March 28, 2005
Hello from the Safe Zone
Normally, all members of the military who deploy anywhere to the Middle East are regarded as going into harm's way. From mid-January until mid-May, this has been my situation.
Because only a small portion of the U.S. military is in Iraq, most of us are stationed at bases that are very safe. The fear of terrorist attacks has caused all bases to be heavily fortified with a massive amount of security.
Many people have written me saying they are praying that the Lord will protect me until I return to the States. Because I firmly believe prayer is a precious commodity, I would much rather have people interceding for the website than for little old me.
If anyone should be praying for other people's safety, it should be me. Every time I turn on the cable news or check the headlines online, I see some new report of another heinous crime taking place in America. In the space of single month, the U.S. has had three mass murder sprees:
March 21: Teenage gunman Jeff Weise killed nine people at the Red Lake Indian Reservation in far northern Minnesota. The victims included the gunman's grandfather; the grandfather's wife; a school security guard; a teacher; and five other students. At least 14 others were wounded. This shooting was the worst U.S. school massacre since the 1999 Columbine incident.
March 12: Terry Ratzmann walked into a church service at the Brookfield Sheraton hotel in Wisconsin and shot dead seven people before turning the gun on himself. He fired a total of 22 rounds from a 9 mm handgun.
March 11: In Atlanta, Georgia at the Fulton County Courthouse, Brian Nichols grabbed a gun from a deputy and killed Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau. Nichols also is accused of murdering Sheriff's Sgt. Hoyt Teasley outside the courthouse and federal agent David Wilhelm during his attempt to elude authorities. Nichols was captured two days later.
I think the reason we are seeing all these killings is because demonic forces are sweeping over the land. The level of violence is directly related to our nation's spiritual health.
It might be a good time to ask why a Christian nation like the U.S. is so violent.
In Europe, only about 5 percent of the population is "born again." In the U.S., nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population claims to be "born again." Considering that the Bible says believers are a blessing to a nation, it might seem odd that the U.S. is so violent.
The reason America is plagued by brutal crime is largely due to the devil focusing his attention on this nation. He knows if he can destroy America, the rest of world will easily fall his way.
This is the same reason there is so much unrest in Iraq. While Saddam Hussein was in power, Iraq was generally free of violence. Jesus said there is no need for Satan casting out Satan (Mat. 12:26), and Saddam was certainly a fateful servant of his evil master.
When America overthrew Saddam and introduced democracy to the region, I knew the devil would do everything in his power to fight against the encroachment of freedom into his Islamic domain.
Anyone hoping that the severity of violence will eventually awaken people to demand action should think again. There is no limit to how desensitized the public can get to violence.
In Iraq, nearly every day some type of terrorist bombing kills or injures scores of people. After each attack, the body parts are picked up, the
vehicle wreckage is hauled away, and the streets are swept clean of blood and broken glass. The survivors have no choice but to continue on with their daily lives.
The lack of action is what feeds violence. I’m amazed at how passive the American population has been about these mass killings.
Violence is a key indication of the end times. It was man’s inhumane nature that motivated God to destroy the world with the Great Flood. The Tribulation will be a flood of fire, and violence will likely be the reason God will once again pour out His wrath. Noah escaped The Flood in a boat; Christians will escape the tribulation in the rapture.
People’s inability to sense the moral warnings signs will be a major reason they will find themselves left behind. Because this world is hopelessly corrupt, believers need to guard themselves from becoming too attached to it.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 2:1-5).
Death on Demand
Passions were inflamed across America over the issue of the Terri Schiavo case. My own household members were up in arms, with the question at the heart of the rage: How can a so-called civilized society starve a totally helpless human being to death? Taking a person off machinery that keeps her blood flowing and oxygen going into her, because her brain can no longer generate those functions, is one thing. But, depriving a person of food and water when the brain continues to keep the heart, lungs, and other vital organs functioning –that’s murder.
Those who argued from the other side of the issue used as part of their “reasoning” something like this: It is torture to keep someone alive when he or she has no chance of survival. And, the husband, not the parents, has the legal right to determine the fate of his wife, based upon her once supposedly telling him she would want to be allowed to die in such a case. It is his right, even his duty, to make the decision for death over life –went the mantra.
