Posted in economy, mark of the beast, one world economy, prophecy, revelation

Thoughts on Economic Collapse and Tribulation economy

Someone asked me about the economy in the Tribulation, and wondered if the global and American economy will collapse prior to the Tribulation or not.

It’s speculation, because the Bible doesn’t specifically say how we will get from here to there, only what will be. I do like to be aware of what the bible says about the seemingly near event on the prophetic timeline, the 7 years of Tribulation. (The rapture is the very next event. I also enjoy thinking about the Millennium which will occur after the Tribulation such as the peaceable kingdom, and the temple and the King’s Highway, and New Jerusalem, etc).

As for the economy, it’s an interesting question because the Bible prophesies that during the Tribulation, the antichrist’s right hand man, the False Prophet, will enforce a mark on people. The mark is one of worship. No one will be fooled, they will know it is a mark of allegiance to and worship of the Beast. (Revelation 14:9). The enticement to take the mark is that one may then participate in the economy, buying and selling. If one refuses the mark, they may not buy or sell. (Revelation 13:16-17). Further, they will be identified as an enemy of the state and be killed (Revelation 6:9-11, Matthew 24:9).

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it, about financial collapse. The collapse of ’07-’08 was incredible, and the subsequent years even more so. I had read a Christian economist who said recently that with the derivatives bubble, college loan bubble, fiat currency and massive outstanding debt, it is OBVIOUS that America, and most nations in fact, are being held up by the supernatural power of God. Nothing in traditional economics makes sense enough to explain how we are going on as we are for so long.

As for the Tribulation economy, that’s interesting too. There IS an economy during the Tribulation. The global economy does not collapse until Revelation 18. Or, at least, it might have partially collapsed prior to then and been rebuilt according to Antichrist specs, with a one world economy and mark of the beast currency. Yes, Revelation 6:6 shows that currency is so inflated that it costs a day’s wage to buy one loaf of bread. But Rev 18 shows a highly advanced trade in luxuries. I believe this shows that the wealth gap will widen so much that many poor starve to death and the love of the rich grows cold in not caring. If Jesus emphasized compassion on the poor and generosity toward same in both the OT and the NT to the degree He did, the antichrist will emphasize the opposite. So there will be an economy, it just won’t look like it does now.

As a brief rabbit trail, you might already know that the sex trafficking and slave trade is growing all across the world. Poverty adds to this sad fact. Many daughters are being sold because people are so poor they cannot afford to feed kids. In Greece a few years ago when their economy nearly failed (before the EU bailout) the problem of abandoned kids was huge. You note in Rev 18:13 one of the luxuries being traded will be slaves. I believe that when the poor become utterly destitute in the Tribulation economy, slavery will blossom massively and that will be the reason why. No food, and in order to get money, they will sell anyone, even their mother. After all, love will wax cold. (Mt 24:12)

I read a prophecy minister’s essay once who thinks that it will be the event of the rapture itself that will trigger the collapse. The sudden removal of thousands or millions of Christians from the economy will certainly put a dent in it. However I’m not so sure the rapture will collapse it completely. Jesus said the way was narrow and few find it. I think there are way fewer Christians who will be taken in the rapture than people think. I think the loss of workers will dent the economy, maybe enough to re-structure it, but not collapse totally. After all, the antichrist only has 7 years, 3.5 actually, to make the Mark of the Beast economy prophesied in Revelation 13:16-17 come about and healthy enough to see such massive collapse as we do in Rev 18. He has to have something to work with to begin with in order to revive the economy.

And think on this, right now gargantuan amounts of money go toward social programs to help the sick, the poor, the disadvantaged. When the Christians are removed, and the Spirit withdraws His restraining ministry, (2 Thessalonians 2:7) then compassion, generosity, and love will cease (2 Timothy 3:1-5). All that money being poured into cancer research and orphanages and welfare and social justice programs will be re-diverted. There will be no compassion, (Matthew 24:12) therefore no money needed to help anyone at any time through any compassion program. It will be the end of philanthropy, effectively freeing up trillions of dollars.

It has been interesting (but sad) to see the drought bloom in CA, and all the while we in GA received 5-6 inches of rain this week alone. Drought has a slow-moving but ultimately devastating impact to economies. CA’s economy is the largest in the US, much of it from agriculture. Personally I think it will be drought that does us in here in America.

You remember the American Dustbowl here in the US during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It sparked one of the most massive internal migrations we have ever experienced in the US

Historians have since clarified some of the dimensions of the misnamed migration. Numbers are elusive but it is safe to say that 300-400,000 Oklahomans, Texans, Arkansans, and Missourians moved to California and settled there during the 1930s. This would have been a significant population transfer in any era but was particularly momentous in the context of the depression when internal migration rates for other parts of the country were low and when high unemployment made any kind of relocation risky. (Source)

Look at this interesting article about drought’s economic impact.

Drought produces a complex web of impacts that spans many sectors of the economy and reaches well beyond the area experiencing physical drought. This complexity exists because water is integral to society’s ability to produce goods and provide services. Impacts are commonly referred to as direct and indirect. Direct impacts include reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity, increased fire hazard, reduced water levels, increased livestock and wildlife mortality rates, and damage to wildlife and fish habitat. The consequences of these direct impacts illustrate indirect impacts. For example, a reduction in crop, rangeland, and forest productivity may result in reduced income for farmers and agribusiness, increased prices for food and timber, unemployment, reduced tax revenues because of reduced expenditures, foreclosures on bank loans to farmers and businesses, migration, and disaster relief programs.

In short, the entire economic situation is a myriad of intertwined causes and effects. They go back a long time and they are set in motion through the sovereignty of the Lord. It brings praise for the Lord to mind when I realize how precise He is to have developed all these events together to draw us ever closer to the Tribulation hour. He raises up kings and sets them down. He raises up nations and strikes them down. He thrives economies and He impoverishes them. He will perform what He has decreed.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.  (James 5:1-5)

The only economy is the one in Jesus: repentance, faith, belief, and being doers of the word. This economy will always thrive, never become impoverished, and sustain itself at the magnificent Hand of God.

Posted in facebook, facial recognition, mark of the beast, prophecy

One app’s facial recognition outstrips the CIA’s, you will never guess which it is

One of the most mysterious segments of prophetic scripture are the verses telling us about the Mark of the Beast. We read about it in Revelation 13:11-18. The Second Beast is the false prophet. It’s actually the false prophet who causes all to have the mark, or be excluded from the economy. The mark is an identification of allegiance to and worship of the Beast. The penalty for not taking it is that no man may buy or sell. But the reason to take it is to worship the antichrist. Here is the passage.

The Second Beast
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Part of being entranced by the verses is the fact that there are so many questions that arise from reading them. How does one person cause all on earth to receive a mark? How will they know if someone doesn’t take the mark? If someone gos to buy something without the mark, what will happen? How long will it take until someone in authority comes to grab the person who doesn’t have the mark? Most interesting of all, much of this buying and selling and grabbing and beheading has to do with technology.

