APOCALYPSE

FEBRUARY 16 2018 – a bit early.

APOCALYPSE.

I do everything in my power to stay physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. I exercise strenuously three times per week for one full hour, first running (5K), then biking (5K), ending with rowing: all indoors in the winter, of course.
To keep my brain functioning, I keep on writing my blog. I started this almost 20 years ago as a weekly column for the regional daily from 2000 till 2010, and then expanded it in its present format till today. In it I often deal with matters spiritual, so it also functions as a religious stimulator.

All this keeps me healthy, alert and in tune with my Lord, aided no doubt by being happily married, with a beautiful extended family, by being at peace with my Savior, and by eating basically 2 meals: a porridge breakfast and vegetarian lunch, always made from scratch and mostly home-grown.

This weekend extra thanksgiving is in order, because during this FAMILY Holiday my wife and I, together with 38 relatives from far and near, plus our entire church family and dear friends will celebrate our 65th wedding anniversary and our 90th birthdays, a unique and tremendous blessing.

We were born in the Netherlands in 1928, endured the DEPRESSION and experienced the German Oppression from 1940-45. These happenings have colored our lives and have made the last Bible book a favorite.

What does Revelation tell us about the immediate future?

The Greek title of the book is APOCALYPSE, which basically means that the curtain is torn away and the doors thrown wide because the ultimate message of the book is that EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING BECOME WHAT THEY ARE. All pretension is gone. That applies to each person, good and bad, and to each thing, good and bad. As Revelation 14: 13 tells us our good deeds will follow us.

Revelation 22: 11 sums it up, “Let they who do wrong, continue to do so; let they who are vile, stay that way; let they who do right, keep on doing that, and let they who are holy, persists in being holy.”

I believe that this applies to today and indicates that the time for ‘conversion’ is over and the time for the Apocalypse is here.

Revelation time.

Today REVELATION is everywhere. Males are increasingly exposed as chauvinists; females are increasingly seen as capable, assertive, and equal if not better than men, evident in longer lives and healthier attitudes. Business is increasingly seen as exploitive of nature, and unable to change its way. Nature is increasingly seen as vulnerable, evident in Climate Change. Churchy Christianity is increasingly seen as irrelevant, and politics is increasingly seen as self-serving. Finally the entire world is on the way to environmental and economic collapse, with God lending a helping hand.

So what are the specific dangers Revelation tells us about?

From Revelation 15: 5 till 16: 21 the last things are set into motion. Here John, the author, imprisoned on the island of Patmos, relates how the coming disasters resemble those 10 plagues the ancient Pharaoh regime experienced, culminating in the deaths of everybody first-born, and resulting in the EXODUS of the Jewish people under Moses. The coming – far worse -catastrophes will ultimately also result in an EXODUS, this time of sinners only, while the saints will permanently settle on the purified Earth.

What is particularly frightening is that even the sun and the earth become enemies, with the sun becoming dangerously hot and the weather increasingly a universal threat. Just look at Chapter 16, where the vengeance of creation is reaching a climax, “From the sky huge hailstones of about 100 pounds each fell upon men and women. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the weather disaster was so terrible.”

Yes, weather disasters are out there NOW.

Last year the USA experienced three major hurricanes. A recent report tells us that the world’s oceans have never been warmer. We all know that there is a close connection between the severity of hurricanes and the temperature of the Seven Seas.

A TERRIBLE EARTHQUAKE.

But the real danger comes from THE EARTHQUAKE. (Verse 19) “No earthquake like it has ever occurred since humanity appeared, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts and the cities of the nations collapsed.”

Well, it looks like the world is getting ready for this: the entire Pacific Rim is in motion. The Ring of Fire, that major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, has already seen a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are occurring there daily.
This horseshoe-shaped danger zone, containing 452 volcanoes, extends from the entire Pacific West Coast, through Alaska onto all of East Asia, including the Indonesian Archipelago.

Then there is Super-volcano at Yellowstone National Park. This past year have seen hundreds of small earthquakes there, caused by subterranean turmoil simmering just under the surface. The word “Super-volcano” says it all: once this erupts, it alone could wipe most of North America off the map.

Actually the entire world is astir.

Lately a cluster of earthquakes has hit the Greenland Sea indicating that there is a lot of stress where the fault line is bending. The real danger there is methane, a gas 100 times more dangerous for Global Warming than the car exhausts emanating from our very own billion tail pipes globally.

Sam Carana, actually Dr. Guy McPherson, writes THE ARCTIC NEWS blog. He monitors the METHANE there, buried under the so-shallow Arctic Sea, where trillions of tons of that dangerous gas are buried. As the Arctic warms – and it does that at a clip three times as fast as Global Warming – once the methane there is affected, the world would heat up 10 Degrees Celsius in a few years, burning everything, everybody to a crisp.

Today it’s anybody’s guess what the consequences are for an ice-free Arctic, where, on February 5, a few weeks ago, the temperature on the North Pole was 30 Degrees Celsius warmer than normal, well above freezing, while most of North America was suffering Arctic conditions.

Then there is the melting of trillions of tons of ice at both poles which harbors the dangers of the earth’s axle twisting, causing friction in all the wrong places, exacerbating the dangers of universal earthquakes and even threatening a switch in poles. A recent report states that a reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles is possible and could seriously mess with life as we know it. Fact is that we playing Russian roulette with the planet and anything can happen.

The situation on land is also worsening. Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late-season food source for North American bees. The title of a paper, in the 13 April 2016 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, tells the story: Rising atmospheric CO2 is reducing the protein concentration of a floral pollen source essential for North American bees.

Scientists, historians and politicians alike have begun to warn that Western culture is reaching a critical juncture. Cycles of inequality and resource use are heading for a tipping point that in many past civilizations precipitated political unrest, war and finally collapse.

How do we react to all this?

The Bible comes right to the point: Revelation 16 quite accurately portrays how the people take this. Do they succumb to despair? No. Do they flee from the big cities to the wilderness and seek refuge somewhere in the quietness of the countryside? No. Do they abandon all norms of decency and start fighting each other as wild animals? No. Does this so cleverly constructed society degenerate in a desperate mass of people, a wildly possessed crowd? No.

No, nothing of this sort of thing happens. The Bible relates that there’s not a trace of confusion to be noticed. Of course people are unsure. Of course there is a good amount of despair. But conversion? No, they curse God, the God of the heavens! Revelation 16: 9, “They are seared by the intense heat – Global Heating!- and they curse the name of God, who has control over these plagues, but they refuse to repent and glorify him…..(verse 11) They gnaw their tongues in agony and curse the God in heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refuse to repent of what they had done.”

The Fall of Babylon

In veiled, secretive language John continues to tell us how all this is unfolding. The entire Revelation 18 is devoted to the Fall of Babylon.