The doctors, at least those at the heart of the case, seem to agree that Mrs. Schiavo was brain dead, for all practical purposes. She couldn’t think, feel, eat, laugh, cry, or do any of the things that make up quality of life. Yet the argument for removing her from feeding and hydrating (drinking) tubes–she didn’t need complicated, expensive life support systems like ventilators for breathing, or devices to keep her heart beating—was that it was torturing her to keep her alive in that vegetative state.
Relevant questions to ask, then, are, if she had no brain function:
1) how did her heart go on beating apart from machinery, and her lungs go on breathing; and,
2) how can one be tortured, if there is no brain function to feel the pain of torture?
Death on demand has become the cause of those who want to stop the torture; I will agree that is their goal. I differ with them on who they, in the deepest region of their “reasoning,” think needs relief.
Those with the mindset that demands one die when he or she cannot defend his or her own right to go on living use the U.S. and state courts to do their bidding. This has been the case since Roe v. Wade was ruled the law of the land by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. More than 41 million babies in the womb have lost their lives to abortion since then. The “torture” involved here, in this writer’s view, is the “torture” of inconvenience suffered by those who make the demand that death be carried out.
Terry Schiavo was in the way. She had to go so life could be more convenient for others. This is different than the deaths of those 41 million-plus children in their mother’s wombs only in that the mothers and doctors involved didn’t first –in most instances—have to get permission of a number of judges to rip the babies from their life support systems. The babies had no legal recourse at all.
The “torture” endured by the people in favor of her death by starvation in the Schiavo case and the “torture” endured by the majority of the pro-choice people involved in the millions of abortion cases was “inconvenience.” The victims of death on demand–with the approval and assistance of our “civilized” society’s legal process--die as sacrifices to the gods of personal convenience.
The prophecy by Paul the apostle should ring in the conscience of anyone who will hear God’s Word for our time: “Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For [people] shall be lovers of their own selves…without natural affection…” (2 Tim. 3: 1-2, 3).
Death on demand is indeed a “perilous times” issue of our nation, in what looks to be the closing days of this age. All of the legal gymnastics and gyrations of situational ethics, moral relativism, and pseudo-compassionate mumbo-jumbo coming from the dark side of fallen man does not hold up to the piercing truth that Satan is the progenitor of death; God is the Creator of all life.
Death on demand, proclaimed to be accomplished for some good reason, brings a warning from the Word of the Almighty that should cause trembling within the hearts of such perpetrators: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” ( Isa. 5: 20-21).
The Babylon/Gog Factors
I read with interest that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin soon. The story reads, in part:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Israel at the end of April, the first visit ever by a Russian leader to the Jewish state, Israeli officials said Tuesday.
Israeli-Russian relations have improved greatly in the past 15 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, which supported Israel's Arab enemies…
During the historic trip Putin will meet with Sharon and other senior Israeli officials for talks on advancing Middle East peace talks, [according to one Israeli official]… Russia is a member of the so-called Quartet of international mediators for the Middle East peacemaking, along with the United States, the United Nations and the European Union…
Ties between the two countries have been strained in recent months over a Russian decision to supply Israel's arch-foe, Syria, with advanced missiles…”(Newsmax.com, Wires, Thursday, March 24).
With Putin’s and Russia’s venturism as of late into helping, militarily, Syria, Iran, and even North Korea to some extent, one must question the wisdom of Israeli leadership.
Put in context of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, and the ancient account of Israel’s inviting potential enemies into town (Jerusalem) to see the treasures (read the results of that invitation to officials of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon in 2 Kings chapters 24 and 25, Jeremiah, chapters 39 and 52, and other places) and you wonder what is in the offing, prophetically.
King Zedekiah would almost certainly advise against getting too chummy with the man who –it is possible—might turn out to be the character Ezekiel the prophet called “Gog.”
Many other signals that appear to be stage-setting for the tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week) look to be on the table of prophecy yet future. The moment when Gog –most likely the Russian leader at the time of the Gog-Magog attack of Ezekiel 38 and 39—gets the”hooks” in his “jaws” might not be too far ahead in the haze of end-time history.