Persecution, Growth, and the Underground Church

Persecution, Growth, and the Underground Church

The Lost Discipline of the Love Feast – Part 4

The parallels between the underground church in China and the early church of the first three centuries are striking.  Both suffered intense persecution, being declared enemies of the state.  Both responded by holding fast to the foundational tenets of their faith theologically and in practice (Acts 2:42).  And both did more than just survive— they thrived.  So much so that Constantine was forced, among other reasons, to issue the Edict of Toleration, and later the Edict of Milan,¹ because of the growing number of believers in the empire.  Scholars estimate that by the end of the third century, over 10% of the Roman population were Christians, not counting a vast number of slaves.²

Fast forward seventeen hundred years and we have the same scene played out in our time, only bigger.  Instead of the persecution by the Roman Empire, we see the grand persecution of the church under Mao’s People’s Republic of China beginning in 1949 when atheism was established as the official state religion.  Soon, missionaries were expelled from China, churches and schools were closed, their property confiscated, and pastors and church leaders were imprisoned or condemned to labor camps.

No longer was there freedom of religion or assembly or the right to worship.  Instead, like the early persecuted church, believers were forced underground to practice their faith.  And the results of China’s state-wide treatment of Christianity was “legendary,” says Paul Hattaway, director of Asia Harvest.  He continues, “For thirty years, they have shown the world how to be the church Christ intended.”³  Some estimates suggest there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members, totaling over 150 million and growing by over 30,000 per day.  In fact, it is reported that over half of all believers in China choose to worship in an underground church than in one approved by the state.  Let that sink in for a moment.


The Underground Church in China

How did this happen so fast?  And how did the underground church in China grow so quickly under persecution when the church in the West has seen decades of decline over the same period?  What are we missing that they have found?  Or what do they know and practice that we have conveniently forgotten?

The history of Christianity in China is marked by periods of rapid growth amidst brutal persecution.  Ever since the communist takeover in 1949, Christians in China have faced oppression from the atheist government and have been forced to worship underground, or in homes, buildings, or barns, anywhere away from the watchful eyes of the state.  Yet the church continues to grow at an astonishing rate, unparalleled in modern history, primarily through underground house churches operating illegally outside of state control.  Through courage, faith, perseverance, and the willingness to adapt to change, these unheralded believers have found innovative ways to live out the Gospel, even in adversity.  The underground church in China may be a prototype of the future church in America.  But we’ll write more about that at a later time.

Believers met in homes, apartments, barns, or anywhere they could gather without being noticed, since public meetings often led to arrest and imprisonment.  Yet, they persevered and adapted, just like the early church.  House churches were free to share their faith as they desired without any state interference.  They could properly train leaders without the government dictating what was taught, much like Bonhoeffer’s “illegal” seminary for the Confessing Church in Finkenwalde.  They could worship the Lord as the Spirit moved, without coming under cultural and governmental scrutiny.  Again, just like the early church while facing Roman persecution.  And their commitment to each other and their faith in the Lord became contagious to a generation seeking something real, something they could believe in— which may explain the rapid growth of the underground church that lived in obscurity and poverty.

But the question for us is not the extent or degree of state persecution the church in China experienced, but what they did to shine so bright during times of great satanic darkness.  How did they allow their light to shine so “they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16)?  What was life like for them in the underground church?  And why do over half of the believers in China today still choose the underground church over the visible state-sanctioned church?


What is Worship Like in an Underground House Church?

As in the first three centuries, the underground church in China met primarily in homes or other isolated locations, usually at different times on different days of the week.  By meeting in homes, the underground church could share full meals with one another, echoing the agape or love feast practiced by the early church but forgotten for centuries.  Re-establishing the love feast as a foundational aspect of their worship together was one of the first things the underground church did— and they established it for the same reason the Lord instituted the practice in the first place (Acts 2:42).  For them, the love feast served the same purpose it did centuries ago, binding believers together in the intimate spiritual unity and love only a relationship with Christ could bring, while strengthening their joint submission to Christ and each other (John 17:21).

