Steven Garofalo
Politics • Spirituality/Belief • Preparedness
By Steven Garofalo, (Copyright Steven Garofalo, September 13, 2023)
September 13, 2023

Christians are increasingly referencing Mark 13:6-8, proclaiming we are in the “END TIMES”. They site the news stories of floods, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars as evidence to support their conclusion. But is that true?

Today, I am going to show you biblically that while we are progressing towards the “END TIMES”, in truth, we are NOT IN the  “END TIMES”. Furthermore, such a misunderstanding of God’s Word does nothing ore than to take our eye off what God has for our lives as it affects our mission on earth as believers.

Welcome to Reason For Truth. As a result of the misunderstanding about our current state in history, Christians everywhere are panicking to the point of apathy due to their belief that we are literally in the Tribulation or “END TIMES” of the world. My first response off the cuff is “so what”? If it’s the End Times, we will be with Jesus within a matter of months. My second response reflects back to the entire Bible in that the United States is not mentioned in the Bible, and that biblically speaking, while we may be experiencing what the Bible (Jesus himself) calls “birth pains”, it’s not the End Times. Let’s read Mark 13:

Jesus said to His disciples in Mark 13:6-8.

“6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains” (Mark 13:6-8)


I keep hearing people say we are currently in birth pains. What does that mean? This is the second point Jesus made regarding end times. In an effort to gain true context as to what Jesus was talking about, it’s important to look at verses 1-5. In verses 1-37, to be fair, Jesus is speaking of the future. In verse 2, Jesus asks his disciples, as they left the temple, to look at the great buildings and that there will not be one stone left upon another. The “buildings of the temple” were constructed under Herod the Great Temple in 20B.C. And it was finished in A.D. 64. That is what Jesus’ disciples were looking at. Their questions related to the temple and end-time events leading to Messiah’s kingdom, not questions concerning the church, which is never mentioned in this gospel. Jesus was simply warning the disciples of deceivers who will come in His name, wach one even declaring that he is the Messiah. Then Jesus says, “there will be wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes, and famines. these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs”. Jesus was picturing for them the coming of the end of days with the birth of a child. It’s to be noted that a woman’s labor can extend for some time before the birth and this would have been understood as such in relation to what Jesus was saying.


In verses 7-8, His second point, Jesus warned His disciples against misrepresenting contemporary events such as WARS and NATURAL DISASTERS such as floods, earthquakes, etc. as indications that the end is at hand. The were NOT to BE ALARMED and thereby DIVERTED from their work whenever they HEAR OF ears (sounds of battle close at hand) AND RUMORS (literally “reports”) OF WARS far away. It is necessary (dei, by Devine compulsion; cf. 8:31; 13:10) that these things come about. They fall within God’s sovereign purposes, which include permitting wars as a consequence of human rebellion and sin. BUT THE END-of the present Age and the establishing of God’s rule on earth-IS STILL YET TO COME (lit. “Is not yet”) in the Greek.

This is confirmed Greek word “gar” or “for” and expanded: NATION WILL RISE (lit. “Shall be raised” i.e. by God; Isaiah 19:2). In armed aggression AGAINST NATION. In Addition THERE WILL BE EARTHQUAKES and FAMINES, suggesting divine judgement. That THESE (“these things”) ARE just THE (lit. “A” not “the”) BEGINNING OF BIRTH PAINS. The words “birth pains” are used vividly by God here to depict the sharp pains preceding childbirth, giving us a snapshot of His divine judgement (cf. Isa. 13:6-8; 26:16-18. These verses along with Jeremiah 22:20-23; Hosea 13:9-13; Micah 4:9-10 refer to the period of intense suffering preceding the birth of the new Age, the messianic kingdom.


The emphasis-“the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7d) and “these” [things] are the beginning of birth pains” (v.8c) suggests that an extended period of time will precede “the end.” It’s important to note that an EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME means not in the PRESENT or immediately. Each and every generation will have its own wars and natural disasters. The truth is that these events fall within God’s purposes.


A proper exegetical understanding of what Jesus meant (said) has one, singular meaning, which is that human history is heading towards the birth of the new Messianic Age as opposed to being in that period of time in the present. So WHY did Jesus say these things? Jesus said these things to His disciples to prepare them for suffering BECAUSE of their allegiance to Him. That’s the point. We are no different today as human beings than when Jesus taught His disciples. We too need to be reminded that Christianity is not a sport or past-time, recreational sport. It’s real. Today, you and I and Christians all over the world are re-learning what it means to live “biblically”. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Christians all over the world who already live under some form of persecution, so it’s nothing new; just new to the West , especially Christians in the United States.


