TITLE: Peace and Safety
By Kenny Paul Clarkson
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<b>C H A P T E R • T H R E E
Peace and Safety</b>
<i>For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.</i>
Paul the Apostle - I Thessalonians 5:3
Horseshoes, stirrups and heavy plows have one thing in common with soap: all were invented between 1 AD and 1000 AD. If that bit of trivia seems under whelming, you will really be bored to know that not much else was invented during that time span. Think about it.
The lifestyle of folks who lived one thousand years ago differed little from those who lived two thousand years ago, except horse riding and plowing were a bit easier. And, for those who cared to boil fat and lye, life was somewhat cleaner. It wasn’t until 1500 AD that the Chinese invented the toothbrush and the late 19th century that Louis Pasteur proved that organisms spread disease.
From the time Adam first walked the earth until John Adams signed the Declaration of Independence, the progress of technology was almost nonexistent. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the industrial revolution kicked in, followed by the technology and information explosions.
So what happened?
Consider this: The world population in 1 AD was about 200 million. By 1000 AD it had grown by less than forty percent to 275 million. In 1750 the population had grown another 154 percent to 700 million. That’s when it happened.
The world’s inhabitants began to multiply exponentially. By 1900 there were 1.6 billion people and that grew to 6.1 billion in the year 2000. Of those, 800 million were added to our planet between 1990 and 2000. The ten-year growth alone was more than the entire world population of 1750.
I find it significant that the beginning of the population explosion preceded the industrial revolution of the 1800s. There is a direct correlation. The more people on the planet, the more advanced we become. The parallel is undeniable.
So how does the increase in population drive the updraft in technology? The answer is simple. Not only are there more people; there are more smart people. When the population doubles, the number of intelligent people also doubles.
In 2005 there were 128 million geniuses (people with IQs in the top 2 percentile.) That’s the equivalent of 64 percent of the entire world population in 1 AD. We live in a world of geniuses. (The rest of us are along for the ride.)
The population explosion produced a swell of intelligence that, in turn, engendered technological advances. The knowledge explosion was predicted by Daniel as one of two characteristics that would signal the era of the latter day Antiochus. “Many shall run to and fro,” he wrote “and knowledge shall be increased.”
We are so accustomed to the lightening speed at which today’s technology advances, that we take it for granted. We seldom consider that we live in a unique era of the human experience.
Note, for example, the bland expressions that mark the faces of airline passengers. Being hurled through the atmosphere at 500 mph at altitudes of 30,000 ft. is mind-boggling. To glimpse through the airliner’s tiny portal windows is to capture a view never imagined by humans until a few decades ago. The opportunity of looking down on clouds, to see lightening illuminate them from heaven’s perspective, and to view the horizon from such heights was unthinkable throughout most of history. Yet there we are, tapping away on laptops, drumming our thumbs to cheap headphone music, or catching a nap on hanky sized pillows oblivious to grand panorama of wonderment that surrounds us.
I suppose it unreasonable to expect passengers from LA to New York City to spend their flight hunched over as they follow the steady flow of the landscape passing below; especially at night. But they are missing one of the greatest spectacles of human history. (If it were up to me, passenger seats would be faced toward the windows rather than the front of the fuselage.)
We are immersed in a sea of technological marvels and scientific miracles. And it’s advancing by the minute. Yet we seldom give it a thought or ask why the sudden shift in human ingenuity occurred. What ignited the industrial, technical and information explosions? The population explosion.
And as the population continues to grow, technology will continue to expand. In five years (2000 to 2005) the world’s population grew by 350 million — more than the entire population of the United States. This is the age of the Internet, satellites and exploration on Mars. What’s more, we are told daily that soap is new and improved. There’s more to come.
<b>Humanity running amok</b>
To some, the combination of the population growth with the technological explosion creates a threatening equation. Population growth plus technology explosion, they say, equals self-destruction.
