Gathering Clouds of Global Godlessness

by Bill Perkins

As the world gently rotates on its pre-ordained axis, the majestic calm of each new morning gives all God's creatures new hope. The past is over and all things are new. Yet looming in the not-too-distant future is a fast- approaching horror that will forever change the morning calm. This horror is not confined to one area of the world, not restrained to one country, and not restricted to nonbelievers. It is the dawning of the scripturally prophesied era of total global godlessness, the time when God allows the world to be led by Satan himself-right to the point of annihilation.

For this reason, rejoice, 0 heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has [only] a short time (Revelation 12:12).

But before the clock strikes midnight on God's prophetic clock, the world is a stage being set for the final dramatic act. Satan won't jump out of the sky and demand that the world worship him. He knows better. He's had 6000 years of practice using the same old lies. In fact, the two most common lies today are the two lies recorded in the book of Genesis some 6000 years ago: 1) You will not die (reincarnation) and 2) you can be God (New Age principle). There's a lot of truth to the adage that says if you repeat something long enough, eventually people will believe it.

Satan's Quest

Satan also knows better than to move too quickly. The master of deception, he is slowly, meticulously, fitting together a global noose that will eventually allow him total control of the world. With that control, he can compel people to worship him. From the beginning, that's what he's always wanted.

But you (Satan) said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (Isaiah 14:13,14),

He even had the audacity to try to persuade Jesus to worship Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:8,9). But what he couldn't get Jesus to do, he will succeed in forcing the whole world to do.

The man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and [he provides] that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, [either] the name of the beast or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16,17).

That's total global control. But how is this possible? How could the world, with its vast size and diversity, be moved to the point of total control by one force? Can the British and the Chinese bank together? Can the Jews and the Muslims worship together? Can the Africans and the Japanese agree to be governed under the same authority? Not unless God's permissive will allows it. And He will.

The Balance of Good and Evil

God currently allows a delicate balance of good and evil in the universe. We live in a period defined by most scholars as the "Church Age," during which the Holy Spirit is present on earth and offsets Satan's every move. Even with the rapid growth of seemingly unrestrained evil, Christianity nevertheless continues to grow in numbers and maturity. For every depraved act, there is a righteous deed. As evil builds upon evil, Christianity builds on the Rock. Both evil and good are increasing proportionately on the scales until the day when God removes the counterweight, leaving evil no restraint.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains [will do so] until he is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

This balance will come to a screeching halt when God removes the Holy Spirit, containing the true Body of Christian Believers, from the earth, formally ending the Church Age. Then and only then will Satan have his prophesied day of unrestricted godlessness-if only for a time.

Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has [only] a short time (Revelation 12:12b).

Satan's Latter-Day Tactics

Until that time, and as evil grows, Satan desires to influence ungodly deeds to his advantage. After all, he is the "god" of this earth. The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4). Whether it's in the political, economic, or religious arena, Satan continues to gain more and more control. His followers, knowingly or unknowingly, are getting the earth ready for his takeover. As for the last 2000 years, the true Church-and specifically the American Christians with their world-wide influence-is still his nemesis and therefore his target. Satan has worked hard to compromise the testimony of these Western saints. And it really hasn't been that difficult. His chief weapon? Appealing to mankind's sin nature, something God warned Christians to guard against.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world (1 John 2:16, emphasis added).

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can all be enticed with one thing: money. Through the lure of money, Satan has achieved in one generation almost everything he needs for total control. Christians and non-Christians alike are embroiled daily in the evils of misplaced priorities.

It's not too difficult to understand how non-believers are led astray. Satan is their father. Not surprisingly, they trust their father and their father has lied to them.

You are of (your) father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature;] for he is a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44, emphasis added).

What Happened to Christians in America?

It may be easy to see how non-Christians are suckered in by Satan, but it's downright embarrassing that Christians are so easily deceived. We should know better. Yet we often fall for the same lies as the non-Christians: "Have it all" and "have it now." And nowhere in the world is this more obvious than in the United States, the home of the most economically viable body of believers in the world. Satan has to compromise the nation that was built on Christian principles and, in its early years, led by godly men who openly trusted God.

Because of the Christian foundation laid by the founding fathers, the 1800s in the United States saw great revivals. Men like Jonathan Edwards and D.L. Moody led tens of thousands to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. By the middle of the nineteenth century, Christian ideals, principles, and influence permeated every corner of the U.S. The nation had come through a long depression that helped build strong families which depended on God. Even the vast majority of non-Christians were aware of God and acted on biblical morals. America was great because America was good. And America was good because she was founded on the Judeo/Christian principles found in the Bible.

Do not be anxious then, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "With what shall we clothe ourselves?" For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:31-33, emphasis added).

Yet, within just 50 short years, Satan has managed to spiritually derail the most solidly Christian nation in the world. Today, in the 1990s, a majority of believers totally misses the Christ-centeredness taught in the Bible. Instead, they have allowed Satan to slowly and gently steer them away from biblical principles and entice them to center their lives around what they want and what they think they should have. Few American Christians diligently seek out what God would desire in their lives.