In these few verses in Mark, God speaks to you and I today as He did our parents and grand parents generation and as he does our children. His message is simple: Be vigilant, strengthen our faith, and prepare for tough times in the present in preparation for the what God brings or allows us to face today and in the future-tomorrow. We have a choice to stand on our faith in Jesus Christ and not denounce that faith or denounce Jesus as the true God. We also have the choice as to if we will run and hide in some dark remote corner of the world or stay in the game, depending on God to provide for us despite the circumstances and outcome. The latter is God’s will and the former is not. As for the time of end of the age. Well…that’s up to God the Father to decide. As Jesus said in Matthew 24, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son (Jesus himself), but only the Father”. If Jesus doesn’t know the hour or day, how do we? Think about that before you head for the hills for the wrong reason. It’s good to prepare, but not good to over-prepare. Jesus spoke about over-preparation in Luke 12:16-21. You can read that for yourself. It’s good and wise to prepare, but not to over-prepare to the point of depending on self over God.


As we as Christians wisely prepare for what is upon us and yet to come, let’s be wise to understand two things. FIRST, we need to do what we are able to do, but ultimately depend upon God for what we cannot see in the present and future. SECOND, we must not allow apathy to stifle our God given mission for today and tomorrow, should God grant us another day of life on earth. With Christians increasingly referencing Mark 13:6-8, proclaiming we are in the “END TIMES” this is a real threat to fulfilling God’s will for our our life. With all the news stories of floods, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, in truth-biblically speaking, while we are progressing towards the “END TIMES”, we are NOT IN the  “END TIMES”. Let’s not take our eye off (the ball) what God has for our lives as it affects our mission on earth as believers.

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By Steven Garofalo, September 28, 2023 (Copyright 2023)

In our specialized world we tend to have only one job. A a result, having a job in most cases leads to the monolithic mantra of making money and job security to maintain our life style apart from a purpose driven life. Today, I will show you that God encourages us not have one job, but why to have at two or more careers. Why? For diversification, security, and fulfillment. Let’s get started.

On June 18 of 2019, published that about 13 million U.S. workers have more than one job; equating to 8% of workers at that time having multiple jobs. This is actually pretty biblical as King Solomon wrote “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth” (Ecclesiastes 11:12).

So, what exactly is Solomon saying, or better yet: “What is God telling us through Solomon in these two short verses?” I believe there are two central points to consider so let’s jump right in.

FIRST: In verse 1, Solomon says, “Cast your bread upon the waters”. This is actually a metaphorical expression taken from the grain trade and a seaport town. The verse illustrates the central point that successful prospects and a bold business venture are wise but carry risk. To get the full picture, let’s zoom out and look at verses 1-6, starting with verse one which says to cast your bread upon the waters. Casting your bread upon the waters is emphasizing the element of risk and uncertainty in commercial and agricultural enterprises which is necessary for success. In other words, there is no success without some risk. Personally, I don’t know of anyone who has been successful without first failing at least one to five times.

The proverbs in the prior chapter (10) deal with royalty and leaders, but in these here in VSS. 1-6, Solomon addresses “common people”. Solomon is provoking the average person in that as men and women of God, we must venture forth and take some risk if we are ever to realize a gain in business, vocation, ministry and in life. We are wise to step out in faith despite the fact that there is always a certain amount of risk. We can bury out talent in the ground, or take some risk and invest our gifts to multiply them for the glory of God.

Sadly, in our modern world, risk takers (when rewarded financially) are often looked down upon for having the rewards they they have accrued for having taken the energy, resources and risk to begin with. This is why I don’t believe in government careers. On the other hand, those with much today are often inflated by ego and pride at what they have achieved and fail to give credit to God for all they have earned. The truth is that we ought to work as hard and as smart as we can; taking risks and giving credit to God for the gifts and blessings He has given us along the way. In the end, we ought to help others less fortunate. That being said, let’s look at Solomon’s second main point found in verse 2.

SECOND: In verse 2, Solomon speaks to the value of diversification of vocation in light of mitigating risk. Solomon says to “Give a portion to seven, or even eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth”. This begs the question as to who or what are we to “give” a portion to? What does that even mean. Solomon is referring to investing with diversity but this verse. Simply put, Solomon is proclaiming that there is wisdom in diversified investments, because no one knows what calamity may befall one enterprise. For example, if you own a farm at the beach, a hurricane can wipe out your farm, so also invest in a mountain business.