Why Babylon?

Babylon was the place of EXILE for Israel some 2,500 years ago.
How deeply had been the impression Babylon made on the ancient people of Israel, that after many centuries the name of this city appears in this prophecy: ancient Babylon, the city of Nebuchadnezzar, the city where Belshazzar spoke his haughty words, where he received a rude awakening when the Persian armies secretly invaded it during the night.

Today that ancient city is long gone, completely destroyed. Desert sand has covered it all, has crawled into its deserted defenses, and has blanketed the old ruins with a carpet of oblivion.
No, John’s prophecy has nothing to do with that ancient world city.

It has everything to do with current urbanization. It has everything to do with the world city now dominating the entire globe, where nothing has remained ‘pristine’, where the most remote regions, the most impregnable places are contaminated with human waste. There’s not a spot on earth, not a single molecule anywhere where either the air or the water or the soil, or all three have retained their purity, all thoroughly harmed by human action. Exponential growth has taken us in my life time from a relatively empty world to a world full of people and their furniture. It is now full of our things and empty of God’s things, witness THE SIXTH EXTINCTION. It needs TOTAL RENEWAL.

Yes, now with the entire world ‘urbanized’ the world BABYLON simply indicates our contemporary world.

So how will the world look like before renewal?

I love the language of that chapter, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! New York, Toronto, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Moscow, Cape Town: all gone. She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, and a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries and the kings of the earth committed adulteries with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

That truly depicts our current situation: pure madness. Climate Change, our incessant burning of fossil fuels, our destruction of The Trees of Life, our poisoning of soil, air, seas, is total folly: adultery, the Bible calls it, because adultery destroys from within.

God has infected the world with itself, curses it with insanity, witness the senseless politics everywhere. Madness, human madness, is the theme of this amazing chapter 18.

The mad race to the END.

Today we see the beginning of the total destruction. All the signs are there: we are rushing to the end. Do you for a minute believe that TV advertising will cease, enticing people to buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have? Do you really believe that GM, Toyota and Volkswagen will stop manufacturing their polluted products? Do you really believe that we will from now on become devoted environmentalists and make it our life-goal to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle? Do you really believe that the billions in China and India voluntary will let go of Western luxuries and remain mired in poverty?

I repeat Revelation 22: 11, “Let they who do wrong, continue to do so; let they who are vile, continue in that way; let they who do right keep on doing that, and let they who are holy, continue to be holy.”

APOCALYPSE simply means that our cover is gone, that the mask is torn away, exposing the true nature of us humans and our possessions.

That is the basic message of the book of REVELATION:

EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY WILL BECOME WHAT THEY ARE, both for good and bad.

If we want to be part of the NEW BEGINNING, now is the time to examine ourselves whether we truly are what we are meant to be, because the END will come without warning. Soon.

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ARE CHURCHES STILL RELEVANT?

February 10 2018

ARE CHURCHES STILL RELEVANT?

It is one of my totally gut-originating rules of Christian life that only when we have become what we are, when we have really lived before we die, we are allowed to enter the Kingdom. The Kingdom being the New Creation, for which Jesus gave his life, and which soon will become reality.

The central point of the Gospel is not us poor humans and our pain and suffering: no, the entire focus of the Gospel is aimed at the unique, powerful reality that God wants to reinstate his Kingdom, and so undo the damage Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. He wants a complete new start, one that will succeed this time because we have learned the lesson.

That’s why God intends to unite all of today’s fractured parts of his creation into one over¬arching harmonious total.

Forget about cozying up with Jesus and expect him to save you, while totally living at the detriment of creation, with not a single thought even hinting that there’s something wrong with such an attitude. Fact is that we have been completely brainwashed by pious secularism, the main message of churches everywhere.

The harsh biblical truth is that there is no such thing as individual salvation. All salvation is of necessity universal. The goal of our life can never be that we personally may enjoy God and be saved in him. The goal of our life can only be that we again become part of the greater context of the Kingdom of God, where everything is again unified under the one and only all wise will of him who lives and rules for ever, because the reality is that God, we and the earth are one, forever.

That’s what I believe with every fiber of my being.

I wholeheartedly believe that when we try to implement that total KINGDOM concept in our lives, only then can we truly live before we die, and truly become what we are.

That ties in with Jesus’ words, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength,” a declamation found in all three of the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

This triple affirmation shows the significance of this statement. Loving God is a hands-on matter, that’s why we need to love God in a truly down-to-earth- way. After all, says 1 Timothy 6: 16, “God lives in inapproachable light whom nobody has seen or can see.” It’s impossible to love the unseen.

Here’s an example: we know next to nothing about Shakespeare as a person, not even how he looks like, yet his name is on everybody’s lips and his works are always quoted and performed.

The same is true about God. We can’t picture him – we are not even allowed to – but we know him through his works, “This is my Father’s world”, we sing, “his hands the wonders wrought.”

So does it then not make sense to love his creation, just as we treasure Shakespearean plays, or delight in Mozart’s music?

Jesus came “To restore a world that is now beyond repair”. He came for that purpose only, and in order to become a future citizen of that NEW CREATION, we now have to live the LIFE OF ETERNITY.

Today’s MESSAGE.

That’s what the churches have to preach, continually, because we are a stubborn bunch, far more integrated in the world than in the Kingdom, which, for most church goers, is a totally foreign concept: I repeat: it is the NEW CREATION to come!!

That’s why I see John 3: 16 as my guiding light in my life, which centers on THE COSMOS, all that is and moves and has a being.

God, in his grace, steered me to read the right books, and meet the right people. In 1972-3 one of my friends alerted me to THE LIMITS OF GROWTH which convinced me that we live in A FINITE EARTH. Then one of my employees gave me a book, “After Death…What?” This book opened my eyes to THE HEAVEN HERESY, further explained by Dr. C. A. van Peursen, in his book, Body, Soul and Spirit, in which he exposed the Greek pagan thinking behind the HEAVEN HERESY. He wrote, “When Socrates died, he welcomed death. In The Trials of Socrates, Plato depicts Socrates’ last moments. Plato quotes Socrates: “I’ll no longer stay put, but will take my leave of you and depart for certain happy conditions of the blessed”.

Socrates is certain that he’s on the way to heaven, and even says a prayer to the gods after drinking the poison: “‘One is, I suppose, permitted to utter a prayer to the gods – and one should do so – that one’s journey from this world to the next will prove fortunate”.

Yes, there’s where the HEAVEN HERESY originates: Greek Pagan Thinking!

I love the church.

Let me from the outset say that, even though I am often critical of the church, I still love it because it provides fellowship. Somehow I believe that Nulla Salus extra ecclesiam: no salvation outside the church.

