There has been a lot to observe in the world since September 28, 2000: the day when the Palestinians began to tread Jerusalem underfoot. God has raised up Israel in these last days of the Grace Age for signs, therefore that event was of special significance.
The beginning of the attacks upon Jerusalem is a very important sign to Christians worldwide, and especially to those of us in America. That beginning of violence against Jerusalem marked the beginning of the first of three, 3½-year, periods. This forty two month period began with that attack on Jerusalem, and will end about fourteen months from now with some kind of resolution by which those incursions will cease, in late March or early April, 2004.
In the past twenty-eight months since the Palestinians declared the present Holy War against Israel, many notable events have taken place. We should well remember the destruction of the twin towers in New York City on September 11, 2001, because it marked the beginning of the political revolution which will eventually place the Lord’s faithful, in America, in great jeopardy. From that date forward, the Executive branch of the U.S. government has taken great strides which were ostensibly to counter the recurrence of such events in the future. However, the legal steps which they have taken are not really about those things. The powers-that-be are establishing laws which will exert far greater deterrence upon the freedoms of the citizens of America than they will upon some foreign intrigue, for we already had plenty of legislation to take care of that element. But more important for us who know the love of Christ and of God, Christianity we will become one of the primary targets of the government’s new predatory mind set.
The freedom of Christianity in America was legally abolished in 1963. Christians continue to pretend that we are guaranteed “the free exercise” of our faith, but the restrictions upon the efforts of people of faith to persuade others to believe as we do, and share in the benefits which God daily heaps upon us, has constantly become more restricted. In the last couple of years, both state and federal courts have even proclaimed it to be illegal to display the Ten Commandments in a public place. That is because the government realizes that it has enough grass roots support that it can now suppress the Christian religion with impunity. And it will.
The United States of America has turned onto a course which is much like the experience which Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel chapter four. It has been given the heart of a beast. The dove is turning into a bird of prey. Our government has begun to metamorphose into a beast. Whereas, in the past men from all nations have sought refuge in this land, they will instead begin to seek peace and safety in other places. The eroding of the freedoms which have become synonymous with America will accelerate until the latter part of 2008. God is once again raising up a “Pharaoh” so to speak: a persecution by the government. As the Apostle Paul said in Rom. 9:17, “The scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”
God is going to manifest His great power and glory in the deliverance of His Church from that persecution, as Paul said in Rom. 9:23, “That he might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” Even now, as the government is expanding, and increasing, its pressure on Christianity, God is preparing a group of dedicated, righteous people upon whom He can justifiably manifest His glory – and not be shamed by them in the process. (The Holy Ghost called those people “A glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”) When God accomplishes that great deliverance, this nation will wake up, shake off its recently acquired beastly ways and, once again acknowledge the fact that it is the God of Heaven that rules in the kingdom of men.
Even as I write, various member nations of the U.N. are persecuting Christians – many of them even unto death – while we, in America, have enjoyed relative peace. But now, the United States is being deceived by the enemy of all mankind to move even farther down that same disastrous path, and we citizens of the kingdom of God, in America, will soon realize that we are face to face with a whole new attack upon God and upon His people. Since 9-11-01, we have observed as the President has pushed for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. As of a few days after the last election, it is officially a Cabinet Post, and will become a functioning entity on March 1st.
While I was watching, they changed their definition of “the enemy” to include religious radicalism. Right now Islam seems to be receiving most of their well-earned attention, but we will soon see that Christianity is one of their primary targets. That is why President Bush was so determined that his “Faith-Based and Community Initiative” program would accompany the creation of the Cabinet Post. The Congress would not cooperate, so in the third week of December, 2002, Mr. Bush created it by Executive Order. It is part of the package.
You may remember, the Holy Ghost said, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Even so, President Bush has created three things together. They are: the Department of Homeland Security, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and Religious Freedom Day which he proclaimed January 16, 2002. (Actually, Pres. George H. W. Bush first proclaimed the R.F.D. on that date in 1993.) The Cabinet Post will be the government’s information gathering and enforcement arm: as the Holy Ghost said in Dan. 8:24, “His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power.” The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is the trap: When much of Christianity has become comfortable in their role as employees of the governmental Department of Health and Human Services, or whatever agency is used, the government shall “take away the straw” so to speak, and require that their “human services” work continue. And the “Religious Freedom Day” will be the test: President Bush and his aides have made it clear already that they do not intend to allow Christians to continue to preach as they have. The only acceptable doctrine is “Tolerance.”
On January 16, 2002, “A Proclamation” declaring “Religious Freedom Day” was made by the President for immediate release. The “First Freedom Monument” is also already being planned. Here is a portion of the Statement of Intent by its planners. “The Council for America’s First Freedom aspires to build a monument dedicated to the struggle for religious freedom and tolerance worldwide. The challenge of preserving these powerful principles in our democratic nation and abroad and their impact on the individual human spirit will be skillfully translated into a tangible iconic form that will become a destination point for visitors from around the globe. ...As a global icon, the First Freedom Monument will serve as a beacon of inspiration and hope. The monument should symbolize the power of religious freedom, encourage conflict resolution, promote a message of tolerance, and commemorate the City of Richmond as the birthplace of religious freedom.” (The bold is mine)
We have heard this “Message of Tolerance” as promoted by the administration for about two years now. But what did Jesus say? “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” I believe the Christians of America will ultimately face the challenge of whether to bow to the pressure to deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or face the rage and fury of the government.
Our adversary, the Devil, is busy planning and manipulating to stop the gospel message. And indeed, a few years from now, the gospel will cease to be preached. As it is written in Isaiah 13, “The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil.” As Jesus also said, “The night cometh when no man can work.” As the wise man Solomon said, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” There is still a little time to speak, but the wise in Christ shall soon see the trouble coming, withdraw from shining the light of the glorious gospel, and hide themselves. (Isa. 26:20)
The persecution of Rev. 12:13-17, will indeed come, but God is preparing our deliverance from that “Flood.” Many thousands shall die under the merciless onslaught of the Little Horn as he proceeds to “wear out the Saints of the Most High.” But the Saints who are alive and remain with “Noah” shall survive that flood and inherit the earth. As it is written, “The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
“Let us watch and be sober.” AMEN.