REFLECTING ON OUR TIMES
by Fred May
November 2015 was significant. It seems to signal an irreversible historical shift, globally. Scores of people, innocent civilians, died on the streets of Paris in a ‘war’ they never signed up for. They were simply minding their own business but in the ‘wrong’ place. The same thing happened in Lebanon, Kenya and later in Mali. These coordinated and well-planned attacks could appear to be a macabre repeat of the Charlie Hebdo attack ten months ago. Nevertheless, there’s a certain sense that, while similar in many ways, the implied import of the barbarism is somehow distinct and unique this time around. Sometimes history speaks so loudly it seems to emblazon its scrambled message across the sky in upper case neon letters accompanied by thunder peals so deafening they make the ears tingle. Friday, November 13 was one such loud moment. Its chilling assertiveness simply demanded humanity’s undivided attention.
Christ taught us, His followers, to learn to read these signs of the times, to learn to unscramble the jumbled, dangling letters, suspended in the sky of our collective awareness. He said so by way of metaphor: “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognise that…He is near…” Matthew 24:32-33 (NASB, emphasis mine)
What we can all be in agreement on is that the signs are certainly pointing to the fact that ‘He is near’ in a very real sense. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to listen to what He had predicted for the purpose of helping us to manage our expectations and enable us to frame a response to these challenging times.
“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Mark 13:8 (NASB)
Christ’s vision of the last days, on the face of things, seems ominous. In this Scripture, He touches on four major points for our consideration.
‘…nation will rise up against nation…’
Firstly there will, at some point, be military conflict on a global scale. Christ foresees a Third World War. Which means we should be alert to the agenda of the current world leaders/elites, namely the New World Order (NWO), to instigate global conflict; which makes the current situation in the Middle East all the more significant. At present, there’s a discernible, deliberate build-up toward WW3 of which these latest attacks are certainly a part. There are plans afoot for global genocide, to reduce the population figure drastically.
‘…kingdom against kingdom…’
Secondly Christ’s Kingdom, the Judeo-Christian worldview, will experience increasing opposition and conflict. There’s a steep escalation in an ideological, or worldview, war where the anti-Christ ‘kingdoms’ are all converging in its opposition to the cause of Christ. Islamism, marxism; feminism; LBGT-ism; secular humanism (militant atheism), satanism/spiritism etc are all rapidly growing pressure groups driving aggressive agendas. They stand united in their vehement opposition to the Lordship of Christ, the Fatherhood of God and the guiding ministry of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the challenge for the individual believer is to determine in which kingdom or worldview his or her persuaded loyalty and allegiance truly lies.
Many of our hearts and minds need to experience the Father’s redemptive work of ‘translation’. There are many Christians who, when peer-pressure or some other crisis threatens, happen to discover that they’re essentially Marxist, feminist or human-secularist in affective affinity, for instance. In truth, however, they are at times hardly more than intentionally Christian. They find themselves still trapped, entangled, in another, opposing kingdom and its agenda. The Apostle Paul speaks in this context of God “…who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love” Colossians 1:13 (WEB, emphasis mine) The Father desires to both deliver and translate every committed soul to inhabit Christ’s Kingdom unreservedly. And therefore, when teaching us to pray, Christ placed worshipping the Father as our priority – immediately followed by prayers focussing on conquest namely, “let Your Kingdom come.”
‘…there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines…’
Christ also predicted that the environmental agenda and related issues would be prevalent and pressing for many reasons; that the political and physical fallout of environmental events and lobbying will be highly impactful in a negative sense.
‘…when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened…’
When speaking of the coming military conflict Christ makes a rather puzzling remark. “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened…” Mark 13:7 (NASB, emphasis mine). I believe Christ was alerting us to be sensitive and aware of a tactic or strategy often employed by especially the military, but also by political leaders. ‘Rumors of wars’, I believe, is a reference to something that has become known as a ‘false flag’. This deception or subterfuge mainly serves as a pretext for war. In its current definition, a false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they’re being carried out by entities, groups or nations other than those who actually plan and execute them.
Operations carried out during peacetime by civilian organisations, as well as covert government agencies, may (by extension) be called false flag operations if they seek to hide the real organisation behind an operation. Hard evidence does exist, for instance, pointing to the 9/11 Twin Towers disaster in New York as being a classic false flag operation. The same is true for the rise of Jihadist terror organisations in the Middle East. Not only do they enjoy financial support from leading western governments, secret service agents from these countries are also providing training etc. Furthermore, Western mainstream media aggressively defends and promotes their ideology.
The first practical implication for citizens and those in Christ’s Kingdom, in particular, is to understand the false flag’s ultimate purpose, namely, to deceive us by distracting and diverting our attention and energy for very specific reasons. In a spiritual sense, we need to also grow aware of the demonic agenda operating against our lives and ministries in much the same way in that storms and crises many times arise for the very purpose of distraction and diversion, much like the tricks of the illusionist. It is a conflict, therefore, that exists on two levels – the spiritual and geopolitical. The global warming alarmism with respect to an ostensible pending global environmental crisis, now toned down as the so-called climate change agenda, is another false flag operation which, like the WW3 strategy, relates to the NWO plan to place all countries of the planet under a One World Government. This agenda is also constantly tied in with the urgent desirability for drastic global depopulation.
