Believer's Corner

For believers around the world


A flood, a flood of information, we're drowning in it. Everyone knows something, something they heard, read, saw, were told, information to pass along at the regular get-together of familiar faces sitting around a massive oak table in a pub. Sharing with one another livens the conversation, and a proper dose of intoxicating drink turns talk into babble, as each one has to "put in his two cents" on this or that subject. The info stems from the heart of the matrix, the media. Just talk the talk and you'll be fine – politics, sports, job, holiday plans, even religion – stay within the boundaries of the matrix to get those nods and smiles.

Hold on there! Stop, don't you dare be a party pooper and leave the matrix! Oops, too late, I'm out of bounds. Just the mention, one mention of the Gospel and the Name above all names, Jesus, wipes those smiles off in a flash. It's only a name, right? But what an impact:

"God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven and on Earth, and of those under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)

Though not a laughing matter, the reactions are comical. The eyebrows around the table tell it all – knit together with concern, raised in arrogance or unbelief, arched in surprise or shock – the smile has been replaced by a frown. It's serious business now, business not on the usual evening agenda. It's so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Here and there a mouth hangs open, minds are at work and they're getting ready to counterattack. Such hostility towards King Jesus, tsk, tsk! Just about everything is accepted as true except the truth of the Gospel, still:

"Let God be true, but every man a liar." (Romans 3:4).

Many are the replies, like "Leave me alone with that ... junk, don't try to missionize me!" or "I don't believe that way". It's amazing, the junk people believe – once dead, always dead – once saved, always saved – a higher power somewhere in the universe – reality creation – Buddha – mother goddess – one's own inner power – evolution – all of which are safely within the matrix, accepted by society and never met with hostility.

Corporate Media dishes out a potpourri around the clock. Seasoned with the right amounts of fake news, propaganda and fairytales, huge sums of money are invested and an army of people are employed to lead the masses down the yellow brick road of fantasy and unbelief. Media mush is swallowed whenever they bury their noses in a newspaper, watch the evening news or keep their eyes glued to their smartphones. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:5, "They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world and the world hears them." By the way, the closer you get to God, the less fascinated you are by the world. Many so-called Christians nowadays have grown weak by their fascination for the world and are hard to distinguish from unbelievers. As if the motto is something like "if you can't beat them, join them", meaning "if your adversaries are stronger than you, it is better to join their side". Wait a second, it's supposed to be the other way around. Remember? The Bible says point-blank:

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them [the world], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

To know the living God is to be interested in Him and His kingdom. This old world here no longer holds much of an attraction, for "old things have passed away and all things have become new" (2. Cor. 5:17). Not so with the dead gods of religion. "You shall not kill" is the command from outside the matrix, while the religions and nations of the world hate and kill each other, disregarding the Word of God. For peace in the midst of turmoil, connect with your Creator and find your way through the maze of obstacles intent on keeping you from the Source of Life. Jesus says:s:

"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Unplug from the media, plug into the Spirit of God, disconnect in order to connect. Shut down, time out! Just imagine Google not knowing where you are, if only for a few short hours. People never doubt the existence of the Global Positioning System (GPS), though it's invisible, but they doubt the existence of God and refuse to believe that He watches over them. God knows the thoughts of the mind and the intent of the heart.

"I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." (Jeremiah 17:10)

As far as data privacy goes, they've got "nothing to hide", but when it comes to God, they just might have "plenty to hide". Get off alone and unplug. The system of media plays with our minds by changing its mind. What was bad for consumers last year is no problem this year, depending on the expert who does the reporting. Experts never agree, the perfect tool to spread confusion. Media is manipulative, steers discussions and forms opinions. Unplugging from the system, as often as possible, steps up your chances of connecting with the Light. We've been blinded by Satan, the creator of the matrix. Time to take off the blindfold!

"If the Gospel is veiled [hidden], it is veiled to those who are perishing [lost], whose minds the god of this age has blinded. They do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).   

