THE ERA OF PERSECUTION
by Michael Burkert with introduction by Mark Armstrong

No Outcry!?!

Just a very few years ago, we could not have imagined the images and stories which now confront us on a daily basis. Thousands and thousands of "gay" couples marrying?!?! If you'd been polled on the likelihood of such events transpiring in several American cities even six months ago, what would you have said? No way! Maybe in Toronto, or somewhere in Scandinavia. But coast to coast in the USA? Why, we have a conservative President! Liberals characterize him as a "far right wing" fundamentalist hell-fire and brimstone type. We have Republican majorities in the House of Representatives, and the Senate. And yet, here we are.

If some expected the social and moral toboggan slide to wait for a liberal or perhaps a certain female-type president, they were badly mistaken. And yet, where's the outrage? Nobody seems to think it's worth any outrage. Or more likely, for a politician or public servant to take a stand for common sense or decency, would bring charges of "bigotry!"

Is it just me? Or does nothing make sense anymore? How can so many argue the impossible idiocy we are treated to every night on the debate shows. And how can their convoluted lines of logic represent broad segments of our population?!? But they do! It may not be a majority that support every lunatic depravity and tortured reasoning, but it is nevertheless very mainstream!

I'm still reeling from the loss of my Dad, Garner Ted Armstrong. Messages come regularly and often from many, many people who still have not been able to emotionally shake the magnitude his loss represents. But in a way, knowing him like I knew him, it may be a blessing he doesn't have to see this "gay" marriage thing playing out across our land. It would have made him furious. He'd have expressed his disgust, maybe on his television program, and probably gotten us kicked off every station!

I've heard various commentators note the fact that there is no strong champion for conservative values in the United States of America at all. And, under the circumstances, it's hard to argue with that observation. It's hard to believe that nobody of renown is prepared to accept the inevitable backlash of expressing the outrage appropriate to this situation. Garner Ted Armstrong would have. In his absence, I've called on a gentleman who wrote for my Dad on a fairly regular basis, often on events transpiring in Europe where he lives and is stationed. At the moment, however, he's home in the U.S., and exposed to the same news the rest of us are having to endure. I asked him to write us a column, and he was kind enough to oblige.

And now, on behalf of the GTA Evangelistic Association, Mr. Michael Burkert:

What Price?

The current social rage throughout the United States is now “gay marriage.” So far, no legal authority has come forward to stop homosexual couples from obtaining marriage licenses and then finding a judge, minister, or other “holy man or woman” to perform the nuptials. Despite the fact that the law in every case is being openly violated, even the President of the United States appears powerless to stop this growing practice. What would the old Prophets and Patriarchs say about “gay marriage"? How would Ezekiel, or Isaiah, or Zechariah weigh in on this most despicable of human perversions and practices? What would Jesus Christ Himself say if present today? The words are found in your Bible, and it may surprise you to learn what God has already said about the entire “gay” state of affairs. The current trend will have far reaching ramifications that nobody has yet realized. Most likely, the continuing advancement of the “gay” agenda will have a severe affect on nominal Christians and Jews. What “price” will we ultimately pay for the establishment of the final goal of the “gay” community? Or is it the final goal? As we enter the End times, the Great Tribulation is not far off. It will most likely be ushered in first by….

THE ERA OF PERSECUTION
By Michael Burkert

Just prior to the death of Garner Ted Armstrong, the United States Supreme Court struck down a Texas law, which forbade SODOMY. Mr. Armstrong was incensed by the Supreme Court decision, and wrote a very strong article for the 21st Century Watch entitled, They Declare Their Sin as Sodom. As usual, GTA “hit the nail on the head,” and didn’t pull any punches in declaring the practice of sodomy as filthy, perverted and an abomination in the eyes of God!

So just what would our prophets of old think about homosexuals, the homosexual agenda, and radical Liberal Socialist activist courts? Would they agree that, what goes on in the privacy of the bedroom is nobody’s business, but two consenting persons? What would Jesus Christ say if He were available today for an interview on the evening news?

First and foremost, the thoughts and warnings of the old Patriarchs such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and others would not be heard in the mainstream press. There is simply too much sympathy for the “gay” agenda among the liberal socialist elites who control most of the American news media. Even if Jesus Christ was available for interview, do you think that any warnings He might have, or comments He might make would survive the cutting room floor? Hardly.

Simply stated, homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God. I’m not making this up. That sodomy is a filthy, abominable SATANIC practice, that wreaks pain, suffering, guilt and destruction to those who practice it doesn’t make me a “homophobe” as the Liberal Socialists so quickly charge, nor does it make you anything of the sort, if you too have no desire to engage in the “gay” lifestyle.

Turn to Romans 1:24-29 and read, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more that the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up into vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving behind the natural use of women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity and whispers.”

But you say, this was only Paul writing a letter to the Romans. Paul lived long after the old Patriarchs. So what would the “old guys" have said? Look at Leviticus 20:13, “If a man also lie with mankind as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an ABOMINATION: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Countless nominal Christian ministers don’t believe this. They have learned in their seminaries that Jesus nailed all of this “old law” to the cross. The old law doesn’t count any longer. This is obviously the belief of the Episcopalians, who recently approved the elevation to Bishop, of an openly practicing homosexual. Millions never bother to read their Bibles, and when they do, they carefully avoid the Scripture I’ve quoted here. You won’t hear this preached next Sunday morning at the local Methodist or Presbyterian church. No, this would not be convenient for the bulk of the nominal Christian congregations that will gather next Sunday morning to hear their revered minister, maybe a learned Doctor of Theology, “preaching the Gospel” of love, peace and understanding. They are deceived, and most don’t realize that they’re preaching about a false Jesus, one that never existed, and doesn’t exist today.