In our modern day, we see such wisdom playing out with the advent of AI (artificial intelligence). If your job is somehow eliminated, what will you do? First, you and I need to look ahead and keep our skill sets up to date and not fall behind. The bottom line is that you are wise to look at other ways in which you can diversify your income and investments other than a singular vocation. This goes against modern thinking just as working remote went against the grain of mainstream mentality before the Covid Virus changed all that. In years past, before becoming a “specialist” culture and economy, having more than one job or vocation was normality. As for you and I today, we can be confident that God’s wisdom never becomes outdated, so neither does Solomon’s point(s) made in this passage.


Biblically speaking, God makes clear through Solomon that life in all its unpredictability carries risks and there is no way around that. While wisdom cannot remove life’s uncertainties, it certainly can help us navigate through and help cope with those risks. Today, we looked at two key areas of uncertainty: First, in the area of finances, Solomon (Qohelet) encourages us to invest wisely. To “cast your bread on the surface of the waters” which is an image from maritime trading, which was a risky business at that time without the fish-finding radar technology we have today. We need to understand that fishing in biblical times (as it is today) can be a very profitable vocation but carries risk. As a wise investor we ought not always be averse to taking some risk, especially when there is genuine possibility of real gain (v.1). It’s part of life and the only way to get ahead and have a more rewarding life. Excess risk can bad, especially in our older years, but taking some risk can always be good. Risk to move to a new city, state or country can be good in our older years. Risk to start a business in retirement can be very good for our minds and our financial well being. Risk at most any time in life is biblical and can be exciting and rewarding.

God makes clear through Solomon that it’s actually a safeguard to diversity our investments rather than putting all of our proverbial edges into one basket (v.2).

In the end, Solomon notes that we was people in general are ignorant of God’s providential dealings in human affairs, as they are on the “path of the wind”.  What did Solomon mean by this We as people do not know which of their ventures will succeed (v.6) or what calamities might come on the earth (v.2) and wipe out our investment(s) and gains. We should be engaged in diligent, active labor and avoid looking to “passive income” as a legitimate income source. Why? Because there is no such thing as “passive income”. If you leave any income source idol, it will eventually be taken over or surpassed by someone less passive than you. Such thinking is laziness, unwise, and a formula for failure as Solomon points out.

The NEB accurately reflects a very accurate interpretation in saying Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 this way: “Send your grain across the seas, and in time you will get a return. Divide your merchandise among seven ventures, eight maybe, since you do not know what disasters may occur on earth”. In reality, like the benefits that come from the seafaring trade of fishing, active participation and involvement in business gives a promise of some return because we are involved in it (v.1; cf. kings 9:26-28; Psalm 107:23). There is always the possibility and risk of “disaster” so every person should make prudent investments in numerous ventures (to seven, yes to eight) rather than put all his or her “eggs in one basket” (Ecclesiastes 11:2).

IN CONCLUSION: As we read today, God is encouraging us not have one job, but perhaps even two or more careers. Why? For diversification, security, and fulfillment. As a by-product, having more than job/vocation is more fulfilling and makes us much more productive. How do I know that? Most of you know that I have a small consulting practice and a non-profit called ReasonForTruth.Org. I also have written four books and started an online academy called EquippedAcademy.Com. It is tough? Absolutely. Is it time consuming? Very much so. Is it rewarding? You bet it is! I don’t watch sports teams or engage in what I deem fruitless recreation. I’m not putting recreation down, only fruitless recreation taken in excess as is the case with many if not most people in America and the West. In our specialized world we tend to have only one job. A a result, having a job in most cases leads to the monolithic mantra of making money and job security to maintain our life style apart from a purpose driven life. In a 2017 Harvard Business article (under Career Planning) titled, Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers by Kabir Sehgal on April 25, 2017 writes, “When you follow your curiosities, you will bring passion to your new careers, which will leave you more fulfilled. And by doing more than one job, you will end up doing all of them better”-Kabir Sehgal

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By Steven Garofalo, September 27, 2023 (Copyright 2023)

How did America get where it's at today? The answer in short is that she has been on a slippery slope for some time; but in reality her weak moral state was capitalized on by poor and wicked leadership. Let's allow the Bible explain why this is by starting with the simple truth that we can learn a few things about choosing very young leaders. They tend to have a lot of energy, spark, charisma and in many cases, knowledge. In other words, they are pretty smart in most cases as far as facts and book knowledge go; but they always lack one thing which is godly wisdom and experience. On the other side we as a society tend to call old guys “old” and ineffective. And in some cases, that's true, but not in most. In 2023, the seat of the presidency is held by a shell of a man; a feeble old man who is non-functional mentally speaking. But not all older people loose their cognitive ability as much as others as they age. What they bring to the table though is their wisdom. Let's take a look at some biblical wisdom to gain better clarity.


