Discerning The Times

(Note: This was written last June)

Especially deceitful times require an especially high level of discernment. They require that we as Christians move ourselves out of the mundane and into the spiritual. They require that we get a full understanding of what our Lord warned us about our times, these very last days and mark events in our world accordingly. This is not easy to do and requires significant effort. This is called 'watching' as our Lord commanded. These are difficult times. But God has not left us without hope or a witness to his purpose in our times.

The key to understanding our times if I had to put things into a nutshell, is God's plan to deal with those who have rebelled against his rulership and commandments. Mankind, is not the center of this battle, though he plays a very significant role in it. No, the real center of this battle is in the spiritual realm, the fallen angels who rebelled against the most high. The devil, (who is referred to as Lucifer) and his host of fallen angels who turned on God and wanted to set up another kingdom apart from him. This number of rebellions heavenly host numbers about a third of the total number of angels (Rev 12:3; 12:7). One day, they will be cast down here to earth. There is a lot to learn about demons and understanding about who they are and what their plan is will help us to better understand and discern just what the the devils next steps are likely to be here on earth. The devil does have plan, and that plan is lined up with a strategy that leads to a specific goal.

So what is the devils plan? Overall he wants to steal God's worship, kill mankind and destroy God's creation, or as much of it as he can get his hands on. He knows that part of his plan (in his view) was defeated on the cross, and that vast sections of mankind will be saved and will worship God in the manner that pleases the most high. We are the redeemed and are now part of the seed of the most high. The presence and existence of the redeemed and blood washed Church is one of the devils most significant failures and he knows it spells doom for his 'divine' aspirations. The devil hates the Church because now, in place of all the fallen angels who sinned against God and who once all sang praises to him with those who did not fall, there will be this new breed of the Sons of  God in heaven - namely the redeemed Church. The scriptures are pretty clear that at the creation, the rebellion had not yet occurred.

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?
or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
(Job 38:6-7)
What I don't want to do today is get into a long study on demonology and the different classes of fallen spirits other spirits who are beyond God's redemptive plan, but there are a few different classes of spirits. The key to understand is that these spirits have no hope. None. They are truly desperate. Why? Because most of these fallen spirits know something we do not. They know God and have seen his face and stood in his presence. They know what they are dealing with in an upfront and personal way that we Christians do not. We must accept all of these things by faith, except those few whom the Lord has taken to heaven or otherwise given visions to. They know God's power and that his word is never broken. Whatever utterance and judgment God gave to the rebellious host is not recorded in scripture. But given the fact that Hell was created for the devil and his fallen angels (Matt 24:41) and not man, I think we can gather that whatever the Lord said, it was to pronounce the eternal damnation of the rebels in due course. I stress in due course because it appears that some of these fallen creatures where immediately consigned to the abyss. The most high does not like rebellion and deals with it most severely. Peter makes clear that man and angels who rebel and do evil will be dealt with and gives us a glimmer of the fate of some of these fallen angels.

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell,
and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person,
a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned
them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after
should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation
of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing,
vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,
and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

(2Pe 2:4-9)

Peter is telling us the reason for Hell and why it's there. It is there because of sin (rebellion) and that regardless of pedigree, man or angel, the fate of rebels rests in the eternal chains of hell. The main and most important difference between these class of beings is this - mankind has a chance at redemption and not only that,  but to become not just a son of Adam, but a son of God, provided he accepts God's redemptive gift and falls under the Lordship (rulership) of Jesus Christ. This is what makes man so blessed and gifted. We can be forgiven of our sins. The fallen angels cannot. There is and will never be a redemptive plan for the fallen hosts.

So what is the devils stratagem? He has to have one and he also has to know that his doom is sealed.

I will leave that question for another time. But what I will say is that we Christians must know who our enemy is and what he wants. The last days antichrist system? This is about worship. Stealing God's worship for himself under the threat of impoverishment and death, if one does not comply.

Why are so many Churches and Christians being attacked? The reasons are two fold. First the devil wants to destroy the message of redemption. Second he wants to impose himself onto Church leadership and deceive the Church into worship of him rather than the worship and honor due to God. He must subvert as much of the Church away from the teachings of Christ and into rebellion (this is key) and seduce it into his system and worship of him.

This is why phenomenon of false pastors and church leaders is so important today. Indeed, in the above quoted text from Peter, the chapter starts out by talking about false prophets who led the people astray (2Pet 2:1ff). The last days are now full of them, they sit in pulpits across the world, particularly in the west.

This is why it is important that each of you know the word and understand what things are to come prophetically, for they shall surely transpire. These are very dangerous times and let each wise soul keep his heart with Christ, his mouth closed, his eyes open and his faith strong. The prophesies of old may have been slow to arrive, but now that they are coming to pass, things are going to move quickly.