To answer the question about what Jesus Christ would say, if He were available for an interview, and the liberal socialist news media would allow His comments to be broadcast, all you need do is turn to Matthew 5:17, when Jesus Himself said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy BUT TO FULFILL.” So much for the false teaching that Jesus “nailed the law to the cross,” so you can do anything you want.

A PRICE TO PAY

Every generation has seen a continuation of moral decline in the so-called “Christian world.” I’m reminded of the post-World War I era, the “Roaring Twenties” which brought about gangsterism, hip flasks, the “Charleston” and syncopated jazz. The era of the flapper. How utterly unthinkable! The Great Depression followed the Roaring Twenties, and then World War II. From 1945 to the present day, the United States began to descend on a Liberal Socialist generated glide path. That descent to inhumanity, indecency and perversion continues to this day. And really, we haven’t seen anything yet.

The Liberal Socialists have embarked on an agenda of complete elimination of anything that even hints at Judeo-Christianity. Look at the upheaval over the display of the Ten Commandments. Look at how the certain elements of our nation condemn “religious: displays such as Nativity Scenes etc. To the Liberal Socialist, a Christian is a distraction. A Jew is to be reviled and despised. These people simply do not want to be reminded of what is right and what is wrong! The Bible sets forth rules that have governed mankind for thousands of years, and for the most part have kept human civilization intact.

The radical homosexual agenda seeks to lead mankind away from the realization of the individual spirit, and thus liberate man from the demands of spiritual freedom and personal independence. In other words nothing is taboo, nothing is beyond the pale. No law may regulate morality or personal devotion to ones depravities. Accountability for human behavior is not up for discussion. As this agenda moves forward, the cost to society is going to be unfathomable! Already the United States leads the world in the production and distribution of pornography, especially homosexual pornography. We lead the world in murder, rape, divorce, and narcotics related crimes. We are most definitely the world’s leader in the promotion of homosexual rights, and the “gay” way of life. Just tune into the sick, perverted and disgusting television programs available every evening during “family hour.” Look at the birth statistics today. One third of all births are illegitimate. Nearly 80% of African-American births are now “out of wedlock.” Nearly 40-million unborn babies have been murdered in this unbelievable, mind-boggling pogrom of destruction we call, “abortion.” Gay marriage is only beginning. It will accelerate and here are some of the ramifications you can expect:

Complete elimination of any tax benefits to married couples, gay or straight. The government will underscore the need to uphold “equal rights” and cite the vast numbers of children born out of wedlock. Since “gay” couples can’t have children, the “gay” movement will most likely demand the elimination of these tax benefits.

Complete elimination of anything in public life that resembles an influence of Judeo-Christianity. Not only will Nativity Scenes in public buildings and schools be banned, most likely the public display of any religious emblem, image or icon will be strictly forbidden. As the French government has banned the wearing of Yarmulkes by Jewish men, so will our government. Kosher slaughter will become forbidden, as it already has in the European Union.

Look for the elimination of tax benefits for churches; organizations or institutions that shun the homosexual lifestyle, and are not freely open to homosexual access. Churches who openly embrace the “gay” lifestyle, embrace homosexuals and their agenda will continue to be allowed to operate with tax breaks for the time being.

Look for increased anti-Semitism, and anti-Christian activities, ENCOURAGED BY OUR GOVERNMENT, using their POLICE POWERS. Watch for Synagogue and church burnings that may erupt at anytime. Discrimination against practicing Jews and Christians will become institutional. Open hostility towards Jews and Christians will become the norm.

A continuing slide toward open licentiousness, public and open “gay” sex, and quite possibly the REQUIREMENT for all heterosexuals to experience the depravity and filthiness of “gay” sex. (This idea is already circulating in “gay” political circles.)

JUST WHO IS THE ENEMY?

Do the stated ramifications of “gay” marriage and the continuing descent to the absolute bottom sound far-fetched? Well my friends, THE ERA OF PERSECUTION is only the beginning. Ultimately, we in God’s Church will be silenced. Writing about “gays’ or protesting anti-Semitism or anti-Christian discrimination will be labeled, “Hate Speech,” and severely punished. God’s people will be silenced and forced underground. Many more will fall away and re-enter the world from which God Almighty called them. I am comforted by one thought however, and this is it. Jesus Christ left us with this thought of comfort. < /SPAN>You can read this for yourself in Luke 12:32, “Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Ephesians 6:12 reminds us who we are at war with and that “somebody” is none other than Satan the devil, and his millions of demonic minions. Verse 11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Clearly, it’s Satan who seeks our destruction, and works very hard in hopes that each and everyone of us will “fall away” from our calling, and end up in Gehenna fire, utterly destroyed, burned to ash and forgotten. Finally, we are again reminded that all of the evil and confusion we are subjected to on a daily basis is the handiwork of Satan the devil. Verse 12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Evil is imperialistic. The evil that we are seeing today will not be satisfied to leave Christians alone. No, this EVIL WILL SEEK TO DESTROY, as it always has.

We will soon be into the Era of Persecution. The price of “gay” marriage will be high. So high in fact that few realize where it will all end. Others don’t care where it will lead us. If only we as a nation would repent, seek forgiveness for our national sins and OBEY GOD’S LAW. But we won’t, and things are going to get much worse as the Great Tribulation unfolds. Time is short. The time for petty bickering in God’s Church is over. Those detractors from the Work which remains for us to do, will answer for their attempts to sidetrack or derail the Work that Jesus Chr ist commissioned us to complete prior to His return to this Earth. It’s time for all of us to come together and accomplish our assigned missions and duties, for the little amount of time we have remaining. Pray then, “Thy Kingdom Come,” each and everyday.


Mark Armstrong