“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Jeremiah was speaking about the source of Judah’s problem…Judah’s heart. We might consider today why in the world has mankind taken a course to self-destruction? Man’s wisdom is man’s folly. While we might puzzle over the decisions world leaders are taking, and the direction they are leading the nations along, God informs Jeremiah that He alone understands the human heart. He alone has the ability to search the heart and test the mind. He knows our innermost thoughts and motives. The things that are hidden from others are not hidden from God; He sees right through us. God doesn’t try to cure the people’s hearts; He is in the removal business. He removes their heart of stone, and He gives them a new heart and puts a new spirit within them (Ezekiel 36:26-27; 11:19).
Jeremiah went on to contrast the foolishness of trusting in wealth or human wisdom with the wisdom of trusting in the Lord. It is a message for today!
There are those that purposely oppose God and His ways – “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers” (Proverbs 4:14). “But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble” (Provers 4:19). We are seeing what man is stumbling over today. It is right before our eyes: “…for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare” (Romans 9:33; Isaiah 8:14). And in 1 Peter it states: “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for” (1 Peter 2:8).
The congregation were singing “Send the fire; send the fire today!” They had Pentecost in mind, but as they sang my mind went on to the fires raging in Canada, that forced the evacuation of the entire city of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta. It is so fierce it has been nicknamed “the Beast”. It is the “beast” that calls down fire in Revelation 13:13. Jesus refused to allow His disciples to call down fire (Luke 9:54). Mainstream news reports state that the extent of the fire covers an area twenty-five percent larger than New York City, forcing eighty-eight thousand people to evacuate their homes. The fire is already the most expensive natural disaster in the history of Canada, and officials fully expect to be fighting the blaze for many more months.
There are other “fires” that we might consider – The fires of judgement, such as those David Wilkerson predicted many years ago that were coming on New York.
I am frequently on “grandfather” duties, particularly to our six-year-old grandson who is a pint-sized thinker. I don’t mean his thinking is pint-sized, as he comes out with some real corkers. Last week he asked me why it is that some people don’t like the law. It’s an interesting question, even for an adult to ask.
Also last week, a Muslim was voted to the office of Mayor of London. When broadcasters are out and about commenting on events I am always interested in the backdrop they carefully choose in the various locations. As they reported and commented on the London Mayor, one of the backdrops was the Tower of London, a place renowned for its torture and (so-called) legal beheadings. If you were a nuisance to the throne, for whatever reason, you might find yourself imprisoned in the Tower waiting for your day of execution. Although there were no mass beheadings, beheadings is nonetheless what the Tower is remembered for, and the chopping block is always on the visitor’s list of things to see.
It is interesting that the TV reporters said that “surely religion doesn’t come in to it…we don’t speak of someone being a Christian mayor or a Christian Prime Minister”; yet a day later the same TV News station spoke about “London’s first Muslim mayor”.
To say that religion doesn’t come into it, when you are speaking about a Muslim, shows ones ignorance, not only of Islam but of history. Muslims were given special dispensation in the workplace to pray at specific times during the day. There are sharia courts; and reportedly, some have more than one wife, which is clearly against UK law. Quite obviously, in the case of the Muslim, Islam/religion certainly does come into it!
Changing Perceptions from above
The changing perceptions taking place in the world are from above, but not from the God above. The world leaders and elite are ringing the changes.