Eating together in their homes allowed members to know each other deeply and care for each other as a family.  Sharing stories, struggles, hopes, and prayers during the feast forged deep emotional bonds vital in keeping the church together while suffering persecution.  Participation in the love feast required sacrificial giving by those with more financial means to freely and joyfully supply the physical needs of those in the body of Christ with less (Rom. 12:4-5).  For poor Christians in house churches in China, the weekly love feast might be the only decent meal they would eat all week.  And the unity, love, selflessness, and care shown through the feast gave them hope and spiritual strength to endure hardship the rest of the week.  Just as in the early church, the shared meal reinforced that believers belong to one another as members of Christ’s body as children of God (Rom. 8:16-17).  It was a tangible demonstration of the family of God caring for its own.  And it is how the church was meant to function from the beginning.  Still not sure?  Then read it for yourself in Acts 2-6.

Both the early church and the underground house churches in China rely on the power of this communal meal to unite them in a steadfast spiritual community— all for one, and one for all as brothers and sisters in Christ.


“What Have You Learned, Dorothy?”

If the greatest revival of Spirit-empowered church growth in the last century has taken place under great trials and suffering of the underground church in China, and if the greatest apostasy and compromise of His church has taken place in Europe and the United States, which have freedom of religion cemented as part of their cultural charter and churches and cathedrals on almost every street corner— and if the underground church went back to the basics of the faith, back to Acts, in practice and belief— then it would appear they may have discovered the Holy Grail of Christian living, of pleasing God, of living the surrendered, sanctified life, which is taking God at His Word and not altering or changing it for tradition or convenience sake.  One long sentence, I know.

And if any of that is true, and I am convinced that it is, then we have much to consider as the church in the West.  There is apparently much we must do as His church that we no longer consider relevant in our version of church today.  And there is much we must stop doing as His church that we should have never started in the first place.  This means everything, and I mean everything, about church and our accepted relationship with Him must be re-examined under the light of His Word and not based on our cherished traditions.

One last thing before closing.  Please don’t think this is all about a meal, far from it.  The meal, the love feast, is just the vehicle God uses to bring us together as one in His church.  It’s not about adding a meal to our crowded Sunday service.  It’s about the meal serving as an opportunity for us to become more like our Lord.  To do that, our attitudes about each other must change.  Our acceptance of fellowship as being nothing more than a surface-level conversation with casual friends over a chicken dinner must change.  We must desire to be more than what we are today if we expect Him to move in our midst.  But I think we already knew that, didn’t we?

Can you see why the enemy worked so hard to remove the love feast from the arsenal of tools the Lord used to create men and women of God in His church?  And can you see why we are in the lukewarm, Laodicea shape we are in today (Rev. 3:16)?

But all that can change.  It doesn’t have to stay the same.

And it can begin with you this Sunday.


Notes

1. The Edict of Toleration, issued in 311 AD by Emperor Galerius, granted some rights and tolerance to Christians, ending official persecution, while the more expansive Edict of Milan in 313 AD, under Constantine I and Licinius, provided full religious tolerance and rights to all religions, establishing Christianity as an accepted religion in the Roman Empire.

2. Stark, Rodney. The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History. Princeton University Press, 1996. p.6 – “By a hundred years after the Crucifixion of Jesus, Christianity had achieved significant penetration of the urban centers of the Roman Empire, reaching approximately 6 million adherents by 300 AD, or about 10 percent of the Empire’s population.”

3. “The fortitude of the Chinese house church is legendary. For thirty years, they have shown the world how to be the church Christ intended.” – Paul Hattaway, director of Asia Harvest ministry, quoted in “The Heavenly Man” by Brother Yun (2002).


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558:  The Most Important Prophetic Scriptures

558: The Most Important Prophetic Scriptures

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Scripture Divides Everything into Two Categories

When we look at Scripture, God has a tendency to make things simple for us and categorize everything into only two groups.  There is almost never a third option.  For example, you have light or darkness, evil or good, heaven or hell, the wide road or the narrow path, sin or righteousness, good fruit (tree) or bad fruit (tree), alive or dead, Spirit or flesh, blessings or curses, saved or lost, I think you get the point.  And Scripture treats prophecy the same way: the Future of Israel (God’s people) or the Future of the Gentile Nations (everyone else).