Switch it off, pull the plug, dare to be cut off from the matrix! Do it while it's still allowed. All by yourself – no radio, no Internet, no TV – alone with your thoughts. Find out for yourself what was important to mankind before media started thinking for us. Freedom is just a prayer away. Talking the talk, walking the walk of this world is getting old and tiresome. The matrix is slowly but surely self-destructing. In the days of Noah, Satan was busy building and shaping his matrix. Then came the Great Flood and destroyed the whole thing. Now he's back with a vengeance, the matrix is reloaded and ready to serve his purpose - namely to drag as many people as possible down into the fiery pit, where he himself is heading along with his fallen angels. Sound like a fairytale? It's not. It's time to leave Babylon, time to get out of her "while the getting is good". If you leave her at a snail's pace, you just might be squashed. Don't walk, run – run for your life!

“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4).

The Watchman 


Meanwhile it's widespread and has the majority of people in its death grip. There's no stopping it, like a flood sweeping over the world. It used to be that kids were immune, but even the young are becoming infected.

Thud, bump! What was that? The world comes into focus and the driver sees a man angrily shaking his fist at him, ranting and raving. The car, his car, had rolled forward at the red traffic light and bumped the car in front of him. A small fender bender, sure, but enough to spell trouble. A blackout, mentally absent, whatever.

The teen crosses a busy street, unaware of the traffic, and causes chaos. First car screeches to a halt to avoid hitting the kid and is crashed into from behind by the next car, bringing on a chain reaction of several cars and injuries – the kid is fine, though, and goes his merry way. Just another blackout.

There's that small voice of distress, desperation, a child's voice – in trouble. His mom's so close and yet so far away – another mental blackout. It gets worse. Traffic on the motorway is coming to a standstill, but that doesn't stop a car from smashing into the back of the line at 75 mph – killing five and injuring fifty. Again, that blackout. What's going on? It's become a global problem.

The colleagues are gathered for the weekly staff meeting and the voice of the boss is a steady drone. Suddenly it's so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. As the world comes back into focus, all eyes are on her. She assumes she was asked a question, no idea what it was. Blame it on the blackout. Where had she been for the last few minutes?

All these cases and more have to do with the same disease, meanwhile traveling the world in epidemic proportions. The disease goes by various names, depending on the country you live in – smartphone, iPhone, mobile or cell phone – and can now be described as hypnotic and addictive. They're everywhere, the phone zombies. On buses and trains, downtown and in parks, while driving (despite the law), while walking and on bicycles. In waiting rooms, restrooms, living rooms and bedrooms. Why can't the phone be laid aside, better switched off, when doing something vitally important, like driving? It doesn't make sense but then, there is no sense or reason with addictions – the problem is epidemic.  

Epidemic is defined as "an outbreak of a particular disease in a large number of people at the same time; a particular problem that seriously affects many people at the same time" – Cambridge Dictionary.

It's no longer fascination, it's addiction. As teenagers, we might have tried smoking for the first time or having our first drink. The "high" those drugs gave us was fascinating, but fascination quickly turned into addiction as we went from like to need. Years ago, before the age of smartphones, I recall buying a small portable TV. As an English trainer for various companies, I would often have extra time between lessons. Not enough time to drive home but enough to park the car under a shade tree and switch on my handheld TV. I was so fascinated by the really "cool" device. Do I have a smartphone now? Yes, I do. Has it taken control over my life? I hope not. My most cherished app is MyBible offline. The phone is not the latest model, but it works fine for me.

Meanwhile the initial fascination adults or kids might have had for their phones has long turned into addiction. So I sit down at an outdoor table of a lakeside restaurant and, having left my smartphone at home, I've become an outsider. I look around and see couples sitting together. Romance in the air? No, they're both starring into the small screens in their hands. Parents with their children. Family feeling? No, mom and dad have more of a need to communicate with their iPhones than with their offspring. Just shove some French fries in front of the kids and the little darlings will shut up. I shiver to think about what this generation is mutating into.

