like Christ but also much which does not ring true.
The angel swears by the Father that “there shall be delay no longer”. Then he declares that just before the seventh trumpet sounds the mystery of God will be finished. This is a lie. It is seventh trumpet which announces the arrival of the kingdom and the completion of the mystery of God. In Rev 12:12 we read that Satan is furious. Having been cast out of heaven, he knows that he has only a short time left. Rev 10 describes Satan’s strategy for pre-empting the completion of God’s work. With only a little time left he offers the world his own Christ.
When John takes and eats the scroll which the angel holds, it is sweet to his mouth but bitter in his stomach. Psalm 55 speaks of a betrayer whose “mouth was smoother than butter, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords”. The words on the scroll are treachery to the whole world.
The angel roars like a lion, seeking to imitate the lion of the tribe of Judah. But the beast also has the mouth of a lion (Rev 13:2 ) and Satan “prowls about like a roaring lion” 1 Pet 5:8.
This is the great deception that Satan plans to perpetrate on the world. His man is coming as Jesus Christ.
Be not deceived
So as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Matt 24: 24
Jesus warned of the danger of being deceived. Most Christians file this away at the back of their minds, complacent in the belief that it could not happen to them.
Satan’s prime intention with the presentation of his christ is to deceive the elect: everyone else he has already deceived with false religions, philosophies or material well-being. There is one group he must also bring into his kingdom, those who hold to the testimony of Jesus.
With all power and signs and lying wonders.
the one whose coming is in accordance with the activity of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. 2 Thess 2: 9
How powerful is Satan?: powerful enough to think that he could mount a serious rebellion against God. Once Satan has lost his challenge to usurp the place of God in Heaven, he is determined to take the place of God’s Son on Earth.
Satan is going to use all his power to deceive the world into thinking that the real Jesus has come. Every aspect of the return of Christ will, as far as Satan is able, be counterfeited. There will be signs and lying wonders designed to shake the faith of born again Christians. Woe to those who believe that prophecy is a subject that need not concern them!
As I understand scripture, there will be earthquakes and darkening of the sun with a war on a scale far greater than anything experienced in the twentieth century before the revealing of the Antichrist. Many Christians in that day, with their limited understanding of all that is coming on the world at the end times, will be thrown into confusion. They will be tempted to forsake their faith. So much has happened which appears to fulfil prophecy and yet so much contradicts all they believe in.
Those that know their God.
The people who know their God will stand firm and take action. Daniel 11:32
Satan can counterfeit many of the signs accompanying the return of Christ. His man when he appears will look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, do the miracles of Jesus: he will bring peace where there was war. He will distribute food to the hungry and wealth to the poor. He will preach most of Christ’s gospel.
There is one thing that Satan cannot counterfeit. He cannot counterfeit the character of Jesus.
Jesus humbled himself and became obedient Phil 2:8
The Antichrist exalts himself above all 2 Thess 2:4
Jesus was despised and rejected Isa 53:3
The Antichrist - the world will say who is like him. Rev 13:3-4
Jesus does his Father’s will John 6:38
The Antichrist does according to his own will Dan 11:36
Jesus glorifies God on earth John 17:4
The Antichrist: blasphemes the name of God. Rev 13:6
Jesus gives His life for the sheep. John 10:14-15
The Antichrist: is the evil shepherd who tears the flock Zech 11:16-17
Those who have a real personal relationship with Jesus know what He is like. They know His voice and will only listen to Him. To deepen our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing we can do in preparation for this day which could soon be upon us.
Signs of His Coming
Jesus gave a sign to help us discern truth from falsehood in these days.
For just as lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Matt 24:27
This is a sign which Satan will not be permitted to counterfeit. The whole sky will be lit up with the glory of Jesus’ return.
When I was young people used to say that now we had television the coming of the Lord could be fulfilled, for the whole world can now see live events as they happen in Jerusalem. Satan may well need to help of television to broadcast his arrival, but Jesus will need no such help. His appearing will be dazzling.
