ARCHIVE NUMBER EIGHT
Confusion of Voices
I write on the first week's anniversary of the tragic attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. Today is also - and I don't see this as entirely without significance - the first day of a New Year in God's biblical calendar - Rosh Hashanah 5762.
However, I don't intend to add to the chorus of opinions about the event, but to look beyond it for the sake of our onward walk as Christians. My remarks here about the WTC will just be a springboard for something more pressing.
As I said in my last News Flash (August 2001) we are experiencing the end of an era and passing into something new, something that requires an alteration of our thinking and a redirection, something that calls for new strengths and a renewed call to examine ourselves before God.
I wrote to friends on 28th August:
And again on 31st August to another:
Since the astounding and devastating events of last Tuesday, there have been many voices raised, clamouring for attention. Media broadcasts, special debates and analysis programmes, phone-in lines buzzing, bulletin-boards and mailing lists and websites crammed with every opinion under the sun...each voice having a slightly different opinion until your head spins.
For a week now, my daily newspaper has devoted almost the entire issue to reporting of events, opinion columns and speculations on future strategy. And that is just in Britain (I'm English) so I can only guess what it's been like to live in the USA during this time.
(But it would be pointless and inappropriate for me even to imagine what it's like to be an American undergoing this trauma. I think the only recent British occurrence coming anywhere close to this sense of shared loss was the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and it was probably hard for Americans to fully appreciate the depth of our mourning at that time. So now, despite our fellow-feeling, we in Europe are more detached from the events than Americans. I say that only as a preface to my comments, lest they are seen as insensitive.)
All is Confusion
Unlike previous conflicts, there's confusion instead of a clear direction. The only consistent unifying force has been solidarity in the fight against evil, as all nations join in grief and outrage. But this may not be as good as it seems, as you'll realise as you read on.
Some call for all-out war, even against Westernised Muslims who are just minding their own business and not involved in terrorism; some call for a limited response, taking out just Bin Laden and his associates; some call for forgiveness to the Islamic world for the Crusades that (they say) led to this level of hatred amongst Muslims; some call for the Church to unite to wage war against wickedness; some call for Christians to be tenderhearted and forgiving and to exercise love and restraint. Every new opinion seems to have a grain of truth, and to be based on scriptures, but there is no consensus.
Some ministries are speaking out against the attack with what appears to be divine knowledge saying that it purely demonic, and could not possibly be a judgement of any kind. Other ministries are equally certain that it is all of judgement and the beginning of the Tribulation.
Ken Copeland (whose unbiblical teachings are examined on this site) has said that people are "foolish" to speak of the United States being judged by God. No, this is all an attack against God by the devil according to Copeland.
But others point out that no nation is immune from God's judgement and that America (like other Western States) has often been warned about its defection from God and the need to repent. God may use terrorists against rebellious Christian nations in the same way he used pagan nations to attack Israel. But opinions are divided on that, and all is uncertainty.
The nations are likewise divided in their responses. There's superficial unity and plenty of TV appearances by political leaders denouncing evil, but behind closed doors ancient rivalries and loyalties are coming into play.
Europe is, as ever, unwilling to denounce Islam entirely, being coy about terrorism in its own backyard (such as in Ireland) and continuing to critcise Israel even though she is herself a victim of Islamic terrorism. The Middle East states are saying one thing and doing another. Even Russia is backing off its former support.
There's confusion about the terrorists and terrorism itself. Concepts of war are changing. Britain and America themselves have been active in the training and funding of terrorist or guerilla groups when it suited their own purpose. Communism used to be the big bogeyman but now we court Russia, China and Korea for commercial and political ends.
Arafat has been reluctant to halt terrorism in his own country, yet comes out in support of America at this time. Pakistan largely supports Bin Laden, yet is preparing to go to war against Afghanistan rather than face American wrath ---- and so on and so forth! CONFUSION.
Then there's confusion about the level of response and the method - ground forces, air strikes, remote missles....? What can be an effective response against an invisible and widely dispersed enemy, many of whom are hidden in cells in allied nations. There's confusion about the target, as despite all that is being said, there seems to be doubt over the involvement of Bin Laden and a finger pointing at Iraq - maybe there are other states also involved in the attack, nothing is certain; all is confusion.
