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


Dec 10, 2012

Reefer Madness Goes Mainstream

One of the most amazing results of the November election is the achievements of the pro-marijuana lobby. I was totally shocked when I learned that Washington and Colorado became the first two states to decriminalize and regulate the possession of cannabis. At first, I thought it was just another measure to allow for medical marijuana.

Tommy Chong, best known for his role in the movie Up in Smoke, predicted that the November 6 votes will have a ripple effect on the rest of the country: "Washington and Colorado are just the toe into the water. The whole body’s following," said Chong.

The new rules have caused the local law enforcement to adapt a rather cavalier attitude about pot smoking. The Seattle police department had this message on its website: "The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to."

You still can't legally buy marijuana in Washington. You have to be over the age of 21 to possess 1 ounce of the drug, up to 16 ounces of cannabis-infused goods like brownies or cookies, or up to 72 ounces in liquid form. In order for a pot retailer to open up, there would need to be some type of agreement with the federal government, which still has a law banning its possession in all 50 states.

I'm sure our progressive President Barack Obama is all cool about looking the other way. The question is: What will our Drug Enforcement Administration do with itself? In our effort to turn our nation into a police state, we now have 11,000 people working at the DEA. Maybe in a few years, these agents will be busting into people's homes to confiscate illegal Bibles.

One factor that has helped weaken the restrictions on marijuana has been the development of products that are chemically similar to banned drugs, but are not yet illegal themselves. There are over 50 chemicals that are commonly sold as herbal incenses or bath salts. Whenever legislators would ban one substance, the sellers would create another product that would skirt the law.

The greatest driving force behind the effort to make marijuana legal is the stunning ability of the movement's leadership. Years ago, groups like NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) had about as much legitimacy as the Flat Earth Society. At some point, the potheads from the sixties got replaced by a new generation of advocates who are skillfully using the legal system to gnaw away at laws banning marijuana.

Polls show growing support decriminalizing marijuana. Years ago, polls would only get about 30 percent of the respondents who are for decriminalization. Today, over 50 percent of the general population is for legalizing pot. That number jumps to nearly 70 percent for the people under 30.

The next focus of the pro-marijuana folks is the New England states. They've already softened up the ground with recent victories. In Rhode Island, a new law will soon eliminate criminal charges for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a $150 civil fine. Likewise, in Maine, a 2009 law makes the possession of marijuana, up to 2 ½ ounces, punishable by a civil fine ranging from $350 to $1,000. I'm sure that by the 2014 race, every New England state will have a referendum to put them on par with Washington and Colorado.

America's love affair with drugs has been extracting a huge cost for our southern neighbor, Mexico. On December 11, 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels. With nearly 50,000 Mexicans having been killed in the resulting violence, it was already clear that the war was lost. Now that American voters have given the thumbs-up to more drugs, the Mexican government is starting to wave the white flag.

I don't think our nation could survive the legalization of drugs. There was once a time when anyone could walk into a drugstore and buy a bottle of opium or heroin. Marijuana was just a weed. We didn't have drug crimes because people knew the abuse of these drugs was contrary to biblical values.

When someone says our nation is going to pot, it's not just the leafy green stuff that's to blame. We are seeing a moral collapse on a thousand fronts that will lead us right to Tribulation judgment. We, as believers, need to do our best to combat the forces of darkness. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, the Lord will want to know what role we played in combating this disaster.

"Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences" (2 Corinthians 5:9-11).

--Todd


Damascus and Doomsday

Here we are approaching the middle of December 2012, and prophetic possibilities are popping all around us. Israel is in the middle of being pressured–as part of dealing with the attacks by Hamas--to divide God’s land, meaning that Joel 3:2 is on the cusp of coming to pass. The "covenant made with death and hell" of Isaiah chapter 28 might not be far distant in the making.

Paul’s "perilous times" (2 Timothy 3:1-5) words describe American culture and society to a "T," as they say. The "days of Noah" are here, with God’s message of repentance being mocked by rebels of a judgment-bound world. Debased human behavior like in the days of Lot proliferates, so that it now seems to be more the norm than the aberrant.

