Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

20 June, 2011

The Cult of Death

Rapture Ready has always had an uneasy relationship with the liberal media. Over the years, we have done dozens of interviews and all but a few of them have resulted in a news story that paints the end-time message in a negative light. The press is 90 percent liberal, and it sees us as obstacles to the creation of a utopian society. I have been surprised by positive comments that acknowledge our dedication, but I'm sure that if they had their way, we would be sent off to some reeducation camps.

One of the liberal media's most common objections is the belief that prophecy people worship death. They don't understand why we should be so happy about the world coming to an end. The Bible does plainly say that destruction is coming to the earth, and as a result of the Tribulation carnage, man will become as rare as fine gold.

What the press fails to realize is that we already have arrangements to take the last bus out of town before the world is swallowed up by divine judgment. Before God pours His wrath on planet earth, he is going to rapture every born-again Christian up to heaven.

Even in rare cases in which Christians do take their own lives, they typically do so with the hope of their existence continuing in the afterlife. When Jim Jones told his followers to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, they fully expected to wake up at the pearly gates of heaven.

I think atheists are the ones who belong to the cult of death. I have read the views of several leading atheists, and have found an almost universal embrace of death. For them, life is just meant to come to a sudden end.

They see death as a necessary function of evolution. Without it, genetic ingenuity would slow down and the population would reach a level of stagnation. If our monkey ancestors lived for hundreds of years, we would still be hanging from trees by our tails.

Biologist Richard Dawkins says we have no need to complain about dying because most people will never have a chance to be born. If we managed to defy such massive odds to be born into this world, it would be foolhardy to so willingly surrender such a precious gift.

I see this welcoming attitude toward death as a form of insanity. The desire for self preservation is one of the signs we use to measure the soundness of one's mind. I don't regret depriving some worm of a good meal. They don't even have enough intelligence to say, “Boy, Todd tastes good.”

Atheists' cheeriness about the end of life extends to the second death. Even though they don’t believe in a hell, most express a bizarre willingness to take a swan dive into the lake of fire. Pat Condell is a well-known atheist on YouTube. In one of his latest videos, he said, “So can I say to the people who have said they are praying for me, 'Don’t do it. I’m beyond redemption. I categorically reject God. I wholeheartedly deny the Holy Spirit. I’m resigned to damnation. And I’m absolutely fine with it.'”

If there is no God to grant us an afterlife, atheists should be the main cheerleaders of an effort to find immortality through research. One of them should be the Jerry Lewis of natural causes. "Yes, please donate so we can find a cure for what is responsible for 100 percent of non-accidental deaths."

I remember hearing, in my early teens, a scientist talking about the future of medicine. He said that some people living today may never die. Three decades later, I don't see any signs of his prediction coming true. The more we study the chemical processes of life, the more uncertain we become of how it all works. We are still unable to replicate even the simplest living thing in the lab.

The incredible advances in the field of electronics has far outstripped the progress in medical science. We have found the components that make up the code of life, but we change it to defeat death. Our sin nature is the most likely factor preventing us from achieving this goal. We are under a curse that only God can lift.

There is hope for people who wish to gain eternal life. The greatest promise made in the Bible was when God said, "I will give you eternal life." Jesus paid the price of allowing our bodies to become immune to death. In order to receive that gift of immortality, all we need to do is ask for it.

"Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he Live" (John 11:25).

"And this is the Record, that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath Life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life" (1 John 5:11-12).

-- Todd

End-Times Signals

Two end-of-the-age signals in particular punctuate the news this week. Both portend dire things to come. Each, however, at the same time, provides comfort at–at least, to those who are looking for Christ’s Second Coming.

While there are prophetic indicators in every direction one looks, one signal I find especially fascinating as well as portentous is the tightening noose of government around our lives. Such intrusion is threatening for the obvious reasons. My fascination stems from the fact that it is being carried out with such ease. Those doing the intruding are able to make a seemingly legitimate case for the noose’s tightening--a case against which it’s hard to argue.