These prophets of doom follow this logic: The population-slash-technology explosion not only produces an increase in knowledge, it engenders an increase in crime, crowding and consumption. There is a dire need to manage the world’s population, they believe, lest we turn the rain forests into Walmarts while sucking up every last vestige of fossil fuels. Ultimately we will blow ourselves to oblivion in a nuclear holocaust or pollute ourselves into a wasteland. Or both. And we’ll take the planet with us. We simply can’t have 6.4 billion people running amok, they say. If something isn’t done, all will be lost.
Their solution? The establishment of an international management system. Or, if you prefer, world government. According to Daniel, they’ll get their way.
The prophet described the world government as ten toes of iron and clay, representing a cooperative of ten governments. Think of it as a government of governments. Later, Daniel wrote of ten horns portraying the ten leaders of those governments. Three of the horns were removed and replaced by one small horn who rose to dominate the remaining seven. That leader will be the later-day Antiochus, the ruler of the world.
<b>Reactions to world government</b>
Some see spooky end time apocalyptic scenarios that compel them to slip into their army fatigues, grab their Uzis, and head for the hills. Others see simple logic. Even if Daniel had made no predictions, his ominous warnings could be deduced by sheer observation. No need to sell your earthly goods and latch onto the first dooms-day guru who opens a compound in the wilderness. Daniel’s prophecies can be simply understood as a logical progression of human events; particularly from the vantage point of today’s technology. Even the most avid of atheists could understand that reasoning.
Some theologians pose a more sinister explanation — there is a conspiracy afoot, not to save the earth but to dominate humanity. Their line of reasoning goes something like this:
Originally planet earth was the domain of an angel named Lucifer. When the archangel fell out of favor with his Creator, his domain was assigned to new owners: Adam, Eve and all their descendents. Evil by nature, the fallen angel, now called Satan, wants his domain back. He hates God and hates the human race that replaced him. With a self-imposed mission to dominate or destroy, Satan’s objective is to posture himself as the god of planet earth. (In fact, the Apostle Paul refers to him as the “god of this world.”)
Arrogantly, Satan attempted to regain his position through Antiochus IV Epiphanies some 2175 years ago. That was seen when the tyrant sought to establish himself in the dwelling place of the most high God, the Jewish temple. An elderly priest foiled Satan’s attempt with a knife, five sons and enough personal character to take a stand. Opposed by a guerilla army within and the Roman army without, Antiochus failed. Satan will try again; this time through an unnamed world ruler, the one I call the latter-day Antiochus. And this time he will succeed.
Theologians see the Satan conspiracy (not a bad name for a new book; The Satan Conspiracy!) throughout world history. I tend to agree with the theologians.
Here’s a perspective that’s guaranteed to cause deep wrinkled scowls to grace the faces of prophecy scholars around the globe: I suspect Satan may be on a suicide mission. Think about it.
Though devious, the devil is not dumb. Not even close. By human standards, the evil one has an IQ that would be far off the charts. He’s not easily fooled.
When the Apostle John, sequestered away on the Isle of Patmos in the first century, wrote of Satan’s fate, the devil must of howled in sheer terror, if not anger. John said that Satan would meet his fate by being cast into the lake of fire. Forever.
Again, the devil is not dumb. He understands the meaning of forever and he certainly knows the meaning of eternal torment. Satan would rather die. But he can’t.
Dethroning God is simply not possible. It can’t be done. But if it could, what would be the consequences?
“By him,” the Apostle Paul wrote, “all things consists.” If God ceased to exist, all else would cease to exist. That includes the physical universe, Satan himself and the lake of fire. The devil’s only opportunity to escape eternity in the lake of fire is to destroy God. And to destroy God, he must first dethrone him. I suspect Satan’s quest to defeat God may be attempt to escape eternal punishment through suicide. Just a thought.
<b>In defense of John</b>
Perplexed at my naiveté, pointy headed professor wonders how anyone could be so gullible. How could I believe that John the Apostle actually wrote the Book of Revelation? he wonders. John’s Gospel, he notes, was written in articulate Greek, whereas one less familiar with the intricacies of the language penned Revelation. Clearly, he believes, the authors were not the same.