Yet it pains me when I see it slowly dying.
It pains me to see it failing to live up to its ultimate task, and failing to express her great longing for the end time.
It pains me to see it squander her mission: its flagrant failure to prepare its people for THE KINGDOM TO COME.
It pains me to see her neglect to point out that, basically, she is not of this world, but belongs to the coming age and that she must aim all her efforts in that direction.

Systemic Collapse.

Today all signs point to SYSTEMIC COLLAPSE of the current way of life. No wonder eschatological con¬sciousness is undergoing a revival throughout the world for obvious reasons, but somehow it seems to bypass the church of Christ, even though the entire Bible is written with THE END in mind.

In spite of everyday signs that this world is on its final legs, that everywhere there are signs of global fatigue, of pure environmental exhaustion, the church stubbornly refuses to see and read the ‘signs of the times.’

It was different right after Pentecost: then the early church understood this, as is evident from the writings of that period.

In the Didachè, one of the oldest writings of the early church, the prayer for the Lord’s Supper went as follows: “Let grace abound, and let this world pass away. Maranatha!” (Maranatha means, “Lord come quickly” my mantra when I run three times each week).

Over the years the centre of the Good News has changed: Psalm 19, among many, makes it clear that God’s word vibrates throughout the universe, and Romans 1: 20 affirms that, seeing, living, being part of creation, should be sufficient evidence that there is a MASTERMIND behind it all, but the church has lost THE GOSPEL OF THE EARTH.

Today the church’s singular focus is on the saving of souls and pays scant attention to the saving of species. “Jesus came to save sinners”, true, but his real mission was to save THE COSMOS.

No wonder Luke 18: 8 laments: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” This explains Matthew 7: 13-14:
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it.”

Salvation explained.

Personal salvation is part and parcel of the salvation of the cosmos: they go hand in hand. We cannot love Jesus while consciously harming the cosmos for which he gave his life (John 3: 16). Love for Jesus and love for the cosmos are two sides of the same coin: they are the coin. You can’t have one without the other.

Rejoice!!

In Revelation 18 the Fall of Babylon is announced. Then all the merchants of the world mourn over the big city, but the saints call out, “Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you” (Rev. 18:20).

Soon collapse is here because we live in an environment of extinction. We have subjected the planet to the pernicious perils of global warming which speeds up the coming of the Kingdom.

Rejoice!!

That rejoicing comes from a genuine conviction that this world is hastening toward destruction and that through that destruction the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will come.

What then is the place of the church today, in these END TIMES?

The church always has had a dual calling: it is in the world, but not of the world, just like all the believers: it is separate from the world and constantly has to show compassion for the world.

We have this hymn which indicates its separateness: “the church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ the Lord”. The church stands apart because she is rooted in a different soil than the human race and belongs to a different age.

Jesus in his prayer as recorded in John 17 ardently prays for the church, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”

That we do not belong to this world is repeated in 1 John 5:19, “we are children of God, but the whole world is under the control of the evil one”

Yet the church can never be indifferent to the plight of the world and treat it with disdain or lack of concern. The church can never aban¬don the world, never let go of her, because till the very last she sees the world as the territory of God’s infinite possibilities.

God is able to perform great miracles in that fallen world, and can still involve many in the world in the plan he has for the redemption of the world. In that redemption plan the church herself is an instrument in God’s hand: “as the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

The two poles.

Those are the two poles between which the life of the church moves. She can only be fully engaged in the plight of the world when she knows to be “different” from the world, when she is keenly aware of the knowledge: today that knowledge is more keenly focused on THE END. Only when rooted in that knowledge that the church can engage the world with unflagging energy.

Today the message of the church must be geared to the times. “Is Western civilization on the brink of collapse?”, the lead article in last week’s New Scientist asks. And the answer is “yes”.

So will the church warn the world of its pending demise? Or will it keep on hammering on personal salvation, because that is so much safer, and doesn’t disturb the ‘wo(man) in the pew” too much. But still the church cannot escape that summons, so poignantly formulated in the Revelation of John:
“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).

Are churches still relevant?
Churches are only relevant when they become like Noah. For decades he built the Ark in the Middle of Nowhere: the butt of jokes, “Look at that man: he builds a huge ship in the desert: he’s totally off his rocker.”

The church too must become the butt of JOKES: preaching a renewed earth where also all animals, alive and extinct, will find refuge.

Jesus tells us in that fateful Matthew 24: 38-39, “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and TOOK ALL THE SINNERS AWAY; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Noah, the believer, was LEFT BEHIND, and the sinners were taken away.

And, says Jesus, when he returns, just like Noah, the believers are left behind on God’s Holy Earth, and the sinners are taken away.

So Church, if you want to be relevant: preach the immediate return of the Lord and the coming of the New Creation and become the butt of jokes.

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The ANTI-CHRIST?

February 3 2018

THE ANTI-CHRIST?

“Men have left God not for other gods, they say, but for no God: and this has never happened before.”
T. S. Eliot in “Choruses from ‘The Rock’”.

We have truly become a godless world. Something in our thinking has been irreparably broken. Our religious consciousness is disappearing. Any answers that are given to our questions concerning matters of life and death are losing their religious content and are becoming sterile, cliché, deplete of relevance.

At the root of this terrible truth is that God is dead, and we have murdered him. Today the young are growing up for whom God is in fact not much more than a long forgotten world found in ancient writings, a generation of people that doesn’t feel the slightest twinge of sorrow that it has lost him.

Still God is there for all to see. Psalm 19 gives us a perfect example – if we only had eyes to see and ears to hear – because God discloses himself quite visibly in the whole universe. The overwhelming grandeur of creation compels us, as it were, to come to recognize God.

We do not reach this awareness by means of logic or carefully constructed argumentation but arrive at it directly and spontaneously, as stated in Psalm 19: 2-4: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament show forth the works of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they display knowledge. No speech, no words, no voice is heard yet their span extends through all the earth, their words to the utmost bounds of the world.”

This revelation is a wordless witness; it’s a power embracing us on all sides in quiet majesty. God meets us in the order of creation, in the seasons, in the wind, in thunder and lightning, in the radiant beauty of a glorious summer morning, and in the sparkling icicles of a sunny winter day.

Even though God is dead for most, religion never disappears: all sorts of religious feelings continue to trouble our tortured souls. It so reminds me of Jeremiah 8: 18- 9: 1—3, where Yahweh weeps over the creation that is going to ruin. This plaintive poetry pours out from the divine source, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?

The real truth is found in Jeremiah 9: 1-3: both Yahweh and Jeremiah know that creation is beyond rescue, as verse 3 affirms, “they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the Lord.”

That’s where we are at.

