Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Politics and Pandemics and Fear Porn, Oh My!
Are you tempted to think, sometimes, that by the way things are going in the world today the forces of evil are more powerful than the forces of good?
Do you search for respite from all the bad news to find less and less good news in the fog of the current war between totalitarianism and freedom where the battle cry of the former, i.e., to destroy “from bottom up, top down, inside out” in order to “build back better” is seen in the increasing chaos and destruction in virtually every facet and institution of human society?
Today’s encouragement: there is still a lot of good news in the Good News!
In previous posts in this series I offered comments on the believers’ both spiritual and natural advantages, both literal and spiritual “places”, when battling the true existential war, the one that underpins every other skirmish on the planet: good versus evil, its genesis detailed in Genesis–but its duration, only temporary.
(I know, believe it or not. Sometimes it feels as if all this will never end.)
That’s the first piece of the good news of this post and it begins with our heads-up on all this mayhem given us in the believers’ field manual, aka the Bible.
For such a time as this, many believers take not only warning and instruction from the Prophecy books (of which there are seventeen comprising over 25% of the Bible) but also encouragement and confidence in the victorious outcome.
The first encouragement is that besides prophecies for specific battles which could vary greatly, the Bible reveals a certain pattern that does not seem to vary but cycles through earthly time and tempest, no matter what the war or rumor of war.
You might put it this way: man is blessed with life and love and beauty and supplies for a long tenure on terra firma. But inevitably he rebels, gets in trouble, repents, seeks God’s aid, chooses to obey His instructions, and though it might take time and trials, man is delivered.
One way or another.
(Of course, there are also those who remain in rebellion and experience a very different outcome now and ever after, which is another pattern altogether. Not advisable.)
But back to the biblical pattern: unfortunately, however, once things are put back to order, it’s wash, rinse, repeat, until the ultimate conflagration, aka Armageddon (at least of this era. Another type, the final battle, comes later after mankind seems to be given one more chance during Christ’s thousand-year reign on earth.).
But–and here is the crux of the Good News (on a cross)–God has provided one more amazing and unique-to-man event, the circumstances of which varies with each individual: the opportunity to be saved from the ultimate goal of all evil by putting faith and trust in Jesus Christ, of Whom it is said:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The trouble is, well, the trouble ginned up by those who, with finality, reject this extraordinary gift–not to mention our own tendency to muck up the works from time to time.
As to those who have blown their opportunity (and only God knows who), they are of the ilk who WANT IT ALL. HERE. NOW. AND DAMN WHATEVER OR WHOEVER STANDS IN THEIR WAY.
They desire, lust, crave, become addicted to (E. All of the above) not just the matter and majesty of it all, but also the CONTROL of the universe, if they could get it.
You might say they want to be like God.
In fact, one of them (aka the Antichrist) wants to BE God (so minions: you better watch your six. From all accounts, it looks like he will brook no competition and take no prisoners).
He wants not only everybody’s pledge of allegiance but our worship, too, on his way to becoming the King of the Universe and enslaving or destroying everybody else.
But, ay, here’s the rub with such wannabe’s (and Jesus, even back then, warned there would be many antichrists, meaning, many with the same designs as the End Time Guy upon the world and those living in it): they never have enough time.
I would say the dog-whistle term of one of the worst of such evil conquests–schnell! (hurry)–was coined in the last century by certain SS individuals, but it always applies.
For–and to my focus today on time as both a “location” and an advantage in all conflicts of good versus evil–He who controls time controls outcome.
(Perhaps this is one of the reasons the Antichrist, leaving no deception and manipulation un-foisted on humanity, will try to change the appointed times? That is, the times appointed for God’s prophecy fulfillments. And the real man, er, entity, behind the curtain, er, behind the snake eyes, knows his gig will be up at such an appointed time. God implied as such with some well-aimed prophecy just outside the Garden).
Here are a few thoughts on time as an element of the war of good versus evil that help me keep my sights on the bigger picture and, as much as is possible, keep my emotions away from the chaos and corruption on the ground. Perhaps they will encourage you, too.
On Eternity from which God Created Time
We already know that when God created the fourth dimension within which we live, i.e., time (“In the beginning…), He put parameters around motion and duration.
Here are a couple of well-known Scriptures alluding to His ability to control time that appear first at the beginning of history, and secondly, toward what believers call “end times,” or the end of the Church Age:
Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3, Note: not that every human, of course, will live exactly 120 years. Commentaries reveal context.)
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22. Note: Jesus was prophesying about end times.)
So there is at least comfort in knowing that what evil this way has come will eventually go, before it has devoured all it desires, and nobody lives as long as humans used to, so what suffering we might face as the battles wage on won’t last forever, either.
