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Yearly Archives: 2013
Most who watch the news in light of Bible prophecy agree that the world has moved into a time of birthpang-like convulsions. While such contractions have been observable for a long time, they seem now to be only minutes apart, rather than months and years apart, like in previous decades. It is with this frame of reference I would like to do some scenario postulating.
By doing so, I am setting myself up for severe criticism, I realize. So, I want to preface this in the strongest possible terminology. Please read carefully: This is from the thought process of Terry James, not from the mind of the Creator of all things. While I do believe the Lord gives discernment in the areas of things to come (prophecy yet future), He no longer reveals new prophetic truth in the sense He revealed prophecy to Old and New Testament prophets–i.e., God has given His Word, and there is nothing left to be given, so far as prophetic truth is concerned. Now, we who study the prophetic Word can get enlightenment and discernment. I base the following on that premise –that I sense possibilities, based upon prayer, study, and observation. What follows is postulation from a human being in God’s family (through belief in Jesus Christ as Savior). It is speculation, but, I believe, speculation that has been placed in my mind by the Holy Spirit. It is not a “word of knowledge,” as some would have it. It is an assiduously studied and prayed-over speculative insight, I believe.
It is with that understanding that I would like to look somewhat into things to come.
The prophet Zechariah comes most specifically to mind, when beginning these ponderings: “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech. 12: 1-3).
Israel appears to be headed toward exactly the isolation outlined in Zechariah’s prophecy for the end of human history. The tiny Jewish state is being more and more blamed by the international community for its retaliation against incessant attacks from its enemies. While terrorists are given shelter and endless supplies from countries like Iran, they are given time to resupply, rebuild their losses for their terroristic assaults by those like U.N. Secretaries, with cease-fire resolutions which, even if implemented, are kept only by the Israelis, never by the Hezbollah or Hamas or other murderers.
The latest convulsion brings to mind the question: Might this be the time violence will reach the level that is dangerous to the point world diplomats will become so terrified at the prospect of nuclear conflict they will demand peace above all other considerations? Here’s an interesting scenario:
Israel continues to move toward a preemptive attack to slow or eliminate Iran’s atomic weapons development. Israel becomes increasingly isolated in its determination to eradicate these terrorists who have bedeviled them throughout their modern nationhood.
Even within the U.S., there is an increasing cry for Israel to desist from its aggressive actions –which is exactly how the ever-present “peace” purveyors view the actions by Israel.
The tide in America turns more and more against Israel, while world media and the international community castigate the Jewish state at every turn. Israel’s only true friends are Christians in the United States who believe Israel is God’s chosen people and nation. While those Christians don’t approve of every action and everything Israel does, they continue to believe that Israel has the right to exist, and more than that, that Israel (the Jews) continues to be the heir to all of the land God granted it. The Lord has never gone back on His land covenant. “If his sons forsake My law, and do not walk in My judgments, if they violate My statues, and do not keep My commandments, then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My loving kindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful” (Psa. 89:30-37).
Just as the war is about to explode into an uncontrollable conflict, the rapture of the Church occurs.
One can only faintly imagine the fear that will result. Every supporter of Israel’s right to exist, because of the belief that it has a God-given right to the land He gave it, has suddenly vanished without a trace –except for the material possessions left behind. Israeli leadership –especially the military leaders –panicked because of complete loss of this support, and with Washington and all of Israel’s key U.S. supportive structure gone, seeks to neutralize its enemies as quickly as possible.
They destroy Damascus with a tactical nuclear strike because that city is headquarters for every significant terrorist organization in the Middle East. Damascus, known as the oldest city of continuing existence in the world, is reduced to radiation-contaminated rubble: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isa. 17:1).
Now the international community of nations is in sure enough distress, with perplexity! Israel has made itself a cup of trembling, and a burdensome stone.
Peace is the word most often heard, while the diplomats, and even the dictators, scream for Israel to be brought into subjection. But, Israel still holds the Samson Option (to bring everyone and everything down around it with all-out nuclear war, if it appears the Jewish state faces annihilation).