Prior to today’s technology, such massive, global tracking and marking would never have been possible. I’m only 54 years old and I clearly remember when bar codes were invented and came into ubiquitous use. Never mind laptops, internet, and now quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence, bitcoin and its ilk, iris scanning, robotics, and nanotechnology. It’s dizzying. It reminds me of the prophecy in Daniel 12:4,

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

As a rabbit trail for just a moment, the Lord sends an angel to fly at mid-heaven and warn the people of the world NOT to take the mark. See below:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-1)

The mark of the beast is definitely a mark of worship and allegiance to the antichrist, which means the person has declared for satan. That’s why taking it incurs so much wrath. But back to the technology of today. Managing the buying and selling of all peoples in earth via this mark is just an astounding concept to me. There is no such thing as privacy any more, tracking and hacking are things the youth of today are used to, though I’ll never get used to it. There are undoubtedly many different kinds of technologies that will merge into the one that will allow the mark of the beast to be implemented and global economic tracking to such a specific degree occur. But consider this, I’ll run it past you…

It’s from Extremetech, published last March:

Facebook’s New ‘DeepFace’ Program Is Just As Creepy As It Sounds

Facebook owns the world’s largest photo library, and it now has the technology to match almost all the faces within it. Yes, even the ones you don’t tag.  Facebook announced last week that it has developed a program called “DeepFace,” which researchers say can determine whether two photographed faces are of the same person with 97.25 percent accuracy.  According to Facebook, humans put to the same test answer correctly 97.53 percent of the time — only a quarter of a percent better than Facebook’s software.  The takeaway: Facebook has essentially caught up to humans when it comes to remembering a face.

Facebook’s facial recognition software is now as accurate as the human brain, but what now?

It would also be irresponsible if we didn’t mention the true power of facial recognition, which Facebook is surely investigating: Tracking your face across the entirety of the web, and in real life, as you move from shop to shop, producing some very lucrative behavioral tracking data indeed.

As we move from shop to shop? 97% accuracy?

Facebook will soon be able to ID you in any photo

“we’ve been able to detect faces in images for about 2 decades,” LeCun says. Even the puny computers in cheap consumer cameras have long been able to detect and focus on faces.

But “identifying a face is a much harder problem than detecting it,” LeCun says. Your face uniquely identifies you. But unlike your fingerprints, it is constantly changing. Just smile and your face is transformed. The corners of your eyes wrinkle, your nostrils flare, and your teeth show. Throw your head back with laughter and the apparent shape of your face contorts. Even when you wear the same expression, your hair varies from photo to photo, all the more so after a visit to the hairdresser. And yet most people can spot you effortlessly in a series of photos, even if they’ve seen you in just one.
In terms of perceiving the world around us, facial recognition may be “the single most impressive thing that the human brain can do,” says Erik Learned-Miller, a computer scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. By contrast, computers struggle with what researchers call the problem of A-PIE: aging, pose, illumination, and expression. These sources of noise drown out the subtle differences that distinguish one person’s face from another.

Thanks to an approach called deep learning, computers are gaining ground fast.

Now, I am not saying that Facebook is the Mark of the Beast, for heaven’s sake don’t misunderstand. However, I’m intrigued that all along as we watch technology grow to an excessively intrusive point in our lives, that quietly, unassumingly, Facebook has amassed the data and know-how to put into place a large part of the puzzle that may become part of the technology involved with the Mark of the Beast.

I’m one of the last generation to have grown up technology-free. I played outside after school, roaming the neighborhood on my book, coming home when the streetlights turned on. I’m one of a generation who loves the internet but remember a time when I read books and went skating and built snowmen and played hopscotch- outside. I remember.

Reading that Facebook has amassed the world’s largest facial recognition data dropped the penny. Facebook has my birthdate, photo, locations where I’ve lived, friends, employment, education…in short, an online profile. And I gave it to them.

It is an amazing, dizzying time, this new millnnium. Meanwhile, knowledge is increasing and technology is rapidly heading to its ultimate destination. I feel like Thumbelina on a leaf going down the rapids. But the leaf is really the hand of Jesus and I’m safe and secure. I’m not worried or scared or depressed. I’m amazed. Every day we make technological advances that enhance the lives of humanity but one day will be turned to evil use by the antichrist and false prophet. Amazing, stunning time. I want to see what happens next. Hopefully the Lord’s return to collect His Bride in the rapture!

Because, you see, we will be raptured before any of this comes to pass. We won’t have to worry about the mark of the beast, the false prophet, the antichrist, being excluded from the economy, starvation, or beheading. He will rescue us from the wrath to come, (1 Thess 1:10) and spare us His indignation poured out. (Isaiah 26:20). If you have repented of your sins, and confessed to Jesus as Lord and Savior, and know He is resurrected and reigning from heaven, soon to return as the Bible says, you are saved. (Romans 10:9). We rest securely in His arms and seek to become weak in the flesh so the Spirit will use us strongly. (2 Cor 12:9-10).

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go check my Facebook status…

Posted in chip, mark of the beast, microchip, rfid

A roundup of news stories about people who have technology implanted in their bodies, AKA microchips

It’s amazing how far medicine has advanced in my lifetime. I remember the first transplanted heart operation (1967). The first test tube baby (1978). The first cloned mammal (Dolly the Sheep, 1996).

Now it seems that every other day some company or other is touting the benefits of a chip under our skin or a removable technological tattoo. The technology is there for the antichrist to embed a tattoo or other technological device so as to keep track of who can buy or sell – and who cannot. (Revelation 13:16).

The technology is there. LOL, I remember how shocking and strange the TV show in 1974 was, The Six Million Dollar Man, the bionic man. Steve Austin, the reconstructed man was actually the first widely televised cyborg. A very nice Terminator, as it were. The show’s tagline was “we have the technology” …

Harve Bennett: Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive.
Oscar Goldman: We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.

Methinks it is God who makes us stronger, better, faster … by glorification, not technology. And personally, with my plantar fasciitis acting up, I can’t wait to be pain free!

Here is a smorgasborg smorgasboard of recent news stories about a chip-

Is there a chip in your future? (not mine!!)

Digital tattoos and advanced phone technology advertised by Motorola

Microchips Will Be Implanted Into Healthy People Sooner Than You Think

Real cyborgs: People who have technology implanted in their bodies
[What’s interesting to me in this article was the increase in sales. Why anyone who doesn’t need a chip would get one is beyond me. His company is based in Seattle.]

Amal Graafstra sells implantable RFID chips through his website, Dangerous Things (he has an RFID chip in each hand). Traffic has increased from one sale a week in 2012 when he launched the site, to at least one a day now. He sells two different injection kits, for $57 and $99, and he estimates that he’s sold two to three thousand chips total.

Here is another story about Amal Graafstra and his chips, from the Irish Examiner-

BIG READ: When man meets machine – Amal Graafstra and his bio-hacking body

Proponents of chip implantation point out that as it stands, there is no single convention for communicating with the range of machines that facilitate our lives. Card readers, ATM machines, smartphones, and building access panels all rely on a myriad of different technologies, from PINs to chips to magnetic strips and security questions. A single RFID implant could provide the single means by which we engage with the technology our lives have come to depend upon.

And that would be the last step, wouldn’t it? The single means for the antichrist to track those who are left behind and choose to worship him so they can buy and sell (Rev 13:16-17).

Ultra-compact implantable image sensor using body channel communication
[Wow that’s small!]

Technology has come a long way in the last few decades, so quickly.

Posted in birth pangs, mark of the beast, motorola, prophecy

Digital tattoos and advanced phone technology advertised by Motorola

In Revelation 13 we read that the Beast (Antichrist) will cause all people on earth to have a mark on their forehead or hand, that is a mark of worship of him.. The bait-and-switch to entice or force people to accept the mark will be that they cannot buy or sell if they do not have it. However, if they take the mark, they are declaring their allegiance with satan, and God’s wrath will be forever on them. That is why the true Christians who convert after the rapture will not accept the mark. Their allegiance and worship is to Jesus. They will pay a heavy price for their stand, they will either starve or be martyred.

