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One Nation under Lawlessness?

Chris Carpenter - Director of Internet Programming

Upon reflecting on his own fear of the future, author, pastor, and End Times expert Phil Hotsenpiller discovered that lawlessness was playing an increasing role in how horrific events were unfolding around the world.

Digging into his deep knowledge of eschatology to examine this discovery, Hotsenpiller has written a new book called One Nation Without Law. In its 220 pages, he challenges readers to be more alert to what’s happening in the world and to remind them that now is the time to fearlessly preach the Gospel.

I recently sat down with Hotsenpiller to discuss the difference between lawlessness and evil, signs of lawlessness we are currently seeing all around us, and how the Church should respond.

You are regarded as an expert in End Times prophecy.  What originally got you interested in this subject area?

I started out in law school as a pre-law student and began to read the Bible, and the first thing I encountered was a book that was not new at the time but is still pretty vogue, and that is The Late Great Planet Earth. It talked about the return of Christ, and so my first kind of jumping into the world of prophetic was that.  I asked myself is this true? Can I really validate this?  Then I came to the realization that I didn’t know Christ.  It was that motivation of what’s happening in the world, my desire to kind of read culture, and the ability to read law and history that drove me to theology.  That kind of began to build this quest inside me to know more about end times and the days we live in.

You obviously have a passion for End Times prophecy as you have written a new book called One Nation Without LawWhat was your key motivation for writing it?

I was doing an interview for the History Channel. It was about a three-hour interview and they wanted me to give them a complete overview of the book of Revelation. Imagine that one. But they had brought in other experts from different fields. They had brought in a nuclear physicist, they had brought in a quantum physics guy from UCLA, and when we got done, the producer of the show turned off the camera and said, “Okay, we’re off camera, what is it that keeps you up at night, what scares you or frightens you?” And I obviously hadn’t planned on that question, and without even thinking, I said lawlessness. When lawlessness becomes mainstream, when it marches down the major cities of our world, that’s what concerns me. And I said that about seven or eight years ago. So when my literary agent called me and said, “Hey, we’re looking for a book in these kind of genres, give me some ideas.”  And the first one I came up with was actually the mystery of lawlessness. Because of what was happening in our world, it became an easy book to write because there’s a plethora of material. Then it became a difficult book because of the days we live in and we’re seeing it worldwide.

For the sake of our conversation, what’s the difference between lawlessness and evil, or is there a difference?

Some of these lines are drawn pretty narrowly, but lawlessness for me is a spirit that rose up out of Lucifer in his rebellion against God.  That spirit of lawlessness began before the creation of man with the fall of Satan, and it runs its way throughout Scripture, history and in life. It culminates with the great whore of Revelation 18. So you see the spirit of lawlessness, and that would be different than law breaking.  In America, we talk about the rule of law, and we think in terms of when I speed, I break the law. But I don’t break it too bad so I don’t get caught. That wouldn’t make me have a spirit of lawlessness. What that would mean is that I somehow feel like I can fudge a little bit. But when evil begins to enter in, evil is an outgrowth of lawlessness. You can see it, for example, in Nazi Germany.  

Jesus said if that light within you becomes darkness, how great indeed is the darkness? So there’s a capacity for great darkness and for great light, and I think that there comes a point at which we move from law breaking and sin and that we somehow tap into, or that spirit of lawlessness taps into us; and it begins to accelerate everything.

What are some of the signs of lawlessness we’re seeing in the world around us today?  From my viewpoint we have been seeing a lot as we have witnessed recent events in England and Paris.

It’s interesting. I recently wrote an op-ed piece where I asked this question, “What if Islamic terrorism was a strategic plan of misdirection?” I pointed out that our eyes are on these murder attacks by Islamic terrorists, but perhaps the Trojan horse has passed through the gates of the city.

If there is a master plan, let’s say from man, but behind that there is a master plan from the enemy. They’re not aberrations; they’re clearly strategic in their location. When they begin to call sites like the London Bridge “the monuments to the crusaders,” you know there’s a clear agenda here; and that’s what you see with ISIS. ISIS is probably the most interesting thing that I have in my book, because I deal with a whole chapter and identify them with the men of Nineveh.

When I began to look into ISIS I realized that they were headquartered in Mosul. Within city gates of Mosul is Nineveh. So within Nineveh, we have the ancient Assyrian empire, and in the stone reliefs that are still there Nineveh depict the Assyrian empire. Guys like Ashurbanipal and others who are decapitating the heads of their enemies to intimidate them and stack them in the streets wherever they conquer, which was very similar to what ISIS was doing. So I began to kick around an idea: what if there are territorial spirits, which I believe there are, and that they’re geographically positioned, and they replicate activity of previous terror. So that became an interesting kind of a picture. I began to look into this, and I realized in that Scripture that Jesus refers to the men of Nineveh, He talks about the men of Nineveh rising up in judgment against this generation. He uses a word that’s not a narrow but a broad term for generation that could also mean the generation of the future that he’s speaking of. So what if there’s a future judgment coming by the men of Nineveh, because the future residents of the Middle East did not believe in the preaching of Jesus.

You’re seeing that ISIS, while they may have in one way lost a battle, they’re winning the war.  And we think we’re safe, but we’re not safe, because this is an ideology; this is not an army, and ideologies are always more difficult to beat than armies.

I’m glad you mentioned that.  The American Church has a reputation for being distracted to the point of being disinterested in what is happening in the world around us.  What can people do to wake the American Church and return it to its original mission?

We tend to not shift our position without crisis. It’s kind of a part of who we are as people, and I don’t mean Americans, I just mean just people.   We are reactionary.  If my world is not threatened, then I don’t worry about it, but when my world is threatened, then it becomes a big issue. So I don’t know if there’s a word or a prophet—the prophets were typically ineffective in transformation until the crisis came, so I’m not sure there’s anything we can do. One of the most interesting writers on this subject is actually a Yale professor. He’s a solid Christian whose name is Miroslav Volf.  He’s a Croatian. He was there giving lectures during the violence in the Balkans.  His conclusion was that no one in America has the right or the perspective to speak about terrorism, not until you’ve seen your father killed, your mother raped and your sister’s throat slit.  These were events that happened during the lecture that he gave. So what we’ve done is we’ve isolated ourselves in this idea of what is God’s love and how does it work in our world, and he really kind of builds this case for how do we react and how do we get serious about this. I think if my neighborhood were suddenly overtaken by ISIS, I would be much more vocal in what the government needed to do.

As an author and pastor, after people have read One Nation Without Law, what do you want your readers to take away from that experience?

I want them to be able to look at media headlines and be able to make an association to where they are biblically and prophetically and realize that there is a correlation: you’ll begin to see things that you’ve never seen before. The Bible will come alive because of it. I think you’ll understand the end-time strategy of God better and the love, that love never fails and that we can with strength, first of all, and fortitude as a nation and love, we can make a difference in our world.

To purchase One Nation Without Law please click here.

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