We no longer know God. It makes me cry in anguish, real tears. There’s everything right with crying, especially since we follow God’s example. The people of Israel were forced into exile to contemplate where they had gone wrong.

We too live in exile. We too must measure where we have gone wrong. The entire world, in which we live, is beyond repair. There is no more balm in Gilead; there are no more people out there who have the answers: the world is speeding toward its demise. The only thing we can do is to acknowledge this, cry and pray.

And cry real tears. Can we still do that?

Jeremiah 9 must be directly applied to today. We don’t know how to weep anymore. Our feelings have been dulled by too much exposure to nonsense, so evident in the political strata in the world. Just look at verses 10-11, “Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains (no more glaciers), and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness (drought), because they are laid waste so that no one passes through and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and animals have fled and are gone.”

God has left us. He has thrown in the towel, has basically said, “OK if you want to go at it alone, I’ll let you.” Among God’s last words to Moses, God tells him, “I shall hide my face from them: I shall see what their end will be.” (Deut. 31: 17).

That’s what we are experiencing now. In spite of all the pious sermons, the bitter truth is that God has retreated: we are on our own.

We are living in the final stretch before the Coming of the Lord, which means that, “We have to become what we are so that we can enter the New Creation as whole persons.”

A double warning.

Jeremiah is not the only Bible prophet that warns us. Revelation 13 comes with even a greater warning. The first item mentioned there is that the world ruler owes his power courtesy to ‘the dragon’, and to its occult, demonic powers.

George Soros in Davos last week, told us that, “There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined”.

It more and more looks that this will happen, and it will be the last and most energetic of Satan’s attempts to unite all of humanity into one formidable anti-God, anti-Christ coalition.

Universal technology makes this possible. People increasingly are impressed by the enchanting energy that emanates from today’s technological inventions and, young people especially gobble it up.

Time and again people are convinced that this is supernatural, that unfathomable and irresistible powers are at work here. There may be some temporary setbacks, but it will rise more triumphantly than ever: people will start to praise these super-intelligent devises to high heavens and attribute divine powers to this IT –Information Technology – believing that it will keep us alive and make us prosper forever.

The I.T. people already boast and speak proud words that this will save the world. They have ceased to be angry with God because they no longer sense God’s presence in life.

This fits in perfectly with the masses who no longer can understand developments and no longer grasp the concept of God.
People today can talk about what appears on Facebook, on TV perhaps, on internet and sports related matters, but they have no notion anymore of such concepts as morality, of good and evil, of sin and what life after life stands for.

Life today is ruled by a new world order. It is not God, it is not a person, it is not a group of persons. Today we are ruled by THE ULTIMATE MACHINE.
Psalm 115 says it all: here is my updated version:
But their idols are made by human hands.
They don’t have mouths, but they can speak,
They don’t have eyes, but can see.
They don’t have ears, but can hear,
Don’t have noses, but can smell.
Don’t have hands, but can feel,
Don’t have feet, but can walk,

Those who use them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

These words of an updated Psalm 115 have become reality. We have become the extension of the machine, those devices now rule our lives, be it the computer, the Internet, the mobile phone, the robot, the automobile license tracking everywhere, anything and everything that keeps us connected to everything, except to God.

For this device God no longer exists. It dares to cast that great name of God away like a piece of filth, a name which millions upon millions have at one time revered as holy.

This Ultimate Tool has gained entrance into all earth’s regions, and managed to conquer everything.
This Ultimate Tool gives the impression that with every step it takes it knows that it will succeed.
The Ultimate Tool already rules our lives, from money transactions, to conversations, to movement.
The Ultimate Tool follows us every step of the way, stores our movements for decades to come.

According to the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a very large percentage of North American jobs are at risk of being redefined, or even eliminated, due to automation. Both blue- and white-collar jobs are in play. Technological shifts are happening so fast, and affecting so many sectors, that a large proportion of the work force can expect major challenges preparing for the new realities of work.

And what about the believers?

We all have become adherents of THE ULTIMATE MACHINE, a mechanism that no longer needs God, a tool that can function without God. It’s all about numbers: 666 or in contemporary parlor 101010101010: the Pin Number, the Social Security Number, the Social Insurance Number, Credit Card Number: life has become a matter of digits, and we are known only as a number.

Revelation 13 paints a troubling picture, (verse 16-18), “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the freemen and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Here wisdom is needed.

Whenever the Bible asks us to apply wisdom, it means that it can only be understood when it actually happens. THAT IS NOW. The ultimate machine, based on numbers, rules.

No longer is it a matter of the heart as in Proverbs 4: 23: “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. Now it is all about mind, all about human understanding, about logic and reason.

We are the last generation.

We are the last generation. The Greeks and the medieval Christians could not arrive at modern technology because they regarded nature as holy, governed by a divine order.

We no longer believe such a thing. Today the main direction of Western culture is to technologize nature first, then human relations, and now humanity itself.

Step by step, this has brought about a reduction of nature, society and the human being to be quantifiable, calculable, functional, and malleable. Yes, today we are now the sum of our genes.

This makes us ready for THE ULTIMATE MACHINE. The way society is shaping, where THE MACHINE is all important, where driver-less cars, driver-less trucks, map-reading machines guide us into directions hitherto impossible to navigate, we more and more surrender ourselves to impersonal forces, and so more and more alienate us from our true nature, a person, made in the image of God, a person now alienated from creation, living in cities, on the 15th floor of an impersonal building, where all natural elements are foreign.

Artificial intelligence

Why it’s bad: Machines with an extreme amount of technology could be difficult to control. They may hoard resources to boost their own intelligence, leaving little or nothing for humankind. That would be very bad for us.

COME OUT OF HER.

Revelation 18 warns us: “All the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries, the rulers, the large corporations, so no wonder the ANGEL tells us to “Come out of her so that you will not share in her sins, and not receive any of her plagues.” Our very humanity is at stake.

So here we are. We are told to resist the number game and to go back to THE LIVING EARTH. Matthew 7: 13-14 points the way:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to DESTRUCTION, and there are MANY who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to LIFE, and there are FEW who find it.”

We know full well that the MACHINE destructs, causes mounting mortality, more murders and more mayhem, but in spite of that we prefer the easy street, the wide road to hell.

Be among the FEW who resist THE ULTIMATE MACHINE, and go back to a life that is pleasing to God in all facets – sustainable, creation-friendly, simple, in tune with the New Creation, Paradise to come.
“Men have left God not for other gods, they say, but for no God: and this has never happened before.”

Choosing a NO GOD means siding with the ANTI-GOD, the ANTI-CHRIST.

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THE FINAL PHASE

JANUARY 27 2018

THE FINAL PHASE.