And whatever the AC will do to try and cobble together his own appointed times to detract from God’s in order to further deceive his worshippers will ultimately be of no effect.
But there is one more time element as referenced in the Bible that concerns perhaps the smallest element of time at least that we can measure now although there are hypotheses for others such as Planck’s law.
As one definition of this phenomenon reads: “A TWINK (twinkle) is a reflected particle of light seen in the eye. Most of us have noticed a twinkle in someone’s eye . . . that reflected light we observed traveled at 186,000 miles per second (speed of light). That little ray of light entering the eye and then being reflected occurs in about a billionth of a second.”
But even with high-powered electron microscopes magnifying the smallest of particles in motion, there is always the question: is there something faster?
OR, to boggle the mind further, is there a condition of movement where something is happening or traveling so fast it is, well, instant? The kind of speed the 5 and 6G+ folks are banking on.
Literally banking on–and setting up cell towers all over the world to facilitate.
The kind of speed it would take to overcome the instantaneous action God has proven He is capable of (“Let there be light, and there was light“) and that, as per His pattern of saving people who put their faith and trust in Him, beats the opposition every time.
The kind of (instantaneous) control the technogods crave in order to take over everything all at once (maybe even before the real God finds out? I mean in a world masked with deception, eventually the deceivers believe their own lies).
So man keeps looking, inventing, scheming, while all along, God still beats the clock.
For just a few examples from the days of yore:
Consider the amazing “coincidence” of the Red Sea closing just as the last Israelite made it to safe land.
Consider the “fullness of time” when Jesus became a man to prove God’s love for us–in the flesh.
Consider the timing of the completion of Noah’s Ark just before the rains came.
There’s more–and this one in the twinkling of an eye at any time (literally and prophetically) that has yet to occur!
Although the Rapture of the Church is a controversial doctrine with varied interpretations, whenever such an event occurs, one prophesy for it incorporates the concept of the twinkling of an eye. Consider:
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised [a]imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Whereas, well, for our adversary, nothing like that is feasible, considering what he, et al, needs first:
- somebody to figure out how to accomplish it (with a little help from their fiends?),
- engineers to figure out what it will take to build it
- …and how to put it together,
- the raw materials needed
- …and where to get them,
- the money to pay for them, and
- an unhindered supply chain.
Not to mention, politics, pandemics, and fear porn that might get in the way of the whole project.
Even AI hasn’t quite come up with the means, materials, and all the mechanisms required to accomplish all the above, yet, what with the propensity for man to also have to deal with the old-fashioned reality and consequences of GIGO that ever plagues the best of intentions (or worst of intentions, considering what use people want to make of all the whiz bang).
As one techno genius once said (can’t remember who, though): “man’s inventions are always subject to inventors’ bias (I’d add, and politics),” which is another thing that can put a monkey wrench (or DNA) into the works.
But to my point: in the war between good and evil it would seem that someone or Someone outside of time constraints would have the better advantage–an eternal advantage.
And now to…
Through the Christian lens, by Evil I mean our real, behind-the-curtain, in the shadows, enemy and his comrades, as defined in Ephesians 6:12:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
For Christians, the personification of evil is called Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, and our Guidebook reveals his real impediments to success:
- he was created in a discreet moment in time,
- his powers, though impressive, are limited (and subject to his Creator). Job’s story is a good illustration of this where Satan wanted access to destroy him as well as all that was his, but God put a limit to his plans,
- he’s always up to no good, and
- he will be stopped, one day, for good, and sent packing to the Lake of Fire.
Here’s how Jesus described him further when speaking to the usual suspects opposing truth:
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.. (John 8:44)
So the Devil can only steal, kill, and destroy (for another descriptive phrase) within a certain segment of time, and, as illustrated again in the book of Job, he can’t “devour” everyone and everything he wants to.
And at some point, he’s going to run out of time, whereas God, the Creator of all things, lives eternal and knows (and has prophesied) “the end from the beginning.” As put in Isaiah chapter 46:
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
And God’s plan includes not only spiritual redemption but also redemption from the hot mess of the world in which we now live.
IN SHORT: God created time, appointed “times,” limited certain other times, and He is always ON time (Satan’s smarts and shenanigans notwithstanding).
Today would be a VERY good time to do so.*
I mean, what leader or institution is there left down here we can really trust anymore as the world seems to be spiraling down into an unprecedented fiasco (smells like sulfur and brimstone) faster than anyone could even imagine possible just a couple of years ago, know what I mean?
*For information on how to be saved, here is a good summary: ABCs of Salvation.
For a list of articles on the, both literal and spiritual, means of overcoming the evil one(s) and the strife on this increasingly dangerous planet, even the times in which we live, I invite you here for commentaries with examples from the Bible, literature, and classic military wisdom from the writings of Sun Tzu and others.