He also gave the following warning with regard to false christs.
Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Matt 24:28
This warning will apply to all false christs, but more than any others, to the Antichrist. Those who are born again will discern that he is not the real Christ when all the wicked and evil people of the world stream to him. Presidents, kings and leaders will all pay him homage. They will bow before him and find acceptance, but there will be no hint of repentance on their part. Acceptance without repentance is the gospel the world wants to hear.
By the beginning of the 21st Century, the need for repentance had been largely extracted from the gospel. In this Satan has blinded the church in preparation for the coming of his Christ. The person who is born again knows that there is no acceptance by God unless true repentance from sin has come first.
Miracle in Zimbabwe (KK)
A dear brother in the Lord went recently for a week's visit to Zimbabwe with a specific project to bring a well to a Christian Centre in the central region of the country. Arriving on Wednesday he found the bore hole already dug, but he needed information about it before it could be activated. Several calls to the local council (who had dug the bore hole) produced no response for three days. On Saturday evening he contacted his wife at home in England and asked her and the church to pray urgently for divine help. At 10 p.m. on the Sunday evening a member of the local council called with the news that he had the required information. House calls from the local council at 10 p.m. on Sunday evenings are not a regular feature of life in the UK. Prayer really does work!!
Understanding the times (KK)
On the invasion of Iraq Frank Wren gave us a solemn warning that one of the consequences of the war would be a strengthening of the power of militant Islam. This prophetic insight is being fulfilled before our eyes as the alliance led by America and Britain is losing the moral high ground it gained by the overthrow of a brutal dictator, and is being threatened by terrorist attacks, some mounted from other Muslim countries. The war is now being seen less as a liberation and more as an invasion of a Muslim land, an inflammatory situation.
David Dolan, the former CNN Jerusalem correspondent senses that Syria may be the next scene of hostilities. Isaiah 17:1 relating to the ruin of Damascus is yet to be fulfilled (but it is encouraging to note that a little later (19:24) the prophet speaks of Israel, Egypt and Assyria being “a blessing in the midst of the earth”).
I can recommend the video “Lest we forget” as a source of much information about the past and present aggression against the Jews. It includes some shocking footage of the training of young Palestinians to hate and kill Israelis.
["Lest we Forget" is a documentary film about anti-Semitism past and present, produced by Johannes Facius and Chris McDermott and directed by Hugh Kitson. The film will be available from CFI at £14.99 (video) and £17.99 (DVD) plus p&p (15% in UK, 25% elsewhere).]
The fall of the USA (PW)
At the beginning of the twentieth century Great Britain was a Christian country: the majority of the population went to church. Her laws were based on Christian principles. She sent missionaries to all parts of the world and opened up many countries to the gospel for the first time. Her empire, despite some less commendable actions, brought peace to the world and established the rule of law. Why then was she so severely judged by being drawn into the First World War? The war saw a huge and unnecessary waste of life and brought financial ruin on the nation. Was Britain really so bad that she deserved this punishment? The answer to the question why is ‘Pride’.
Today the USA is on the brink of the Lord’s judgement. The reason she will be judged is the same, pride. In the March / April edition of ‘Prophecy Today’ Clifford Hill quoted President Bush. “Yet there is power, wonder working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people “. This is a missquote of a gospel hymn in which the wonder working power is “in the blood of the Lamb”.
On the first anniversary of 9.11 addressing the American people President Bush said “This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind…that hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it”. In John’s gospel it is Jesus, the word of God, who is the light of the world not the ideal of America.
In January President Bush boasted that the USA will now conquer space. Manned landings on Mars and flights to the edge of the Solar system would be achieved. I have no intention to pointing a finger at President Bush, but the above is written in the belief that he is reflecting attitudes wide spread in the nation. Unless there is repentance, such attitudes will bring down the judgement of God.
Prophecies of the fall of the USA
On page 65 of Lance Lambert’s book ‘The Battle for Israel’, published in 1975, he records his meeting with Sister Barbara and the remarkable prophecy she had recorded back in 1911.