In a sense, the Paris attacks are false flag operations aimed at ultimately rendering the continent of Europe ungovernable. But skeptics who, in principle, may register some discomfort with this challenging notion ought to, I believe, note the Scriptural position on conspiratorial suspicion. The Psalmist wrote, “Why do the nations rebel and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers conspire together against the Lord and His Anointed One.” Psalm 2:1-2 (HCSB, emphasis).
When threatened by authorities to stop proclaiming the Gospel, the early church responded in intercessory prayer as follows: “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices with one mind to God and said, ‘Master, you are the one who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them, the one who said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of our father David, your servant, “Why do the nations rage, and the peoples conspire in vain? The kings of the earth stood opposed, and the rulers assembled together at the same place, against the Lord and against his Christ.”’” Acts 4:24-2 (LEB, emphasis mine)
While Islamic Jihadist terror rears its ugly head in Europe, Africa and elsewhere once again, students who mostly come from privileged backgrounds, enrolled at ivy-league campuses in South Africa, Europe and in the United States are all making very similar demands while manifesting the same intolerant rage. What is fascinating about all this upheaval is the uncanny way in which the widespread events are co-ordinated, duplicated and proliferated as if by an unseen hand.
There’s an element of the supernatural evident in the latest manifestations of anarchy and chaos gradually enveloping the globe. Scripture speaks of this supernatural convergence of activities and agendas as the ‘mystery of lawlessness’. “For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7 (AMP)
I believe we as Christians must understand and embrace our call to promote Christ’s agenda in a rapidly destabilising and hostile environment. We should understand what it means to “seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” Matthew 6:33 (emphasis mine).
We need an ongoing conversation about our undivided ideological allegiance as individuals. The student protests around the globe are clearly part of the long term vision of the Marxist agenda. For a long time, the assumption that a Christian may also embrace the tenets of another ideology without compromising their sincere commitment to Christ was assumed acceptable. Christ, however, drives a clear distinction by defining the Gospel message as being one that makes allegiance and loyalty to His Lordship an exclusive choice – especially in the days we’re living in: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 (NASB)
Many of us are still secular humanists when it comes to parenting values or when conducting business for instance. Sometimes the influence of feminism, Islamism or another prevalent ‘ism’ has a greater corrosive influence on the Judeo-Christian worldview in certain cultural contexts.
And while having to reflect on all the sombre realities mentioned above may be rather disquieting and deeply challenging, Christ continues to make the most important point – an ambiguous one. “…These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Mark 13:8 (NASB, emphasis mine)
He speaks of the fact that, at present, wicked purposes are being birthed, bringing about a sharp escalation in turbulent upheaval spiritually, politically and environmentally, where the increase happens in spasmodic, cyclical fashion. But in the same breath Scripture refers to the ‘glory days’ of His Church in the midst of growing stress and tensions. The glorious purposes of God are being birthed at the same time. “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3 (NASB).
These, the worst of times are predestined to be our best of times. And the key to experiencing this blessed contradiction lies in our commitment to embrace the ‘birth pangs’, or our divinely endowed capacity and tenacity for ‘birthing’ or ‘travailing’ ministry.
This shift in spiritual responsiveness and focus is a frightening one. It means God covets the tears of the saints by which to demonstrate His power. By way of illustration, we see how Christ’s intercessory travail over Jerusalem subsequently manifested in great birthing blessing from heaven. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” Matthew 23:37 (NASB)
After this heart-rending lament, Christ could commission His disciples to meet together in Jerusalem after His ascension to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, thus effecting the birthing of the apostolic age. The restoration of the early church’s apostolic grace – which I believe is God’s purpose for the coming season – is predicated upon the Church’s capacity to birth His purposes through travail as confirmed by the prophet Isaiah: “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.” Isaiah 66:8 (NASB, emphasis mine)
Another obligation that we as the Body of Christ need to accept is the fact that there is one factor that has the power to restrain the multi-pronged advance by the opposing anti-Christ kingdoms/ideological alliance. “For the mystery of lawlessness is already working. Only He who is now restraining him will do so until He is taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7 (MEV, emphasis mine)
The Spirit-empowered and mobilised church has been designed to act as God’s ‘handbrake’ as it were, when it comes to the Luciferic agenda. We have the power to place a ‘restraining order’ on the otherwise unfettered momentum of the ‘god of this world’s’ dark agenda. Therefore, the powers of darkness’ chief strategy is to distract and divert the church’s focus and commitment away from a passionate obedience and commitment to a ministry partnership with the Holy Spirit, especially in prayer.
I believe with all my heart that God’s grace is upon us as His people to help us translate the otherwise crippling angst brought on by the prevailing darkness, into tears of intercession. Our feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty are about to become powerful weapons of warfare that the Holy Spirit would wield to release the resources of heaven on earth through ever-vigilant ‘watchmen’ on the wall. “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves… And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth… And they will call them, ‘The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD’; and you will be called, ‘Sought out, a city not forsaken.’” Isaiah 62:6,7,12 (NASB)
I believe that we, as a part of Christ’s Body, have been entrusted with the privilege and grace of birthing God’s glory days and to experience the wonderful truth that as a church our relevancy is of greater significance in the transcendent realm than in the material world. Only Spirit-empowered praying, travail/birthing intercession would make this possible. Let’s join hands at this time to partner with the Holy Spirit to ‘buy’ us precious time. The good news is the fact that every reformation in modern times came as a result of a sense of deep disquiet brewing among young people regarding social justice issues. I believe the same is about to happen on an unprecedented level at this time.