Editorial and Richard Urban Show: Do You Know the Facts about COVID and the COVID Vaccines?
Book Review-American Worldview Inventory 2020-21 by George Barna
15 But leave its stump and roots
in the ground,
surrounded by grass
and held by chains
of iron and bronze.
‘Make sure that this ruler
lives like the animals
out in the open fields,
unprotected from the dew.
16 Give him the mind
of a wild animal
for seven long years [or ‘times’]
17 This punishment is given
at the command
of the holy angels [or ‘watcher’]
It will show to all who live
that God Most High
controls all kingdoms
and chooses for their rulers
persons of humble birth.’
14 Like a cloud, the Lord God
will appear over his people,
and his arrows will flash
God will sound his trumpet
and attack in a whirlwind
from the south.
15 The Lord All-Powerful
will protect his people,
and they will trample down
and their slingshots.
They will drink and get rowdy;
they will be as full as a bowl
at the time of sacrifice.
16 The Lord God will save them
on that day,
because they are his people,
and they will shine on his land
like jewels in a crown.
17 How lovely they will be.
Young people will grow there
like grain in a field
or grapes in a vineyard.
Eschatology and Messianic Hope
Most religions anticipate a time beyond the present, when human history will be consummated by a decisive act of God. Evil will be destroyed and goodness will triumph. Millenarian teachings are most characteristic of Jewish, Christian and Islamic scriptures. Christianity began as a millenarian movement in Israel. Yet Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism also contain teachings that the world is going through a cosmic cycle in which the decay of morals and religion presages a new Golden age when life will be renewed and purified.
Millenarian beliefs can be a leavening influence on society, encouraging oppressed people with the hope that the evil system has finally reached its last hour and calling them to renewed faith or even to revolutionary action. From the bar Kochba rebellion of Jews against roman tyranny, to the t’ai p’ing rebellion in china and the African independent churches’ agitation for independence against European colonial rule, these movements have fostered political and economic self-determination. Today, Father Moon’s teachings express that same sense of urgency and possibility, proclaiming that humanity is now living in the Last Days and that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
However, these beliefs can also have a negative aspect if they lead people to become self-righteous and judgmental. Father Moon warns that all the judgments and tribulations of the Last Days will strike the people on God’s side earlier and more severely than non-believers, based on the principle that in the course of restoration it is for God’s people to be struck first.
Typically, teachings about the Last Days or the end of the world anticipate a course of events in three phases: First, a time of tribulation when evil and confusion will prevail; second, a Last Judgment when God intervenes decisively to destroy all evil; and third, a new age of unparalleled bliss, often called the Kingdom of heaven.
During the tribulation phase, wars, famines, plagues, natural disasters and widespread confusion will afflict humanity. Morals will decline as people become engrossed in hedonism and materialism. Religions will decline, as the teachings of their founders will be forgotten or misused for mean ends. Father Moon affirms that humanity faces such tribulations, and traces its root to the Human Fall. The Last Days is a time when the fruits of the Fall are to be harvested, he teaches.
In some scriptures, the last tribulation will be the appearance of the beast, the antichrist or the Daija, who will deny the reality of God and deceive millions with a counterfeit truth. identifying the antichrist has been the subject of much speculation, most of it fruitless, often fixing on the church’s favorite opponent. Father Moon sees the activity of Satan behind the dark forces in history and identifies several of the Devil’s stratagems to attack the people of God, including the rise of materialism and atheistic communism. Nevertheless, he reminds us that the first people to oppose Jesus were his own disciples; hence we should examine ourselves to see if we are not the antichrist, rather than blame others.
1. Degeneration of Faith and Morals in the Last Days
In the evil age to come, living beings will decrease in good qualities and increase in utter arrogance, coveting gain and honors, developing their evil qualities, and being far removed from deliverance.
Lotus Sutra 13 (Buddhism)
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it.
2 Timothy 3.1-5
The Hour will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away, earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.
Hadith of Bukhari 2.17.146 (Islam)
The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and of the Qur’an but its mere appearance, and the mosques of Muslims will be destitute of knowledge and worship; and the learned men will be the worst people under the heavens; and contention and strife will issue from them, and it will return upon themselves.
Rabbi Mikhal of Zlotchov told, “Once when we were on a journey with our teacher, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, the Light of the Seven Days, he went into the woods to say the Afternoon Prayer. Suddenly we saw him strike his head against a tree and cry aloud. Later we asked him about it. He said, ‘While I plunged into the holy spirit I saw that in the generations which precede the coming of the Messiah, the rabbis of the Hasidim will multiply like locusts, and it will be they who delay redemption, for they will bring about the separation of hearts and groundless hatred.’”
Hassidic Tale (Judaism)
Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?
With the footprints [heralding] the Messiah, presumption shall increase and dearth reach its height; the vine shall yield its fruit but the wine shall be costly; and the empire shall fall into heresy and there shall be none to utter reproof. The academies shall be given to fornication, and… the wisdom of the scribes shall become insipid, and they that shun sin shall be deemed contemptible, and truth shall nowhere be found. Children shall shame the elders, and the elders shall rise up before the children. The face of this generation shall be [brazen] as the face of a dog, and a son will not be put to shame by his father. On whom can we stay ourselves? On our Father in heaven.
Mishnah, Sota 9.15 (Judaism)
Then property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification. Earth will be venerated but for its mineral treasures; the Brahmanical thread will constitute a brahmin; external types will be the only distinction of the several orders of life; dishonesty will be the universal means of subsistence; weakness will be the cause of dependence; menace and presumption will be substitutes for learning… Thus in the Kali age shall decay constantly proceed, until the human race approaches its annihilation.
Vishnu Purana 4.24 (Hinduism)
There will come a time [the Age of the Degeneration of the Law] when… immoral courses of action will flourish excessively; there will be no word for moral among humans—far less any moral agent. Among such humans, homage and praise will be given to them who lack filial and religious piety, and show no respect to the head of the clan; just as today homage and praise are given to the filial-minded, to the pious and to them who respect the heads of their clans.
Among such humans, there will be no such thoughts of reverence as are a bar to intermarriage with mother, or mother’s sister, or teacher’s wife, or father’s sister-in-law. The world will fall into promiscuity, like goats and sheep, fowls and swine, dogs and jackals.
Among such humans, keen mutual enmity will become the rule, keen ill will, keen animosity, passionate thoughts even of killing, in a mother towards her child, in a child towards its mother, in a father towards his child and a child towards its father, in brother to brother, in brother to sister, in sister to brother. Just as a sportsman feels towards game that he sees, so will they feel.
Digha Nikaya 3.71-72 (Buddhism)