This is the radical change needed to make the population "ripe and ready" for the new system that's coming. The amount of time a person spends alone with his own thoughts, alone without being connected with the World Wide Web, has been drastically reduced to nearly non-existent. Opinions and belief systems of humanism are being shaped for an ungodly tomorrow. The Bible predicts the times when people will be what they are now becoming. Even if you are an unbeliever, you must admit that people are changing for the worse:

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. People will be lovers of themselves (selfies), lovers of money (greedy for more), boasters (bragging), arrogant, blasphemers (using God's name as a cussword), disobedient to parents, unthankful, slanderers (backbiters), without self-control (and out of control), brutal, despisers of good, traitors (betraying one another), unholy (ungodly), unforgiving (forever holding a grudge), headstrong (stubborn), haughty (proud), lovers of pleasure (fun, fun, fun) but not lovers of God (they don't even believe in Him), having a form of godliness (as beautiful as an angel or very pious on the outside) but denying its power (all show and no go)". (2 Timothy 3)

Lawlessness is getting out of hand - they stare into their phones. Outbreaks of violence among teenagers - random beatings of passers-by - they stare into their phones. The nations are being positioned like in a game of chess - the final events are being orchestrated - they stare into their phones, safe and sound in worlds of fantasy. Then reality hits home, as described in Matthew 24 (9-14):

"Many will be offended, will betray one another, will hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

A wake up call, for all of us.

The Watchman

                     

Time to get away, to escape all the madness. Time to trade the human for the digital experience, hide this unrest in a dark corner of my mind and nosedive into fantasy. Yeah, that's more like it! Friends are good to have, if they really are. There's enough unsocial behavior on those (un)social platforms. Cambridge Dictionary defines social "as relating to activities in which we meet and spend time with friends outside of working hours". Does that also apply to "digital friends"?

Friends are overrated anyway. A shoulder to cry on here, "misery loves company" there. Mutual benefits, as we share our problems with each other. It's not always a two-way street, as some people broadcast more than they receive. You can shut them up and perk up their ears by sharing some gossip, works every time. Friends for idle talk, for favors, as drinking buddies, to chill with, to cope with. Perilous times are here, causing worry and fear, keep those friends near. Some are sometimes unreliable, but there's a solution:

"Unreliable friends can be your ruin, but there's a Friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). "Cast all your care upon the Lord, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). 

Can the times grow any more perilous than they are now? Sure they can, and will. That book you avoid like the plague, the Bible, says so. More peril leads to more escape. What's your escape? These perilous times were foretold some 2000 plus years ago, it's all recorded in scripture. Break out of your cloud for a moment or two. Only for a while, then you can hop right back in. A few questions for you unbelievers: How do you explain all the excess terror, violence, war, political unrest, religious confusion, random killing, moral decay and perversion as well as the skyrocketing number of worldwide earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts as well as the mentally ill and morally corrupt politicians in charge, the clueless experts and the perplexity of nations? Any ideas? Not really? It's all recorded in the Book of books, the Bible, in places like Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3, 2 Peter 3, Revelation 8 and 9. Believe it, read it, do it.

Can your artificial escape safeguard you from any of the above disasters? Hoping that your sheltered life of well-being and prosperity will keep calamity on the outside? Think this good life will go on forever? No way! Is there safety in numbers? Not at all. Safety can only be found in the name of Jesus:

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe”  (Proverbs 18:10).

A friend of mine told me to stop all this nonsense and to "enjoy" the years I've got left. Fact is, I'm enjoying life just fine, thanks to God. This is real, this is good. For most people, however, "seeing is believing", which makes for a major stumbling block.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

None of us know how many years we have left to roam the Earth. When the heart is regenerated and you're born again of the Spirit of God, a new life begins for eternity regardless of how long your earthly life will be. To be sure, it doesn't mean life then becomes trouble-free, but the peace of God remains on the inside when trouble comes. Without Jesus in your life, you've got trouble inside and out.

"The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7).

So I've chosen to go for the Great Escape that God has provided. Those who tell me to "get a life", to enjoy my remaining years, surely have their own chosen forms of escape. Such escapes are temporary and vanish with death at the latest. Drugs and alcohol are major ways of escape nowadays. Doping for the world as the pharmaceutical industry is booming. Most people are walking medicine cabinets as pills are provided for high performance throughout the day, pills to keep the blood pressure in the safety zone, pills to sleep tight at night. Watching TV is still the most popular inactivity worldwide and surfing the Internet right alongside it. After a stressful day at work or school, the family gathers around the altar at home called "the entertainment center". Grab some chips, a cold beer, whatever. Get all comfy on the couch or recliner, turn on fantasy and shut out reality, for the Dark Prince has promised:

"This is good stuff, you'll love it. Just sit back, put your feet up and relax. Turn off what's left of your brain and enjoy my own creation of reality. Come, find escape, let's reshape the world together, the way I want it!"