From the day I first started this site, I always had the verse from Habakkuk on my site "That he may run that readeth it'. It is also the name of the book I wrote back in 2000. I started the site right after I wrote the book. Let me quote the entire passage from Habakkuk so you see why I mention it here.

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower,
and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer
when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision,
and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak,
and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come,
it will not tarry.
(Hab 2:1-3)

The vision God has given us is sure and it will tarry. Christ warned us of the same thing repeatedly. He admonishes us on being one of those who say, 'My Lord delayeth his coming..." This is a mistake. The constant theme in the writings of the NT is that the Lord will take his time and the Church will fall asleep, other parts of it will rebel and others will be diverted by the pleasures of this life. That his tarrying will have a profound effect on those who call themselves his. This is the crux of the matter for we who live in these times. We cannot allow ourselves to catch that spirit because it leads to a spirit of unbelief and then later, rebellion.

It's the waiting that will get many a saint in the last days. They will as our Lord said, betray one another and fall away. The devil will be right there to help them do it in as large of numbers as possible. This is why I say to all of you, don't be in a rush for the Lord to come. He has his own agenda and one key thing on that agenda is to have as many saved souls in heaven as possible. That is not going to be easy with the devil deceiving as the scriptures say in the last days 'the whole world'. You see the problem? God is not looking for fly by night, love you today and leave you tomorrow worshipers and servants. He is looking for people who are willing to forsake all, in order to get into the Kingdom. That is not going to be many. It will be those who are called faithful and chosen.

So in these times, what does all of this really mean? As we watch false prophets arise, major financial crisis, transpiring and even greater ones ahead, as we watch the specter of war and the mass of refugees, the mass killing, imprisonment and persecution of so many Christians. These things are signs of the times and while some nations are chaffing at the bit at globalization, like in the UK with the Brexit, the reality is that the elite have a plan B to make sure that globalization goes forward despite the will of the people or, even if they know it will bring in destruction and poverty. Globalization is the religion with these men. The aim is not anything other than the amalgamation of power unto themselves at any and all costs. This what I call the 'satanic imperative'. The lust and drive for power at any and all costs, no matter how badly it effects anyone else. Why are they like that? Because the devil is their father and the works of the devil they will do. He too had a lust for power and consequently they follow in his footsteps. Like father, like son.

This is how we know those who serve the Lord, they have a different agenda. One that is not obsessed with power and money. We serve our God, in all humility and give thanks for the things he has done for us. We are of a different breed, a different family. If I had to put it in kind of modernesque terms, I would put it like this. We, the redeemed of the earth are going to spiritually evolve into Son's of God from once being sons of Adam. The former Son's of God (fallen angels) are going to go undergo a spiritual de-evolution to the category of damned souls. BTW, no I don't believe in evolution... the way Darwin taught it.

The times now are showing what men are made of. Look around the world today, look at the unbridled lust. Look at the epidemic of rape in Europe, look at the trends on Sodomy all throughout the west, look at the greed, the corruption and the cruelty. Do you know what this is all about? This is about the devils kids showing all creation who their father is. This time on earth we have, its to let us demonstrate what we are made of, who we love and what spiritual family we wish to and actually do belong to.

This is the time in many ways of a great revealing. A revealing of man's spiritual condition. This is why we Christians are so baffled by the openly bad behavior of so many of the world's people. I read today where Susan Sarandon, the star, wants to direct porn when she retires. The world shrugs its shoulders. We Christians almost wince and such a notion. But these are the times. Is this really all that different from the things that Lot had to look at day in and day out as he dwelt in the land of Sodom?

It is my hope that all of you are able to get a good look at the times and some of the interesting events in our world. To understand the spirit of this age and the enormous deceptions that are now  taking place. They are not to be taken lightly and any one who does is likely to suffer enormously for doing so. 

I thought it was time for a look at the spiritual big picture today as I think they will help us to better understand the trends we see in the world. If we have a total surveillance society, its because we have an elite who have their own plans to crush any form of dissent and bring in a total control society. Why? Understanding the spiritual imperative helps us to understand the why's of these things. Where does the devil want to take the world? Once you get an understanding of that, you know many of the things he must accomplish to bring it about. He must -

I hope this look at things from a more spiritual and big picture view assists all of you in better understanding the times.

Now, on to a couple of things from readers this AM, One of my newer readers asked me. Where do the prophets in Maryland meet? Well, to tell you the truth, I have no idea. I wish I did. It's hard to know where there are truly anointed prophets or those seeking the prophetic anointing from God congregate.

