Dear Brethren,

It is only because we gain our knowledge, understanding and wisdom from the Scriptures that we are aware that Satan is truly the god of this world.  Unlike those in the world, we are able to recognize his influence behind the ever-increasing problems throughout the world and in the Church.  Satan knows that his time is short, and he is going to pull out all the stops to thwart God's plan.  He will employ his arsenal of weapons against all of mankind in order to exact his vengeance.  God tells us to be self-controlled and watchful because:

"Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour."  (1 Peter 5:8)

"The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."  (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Just because we are aware of Satan's tactics does not mean that we are immune to his devices.  It is the Children of God that Satan most wants to destroy.  He is attempting to wipe-out all of civilization in the hopes of destroying us and the plan of God.  We know that we are destined to literally become God's Children forever.  Satan doesn't want people to believe this, and he does not want it to happen.

Two Satan-inspired characteristics that are prevalent on the earth today are self-centeredness and hypocrisy.  We don't see even the best of nations crying out for true justice.  Instead, we see narrow self-interest running amok, and duplicitous talk being proffered as justification.

"No one calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity."  Isaiah 59:4

Satan is strategically setting the world's nations at odds with one another.  He knows that God intended to make the United States and England showcase nations, so he is doing everything possible to bring them down.  Since the tribes of Israel consist mainly of the English-speaking countries and the nation of Israel, Satan has targeted them for humiliation and destruction.

"I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.  Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them."  Deuteronomy 4:5-7

The United States is not immune from Satan's devices.  We can see the U.S. employing a double, self-serving, standard in its treatment of terrorism.  While declaring all-out war on terrorism, the U.S. admonishes the state of Israel not to use force against terrorism within its borders.  Why?  Because the US wants to appease moderate Arabs - ensuring the continued flow of oil.

Europeans are doing the same thing!  They are siding against Israel and cuddling up to the oil rich Arabs.  They are in competition with the US.  They, too, wish to keep the flow of oil coming their way, while at the same time they wish to have the favor of world opinion.  But meanwhile, the E.U.'s hypocrisy is evident in their publicly assuring Israel and the U.S. of their goodwill.

The Islamic world is also playing these games.  While openly showing hatred toward Israel and the U.S. within their Arab countries, they send dignitaries to the U.S. to affirm that they have no hostile feelings.  Saudi Arabia recently placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal espousing their excellent relationship and common goals with the U.S., while at home they fund rewards for the families of Palestinian terrorists.

Brethren, now more than ever, we need to continue watching world events and not be deceived by the smooth words that diplomats deliver.  The end will come quickly and will surprise everyone except the elect who have the mind set of God.  The elect will be watching:

"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36

These words of Jesus Christ mean much more than watching world events only.  First and foremost, we must be watching our relationship with God and the Brethren.  And then, we must be watching to make sure we are practicing real Christianity - not following every Church trend that receives publicity today.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves... high-minded...having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."  (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

We need to realize how extensively Satan's spirit of contention has spread among God's Brethren.  Attitudes among the Brethren often mirror the problems of society in general.  We must realize our own proclivity to be self-centered and hypocritical just like the world.  Brethren, let's not succumb to those tendencies.  We must set our minds to resist the forces of evil that are setting the brethren at odds with one another.  Let's do all that we can with the help of God's Holy Spirit to truly stand for Godliness in these dark days.