What this means is, during a time of war and chaos, the antichrist will have such control over the world that he can institute an infrastructure so penetrating that all the billions of people remaining on planet earth can be tracked.

Until recently we knew by faith that this will happen, but it was very hard to envision. The computer technology and scientific advances to allow this to happen did not exist. Now they do, and not only that, they’re being used in exactly the way it will eventually be intended to be used, as the mark of the Beast.

In the following story we read that both the technology and the science is not just theory but in active use. The science to create a small tattoo mark on a person’s body that is connected to the technology is also being advertised. I am NOT saying that this is the mark. I am saying, that as a 53 year old woman who remembers the adults in her life remarking about the wonder of the new invention called ‘bar codes,’ that the advance of technology within half a generation is consistent with the rapidly increasing birth pangs we read about that will fulfill the eventual end.

I am in awe of Jesus who sustains the universe by the power of His word.

Now You Can Unlock Your Moto X with a Digital Tattoo

Last year at the All Things D “D11” conference, Regina Dugan talked about new digital tattoo technology that would make it easier to unlock your phone. Now the moment is here: We’re excited to see this new technology brought to life for Moto X by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group and VivaLnk Inc. Made of super thin, flexible materials, based on VivaLnk’s eSkinTM technology, each digital tattoo is designed to unlock your phone with just a touch of your Moto X to the tattoo, no passwords required. The nickel-sized tattoo is adhesive, lasts for five days, and is made to stay on through showering, swimming, and vigorous activities like jogging. And it’s beautiful—with a shimmering, intricate design. It’s another step in making it easier to unlock your phone on the go and keep your personal information safe. An average user takes 2.3 seconds to unlock their phone and does this about 39 times a day—a process that some people find so inconvenient that they do not lock their phones at all. Using NFC technology, digital tattoos make it faster to safely unlock your phone anywhere without having to enter a password

Can you see the dots connecting? No? Here is a photo:

Posted in america, mark of the beast, repentance, salvation, tribulation

US company wants to bring free wi-fi to 100% of world: mark of the beast technology?

I enjoyed Rapture Ready editor Terry James’s essay this week called Tribulation Technologies Tightening. The title is evocative, isn’t it? Mr James said, “Things are progressing so quickly in the area of people-control technologies that I must admit I simply can’t keep up.

What he is referring to is the fact that during the prophesied 7-year tribulation period at the end of the end of days, certain technologies will have been developed which will aid certain events to come to pass. For example, this verse:

“He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

For it to come to fruition, first, there must exist some sort of tracking and identification technology that the antichrist and false prophet can even begin to catch up to and track each person, “everyone”, in order to force them to take the mark. Second, there must be some sort of technology in place that tracks financial purchases at every point of sale so that people without the mark will be banned at that point of sale from buying anything.

Here is another verse where some sort of technology will exist that will become part of the verse’s fulfillment:

“For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb. and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 11:9-10)

This was an ancient way of saying ‘the whole world.’

And how will the whole world gaze at their bodies for three and a half days, the mews getting around so fast that people have time to go out and buy and exchange gifts? Television. Satellite. Cell phones. But even then, there are many places in the world where people don’t have electricity, or tv’s or cell phones or cell phone coverage. Additionally, countries like China and North Korea have censored online activity, denying their citizenry the opportunity to view and participate in world news.

But now there’s the following interesting news:
“There’s really nothing that is technically impossible to this.”
Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth from space
[O]ne ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth. Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015. And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea. Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they’ll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world. The Outernet team claim that only 60% of the world’s population currently have access to the wealth of knowledge that can be found on the Internet. This is because, despite a wide spread of Wi-FI devices across the globe, many countries are unable or unwilling to provide people with the infrastructure needed to access the web.

Well, the so-called outernet would certainly take care of the problem of 40% of the world not having access to instantaneous news, wouldn’t it.

In other news I’ve been amazed at the speed with which America has declined. I was born in 1960, at a time when there was the gold standard, US astronauts zooming to the moon and back, winning the cold war, beating the Russians at Olympic Hockey, and being the world’s sole superpower. Nothing was impossible and it seemed like the US could and would go on forever.

That was an illusion, as the 2007-2008 economic crash showed us. The National Review has a good article on the US decline.

The United States of Decline
America unravels at an increasingly dizzying pace. America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim. For starters, Obama now rules by decree. Reportedly for the 27th time, he has changed the rules of Obamacare singlehandedly, with neither congressional approval nor even ceremonial resolutions to limit his actions. Obama needs no such frivolities. “That’s the good thing about being president,” Obama joked on February 10. “I can do whatever I want.” In an especially bitter irony, Obama uttered these despicable words while guiding French president François Hollande through Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson — a key architect of America’s foundation of limited government.

Earth’s sole superpower is sagging where it should be No. 1. America has slouched to No. 12 on the 2014 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom. “Now considered only a ‘mostly free’ economy, the U.S. has earned the dubious distinction of having recorded one of the longest sustained declines in economic freedom, second only to Argentina, of any country in the [20-year] history of the Index,” the report states. “The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.”

In my personal opinion, having been an active and acute observer of American life and cultural mores for 50 years, the end is near. I am daily amazed at the implosion of just about every aspect of both American and global life. The decline of morals, the persecution of the Christian religion (higher now than ever in history), declining economy, craven entertainment, unscrupulous personal and governmental finances, rising lack of conscience, the emergence of technologies, church tares over-running the pews, extreme weather, geo-political collapses (Kiev anyone?), natural disasters, all occurring at once and so constantly, and with ever increasing extremity, all serve to show me and perhaps you too that truly the end is near.

The Lord has given his world 2000 years to heed the words of Messiah. What a gracious and long-suffering Savior we have. He said that He would build His church and that when it is complete the rapture would come and He would then turn His attention to finish the transgression of Israel. (Matthew 16:18, Romans 11:25, Daniel 9:24).

I believe the time is short to repent and become folded in to the beauty and certainty of the Lord’s church. He will whisk His bride home and then unleash the worst wrath and times upon the earth that ever was or will be. (Matthew 24:21). Please heed these things. Please, please repent.

What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?

Is repentance required for salvation?


The Doctrine of Repentance

Posted in judgment, mark of the beast, sin, wrath

Can you be forgiven if you take the mark of the beast?

Jesus is long-suffering. He hates sin,  but He withholds judgment upon sinners until the full measure of His anger He deems is ready to be poured out onto the world. The greatest news is, God sent His Son to absorb all of God’s wrath for sin onto Himself, so that those who repent and believe would not have to endure that same wrath.

However, those who reject Jesus and His substitutionary atonement, disbelieve His death and resurrection, fail to adopt His Gospel, do not repent, will endure the wrath of God for their sins. Jesus is longsuffering, but He is not a patsy. He’s not even tolerant. He hates sin and He hates all who do iniquity. (Psalm 5:5). At some point, He will unleash all His wrath and the world will then know just how much He hates sin.

That unleashing is called the Tribulation, (Matthew 24:9) also The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). Jesus said the wrath is stored up for individuals and for the world. He will unseal 7 seal judgments, which are the first set of three series of judgments which include Trumpet Judgments and Bowl Judgments (or four, if you count mysterious Seven Thunders of Rev 10:4).

calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17)

Jesus literally releases the full strength of His wrath and also unleashes Hell upon earth. The times will be unimaginable for the people left behind on earth after the rapture. The mind cannot comprehend its horrors.