My wife and I are part of a small weekly prayer group. Often prayers are requested for old and frail parents who suddenly need immediate care, and for their children who are caught in the middle without warning, confronted with almost insurmountable problems as access to a Nursing Home is impossible in the short term because the waiting lists are so long.

Just a few weeks ago a friend of ours had a fall, could no longer remain in her trusted surroundings and was banned to an unfamiliar apartment, deprived of mobility, settled by her daughters in the nearby city, where she probably will soon die of loneliness.

I am involved with the 128 bed Long-term care facility in our village as the sole male member of the community advisory committee. The waiting list there is 2 years for private care and even longer for semi-private.

Years ago a friend showed me the long-term care facilities in the Holland Homes in Brampton, and when for the first time I saw the women and men there, most having lost the mental segment of their humanity, tears sprang into my eyes: I wondered whether I too would end my life this way. For them it is THE FINAL PHASE.

WE ARE AFRAID

In 1992 I bought a book by Walter Brueggemann THE LAND. I started to read it in 1994, reread it in 2014, and last week I picked it up again and soon became engrossed in it again.

Its opening words are, “The sense of being lost, displaced and homeless is pervasive in our contemporary culture. The yearning to belong somewhere, to have a home, to be in a safe place, is a deep and moving pursuit.”

It is true: we increasingly are living in a Nation of Strangers, where the concept of “home” is disappearing. This is especially the case for ‘the end of life’ seniors, unable to remain in their trusted abode.

In his book Brueggemann points out that conventional Christianity always wants to talk about Yahweh and, in the process neglects the Land, while secular humanism always wants to talk about land and never of Yahweh.

Brueggemann places special emphasis on the people of Israel who, after having wandered in the desert for 40 years were afraid to settle in The Promised Land.

Basically their sojourn in the desert was quite comfortable: the Lord provided them with their daily bread, there always was a cloud hovering over them to keep them in the shade and, at night, served as a beacon of light. Their clothes and shoes did not wear out; they usually had plenty of water, and, when they ran short, Moses would intervene for them with Yahweh: no responsibilities, no real hardship. Oh yes, they complained once in a while, but generally, desert life was not all that bad.

So when they came to the Promised Land they hesitated, and Joshua, the new leader, had to give them a pep talk (Joshua 1: 9), “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

A new phase is always scary, that’s why Joshua (Joshua 1: 6, 7, 9) said, “Be strong and of good courage… only be strong and very courageous ….be not frightened”.

We prefer the old and familiar to the new and unproven, even when we know that change is necessary. C. S. Lewis once said, “Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
Jesus too had his bit to say on this, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are MANY who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it. (Matt. 7: 13-14)

Yes, we rather go to hell on the familiar road than to take “the road less traveled.”

And that brings me to today.

I subscribe to the weekly New Yorker. The January 22 issue started with an article on LAND, and what a sorry tale it was! If there ever was a complete disconnect between the USA government and the care for the 500 million acres of land it has been entrusted to preserve, it is now. Under the new Trump administration, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters, the only question is how fast these resources can be auctioned off.

By and large the church in North America too has no clue of stewardship and no idea that WE are the land. Right in the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis 3: 19, the Lord tells humanity, “You will eat your bread – provided by the earth – until you return to the ground, from which you are taken, for soil you are and to soil you shall return.”

Selling off the land for commercial exploitation is akin to suicide: witness today’s unstoppable Climate Change.

ARCTIC NEWS calculates that 2017 was significantly warmer than 2016. Also the storms, the floods, the fires, the weird weather all were at record levels. Trump and his trolls of planetary plunderers are pushing the globe to limits never before experienced.

You may remember that 1.5°C (or 2.7°F) was set at the Paris Agreement as a limit not to be crossed. The trend shows that we’ve meanwhile gone 1.6°C above pre-industrial level and look set to exceed the 2°C limit within years.

Fact is that the LAND is holy, but, since, by and large, we’ve split God from his creation in the mistaken notion that “we have dominion over land and sea”, we believe that we are the masters of the universe. However Jesus (Mark 10: 45) said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” As ‘servants’ of God we are ‘servants’ of creation as well. We belong to the whole universe: we are in a cosmic relationship.

BE NOT AFRAID

Just as Israel was afraid to enter the Promised Land so we too are afraid to prepare for the Promised Paradise. Just as the Israel nation roamed the desert and had become accustomed to be desert dwellers, endlessly traversing the sandy seas, especially since God rained manna from heaven every single day and a double portion before the Sabbath, so too in the Christian Church we are the equivalent of desert dwellers.

We too have become accustomed to the Sunday worship rhythm, the routine sermon, the singing of the hundreds of years old hymns, the one hour for which the entire large space of ‘the sanctuary’ is heated for a 168 hours week.

That the church is charged to prepare the people for the FINAL PHASE is hardly ever mentioned. Just as the roaming tribe of Hebrew people had become accustomed to the ‘easy life’, so Brueggemann writes, “It is the new land that creates the contrast and creates in Israel a sense of fear and hopelessness. It is the very land of promise, the purpose of the whole journey of faith, which causes the failure of nerve.”

The church today is no different. The sterility of the desert has been transplanted into the church. No wonder the church is losing members, especially through deaths, because very few new people join.

In the church I attend several members have left, preferring the desert of ‘HEAVEN ’ preaching and the sterility of the ‘RAPTURE LIE’ to the rich promise of the new creation. It pains me no end: Satan is the only winner here.

Back to Trump’s USA. Just imagine: Ryan Zinke, the new US secretary of the Interior, in his first act as the person in charge of almost a quarter of the USA territory, overturned a moratorium on new leases for coalmines on public land, slashed the size of several national monuments to allow more development, while encouraging more fracking, that highly polluting way to obtain oil.

Oh, that erroneous HEAVEN notion. It’s the most subtly pagan of all beliefs. Satan certainly scored a fantastic victory when he sold the church on the HEAVEN HERESY.

The Ten Commandments tell us, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” We do this all the time. God’s signature is on every creature. Both 1 Corinthians 10: 26 and Psalm 24: 1 shout identical truths, “The world is the Lord’s and everything in it”: everything, everything, no exceptions!!
By killing creation we are killing God. Trump and his cohorts are selling God down the drain in the name of Christianity.

Of course banning abortion saves some lives but the Trump regime, by abolishing climate regulations causes untold many more deaths. A report published in Lancet affirms that three times as many deaths are caused by pollution as by Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined.

The only good thing the Trump tragedy is doing is speeding up time.

THE FINAL PHASE

The final phase will prepare us for THE END, and will speed up THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM.

Here’s what 2 Peter 3: 12 says,
“Since everything will be destroyed, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the DAY OF THE LORD, and speed its coming.”

I am doing my bit there, by constantly hammering on this theme. The church should be doing that as well, but, by and large, it has forgotten THE MESSAGE, just as the church in Jesus’ day did.