America is in chaos, having lost a sizable portion of population, including many who were in key positions of government and business. Who will pay the taxes? Who will pay off the tremendous personal debt that has been charged over the months and years preceding the disappearance?
America’s leadership looks for any solution to the chaos. The infrastructure is still there, but the nation is fumbling for any semblance of restoration to its former status as the world’s lone superpower.
The world searches for peace. America seeks desperately for something –someone, anyone—to restore its former glory. Israel faces destruction, and the diplomats in the know realize the Jews have vowed “Never again!”
Just as the world seems destined to come apart, a man of unusual diplomatic acumen and charisma is shoved forward out of the crowd of EU nations. He explains that Europe, unlike the U.S., hasn’t sustained the degree of loss of people. He has some answers to the itching ears and terror-stricken minds of everyone around the globe.
With America’s basic infrastructure of technology and nuclear arsenal still intact, he proposes the western world, with the EU at its center, restructure, bringing America under the umbrella of the Europeans’ governmental capability. He proposes a redistribution of the wealth of America –the wealth of those who disappeared– thrown into the mix to raise the unfortunates of the western world out of poverty. It will be a superstate to end all superstates!
Israel, he proposes, will have the complete protection of this burgeoning superstate. The caveat is that it must agree to disarm –to turn in its nuclear arsenal. It will be assured of its existence, and will be restored to favorable status within the community of nations.
There is no option for Israel other than this brilliantly conceived resolution. Israel accepts, and the agreement is made, based upon peace efforts that have been in process for years. It is a peace based upon the constructs of man’s capability to create the most magnificent society in history. Every person,once electronically documented, will be part of the new order. Terrorists and all others of diabolical bent will become manifest, and easier to eliminate.
Oh, well… Then I awake from my scenario-ponderings. Such a scenario might not be precisely the shape of things to come. But, our hourly headlines should nudge us to consider the possibilities.
The United States stands upon the brink of entering uncharted territory in many areas of national movement into the future. Economy is one such area. America’s Out of control momentum–generated by credit and market crises since the 2008 elections– pushes the nation toward a destiny the experts talk about but seem unable to comprehend, much less predict.
Uncertainty about petroleum and the end game for that critical commodity has for the moment left the forefront of national and international crises. But, don’t be lulled into thinking we’ve heard the last of extremely troubling energy prices that are tied up to that finite resource. America, the most dependent of all national oil-dependent entities, is but a Middle East crisis away from suffering problems even greater than the oil crisis of a few years ago.
Both matters are, of course, inextricably tied to one another. The petroleum crisis, mixed in with the monetary/credit fiscal affairs of all nations, means unprecedented global solutions are forthcoming–are already on their way, as a matter of fact. The resolution, or at least rational ways of dealing with this new global paradigm upon the brink of which America stands, almost certainly revolves around whether there is war or peace in the Middle East.
According to recent statistics, with America’s Gross National Product (GNP) down and consumer spending moving downward because of loss of confidence in job security and other economic realities or perceived realities, the nation seems to be in perpetual recession. European economic experts in some quarters say that some parts of Europe are definitely in deep recession. Business and consumers alike are looking to what the future holds with regard to projected economic circumstances and financial instrumentalities that might be employed to bring forth brighter prospects. When the gurus of global economics look at potential Mid-East turmoil, one thing stands out: There must be peace in the region for the world’s economy to get better, and stay better.
There is, by any rational account, enough blame to go around on how the U.S., thus the industrialized world, got into this mess. President Barack Obama’s dismal popularity statistics at this late hour of his administration demonstrate that the buck stops on the president’s desk. But there are, in the electorates’ view, apparently many bucks to go around because Congress, dominated during the Obama Administration by the Democratic Party, has a popularity rating even more dismal than the president’s. Clearly, though, the entire government is held accountable by the public.