King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 10, “Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! (Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 ESV).

In verse 16, Solomon says that an unworthy and unqualified “princes feast in the morning!” (V.16). In biblical times, during Solomon’s reign, to “feast in the morning” meant those leaders were embellishing themselves with personal enjoyment during the most productive time of the work day when they ought to have been working. In the time of Solomon, to start the day with revelry (feasting) instead of tending to official business was the epitome of reckless extravagance or wastefulness by the prince, king or president in the use of their resources and the best time of day for them to get their work done. As for us today in 2023, it has been discovered that the current Presidnet of the United States has taken more vacation time than any other president in United States history. Hence, the point is well made by Solomon in ca 935 B.C. as it is for us today.


So, did America get off-track into a free-fall decent from a president who was too "young" or too "old"? In verse 16 Solomon says that we are to pity those (you and I) who have leaders so young or inexperienced that they lose control over their areas of responsibility or who spend their time banqueting into the early “morning”. When we look at the past three presidents: Obama-Trump-Biden, we can see who fits which category of youth and inexperience and what happened to America on their watch. Look for yourself without ideological-political blinders and answer the question logically for the truth and you might be surprised at your conclusion.


Solomon makes the point in verse 17 that useful leadership (noble leadership) expresses itself in a sense of responsibility and deference to social order. This is the opposite of defunding the police and the failure to prosecute criminals as we have seen numerous District Attorneys do in rogue counties in big U.S. cities. Social order is essential to a stable society, and God’s Word and ways are the only way to accomplish true, fair and balanced “justice”. Social order is better accomplished voluntarily as opposed to strictly law enforcement and when a society is self-regulated out of duty and principles steeped in biblical values (as was the case for the United States for 200 years), it functions well and with very low drama. Looking at verse 17, Solomon makes an argument for “propriety” or the state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior morals as I just described. In other words, when true justice is administered, an imperfect human culture is more willing to follow the conventional standards set forth by government leaders simply because they trust them to do the right thing. This is a major problem and perhaps the biggest problem in American culture at present. So what can we do and how should we think about these things?

IN CONCLUSION: Solomon points out that the “proper time” four our rulers (princes) to feast is not first thing in the morning, but later and for strength to rule rightly with a stable and sober mind, and not for drunkenness. The same is true for you and I in how we run our families, companies, government, and especially our churches. In verses 16-20 Solomon gives us the third example of folly in addressing that folly is the fool’s leadership. A land with a wise, noble “king” (leader) will make sure that his subordinates work hard for the good of the land (country, company, family, neighborhood, condo-association, community, etc.). A noble leaders will use the resources at their disposal to strengthen them in and for the tasks at hand. When God’s principles of leadership are followed, such a “land” is “blessed” (v.17). In contrast a “land, whose king is a young inexperienced (and often godless) lad”-meaning someone immature and foolish (such as Obama) Solomon says “woe” to that land/country (v.16a). Such a leader eventually allows his nobles to use their resources inappropriately to “feast in the morning”, a sure sign of dissipation, or decent into drunkenness and immorality (v.16a) as we have seen culminate in our government, military and culture at large.

In the end, Solomon goes on to make clear that the foolish laziness of leaders is all about control of their subjects and eventually bring disaster on both “house” and land (v.18). WHY? Because they are too enamored with money and parties to care otherwise (v.19) They end up only squandering the resources of the land (country). And there is no relief in sight BECAUSE one (the average person) has little if any say, recourses and influence with such a foolish leader (king). As a matter of facet, to even criticize such a leader or government may come back to him in the form of censorship, punishment and grief to the complainer (v.20). 

A such, my goal is not to be political in this article, but to simply point out the TRUTH in what God tells us through the Bible. In this case, what God told us through King Solomon 3000 years ago in relation to human behavior, sin, rebellion and mankind’s free will to be lazy and not make the hard decisions to keep an orderly society in tact. For you and I today, we might learn a few things about choosing very leaders; especially young charasmatic leaders. Keep in mind that such leaders tend to have a lot of energy, spark, charisma and in many cases, knowledge, but in the end, they act according to their youth and not experience and tried and true biblical wisdom. In other words, they are pretty intelligent in most cases as far as facts and book knowledge go; but they pretty much always lack one thing-wisdom and experience. We tend to call old guys “old” and ineffective, and in some case regarding cognitive decay, that’s true; but that is not always related to age. The real question is what a potential leader brings to the table though their wisdom, experience and good intentions in as much as they line up with biblical wisdom.