Satan knows better than to try to trim the top of the tree in order to ensure lasting changes. Rather, he works from the bottom up and he began deep within Christendom. In the 1950s, seminaries began turning out liberal pastors who openly defied the Doctrine of Inerrancy of Scripture. By the 1960s, this watered-down doctrine began to take its toll. With cracks in its biblical foundation, the church began to have less and less influence. More and more people looked to the government, not God, for meeting housing needs, training their children, regulating their lives, and settling disagreements. And, there to fill the gap, was Satan, disguised as "bank credit" to provide the "good things" in life. Christians fell for the ruse hook, line, and sinker, seeking every material possession available as if they were managing their own money instead of acting as stewards of God's assets. Today in America, it seems that Christians and nonChristians differ little in their emphasis on material possessions.

Debt: The Spiritual Barometer

Larry Burkett, who teaches Christians how to manage their money according to scriptural principles, has often said that he can tell a great deal about one's spiritual condition and priorities by analyzing his or her cancelled checks. It's easy to see the order of our priorities by looking at where we spend our money.

"Number one" of God's Ten Commandments warns us: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3).

Satan has done a masterful job of turning money-and what it can buy-into our god of choice and he has used it to preoccupy Christians while he systematically dismantles our foundations. American Christians choose to forget biblical principles and, as a result, spend money on misplaced priorities, which can be translated "ungodly purchases."

Optional debt, that debt which we create by borrowing in order to have something sooner rather than later, is one good example of misplaced priorities by American Christians. For instance, a car loan represents optional debt. If we desire a car so badly that we can't wait to save the money to purchase it, then we take on optional debt. If we charge a vacation, a washing machine, or a television, and don't pay the entire bill when it comes due, we add to our optional debt. It would be easy to argue that acquiring optional debt is pure and simple sin because it circumvents, rather than waits on, God's timing for provision.

Of course, not all debt is optional debt. And borrowing is not an across-the- board evil. But God does warn us about the realities of borrowing money unnecessarily: "The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower [becomes] the lender's slave" (Proverbs 22:7).

There are times when, because of unforeseen circumstances, a person may need to borrow money just to feed his family. Or a medical cost may come out of nowhere. But that's not why most people borrow. Christians, just like non-Christians, borrow to have it now rather than later. They elect to circumvent God's provision and to operate on their own timetable rather than God's.

This is not a gray area. Having tons of debt is not of God-, therefore, it is of Satan. And it has cost the Christian community dearly: billions of dollars annually in interest alone. Billions of God's assets wasted because of undisciplined lifestyles.

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5, emphasis added).

Subtly using the lust of the eyes, Satan has tied the fiscal hands of Christians in the most economically influential nation in the world. Many American Christians are knee-deep in the world's system. Because of this, they have to walk to the world's beat, making it that much easier for Satan to orchestrate his evil plans.

Satan Attacks the Family

Combining both the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Satan has used money to achieve his goal of splitting apart the foundation of the family unit in America. God charges men with three primary jobs: provision, teaching, and protection. Satan knows Scripture; he quoted it out of context to Jesus in the desert. His evil scheming has worked so well that today, the average Christian man in America has failed in all three areas. And because of that, America has lost its godly direction.

The Husband As a Provider

The most basic duty of the husband is to provide for his family. The Bible puts it in rather harsh terms: But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever (I Timothy 5:8, emphasis added).

Worse than an unbeliever! But God tells us He will reward the hard-working, Christ-centered husband: When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you (psalm 128:2, emphasis added).

Even more interesting is the following verse, which is also part of the reward for the hard-working husband: Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, Within your house, Your children like olive plants Around your table (Psalm 128:3, emphasis added).

God promises that if a man is diligent, works hard, and trusts Him, he will be rewarded by his wife being at home. In fact, in his letter to Titus, Paul specifically said women should work at home.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, [to be] sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored (Titus 2:3-5, emphasis added).

In the Old Testament, the husband is commanded to stay home with his new bride. When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army, nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken (Deuteronomy 24:5).

That gave the husband a full year at home to not only get to know his wife, but also to teach her spiritual things-which is his God-ordained responsibility.

And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church (1 Corinthians 14:35).

The husband providing for the family, with home as the foundation, used to be as American as the stars and stripes. And this was a major deterrent to Satan's grand plan until he used, again, money and easy credit as a vehicle to break up the family. Impatient, and wanting to have more, there are husbands have sent their wives to work outside the home, and there are wives who have entered the work force of their own accord. And once outside the home, and outside the husband's protective covering, Satan has pounded away on wives with lies from the feminist movement.

Too many Christians see nothing wrong with women working outside the home-merely for more money. The most precious asset God gave man, a loving help mate, seems to be worth more in purchasing power than for that purpose God intended-becoming a supporting wife. Satan has simply made it a priority to get mom out of the house, and with her has gone the family. The sensitive and supportive side of the marriage has poured the best part of her day into pursuing the material things for which husband and wife can't wait. And by so distracting the guard of the home-front, Satan has been able to take easy shots at other areas of the family: it has been open season. Satan knows Scripture charges men with the responsibility of elevating their wives to the highest degree.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25, emphasis added).

