The Beast

The third world war was significantly different than the first two. Almost unimaginably far more were people died, yet it lasted only slightly longer than 6 months. As soon as the question was answered about whether to use nuclear armaments, all hell broke loose. Ironically the greatest damage and carnage were to the former nations that had these weapons. The nuclear tipped missiles were all aimed at countries whose own nuclear missiles were likewise aimed.

So China, Russia, and the United States took the brunt of the destruction, while France was spared since they had let their military weaken considerably over the years. Europe was largely unscathed. Only the erstwhile “superpowers” were subjected to most of the horrific results of unleashing the power that comes from nuclear fission.

Every nation came together under a new organization called Global Charter. Like World War II, the leaders wanted to put an end to war once and for all. All former organizations, from the United Nations to NATO to ASEAN, were expected to participate in the creation of a new world order, a new constitution, and every attendee signed on and committed to this goal for the greater good of the globe.

Ten new nations emerged at the meeting held in Rome June of 2027. It was agreed that the government presiding over the ten would reside here in Rome. The new nations gave strength and power to much of Europe, while other nations were given only limited power and subject to Rome’s oversight. The former powers of China and the United States were to allocate most of their resources to cleaning up radiation and rebuilding their infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing had advanced to the stage where reliable decision making came out of the Deep Learning from the algorithms programmed into a decentralized array of databases all over the world. The blockchain technology connected every digital device, not to a central database, but in a collection where data could be retrieved or stored on any device based upon where queries originated or were initiated. But all data and information was available to everyone and the blockchain prevented anyone from tampering, hacking, or changing any input, stored data or output. The system was so powerful and connected to all other systems such as the power grid, it was nicknamed “The Beast.”

War was going to be conquered once and for all, but so too would all of the sources that fed mistrust, crime and theft of personal property, as these were considered root causes for discontent and potential war. The new Constitution within the Global Charter banned all religions, relegating everything from simple superstitions to the worship of a god or a pantheon of gods, to yet another root cause that needed to be addressed. The first document to come out of the Global Charter was a Manifest Destiny with the following principles upon which all law and government would be based and would strictly adhere:

  1. Life must in all ways embrace human reason, ethics, social justice, and philosophical naturalism, while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making.
  2. Human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god.
  3. Our life stance will emphasize the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions.
  4. Mankind must continually adapt in its search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy. Moral codes will be derived from a philosophy of utilitarianism, ethical naturalism, evolutionary ethics, and will be taught to children as general morality.
  5. An ethical culture will be established by adhering to the following core principles:
    • The belief that morality is independent of theology;
    • The affirmation that new moral problems have arisen in modern industrial society which have not been adequately dealt with by the world’s religions;
    • The duty to engage in philanthropy in the advancement of morality;
    • The belief that self-reform should go in lock step with social reform;
    • The need for a monarchical leader to avoid deadlock and dysfunction;
    • The agreement that educating the young is the most important aim.

The meetings were long and arduous, but progress was being made because the attendees were still in a state of shock and disbelief at the sheer number of dead and the extent of property destroyed in World War III. The Global Charter’s Constitution passed by a large majority; it was now time to select a leader, a monarch, a beneficent king.

Giovanni Russo had led much of the discussion throughout the entire time the leaders were meeting. He was charismatic, and gave a moving speech about the need to reject the myths in god and religion. He received a standing ovation as he pointed to people in the audience shouting, “I tell you that you are god, you, and you, and yes you! Take responsibility and ownership. YOU are making choices, decisions, and your children must live with these decisions. Stop delegating these important virtues and values to a god that no one has ever seen!”

With Russo’s doctorate in economics, and the need to focus on the allocation of resources, he seemed the natural choice to lead the new world order and rebuild the infrastructure according to the new Constitution. An election was held and Russo won handily. His first order of business was to create a means to facilitate economic transactions, a tall order given that it must be bullet-proof and robust, with no loopholes to encourage criminal activity.