Being a prophet is a tough job. While I have never called my self one, being a watchman is in many ways a kind of prophetic anointing. He rarely hears directly from the Lord in the way that a true prophet does, but rather relays the signs of the times as it relates to prophecy so that believers understand the times and don't fall asleep. Just so you know, I have never called my self a prophet. But at the same time, I have never actually denied that calling either. Many, many people have called me one over the years. But yes, I know that my calling is in the prophetic realm... without being specifically in the office of prophet.

Yes, the office of prophet is one that is one of the most difficult on many levels. One failure in the eyes of many does not mean failure in the eyes of God. People may not repent but that does not mean that the prophet failed. It just means that the people would not hear him. Moreover prophets have a tendency to die in office... sometimes violently. Think John the Baptist and Zechariah. A man who asks to be a prophet is asking for one of the toughest jobs there is. He is going to be reviled, mocked, mistreated, hated and otherwise abused for the sake of the Lord. What he has to say, few will want to hear and if he keeps silent, he will make enemies not just with his hearers, but with the Lord as well!

A true prophet these days of the OT sort is rare. I don't think God raises up many. Now there are prophets who are anointed to edify the Church and this is one of the gifts of the spirit, which are described in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. These gifts are given by God for the edification of the body of Christ. This is not all dissimilar to what the old Testament prophets did. They spoke to Israel, who at that time were the people of God. But as we have gone through Jonah, that was not all these men did, sometimes they ventured outside of the household of God to prophecy elsewhere.

Once many years ago, a lady I knew prophesied that I was going to be a prophet to the nations. First she spoke and she said nation... and then she corrected herself and said 'nations' and then she gave me the word. She had a hard time saying it because she did not understand it, but she said 'stratagem' and that was like a rank within God's kingdom.

I say these things to you only so that you may understand where I am coming from. I am not going to ever call myself a prophet. I am just not going to do it. I don't see myself that way. I am just a servant of the Lord who has been given a specific task and I plan on doing it to the best of my ability. Some folks need the affirmation of titles, I shrink from them. I hate to be pigeonholed, categorized and otherwise labeled. I prefer just to be known as 'Brother Mark'. Why? Because when all is said and done, that faithful wife who raised 4 kids on a shoestring budget and kept faith with her God will be just as highly rewarded as I will be if I am faithful to my calling. We look at the outer trappings and titles of people. God looks upon the heart and a persons works.

So to you out there who asked me about where the prophets meet in Maryland. I don't know. If you find out... let me know... would you?!

To the reader who asked me about research on the topic of the social transformation of America and the role Christians played in things like Prohibition, Sunday laws and abortion.  He asked me what school of thought was behind it and where he could get good information on it.  Let me cut and paste his question because it is a very good one and quite relevant for us today.

I seek your advise on research sources.

A question has bothered me for quite a while and I want to spend time researching on it, and maybe, if I can find a way, write an article on the question.

It is this. In the Nineteenth Century, Victorian England and maybe parts of the USA, passed social legislation. A lot of this legislation was motivated by Christians and was aimed at “improving” the morals of society that existed at that time. I refer to alcohol prohibition laws, sunday laws, abortion laws {of whatever variety}, etc etc. The specific law is not the issue. I want to understand the motivation behind the passage of these laws. the anti-slavery laws were probably passed by this school of thought too.

We know as evangelical Christians, that it is only belief in the Son of God, which means total adherence and reliance to His instructions on how to live life, that can bring about genuine change in the outward moral stance of an individual.

the passage of legislation does nothing to increase the viability of an individual’s belief in the Son of God.

so, in the 1950’s, starting in England, there began a revolt against this social legislation because the general society had changed, and people and their judges, wanted to do what was “ right in their own eyes”. I know the English case, there are Canadian cases, some American cases.  Roe vs Wade sits squarely in the middle of these type of cases, coming at the time when the people, and their judges, wanted to do “their own thing”.

I am reminded of Judges 17:6, “in those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes”

I also recall that prior to Judges Ch. 17, Israel never had a king but only ‘judges”.  Joshua and Moses were not Kings but rather, a general and a prophet. Kings of Israel might have enforced the law of Moses but it would appear that it was prophets like Samuel who actually took up the sword to defend God’s will. some Kings, like Jehu, were appointed to judge Baal followers but i don’t remember Jehu passing extra legislation to support the Mosaic laws.

 I would also hesitate to agree that the Kings who fought their way to the varied thrones of England, Scotland, France, Spain etc etc were really kings appointed by God. History teaches us that they were simply blood soaked tyrants, who wielded the sword more ruthlessly than their brothers/cousins and thus murdered family members in order to take and retain the thrones they sat on.

The point being, that the only genuine God appointed King over Israel was really David. and David was also a prophet who had the spirit of the Lord when he composed and sang the Psalms [those that were his]. David also as the King, did not issue any “moral statutes” but rather, his psalms mostly pointed his listeners to the benefits of inward meditation and prayer.  My point being that the godly Kings of the Old Testament did not issue “moral” laws but rather, they supported the existing laws of Moses.