The good professor fails to consider, however, that the Scriptures were often dictated. The author would speak and a secretary would write. The Apostle Paul, for example, was known to dictate at least one of his epistles and Jeremiah even named his secretary.
(To the Biblicists among us, I would pose this question: At what point was the Scripture inspired? When the author spoke the word or when the secretary wrote the word? If you know, send me an e-mail.)
If the Gospel of John were dictated, certainly the author would have had the good sense to use a secretary well versed in the Greek language. But when languishing in exile where he wrote his Revelation, the apostle would of necessity have penned the words himself; hence, the distinction in style.
Undaunted, pointy-headed professor logs onto my Web site, KennyPaulClarkson.com, to send me an e-mail. “Still, John could not have written the book of Revelation,” he types, “because the book of Acts describes him as ‘unlearned and ignorant.’”
I never cease to be amazed. How do liberal theologians determine which Scriptures to believe? The professor doesn’t believe that John’s Revelation is inspired, but he accepts the book of Acts at face value. Hmmm.
The phrase “unlearned and ignorant” is not synonymous with illiterate. John’s accusers were simply noting that John, having not been educated in the schools of the Scribes, was unqualified to speak. In a sense, they were accusing John of preaching without a license, not of being illiterate. If anything, the accusation of “unlearned” would corroborate the writing style found in Revelation.
The professor views Bible prophesy as disjointed and meaningless; mere ramblings. He fails to see the continuity. Overlooked by the professor is a common denominator that blends Bible prophecy into a seamless and logical sequence of events.
Satan’s design to establish his world government is the common denominator that blends Bible prophecy into a logical scenario that can be easily understood. Like good reporters for the evening news, Daniel and John merely recorded what they saw as they saw it. What they saw was the former Lucifer gaining control of the earth.
Again, there’s no need to head for the hills. And while I have no plans to don a white robe nor traipse about with a sandwich board declaring the end of the world, I do believe Americans — and the rest of the world — have postured ourselves to be suckered in by the Prince of Darkness. Just consider the facts and be grateful that a loving God saw fit to clue us in before it happened. The predictions of Daniel and John, then, are not merely disjointed ramblings. The prophets were foretelling Satan’s strategy to establish himself as God. Tragically, America is a part of the strategy.
<b>The master plan</b>
One can imagine Satan conversing with his high-ranking demons in a C.S. Lewis-like scenario. The devils know their fate is sealed; their ultimate destruction is a matter of time. Even Satan himself is acutely aware of their impending demise. He has read “the Book.” He can recite, verbatim, the prediction of his own destruction, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
One demon, weary of fighting a losing battle, asks the Prince of Darkness, “So why bother? We know our defeat is imminent.”
Satan reminds the imp that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And, who knows? Maybe “the book” is wrong. The devil’s final word on the matter, we imagine, is, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
Like a general plotting a strategy for war, or a candidate planning his political campaign, the devil details his plan to recover that which, in his mind, rightfully belongs to him.
The demons, of course, have known Satan since before his days in the Garden of Eden when he ensnared Adam and plunged the human race under the darkness of sin’s curse. “To be like the most high God” has been his desire from the moment he rebelled against the Almighty.
Blinded by his own arrogance, he will attempt to prove his equality to God once again. In the form of a latter-day Antiochus, he will posture himself to rule the world, taking that which is “rightfully” his.
Here’s the scenario.
<b>Destroy the opposition</b>
Like any good politician, the Satan-controlled latter-day Antiochus will know the benefit of eliminating the opposition. And his opposition is comprised of the many people who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. More threatening are those who are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit poses a particular threat to Satan. For one, he can’t control those who are led the by spirit. They have no need of embedded chips to monitor their every move for they apply biblical principles that remove the need for authoritarian control. What’s more, they tend to “salt” the earth with their behavior. That is, they influence the culture in which they live.
Satan’s strategy in the past has been three fold: to kill them, quiet (or contain) them, or confuse them.