TRUMP and his crew of creational traitors are, in the name of God, bent to destroy God and so speed up his coming.

Satan thought that he, by killing Christ on the cross, would forever rid the world of his opponent, but God used the death of his Son to bring about ETERNAL LIFE. In the same way the Satan in the White House, by speeding up the destruction of the earth speeds up the coming of THE DAY OF THE LORD.

There is a little condition attached to become ready for THE FINAL PHASE: “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the DAY OF THE LORD, and speed its coming”.

That is easier said than done. That wandering band of Hebrews, facing the Jordan, and about to enter the Promised Land, was afraid. That next phase would change their lives forever: no more easy street. They were on their own where only the old adage would apply: ORA ET LABORA, Pray and Work.

In our world, totally removed from nature, our food has become OIL: we spend TEN energy calories for ONE food calorie, while, where we live, we always need carbon-rich transport, which begs the question: “how in the world can we live HOLY AND GODLY LIVES?”

I constantly struggle with that. My life is fully engrossed with that problem.

Here’s where community comes in, the church really. I am proposing to the church we attend to convert the auditorium – 30-35 people in a 250 seat sanctuary – into assisted living apartments. Our church is across from the only food store in our village: living there could make it possible to live more HOLY and GODLY lives. The grounds of the church could feature a veggie garden, the roof could sport solar panels, the need for transportation could be cut drastically, and people would not need to be stacked up away from their roots, remaining where they live most of their lives. Will it happen? People are afraid.

WHY SO FEW?

For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it. (Matt. 7: 13-14)

Personal salvation always takes place as part and parcel of the salvation of the cosmos: they go hand in hand. We cannot love Jesus while consciously harming the cosmos for which he gave his life (John 3: 16).
Love for Jesus and love for the cosmos are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.

That’s what THE FINAL PHASE is all about.

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WHEN?

JANUARY 20 2018

WHEN?

“If you do not think about the future, you cannot have one,” the British author John Galsworthy wrote at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Little could Galsworthy expect that in that near future close to 10 percent of people then living on earth would die a violent death: wars alone would kill 123 million and a pandemic would prematurely cut short the lives of more than 50 million.

I know I am a doomsayer. Sorry about that. Just imagine: in my life time, 1928-2018, this short span of 90 years, the earth’s population increased from a mere 2 billion to close to 7.5 billion of ever more greedy creatures. The first billion took forever, not reached until about 1820. Then thanks to coal, greater hygiene and better nutrition doubling took only a bit more than 100 years. Then, like a rocket, it shot up to where it is today. The problem with rockets is not that they go up: it’s their down trajectory that is dangerous.

I clearly remember both my grandparents. I have a picture how my paternal grandfather, sitting on a two-wheeled-horse-drawn large box, in which he transported his groceries, made the rounds of his rural customers, often bartering groceries for eggs. I vividly can picture my OMA – my maternal grandmother – walking up to his carriage, and handing over dozens of fresh eggs – truly free-ranch – and receiving her sugar and tea and coffee, probably they only items she needed for the week. The rest of the diet was all homegrown: heaps of potatoes and – by our standards today – the meals saturated with animal fats. The other part of the noon meal always was butter-milk porridge, which I was allowed to sweeten with syrup. All cooked or heated on a woodstove in a separate building, the so-called stoke-hut, which also had an added eating room.

Altogether a life so different from ours – no electricity – that there really is no comparison. In my way of thinking this way of life was sustainable for ages to come. Today this is no longer the case. The way in which we now grow in numbers and add pollutants to the planet is the direct cause of the warming of the earth with fatal climatic changes.

The Paris Climate Accord to stop this destructive way of life is piously preached but, to satisfy the growing need for corporate profits, senior care and health maintenance, belies this aim because for all nations Economic Growth is the real goal. That this lead to the destruction of the biosphere and to increasing polluting of air, water and soil, is buried in statistic that nobody reads anyway.

The WHO – the World’s Health Organization – has revealed how 36 percent of all deaths by lung cancer, and 34 percent of all strokes can be directly traced to air pollution, but since these mostly occur in China and India, little attention is paid to these numbers. The Indian minister of the environment took note of these ugly numbers and his reaction was, “air pollution is a nuisance but nobody dies of it.” The terrible truth is that more than a million pass away prematurely every year there from the dirtiest air in the world.

When fires threaten wealthy enclaves in California, people are evacuated making it possible to extinguish the blazes and eliminate the cause. Fires in the Arctic regions, however, are not news items, yet these fires threaten to melt the methane there.

Every one tree that burns, is not only one less to absorb our Green House Gases, it also by burning, adds to CO2 in the air. Believe me, today the entire world is playing with FIRE. No wonder 2 Peter 3: 10 tells us that “the elements will be destroyed by fire.”

IS THE U.N. A USELESS BODY?

The U.N. wants to follow the rule that prevention is better than a cure, seeing how the globe is heating up through climatic changes, so they organized the first world-wide climate conference in 1995, held every year since then.

Since then thousands of people from all over the world have attended these meetings, causing more air pollution and the waste of millions of papers, but no concrete results: on the contrary, the situation now basically is beyond repair.

Take the 2016 Paris accord. Almost all world leaders were present to celebrate the conclusion of a climate accord in which the emission of the GHG – Green House Gases – CO2 – Carbon Dioxide – would be tackled in a unified approach, limiting Climate Change to no more than 1.5 Degrees Celsius.

One of the pitfalls of the Paris Accord was that the statistics concerning the CO2 emissions cited by the different countries were way out of whack, while the immense amount of GHG generated by airplanes and sea transportation, were not included.

Even worse, such gases as methane, untold many times more dangerous, were also not counted. So really, the so celebrated Paris Accord on Climate Change was nothing but an expensive farce, also because none of it was binding.

THE THREE LARGEST POLLUTERS: Russia, China and the USA.

When, after much haggling the Paris Climate Accord was finalized and the signing nations had to ratify the agreement, Climate experts from the U.N. already warned that, in order to attain the goal of an temperature increase of 1.5 Degrees Celsius, the agreed CO2 reductions would have to be increased by 2-3 times as much.
Of course this will never happen: instead CO2 emissions are rising, the heating of the globe accelerates and with it climate changes that speed up Methane emissions, that gas 100 times more lethal than plain car exhausts.

The true nature of the intentions of the world’s nations became even clearer when, in order to keep up the pressure, about a month ago, on December 12, an extension of the Paris Accord was held.

Now that the nations were forced to affirm their goals, America, with Trump in power, went AWOL, absent in body, mind and spirit, while Russia failed to show up. Putin did notify the UN body that Russia’s ratification of the Paris Climate Accord, would take years.
Of course we know from experience that often delay is simply an excuse of total inaction.