So, where are we today? what is the justification for attempting to roll back the clock and impose “moral laws” on a society that has rejected God? How does it help to advance God’s goal, which is to see souls brought into submission to the Son of God? It appears to be “good works” but does the attempt to fight pro-abortion, pro-drugs, pro-alcohol, pro-contraception laws  really advance God’s cause? Should Christians engage in this fight?  If someone issues a call to arms, to take up a good fight on behalf of a Kingdom, then the call to arms must be justified by the long term strategy of the Kingdom. Are we Christians trying to pass legislation to “force’ society to obey the law of Moses?

Romans 8:3 says “for what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh”

So, yes, Romans tells us the law was weak.  We are also taught in Romans that God had another plan, that of his Son, to redeem mankind.  Why then does it appear that Christians are reversing God’s clock, and trying to enforce Mosaic laws on society in general? The Bible teaches us that the Jews could not keep the law of Moses, and so we Christians appear to desire that all members of society should keep the law of Moses?

Gal 3:3 says “are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect in the flesh?"

this is where I need your help. Are they are writers out there who have been likewise troubled by this issue, and if so, can you please direct me their books or websites?

That is a very difficult question that will yield as many answers as there are people to answer it. America has long had a struggle between Christianity and both rationalism as well as with economic centered thinking as the centerpiece of American culture. It goes back to the days when the first colonies were established. There were those who came here to escape religious persecution and there were others who came here to get rich and expropriate resources. Not only that but Freemasonry became a very important facet of the American economic and political scene. These differing philosophic viewpoints have remained with us to this day, the tensions we see in our nation are nothing new, though they are taking on a more militant and less tolerant aspect.

I think it meet that if you are going to look at this issue you get a sense of American history and how we got to where we  are today.

I also think it meet that we understand, especially in the early 20th century we had a many revivalist movements that had a strong effect on society. Many Pentecostal and other types of movements swept across the nation and consequently we saw that many people wanted a more moral society. This was really the origin of the Volstead Act (Prohibition). It came from the temperance movement, run primarily by Christian women who pushed for this. One of the key groups was the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was the first mass organization among women devoted to social reform with a program that "linked the religious and the secular through concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied Christianity." It was influential in the temperance movement, and supported the 18th Amendment.

The WCTU was originally organized on December 23, 1873, in Hillsboro, Ohio, and officially declared at a national convention in Cleveland, Ohio in 1874. It operated at an international level and in the context of religion and reform, including missionary work as well as matters of social reform such as suffrage. Two years after its founding, the American WCTU sponsored an international conference at which the International Women's Christian Temperance Union was formed. - Wikipedia
No one doubts the sincerity of their intentions. But their actions and success were the things that gave the organized gangsters of their day the thing they needed to build their empires of crime - a vice that people were willing to break the law to engage in, that being taking a drink.

This is what happens when one refuses to look at the unintended consequences of their actions.

You know, I don't like abortion. I really do think it nothing more than murder, especially in the late term of pregnancy. But even knowing this, I would hesitate to bring about a total ban, not because I would not like to see all abortions stopped, but because outlawing all abortions would only drive the demand for them into the realm of crime. Like the old gangsters of the 20's we would have something similar in America with abortions. And then not only would the child die, but in many cases, so would the mother and who knows what other crimes would spring up from that? Illegal drugs for the procedure, doctors being smuggled into the nation so that illegal clinics could avoid legal responsibility? Who knows? The risks of a total ban are real enough. Some kind of realistic and enforceable middle ground has to be found to dissuade a woman from having an abortion without direct criminalization of abortion at all points in a pregnancy. Yes it a total ban on all abortions sounds good, like making all drugs illegal, but what has been the real result of that policy?

I really cannot recommend any books on this as I have none. The ones I have from that period tend to look at other social phenomenon, but here is a book  that seems to put some things in good perspective.

The American Republic: A Nation of Christians

Yes, I hear you loud and clear on these issues. We Christians have I think spent too much time trying to reform a society that has rejected God. We are only sowing resentment when we keep pushing on many of the key issues of the day and try to legislate Christianity on America.

But at the same time, that does not mean that we should abandon the nation to the devil either.

We Christians must learn to pick our battles better and more importantly know that these battles are not going to be won in Congress or in the courts, but in our prayer closets and prayer meetings.

I wish I could be more help, but I think as you do your own reading on these issues you will be able to key up on some key concepts and movements in American history that shows you where these trends came from and the thinking behind those who pushed them.

I hope this helps.

Blessings and joy to all of you in the Lord!

Brother Mark

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