While lopping off the heads of Bible thumpers may be anathema in 21st century America, Satan’s murderous rampage across much of the globe has gone unabated.
An article published in the September 27, 2004 edition of Time magazine said that 20 percent of the refugees fleeing Iraq to Syria were Christians. The report quoted the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees as saying that only 3 percent of Iraq’s 25 million people are Christians. They fear for the safety, their well-being and their lives.
On September 15, 2004, John Hanford, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, said, “In North Korea, religious freedom simply does not exist. Credible reports indicate that religious believers, particularly Christians, often face imprisonment, torture or even execution for their faith.”
What’s more, in North Korea, “Defectors interviewed by a former humanitarian aid worker claimed that Christians were imprisoned and tortured for reading the Bible and talking about God and that some Christians were subjected to biological warfare experiments,” according to the 2004 Executive Summary International Religious Freedom Report Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The report was published on the U.S. State Department’s Web site.
That same report noted persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka. “In late 2003 and early 2004, Buddhist extremists destroyed Christian churches and harassed and abused pastors and congregants. There were over 100 accounts of attacks on Christian church buildings and members, several dozen of which were confirmed by diplomatic observers.”
Again, that’s from the U.S. State Department. The Executive Summary cited scores of nations that routinely discriminate against Christians and religious intolerance in general. As America adopts the policies of the world ruler, Christians in this country can expect to the persecuted.
With the opposition under control, the world ruler will form an alliance with the false church.
<b>World religious council</b>
In most societies the title “Great Whore” would be considered less than favorable. But that’s the description the Apostle John labeled an international association of religious organizations. Add “Mother of Harlots” to the title and one gets the idea that John viewed this council with disdain; say, two thumbs down.
It’s presence will be known in the late, great United States and the rest of the world as an influential religious order that will ride to prominence on the coat tails of the latter-day Antiochus. John’s cryptic description of the relationship is that the woman will literally sit on “the beast,” referring to the world ruler’s government.
The function of the religious council will have little to do with religion, per se’, but will be more of a lobby with a left-leaning humanist agenda. Granted, “left-leaning” and “humanist” aren’t in the biblical text. But we can understand the role of this group by considering the World Council of Churches as its ante-type. The council will be something akin to the WCC (some say it is the WCC).
On February 22, 2005, for example, the World Council of Churches issued a news release that read, “The World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee asked ‘all governments which have not yet ratified the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, and especially the United States, to ratify it promptly without reservations.’”
Obviously, the WCC is lobbying for a world government. The council described by the apostle will do the likewise. Again, maybe the WCC is that council.
<b>In bed with world rulers</b>
That the WCC has the nerve to demand governments to effectively “get with it” also parallels the council described by John. Its wealth will be a primary factor in commanding the attention of government leaders.
Politicians, as you know, are attracted to well-heeled, well-funded organizations. John describes the council’s wealth as, “arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup…”
John portrays the lobbying efforts of the council as committing fornication with heads of state. And he notes its far-reaching influence by writing, “…the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
The apostle is particularly concerned that the council’s compassion for martyred Christians will be virtually none existent. John observes, “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”
While tens of thousands of Christians die at the hands of authoritarian governments, the council will do nothing but lobby for more authoritarian government.
<b>Not the true church</b>
Pardon this parenthetical observation, but it’s curious to note the strategy of liberal theologians. They gain influence by infiltrating conservative organizations. Of the major Christian denominations —even local churches — that are considered “liberal,” virtually all began as conservative and Bible-believing entities. The liberals infiltrated the institutions and churches, then “enlightened” the naďve Biblicists. While liberal theologians don’t have the evangelical zeal to launch new ministries, they have the audacious power-lust to dominate those already in existence.
In describing the council as a “whore,” John is saying the group is spiritually bogus. It’s not the true bride of Christ. The genuine New Testament church is a localized assembly of believers, not an amalgamation of left-wing wackos.
