Signs of the Times

Apostasy

Key Scriptures
Current Events
Links
New Resource:Apostasy and Revival Handout
(May be printed for group Bible study- see note at bottom)
Excerpts From The Prophecy Puzzle


Key Scriptures

Click on one of these
references to see
the passage.
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NIV & Other VersionsIncludes Commentary
Apostasy
Matthew 24:12 Further Study
1 Timothy 4:1-3 Further Study
2 Timothy 3:1-8 Further Study
2 Thessalonians 2:3
Further Study
Revelation 3:14-22 Further Study

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Current Events and Links

See also: Events more recent than June 8, 1998


Disney "Gay Day" Spectacle
June 8, 1998 - Gay Day at Disney World in Florida this past week-end drew tens of thousands of red-shirted homosexual activists together for their annual function.
Unfortunate: Letter of support from President Clinton.
Unfortunate: Hate response to homosexuals by Rev. Fred Phelps who has been in the news often recently picketing their events and organizations. We agree with Phelps that God hates the sin of homosexuality, but he goes further and states that "God Hates Fags." The following is an excerpt from Todd Strandberg's Nearing Midnight site.
You may have heard of Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. He has become famous for being a notorious anti-gay picketer.
Phelps is a retired lawyer who leads a small band of followers that is largely comprised of members of own family.
Phelps' claim to fame comes from his habit of picketing funerals of people who have died from AIDS and from picketing various Gay events. He carries signs with messages such as GOD HATES FAGS, AIDS CURES FAGS, etc. ...
(Story no longer online)


<-atriot.net/~premil/cgi-bin/readnews?day=98_05_26&item=#896207793>Pope May Name Mary Co-Redemptrix On May 31st
May 27, 1998 - Wekend News Today reports that the Pope is likely to declare that Mary is Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate of humanity as the fifth official Catholic Marian dogma (article of faith) onPentecost, which is May 31 this year.
Source: Weekend News Today (Story no longer online)

Escalation of Violence
May, 1998 - As the school year draws to a close there has been an epidemic of shootings on American campuses.

Violent computer and video games are obvious contributors to the killing mentality affecting our young people. After years of passively watching numerous acts of violence and murder on television, games now make it possible for them to take out their own frustrations by assuming the role of mass murderers! Not content with fantasy space creatures and zombies, a new game called "Postal" ("Look out, he's going postal!") provides sixteen levels of depravity where the object is to kill enough fellow-humans on one one level to advance to the next. According to information from a Los Angeles talk show, points are awarded for killing armed people, like policemen, but it is fine if you want to mow down innocent bystanders along the way as well (folks leaving church, members of a marching band, etc.). Game players may use a variety of guns, granades and canons to do the killing. Victims scream in pain (real digitized human voices) and crawl around before dying (they may need to shoot them again). Even the name of the software developer is controversial. The company is called "Running With Scissors." To end the game, one must be shot (or commit suicide).

And you thought the Romans were bad? They just watched the Gladiators do the dirty work. Now our boys and girls can get worked up with the latest video games, grab dad's guns, and head for the schoolyard for some serious killing.

Related story:

Church Bombed in Illinois

The Church In Hot Water
May 13, 1998 - In his latest book, The Second Coming of The Church - Blueprint For Survival, pollster George Barna warns that time is of the essence if the church is going to jump out of the pot of slowly heated water which is now at the boiling point, an image from his earlier book, Frog In The Kettle.
According to a feature article from Religion Today, Barna's book says that within the next few years America will experience either massive spiritual revival or total moral anarchy. Barna contends that Americans are desperate for spiritual truth, but aren't finding answers in Christian churches, which they have dismissed as "weak, outdated, and irrelevant."
Barna says that only 4% of pastors consider themselves leaders, and are content to just be teachers. His recommendations for revolutionary church leadership include planting "cyberchuches" on the Internet, starting house churches, and forming "compassion clusters" of people who build bridges to secular charitable organizations. These new church formats are all "decentralized," receiving training and resources from the church, then reaching out on their own. (Source: Religion Today) (Story no longer online)

We Are The April Fools
April 2, 1998 - Following yesterday's dismissal of a lawsuit by Paula Jones against President Clinton, Americans need to face the issue of what can be done about immorality in high places. Technically, many legal experts agree that the case itself was weak from the start. "Boorish and offensive" conduct (we would say sinful) may have occured, but sexual harrassment per se did not. We must be alarmed about what message this whole matter conveys to our young people. But, in our opinion, it is time for the American public itself to take the blame for this ugly spectacle. We are the ones who elected a president whose past was clearly tainted. And we are the ones, according to a variety of recent polls, who apparently don't care how bad a leader's character is as long as he does his job well (translated: "keeps the economy good"). We are the April Fools. If we ever decide we don't like being fools we can change things quickly and simply - by electing people of character. - Ron Graff, Prophecy Central