The Russians are not stupid. Much of the country is in the Northern regions which actually may benefit from the warming of the earth. It may open up navigation in the Polar Regions and also make exploitation for rich mineral treasures possible there.

Other countries, such as Poland and Australia, have large coal deposits and aren’t too eager to curtail CO2 emissions.

And then there is China.

China, the second largest economy in the world, after the USA, may soon pass its closest rival. China is doing the impossible: it is relocating its hundreds of millions of rural dwellers and moving them into gigantic cities. That means that its CO2 output is bound to increase, and its water- and air pollution will go up in spite of its pledge to decrease it. True, it is the world leader in solar energy but so far not one vehicle runs on pure renewable energy and is manufactured that way. With a growing middleclass and rising expectations, with the people aiming for more energy rich products, the good intentions to reduce GHG will be just that.

Because of growing urbanization China will need hundreds of new coal-fired generation stations, while its expertise in these matters will be exported to scores of other countries especially to Africa.

TREES, TREES, TREES.

The only piece of creation that can save us, the TREE is also under tremendous stress. Trees, as we all know, inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen, the stuff we need every second of our lives, part of the rule of three for life: three minutes without air – oxygen – three hours exposure to the elements, three days without water, three weeks without food. Thus it is in our own interest that we preserve forests everywhere. But, as always, greed is difficult to suppress.

Brazil has granted permits to cut down large tracks of the rainforests to make place for the growing of soy beans, which then are fed to cows whose urine and shit – now an acceptable word since Trump calls countries ‘shit holes’ – are the second highest source of methane in the world. Also the red meat itself is the major source of dietary diseases.

So if all this is tallied up: the cutting down of trees – reducing carbon sinks – promoting mechanized agriculture – adding to GHG – increasing the number of cattle – significantly upping methane output – and creating an end product that promotes cancer and heart attacks, it truly makes me wonder whether there is any sanity left in the world.

Goodbye birds, goodbye flowers, goodbye people.

All this adds up to the inevitable: the warming of the planet cannot be stopped: it will only accelerate. These International Climate Change agreements are a farce – they only make matters worse. Governments subsidize coal, natural gas and oil exploration to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, more than double what they allow for solar and wind energy. Nuclear energy is being abandoned as too costly, also because it offers possible terror targets.

But the climate conferences continue, of course: appearance of action needs to be preserved.

Then there is the Arctic.

Sam Canara writes THE ARCTIC NEWS. There the news is beyond frightening. While I am writing this, my outside temperature is Minus 15 Celsius. Guess what it is now in Alaska: temperatures there were as high as 18.5°C or 65.3°F on Jan. 14 and 15, 2018 in Metlakatla, Alaska. This is crazy, outrageous, unnatural and very, very dangerous for us.

There’s an island between the top of Norway and the Arctic called SVALBARD. The sea surface near Svalbard was as warm as 15.9°C or 60.8°F on January 12, 2018, while waves as high as 13.04 m or 42.8 feet battered the North Atlantic along Norway’s coast all the way to Svalbard on January 15, 2018.

Strong storms batter the ice and pulverize it, exposing the seas to more heat. On January 16, 2018 100% relative humidity was recorded over the Arctic Ocean. The Jet Stream reached speeds as high as 426 km/h or 264 mph on January 15, 2018.

In conclusion, as the Arctic is warming up faster than the rest of the world, Jet Streams are getting more wavy, resulting in more extreme weather events. Wind speed accelerates over warmer oceans, pushing more heat into the Arctic Ocean, threatening to cause eruptions of huge amounts of methane from the Arctic Ocean seafloor.
Once that process is in full swing – and it will come soon near a location like yours or mine – the population of the world which saw a rocketing increase in my life-time from a mere 2 billion in 1928 to close to 7.5 billion today, will see a reduction of many, many billions, not over a time-span of 90 years, but within 9 years: it’s the rocket’s down trajectory that is dangerous.

It’s not a question of “If”. It’s a question of “When.”

Sam Canara expects an increase in the world’s temperature of 10 degrees Celsius once the Arctic Methane starts exploding, which could happen within 5 years.

We are trapped into a vicious circle of positive feedback: the warmer it gets, the warmer it gets, the stormier it gets, the stormier it gets. What happens in the Arctic, what happens in Australia –heat- what happens in Africa drought will very soon happen everywhere.
We are dangerously ignorant of our own ignorance: human population increase, degradation of land, depletion of resources, accumulation of wastes, pollution of all kinds, abuse of technology, destruction of biodiversity, all this constitutes a threat unknown to previous generations.

The 20th century was the bloodiest one ever. The 21st one will top it by many more multiples.

“If you do not think about the future, you cannot have one.”

The only viable future lies in the Coming Kingdom of God: Creation Regained!!

Unless you prepare for this NOW, there won’t be a future for you.

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END TIMES

January 13 2018

END TIMES

When bluster and lies find a ready acceptance in the nation, then total collapse is at hand.

I found the above line in my INCOHERENT UTTERANCES file where I store odd thoughts that strike me as different. I believe these sayings are called APHORISMS.

Yes, bluster and lies rule the world today, and yes, total collapse is imminent, in spite of some claiming that we never had it so good, which is true for perhaps 5% of the world population, but not for the 95% of the 7.5 billion of us mortals.
I count myself among the privileged 1%: debt-free, considerable assets, 20 offspring spread over three generations: all doing well. Considering all our blessings, including our faith in Jesus Christ and in his forthcoming return, very few people in the world are as well off as my wife and I are, which makes us part of a tiny, tiny fraction of One Percent.

It’s so true, we live secure and need not worry about the future. That does not mean that there are no worries. I know that Jesus tells us (Matthew 6: 34), “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Well, I believe that tomorrow has come: time to worry.

Look at Matthew 24, that infamous chapter telling us about THE END TIMES.
7 Nation will rise against nation.
(happening now).
8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Birth pains occur when a new order is about to come. That is now.)
9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
(Christians suffer everywhere.)
10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.
(That is now).
11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
(Look at the Rapture fraud, the Oprah phenomenon and the Prosperity Gospel).
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(There’s where the Internet comes in; more about that later).
15 So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand.
(Only now we can understand this when in the Holy Place – God’s very own creation – we observe the pollution, the die-off, Climate Change, dying seas, Arctic Melting, 80% of insects gone, vital to all ecosystems).
21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again.
\
(We are beginning to see this happening. And it will all start with a gigantic earthquake: see below.)

By the way this chapter – Matthew 24 – also contains an correction for the RAPTURE lie. Verse 39 clearly indicates that THE SINNERS are taken away and – just as Noah – God’s people are LEFT BEHIND.