“An evil will shortly take Russia and wherever this evil comes, rivers of blood will flow. This evil will take the whole world and wherever it goes, rivers of blood will flow because of it. It is not the Russian soul, but an imposition on the Russian soul. It is not an ideology or a philosophy, but a spirit from hell. In the last days Germany will be divided in two. France will just be nothing. Italy will be judged by natural disasters. Britain will loose her empire and all her colonies and will come to almost total ruin, but will be saved by praying women. America will feed the world, but will finally collapse. Russia and China will destroy each other. Finally Russia will be free and from her believers will go forth and turn many from the nations to God “.
Most of this remarkable prophecy has come about. The USA has fed the world in the recent times of famine. Her fall is soon to come. In”The Vision and Beyond’, by David Wilkerson, is a reprint of his 1973 book with additional prophecies received in the intervening period. One of his warnings is set down below:
“Calls and messages have flooded our ministry offices asking, “was the terrorist attack on September 11 the calamity you were prophesying back in 1992?” No not at all. What I saw coming will be much more severe. Indeed, if America rejects God’s call to turn back to Him, we’ll face the same judgements Israel faced. And they will hit not only New York but every region of the country. Even the heartland won’t be spared. The nations economy will collapse and violence will erupt. Fires will consume our cities and tanks will rumble through the streets”.
In his February 2004 ‘Middle East Update’ tape, Lance Lambert’s commented that Iraq may prove to be the USA’s Afghanistan. The context is that in Afghanistan the might of the Soviet army was broken. When the USA went into Iraq, I sensed that it would be the first step in the downfall of that nation. Time for repentance is rapidly running out, and the world faces a turbulent era unlike any other in history. We need to keep firmly in mind that these judgements will be sent to bring repentance. The call of God to us in this hour is to pray that if nations will not repent and turn to God, individuals will.
Noah’s Ark - 7.00 p.m. Sunday 21st March - BBC 1 (PW)
Jeremy Bowen’s presentation of the story of Noah’s ark shown at a peak time on BBC 1 was predictable. When he was the BBC’s Jerusalem coRrespondent his reports were consistently one sided. Therefore a fair and factual programme examining the biblical story was never likely. His approach, with a repeated smirk on his face, was to set up improbable interpretations of the Biblical story and then discredit them. The usual critical arguments against the literal understanding of the Bible were trotted out.
The impossibility of constructing a boat of the dimensions given in the Bible.
Far too many species to fit into the ark.
To cover the mountains would take far more water than is at present on the surface of the earth.
No geological evidence for a global flood.
Naturally none of these statements was examined in depth. That might have led to the inconvenient conclusion that the story is not as farfetched as he wished to make out.
He then followed up the dismissal of the ark story with an outline of the Sumerian versions of the flood story. This was not in fact an outline, as he managed to ignore the recorded story almost in its entirety and replace it with speculation.
‘Noah’s Ark’ was a well-made and well presented programme almost totally devoid of fact. That probably fits a definition of good television. But why was it made and why shown at a peak viewing time? Was it to ridicule Christianity? Jeremy Bowen claimed that it was impossible for a rational person to believe in the Flood as recorded in the Bible. Only those who cling to a belief in divine miracles (ha, ha) could still believe in it in the face of the evidence.
Was it to endorse Islam? Jeremy Bowen has strong Islamic sympathies. One of the basic tenets of Islam is that Jews and Christians have corrupted the scriptures. The Qur’an was revealed in order to correct these falsehoods. The programme stated that the Biblical Flood story was an invention of 6th Century Jewish rabbis in exile in Babylon. They based their work on the supposed earlier Babylonian story. For the Christian the programme was a reminder that however much men may scoff, there is a day of judgment coming.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this `coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3: 4-7
For more information on Noah’s ark go to www.creationresearch.net and www.answersingenesis.org address: AiG - United Kingdom
PO Box 5262
Leicester LE2 3XU
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