Be Aware of The Interfaith Alliance
March, 1998 - This organization, which apparently begun in 1995, states that they have "come together to stand up to the growing and ominous power and influence of the Christian Coalition and other religious political extremist groups and individuals. " It is comprised of liberal religious leaders including pro-homosexual activists. The president of the group is Phil Wogaman, pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church of Washington D.C., which President Clinton regularly attends (see recent article "United Methodists Allow Homosexual Ceremony").
This organization proposes an alternative concept of family values, and tries to agressively undermine the activities of Christian conservatives in their local communities. They may infiltrate local governmental circles and other centers of influence to establish their views, and cause officials to brand Christian conservatives as intolerant extremists.

United Methodists Allow Homosexual Ceremony
Mar. 13, 1998 - Victory for minister in church trial over lesbian ceremony - A church trial returned a "not guilty" verdict for Jimmy Creech, a Nebraska pastor who performed a lesbian union ceremony against the guidelines of the church's code of social principles, adopted in 1996, which prohibits "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual union." Phil Wogaman, pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church of Washington D.C., which President Clinton regularly attends, was among those testifying for Creech. (Source: CNN Interactive)
Affirmation statement signed by at least 85 United Methodist pastors - Includes this statement: "We publicly state that we will celebrate rites of union with all couples, regardless of gender, as part of the pastoral responsibilities consistent with the gospel and spirit of Jesus Christ, entrusted to us by The United Methodist Church." Pastor's names are listed on this site.

Court Says Boy Scouts Can't Ban Gay
This was at http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19980302/V000380-030298-idx.html, but this link no longer works.
Mar. 2, 1998 - the Washington Post reports that a New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the Boy Scouts can not keep a person out of the organization just because he is a homosexual. This decision overturns a lower court finding that the Scouts had the right to set such standards. The ruling will be appealed to the state's Supreme Court.
PS - There's good news too - See California Supreme Court Decision of Mar. 23, 1998!

Australia: Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Sets New Record
Mar. 2, 1998 - According to this article from "The Age," an online newspaper, some 70,000 people gathered to cheer for a parade of homosexual activists in Sydney. The parade included 274 floats, homosexual police, celebrites, and even a contingent of the Uniting Church.
The Age (Story no longer online)

Judge rules against Alaska's same-sex marriage ban
Feb 28, 1998 - The decision contradicts a 1996 Alaskan law banning same-sex marriage. (Source: CNN - story no longer on line)

Talk of "spiritual awakening" sweeping America, but active participation dropping
Feb. 17, 1998 - According to this article in Week End News, Americans exaggerate their church attendance, which is still declining. Independent megachurches and cults are growing, but over-all attendance is shrinking. (Story no longer online)

Obscene T Shirt Trial
Feb. 17, 1998 - Trial for a Florida music store clerk has begun to determine whether the shirt's very offensive depiction of a nun and profane statement about Christ will be considered obscene. The T Shirt was a promotion of the British "death metal" band Cradle of Filth. (Source: Yahoo - story no longer on line)

A move to strip Lord's Prayer of `temptation'
Feb. 13, 1998 - In this article from Philadelphia Online, the Church of England is considering changinging part of the Lord's prayer. They suggest that "Lead us not into temptation" should become "Save us from the time of trial." (Story no longer online)

America Maintains A Double Standard When It Comes To Adultry
Feb 2, 1998 - This article from Religion Today shows that, while 80% of Americans believe adultry is always wrong, a significant percentage of the people do engage in it, and actually applaud it in the movies. This issue is a hot topic of conversation due to the current scandal involving the President. (Source: Religion News Today - story no longer on line.)

Record Earnings For Disney
Jan. 28, 1998 - According to reports released yesterday, Disney earnings and profit have set new records. Evidently the boycott by many Christian groups, including the Southern Baptists, has not affected the growth of Disney. This is a sad commentary on the acceptance of Disney's pro-homosexual agenda by the American public.