Who to strike at, how, when, for how long and with what result? Nothing is known for certain. And the result is bound to be an escalation of violence - with perhaps chemical warfare or nuclear weapons involved in the next round. Are we really sure we want to launch the world into World War Three? CONFUSION!
The Tower of Babel replaces the Twin Towers?
The human answer to confusion is a call to UNITY, electing strong leaders who speak for all, and to follow them unquestioningly in a desire to put the cause higher than individual needs. Here is the crux of the matter. What will be the fallout for this world, and for the Body of Christ?
Those who believed (and often said) that the New World Order must be launched through some kind of global catastrophe, and through another World War, must be rubbing their hands in glee right now. It looks like their agenda is right on course. They predicted that global harmonisation and a common mind would only come about as we faced a common threat. Is the spectre of international terrorism going to be the New Evil that unites all mankind in an alliance that the bible predicts will lead to the Wrath of God?
Certainly, people are now willing to accept a new level of surveillance, and security measures that would have been unthinkable a month ago. They are prepared to forfeit their civil liberties in the name of a higher "good".
Security checks will become ever more stringent possibly leading to biological forms of personal identification. The Internet will become even tighter in its restrictions against "subversive literature" (including that teaching about Armageddon and the endtimes) and e-mail will be tracked and stored in an attempt to corner the tiny minority of evil-doers. Christians who evangelise Muslim nations will come in for even greater persecution, and anyone who appears to oppose global unity and the New Order will be suspect.
I spoke in News Flash number Four of the conception of the New World Order announced in the many pagan celebrations surrounding the Millennium, and:
Is ALL good God's good?
What has already resulted from this event in terms of new-age brotherhood and global harmony of thinking is going to push us right into a New Order that sets "the good of man" above "all that is evil" --- BUT
---- who is going to decide what is good, and what is evil? Will God's standards be applied, or will it be "laodicea" the mind and will of man? Will it be brotherhood, or God's Fatherhood? Will evil be seen in terms of satanic opposition to God and His People, or in terms of social disharmony and the hatred of humanity? Will obvious evils like the murder of innocents in a bombing attack be denounced while the murder of millions in the wombs of their mothers pass unnoticed?
It has been a decided policy for many years to create CONFUSION and uncertainty in nations and peoples. One way to achieve this is to continually change the currencies, and weights and measures, so that nobody really knows what is what anymore. Nothing seems reliable. We have seen this taking place in the UK.
In this confusion of voices, and confusion of thinking, Christians are looking around for direction, sometimes forgetting that the ONLY Person who knows all the answers is God.
This is a danger for two main reasons:
Looking to Others: The first danger is that of forming opinions based on the wisdom of man, not God. There's a temptation to hang on the opinion of some Internet guru or Media representative, or political figure, or respected spiritual leader - all of which opinions may have merit, but are inadequate as Christian guidance.
Allied to this is the danger of false prophecy. As in the Old Testament, at a time of crisis prophets line up to speak a word, but not every voice raised up is that of God! Jesus warned us that in the latter days many false prophets and false teachers would arise. Already there have been false prophecies circulating, including some supposedly given by Nostradamus, and those who are concerned about them could look at these off-site resources:
This first error, in full flower, will eventually lead to the setting up of a false idol, the antichrist as world leader. Man needs a Leader to show the way in darkness; Christians should remember there is only ONE Way.
Looking to Feelings: Feelings are of course running at an all-time high but feelings are not our spiritual guide. There's a temptation to be guided by gut reactions instead of God - feelings of anger, bitterness, grief, unforgiveness, revenge, hatred, fear or something else that is in fact part of the human psyche not spiritual direction.
The second error, when it has become full, will lead to the Laodicean situation of human pride and human self-will taking over from God as ruler. Loadicea is a word that means "the rule of the people" or "democracy". Democracy is one of the better forms of human government but it is not the final nor the most perfect one! Let's not forget that, for Christians at least, THEOcracy, the rule of God, is our aim and destiny - at present in our individual lives but ultimately worldwide after the return of Christ. What I feel or what I want, however fine, justifiable or noble, must always submit to WHAT GOD WANTS.
