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Prophetic Times: True Patriots

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Prophetic Times

True Patriots

In the past, patriotic men and women made great sacrifices to secure freedoms, and some gave their lives for the basic freedoms we enjoy in the free world. What bearing does this have on modern-day Christians? Should we be patriotic? Although we are not of this world, it is certainly not wrong for God’s people to love their own country. However, we must remember Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). We are citizens of heaven, and our loyalty to God should be far above that of our own country. Are we true patriots of the kingdom of God?


President Abraham Lincoln concluded his 1862 Annual Message to Congress by reflecting on the importance of adopting a plan of emancipation to do away with slavery. He said: “We—even we here—hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

A democratic decline has been taking place globally, and an increasing number of people are living in closed autocracies. In the last 35 years the world has been in an anti-democratic trend. “The level of democracy enjoyed by the average world citizen in 2022 is back to 1986 levels. This means that 72 percent of the world's population, 5.7 billion people, live under authoritarian rule,” according to Staffan I. Lindberg, Director of the V-Dem Institute.

Authoritarian governments are on the rise

It is startling that an authoritarian approach to government gained quick acceptance by over half of the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic in the name of public health. It seemed the revoking of previous freedoms of choice, no matter how senseless, was acceptable to the majority of Americans as well as most citizens of other English-speaking countries. The government even regulated whether churches could operate, and most people willingly complied. This makes one wonder how easy it would be for formerly democratic nations to be fooled under the guise of their protection to accept an authoritarian government where their freedoms were taken away.

At its inception in 1776, America began to be a great beacon of liberty to the world. America was the country to which France gave the famous Statue of Liberty. On September 17, 1787, as delegates left the Constitutional Convention in Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government do we have? “A Republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”

In a time of crisis everything can change rapidly. We can each ask ourselves, “How loyal would I remain to God and His Church—would I be a patriot?” “Would I place the governments of men and obey them above my heavenly citizenship?”

The Bible instructs us to comply with government as long as it does not conflict with what God instructs us to do. Romans 13:1-2 instruct us to submit in regard to laws, pay taxes that are due, submit to customs. And Paul states, “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7). Of course, since our citizenship is in heaven, we honor God first.

However, persecutions are coming, and it will likely come about in the guise of a crisis from the leaders of government. It will put pressure on people to place human governments above God’s rule. Jesus was delivered to be crucified by the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews, and He was executed by the Roman authorities. He warned His disciples in Matthew 24:9: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” 

Martyrdoms of the past took place under the aegis of government sanctions. People were rounded up and thrown in prison. During the Imperial Inquisition, the Roman Empire prosecuted many who were accused by the Catholic Church of heresy. It has been estimated by reputed historians of the Catholic Inquisition that 50 million people were slaughtered for the crime of "heresy" by Roman persecutors between A.D. 606 and the middle of 19th century. The Catholic Church unsurprisingly downplays this figure to the thousands. Catholic historian Vergerius openly admits that during the Pontificate of Pope Paul IV (1555-1559) "the Inquisition alone, by tortures, starvation, or the fire, murdered more than 150,000 Protestants." These are only small samples of the brutality which was poured out upon "dissident" Christians by the Roman Catholic Church during the Inquisition. 

Clark’s Martyrology counts the number of Waldensian martyrs during the first half of the 13th century in France alone at two million. Included in that number, no doubt, were those of the true church of God. Through it all they remained loyal to God. 

True patriots of the Kingdom

Hebrew 11 gives a list of the dedicated matriarchs and patriarchs—many of which gave their lives—as true patriots of the Kingdom. It says in Hebrews 11:13-16:

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” 

The apostle Paul wrote further:

“Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:36-40).

They proved to be loyal ambassadors of a Kingdom not of this world; they envisioned it afar off. These were true patriots of the Kingdom they sought. It is what we seek each day as we prove our loyalty and obedience to God and Jesus Christ. True patriots of that coming Kingdom are willing to endure being hated, scoffed at, harassed or even put to death by the magistrates of this world. We may have opportunity to prove our loyalty to God sooner than we might think! I pray all of us have our eyes so firmly riveted on the goal of the Kingdom we can persevere through whatever hardships come our way. 

This is my Perspective and the current edition of the Prophetic Times follows below: 

Prophetic Times

North Korea practices Hamas-style assault

March 7, 2024 israelnationalnews.com reported:

As tensions rise between the two countries, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un participated in a military exercise that included conquering South Korean military outposts.

North Korea did not officially acknowledge that the exercise involved attacking South Korea, but footage of the event leaves no room for doubt as to the exercise’s goal. Among the scenarios practiced was an attack on the border and an air assault to land troops beyond the fortifications and checkpoints between North and South Korea.

Among the potential scenarios feared by South Korea is the use of helicopters to land soldiers and neutralize positions in a manner similar to that used by Hamas during the October 7th massacre, when Hamas troops used powered paragliders to bypass Israel’s border wall and UAVs to drop

During the exercise, Kim Jong-un called for his nation to increase its preparations for war and gave instructions that more exercises should be held to simulate a real battlefield. Pictures of the exercise showed North Korean soldiers firing guided antitank missiles, rockets, and other weapons.

Russia says it is considering putting a nuclear power plant on the moon with China

March 6, 2024 jpost.com reported:

Russia and China are considering putting a nuclear power plant on the moon from 2033-35, Yuri Borisov, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday, something he said could one day allow lunar settlements to be built. Borisov, a former deputy defense minister, said that Russia and China had been jointly working on a lunar program and that Moscow was able to contribute with its expertise on ‘nuclear space energy.’