Satan has worked hard to get husbands to equate love with the value of material presents given to their wives. But God equates love with patience. Love is patient... (I Corinthians 13:4a).

Impatience to have material things has in America today given Satan a wedge with which to begin dismantling the family unit. Many wives, when working outside the home, often must expend their best energy and attention on the job, leaving little for husband and family. Rather than her day peaking at home, she crashes. Emotionally and physically drained, she becomes far less the wife and mother she wants to be or God intended her to be.

The toll has, of course, been devastating. Satan has been able, in many cases, to enter the home through drugs, ungodly music, unsafe friends, advertising propaganda, and hundreds of other ways. The love and pursuit of money in our nation and the consequences thereof bear out the truth of God's Word: For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang (1 Timothy 6:10, emphasis added).

Divorce is as commonplace among Christians in America as it is among non- Christians. Incredibly, one of every two "Christian" marriages ends in divorce. And, despite the extra income provided by working wives, the number one reason cited for divorce is money problems. But, in truth, money has not been the problem.

The children of Christian homes, the building blocks of future Christian strongholds with value far exceeding rubies, have been severely neglected. These children have paid a great price for moms who are gone during the day and whose sensitivity is dulled at night. Women, who have been equipped with a special, God-given love for their children, often don't have the sensitivity to pick up on the little signals after shouldering the responsibilities and priorities demanded by their jobs. And when they do pick up on such subtleties, they're often too tired and exhausted to exert more than a token effort at resolving the problem. And deep down, women know this, so guilt reigns. All because husbands want "things" more than they want to serve God.

The Husband as a Teacher

The man of the family-not the woman, not the church-is also charged with teaching his family. And the most important thing he is to teach his children is spiritual truth. Yet many Christian men allow their kids to be shuttled to and from schools that forbid the mention of Jesus' name while actively promoting the godless principles of Satan.

Many schools themselves are in a free-fall downward toward total depravity, teaching everything and anything but Jesus Christ. Public schools more and more emphasize social engineering and less and less emphasize the basics such as science, math, and history. Today, schools don't "educate," they "train." The new Outcome-Based Education and Goals 2000 programs teach children not to think for themselves, but to react. And they teach that the correct reactions are based on an atheistic worldview; God can't be mentioned.

Perverted so-called lifestyles and activities are given equal credibility with the traditional family. This redefining of family structure contributes to rampant drug abuse and crime. Rapes devastate lives daily. Negative, non- Christian peer pressure is strong. The instruction offered at many public schools advocates New Age and occultic thinking, which are satanic in origin. Tragically, many Christian parents continue to send their kids to these kinds of schools. And that's exactly what Satan wants, because Christian schools, and especially home schools, can be a major deterrent to his plan. The problem, however, is not with the schools, but with the Christian fathers.

God is clear in his instruction to fathers: And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:5- 9, emphasis added).

Teaching children is supposed to be an all-day affair, with the entire process overseen by the husband. A typical child's day should be oriented around God, Scripture, and praise. But by using tools such as debt, working wives, and the ever-present enticement to buy more things, Satan has kept most husbands' eyes off of the Lord and away from the truth.

The Husband As a Protector

The third and the most important accomplishment of Satan as he readies the world for his control has been the demise of the husband's role as a protector of his family. God warns that our biggest battles are against spiritual forces.

Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers ' against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places] (Ephesians 6:11-12, emphasis added).

Today, it is difficult to locate a man in America who teaches the Bible to his family the way God intended; prays with his family morning, noon, and night; or is a living testament of faith by trusting God in every facet of life. How few men really understand, biblically, where they have been, where they now are, and where they are going.

Satan has succeeded in neutralizing America, a once-great Christian nation. In the past, this great country has been used by God in so many wonderful ways. But now, the United States is no longer a hindrance to Satan's grand plan. Instead, America has become a tool of evil conquest. Worldwide, she actively promotes an environment for Satan to control the world. America's leaders are corrupt, her finances on borrowed time. Satan has, sadly, won this battle by compromising Christian men with misplaced priorities.

Worldwide, Satan is still being checked by the Holy Spirit as thousands of new believers come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, mainly in Third World countries. But to Satan's credit, his worldwide noose is ever-tightening. And when that day comes, when the restraint is lifted, the big lie will unfold, and a new era will begin: the prophesied era of total global godlessness.

And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; [that is,] the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

And America, which seems to be growing into the daughter of the Babylonian system, will come to its end. Some have even suggested that the following verses may actually be written about her demise:

After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed [acts of] immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back [to her] double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, I sit [as] a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning. For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. And the kings of the earth, who committed [acts of] immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come. And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more; cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every [kind of] citron wood and every article of ivory and every article [made] from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and [cargoes] of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and [men] will no longer find them. The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste! And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What [city] is like the great city? And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste! Rejoice over her, 0 heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her. And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth (Revelation 18, emphasis added).