British and European children have had secularism foisted upon them. One is no longer allowed to share one’s (Christian) faith in school or the workplace. Britain’s children have had homosexuality forced upon them by changes to British law. According to the secular philosophes that we are suffering from, homosexuality and Transgenderism are normal, and ‘natural’; and the new, ungodly PC politics agree. Humanity’s liberation from God’s Law means one can ‘choose’ to be male or female (or both); in Australia it is referred to as “gender fluidity”. These are laws that contradict the Word of God. How soon will it be before Britons are forced to bow to Allah and Islamic law? The new politics of appeasement means it will eventually be introduced, ‘lawfully’ and ‘democratically’ of course. The Muslim softly, softly approach is still an approach to a certain objective. That objective is an Islamic Caliphate, by whatever means. Some Brits are opening the door to Islam themselves. I have heard of those that celebrate Ramadan to ‘lose weight’. They think it’s cool! It might be cool now, but there is every possibility that it will hot up! Just two days after the election of Londonistan’s new Muslim mayor, who is the son of a bus driver, the Daily Mail reported that buses across the country are to carry a slogan praising Allah. It might have been more convincing to British people if the new mayor had said something about the bus bomb in London (7th July2005), and the three devices on the underground. He could have said something about the execution of police woman, Yvonne Fletcher (17th April 1984); or the hacking to death and beheading of Lee Rigby (July 2013). Instead, there will be hundreds of buses with posters bearing the words ‘Subhan Allah’, which means ‘Glory be to God’ in Arabic, for an ad campaign paid for by the charity “Islamic Relief”. The posters will appear in London, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham and Bradford, which have large Muslim communities. Then on Tuesday the fear stakes were raised again when the police were forced to apologise after Muslims complained about “Allahu Akbar” being shouted out during an anti-terrorist training exercise in Manchester.
The God they are giving glory to is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but many Brits don’t know the difference. Some, at least believe it is the same God being worshipped; and unbelievably, some ‘Christians’ believe this too! Britain’s future and the future of the world is becoming clearer, daily. Without the Lord’s intervention, we are rushing headlong into the most terrible times. David Cameron suggests that Britain turning its back on the EU could increase the risk of war. What is really important is a much more serious situation. It is about our turning our backs on God, the true God. The way we vote in the EU Referendum is important; it could be God testing us (I will say more about that in the next issue of Sword magazine, God willing). When we sing, “Send the fire!” are we lining up with God’s purposes and what He is preparing to send – the fires of judgement?
The rise in Anti-Semitism
The rise in antisemitism comes with the rise in false notions of God, and false teaching concerning His character and Person. The God of the Bible is purposely misrepresented even to denying His existence. The lies about God extend to His ancient people, the Jews.
Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an address at Yad Vashem to begin the Holocaust Remembrance Day. He spoke about the dangers of the spread of Anti-Semitic lies that is making odd bedfellows with the radical Left joined at the hip with Muslim extremists. This union is taking place across the entire Western world.
In his address Netanyahu said: “What paved the way for the Holocaust, what greased the wheels of the Nazi murder machine? The answer is the lie. Nazi propaganda described the Jews as the source of all evil in the world: the poisoners of wells, parasites, enemies of humanity. Incitement preceded annihilation”
He went on to say: “Today millions of people in the Muslim world read and hear horrible falsehoods about the Jewish people. They tell them that the Jews are the descendants of monkeys and pigs. They say that Jews drink the blood of their enemies in goblets.”
“British MPs, senior officials in Sweden, public opinion makers in France; I must say that Anti-Semitism in our days is creating odd combinations – the elites who allegedly represent human progress joining up with the worst barbarians on earth, those who chop off heads, persecute women, oppress Gays, destroy cultural treasures.”
“Pay attention to what is going on here,” he said. “An international organisation charged with preserving history rewrites one of the basic facts of human history. This is wilful ignorance. Worse than that, is the addiction to lies and its dissemination to the world until it is accepted as fact.” He was, as an example, making reference to UNESCO’s fiasco resolution that expunged any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. Anti-Semitism is a huge problem, for the Jews and for the rest of humanity. It is a multiple-headed beast.
Though the word “God” will become increasingly popular because of Muslim influence, it will not be in reference to the God of the Bible. The true God will become increasingly unpopular and maligned as “hateful”, as will those that follow Him. In fact, this is already the case amongst atheist and human secularists. The challenge to Christians is to repent and return to the Lord; and to call on His Name for mercy. Having done all, stand up! Stand up for Jesus! Rise! Shine for your light has come!