So when we look at prophetic Scriptures, we must understand which of the two groups the passages speak about.  For example, in Daniel 2, we see the vision of the great statue Nebuchadnezzar had that Daniel interpreted.  This is a picture of the future of the Gentile nations.  And later, in Daniel 7, we see four beasts and a little horn.  Again, this is about the Gentile nations.

But two chapters later, in Daniel 9:24-27, the focus shifts from the Gentile nations to the people of Israel.  And this prophecy is divided into several periods of time that are separated by thousands of years.  Daniel was not aware of the separation nor the time between the various periods.  This is known as a prophetic skip.

“Seventy weeks are determined for (who) your people (Israel) and for (what) your holy city (Jerusalem), to (1) finish the transgression, to (2) make an end of sins, to (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, to (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, to (5) seal up vision and prophecy, and to (6) anoint the Most Holy” – Daniel 9:24.

Plus, you have the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, as well as the book of Revelation.  And don’t forget Ezekiel 36-39, which gives us a glimpse of the future of the United States.

These are some of the most important prophetic Scriptures in the Bible.


Twenty Key Predictive Prophecies

To show the importance of Daniel in prophetic history, let me share 20 Predictive Prophecies that are found in that one book.  These alone should give you another reason to dive into the book of Daniel.

•   The successive rule of four great world empires: Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece, and Rome (chapters 2 and 7)
•   The reuniting of the Roman Empire in the last days under the rule of ten kings or leaders (2:41 44; 7:24)
•   The appearance of the Messiah to rule 483 years after the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem (9:25).  This prophecy was fulfilled to the day at the Triumphal Entry.
•   The violent death of the Messiah (9:26)
•   The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (9:26)
•   The rise of the Antichrist to power (7:8, 20; 8:23)
•   The beginning of the seventieth week: the Antichrist’s seven-year covenant with Israel (9:27)
•   The Antichrist’s breaking of the covenant at its midpoint (9:27)
•   The Antichrist’s claim that he is God (11:36)
•   The Antichrist’s persecution of God’s people (7:21)
•   The setting up of the abomination of desolation in the last days’ Temple by the Antichrist (9:27; 12:11)
•   The Northern / Southern invasion of Israel and the Antichrist (11:40-45; Ezekiel 38-39)
•   The Antichrist’s military conquest and consolidation of his empire (11:38-44)
•   The final doom of the Antichrist (7:11, 26; 9:27)
•   The second coming of Christ (2:44-45; 7:13)
•   The resurrection of the dead (12:2)
•   The rewarding of the righteous (12:3, 13)
•   The judgment of the wicked (7:9; 12:2)
•   The establishment of Christ’s Kingdom (2:44-45; 7:14, 22, 27)
•  A great increase in the knowledge of Bible prophecy in the last days (12:4)

And there is so much more to discover about the future.  So stay tuned.

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557: Hermeneutics – The Rules for Biblical Interpretation

557: Hermeneutics – The Rules for Biblical Interpretation

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How to Understand Prophecy

When we are faced with either believing God’s Word or the prevailing, confusing, and ever-changing voices of our culture, many Christians find themselves in a conundrum.  They want to believe everything God’s Word says, yet they don’t want to be called a bonehead by their high school biology teacher or to be deemed anti-science by the pro-vac crowd.  So we frantically look for some rules to help us understand what the Scriptures say about everything, and then we adopt those rules as the parameter of His sovereignty and try to funnel our understanding of His truth through this grid we have created to help us save face among our friends in this declining culture.

Over the centuries, there have developed several methods of Biblical interpretation, or grids, that are used to set the parameters of our understanding of Scripture.  These methods are collectively called the study of hermeneutics (Greek – to interpret, to translate).  But not all hermeneutics are created equal.  And the method of interpretation you embrace will determine the conclusion you have about both current and future events.