I’ve mentioned His wrath, but next let’s discuss His grace. One of the amazing things about God’s grace is that He continues to reach humans with the news of His forgiveness. We are wretched creatures, constantly rebelling and opposing Him. Yet He extends the hand of grace and many have believed and many more will believe, even in the Tribulation. (Revelation 7:14; Revelation 7:17).

Throughout the Tribulation Jesus sends many messengers with the Good News. He extends His grace even amid wrath. He seals 144,000 to super-evangelize the world. The martyrs themselves are a witness for Him due to their willingness to die for His name. He sends His Two Witnesses (I suspect they will be Enoch and Elijah) to testify of Him. And He sends three angels who proclaim the eternal Gospel, speak of judgment on Babylon, and warn of eternal doom if anyone takes the mark of the Beast. By this time, every nation, tribe and tongue will have heard the Gospel. (Revelation 14:6). Jesus forgives all, every sin, and this continues throughout the first part of the Tribulation, just as it had since the age of Grace began when Jesus rose from the dead, having atoned for every sin. He forgives all sins, except for one. There is one sin that is unforgivable.

Taking a break from the overview of the Tribulation’s wrath and the run-up to Revelation 13’s Mark of the Beast, let’s discuss for a moment this “unforgivable sin”. It is found in Mark 3:28-29, and Matthew 12:31-32

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

This is a very serious thing. There is one sin that a person can commit which Jesus will never forgive. What IS this sin?

The Bible Gateway blog explains it this way: it is willful rejection of Jesus in an onoging attitude of rebellion. “Blasphemy against the Spirit is not unforgivable because of something done unintentionally in the past, but because of something being done deliberately and unrelentingly in the present.

The Gospel Coalition blog explains it this way:  I suggest it’s a specific, active, and final choice to declare the person and work of Jesus as being demonic in origin

Dr. Henry Morris states it as “speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible.”

Dr John MacArthur describes the unforgivable sin as: “But the one who won’t be forgiven is the one called the apostate who gets full exposure to the truth, full exposure to the gospel, full revelation and makes the final conclusion…it’s not true, I reject Christ.

It’s a sin to have heard the facts, to have had the Gospel given to you, and to make a deliberate, willful, conscious decision that it is not true, to reject it completely and utterly, and to continue in your sins. That is unforgivable.

Hebrews 2:3 mentions it: “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,”

The word neglect means to ignore, to put little value on it. Hebrews 10:26-27 also mentions this

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

This means that if you have received full information about Christ, and reject it, it is as if you stepped over His body – which He sacrificed for your sins – and now you can only expect judgment,and in fury and fire, too.

Back to the Tribulation- In Revelation 13:15-17 there is a choice people are given. They may participate in the world economy (and thereby eat) but they have to worship the Devil to do it. Or they can reject the devil and accept Christ, but they will be hunted and killed. Here is the scripture which describes this choice: (“It” refers to the False Prophet)

And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Taking the mark is a mark of worship to the devil, who by then indwells the antichrist. It is a deliberate choice given the world, to worship satan or worship Jesus. The world knows this because three angels flying at midheaven circle the globe to first give the gospel of Jesus Christ, (“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. Revelation 14:6), to declare judgment of Babylon and third, to warn them NOT TO TAKE THE MARK.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-11).

The people of earth by then have had the fullness of all God’s revelation to them through the bible, His son, the prophets, the angels, His Church, the witnesses and the sealed virgins…if they take the mark and worship the beast, they are sinning the unforgivable sin and in a way that for the first time ever, is demonstrable and evident. In the case of Tribulation non-believers who take the mark, they are not only showing their allegiance to satan and their rejection of Jesus, they are permanently modifying their body to show their rejection of Jesus and decision to worship satan instead. They are enacting it and cementing it with their very body, by accepting the mark of the devil on them as the emblem of worship. They reject Jesus and worship of Him, and thus blaspheme the Spirit. It’s over.

It is my contention that this moment divides the believers from the unbelievers in one final, conscious moment of choice. After the mark is places on the hand or the forehead, or refused, marks the final chasm between believer and non-believer.

The scriptures in Revelation 14:9 are clear: take the mark and endure wrath forever. You cannot be saved if you take the mark.

This turning point is also remarked on by the angel in Revelation 4:13a who says, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

One may ask why am I writing about this if the church isn’t going to be here and we always look for Jesus and not toward satan? Because satan is adulterating this simple truth as well. As long as he can sow confusion and persuade even one person to delay their day of salvation, then he has accomplished his evil purposes. The fact of a person’s devilish eternal choice in Rev. 13 matters it matters because when they enter the Tribulation, they are at extreme risk of believing the lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11) and won’t be able to decide.

The moral is always the same: believe on the name of Jesus Christ now. Do not delay your repentance and your appeal to Him, the Judge, for pardon. You are not promised a tomorrow. If you do receive a tomorrow, the rapture may come and you will be left behind to face hell on earth and God’s wrath. When that happens, you are at risk for believing the lie and losing your soul because of the delusion coming upon the world.

Jesus Christ is worthy of honor and glory and praise and love and worship because of who He is. He is the unique Person of the universe, extending His hand of grace to you now. Your sins will have to be dealt with- either through your repentance and His forgiveness, or by your torment and punishment for them in hell forever.

Posted in jesus, mark of the beast, one world economy, prophecy

Bitcoin: a digital currency enjoying an "epic rise", potentially ‘revolutionizing’ global payments system

The bitcoin. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t either until an astute reader mentioned it in a comment recently. In researching this new currency, a digital one, I became intrigued, then astounded. Wikipedia explains the bitcoin:

“Bitcoin (sign: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer Internet protocol. It was introduced in 2009 by a pseudonymous developer, Satoshi Nakamoto. … Bitcoin is the most widely used alternative currency and accepted by various merchants and services internationally. As of April 2013, the monetary base of bitcoin is valued at over $1 billion USD.”

And I go…”Huh. How ’bout that.”

Forbes Magazine says Bitcoin is a disruptive technology. They explain what it is this way–

A financial network is a technological platform that people build businesses on top of. And the traditional banking and credit card networks are closed platforms. If you want to build an e-commerce site, a payment network like Paypal, or any other service that deals in dollars, you need to convince incumbent financial institutions to do business with you. Getting such a partnership is difficult and involves a lot of red tape.

There’s a good reason for the high barrier to entry: electronic transactions in the conventional banking system are generally reversible. If someone makes a fraudulent charge to your credit card, you can dispute the transaction and in most cases the bank or the merchant, not the customer, will cover the cost. That’s convenient for consumers, but it requires the financial system to be a fairly close-knit web of trust. Allowing a new member into the club creates risks for everyone else. So the incumbents are understandably reluctant to deal with anyone who isn’t well-known and well-capitalized.

Bitcoin is different. Because transactions are authenticated cryptographically and cannot be reversed, there’s no need to restrict access to the network. There’s no risk to accepting payments from complete strangers. That means people don’t need anyone’s permission or trust to go into business as a Bitcoin-based merchant or financial intermediary. Accepting Bitcoins also allows merchants to avoid much of the administrative overhead, like dealing with chargebacks, that come with a conventional merchant account.

