Children have always been at the mercy of the ruling authorities. There was the killing of the children of Israel at the hands of the leader, King Herod, who showed no mercy. This was not an act of the Roman occupiers. Herod ordered that the children be slaughtered in his attempt to kill the true new-born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:18; Jeremiah 31:15). Britain’s killing is of a different nature, but it is killing all the same. Churches are closed. Small businesses are being killed off in the attempt to kill the Coronavirus. The hub of social meeting is being decimated as pubs, cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, hairdressers, and shops selling non-essential goods are closed; many of which will never open again. Christmas celebrations are killed off as we are bound and gagged by the government restrictions placed on our lives. Freedom of movement is regulated; freedom of speech has gone; freedom of thought is under sever attack. People are dying through lack of medical treatment for their various conditions other than Covid, and the people perish or are in the process of becoming unrestrained through lack of vision (Proverbs 29:18). Today’s killers of human life might in some sense be considered worse than Herod, since they kill children that are still in the womb. We are becoming lawless because secular authority no longer cooperates with God’s authority. Therefore, we are experiencing confusion, disorder, and rebellion in all its forms.
With yet another new strain of the virus entering the scenario, this time from South Africa, I wonder as many do, if Britain is in the process of killing off the Brexit that Britain voted for. Are we bombarded with ‘Covid-fear’ propaganda as a smoke-screen while a sell-out deal with the EU is made? Negotiations now have the potential to drag on into 2021 and beyond! Will Boris make a deal that keeps the nation bound and gagged to the EU? Britain is unlikely to leave with a ‘no deal’, and indeed, expectations are raised today in the media that a deal will be done, and it will be done today. Whatever human leaders agree, God is in control. As the hymnist wrote – “God is working His purpose out as year succeeds to year: God is working His purpose out, and the time is drawing near; nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea”. The Britain we have known in times past has long gone; leadership has become increasingly feeble, and the nation is divided. The rot increased severely under the leadership of Tony Blair, and subsequent prime ministers have done nothing to reverse that trend.
Marriage as God ordained is being killed off. A man can marry a man. A woman can marry a woman; and if you have a mind to, you can marry your horse or the garden shed. Practically nothing is prohibited. Even the marriage ceremony itself is under attack. The Law Commission is consulting on plans that would profoundly undermine the seriousness of the marriage ceremony. “The Commission also wants to ditch the legally prescribed words parties say to agree they are free and willing to marry. The couple can use any words they choose, or none at all. It would even be possible to be married without having to attend your own wedding ceremony!” There appears to be a casual disregard for the need to protect the dignity and solemnity of marriage, and an undermining of the commitment of marriage. Even in Christian circles the Christmas story is used as an example for God ‘okaying’ divorce. They cite Joseph offering to put Mary away quietly as an example of divorce in Scripture. They were actually in the ‘betrothal’ period when Joseph fostered those thoughts. It was after the angel had a word with him that Joseph/Yosef changed his mind and continued to marry Mary/Miryam. “And this was the manner of the birth of Yeshua the Mashiach; Miryam his mother was betrothed to Yosef, but before he came to her, she was found pregnant from the Holy Spirit. Now Yosef, her husband was a righteous man and did not want to subject her to disgrace. So he said, ‘I will send her away privately.’ He was thinking this way, but then an angel of HaShem appeared to him in a dream, saying, Yosef son of David! Do not be afraid to take Miryam, your wife, for what has been within her is from the Holy Spirit. She is giving birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins’” (Matthew 1:18-21). It was after the angel spoke to him that Yosef brought Miryam into his house, but he did not know her until after she had given birth to a son (Matthew 1:24-25). The timing and sequence of events is important to understand in Jewish life at the time of Jesus. If we don’t understand that, we will not fully understand this situation in Matthew. The betrothal period in Jewish society meant that a couple were considered to be man and wife. It was during this time, before Yosef had taken Miryam into his house, before they lived together, that Miryam was found to be pregnant. The betrothal was formalised with a marriage contract (Heb “ketubah”). After the birth of Jesus, they continued and had children in the normal way. Matthew 12:46 states, “While he [Jesus] was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.” Luke 8:19 adds, “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd.” The Gospel of Mark (6:3) and the Gospel of Matthew (13:55–56) mention James, Joseph/Joses, Judas/Jude and Simon as brothers of Jesus, the son of Mary. The same verses also mention unnamed sisters of Jesus. Mark (3:31–32) mentions Jesus’ mother and brothers looking for Jesus. Galatians (1:19) mentions seeing James, “the Lord’s brother.”