For example, do you believe the Bible is the Word of God, or does it contain the Word of God?  And if you say the Bible is the Word of God, we are talking about all the Bible, the miracles, the creation events, the teachings about male and female roles, and the specific two genders God created.  This is an example of a personal hermeneutic.  For your answer to the question about God’s Word will determine how much weight you give it in your own life and what authority God has, at least in your eyes, in human events.

So it is vitally important to settle for yourself the hermeneutic you will embrace to understand these prophetic Scriptures.  Do they mean what they say, or can we allegorize the text to make it say whatever helps us sleep better at night?  It is either one or the other. You cannot have it both ways.


Tips for Understanding Prophecy

Setting hermeneutics aside for a moment, let me close by giving you a few tips to help you understand the prophetic Scriptures we will look at in the weeks to come.

First, God wants you to understand what He said.  His Word, after all, was written to be read and understood.  So expect Him to speak and reveal His truth to you as you study these sometimes confusing prophetic passages.

Next, God’s word has allegory, parables, signs, symbols, eyewitness descriptions, etc., yet the text has only one meaning.  And that meaning for us was the intended meaning when it was given.  Therefore, when you encounter symbols or signs, look for the “built-in” interpretations given by the Holy Spirit within the text itself.  You can see examples of these built in interpretations all throughout the Revelation.

Next, compare parallel passages.  After all, since the Bible originates by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, much of what is revealed in one section is also discussed in another section.  Rarely (almost never) does one Scripture contain all that the Bible says about a given topic.  So watch God’s Word interpret itself elsewhere in Scripture.  It’s a wonderful thing to behold.

Then, be aware of time intervals.  For example, the church age was a mystery that was not yet revealed when Daniel wrote about the future (Eph. 3).  And for this reason, some Old Testament prophets sometimes blend the two comings of Christ.  These intervals are called “prophetic skips.”

Finally, be sure to distinguish between filled and unfulfilled prophecies in Scripture.

Now, armed with these tips, let’s look at what the Lord reveals to us about our current situation and the times ahead.

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Future Conflict in the Pacific… It’s Coming!

Future Conflict in the Pacific… It’s Coming!

InFocus: Future Conflict in the Pacific


Background

Over the past six months, China has increasingly sent large numbers of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tactical military aircraft into the air defense identification zone of Taiwan. Many of these incursions appear to be training events for large strike packages, which include nuclear-capable heavy bombers, sophisticated 4th and 5th generation strike-fighters, air superiority fighters and electronic warfare aircraft. Recently, China has included aerial refueling of these strike packages with its newest indigenously-produced Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft. To many China watchers, these training events appear to be rehearsals for an attack on Taiwan. In response, Taiwan has increased arms purchases from the U.S. and has begun training with U.S. Marine and special operations forces for defense against an amphibious assault by China.

Future Conflict in the Pacific

While the U.S. does not have a formal security alliance with Taiwan, it is a strong supporter and maintains commercial and military ties through the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. China views U.S. relations with Taiwan as disruptive to the stability of the region and an affront to the sovereignty of China under its current “one China” policy.

China’s goal is to eventually control access to the Pacific, establish a global forward presence and exploit its access to other nations’ natural resources in order to supply its growing economy and population.

The U.S. understands the consequences of a potentially hostile hegemon controlling access to the Pacific – and with it, the supply chains on which the U.S. economy relies. The problem is that over the past three decades, the U.S. has outsourced a considerable amount of its industrial capacity to China. Only about 12% of consumer goods are now manufactured in the U.S., while roughly 45% of maritime imports are produced in China. This puts the U.S. on the horns of a dilemma. On one hand, the U.S. cannot allow China to control the Pacific. On the other, armed conflict with China in order to maintain a free and open Pacific would likely result in severe supply chain disruptions across the U.S. and Europe. In addition to the economic impact, if the U.S. demurs and allows China to seize Taiwan and threaten Japan and Australia, its security promises will be deemed worthless. If it attempts to stop China from seizing Taiwan or threatening its Pacific allies and it fails, then it proves unable to fulfill those same security promises. Either way, a significant and empire-ending event for the U.S. is a distinct possibility. And the first step in this unpalatable scenario begins on the beaches of Taiwan.