So though I don’t understand much about the intricacies of international commerce and the currencies that allow it, the bitcoin seems to me to be a way to get around the Man. After what happened in Cyprus (the Man, i.e. banksters, scooped out money from the citizens’ accounts just cuz.) The bank of Cyprus failed, there was a bank run, and riots, upper crust mucky-mucks were allowed to get their money out but not the peons like you and me, now it appears that key data is missing from banking records and they are vehemently denying there is a gold reserves sell-off. The bitcoin looks better every day. And that’s no joke, look at this article from NPR-

Bitcoin Surpasses $200 Mark, Continuing ‘Epic’ Rise

Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt. Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be “epic.” Bitcoin’s rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin’s value at around $20. … Whatever the cause, bitcoin’s gains have translated into new wealth for people who bought into it since it was created in 2009. The currency is released at a very steady rate — “roughly every 10 minutes 25 new bitcoins come into circulation,” as last week. Its adherents say that regular pace, and the fact that there is only a finite number of bitcoins, make it an attractive alternative to government-backed currencies. Just over half of the 21 million bitcoins in existence have so far been released.”

The international economic system is interesting. I do not understand its mechanisms. But God does. He told us in the bible that the system at the end of time (Tribulation years) will undergo a radical and massive shift from what we have known in recent generations just prior, to a one world government and economy.

No, the bible does not use the phrase “one world economy” but it describes it. Revelation 13:16-18,
“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave,e to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

One mark indicates THE currency or at least entry into the economic system, and absent the mark, denial of participation in the economy. “It” is the beast,and make no mistake, the economic control by this beast (antichrist and later satan directly) will be global.

The bitcoin is digital and outside the current system. The last economy on earth will be a digital one also. Though the bible does not say, it indicates this by saying that the mark will be on or in the hand or forehead, and that having it means one can buy things. How it will likely work is that at the point of sale the mark will be passed over a digital mechanism that will verify it as authentic and at the same time withdraw the money. If all peoples on the globe have a mark (except Christians who refuse) then controlling it as a day in and day out currency must mean the data behind it is centralized, accessible, and digital. We practically have this now with debit cards and other bar coded swipe items that automatically bring up your account.

Whether the bitcoin will morph into the mark or not it is interesting that the banking system is in collapse, the economic system is in collapse, and there is a widely used alternative currency that already has the digital infrastructure to become something more than resembling the mark of the beast.

As an aside, I am 52 years old and never in my wildest imaginings did I think that 30 years ago or 20 or even 10 that we would be using digital currency to the extent we are (I mean not only bitcoin but debit cards and paypal etc).

Developments are moving fast. And lest you think that bitcoin is an esoteric monetary mechanism outside the spheres of real people, as of February 2013 bitcoins can be used to buy Domino’s pizza. As of today, this article from the NY Times states,

“Bitcoin is the new new thing but the question is whether it will end up in the same dustbin as Dutch tulips and, or, as its backers believe, turn into a disruptive technology with the potential to revolutionize the global payments system.”

Given the times, the lateness of the hour, and the certainty of the coming one world economy, I’d put smart money bitcoins on the latter.

Posted in 666, economic collapse, economy, mark of the beast

Sequestration, world commerce, and the coming antichrist economy

If there is such a thing as a ‘reverse miracle’ the global economy these last five years is it. In 2008 when the global crash startled the world and the housing bubble imploded, and jobs went away, it seemed that the house of cards that is world finance and commerce would collapse. It didn’t. And all these five years, it hasn’t. This defies logic, tradition, and all economic principles. (Above, A crowd gathers at New York City’s Federal Hall opposite the Stock Exchange at the news of the crash – 1929 AP / Wide World Photos Time – 75 Years)

Or does it?

What has to change is our perception of what an economic crash is. If you live in America like I do, we have a notion that economic crashes suddenly occur, like the October Wall Street stock market crash of 1929. We often think of the crash happening in October and then immediately of the lines outside banks to get disappearing deposits and right away the Okies traveling away from the Dust bowl states. But it all unfolded much more slowly than that.

Oct 10, 2008, Source

But what most people do not know is that the 1929 crash was similar to the 2008 crash in that it was but one marker of an ailing, upside down economy. Bankers and Brokers didn’t realize the depth and extent of the crash and that it would spark a 10-year Depression.

Time Magazine reported on the 1929 October crash, “As the story goes, the opening bell was never heard on Black Tuesday because the shouts of “Sell! Sell! Sell!” drowned it out. In the first thirty minutes, 3 million shares changed hands and with them, another $2 million disappeared into thin air. Phone lines clogged. The volume of Western Union telegrams traveling across the country tripled. The ticker tape ran so far behind the actual transactions that some traders simply let it run out. Trades happened so quickly that although people knew they were losing money, they didn’t know how much.”

And that is what we remember of the most devastating and terror-ridden moment in America’s financial and economic history. But the crash continued-

As a matter of fact, the Market recovered on October 30, regaining 12% of losses. Time reported, “In total, $25 billion — some $319 billion in today’s dollars — was lost in the 1929 crash. Stocks continued to fall over subsequent weeks, finally bottoming out on November 13, 1929. The market recovered for a few months and then slid again, gliding swiftly and steadily with the rest of the country into the Great Depression. Companies incurred huge layoffs, unemployment skyrocketed, wages plummeted and the economy went into a tailspin. While World War II helped pull the country out of a Depression by the early 1940s, the stock market wouldn’t recover to its pre-crash numbers until 1954.”

After the crash of 1929 it wasn’t until 1932-1933 that the economy hit rock bottom. This timeline has the facts about why 1933 was the worst year of the Depression for the common man. So you can easily see that the crash was not a one-day event but took years to unfold, rebound and for the stock market to recover..

Like 1929, the 2008 economic crash followed a speculative boom. The era was so speculative and the attitude was so optimistic, that the entire era is called The Roaring Twenties. The era was dynamic, vibrant, creative, and was undergirded by sustained economic prosperity. This attitude was not prevalent just in America, but also Europe. France’s name for the era was The Crazy Years. Britain called it the Golden Twenties.

The president of the Chase National Bank said at the time of the crash, “We are reaping the natural fruit of the orgy of speculation in which millions of people have indulged. It was inevitable, because of the tremendous increase in the number of stockholders in recent years, that the number of sellers would be greater than ever when the boom ended and selling took the place of buying.” (Wikipedia)

Economist Albert Scardino said in 1987, “The panic of October 1929 has come to serve as a symbol of the economic contraction that gripped the world during the next decade.”

As an aside, when economists say “contraction”, I think of the contraction of a woman in labor. (Matthew 24:8).

The same conditions that sparked the crash of 1929, wild speculation and bloated spending, sparked the 2008 crash, but like the unfolding Depression of the 1930, it unfolds slowly. The crash is actually a long period of decline, not a one-day event. We have been ‘crashing’ since October 2008. We are in a crash right now. Let’s take a look at the present-day facts.

Wal-Mart is undergoing a silent sales disaster. The Daily Beast reports, Wal-Mart customers have disappeared, will they take the economy with them?
“Where are all the customers?” asks an internal Walmart email published by Bloomberg last week. “And where’s their money?” Another email states “In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February [month to date] sales are a total disaster . . . the worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.” Brad Plumer notes that Walmart sales are often a bellwether for the rest of the economy. Should we be freaking out?”

Yes. Yes we should.

Why? The higher payroll tax kicked in this January. Higher payroll taxes mean less money for consumers and less money for consumers means, well, they spend less. The Economic Collapse blog says “The Big Dogs of Wall Street are starting to get very nervous“.