Digital currencies had been around a couple decades and offered the most promise in Russo’s opinion. He started by creating a Global Monetary Authority (GMA). The new digital currency, called NewCoin, was set to replace every other currency. No transactions, not even “in kind” would be allowed outside of the blockchain within which NewCoin would operate. Earnings, spending, investment, allocation, charitable giving, all would be done in NewCoins.

The hope was that tax evasion, theft of currency, and illegal activity of all kinds would be eliminated with the decentralized ledger that recorded every single NewCoin transaction. Nothing could be hidden, the digital record could not be changed.

After exchange values were determined relative to the new digital currency, everyone with a balance was given 90 days to request the exchange of their currency into NewCoins. After 90 days no other currency would be honored for any transaction.

Each leader of the ten nations was given the responsibility to roll-out the global personal identification program to prevent ID Theft. Everyone would be required to go to the designated locations where an invisible ID was lasered subcutaneously, just slightly under the skin. In that way, every transaction initiated would have the authenticated person, a validated ID that no one else could duplicate, unlike facial recognition software that had been defeated in the past.

The meetings were finally wrapped up and the ten leaders returned to their newly created nations feeling optimistic, excited, and hopeful. The new world leader had shown such amazing appeal and leadership qualities that almost no one had the least doubt in Mr. Russo, and everything the Global Charter and Constitution had rolled out for the good of mankind.

For the most part the new digital currency was well-received too, people could see that criminal transactions were going to be impossible with the new system. And best of all? Personal ID Theft would disappear. Apart from a few religious zealots who refused to have their personal information lasered to their skin, almost everyone readily signed up for the new system.

Knowing that those who were superstitious would not be able to buy or sell without the laser ID, government decided to simply wait for them to finally come to the table and become a good citizen, a part of the new world order, a chance for humanity to rule and reign in ethical dignity.

No more wars, no more economic crime, and an updated Constitution that puts the highest possible value where it belongs: on each human being.

 

Scared to even utter the name Jesus Christ?

1Earlier this month in Kenya when Muslims had left the university to head to the mosque for their morning prayers, Al Shabab attacked and killed almost 150 Christian students still at the school.

Last year 3,000 Christians in Mosul, northern Iraq were told over loudspeakers to convert to Islam, submit to its rule and pay a religious levy, or be put to death if they stayed. 2The last to leave was a disabled woman who could not travel. The fanatics arrived at her home and told her they would cut off her head with a sword.

Two years ago, Saeed Abedini, 33 years old and a pastor at Boise’s Calvary Chapel Church, was accused of trying to convert someone to Christianity and sentenced to 8 years in a Tehran prison where he languishes today. Abedini had traveled to Iran to visit family and help build an orphanage there.

3Many of the comments that followed the article in the “Boise Weekly” mocked both God and Abedina, suggesting he should “have kept his mouth shut about Christianity.

Today Christians everywhere are being exhorted to “keep their mouths shut” about their faith. Everywhere I go, from public forums to social media forums, whenever someone speaks or posts anything Christian, the taunts, mocking, insults, hatred and the inevitable “take it somewhere else” trail the post like some sad yet revealing commentary on just where the world stands today on the subject of Jesus Christ.4 “We will NOT have this man to rule over us,” Luke the physician and one of those who accompanied Jesus during His 3 ½ years’ ministry wrote of a parable Jesus taught them.

Jesus said to His faithful followers, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 5But today people are afraid. They are afraid of what their friends might think, they are afraid to speak up at work and risk losing their job, they are afraid of possibly being mocked, taunted, and ridiculed if they speak for what they believe. So instead, many are quiet, hiding behind a veil of “this is my personal faith and I don’t want to offend anyone by saying so….” Thus their faith becomes a well-kept secret and in many cases their friends, even family might be shocked to learn that they had a relationship with Jesus Christ at all!

Jesus said this: “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

8But sometimes the first hint of persecution and Christians slink away after apologizing for their offense, careful never to broach the subject again. We were warned what would happen at the end of this age, just before Jesus Christ would return: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” When I read the comments and posts on social networks, the vast majority of those posts reflect this admonition perfectly. People have indeed become unforgiving and arrogant, lovers of pleasure and money, wanting nothing whatsoever to do with the things of God.

