A Forgotten Aspect of Bible Prophecy
By Thomas R. Horn – May 31, 2014
In January this year (2014), the Pew Research Center (PRC)—a prestigious think tank based in Washington, DC (which provides information on social issues and demographic trends shaping the world)—published its report, “Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High.”
In this important document, the worldwide public-opinion surveyors chronicled the steady growth of religious persecution around the world and found that social hostilities involving religion are currently most frequently directed against people of Christian faith. The sharpest increase was in the Middle East, which, the reporters surmise, is the result of the 2010–2011 political uprisings known as the Arab Spring.
That region’s score on the Social Hostilities Index rose from 5.4 in 2011 to 6.4 in 2012, three times the global median. A January 8, 2014, Breitbart news feature with the headline “A Report from the Non-Denominational Group Open Doors Says the Number of Christians Martyred around the World for Their Faith Nearly Doubled in 2013” separately confirmed the discoveries of the PRC cited above. Besides the Middle East, the Pew findings also detail an escalation in the United States from the lowest category of government restrictions on Christian expressions as of mid-2009 to an advanced category in only three years, where it appears poised to continue upward at the time the new investigative book Blood On The Altar: The Coming War Between Christian vs. Christian heads to the printer. If recent activity is any indication, it may not be long before “one nation under God” joins those red-listed countries where Bible-based believers find themselves under the most severe discrimination. Indeed, National Review Online recently posted a critical review by Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, who cites the 2014 World Watch List (which ranks the fifty nations where Christians are most persecuted) to determine that the U.S. has become “the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today.” While Ibrahim’s assertion mostly reflects American involvement in foreign conflicts, examples of repression in the US against people of Christian faith are growing and are easily obtained online. A simple and quick web search produced the following headlines and statistics in just a few minutes:
A January 25, 2014, news story at Christian News Network is entitled “Legal Group Reports ‘Dramatic Increase’ in Hostility toward Christian Students in Public Schools.” An important distinction in this story is that the upswing in incident reports does not pertain to bullying from other students, but rather to mistreatment by school officials. “[The reports all surround] hostility from teachers and school administrators who are curtailing the students’ free speech rights simply because they’re Christians and they might express a Christian worldview,” the article quotes Bob Tyler, general counsel of Advocates for Faith and Freedom (AFF), as saying. Incidents include:
A Boston-area mother of a seventh grader called the AFF to report that one of her child’s teachers, an atheist, had belittled the student’s faith. “The atheist teacher said, ‘We atheists laugh at you Christians. No one will believe in God [in coming years] because science has proven that there is no God.’”
Another incident concerned a California teacher who threw away a gift from a first-grader because it was spiritual in nature. “[The teacher] said, ‘Jesus is not allowed in school,’ and proceeded to throw [the present] in the trash,” Tyler outlined, noting that the professing Christian principal sided with the teacher in the matter.
Another first grader, who was giving a religious presentation in class, was told to stop when her teacher realized the student was referring to biblical passages. “The teacher said, ‘Stop right there. You cannot talk about the Bible in school,’” Tyler said. “And for [the student]…all of a sudden you feel like you’re in trouble because of what just happened.”
A February 2, 2014, CBS story outlines how a North Carolina high school football coach was ordered to cease baptisms and leading prayers for students even when not on school grounds (the baptism in question was performed at the Charles Mack Citizen Center, a church in town that many team members attend and the coach was simply invited to be there). “‘It is a violation of the Constitution for the Mooresville High School football coach to organize, lead, or participate in prayers or other religious proselytizing before, during, or after games and practices,’ Patrick Elliott, attorney for Freedom from Religion Foundation, wrote to the school’s district attorney last fall. ‘It is well settled that public schools, and by extension public school officials, may not advance or promote religion.’”
A very well written, January 10, 2014, American Thinker opinion piece by Fay Voshell titled “Establishing a US State Religion” details a modest group of nuns who have devoted their lives to the care of the elderly for 175 years—“a generally thankless task,” Voshell notes, “as they are dealing with human beings who are physically debilitated and most often mentally frail as they come to the end of their earthly existence.” The nuns have come under intimidation by the US government for “refusing to obey the Obamacare Affordable Health Care mandate to include abortion-inducing drugs as part of the insurance policies offered to the orders’ employees. Such provisions violate the nuns’ religious beliefs concerning the sacredness of life from conception to death.” Voshell notes that Beverly Monk’s report on Citizen Link indicates that the nuns “have been told they must offer the abortifacient or sign a government form that delegates the action to a third party.”
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Voshell says, “are essentially saying to the nuns, ‘You yourselves don’t have to do it, but you have to allow someone else to do it on behalf of your order.’ That’s legal casuistry at its most serpentine. Monk also reports the DOJ demands…‘the Little Sisters must sign a “self-certification” form claiming eligibility for an exemption from the mandate, or pay millions in fines.’ In other words, sign the paper or else.”
A December 31, 2013, ABC News story reports of Houston, Texas, city bus drivers who were reprimanded for praying with a coworker after her twelve-year-old girl was hit by a car and later died of the injuries.
A January 3, 2014, Daily Caller feature article titled “House Committee: Obama Administration Banned Christmas Carols and Cards for Veterans” by Patrick Howley states how “the Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prohibited veterans from hearing Christmas carols or receiving gifts wrapped in Christmas-themed wrapping paper.… Additionally, the VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia—which treats veterans—banned Christmas carolers from singing Christmas songs with religious references in public areas.”
A December 9, 2013, Charisma News report by Matt Barber details how “Blogging Gays Urge Murder, Castration of Christians.”