And according to a CNN article, corporate insiders are now selling nine times more of their own shares than they are buying…  These corporate insiders have one word for investors: sell. Insiders were nine times more likely to sell shares of their companies than buy new ones last week, according to the Vickers Weekly Insider report by Argus Research. We wonder why corporate bigwigs like Google’s Eric Schmidt is selling nearly half of his stock in the company.

The crashing economy is seen not just in consumer spending, stocks, and retail, but in government. The United States has not passed a budget in years. Heritage reports, “The House and Senate have not agreed on a budget resolution since April 29, 2009 (though the House has passed budgets the past two years). If current trends continue, the end of the 113th Congress will mark five straight years without a congressional budget. … The temporary tax policies of recent years, the debt ceiling debacle of 2011, and the short-term “solution” of last year’s fiscal cliff have only worsened the budgetary dysfunction. Congress now faces across-the-board spending cuts (sequestration) on March 1, another deadline March 27 for funding government operations, and another debt ceiling vote in May. Halfway into the fiscal year, major budget decisions remain in flux. These incoherent practices have yielded no entitlement reform—indispensable for getting deficits and debt under control—but they have produced a $618 billion tax increase.”

Caption- Some of the 6,000 men who queued up for jobs offered by a New York employment agency – 1930 (135 found jobs; by 1932 almost 30% of the American workforce was unemployed) Corbis / Bettmann – UPI

Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilian workers
“The Pentagon notified Congress on Wednesday it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect March 1.”

Sequestration defined: “Under sequestration, an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated is “sequestered” by the Treasury and not handed over to the agencies to which it was originally appropriated by Congress.”

As we already know, there is trouble everywhere. The UK lost its credit rating yesterday. Forbes reported,  “Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the sovereign credit rating of the U.K. on Friday, stripping its coveted triple-A status one notch to AA1. The agency blamed U.K.’s rising debt levels, adding that there was “a deterioration in the shock-absorption capacity of the government’s balance sheet, which is unlikely to reverse before 2016.” Forbes asks the $64 question, ‘Is the US next?’

Imagine what the loss of pay for 800,000 workers would do to our economy, already staggered by loss of jobs and cash flow. In other words, under sequestration, all money flow comes to a forced halt and during a depression voluntary money flow comes to a halt. Like retail spending–

CBS News reports, “The entire economy is headed for trouble in just eight days — when massive across-the-board cuts in the federal budget are scheduled to kick in automatically. The cuts were designed to be so deep and harmful, that they would force the president and Congress to find a better way. But they haven’t. Just for example, there would be $46 billion cut from the Defense Department and benefit cuts for 4.7 million long-term unemployed.”

Retail is failing, and this is a marker of the crash.

Best Buy is forecasting 200 to 250 store closings
Sears Holding Corp. forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125
J.C. Penney, forecast store closings: 300 to 350
Office Depot, forecast store closings: 125 to 150
Barnes & Noble, forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments
Gamestop, forecast store closings: 500 to 600
OfficeMax, forecast store closings: 150 to 175
RadioShack, forecast store closings: 450 to 550

In addition to closings, we hear about layoffs.

Blockbuster recently announced that this year they will be closing about 300 stores and eliminating about 3,000 jobs. Toy manufacturer Hasbro recently announced that they will be shrinking their workforce by about 10 percent. And we already heard about the Walmart email that said February was the worst month, ever.

So what does this all mean? It means God is doing a work! Did you know that the bible has a lot to say about finances and economy? There are verses which instruct us on personal level and on a national level. For example, Proverbs 22:16 says,

“Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.” The NLT makes it even clearer. “A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.” Tell that to the Occupy Wall Street people…

But now I am going to contradict myself. The Great Depression seems to have begun in October 1929 and the stock market did not recover until 1954. These things take a long time to set up, to occur and to recover from. They are long cycles. (Kondratiev wave). The one exception to the slow cycle of up and  down will be the Tribulation. Why? It will be a time like no other before or since, (Matthew 24:21).

In my opinion, the fact that the global merging of all national economies into one economic force (Revelation 13:16-17) under the management of one man, (Revelation 13:5-8), bespeaks that something massive has to have happened for the people to accept such dramatic moves. And it has to happen fast, because the Tribulation is only 7 years, and since Revelation is mostly chronological, by the time Revelation 13 occurs, it is midway through the entire period. We read in Revelation 13:5 that authority is given to the antichrist for 42 months (3.5 years).

There will be an economy in the Tribulation, it will be vigorous and will trade in all the usual things like flour (Revelation 6:6) but there will also be a trade for luxuries (Revelation 18). There will be people rich enough to buy these luxuries. So much so, that the merchants selling them become incredibly wealthy.

WHAT will have happened that will reduce the world into an entire economic and financial restructuring within just 3.5 years? (first half of the Tribulation). Something terrible and dramatic. It only takes three and a half years for the global economy to be turned completely upside down, restructured and by the time the antichrist comes along, for the world to accept his proposal of a one world government- and enact it!

Of course, the beginning of the events that would cause the acceptance of the one world economy may begin prior to the Tribulation, but given the last five years of slow decline (despite warnings of the ‘fiscal cliff) I don’t think so. Personally I believe it will be one or more of the following that will cause the final and/or sudden economic collapse:

1. The rapture. If enough consumers who hold withhold their money from retail circulation could cause panic in Walmart execs during just one month, what will the sudden removal of all the Christians’ economic input cause the world economy?

2. War. And not just any war- but nuclear war and/or EMP. The coming wars of Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 may not occur just in the Tribulation. There is nothing about the prophecy that says these wars have to happen during the 7 years of judgment (except by the very end of the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog/Magog war the Tribulation will have begun, because the Jews are brought back to covenant with God, (Ez 39:7) and the world knows that God is judging the world. (Ez 38:16, 23). Those prophesied wars contain intimations that they will be nuclear. I wrote about that last week. With war often comes…disease.

3. Disease outbreak. The 1918-20 Spanish flu pandemic was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic which infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—1 to 3 percent of the world’s population at the time—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. (source). Most of the deaths in the US took place within only 9 months. The sudden removal of human capital, either through death or illness from which they later recovered, was dramatic. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that a pandemic similar to the 1918 flu would decrease annual U.S. GDP levels by 5% if it happened in today’s economy. There were mandatory closings of schools, churches, theatres, and places of public assemblage toward the end of the year in 1918. The entertainment industry was hit hardest.

For example, legal gambling in the US is a 90Billion dollar industry. Factor in other entertainment such as cable, internet, film, music etc and you have a trillion dollar industry. An outbreak of disease could put a severe dent on all that, just as it did in 1918. As a matter of fact, officials are worried about an outbreak of tuberculosis in LA. And yesterday it’s reported that a Long Island teen died of a mysterious illness while on a school trip to Disneyland

4. All of the above. All these events could happen simultaneously or nearly so. It is not possible to go through the removal of millions in the blink of an eye, and/or war, and/or pestilential outbreak on a global scale and not have other segments of the global infrastructure such as economy be impacted too.

5. Other. God is creative. I do not know what else He may have planned that will cause the world’s economy to fail or at least come to the point where the population of the planet accepts an entire restructuring. Who expected the 9.0 quake and tsunami in Japan? Who expected the Pope to resign? Who thought Obama would be re-elected for another 4 years? Who thought that a massive sinkhole in Bayou Corne or a BP multi-month oil breach would occur?