Mrs. Clinton Blames 'Right-Wing Conspiracy
January 28, 1998 - In an interview yesterday on The Today Show, Hillary Clinton defended her husband and claimed that the real big story is a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against the President. She named Jerry Fallwell, Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr, and others as part of this conspiracy.
Source: Yahoo (Story no longer online)

White House Scandal Illustrates Moral Plight Of The Nation
January 26, 1998 - While President Clinton emphatically denies that he had a sexual relationship with a former White House aide, continuing allegations of wrong-doing are accumulating in the capital, threating to paralyze the president's effectiveness at a time when military action is being considered against Iraq, and tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian issue have reached the boiling point. Perhaps worst of all, the nation embarrassed itself by condoning immorality. A week-end poll indicated that 71% of those polled believed the President had done something either illegal or immoral, but 67% said that he should not leave the Presidency because of it! This should be an eye-opener for Christians who do not realize how much we need repentance and revival in the land.
Source: All Politics (Story no longer online)

Sanctity Of Life Sunday/ 25th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade
Jan. 25, 1998 - Sanctity of Life Sunday - Last Thursday (Jan. 22) marked the 25th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision "Roe vs. Wade" which legalized abortion in America. Since then approximately 35 million babies have been sacrificed, and the nation has plunged into a moral tailspin. The good news is that there seems to be a slight shifting of attitudes in recent months back toward Biblical values in this area. Norma McCorvey, who was the "Jane Roe" in the case has become a born-again Christian and an avid opponent of abortion.
Most Americans are Pro-Life
CNN Coverage of the Anniversary

Agnostics, Gay Ex-Scout Challenge Boy Scouts
Jan. 6, 1998 - The California Supreme Court will consider challenges to the Boy Scouts historical positions by agnostics and homosexuals. The key issue will be whether The Boy Scouts should be considered a business or a charitable organization. If it is deemed a business, it probably will be forced to allow homosexuals, athiests, agnostics, and girls to join.
Source: Yahoo (Story no longer online)

Emory University Allows Homosexual Marriage Vows
Nov. 27, 1997 - Methodist-affiliated Emory University will allow gay couples to say marriage or commitment vows in its chapels.
Source: Weekend News (Story no longer online)

United Church of Canada Leader Doubts Divinity of Christ
Nov 26 , 1997 -- Week End Today reports that Bill Phipps, new moderator of Canada's largest denomination has publicly expressed doubts about the resurrection of Christ and says he does not believe Jesus was God.
Source: Weekend News (Story no longer online)

University of California allows special privileges to homosexuals
Nov. 22,1997 - According to the Los Angeles Times, yesterday's decision to extend health benefits to homosexual couples was a defeat for Governor Pete Wilson who opposed the action with vigor. Their article states that the extra costs of the decision would amount to an extra $10.4 million to $20.3 million per year in benefits.
We think the real cost can not be measured in dollars.
See Week End New Today's article: (Story no longer online)

President Clinton Attends Homosexual Dinner Event
Nov. 8, 1997 - President Clinton will become the first president to honor such a gathering by his presence when he speaks tonight at a fund-raiser for the nation's largest lesbian and male homosexual group , the Human Rights Campaign. The president plans to reiterate his support for legislation protecting homosexuals from job discrimination. (Source: Associated Press via AOL News 11/8/97)

President Vetoes Partial Birth Ban for the second time.
Oct. 9, 1997 - President Clinton wasted no time vetoing this attempt by Congress to prevent the killing of infants by this brutal procedure which even the American Medical Association has said is never medically necessary for the health of the mother. The bill passed by a large, veto-proof margin in the House of Representatives (296-132), but the Senate vote, while still a strong majority could fall three votes short since it takes a 2/3 vote to override a presidential veto. It's time for Christians to contact their Senators on this issue. Source: Prolife.org (Story no longer online)

Boycott of Disney by Southern Baptists
June 1997 - Delegates to the conference representing the largest denomination in the United States ( 15.6 million) voted to boycott Disney theme parks and products because of their pro-homosexual policies.
Source: The Lutheran (Story no longer online)

United Religions Now Forming along United Nations Model
This organization has set the year 2000 as its target date for signing a charter which would include all world religions.

Danger ahead with new TV Rating system (Dec. 27, 1996)
1- Ratings are established and monitored by the wrong people. The TV producers have devised this plan to keep others from doing something about their obvious moral slide. If we allow them to do this it will be a classic example of "the fox guarding the hen house." Once people have accepted this rating system we can expect immorality and profanity to be constant visitors in our homes.
2- The most immoral content will be "TV M" (for Mature!) This gives the wrong message to our children. Don't we want them to become mature? Don't they strive to be mature? Is an adult who dislikes raw sex and violence not mature? It should be "TV P" (for Perverted) or at least "TV O" (for Objectionable).
3- Parents don't like the plan. See National PTA Survey on What Do Parents Want in Television Ratings?
4- The V chip (V for Violence), which is mandated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, will soon be installed in television sets. This can be a help to concerned parents, but not if it is automatically programmed by this proposed rating system. It needs to be programmable by parents themselves, perhaps with the help of pro-family organizations such as Focus on The Family and The Dove Foundation.