<b>Designed for failure</b>
When John used the phrase, “Mother of Harlots,” he was apparently referring to the organizational structure of the religious council. The “mother” is the council’s leadership and the “harlots” are the member churches.
Such ecumenical religious associations are inherently flawed for two reasons. First, they attract leaders who are driven by lusts for power, prestige and profit. Second, the member churches tend to move synchronically. The net result is disaster. When the leadership moves in the wrong direction, the whole organization moves in the wrong direction.
The New Testament concept of localized churches provides a built-in check-and-balance that prevents massive misdirection. When one assembly errs, other assemblies are not forcibly affected. The error is contained.
Advocates of ecumenical efforts typically appeal to a Tower of Babel mindset when justifying their intentions. “Just think what we can do for Jesus if we all work together.” But once they get together, the work of Jesus is soon forgotten.
<b>Beneath the veneer</b>
While dining at a restaurant in Indianapolis, a pastor friend and I were approached by a kindly elderly gentleman who identified himself as a minister. The smiling saint stood at the foot of our table lauding the advantages of ecumenicism. My friend politely interrupted to voice his opinion by saying he could not, in good conscience, collaborate with churches that teach such false doctrines as sacredotalism.
To say that horns grew from the head of elderly minister would be a bit misleading. To say that his eyes flamed with the fury of thousand angry demons would also be a stretch. One hundred, maybe. But not a thousand. His phony veneer of piety had been stripped away and the arrogance that dominated his true spirit became evident. Such are those who will control the council of churches.
The world ruler, it appears, will view his association with the council as somewhat of a necessary evil; a pointless parasite that must be temporarily tolerated. Ultimately he will dump her like useless, excess baggage and get on with his business of world ruling without her.
The world ruler will aggressively persecute Christians while allowing the religious council to participate in his rise to power. Meanwhile, a master of public relations will present the ruler’s programs to the world. The Apostle John describes this person as the “false prophet.”
Blinded by his own arrogance, Satan will attempt to prove his equality to God once again. He will create an unholy trinity with his sight set on controlling the world.
Some have suggested the satanic trinity will mirror the Holy Trinity. The false prophet is portrayed as a counterfeit Jesus. His “ministry” is to advance the government of the latter-day Antiochus, who will, in turn, be a type of God the Father. And the government, itself, (also called, “the beast”) will parallel the work of the Holy Spirit.
Most students of prophecy take a different view. They see the false prophet as the counterfeit Holy Spirit. Others see him a phony John the Baptist, preparing the way of the Satan-possessed world ruler. For his part, the latter-day Antiochus is seen as the antithesis of Jesus; hence the common title, “Antichrist.”
The view one takes is inconsequential. What is important is this: The false prophet, latter-day Antiochus and the authoritarian “beast” government will create a satanic trinity that will control our world, including America.
The false prophet will convince the world of the need for a universal government. He will be the pitchman for the latter-day Antiochus. The Apostle John describes the false prophet as one “that that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.”
His mission in the late, great United States will be one of deception. His message will be that described by the Apostle Paul: “Peace and safety.”
<b>Can Americans be fooled?</b>
America was founded by fiercely independent immigrants who were sustained by a sense of self-reliance and God-dependence. Their love for liberty compelled them to self-governance at home while casting aside the restraints of meddling governments from abroad. The safety and security of their homelands were exchanged for the liberty to plow fields in a new world. The price of liberty was the abandonment of security. And for those willing to pay that price, the reward was substantial. With their sweat, blood and prayers they developed the most powerful — and compassionate — nation in world history.
Will the false prophet be able to convince the descendants of liberty-minded Americans to discard the fundamentals upon which their society was founded? In fact, it seems he already has.
<b>Socialism isn’t secure</b>
In 2004, U.S. Congressman Joe Barton wrote the following in The Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News, “Today more than 150 million workers and 96 percent of all employment fields in the United States are covered under Social Security.”
150 million workers represent most of the adult population. We are depending on government — not God — to secure our society; our future. The program has been around since 1935. It’s well entrenched in our national culture.