We Christians can look forward to the rapture and will escape all these things. We see the rapture in Revelation 4. The Church is seen in Heaven in Revelation 5. The wrath begins in Revelation 6. No matter how close the wrath is, the rapture is closer!

Posted in dystopian, mark of the beast, oliver stone, orwellian, utopian, vatican

The Vatican wants to vacuum you dry. And other news

Here is some news I thought interesting.

Not a speck of dust! Sistine Chapel visitors to be vacuumed
“In a bid to protect one of Italy’s greatest historical sites that featured frescos by Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli the authorities of the Vatican are installing a hi-end vacuum cleaning system in the Sistine Chapel to clean visitors. ­The special equipment will be installed next year at the entrance to the Sistine Chapel, the hall that hosts the cardinals’ conclave when they elect the new Pope, Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper reports. The measure is being taken to preserve the 500-year-old Renaissance masterpiece from the dust, dirt, hair and fibers brought in by visitors. It is one of the most visited attractions inside Italy with four million tourists coming to the Chapel every year.”

“The vacuum cleaner will guarantee that all visitors will be clean of dust and other fibers and it will also take away excessive moisture such as sweat,” the director of the Vatican Museum Antonio Paolucci said. “It would involve a system along the final 100 meters before entering the Sistine Chapel which would suck up dust and other debris from people’s shoes,” he explained. “At the same time side vents would also draw in dust from clothes and also excessive humidity and dampness from people, in other words sweat, to keep them cool because all these factors combined can damage the frescoes. They are the biggest enemies of artworks,” Paolucci said.”

“At the last major cleaning at the Sistine Chapel “several kilos” of dust, hair and man-made fibers were removed from the priceless frescos.”


EWWW! is all I can say. I have traveled to Italy numerous times. I saw the fresco degradation first hand. I was surprised to learn how delicate frescoes are, and how breath, humidity, fibers, and dirt stirred up from thousands of feet tramping through take a toll on the art. When I was there the first time, the Last Supper in Milan was covered by scaffolding, obscuring the great work by Da Vinci, because it was being cleaned. It had darkened almost totally.

Another time, I went to Rome and visited Vatican City. Though I was not saved yet, I was still sensitive to the influence of the demonic and the divine. God had put that into me and thus, I could ‘feel’ things. Yeah, I know, weird. Though we went to the Vatican itself and I skittishly enjoyed St. Peter’s Square for its architectural beauty and history, when my husband asked if I wanted to go inside, I refused. I desperately wanted to see the great art, but an external spirit wouldn’t let me enter that most deeply demonic place. I got the willies and I turned away.

Eesh, between TSA patting me down and the Vatican Guard vacuuming me dry, I don’t think I’ll be traveling for a while. Unless it’s to COME UP HERE!


The LORD has regard for both the rich and the poor. “The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2). The rich and poor alike are appointed so, (1 Samuel 2:7).

However, sometimes poverty comes because of sloth on the part of the person, or drunkenness, (Proverbs 20:13, Proverbs 28:19). In any case, the bible says to work when we can (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and if your circumstances do require you to be on the dole, don’t languish there (1 Timothy 5:5-6).

It appears that in reading this next article that there may be many who are languishing there. I am sure that there are many hard-working people who need to receive government welfare, but loiterers on the dole were an issue in Jesus’ day and they are an issue in our day. People don’t change.

Takers exceeds workers in 11 states
“In 11 different U.S. states, the number of government dependents exceeds the number of private sector workers. This list of states includes some of the biggest states in the country: California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Hawaii. … In California, there are 139 “takers” for every 100 private sector workers. If you can believe it, entitlements accounted for 62 percent of all federal spending in fiscal year 2012.”

This is not sustainable, of course. Which is the point. At a time in the future, a future growing closer each day, God will dismantle the world’s economy to make way for the antichrist’s infrastructure. The mark of the beast will follow.


Speaking of future dystopian societies, movie director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznik say that the ‘US has become an Orwellian state’.

An Owellian state is defined by Wikipedia as “the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the “unperson” — a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments. Often, this includes the circumstances depicted in his novels, particularly Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

Huh. If that’s the definition of Orwellian state, without even reading the news article any further, I can wholeheartedly agree with Stone and Kuznik. But here’s the first sentence, and it’s a loaded one:

“Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with RT to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration’s disregard for the rule of law.”

LOL, I told you it was a loaded sentence. Now here’s the next one:

­”Both argue that Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that people have forgiven him a lot because of the “nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him.” “

Interesting turn of phrase, ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, that. Continuing in the article,

“It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere,” Stone said. According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.” “

I was just thinking about this the other day, the fact that there is no place to hide. When my husband and I loaded up on our yacht and took off for live-aboard, blue water cruising, we were expecting freedom, invisibility from government scrutiny and interference, a vagabond devil-may-care kind of living. What we got was far from it. It was a rude awakening for both of us. Far from dropping out of government clutches, we dropped right into them.

Of course, you had to license your boat with the government, just as you do with a car. If you launch from a marina, that’s documented. And traveling down the Intracoastal Waterway meant that every bridge you passed under the bridgetender took down the name of your boat and time of passage. Same with passing through a lock.

If you go “outside” the Intracoastal and make a passage in the Atlantic, the US Coast Guard could spot you and approach at any time for any reason. They can and do board your boat for any reason, no permission needed. As a matter of fact, when they board, they hold captain and any crew in the cockpit whilst they search your boat. They are armed, so you don’t argue. In a car in the US the police need probable cause to enter your car or they are breaking the law if they do. Not so with a boat.

Weighing anchor in the Bahamas didn’t help either. There is a heavy US Coast Guard presence with permission and welcome from the Bahamian government.

We were mariners back in the 1990s so maybe things have changed…but at the time the US was looking for drugs and human trafficking smuggling from The Bahamas and Cuba and they had a long reach. It should be noted that we were two law-abiding citizens with all proper identification and were not nor did we intend to smuggle anything. We were two young yuppies living the husband’s dream to sail on the ocean on our own boat to view the sights of coastal America and live the life of minding our own business and seeing a few sunsets.

But I was thinking the other day that of a person wanted to ‘drop out’ of regular society for personal, law-abiding reasons like we did back in the ’90s, that it would be very hard to do so lawfully today. Of course, the criminals have an easier time of it. Which was the opposite point of the Patriot Act. But now we do have that aforementioned Orwellian society of Big Brother…like this:

California gets face scanners to spy on everyone at once
“In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It’s all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it’s already occurring. Imagine the police taking a picture: any picture of a person, anywhere, and matching it on the spot in less than a second to a personalized profile, scanning millions upon millions of entries from within vast, intricate databases stored on the cloud.”

This is pretty interesting. I like to think about the practicalities of the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:16-17 says

“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”

First, the part where the antichrist “causes all”. All means nearly 8 billion people, though that number will have been just about halved by the time Revelation 13 rolls around, due to the rapture taking millions of Christians from the earth, and Revelation 6’s plagues and wars. But still, how will the antichrist ’cause’ all from Greenland to Chile, from California to Mongolia, to do this thing? My contention is that the people who are unsaved will want to and the Christians who have become saved will try to hide but that they will know they’ll be hunted down. (Rev 13:10).

Secondly, how will the checkout person at the point of sale know? It will take a huge database to scan in a person’s mark to determine if they are genuinely within the commerce system. The database would need to be extremely rapid, also. However, quantum chips are here so no worries. So it seems the Orwellian nightmare of Big Brother is coming along just fine and its infrastructure to handle the prophesied events is just about in place.