A February 7, 2014, story at WorldNetDailyfeatures an interview with US Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin under the stinging headline, “General: US Christians Targeted For Murder.”
Finally, a November 10, 2013, Associated Press report—while not a direct story of Christian persecution—details how “Atheist ‘Mega-Churches’ Are Taking Root across US, World.”
1st Corinthians 16:22 “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.”
Anathema - a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
- the Lord is coming” or “come, O
There are, of course, hundreds more such examples in media at this time (and I didn’t even mention the recent attempt to perform a Black Mass at Harvard University against “the stifling authority of the Church” or the Satanic Baphomet under design for Oklahoma’s Statehouse), and, again, these stories are just samples found in a few moments with a simple web query. But what these bullet points fail to mention is the developing emergence on the world scene of what will become one of the greatest threats ever raised against the authentic body of Christ—Religious Christians.
Pew Research map shows United States as a growing menace to real Christianity
Cry “Havoc!” and Let Slip the Dogs of War
For some students of prophecy, the facts outlined above were not only predictable, but were a prophesied prelude to a period in history wherein true believers will be “beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and….[for] not worship[ing] the beast, neither his image, neither…[receiving] his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands” (Rev. 20:4).
Yet, when discussing this end-times scenario, and in particular the subject of rigorous persecution, often overlooked is the role that religious “Christians” are being shaped today to play against the true body of Christ. Even the subtitle of my upcoming book and the concept of a coming war between Christians could seem beyond credulity if it were not for what the inspired texts themselves convey. Jesus predicted a time when “whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2), and in Matthew 24, He told His disciples:
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all [groups of people] for my name’s sake.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. (Matthew 24:9–12)
Elsewhere in the Bible it describes this coming era of Great Tribulation as when the Antichrist will have power “to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” (Rev. 13:7; see also Dan. 7:21). Immediately following those verses, there is description of a second beast with “two horns like a lamb” who speaks “like a dragon” (Rev. 13:11). Most evangelical scholars identify this second “beast” as the leader of the end-times religious institution who will be under Satan’s control. The phrase “like a lamb” indicates he will pretend to represent the Lamb of God and the Christian church, while the expression “speaks like a dragon” identifies the devilish source of his authority and power. This final, global, super-church leader will be a murderer not unlike the Antichrist, and will cause “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15).
Thus, the book of Revelation outlines how the political figure of Antichrist derives ultranational dominance from the world’s religious faithful through the influence of an ecclesiastical leader (also called the False Prophet) who will not hesitate to swim in the blood of the genuine saints of God.
In the days between now and when these men of sin are identified, this reality—that latter-day churchgoers will soon believe they are serving the kingdom of God by participating in or approving the death of conservative Christians—is not a concept lost on all contemporary churchmen. There are those who see things taking shape even now for a war that will eventually pit religious “Christians” against the real members of the body of Christ. For example, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, stated early in 2014 that “modern Christians” will now be “‘called’ to suffer and even die for the faith” in a new era “of martyrdom.” But a clarifying document that was not supposed to be made public and which was authored by a senior advisor to Welby’s predecessor details how such a time of great persecution is coming because true believers will, according to the letter, be driven underground by liberal Christians and will become a dissident association comparable to resistance movements during World War II. Dr. J. Vernon McGee, one of America’s most beloved Bible teachers of the past century, taught the same and clarified that these true biblical believers would ultimately be driven “underground” by none other than latter-day denominational churches. Another of the twentieth century’s most perceptive writers was pastor and author A. W. Tozer (who was not usually given to prognostication), who likewise wrote:
Let me go out on a limb a little bit and prophesy. I see the time coming when all the holy men whose eyes have been opened by the Holy Spirit will desert worldly Evangelicalism, one by one. The house [institutional Christianity] will be left desolate and there will not be a man of God, a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, left among them.
These Holy-Spirit-devoid church attenders will join other “religious types” to constitute Antichrist’s apostate religious and political order (connected to “Mystery Babylon” in Revelation 17) and, as unfathomable as it may sound, will seek to formulate perhaps the most egregious rank among the Man of Sin’s Gestapo members in their appetite for destroying latter-day, truly born-again believers.
Impossible, some might say? Tell that to the trainloads of Jews who vanished beneath the brutality of Nazi Germany members who maintained their Protestant faith or to the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children who have died since the days of Christ’s crucifixion and the martyrdom of His disciples at the hands of institutional church authorities and holy temple leaders. The European wars of religion (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) are further examples of such mayhem by very religious people, as could also be considered the Muslim conquests (seventh to nineteenth centuries), the Crusades (eleventh to thirteenth centuries), the Spanish Reconquista (eighth to fifteenth centuries), the Ottoman wars in Europe (fifteenth to nineteenth centuries) and the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church (twelfth to fourteenth centuries).
But now, what was old is new again, and as a militant spirit of evil pushes through the veil toward a final supernatural conflict (in which blood will flow to the horses’ bridles), violent clashes over matters of faith are once more boiling around the globe. Consequently, brutality wrought by the final Antichrist and his end-time Christian assassins will soon make the combined depravities of those wars mentioned above look like child’s play. When he raises his fist, “speaking great things…in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven” (Rev. 13:5–6), at his right hand will stand those devoted house-of-worship attendees who are vividly described in the final book of the Bible as “drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:6) as they dance and sing “in the spirit” of their mega-church “habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit” (Rev. 18:2).
How could such a nightmarish reality develop in modern times and within advanced society? Part of the answer includes a unique, if not disturbing, study in human psychology, repeatedly verified in university and military experiments, which we will consider in the next entry.
Continued in Part 2 – THE LUCIFER EFFECT
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