The voter who wants to discern what is best for America in a geopolitical sense should look at the nation Israel. That nation, though tiny, is nonetheless a powerhouse that, despite the deluding voices that claim Israel is the problem in the Middle East, maintains the balance and stability that keep the region from boiling into total war. America’s alliance with the Jewish state is critical in helping maintain a perhaps uncomfortable, but working, stabilization.
Israel’s enemies are legendary for taking advantage of perceived weakness. Anyone who denies that just doesn’t know anything about the history of Mid-East war and peace and are sadly deluded–or are lying. And this brings up the critical nature of the American elections during this upcoming mid-term and then the presidential election year.
It is absolutely crucial to have a president and a working congressional bipartisanship that remain allied in an unyielding way to Israel.
Does this mean that Israel is never wrong? No, of course not. However, in matters of the Jewish state’s security –its right to exist–America must never relent. To do so would certainly bring on war. And Israel, despite its split leadership, has collectively vowed, “Never again!” This administration has clearly, undeniably, moved away from the commitment this nation has always held for the Jewish state. God, of course, is Israel’s ultimate Protector. There will never cease to be an Israel, from here to eternity. But, the Lord uses human offices to work in His dealings with mankind for the most part. Thus, America has been used to ally with Israel since its modern birth in 1948.
A president who moves America away from Israel will be disastrous. Such will be calamitous in the human alliance sense, but it will be much more so in the sense of violating the place in His plan that God has determined for the United States as the world moves into prophecy yet future. America’s desertion of Israel in any way whatever will be violation of Genesis 12:3.
Europeans, despite their jealousies of U.S. leadership and other antagonisms for America, understand at the top levels of leadership the importance of presidential elections for the world. A number of years ago, even before Obama was elected, one European leader expressed his concern. His worst fears have been born out, in my opinion. “JERUSALEM, Israel – French President Nicholas Sarkozy remains leery of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s stance on Iran, according to reports received by the Israeli government. In closed forums in France, Sarkozy called Obama’s statements on Iran ‘utterly immature’ and ‘formulations empty of all content.’ During Obama’s July visit to France, Sarkozy reportedly told the Democratic candidate that it would be ‘very problematic’ if the U.S. changes its policy toward Iran. Sarkozy is also concerned that if elected, Obama would attempt to ‘arrogantly’ override the U.N. Security Council’s position by making good on his promise to open direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions. Since their meeting, Sarkozy has continued to express disappointment with Obama’s stance on Iran, saying that it’s ‘not crystallized,’ and ‘many issues’ remain open…” (“Sarkozy Wary of Obama’s Iranian Stance,” CBNNews.com,10/28/08).
Much of Sarkozy’s concerns have materialized, it is disturbing to say. Every week I receive emails castigating me for concerning myself with political issues–with election matters. By insinuating ourselves into this earthly process of governing, I am–so the arguments go—becoming part of the humanistic drive that will enslave mankind under Antichrist.
I consider my concern for who is elected our leaders a matter of occupying until our Lord calls us to himself, either through death or, I prayerfully hope, in the rapture. I am convinced by God’s Word that, like each one who reads this and is a born-again member of God’s family, we are to serve as royal ambassadors while here. We are to be salt and light to an ever-darkening world.
Giving the Gospel message is the Christian’s number-one priority, of course. But, Jesus said in His Great Commission that we should teach whatever He taught while we go through this life. Part of the Lord’s teaching was to show the way for the world to live righteously under God’s rules–rules that Jesus Christ fulfilled on the cross. The Lord of heaven sets up nations and their leaders, the Bible tells us, and He brings them down. He wants us involved.
He commanded us to bless Israel. We will thereby be blessed by God. We are to stand for not shedding the blood of innocents. We are to uphold God’s prescription for the marriage relationship. We are to fight against the evils of this world. Sometimes that means fighting evil physically through the courts–through the political process, as well as through the spiritual warfare given in Ephesians 6.
As a matter of fact, dealing physically or literally, and dealing spiritually with God’s prescription for life on Planet Earth are not mutually exclusive. We must be involved; God demands it!