Mary was a mother who carried The Word in her body. When the Word made flesh left her womb and entered into the experience of humankind, God blessed us with inexpressible love and joy. God’s love and rachamim/compassion for human kind was revealed in His Son. The kings of the earth, like Herod, are in the process of killing what cannot be killed. They want to rid the world of Jesus, His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His coming again to judge the living and the dead. They try to kill Him by removing His image, humans made in His image and likeness, even those still in the womb. The angels will speak out the message of The Kingdom of Heaven if God’s people are prevented from doing so (Luke 2:8-20). The antichrist will seek to kill all of God’s people on earth as a means of preventing the return of the King of Kings, rather similar to Herod’s attempt, but he will kill all, not only children and on a massive scale, not just Jerusalem or Israel.
Bank branches have been closing over the years. Money is likely to go out of use. Covid, appears to have become a weapon to close down society as we have known it. We appear to be in a process of permanent change. We are entering it through various gates of deception, and we do so willingly because: One gate is called Climate Change. We will give up almost anything to save the planet. Another gate is Covid, and we will do almost anything to save ourselves. Our minds are being managed by those in authority as we are managed and manipulated into becoming a fear-driven fraternity of people. Woke management of our thoughts and speech ensure control by hidden hands. Movement is controlled more than ever. We are becoming like the people of Babylon, where we are all programmed to think alike and to behave alike, and to do as we are told. Some parts of the world are more advanced in this way-of-death than others. For instance, places such as China and North Korea, Communist nations under dictatorship…. but the future will be even worse…for a short time until Jesus returns. On the TV’s Songs of Praise, they spoke about the Christmas carol containing the words, “In the bleak mid-winter…” Perhaps we are in the bleak mid-winter of time, a time of trouble leading into a time of great trouble.
I have spoken about Britain, but this message could be extended to most nations, including the USA. Orwellian anarchy threatens both the USA and the UK, by unelected wealthy individuals pulling the strings and controlling science, technology, politics, religion, justice, education, health, civics, the media, in fact every area of life today. Personal freedom around the world has seen a notable decline since 2008; and overall freedom has also declined, though to a lesser degree over the same time period. Out of twelve major categories, all but five have seen some deterioration, with freedom of religion, identity and relationship freedoms, and the rule of law seeing the largest decreases. In a list of nations, the United States ranks 17th, and has begun a decline in its level of freedom in 2018 after years during which it had been regaining lost ground from a previous decline. Its drop in economic freedom in 2018 exceeds its decline in personal freedom. This is based on research up until 2018 and is pre-Covid; I suspect the situation has deteriorated further and faster, particularly during 2020.
It is interesting that modern day living prophets failed to warn of Covid, but they were very vocal proclaiming that Donald Trump would win the election. But the nation that is deemed to be the most powerful in the world is about to have a new administration, headed up by a president that has problems with his memory. It is quite obvious there will be unseen hands pulling his strings. Biden’s track record includes his misleading of Israel in the past, when he knowingly fed Egyptian disinformation to the then Prime Minister Golda Meir. He is no friend of Israel. Bidens appointment of Deb Haaland, a native Indian, perhaps shines some light on future policy, and the direction the new administration aims to take America. One supporter of Haaland commented – “For the first time, we will have a person sitting in the leadership of the Department of the Interior who understands the responsibility of our ancestors. She understands the sacred, the inherent and the legal right that Indians have to be caretakers of Mother Earth.” The native Indians, it is said, understand the earth and know what the earth needs. One can imagine that the worship of nature could emerge with perhaps a hatred for white people, which seems to be BLM policy too. Another comment states: “The ascent to political power is a final, formal recognition of the role of indigenous women. It reconnects Native voters to their peoples’ historic respect of all feminine life sources, including Mother Earth. Imagine the world that sort of reverence and balance will create.” The capacity for division will enlarge even further; but can those Christians that want to save America and the world complain? The Church is divided in so many directions one can lose one’s way trying to traverse through all the splits. Even Christmas is a cause for division as is the date of Christ’s birth. While some sing “Rejoice!” others argue and moan about times and date. I am not sure that some of us can expect the world to hear the message of reconciliation when we ourselves are so divided. “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.…” (2 Corinthians 5:19-21). Is this what the world sees when it looks at you and I? Or have we received God’s grace in vain? (2 Corinthians 6:1). We are Christ’s ambassadors to our neighbourhoods, to our cities and to our nations. It is awesome to even contemplate. Unless Jesus appears to people in visions or dreams – as He has been known to do, mostly people see (or don’t see) Christ in us, by the way we live and speak and represent Him.
In all the bad news, there is the Good News of Jesus Christ. The One who came as a babe has made it possible for you and I to become children of God. Through the work of the Cross we are told in Scripture: “…as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). During the Covid restrictions, I suggest taking time to think about what God has done in sending His Son. Instead of turning to alcohol to pass the day, turn to the Bible and meditate on God’s word. Seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6). Those who truly seek Him will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
Blessings and shalom,