‘Today we are seriously considering a project – somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035 – to deliver and install a power unit on the lunar surface together with our Chinese colleagues,’ Borisov said. Solar panels would not be able to provide enough electricity to power future lunar settlements, he said, while nuclear power could.

‘This is a very serious challenge…it should be done in automatic mode, without the presence of humans,’ he said of the possible plan.

North Korea warns of ‘dear price’ for U.S.-South Korea joint military exercise

March 5, 2024 spacewar.com reported:

North Korea warned Tuesday that the United States and South Korea will be ‘made to pay a dear price’ for holding their annual Freedom Shield large-scale joint military exercise.

An unnamed spokesperson for the North’s Ministry of National Defense condemned the ‘provocative’ 11-day exercise, which kicked off on Monday with ramped-up field training drills and a focus on countering threats from the nuclear-armed North.
The ministry ‘strongly denounces the reckless military drills of the U.S. and [South Korea] for getting more undisguised in their military threat to a sovereign state and attempt for invading it,’ the statement, carried in state-run Korean Central News Agency, said.

The North Korean military will ‘continue to watch the adventurist acts of the enemies and conduct responsible military activities to strongly control the unstable security environment on the Korean peninsula,’ the spokesperson said.

North Korea regularly condemns the allies’ joint exercises as rehearsals for an invasion and has used the drills in the past as a pretext for its own missile tests. Freedom Shield is the first joint exercise since the North scrapped a 2018 inter-Korean military accord meant to reduce tensions along the border, raising additional concerns over a provocative response from Pyongyang.

IDF spokesperson: UNRWA staff recordings prove Hamas treated young women ‘like animals’

March 5, 2024 timesofisrael.com reported:

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari in an evening press conference says that despite the “difficult content,” the military chose to release the audio recordings of UNRWA staff who participated in the October 7 onslaught, to “remind and not forget.”

“The massacre committed by Hamas on October 7 is the most documented massacre in history. Hamas terrorists filmed their own cruelty. As time goes by, more and more testimonies are revealed, more intelligence every day,” he says.

“You can hear how the terrorists entered Israeli territory, participated in the massacre, and terror, and captured ‘sabaya.'”
He explains that in one of the recordings, a Hamas terrorist, who worked as a teacher at a UNRWA school in Deir al-Balah, tells his friend that he captured a sabaya, a term used by Islamic State jihadists that means sex slave.

“Sabaya” is a term in Islam that describes women and children as the property of a Muslim man. It also means slave and handmaiden. The most difficult use of “sabaya” was by ISIS terrorists, who called the captured Yazidi women this, Hagari says.
“In the conversation, the terrorist on the other side of the line describes a woman as a noble mare,” he says. “On October 7, Hamas treated young women with cruelty and brutality, kidnapped them from their homes, and treated them like animals,” Hagari continues. “How they refer to the hostages as ‘sabaya’ and a ‘noble mare’ keeps us awake at night, and requires the world to shout, as it did for the Yazidi women,” he says.

IAEA chief: We have lost track of Iran nuke progress 

March 4, 2024 jpost.com reported:

IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi on Monday told the IAEA Board of Governors that ‘the Agency has lost continuity of knowledge in relation to the production and inventory of centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate.’

‘It is three years since Iran stopped provisionally applying its Additional Protocol and therefore it is also three years since the Agency was able to conduct complementary access in Iran,’ Grossi said, describing large gaps in nuclear inspections.
Next, he referred to a recent Iranian nuclear official who said that all aspects of the nuclear weapons cycle are complete and that the only obstacle to Tehran producing a nuclear weapon is the political decision to do so. Grossi said, ‘Public statements made in Iran regarding its technical capabilities to produce nuclear weapons only increase my concerns about the correctness and completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations.’

Palestinian Islamic Jihad calls for Ramadan to be ‘month of terror’

March 4, 2024 jpost.com reported:

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is calling for Ramadan to be a ‘month of terror’ and seeks to escalate attacks in the West Bank and Gaza. In a recent speech, Abu Hamza, the spokesman for PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigades, said he wants Arab countries in the region and pro-Iranian groups to continue to ‘unify’ various arenas and fronts against Israel. 

This is the latest indication that terrorist groups plan to seek an escalation in hostilities over the next month. Hamza’s remarks were published by Beirut-based Al Mayadeen news channel, which is pro-Iranian and frequently highlights Hamas and Hezbollah attacks.

This comes amid some hope for a hostage, prisoner, and ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. The US is pushing for such a deal. But Hamas has continued to make it difficult by refusing to hand over a list of names of the living hostages.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a proxy of Iran. It has armed men in Gaza and the West Bank, and its leaders often reside in Damascus, where they sometimes leave to meet with their Iranian handlers in Tehran or to coordinate with Hamas and Hezbollah.

The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion about every 100 days

March 1, 2024 cnbc.com reported:

The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days. The nation’s debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It reached $33 trillion on Sept. 15, 2023, and $32 trillion on June 15, 2023, hitting this accelerated pace. 

Before that, the $1 trillion move higher from $31 trillion took about eight months. U.S. debt, which is the amount of money the federal government borrows to cover operating expenses, now stands at nearly $34.4 billion, as of Wednesday. Bank of America investment strategist Michael Hartnett believes the 100-day pattern will remain intact with the move from $34 trillion to $35 trillion.