My research in writing my book –The American Apocalypse: Is the United States in Bible Prophecy?—(released in 2009) took me back to God’s harsh dealing with America in the 1930s. The things Americans suffered were considered by preachers and politicians alike to be God’s wrath and judgment.
One well-known writer, John Steinbeck, even gave his famous novel on that depressed time in America the title, The Grapes of Wrath. America had gone through a tremendous time of growth and relative prosperity during the “Gay 90s” (for the younger readers, it had nothing to do with the Clinton years, nor with homosexuality). It was the 1890s, and the term “gay” still enjoyed its proper definition.
Despite the early 1900s bringing about World War I, the nation leaped forward, and soon the “Roaring Twenties” brought forth the flappers and boisterous, even debauched, “good times.” Reformers tried to squash the hedonism, and with the passage of the 18th Amendment instituted prohibition against alcohol manufacture, sale, and transportation. The action only increased rebellion against morality. American gangsters took over, and illegal booze, gambling, and every other type of nefarious activity permeated culture and society.
Then in 1929 came the stock market crash in the United States, and worldwide depression quickly followed. The wrath of God had fallen! Or had it?
No, it had not. Neither had His judgment against America’s sin fallen upon the nation, thus affecting the world–not in the sense of God’s great judgment that came upon the antediluvians, the wicked, violent, even genetically corrupted earth dwellers of Noah’s day.
But God’s mighty hand of correction through the Great Depression and the horrendous “Dust Bowl” era came down hard on the backside of this nation He so manifestly chose to accomplish great things for His great purposes. Those things would include, in particular: 1) developing the technologies that would spread the gospel around the entire world, and 2) to act as midwife for the birth of modern Israel on May 14, 1948, and to become that Jewish peoples’ closest ally–an ally which just happened to soon become the most materially blessed, most powerful, and most influential nation the world has ever known.
America has, despite recession, economic downturns, and wars that took thousands of young American lives, known a standard of living and pleasures–both unsullied and debauched—like no generation of any people in history. The profoundly disturbing questions to ponder are: Will God choose to again correct this special nation called America? Or, will He take His hand off to an extent, allowing the U.S. to find its own way, which is what the majority of the electorate seems to want?
Daily I get email from people who fear this nation will now feel the Lord’s hand of wrath. The die is cast, as one of Shakespeare’s characters said. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that “judgment and wrath is about to fall” opinion. At least not in the immediate near term way many who send the fear-filled emails believe.
God’s wrath is building. It will be unleashed when the “prince that shall come” confirms the covenant with Israel and Israel’s antagonists (Daniel 9:26-27). That pouring out of God’s anger won’t happen until the Church is removed. However, there is almost certainly a heavenly decision that has already been made, and is even now in the process of implementation. It is likely the decision to either take corrective measures as in God’s past dealings with America in order to get this nation back on the moral course, to complete its work in His grand prophetic design, or to give rebellious masses what they more and more demonstrate they demand. They demand freedom to choose what is right in their own eyes.
God’s decision to take His hand off to some extent would be far more fearful than His again taking corrective action like world economic depression. To let the rebels do what is right in their own eyes, thus casting God away from any semblance of divine guidance, means America’s work is done. That is indeed a frightening thing to contemplate.
I must say that I, with reverential consideration, don’t expect immediate meltdown and correction from Almighty God. I believe with all that is within me that He has been demonstrating corrective movements over the past years and months–movements that have gone unheeded by even the majority of His people. These have chosen, it is obvious to me, at least, to bury their heads in the sands of watered-down messages that have practically no relevance to God’s message of doctrinal truth. Rather than revival, there have been false, emotional outbursts that have done disservice to the Lord who purchased each and every one who has been born again. It seems to me that the Church’s work, like that of America, has almost run its course.
