Saturday, July 30, 2005

Terrorism and the Beast

Daniel's vision of worldwide terrorism was preceded by a vision of an Islamic Revival. It was followed by a vision of a terrible beast.

The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it (Dan 7:23).

The terrible beast is an empire that dominates the entire world.

Modern terrorism is very difficult to control and is often used as a justification for central governments taking power for themselves. Following 7/11 and 7/7, many governments have passsed anti-terrorism laws that give them tremendous powers for use against enemies of the state. The most serious consequence of terrorism will be an enormous increase in state power. Worldwide terrorism may be the catalyst that brings for the Terrible Beast that Daniel saw in his vision.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Worldwide Terrorism

In the last few years, terrorism has become a serious problems in many parts of the world. This change was prophesied by Daniel, when je saw a vision of a leopard rising out of the sea.

After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule (Dan 7:6).
The leopard is an animal known for its agility and intelligence. It lies in wait near a town to tear to pieces anyone who ventures out (Jer 5:6; Hos 13:7). It is also very swift (Hab 1:8). The two pairs of wings are also an indication of swiftness and speed.

The beast has four heads and it is given authority to rule. The number four represents the earth. A head stands for authority, so the four heads mean that this beast has authority throughout the earth. This suggests that the beast is not a nation, but a worldwide movement.

The beast comes out of the sea. The sea refers to the people of the earth, so this movement hides among ordinary people. In 1986 I wrote the following words.

I believe it could be a description of International Terrorism. In recent years, a worldwide network of terrorist groups has sprung up. These groups are very agile: they go underground for a time, and then when the time is right, they strike at a place where society is vulnerable. They move very quickly, and by the time their crime is discovered, they have gone underground again. This terrorist movement is agile and violent, just like a leopard (Glorious Kingdom, p.78).

The prophecies of Daniel are important for understanding what is happening in the modern world. Those who study his vision will not be surprised by the growth of worldwide terrorism.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Jesus Died for our Liability

Liability cannot be limited or removed by passing a law.

If liability could be dealt with that easily, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God could have passed a law to limite liability for sin.

The truth is that we are accountable for our actions, so Jesus became liable for our sin and died to pay the cost.

A limited liability law does not eliminate liability, it just shifts liability from the guilty to the innocent. The same thing happened with our sin. The difference is that Jesus willing took our libability from us. Those lumbered by limited liability laws have no choice.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Big God, Small Business

A common fallacy is that business cannot function without limited liability laws. That is not true, but business would have to change in ways that are good.

Removal of the limited liability laws would make people more careful about where they invest their money. Boards of directors would have to be more careful in scrutinising the actions of company managment. Better stewardship would result.

The family business would become a more popular model, as the relationship between investors and managers becomes more important. Families would be strengthened.

Small businesses would be less affected, as banks gejnerally require the shareholders of small limited liability companies to give a personal guarantee for any money they borrow. Banks are to cunning to allow the government to shift liability to them.

Corprate sturctures would change, as large conglomerates would be a more risky investment. Large conglomerates do have the power to bully governments and manipulate. The Virtual Beast would be constrained.

We have a big God, we do not need big business.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Limited Liability

The worst example of collusion between government and business is the limited liability laws. These laws are now normal throughout the world.

Company owners are free to make unlimited profits. The limited liability laws, limit their losses to the value of their initial investment, if the company fails. The aim is to encourage business growth for the benefit of the economy.

When governments pass limited liability laws, they are doing something they do not have the power to do. Liability can only be removed when someone pays the price. Jesus was able to wipe out our liability for sin, because he paid the penalty on the cross. Governments think that they can wipe out liability by simply decreeing that it will be limited. They do not have that power, because they are unwilling to pay the price.

Governments cannot limit or eliminate liability for business losses. All they can do is shift the liability to others who are not responsible. When a limited liability company goes broke, the owners walk away with limited losses. The rest of the cost is shifted to the creditors of the failed company. The businesses that have supplyed goods and services to the failed company have to bear the cost, even though they have acted in good faith. The government lets the people who were responsible for the business failure go free, but forces those were not responsible to carry the cost.