Where can we find Peace, Security and Clarity?
We know from the bible that in the latter days there will come a deception that will engulf the entire world. This deception will not be easily uncovered and will be massively misunderstood, even by some Christians.
That deception has to do with peace, security, assurance and hope - but not in God. At a time of crisis, the world looks for leadership and guidance. However, this world has rejected GOD as Leader and Guide! Man must therefore find himself a substitute, another christ.
The attack on America was horrific in scope and my sympathies go out to all who suffered. But it is not over. It is just started. Are we ready for what is to come? Are we prepared mentally and spiritually to react appropriately as Christians? Or are we going to be swept along by the rhetoric like everybody else?
Where are we now?
Some are talking in terms of the Tribulation, the End, Armageddon. No, this is not the End. It is not even the beginning of the End - but (in the words of Churchill during WW2) it may be the end of the Beginning.
The word of Jesus are most apt at this point:
(Notice how Jesus COMMANDS us to have no fear "see that ye be not troubled". He expects us to take steps to guard against confusion and anxiety.)
But emerging out of all the events, counter-events, voices and opinions, there is one fact. The world has changed direction. A new cry is going up - UNITY, brotherhood of man, good versus evil and the New World Order!
What leads to Confusion?
This theme - CONFUSION is one that has been on my heart for many months. Not just as a result of current events, but in all my thinking and praying about the churches and Christians, what came back to me time and time again like a refrain was "confusion, confusion!"
It seemed to me, as I wrote my August News Flash, that the Church had become a place of a confusion of voices, each one begging to be heard, but nobody really having certainty any more. Why is this? I asked myself the question as I looked around mailing lists and bulletin boards, e-mails and websites, each offering a different opinion and often falling into harsh contentions over slightly different shades of meaning.
It wasn't possible to find one clear voice any more. Those who e-mailed me were desperate to have answers, but felt they had nowhere to go anymore. Their pastors, leaders, churches and ministry organisations had let them down, each one being exposed as flawed, but they had little else to rely on and now were wandering in a kind of spiritual wilderness looking for help. And everywhere they went for advice, they encountered different interpretations and different voices - confusion!
I saw this also when reminded of the basic aims of my ministry, which I quote from my history and aims document on this site:
As you see, the picture of bewildered and confused believers wandering around looking for help is very appropriate today and it came back to me with a new significance recently.
I saw that a clear voice, a beacon of Truth, one focal point, one shining torch of light, needs to be raised above all the confusion to draw people to the eternal realities and to give direction. (I'm not saying that I alone have this one voice or know what it is - this is a general picture of the situation and I have a part to play but I'm not the only one raised up to say this.)
Babel = Confusion
But in order to trace this present confusion to its root, we have to understand that the word confusion, in Hebrew, is connected to BABEL (Ancient Babylon, from which springs the religion and political empire of the Latter Days.)
Not only did God confuse mankind's languages so as to divide them, at Babel, but the word itself means a babble of voices, all mixed up together. All humanity at the raising of the Tower of Babel were of one mind and voice, so that nothing was impossible to them as a human race. God confounded them by confusing their voices. There was no longer a clear voice to give direction or advice; no clear leader showing the way; no consensus of opinion.
The root of the Hebrew word for confusion is MIXTURE. (Balal). Wherever you have mixture, you have confusion. And today we have a mixture of opinions and beliefs in the churches, some saying one thing, some saying another, so that everybody is bewildered, looking for a Leader.
Here's a curious thing: the date of the attack on the WTC is expressed in the American way as 11.09.01 And in the first book of the bible (01) the 9th verse of the 11th chapter IS ABOUT THE TOWER OF BABEL.
We can only understand what is happening now in the world and churches in terms of BABYLON, and Babylon is mixture and confusion. At the beginning of history, God prevented a global rebellion against Himself by confusing world languages and separating nations. However, now history is at the other end, and this present-day attack on a Tower will ultimately lead to UNITY and the RISE OF A NEW BABEL. The new rebellion against God will come about because of Confusion and Mixture. (Babel)
The One Truth Removed
Once man takes the certainty of the One God and the One focal point of human destiny out of the equation, all that remains is a bewildering amount of voices that raise up religions aplenty but no peace for the heart and no assurance of salvation. There is no stability. Everything rocks and shakes and everybody is in fear and uncertainty.