Dave Hunt once wrote a book called Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust. His basic premise was that this fallen world system, and particularly the United States and even the Church, would be drawn ever deeper into believing in humanistic salvation by seeming peace and prosperity. He demonstrated, then, through historical precedent and Bible prophecy both past and yet to come that the world of fallen man will at a future time of unprecedented evil activity on earth endure a holocaust far worse than that perpetrated by Adolf Hitler. The end will bring, he concluded, God’s wrath and judgment on an incorrigibly wicked world.
I believe America and the world might yet have another burst of so-called peace and prosperity. But the “change” the country and the world is clamoring for through trust in human governmental entities rather than God’s moral governance will, as my friend Dave Hunt wrote, swiftly bring the holocaust of the tribulation.
Let us pray for the president –even when it seems to do no good– and for all governmental leaders, so that we might lead peaceful lives. This is commanded of us by the Lord. But, let us work to complete whatever He puts in front of us to do for the Kingdom. Let us, as Oswald Chambers entitled his book of devotions, do “Our utmost for His highest” while our fleeting time remains upon this fallen sphere.
So many end-times signals pervade the present hour that it’s difficult to choose one for this column. They are all important to our being faithful watchmen on the wall. We can always present analysis of news from Israel and the Middle East, or from the European Union, Russia, Iran, Iraq and China. We can–and often do—observe geophysical signals that look much like prophecy in the making. Economy, religion, and societal and cultural matters are most often somewhat less manifest on our prophecy screens of observation. Hidden down in the sub-strata of these categories are issues and events that are most often missed, or ignored. The old adage “can’t see the forest for the trees” applies in these cases. These are the issues that have become such a part of American–and even foreign—cultural life that we often miss their significance.
I would like to deal with one area of these prophetic sub-categories for a moment. Actually, the potential ramifications involved in this singular issue likely will be at the very heart of rebellious mankind’s final rebellion against God, as follows:
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds” (Rev. 16:10-11).
I would like to examine one of the “deeds” of which these hell-bound rebels will refuse to repent. This is because I believe this particular “deed” is becoming a prodigious problem in our time. We recently witnessed this through news media that has obviously gone completely bonkers in its obsession in reporting the matters involved.
The prophecy is given as part of the Apostle Paul’s “perilous times” forewarnings: “For men shall be…incontinent, fierce…” (2 Tim. 3:2-3). The word “incontinent” here doesn’t mean that adult diapers are required. The term means people will be unwilling and/or unable to control their desires. They will be totally addicted. Here’s the prophecy that captures the particular addiction to which that left-behind people will be willfully enslaved: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Rev. 9:21).
The problem, so critical in our day that it is almost certainly the great addiction that will fulfill this prophecy during the most terrible time of judgment during the tribulation, is wrapped up in the word “sorceries.” Its root meaning is key to understanding what this great addiction will be when Revelation 9:21 comes to pass. Here is what one of the best Bible teachers to ever live–in my view–has to say about this matter:
“Sorceries” is the Greek word pharmakeion, from which we get our English word “pharmacy.” Pharmacy means “drugs”. What were called drugstores when I was a boy are now called pharmacies. The Great Tribulation will be a period when the use of drugs will not be controlled. Drugs will play a large part in the lives of the unsaved and will serve several purposes. Drugs will enable them to bear the judgments of the Great Tribulation…” (Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Edited Messages Commentary, p. 971).
News media reporters and pundits, as well as many of the fans/followers of the entertainment industry celebrities and their activities, are stunned when their heroes and heroines die as result of drug overdose. We remember Heath Ledger, the 28-year-old Australian actor who starred in “The 10 Things I Hate About You,” in Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot,” and in “Brokeback Mountain,” was found nude and lifeless in his New York City apartment. He is but one of many within the entertainment business to die from deliberate or accidental overdose. The drugs that took the actor’s life were, apparently, prescription–not illicit in nature.
We remember Judy Garland’s and Marilyn Monroe’s stories. John Belushi, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Anna Nicole, and dozens more have gone the way of one form or the other of pharmakeion.
Sadly, we are given the media eye’s view of possible tragedies in the making when the paparazzi follow the lives of stars like Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan. Drugs and alcohol, according to news reports, are at the center of many of the bizarre incidents in which these young people are involved.