Many within the ranks of those who are antagonistic to or who ignore the God of Heaven seem to instinctively sense something ominous is brewing. Something isn’t right, and a visceral fear streams just beneath the surface of civility. The behavior of mankind–especially in America—demands correction of some sort, although neither the problem nor the correction can be discerned. A reprobate mind like that forewarned in Romans 1 prevents clear analysis in trying to understand the matters involved.

Ominous predictions like the prophecies of the long-dead French seer Nostradamus pique the interest of many every time his name is mentioned. The “prophecies” of the long-extinct Mayan shamans grab at the fearful wonderment of many, while the date of December 21, 2012, grows ever nearer. In the minds of some, at least, a nebulous justice of some sort must demand a penalty for the base things infecting this generation. Guilt feelings fester in the collective consciousness to a degree.

Things going on in the Middle East trouble these who are unsure about the source and the reason for their uneasiness. Israel is most often given by mainstream press outlets as the number-one culprit in fomenting hostilities in that incendiary part of the world. However, the usually-pointed-at Israel doesn’t seem an underlying cause of things taking place in Syria, with the massacring of his fellow Syrians by dictator Bashar al-Assad.

There is good reason for fear of things developing in Damascus. It is a city of biblically prophetic import like only two others. Jerusalem is slated for both great turmoil and magnificent glorification, according to Bible prophecy. Babylon–whether the actual city within Iraq or whether figurative, as given in Revelation chapter 18--will suffer destruction as none other in history.

Damascus is prophetically scheduled for similar devastation. With all other signs of the return of Jesus Christ on the end-times horizon, the current developments in this, the oldest occupied city on the planet, is most relevant for those who are "watchmen on the wall." The fate of the Syrian capital just might be nearly the top indicator of how near is the Rapture of the church.

The verse of great interest among those who watch for Christ’s return is, of course, the following: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).

According to the signals given in prophetic Scripture, the present generation of Earth dwellers looks to be in the last of the last days before the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming--the removal of all born-again believers from Planet Earth. This prophetic utterance by the prophet Isaiah has recently and dramatically arisen to prominence amid all of the other indicators pointing to the end of days. Damascus’ destruction fits somewhere within the general time frame of the very end of the age. Whether we have reached that parentheses in God’s prophetic program is the question, when considering news of the current tumult in Syria.

The Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad, it is thought by some of the most in-the-know diplomatic types, senses that his time is about up. He will soon go the way of, at worst, Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi, and at best, Hosni Mubarak. Many of the "experts” believe al-Assad will choose to bring the entire Syrian people down with him rather than abdicate rulership or flee to escape his comeuppance.

The international community powers that be view warily al-Assad’s activities within his capital city and nation. He is feared to have had weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical weapons, stockpiled for years--his armory the beneficiary, for example, of much of Saddam Hussein’s chemical arsenal, once that dictator realized he was about finished as Iraq’s evil tormentor.

White House spokesman Jay Carney weighed in on behalf of the Obama administration with regard to how Bashar Al-Assad is making troubling moves as his demise seems to be closing in: "We believe that with the regime's grip on power loosening with its failure to put down the opposition through conventional means, we have an increased concern about the possibility of the regime taking the desperate act of using its chemical weapons," he said.

Al-Assad has certainly witnessed what happens to former tyrants in his part of the world in recent times. The question is not without merit. Might the Syrian dictator himself invoke his own “Samson option,” of sorts, and become the instrument of prophecy in making Damascus the "ruinous heap" it is destined to become?


I again want to urge you to come to Dallas January 4-6 to participate in Future Congress II.

 

Never have indicators of Biblically Prophetic relevance been more in the headlines. Future Congress II will help us discern the troubling, although exciting, issues and events unfolding around us. I’ve not seen such a forum more organized to better present where we are on God’s Prophetic Timeline.

 

Todd and I would like to meet with you and personally discuss these matters as our nation and world heads into unchartered end times waters. We plan to set aside a time and place during the meetings to meet with those of you who come to Rapture Ready for Biblical prophecy news and information. Bring your thoughts on these things and your questions. Invite friends, especially those of you who live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

 

Email me if you plan to come at wtjames1@swbell.net

 

 

Make your plans to participate in Future Congress II today!

 

--Terry