END TIMES IN THE NEWS

This week’s title I found in the January 6 NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. Its front page had only a few words: END TIMES followed by: Fire; Earthquakes; Rising Seas; Storms; Mass Extension; Doom: a perfect painting of the verse 21 just quoted.
This January 6 issue discusses books related to the growing incidence of natural and human-made disasters, mimicking almost word for word what is found in Matthew 24, where we also find a vivid depiction of The End Times, mentioning of wars, famines, and earthquakes, especially earthquakes.

A very strange prophecy.

And then, out of the blue there suddenly appears the prophecy:
“The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Verse 14 above).

That is so unusual. Why? Because no church, no religion, no organized movement anywhere preaches this Gospel of the Kingdom. So what’s happening? How can this Bible text come true?

I believe the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom has nothing to do with the Bible. After all, the church has lost the Biblical vision of the Kingdom, which you may know, involves the restoration of God’s pristine creation.

No, the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom is totally a negative proclamation, refers to the global destruction by human hands.
When the FLOOD came, with Noah, then too The Gospel of the Kingdom was preached in a negative way, but then God promised never to do that sort of thing again: now WE are the agents of destruction! WE bring on the world-wide preaching of The Gospel of the Kingdom, by US humans destroying the Kingdom of Men.

And Matthew 24 is not the only place in the Bible that foretells tremendous global disasters. Revelation 6 tells this too. There, in that mysterious book of REVELATION, the ultimate future is revealed.

Revelation is all about opening up what is hidden. In Chapter 6 the Sixth seal is opened, introducing the immense cosmic disasters the entire world is about to undergo. It relates how an enormous earthquake takes place, the SUN darkened as if a balaclava had been slipped over it, while the MOON turns blood red, and the stars fall to the earth (verse 12). Utterly frightening! Every mountain and island is affected. Billions die and cities are totally in ruins.

Revelation 6: 12 is not the only place relating this event: throughout the Bible we find mention of this. Amos: “the whole land will rise like the river it will be stirred up and then sink.” Ezekiel 38: 19, “In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel”, and Joel 2: 10 too, “Before them the earth quakes.”

No wonder: we, by burning fossil fuels, have thrown the earth out of kilter: trillions of tons of ice on both poles have melted and thrown the precarious balance of the earth out of whack.

No, the church has long compromised the Gospel: it will not preach THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM. This time the SERMONS on that topic will come from secular channels: books, as the New York Times did this past week, magazines, film and TV, and the Internet, of course.

Take the Guardian this past week, “We know what happens when the world ends. Well, we’ve seen it on TV. The Walking Dead shows how our most primal forms emerge as survival eclipses existence. Societal collapse ignites our desire for normality, à la The Stand. Vultures swoop down, aiming to refashion what’s left in their own image, as we see on Under the Dome. And, like The Leftovers’ Kevin and Nora, we ask why we were spared, and whether or not that makes us the lucky ones. But, in all of these series, that “extinction-level event” came as a surprise, a thief in the night. What if we saw it coming? Would we be any more prepared? Would we be any better off? These are just some of the questions posed by Hard Sun, a “pre-apocalyptic” series co-produced by BBC One and Hulu.”

Some even tie it to a time frame: “The earth’s forthcoming devastation”, says David Bowie, English Song writer, “happens in five years.” He said that before he died last year.

Sam Carana, of Arctic News, claims that when the Arctic Methane melts (and it is starting) the world’s temperature will increase by 10 degrees C. by 2026 and everything will burn to a crisp, as 2 Peter 3: 10 also tells us.

Already people are dying off in droves, thanks again to Fossil Fuels. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 36 percent of all deaths from Lung Cancer and 34 percent of all strokes are blamed on Air Pollution. Add to this the increasing incidence of forests fires as the world warms, and the air we breathe will kill ever more of us.

The Gospel of the Kingdom tells us that you can’t fool around with God’s Primary Word, his creation.

More bad news: back to Revelation 6 and this time INFLATION.

With arable land disappearing, and water either too little or too much, prepare for INFLATION, and Revelation 6 predicts this.

Here is the relevant passage in my own words:
Immediately after the second horse, right after the breaking of the third seal, the rider of the black horse arrives. His intentions are understandable. The rider carries in his hands a scale, and while he proceeds, there is a voice that says: “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages.”

Both that scale and these words signify poverty, hunger and inflation. Money loses its value and the costs of the normal daily needs become higher and higher. A quart of wheat was about what one person needed to stay alive, which meant that a laborer by working could only earn enough to keep himself from starving, but not his family. Were he to use barley, instead of wheat, the situation would be more manageable, but even then it would be impossible to maintain a family. The prices mentioned here are about eight times the prices normal in those days, my source tells me.

Of course this is bound to happen with the “Abomination” of which Daniel speaks and Jesus quotes in Matthew 24.

Food depends on two items: good soil and plenty of water. Both will become in short supply while expectations rise in tandem with a rapid population growth.

More secular prophecy:
“The Earth’s biodiversity is under attack. We would need to travel back over 65 million years to find rates of species loss as high as we are witnessing today.” (James Dyke, The Ecosystem Canaries, Which Act as Warning Signs of Collapse, The Guardian, Aug. 19, 2016). Biodiversity increases resilience: more species means each individual species is better able to withstand impacts.

Think of decreasing biodiversity as popping out rivets from an aircraft. A few missing rivets here or there will not cause too much harm. But continuing to remove them threatens a collapse in ecosystem functioning. Forests give way to desert. Coral reefs bleach and then die.

It’s already happening! Imagine flying in an aircraft while watching the rivets pop, one by one.

That’s what we are doing with PLANET EARTH. Today decline is signaled by any number of drivers such as (1) changing climate, (2) declining environmental productivity, (3) disease, (4) warfare, (5) the TRUMP regime and (6) combinations thereof.

COMPUTER COLLAPSE.

This past week the news has focused on our computer-driven world: we have built the digital world too rapidly. It was constructed layer upon layer, and many of the early layers were never meant to guard so many valuable things: our personal correspondence, our finances, involving the very infrastructure of our lives.
But design shortcuts and other techniques for optimization — in particular, sacrificing security for speed or memory space — may have made sense when computers played a relatively small role in our lives. But those early layers are now emerging as enormous liabilities. The vulnerabilities announced last week have been around for decades, perhaps lurking unnoticed by anyone or perhaps long exploited.

This means that the computer on which also my blog relies, will someday crash beyond repair, just as our economic empire will tumble to disappear into the nothingness which it already represents.
Then Revelation 18: 11 will become reality, “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their merchandize anymore.”

We have created a phantom world: The Human Kingdom will melt away without a trace.

“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”
(2 Peter 3: 13)

“In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.” Hosea 2: 18.

THAT’LL BE THE DAY!!

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