Not only has the WORLD done this - by promoting Humanism, Human Potential religions and concepts like Evolution, and by demoting the Christian bible to just one of a number of good religious texts. Not only the World, I say, but THE CHURCH has spoken with divided tongues for years, not giving a clear lead, watering down the gospel, pandering to human tastes and desires, bringing entertainment into worship and presenting salvation as if it's a wise business investment.
Mixture has come in, and purity and the ONE Truth has flown out the window. This is all in readiness for the One World deception to come.
Babylon took some concepts that were true and mixed them with demonic wisdom; the churches today have taken some godly truths and mixed them with pagan rituals and occult worship. What was strictly forbidden in the OT Tabernacle was to offer a mixed sacrifice, or to wear a mixture of fabrics, or to mingle the holy with the profane. When you take the purity out of God's truth and mingle it with many alien concepts, all you end up with is confusion - BABEL.
Peace, both in the heart and in the world is the gift of God. Confusion is the Judgement of God. The world is about to be plunged into the most bewildering time of its history, because trying to mingle together peoples and nations who have different ideologies, different cultures, different attitudes, different religions and ideals - this is like trying to unite oil and water by shaking the bottle. Sooner or later, they separate out again.
The final empire predicted in Daniel, that of the ten toes, was of MIXTURE - as of clay and iron, which could not mingle. (Dan 2:42-43) As in the UN peacekeeping forces of today that try to present a united front, but in fact are often at loggerheads and act in rivalry with one another, so the endtimes empire will present a front of great unity, but in fact be falling apart and riddled with division and confusion throughout.
The only unifying factor in the world is GOD, the FATHER. To the extent that people draw near to God, they are at peace and harmony with one another, having HIM as their one focus. But remove God, remove the ONE truth of salvation in Jesus, remove God's eternal laws and standards and replace them with "laodicea" the self-rule of mankind and you end up not knowing which way to turn.
Confusion leads to Idolatry
If you are bewildered, better get out of Babylon, because Babel means confusion. Confusion is bad enough by itself, but when it leads to blind faith in a self-proclaimed leader, it is deadly! Confusion and disharmony coupled with fear of what is to come, will thrust mankind right into the arms of another god, the Antichrist.
Every time in the history of man, when confusion and fear reigned, Man called for UNITY of nations in order to find peace and protection. After the First World War, the League of Nations came along, and after World War Two, the UN was created. European federalism is based largely on a vision of unity in order to combat a common threat to all its member nations. Empires unite at a time of threat in order to find comfort in one another's strengths. But human alliances do not last, and human enmity is in-bred to such an extent that Global Harmony can only be a demonic delusion.
YET, man will try! He's desperate enough right now and the desperation will be stepped up as we go into an escalation of this conflict. If not right away, then later - it WILL come! And part of that attempt at unity will be One Global Religion, the merging and mingling and Babylonian Mixture of all religions into one. We cannot be a bible-believing Christian and also be part of Babylon. We must make a choice - either man's will or God's will.
In another place, I want to explore the possibilities that we have just witnessed the opening of the Second Seal of Revelation, and let loose the sword of war. This means that the First seal has already been opened, which may come as a shock to some who have been taught that it means the coming of Antichrist. However, I have for many years believed that the first seal is a SPIRIT of antichrist, and a spiritual judgement (not the physical coming of the Antichrist in person) but the loosing - as a judgement from the Throne - of a dominionist delusion, a false kingdom, a triumphalist religion and a false revival. That seal will continue to affect the world and the Church. However, as I said in my previous News Flash, that particular rider is giving way to another - the red sword of violence!
What is the Christian Response?
We are not a people rooted in this earth. What have we to do with bloodshed? We pray for justice, but long for the perfect justice of God in the earth - which may be a far cry form what the nations have as their present agenda. We mourn with the suffering, but cannot give in to the same kind of compelling emotions that drive some of them. We recognise evil, in the form of false religion, terrorism and murder, but also in many other things that the world cannot understand, such as its own selfish desires and reactions. These too must be denounced and rooted out. These too are worthy of judgement.