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By Steven Garofalo, September 25, 2023 (Copyright 2023)

Today, September 25th of 2023, the state of Texas has declared a legal (and U.S. Constitutional) right of State of Emergency from foreign invasion. As a result, the state is organizing it's military resources to amass and defend the Texas boarder from foreign invasion.

Many Christians have the misled idea that having compassion on people coming to America for a better life illegally is somehow moral. The same can be said in Europe. That is biblical wrong and the tide of public opinion is changing rapidly, drastically, and overwhelmingly-rejecting the concept of no-boarders and illegal immigration en-mass.

WHY? First, it’s effecting the personal lives and safety, security, livelihood and identity of the entire nation. Second, “what is moral is determined by God (as found in His Word) and not by man or woman’s opinion or emotional feelings. I would submit that when all is said and done, there will be far less compassion on foreigners and immigration as a rsult of both legal and illegal immigration.

This begs the question as to WHAT the Bible say about foreign invasion:  Jesus says in Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” Military and civilian peacemakers alike are and will be blessed in as much as they properly protect their state and citizens (state and nation) from foreign invasion, human traffickers, murderers and even illegal innocent people from illegally entering and overtaking the land; draining resources from people who have and continue to pay taxes legally but are denied the legal support owed to them. Looking at the Old Testament, it is abundelntly clear that foreign "invasion" was an ongoing struggle for Israel. This was as true in their taking the Promise Land as it was with Israel and Judah being invaded by their enemies. Let's take a look at what the Bible says.


In Judges 6 “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years He gave them into the hands if the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves (not the foreign invaders!) in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amelekits and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys.”…It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help” (Judges 6:1-6).

In the case of Judges 6, God allowed invasion to wake up His people as to their doing evil in the eyed of God. I believe the United States and Europe are under the very same situation (judgement) in that we have gotten so far away from God morally, sexually, worshipping sex and all things materially and monetarily that God has no other option other than to bring sobriety upon us through the invasion of our land, people and culture-until we wake up to God, His Word and ways. Thankfully, both the United States and Europe are waking up. Most people think that most illegal immigrants of of Hispanic decent, but they are not. Many if not most are from Northern African and like Islamic rooted peoples/countries. Diversity is good, but eliminating the Judaea-Christian morals in culture and from law is extremely dangerous and bad in that it will dismantle any nation from it’s foundation (changing our legal system, cultural values, traditions and existence.)

In an article titled “What Is The Land God Promised Israel” on GotQuestions.Com, it says, “There is probably no more disputed real estate on earth than the land of Israel. Even calling it “Israel” will raise objections from some quarters. The Jewish people lay claim to the land because they first held possession of it millennia ago and because God directly gave them the land, as recorded in the Bible. In Genesis 12:7, God promises Abram, who had just arrived in Canaan, “To your offspring I will give this land.”

This leads us to the ask the question, "Did God give the Israelites a land without boarders?" Did God give the Israelites the land to possess? What makes any human being conclude that boarders don’t matter?

Illegal immigration is the single most important and unifying issue in Europe and the United States at the present moment and I would assert that without boarders, you and I have no country. Like Israel, the United States and Europe are in a very dangerous position with open boarders and it must be addressed by Christians without emotional feelings leading the solution. Compassion must be bridled and led by the law: What is legal and right while being compassionate in the execution of the law and the protection of it's legal citizens. Compassion ought never eliminate the law.

IN CLOSING, while the state of Texas that has declared a state of emergency as an act of war regarding the invasion of foreign nationals, President trump declared that he will in the case of a second presidency intact the single largest deportation of illegal invading immigrants in the history of the United States. He is simply saying that he will take the legal steps to enforce the law which God gave us to begin with. As such, let’s make sure that we don’t support the unbiblical, godless invasion of our nation, no matter where you live in the world. As the state of Texas has declared their legal and U.S. Constitutional right of State of Emergency from foreign invasion, let’s be sure to support God and the law and not the political emotions that will pepper the media. Many Christians and people in the USA and Europe in general have the misled idea that having compassion on people coming into their country for a better life (illegally) is somehow good and moral. God’s Word is clear that if yo want to come, come legally, and don’t invade another country by populous force. The tide of public opinion has and is changing rapidly,drastically and overwhelmingly-rejecting the concept of no-boarders and illegal immigration en-mass. Let’s pray that the body of Christ and all citizens wake up to God and His Word as laid out in the Bible.

What can we do? First, pray. Second, make sure to share the truth of God in His Word with 3-5 people over the next week or two. Third, take your faith serious through studying the Bible and living it out in your life. And that’s how we will stabilize our nation here and abroad. And lastly, make sure that you support the law and not the decisions of lawless leaders. God is above you, me and all leaders; whether they act biblically or not.

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