We don’t have to search out the Washington, DC, basements of conspiracy theorists or the deep, caligionous cabals of the Bilderbergers to find evidence of the strangling of freedom. We have only to consider what’s going on in good ol’ hometown USA.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The government of a Midwest college town is now requiring the city's businesses and apartment buildings to post their keys outside, so authorities can enter the properties "in case of emergency." According to the Cedar Falls City Council, the plan to require property owners to post keys in designated lockboxes – that city officials can open with a master key – is a justified way to allow the fire department and other authority’s access without breaking down doors, especially in cases of false alarms. To many Cedar Falls citizens, however, giving the city keys to their businesses and homes is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment's private property rights and a plan fraught with potential for abuse. (Drew Zahn, "Police State, USA: Government Demands Keys to Your Kingdom," WorldNetDaily, 6/13/11)

This is not a conspiracy “theory,” but a local government already putting legal shoe-leather to their intentions of “helping” the citizenry of a small city within the Hawkeye caucus state. The mind leaps backward in time, from what such government “concern” might mean in the future for small-town America to a news item from the same organization almost two years ago:

A newly released Rand Corporation report proposes the federal government create a rapid deployment "Stabilization Police Force" that would be tasked with "shaping an environment before a conflict" and restoring order in times of war, natural disaster or national emergency. But civil libertarians are worried just exactly what the force would do, domestically or overseas. Page 16 of the 213-page report says the new elite unit's purpose depends on where it is and who would be in command. "The answer to this question (about its purpose) depends on the situation into which an SPF might be inserted. The SPF could be used for missions such as: shaping an environment before a conflict; law enforcement duties in an active conflict environment; or security, stability, transition and reconstruction (SSTR) operations after a conflict. It could operate as an independent entity under a U.S. ambassador or a U.N. Senior Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG), or as a force element reporting to a Joint Task Force (JTF) commander," the report states. The purpose statement doesn't say where the new unit would be deployed. ("Army-sponsored Report Suggests New 'Police Force' Domestic Agents Could Be Used in 'Shaping an Environment Before a Conflict,'" WorldNetDaily, 1/20/10, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=122533)

That report from a year and a half ago went on to suggest that such a force would almost certainly be used in the U.S. to supplement martial law enforcement in case of civil chaos.

One expert in the study of government control of civilians during times of unrest said the report leads him to believe the goal is power, and that a major springboard for such a power grab comes from the economy.

"Conditions have been intentionally created within the United States which makes some kind of chaotic catastrophe very likely. This event could be anything the mind of man can dream up due to the overwhelming public debt and huge deficit which is budgeted to grow by trillions over the next few years," the expert said.

Keep in mind that statement was made nearly two years ago. We are seeing the beginning of unrest from just such a building economic threat. It is unclear where the proposed domestic civilian control force stands, but those who seek ever-increasing power and authority never let up in their quest. The lust for power is built, it seems, into the fallen nature of man.

Perhaps the next arena we can look for in which a power grab will emerge is that of the Internet. The current cyberspace chaos created by the hackers is bound to bring out the controllers.

A shadowy group of hackers behind a string of recent cyberattacks claimed to have breached the US Senate website and taken internal data. The Senate Sergeant at Arms, responsible for congressional security, confirmed there had been an intrusion into the server hosting the public website, Senate.gov, but said no sensitive information was compromised.

The hacker group, which goes by the name of "Lulz Security," published files online at lulzsecurity.com said to have been swiped from Senate.gov.

"This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov--is this an act of war, gentlemen?" Lulz Security said in a statement.

"We don't like the US government very much," the group added. "Their sites aren't very secure” (Jewel Samad, "Hackers Breach U.S. Senate Website, Yahoo! News Network).

All business transactions–meaning the world economy—is headed toward a paperless, cashless, and unified means of monetary transaction. Additionally, governments desperately desire to invoke taxes to relieve the chaos that shortfalls are creating and will create in the near future.

There is no doubt, in my thinking, that the Internet is about to have some heavy cyberspace chains attached in very short order. Ultimately, Antichrist’s regime will be a hybrid Internet, with a form of electronic funds transfer governing in some way that will give the Beast absolute control of all buying and selling (Revelation 13:16-18).

The second news topic, and one of even more important to the end-times picture than that of growing governmental intrusion in America, is the European Union (EU) inserting itself more heavily into Israel’s business. The news story cuts to the heart of the end of the age from the perspective of Bible prophecy.

Following a French initiative to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority by convening a Middle East peace conference in Paris, the European Union is now advocating an international peace plan as an alternative to a unilateral Palestinian plan to secure state recognition at the UN in September.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, called for the urgent convening of the Middle East Quartet. The Quartet--the U.S., EU, UN and Russia--would gather as a precursor for support for a peace [based upon President Barack Obama’s 1967 borders suggestion]. (Barak Ravid, "EU pushing peace plan based on Obama's '1967 borders' speech," Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News. 6/14/11)

Many Bible prophecy students have long believed that Europe is the reviving Roman Empire out of which will emerge “the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26-27). The Beast, as Antichrist is called, will confirm a covenant of peace for seven years with Israel, and, in effect, with the other nations of the world, according to the prophet Daniel. The EU and Israel being at the center of this drive to institute a humanistic peace plan is the number-one signal that Christ is now at the door, readying to shout “come up hither!” (Rev 4:1-2).