We must be set apart, not mingling with the world's ideas and feelings and concepts. We are part of the world, but not OF it.
We see the need for a concerted effort and accept the good wishes of other nations, but deny that human unity is of God or that all faiths are equal. We cannot participate in interfaith services or prayer to Allah. We cannot encourage the idea of One World, knowing what the end of all these things will be. We should not rejoice in our status as a "Christian nation" or see ourselves as innocent and unworthy of blame, because that would be to deny His coming judgement.
Another tragic event in human history, an earlier watershed for mankind, also brought former enemies together as they forgot their differences in the pursuit of a higher cause. When was this? Let's see:
National and local government leaders, religious leaders and the people all united in one great cause - to get rid of Jesus who was a thorn in their sides.
But we should recognise that our greatest task is to prepare for the End:
1 Cor 7:29-31
The world may unite under its common god and common religion, but we have to continue to stand for THE truth, without mixture. That means we have to heed what God said about Babylon:
This last verse speaks directly to the command in Jesus of Matthew 24:6-8 previously quoted where He commands us to have no fear, be not troubled. Now we see the steps we have to take to avoid our heart becoming faint, and becoming fearful at the rumours of war - GO OUT OF THE MIDST OF HER, BABYLON. That means mentally, spiritually and perhaps actually - if you are in that kind of church environment or political arena.
Not ALL that is true and good is of God
Christians tend to reject what they perceive as sinful in their thinking, but are not so guarded against what they perceive as "good". But not everything that is "good" is actually of God or in His will for us!
Remember that the Tree in the Garden of Eden that was banned by God contained the knowledge of not only evil but GOOD. Why would God ban something good? Because knowing about things and being motivated by them is not necessarily GOD'S WILL - and the focus of our lives is to DO GOD'S WILL, not our own.
I didn't know at the time what this referred to in specific terms. Now that I see people calling for world unity and fellow-feeling on the basis of the "fight against evil" I begin to see which way the wind is blowing. This is only the start, and I feel I have to speak out NOW to issue a warning against "going with the flow".
To belong to that happy band of human comradeship is to walk the broad way that leads to destruction, to join with the Babylonian spirit, even though it FEELS good, right and godly.
The two trees in the Garden represent man's way and God's will. To know about and to be motivated by good and evil may seem a true, right and noble thing to man, but not all that is true is of God. The Tree that represented redemption in God was the Tree of LIFE, not KNOWLEDGE.
Come OUT and go IN
How can Christians avoid the clamour of voices and confusion of opinion, and how can we find a ROCK on which to stand while everything else shakes? As the old hymn says:
The only way to avoid going down the Babylonian route by mistake, is to have something higher and deeper than human emotion and thought right now.
We come out of Babylon, but that is not much good unless we also HIDE IN THE ROCK. It is God who hides us in the cleft of the Rock and shields us from confusion, terror and distress. Babylonia had a high tower, and trusted in that for wisdom and protection; but "The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." (Prov 18:10)
The secret of peace, clarity, calm and a clear head that knows God's will in the confusion, the secret of staying out of the pressure of voices and emotions is this: we dwell in the secret place of the Most High. We are in the High Tower, in Jesus. We are anchored to the Rock of our salvation, heeding no-one and nothing else.
The storms may rage, the hurricane winds may blow, wave after wave may crash over our personal and spiritual lives, BUT all these things affect only our bodies and souls. While we stay in the Spirit of God and grounded in his word, keeping close to Him in personal prayer and fellowship with the Father, all the battering in the world cannot move us from that place of peace.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Firstly, God NEVER commands his people to compromise or debate with Babylon. The only right response to MIXTURE is to PURIFY. God always commands his people to "come out" and "touch not" and "keep clear of it". It doesn't matter if that mixture is in your church, in your social circle, in your friendships or in your heart - the command is to stand aside, touch not, make a separation..... come out! Don't get involved!
You won't know clarity of thinking and peace of mind until you do.
Secondly, make your stand on the Rock of your Redemption and stay there, firmly grounded. Don't be moved by anything you feel, fear or think; don't be moved by anything except the command and will of God.
Then whatever is to come will leave you unmoved and unmoveable.