Potential Courses of Action


Most Dangerous Course of Action:

The most dangerous course of action is that China will coordinate a corps-level amphibious and airborne assault on Taiwan to occur simultaneously with a separate geopolitical crisis. Currently, Russia is massing forces on the border with Ukraine. U.S. intelligence agencies now estimate that Russia will launch an attack on Ukraine sometime in early 2022 with a 175,000-man combined arms army. With the U.S. and European Union distracted, or potentially bogged down in a conflict in Ukraine, China could exploit the chaos of that crisis to make a sudden surprise attack on Taiwan, followed by a quick occupation of the Senkaku islands. An additional joint operation with Russia to seize or threaten Japanese territory in the vicinity of Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands would put Japan between two much more powerful adversaries. This would give China near total control of the Pacific’s first island chain and facilitate its naval forces in future moves south or east in the Pacific. Should the U.S. respond militarily, China would likely attempt to use its long-range precision fires to destroy U.S. and allied naval forces which threatened its move on Taiwan. In addition to kinetic operations in the Pacific, China could leverage its influence with U.S. domestic protest movements such as Antifa, BLM, and other social justice groups to foment civil unrest in the U.S. in order to cause maximum chaos and potential disruption of the leadership decision cycle. China’s goal would be an overwhelming first strike on the Taiwanese military and government along with a crushing blow to U.S. and allied military forces responding in defense of Taiwan. Once consolidated on the island post-landing, expect China to deliver terms of surrender to the Taiwanese government. The idea being to avoid having to fight in the dense urban areas if at all possible. Once the seizure of Taiwan is complete, China and Russia could negotiate a new status quo in the region, even returning some captured Japanese territory as a concession.

PLA Marine Type-05 Amphibious Assault Vehicle


Most Likely Course of Action:

A second possible course of action would be for China to conduct what would essentially be a military demonstration by seizing Taiwan’s Pratas Island and Japan’s Senkaku islands with regimental-sized amphibious forces. While at the same time forward deploying additional military forces to the austere airfields and naval facilities recently constructed on China’s man-made islands in the Paracels and Spratlys. With Taiwan essentially surrounded, China could put in place a sea and air embargo and give Taiwan’s government terms for reunification. This could also be timed with any Russian actions against Ukraine, but this would not be necessary for success. In this scenario, China would be betting that the U.S. would not come to the aid of Taiwan and would seek a negotiated settlement … perhaps the return of the Senkaku islands to Japan in exchange for a free-hand in bringing Taiwan under China’s control. In this coercion-by-embargo scenario, China’s goal would be to publicly force the U.S. hand on Taiwan. Washington’s expected lack of military response would undermine and demoralize any Taiwanese ideas about resistance and lead Taiwan to accept a Chinese reunification proposal sprinkled with insincere guarantees of limited autonomy. This is the most likely course of action because it avoids all-out armed conflict in the Pacific and keeps commerce flowing between China and the West. Executing this COA within the next 12 months capitalizes on the diminished leadership in Washington and exploits the psychological impotence resulting from the U.S. military’s humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan.


Least Likely Course of Action:

A third possible course of action would be for China to hold off on a kinetic option to capture Taiwan. Instead, China would continue building out its military forces with advanced technology and power projection capabilities (such as hypersonic weapons, aerial refueling platforms, and intermediate range ballistic missiles), while simultaneously using covert influence operations against the U.S. political leadership in Washington and the Taiwanese leadership in Taipei in order to facilitate a fait accompli against Taiwan. In this case, China would seek to convince the Taiwanese that no one would be coming to their aid and a negotiated settlement for reunification would be in their best interest – and eventually, through covert influence, getting U.S. leaders to publicly admit the same thing. It is the least dangerous for the U.S., but is also least likely. This is a “bird in the hand versus two in the bush” scenario, since it forfeits the present opportunity to repatriate Taiwan during a time of diminished U.S. leadership for a chance to achieve the same victory through soft power mechanisms at a later date. By delaying until a future date in order to develop and employ soft power influence operations, there is a chance that U.S. leadership might regain its footing with more competent leadership and a better led, organized, and equipped military. This would be an enormous gamble for China.