Governments cannot limit liability. All they can do is shift liability from those who were responsible to those who have acted in good faith. That is not justice.

When the government punishes those who do good and rewards those who makes mistakes, we have tyranny.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Business Success

There are two ways that a business can succeed.

The best way to succeed is to provide goods or servicces that people want. A business cannot force people to buy things, so if people do not want their products, the business will fail.

The other way that a business can gain success is to collude with the government to get a privileged position in the economy. Many business regulations are designed to protect an incumbent business from competition. Businesses frequently ask the government to protect them from competition from imports. They always claim to be acting in the interest of the country, but they are the ones that benefit most.

Collusion between business and government is always dangerous. On their own, businesses have to serve consumers to suceed. When businesses gets the support of government, they are using the coercive powers of government to change what consumers buy. This may be good for the business, but consumers lose their freedom.

When business and government are working together, consumers should beware.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My Home is in Heaven?

Not yet!

Many Christians believe their true home is in heaven and live as if they cannot wait to get there. Although we are citizens of heaven, this not the full truth. Our current home is on the earth.

Paul had dual citizenship. He was a Jewish citizen and a Roman citizen. He had rights in both places.

We are dual citizens as well. We are citizens of both earth and heaven, with rights in both places. We should not become so focused on heaven that we forget our role on earth. Earth belongs to God. We are his stewards looking after the it for him.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Leader or Manager

Ian Brooks makes the following statement in his book, The Yellow Brick Road.

The main difference between a manager and a leader is that leaders have vision. Moreover, they care passionately about the vision, they talk constantly about that vision and they have sense of urgency in making the vision happen. And good leaders convince people of their sincerity by acting on their words.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Perspective on Africa

A Kenyan economist James Shikwati provides an interesting perspective on African poverty. He says,

Currently, Africa is like a child that immediately cries for its babysitter when something goes wrong. Africa should stand on its own two feet.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

GS not G8

The G8 is not God.

Tony Blair has not been able to save London,
so why should we believe that he can save Africa.

The G8 will make grand gestures
and spend enormous amounts of money,

but it will not save Africa.

The Good Samaritan did not make grand speeches.
He did not give away other people's money.
He went into the danger zone.
He used his own supplies
He got his hands dirty
and made a dramatic difference to one persons life.

Millions of Good Samaritans could change Africa,
one person at a time.

Good Samaritans do God's work
The G8 just tries to be god.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Seven Eleven, Seven Seven

"Seven three" is the next in the mathematical sequence;
Seven is the number of perfection.
Three is the number of God.
God is in control
and is working out his perfect plan.

What is Going On?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Get Real about Poverty

God said, "Let there be light", and there was light,
and the darkness disappeared.

Twenty-six million texts have been texted,
several million emails have been sent,
a million Live 8 concert-goers have cheered,
two hundred thousand protesters in Edinburgh have chanted,
none of these can speak, and bring a better world into being,
none of these can speak and make darkness depart.

Not even, the G8 can say, "Let there be wealth"
and "make poverty history".

deacons do deal with poverty,
and people sharing their possession can make a real difference (Acts 4:32-37).

Rock stars call for other people to cancel debts,
but then go to court to demand the return of a
borrowed hat.

Entertainers call on governments to give away money

that they have taken from other people,

poverty will only be relieved by people
being willing to give away their own money.

The Good Samaritan did not demand that the innkeeper bear the cost of caring for the injured man, even though he was probably rich. The Samaritan committed to paying the full cost himself, without knowing how much it would be.

Lets get real about dealing with poverty.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Real Enemy of the State

A policeman in Vietnam, confiscating a Bible from a Christian, said, “You can't keep that, Bibles are propaganda against the Government”. Christians in the West do not understand this truth. Most governments do not understand it either. When the civil government comes under the Government of God, its nature will be radically changed.