It has been a rapid advance just in my own lifetime. I was born in 1960 and the 60s were a free living time of hippies dropping out and no Big Brother was around to track them. The first commercial bar code was not in use until 1974. Highway scanners weren’t invented, cameras on city streets, banks, and other places were not set up yet. In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s it was still fairly easy to travel under the radar from place to place and TSA wasn’t set up in the airports yet.

But by now, RFID, face scanners, fingerprinting at banks and other places (like schools), video surveillance, and intrusive monitoring everywhere like Oliver Stone was mentioning are part of a dystopian life. It makes me want to scream in frustration.

But I do not scream because I know the joy that is set before me. Here is the utopian life. Soon Jesus will call us up to heaven, and we will live in a place where we will know just as we are known. (1 Corinthians 13:12). There will be total government involvement in our lives. And it will be a good thing! Our place is called New Jerusalem and the church age saints, us, will live there. Jesus will be the head of the government (Isaiah 9:6). He is perfect and all He does to rule the nations will be perfect. There will be no sin in us because we will live in glorified bodies. We won’t have any reason to even want to drop out! We will not worry about scrutiny or wayward governments unjustly reaching into our lives. We will be part of a glorious fellowship of saints from all ages and all nations, melded by Jesus’ blood and God’s perfect plan into one united body of peoples. We will be His trophies of grace and it will all occur in a place called heaven.

You can be there too, if you believe on the name of Jesus as the resurrected lamb who was slain for our sins.

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19-20a)

Posted in creflo dollar, mark of the beast, td jakes

The future of marriage of worship and love of money

Our bible’s inspired warnings about how we handle money are there for a reason. The Old Testament is rife with warnings, examples of misuse of money, and having wrong attitudes about it. Mixing money and worship never works if you bring the wrong attitude along. Jesus told several parables about money and the Holy Spirit inspired several of the Apostles to issue warnings about it.

I’d like to take a look at the tie between money and worship.

The Tribulation will be a time when the fullness of sin will be allowed to prosper. It means that the world will be saturated with sin to an extent not seen since the Days of Noah. (Matt. 24:37-38). “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” (Gen. 6:11-12).

With the Holy Spirit restrainer out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7) sin will come to the full. One of those sins has always been the corrupting influence of money in the church. It was a problem even in James’s day. (James 2:1-7). In James it speaks about not favoring the ones who come to church dressed well and obviously wealthy over the ones who arrive looking bedraggled and poor. It says to make no distinction between the rich and the poor. The warning exists because it is fallen man’s natural tendency to try and curry favor with the ones who have money, influence, or power. But when money is used as an influence-maker, and being born again do not mix.

The influence of money skews worship. Look how adulterated things had become in Ephesus. When Paul proclaimed Jesus, and said that their god whom they worshiped (Diana) was a work made of man’s hands and thoughts, there was a riot.

“For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.” (Acts 19:24-27).

Most telling: ‘men, you know from this business we have our wealth.’ What business? The trinkets for worship business. I am not making this up, but I knew a man who used to take many business trips to Italy to look for items that would end up churches or funeral homes, mostly Roman Catholic churches. Crucifixes, Jesus-art, silver and gold accouterments to the ordinances, etc. He used to describe his import-export business as “Junk for Jesus.” I think Demetrius could describe his living as ‘Debris for Diana.’

Pagan idolatry corrupts. When the true church is corrupted, money is almost always at the root of it. Wrong attitudes about money are a hindrance to true worship. Demetrius was upset. Note that his opposition to Paul was first that his silver business would decline. Diana was second.

Peter reminded the pastors to enter into their calling not for ‘filthy lucre’ but out of eagerness to serve God. (1 Peter 5:2). Deacons are not supposed to be lovers of money. (1 Tim 3:3).

A false prophet’s motivation will be money. In the case of when lucre becomes filthy it is when people USE God to make money. They turn Christianity into a trade, and industry upon which they make money.

We are not talking about hating money in and of itself. We need money for the practicalities of pastor salaries, church operating expenses, missions support, and charity. Money serves those biblical purposes. But the fleshly drive to acquire a huge personal wealth from your service to God cannot be justified.

TD Jakes was in the news this week. There was a huge gala held at the AT&T Performing Arts Center/Winspear Opera House in Dallas TX. It was called “A Triumphant Journey” and since Mr Jakes says he is a man of God you would think that the title referred to Jesus’s triumphant journey from glory to earth and back to heaven again, triumphing at the cross for all time. You would be wrong. The second half of the gala title “TD Jakes 35th Anniversary”. It was a gala held to acclaim Jakes’s 35 years in the ministry. A gala for Jakes, about Jakes, uplifting Jakes. Ticket sales started at $150. The blurb states:

“an extraordinary 35th year celebration and Black Tie gala featuring distinguished celebrity guests, community leaders and special entertainment in celebration and honor of Bishop T.D. Jakes.”

The Opera House was full, as celebrities sang Jakes’s praises
under banners proclaiming TD’s name.

The news review stated it was an… “epic-length event celebrated the Dallas-based spiritual leader, TV star and entertainment mogul for his 35 years of ministry. From the red carpet to the army of cameramen filming it for future broadcast to the $150-and-up ticket prices, it was a major soiree befitting The Potter’s House senior pastor…”

“And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)

Source, HT Do Not Be Surprised
There was not only the gala, but the after-gala soiree. source

Jesus said, “I tell you, they already have their reward.” (Matthew 6:1-6). Gill’s Notes succinctly says, “verily I say unto you, they have their reward; and a poor one it is, the applause of men: however, it is what they seek after, and is all their empty performances deserve, and all they will have.”

Creflo Dollar was in the news this week. He allegedly hit and choked his teenage daughter in an allegation of domestic abuse. With is arrest comes scrutiny of his past. Remember that money was at the root of previous allegations. The Athens Banner Herald article strolled down memory lane, its report noting–

“Along with Bishop Eddie Long, Mr Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta who have built successful ministries on the prosperity gospel, which teaches that God wants to bless the faithful with earthly riches. Ministers in this tradition often hold up their own wealth as evidence that the teaching works.”

The article quoted Mr Dollar as saying–

“I stopped taking a salary,” he said. “But no one ask the question, ‘Where are you getting your money from?’ Well, I have boxes of invitations to speak. At first, I was glad to preach for anyone. What I didn’t know was I received a love offering for preaching. Back then, it was for $25 bucks. But over the years, people began to appreciate what I was bringing to them.”

To Mr. Dollar, money is the evidence that his work  is appreciated? “I tell you, they already have their reward.” He was glad to preach to anyone “at first” but now, at the last, it takes money to get him to preach? That is certainly the implication I take away from the quote.

I started this essay with the reminder that during the Tribulation, sin will have its full, unrestrained expression. We will see the final unholy mix of money and worship when the Antichrist demands worship. He demands it. And in order to display that submission to his demand, you must wear a mark on your hand or forehead. The mark of the beast is a mark of worship. Primarily is it a visible demonstration that you claim antichrist as messiah. Note, though, how the antichrist ties in money with that worship. Economic Babylon and Idolatrous Babylon finally have their consummation: without that mark of worship, you cannot buy or sell.

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and  money.” (Mt 6:24)

In the Tribulation, the people who love money will have no problem trading their very souls for it, (Rev 14:9-11) as they choose to worship the Antichrist, in that pinnacle of man’s craven attempts to meld both worship and the love of money- and they will lose it all, forever.