Judge allows homosexual "marriage" in Hawaii (Dec.4,1996)
It will take months or years before this is settled, but this major step in the wrong direction is alarming to Christians. Here are some facts to consider:
The ruling that homosexuals may apply for marriage licenses
On Dec. 3rd, Circuit Court judge Kevin S.C. Chang ruled that the state of Hawaii may not discriminate against same-sex couples and must allow them to receive marriage licenses.
The recent elections in Hawaii removed advocates of same sex marriage
See paragraph entitled, Some supporters of same-sex marriage in the state of Hawaii were voted out of office. Analysis of this trend suggests that there may eventually be legislation protecting traditional marriage in Hawaii.
Recent federal legislation exempting states from having to recognize homosexual marriage
Christianity.Net (Oct. 28, 1996) - President Clinton signed the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) which officially defines marriage as a "union between one man and one woman."
Source: Goshen.net (Story no longer online)

Biblical teaching on the subject:
Leviticus 18:22 - Further Study
Prohibited in the Old Testament as an "abomination"
Romans 1:24-27 - Further Study
Condemned by God as "degrading passions"
1 Corinthians 6:9 - Further Study
Among list of those who do not inherit the kingdom of God
1 Timothy 1:10 - Further Study
The law condemns it along with other crimes
The proper attitude for a Christian
Like God Himself, we should love the sinner though we hate the sin. Compassion and assistance should be extended to them and to their families. We should pray for them and seek to win them to Jesus. We have been forgiven. They may be also if they turn to Christ.

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Apostasy Links

American Center For Law and Justice
American Family Association
Bob Enyart Live
Capitol Resources Institute
Christian Coalition
Concerned Women For America
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Eagle Forum - Phyllis Schafley
Family Research Council
Focus On The Family: CitizenLink
Michael Reagan
Pacific Justice Institute
The Rutherford Institute
The Sentinel Group - Geroge Otis Jr.
ShadowGov.com
Understand The Times

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Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle

In the actual software package, many key words would appear as colored hyperlinks to other articles. These links are not shown here.

Apostasy

"The Church at Laodicea", (Revelation 3:14-22), is the apostate church. The last of the seven churches during the Church period, as found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 which outline the history of the church from the Apostolic period until the last days. The last church is the one that doesn't have Christ in its heart. That's why we find that wonderful promise we so often use for evangelism: Revelation 3:20 "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him."

This is The Lord speaking to church people, saying, "You need a savior. You have a church, but you don't have a Savior yet." That is the way the Laodicean church is. There are many churches today where the Gospel is not preached. They talk about current events, politics, or book reports. Some of them are outstanding speakers who do not even know the Lord personally. Some are so "open minded" that they will bring in a Buddhist or a Moslem. All of this is done under the guise of Christianity. Some of them may not know any better, but we have to wonder why they even bother to be in ministry if there is no real faith in God's Word or in Jesus as a personal Savior. After The Rapture, that is the only kind of church that will be left.

In some of these churches homosexuality is allowed. Such churches give up all of their Biblical distinctives to try to be relevant. In the process they have no salvation to offer.

Liberalism and Higher Criticism - Higher Criticism came out of Germany around the turn of the century. It's purpose was to "demythologize" the Bible. They might say, for instance, "Genesis is good to give the essence of the meaning of creation, but don't take it seriously, because it doesn't always agree with science." So they elevated science or other fields of knowledge above God's Word. They would explain away miracles. If Jesus walked across the water, they would say, it was because he knew where there was a reef just below the surface, just to inspire the people. They would not say He was a bad person for this. It served a good purpose, and was therefore good. When He fed the 5000, what really happened was, that when the little boy was willing to share his lunch, it inspired all the others who had also secretly packed lunches, to be unselfish enough to share. So when they took up 12 baskets of left-overs it wasn't a true miracle. Another example of "demythologizing" was the claim that the crossing of the Red sea was just crossing the Reed Sea which was just a few feet deep.

The Jesus Seminar -- Another, even more insidious movement in our days, is the "Jesus Seminar." This is a group of "scholars" who decide what Jesus really said by taking a vote. They do it with marbles. If they vote with a red marble, they think Jesus really said that. If they use a pink marble, they think Jesus didn't actually say it, but it was the kind of thing He would say. If they use a gray marble, Jesus probably never said anything like that. If it was a black marble, there was just no way He said it. They then print a Bible showing Jesus' words in these various colors. This is ridiculous. Our faith in Christianity is based on a literal belief in the truth of God's Word. Why would they bother to study this if they feel it is so corrupt?



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