U.S. Response

The U.S. response to any Chinese move on Taiwan is likely to be what Secretary of Defense Austin called in a recent interview integrated deterrence. Integrated deterrence leads with diplomatic dialogue and pressure, backed up with the threat of military action. The concept of integrated deterrence looks good on paper and is certainly appropriate for a slow-moving potential conflict with a rational like-minded nation-state. Integrated deterrence is not as effective against a blitzkrieg-type kinetic threat by a nation-state that uses different calculations to determine its national interests. It works best when finely calibrated to an adversary’s interests and pain points and deployed well ahead of any potential armed conflict.

In the case of Taiwan, integrated deterrence would likely result in performative condemnation of China’s actions along with a new set of red lines in the Pacific focused on protecting Australia and Japan.

Should the U.S. decide to respond militarily, expect the forward deployment of additional carrier and amphibious task forces into the Pacific. Additional USAF and US Army units would likely be forward-deployed to Japan, Guam and Australia. From a military perspective, the timeline for deployment of additional forces is much longer than China’s timeline for an assault on Taiwan. Indications and warnings (I&W) of an impending amphibious and airborne operation against Taiwan would be sparse since many of China’s combat units and naval vessels are permanently stationed in close proximity to the Taiwan Straits. It is reasonable to conclude that the U.S may receive seven to ten days of I&W prior to the launch of an operation against Taiwan, whereas it would take double or even triple that to reposition significant additional forces in the Pacific.

Currently deployed forces would not be sufficient to counter a PLA corps-level amphibious and airborne assault on Taiwan. The likelihood of an attempt to dislodge PLA forces already dug in on Taiwan is minuscule owing to the probability of escalation and the improbability of success.

Simply put, the U.S. will not be able to counter China’s attack on Taiwan by reacting or waiting until the first PLA ships and planes cross the Taiwan straits. Instead, the U.S. would need to preposition forces in the Pacific in advance of I&W – something already ruled out in the recent DoD Global Posture Review. Additionally, with intelligence agencies forecasting a Russian attack on Ukraine in early 2022, the U.S. may choose to forego attempts to counter China in a near-term assault on Taiwan, and instead look to mitigate any further damage in the Pacific under a new status quo.

If the U.S. fails to halt China’s move on Taiwan, the result will be a reordering of the status quo and geopolitical alliances in the Pacific and potentially world-wide. After all, if the U.S. can brush away its security promises to Taiwan, who is to say they would not do the same to any other nation with which they have made similar promises?

In any scenario, the U.S. will likely begin to decouple its economy from China and near-shore its manufacturing, as is already happening in response to COVID-19 impacts. The U.S. will lead with various sanctions against China, most of which will focus on key national and business leaders, as well as inward-facing Chinese corporations, in an effort to reduce effects on the U.S. economy. The U.S. will also likely remove recently enacted regulatory restrictions on transportation and domestic oil and gas production in order to streamline supply chains and counter rising prices from renewed competition in the global market. Additionally, expect a significant change in leadership in the U.S. and a loss of international prestige as a result of the failure to protect national interests in the Pacific.


Recommendations

U.S. businesses can front-run this conflict by seeking new suppliers outside of Asia. Those with manufacturing concerns in China should seek alternate manufacturing means and locations in geographical areas not subject to Chinese control or manipulation. U.S. consumers should anticipate major disruptions in supply chains and build up at least 90 days’ worth of essential food and supplies.

Many automotive, HVAC, and technology components are manufactured in China, therefore it is advisable to have required maintenance or replacements completed prior to the commencement of hostilities in the Pacific. Taiwan produces 40% of the world’s high-end microchips. This means that a large portion of that market may be unavailable for an extended period of time. As we witnessed during the most recent microchip shortage, there was a significantly decreased availability of new automobiles, agricultural equipment and industrial machinery that relied on these chips – plan accordingly.