When campaigning for governor of Indiana in 2004, I was honored to address a crowd of college students at the University of Indianapolis. One coed challenged my conservative views by questioning my stance on Social Security. Her point? Poor people need the protection.
I was privileged to respond by asking the students to contemplate the name of the program, “Social Security.” It wasn’t designed to provide security to individuals; otherwise it would be called “Individual Security.” Ostensibly, the program’s purpose was to provide economic security for society as a whole, not individuals. It’s a socialist program.
What’s more, I was allowed to note that an elderly woman who had accumulated a mere $200,000 in the government security program would retire a pauper. Had that money been empowered by private investing, she may have retired a millionaire. Social Security makes paupers of millionaires.
<b>In government we trust</b>
Where once we trusted God, we now trust government. We care little about being a free people. We just want to be secure. As we embrace social security for our retirement, we accept homeland security for peace and safety and Medicare for our health. We trust government for education, welfare and even adopt Federal mandates for morality (or the lack thereof).
The libertarian mindset that fueled our nation’s prosperity has long since surrendered to a concession of peace and safety. The phrase, “In God We Trust” is a mute testimony to the America that once was. We are no longer a self-reliant, God-dependent people.
Pagan cultures are known to worship their heads of state as if they were gods. The ancient Egyptians considered the Pharaohs to be deities. The Romans deified their emperors, as did the Greeks. In America, we depend on government as if it were our god. Perhaps it is. And could it be that the god in the motto, “In God We Trust,” refers to the government and not to the God of the Bible?
The false prophet will have little problem convincing Americans to worship the beast. After all, our protector and provider is no longer the God of the Bible, but the government. From Social Security to seatbelts, we are a government-dependent people.
<b>Taking the government for granted</b>
Consider, for example, that there are over 130 Federal government programs for students to fund higher education and more than 200 grant programs for businesses. The 2001 The Catalog of Federal Grant Programs described “1,479 Federal government programs, projects, services, and activities providing funding and other assistance to organizations, public and private.”
In November 2004 the Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM) issued a directive requiring all Federal agencies to “electronically post synopses of funding opportunities under Federal financial assistance programs that award discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.” The grants are posted on Grant.com.
Why pray to God when we can apply for a government grant? Or, for the spiritually inane, do both. Then, when the government comes through, we can hypocritically call it an answer to prayer.
In 2002 the U.S. Congress passed a 484-page bill that few congressmen bothered to read. Title II created a Directorate for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection within the Department of Homeland Security. That provision empowered the government to
“access, receive and analyze” information — not only from federal, state and local government agencies — but from the private sector as well. What’s more, the law allows that information to be integrated and disseminated to government and private recipients.
About that time the Pentagon planned to create a consolidated database on nearly 300 million American. While most would expect the government to keep a close eye on suspected terrorists, 300 million Americans constitutes the entire population. Are we all terrorists?
Some wonder why we even need the department, believing the existing National Security Council is more competent and efficient. And they may have a point.
The December 27, 2004 edition of USA Today quoted the department’s former inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin, as saying, “Undercover investigators were able to sneak explosives and weapons past security screeners at 15 airports during tests in 2003.”
The report also quoted Erwin as saying, “Federal air marshals, hired to provide a last line of defense against terrorists on airlines, slept on the job, tested positive for alcohol or drugs while on duty, lost their weapons and falsified information in 2002.”
While America was spending billions fighting for freedom in Iraq, our own liberties were being extracted under the guise of security.
The false prophet’s message of “peace and safety” resonates well in the late, great United States, just as it resonated in the banquet hall of Ancient Babylon. We are one step away from absolute surrender. One short step.
<i>• The advance in technology coupled with population increases lead some to call for a world management system
• That system is described by both the Apostle John in Revelation and Daniel. Critics of John’s authorship of Revelation are shortsighted.
• The latter-day Antiochus will initiate that system in three steps: Persecution of his opponents, a universal religious council, and a front man who will sell his world government as the path to peace and safety. </i>
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