One of the ways believers can be encouraged in the Lord, and to stand for the Lord is by becoming involved with ministries that are moving with God. Steve Maltz’s Foundations Ministry is one such. There were some wonderful testimonies given during and after their Foundations 7 conference in April of this year.
My inquisitive mind asks questions – Why did the Conservatives run such a bad campaign for mayor of London? Was it a tactic to get the desired result of a Muslim mayor? Were Londoner’s set-up? What was Obama’s input; did the world’s most powerful leader stage-manage David Cameron? I don’t have the answers; but we are often told that politics is a dirty game. Perhaps we should begin to take note, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
It might simply have been a matter of demographics and no matter what argument the Conservatives put forward the result would have been the same. If that is the case it is also a warning of things to come. “A Muslim man with way too many extremist links to be entirely coincidental is now the Mayor of London. I suppose this is hardly a shock, though. The native English are a demographic minority (and a rapidly dwindling one) in London, whilst Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh are a rapidly expanding demographic.” — British politician Paul Weston.
Non-believers have always been part of the American and British demographics, but atheists and humanists have perhaps never been as organized, prominent and vocal as they are today. Though many of the largest organizations, like American Atheists, American Humanist Association, and Freedom from Religion Foundation, were established decades ago, the New Atheists emerged in the 2000s with a righteous, anti-religious fervour. Spearheaded by prominent British atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, as well as American atheist Sam Harris, the New Atheists have gained a large following eager to read their books, watch their debates and attend their conventions. The growth in secularism in the EU led to official removal of the reference to the Continent’s Christian history from the European Constitution a few years ago. We talk about ISIS destroying the past – what about the EU’s destructive forces and its rewriting history? These are warnings for us. The EU is dismembering God from His creation and His creatures.
Yesterday’s Youth fought and died to protect our Freedoms. Today’s Youth are surrendering our Freedoms.
In the UK, almost two-thirds of university students have indicated that they are in favour of restrictions on freedom of speech.
In a ComRes survey commissioned by the Victoria Derbyshire show, 63% of 1,001 students said they believe the National Union of Students (NUS) has a right to hold its ‘no-platform’ policy, to ban certain groups and individuals from university campuses.
More than half (54 per cent) of students surveyed also believe that the policy should be actively enforced against people who could be found intimidating.
The report follows findings from a survey revealed this January from online magazine Spiked, which showed that 55 per cent of campuses banned speakers, behaviours, pressure groups and songs in 2015, as opposed to 41 per cent in 2014.
At the time, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said that these trends reflect an increased threat to free speech across the nation.
Andrea Williams commented that the latest poll highlights growing challenges to sharing the gospel at universities, as well as in the wider public sphere.
“The fact that two-thirds of students support no-platforming is significant, as it reflects a pattern across the UK of censoring material that may be considered offensive,” she said.
“Increasingly it is Christian teaching that is coming under fire, and growing censorship means that sharing the good news of the gospel is becoming more challenging. We've seen this in the cases of our Christian Legal Centre clients, such as street preacher Mike Overd, who was convicted for preaching the ‘wrong’ Bible verse.
“Our university campuses are key places for debate and engagement with views on important issues, with young people at a crucial age where they are asking big questions and forming worldviews. We need to pray for the freedom of Christian individuals, unions and outside speakers to continue speaking of Jesus on campuses,” she added.
In a new US survey it was discovered that support for capitalism is dying in America. More than half of all adults in the US under the age of thirty say that they do not support capitalism at this point. Echoing the above results was a pole by the Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who surveyed 1,000 Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six and found that 58% of respondents believed socialism to be the “more compassionate” political system when compared to capitalism. And when participants were asked to sum up the root of America’s problem in one word, 29% said “greed.” The rise of Socialism in the US is the reason Bernie Sanders has so many young supporters. One could argue that the US has not resembled anything close to a capitalist society for some years, but the trend is still cause for concern. Freedoms are eroding in the US at a great rate of knots. The Western world is in melt-down because – The West has lost The Way, (Acts 9:2).
Blessings and shalom,