In the event of cyberattacks on U.S. critical infrastructure, have an alternate electrical power source and available cash for emergencies. If China executes the most dangerous course of action, expect increasing civil unrest across the country, but particularly in cities and areas along political seams (red/blue lines). Citizens and businesses should have a realistic security plan and be prepared to provide for their own self-defense.


This post was taken from the December 10th edition of the Forward Observer Early Warning Report and was written by Max Morton. I would strongly suggest you consider a subscription to the Early Warning Report because it will deliver invaluable information to your inbox five days a week. You can find them at www.forwardobserver.com.


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Current Events:  Deal with the Devil – Canada and Israel

Current Events: Deal with the Devil – Canada and Israel

The following is an article by Hal Lindsey.  It is just another sign that its time you became a Faith Prepper.  Why?  Because times for believers, especially in the United States, are going to get real bad, real fast.  It is time to take the words of Jesus seriously and prepare your faith to have it severely tested.  Soon.

So get prepared now!


Deal with the Devil

Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, recently characterized a Canadian vote at the UN as “a deal with the devil.”

That’s strong language coming from a well-regarded diplomat.  I assume she meant it figuratively.  But something literal is at work.  Canada’s recent about-face on Israel is a capitulation to the growing forces of darkness in our world.  In recent years, the nations of the UN have been making a lot of deals with the devil – the actual devil.

Haley was referring to a vote on an anti-Israel resolution sponsored by North Korea. That’s right, those paragons of respect for human rights – North Korea’s government leaders – sponsored a resolution condemning Israel for “occupying” East Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.  The resolution also says that the wall Israel built “severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”

That wall was built to stop terrorist activity in Israel.  It has been highly effective.  It was necessary because Palestinian leadership continues to act as a major sponsor of terrorism.  Israel tries to make peace while Palestinian leaders encourage their constituents to randomly stab people and blow things up.  When Israel responds to these terrorist acts, the Palestinians decry Israel’s actions.  Israel continues to try to make peace.  But while they work for peace, they must keep their people secure.  Thus, the wall.


UN Resolutions Against Israel

A few years ago, the seat of world antisemitism could be found in the Islamic nations.  But more and more it is moving back into the lands where it manifested its greatest evil – Europe.  According to UN Watch, “In the current 74th session of the UN General Assembly (2019-2020), all EU member states voted for one resolution each to criticize (1) Iran, (2) Syria, (3) North Korea, (4) Crimea, (5) Myanmar, and (6) the U.S., for its embargo on Cuba.

“By contrast, EU states are expected to vote for 15 out of 20 resolutions singling out Israel.  Yet these same EU states failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries.”

Think about the numbers – 20 resolutions against Israel.  All EU nations are expected to vote for 15 of them.  All (or almost all) of the 20 resolutions either have passed or are expected to pass in the General Assembly.  Contrast that with 6 resolutions against the rest of the world combined!

There were 20 against Israel while there was one against the number one state sponsor of terror in the world, Iran.  There was one against Syria – the nation whose leader uses chemical weapons against his own people.  There was one against North Korea – which starves, tortures, imprisons, or murders all who oppose its “Supreme Leader.”

There were no resolutions against Venezuela, where the leader kills his enemies and systematically starves his people.  There were none against China where the war on religious freedom results in government-approved rape and pillage.  There were none against Russia where opposing the Putin regime often equals death.

Yet there were 20 against Israel.  This level of hatred and vitriol is not natural.

Jesus called Satan “the prince of this world.”  He is a being at war with God.  He believes that if he can destroy Israel, he will win the war by making God a liar.  And so, he fights Israel with all the venom he can muster. (And that’s a lot of venom.)   Eventually, he will try to destroy Israel by enacting a peace treaty between his man, the Antichrist, and the nation of Israel.  But even then, God will keep His promises.

These are troubled times.  But don’t despair.  Instead, look up.  Your redemption draws near.

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You can find out more about Hal Lindsey at Hal Lindsey Ministries.

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