So what should we do? None of us want to ridiculed, or jailed, or murdered for our faith. Pray. Pray that the Lord will give us the strength to stand. The Lord said, “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” Our courage comes from God. Seek Him with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, ask that He fill you with His strength “that whenever we speak, words may be given to us so that we will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel,” and in so doing perhaps save people from eternal damnation. If ever the time has come, it is now, it is today. Lord bless and strengthen you all. Amen.

9

Did Jesus Claim That He is God?

Did Jesus Claim That He is God?

0Only God can forgive sin. When Jesus did so the religious rulers were incensed. Yet He pointed out it would be easier to heal the lame man on mat than to forgive sins. He said this because He knew the suffering, humiliation, agony and death that would be required to forgive men their sins. (Mark 2:5). No man has ever raised someone from the dead as Jesus did when Lazarus had been dead several days and ensconced in his tomb (John 5:25-29). More importantly, directly and to the point, He claimed to be honored as God (John 5:18, 23) as well as to be equal with the Father (John 10:30).

John 8:58 states, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'” This “I Am” reference is made in connection with Exodus 3:14 when God revealed His name to Moses at the burning bush as “I Am.” Jesus’ statement is a claim for the deity of Christ.

1Jesus claimed to be Yahweh God, the same God of Israel from the Old Testament. This included His claim to have eternal glory with the Father (John 17:5), His claim to be the first and the last (Revelation 1:17), His claim to be judge of all humanity (John 5:27), His claim to be the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), His claim to be the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1; Isaiah 62:5), and His claim to be the light of the world (John 8:12; Psalm 27:1).

Jesus also claimed to be the Messiah God. This is evident in many of the titles attributed to Him in the Old Testament that are referred to in the New Testament. These include reference to Jesus as God (Psalm 45:6 and Hebrews 1:8), Lord (Psalm 110:1 and Matthew 22:43-44), Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9 and Mark 14:61-64), and as Messiah (John 4:26). These references affirm the biblical deity of Christ.

2Further, Jesus accepted worship as God. Though the Old Testament commanded not to worship anyone but God alone, Jesus accepted worship on many occasions. Some of these included the healed leper who worshipped Him (Matthew 8:2), the ruler who knelt before Jesus after his son had been healed (Matthew 9:18), the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:25), the mother of James and John (Matthew 20:20), and a demon-possessed man (Mark 5:6). The disciples even prayed to Jesus (Acts 7:59) and in His name (John 14:6; 15:7).

And lastly, Jesus’ followers recognized Jesus as God. They called Him God on multiple occasions (John 20:28; Colossians 2:9), referred to Jesus by other names used only of deity, such as Savior of the world (John 4:42), and prayed to or worshiped Jesus as part of the Godhead (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). John taught He was with God in the beginning as “the word” and that “the word was God” (John 1:1).

3While the New Testament never makes the direct statement “Jesus is God,” it is clear that He is referred to as deity in a variety of ways. Colossians 2:9 confirms, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” (See also Philippians 2:6). Those who claim Jesus never referred to Himself as God deny many clear statements in Scripture (such as John 14:6). The deity of Jesus is biblical. Jesus is God, the second person of the Triune Godhead, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

If you have a red letter Bible, indicating Jesus speaking, make note of the following if you’re not yet convinced that Jesus is indeed God:

4“Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!”

Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”

“No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?”

5“…that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he then said to the paralytic–“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God…”

He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

“For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

“The Father and I are one.” Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd….My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

“…he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him…. If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

“…behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

6Even though you will not find certain words in the Bible (trinity, rapture), nor certain unequivocal claims, you must take the preponderance of evidence to determine what is meant when you compare Scripture upon Scripture and examine the totality of the book from Genesis through Revelation. There is indeed a triune God, three distinct persons in the Godhead. When Jesus was being baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove while His Father spoke from heaven, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The evidence is persuasive and can be summed up in this: “I have come in the volume of the Book as it is written…even so Lord Jesus, come quickly…I am the Alpha & Omega, the Beginning and the End. Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords will soon be returning and will rule and reign for 1,000 years on earth from Jerusalem.