I will continue my discussion of the prophetic implications of some of the events and developments we witnessed in 2017.
Some call it fake news. Jesus called it deception. When His disciples asked about the signs of the last days, Jesus began by giving His followers this warning: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” (Matthew 24:4)
We live in an age of deception — fake news, false advertising, viral lies, and clickbait. The mainstream media perpetrate falsehoods regularly, as do various alternative media.
But one of the major sources of 21st century deception can be found in an unlikely place: our schools. For instance, the U.S. Department of Education urges all public schools to teach Islam.
It’s really just thinly veiled propaganda, though they would certainly not use that word. The DoE says schools should teach Islam “to create an anti-bias learning environment.”
Many regularly teach the religious doctrine that God and Allah are the same. Forget the “separation of church and state” arguments for the moment. This one teaching alone is a form of gross — and deadly — deception. And the deception is being inculcated in our malleable children. By order of the state!
In 2017, truth became even more subservient to political correctness. Isaiah 5:20 says, in part, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil….” Those words perfectly describe the pervasive spirit of deception that seems to have settled upon our world.
Another sign of the end times is an increase in the persecution of those who name the name of Jesus Christ.
Christianity Today reported, “For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.” Fox News said, “Nearly one in 12 Christians across the globe lives in an area where there is high-level persecution against members of the religion.”
A Yemen man called “Sam” told CBN News, “Life for Christians in Yemen is very hard. For that matter, across the Middle East, there’s not a country where Christians are not suffering for their faith. This is our reality.”
But 2017 also found the persecution of Christians arise in unexpected places. Canada enacted Bill 89, which gives the state the power to take a child away from his or her parents if they do not agree that their child is transgender.
Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition warned, “…we’ve entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed in Canada’s history … Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith.”
Even in America, it is becoming dangerous to be a Christian. Especially one who is willing to take a stand for Judeo-Christian values. in 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. His story is a reminder that following Christ may soon harm a believer’s ability to hold a job or run his own business in a western nation.
Over the last few decades, some Bible scholars have postulated that the “mark of the beast” might be a computer chip inserted under a person’s skin. The chip would serve as an identifier and repository of vast amounts of information about the individual.
From critical medical information to credit and banking information, the chip would guarantee security and convenience. It would also make possible an amazing Bible prophecy concerning the Antichrist’s partner, the False Prophet.
Revelation 13:16-17 foretells, “He causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark.”
In July of 2017, a company in Wisconsin implanted tiny computer chips into the hands of about 50 employee volunteers. These chips only allow them to open doors and buy snacks from vending machines without money. In other words, to make things more convenient for the busy employees. It sounds harmless enough, but portends more ominous possibilities in the future.
Last year, The New York Times called certain toys “the cybersecurity nightmares of 2017.” The paper was referring to the fact that more and more toys contain cameras and microphones that connect to the internet — and constantly gather data.
Today, toys spy on us. Cell phones spy on us. Televisions, cars, and even refrigerators spy on us.
In 2017, TSA began using facial scans at some airports. In October, the liberal Slate magazine reported on legislation pending before Congress. It said, “…an alarming section of the bill would give… a green light to begin using biometrics to identify people in airports nationwide… right now there’s only one technology fit for a biometric surveillance system: automated, real-time face scans.”
On another front, digital currencies — cryptocurrencies — came into their own in 2017. Bitcoin’s value rose to unbelievable levels. But from a prophetic point-of-view, I’m more interested in government-issued digital currency.
These cryptocurrencies foreshadow a future world currency that can be completely controlled by the Antichrist.
Another development that hints at a “mark of the beast” economic system is happening in China. They are actively building the largest DNA database in the world. For the “mark of the beast” to work, it will need to be made secure using DNA and other biometric identifiers. The Chinese government has also found a way to control the internet within their borders.In 2017, they achieved the ability to erase data and images mid-transmission! In the future, these techniques could go global. That would be a tremendous aid to the Antichrist by allowing his government to absolutely control all communications between people.
2017 also saw a marked rise in another hallmark of the last days. 2 Timothy 3 says, “In the last days… men will be… brutal.”
As I noted last week, radical Islamic terrorists continued to brutalize the world with hundreds of terror attacks. But in October, here in America, Stephen Paddock killed 58 and wounded 546 when he shot up a Las Vegas music festival. The next month, Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and killed 26 and wounded 20.
In 2017, many people considered it entertaining to present fantasies of President Trump’s assassination. Even his beheading. It was a year in which human beings became increasingly — and overtly — brutal.
2017 saw dramatic earthquakes, catastrophic hurricanes, a thousand-year flood, and one of the most destructive fire seasons in history. Jesus compared end times events to a woman going through labor pains. Paul wrote, “The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:22)
That means the whole planet is in travail. In 2017, we saw it.
Maybe the greatest earthquake of 2017 was the earthquake in American politics. In last year’s Prophetic Year in Review I said, “Compared to what Donald Trump is facing, Richard Nixon had it easy!” Boy, I sure got that one right!
Why are people so upset with President Trump? Sure, he rubs some people the wrong way. He says unexpected and, sometimes, inappropriate things. He speaks — or tweets — when maybe he should stay silent.
But when you look beyond his bluster and just look at his actions and record, he’s mostly a moderate, right-of-center politician. Not at all out of the mainstream.
I think the real reason so many people are obsessed with destroying President Trump can be found in his resistance to the New World Order.
In 2017, he refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. He formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. He’s renegotiating NAFTA. He put an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He demanded that NATO members pay their own way. He called the United Nations to account and cut some of its funding. He got tough with the Palestinian Authority. He put the Muslim nations on notice that it’s their responsibility to confront and curb Islamic terrorism. And more.
In other words, he stood up to and fought the globalist elites who were on the brink of cementing their supra-national control of the entire world. And, believe it or not, by doing that and by seeking to return autonomy and sovereignty to the United States — and bring Judeo-Christian values back to the public square — President Trump may have complicated the build-up to the Antichrist’s one-world government.
And doing that guarantees him some terribly powerful enemies. Including Satan himself.
That’s why, as we enter 2018, it is so critical that all believers follow Paul’s admonition: “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
I would go a step further. I urge you to pray earnestly and daily specifically for our President and Vice President. Pray that God will encourage them, give them wisdom and determination, and protect them as they stand in the gap for the America we know and love.
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