Popular talk shows give the viewers the impression that something is getting done as the "experts" discuss serious issues. The Internet can make you feel like you're a part of the solution, that you just might be doing something useful. So many alternative realities are offered now as a means of escape, perhaps so popular because genuine reality is too hard to take. However, just as the rich man can’t take his money with him when he dies, neither can that alternative reality join you on your walk through the valley of death.

Your best bet in life and during these perilous times is to go for the Great Escape, the escape that's real and lasting. Believe, and receive, God's promises to us:  

"Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and safeguard. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the plague that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that devastates at midday" (Psalm 91:3-6).

FD



That small screen you stare at in your hand is now the number one pastime, and TV holds a strong second place. A display that's lit up demands attention and passes hours of time. People while away their time on Earth till the grave opens its hungry jaws to snatch us from the living. They work, play, love, hate, laugh, cry, dream night and day, talk politics, tell jokes, drink caffeine in the morning and alcohol in the evening, build and plant, travel to and fro and then pass away, making way for the next generation. Hey, where'd your grandparents go? Hey, where'd your parents go? Hey, guess who's next?

Life is like an airport lounge for most people, where they distract themselves and kill time till their departure. They pass the time sitting around, chilling, loafing, hanging out, usually in front of a screen small or big. Starry-eyed and hypnotized, living in a dream world as real as the tooth fairy. Downtown they're walking back and forth, pausing at display windows to look and lust. They work for money to buy the latest fashion, with brand names patched on to be seen in. The zombies, the walking dead, will shop till they drop and their time comes to enter the so-called Great Unknown.

Idle time is passed with idle talk about this and that, pampering the physical while the spiritual is neglected in mindless activity and inactivity. At death, the outer shell is discarded but the spirit lives on. Should be doing something for the spirit being inside but no, people hang on to the physical for as long as possible. They place their hope in science to prolong life and give them more time. For what? More time to kill! Funny, sad, true. Passing the time with distractions and escape. The Bible is the Word of God and gives good advice:

“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of our time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is” (Ephesians 5: 15-17).

The many artificial realities offered nowadays only serve as temporary relief from reality. Life flies by as fast as lightning as we travel from the maternity ward in the hospital where we were born to the morgue, where our corpse will end up on a cold slab. The great speed usually goes unnoticed while living in one of the many alternative realities we've chosen within the matrix of this make-believe world. A person sees the light of day, begins the learning/brainwashing process at school about 6 years later, lives in various alternative realities throughout his life until the darkness of death engulfs him. How can you expect to enter a "light at the end of a tunnel" if you've gone through life not believing in that Light?

"I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life", Jesus said in John 8:12. 

Everyone encounters the true Light in some way and at some time while traveling through life. It's a pity that most people shake their heads in irritation or simply shrug their shoulders and move on. "No time for fairy tales", so they say, when actually they're living in one. Instead of the usual ending of "they lived happily ever after", their fairy tale will end in a rude awakening. It's preferable to wake up to the Light in the here & now than to darkness in the hereafter. The Light will endure, but so will the darkness. However:

"This is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world but people loved darkness instead of Light, because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the Light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the Light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been done in God." (John 3:19-21).

So many people these days prefer the "entertainment" of a who-dunnit murder/crime thriller, a cheating husband or wife, domestic violence, a serial killer on the loose or the blood-and-guts action of a war movie. Why are the things that God hates so popular and entertaining? The answer is that old unregenerated heart:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lies, slander” (Matthew 15:19).

The heart is like a volcano waiting to erupt and spit out the hot lava of anger, hatred and violence. And so the family gathers around the "altar" at home in the evening for more pastime in front of the gigantic home cinema. As if that's not enough, as a "nightcap" there's one last session with the mobile device in bed till the eyelids grow heavy. Kill time till time is no more and reality shatters the dream. When your spirit leaves the body, it won't matter "who dunnit", but what will matter is what you did with Jesus Christ, as He will either be your Savior or your Judge. Without Him, we're lost. It doesn't have to be that way, we can get real. Time is ticking away.

FD