Those who name the name of Christ should pray for these caught up in this demon world of addictions, rather than simply cast invectives, saying overtly, or in effect, that they deserve what they get. Their influence on the youth of America is considerable, and we should pray that they turn in the opposite direction and become truly positive role models. God loves them and wants to bring them out of the darkness of this world, which is ruled over by the devil and his minions.
The perilous times Paul foretells are with us, we can know, because the Scripture frames precisely what we see today: “For men shall be … incontinent, fierce…” (2 Tim. 3:2-3).
There is no doubt that the most violent crimes in the news today are usually reported in tandem with drug dealings. Both dealers and those under the influence of pharmakeion are the fiercest among us. No one is safe when standing between the dealers and their drug money, or the addicts and their next fix.
The prophecy in Revelation proves the demonic, supernatural strength of addictions. With the very last vials of God’s pure wrath being poured upon the rebellious earth-dwellers, they, rather than repent and plead for mercy, shake their fists in the Creator’s face and curse Him. As bad as the addictions are at present, they, according to God’s prophetic Word, are scheduled to get infinitely worse as mankind moves down the hellish path prepared for them by Satan and his demonic hordes.
Pray for those held in this bondage. Only Christ’s return as King of Kings can and will ultimately prevail against this thing called pharmakeion. It is one of the most prominent end-times signals to be found in this generation.
I preface these thoughts by saying that all conspiracy ranting goes against my basic worldview, with the exception of one conspiracy, which is not theory, but fact. Satan and his minions are out to destroy all human beings to the extent it is possible for them to do so. This is made clear in many Scriptures, but none is so concise as this one: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
It is in this context that we should be concerned about developments taking place with regard to economic rearrangements within the North American continent. We need to keep in mind that it is not politicians and diplomats who are conspiring to do sinister things in order to somehow create a hemispheric dictatorship. For the most part, I believe we can give them the benefit of the doubt. They believe economic rearrangements into a unified order will produce a higher quality of life for all concerned.
However, Satan intends something entirely different than that scenario, and he does indeed stalk about, orchestrating the rearrangements that will, ultimately, destroy the majority of mankind during the last seven years of human history known to Bible prophecy dispensationalists as the tribulation, also known as Daniel’s seventieth week. This era, of course, will be the dispensation ruled over in large part by Antichrist and his regime of absolute control. We can get the first glimpse of this coming tyrannical world government in the following:
“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Dan. 2:40-43).
The prophet Daniel interpreted Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a gigantic statue of a man. This, Daniel told the king, represented four world kingdoms, of which Nebuchadnezzar was the head. The final world kingdom was represented by the legs of iron, the prophet foretold, and the feet and 10 toes of that dream-vision image will represent the final world kingdom in its revived and most murderous form. Here is what God’s prophetic Word has to say about that final regime:
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).
This final world power, then, will have 10 separate spheres of influence that will all agree to come under the auspices of “the beast,” who will be none other than Antichrist. Read Revelation 13 to see the development of this satanically inspired, and ultimately indwelt, prince who will come (Daniel 9:26).
These will be “of one mind,” but will not “cleave” (or stick together) one to another. These will have great power, and it will all flow to Antichrist. The conglomerate whole will constitute a one-world order, or, as the concept used to be called under President George H.W. Bush, “the New World Order.” Powerful economic dynamics will drive this beast-regime. Remember, the root of all kinds of evil is the love of money, according to God’s Word (1 Tim. 6:10).
A large part of our charge by the Lord as watchmen on the wall is to watch issues and events of these times to determine where we might stand as a generation on God’s prophetic timeline; i.e., determining just how near we might be to the tribulation era, thus to the rapture of the Church, which will precede that time of God’s wrath. We have pointed and continue to point to the many signals that show how very near we must be to that world-stupefying event. All indicators show that we are very near indeed!
Israel is again a nation, surrounded by enemies, and is the center of attention for world media and diplomats. Paul’s perilous times of 2 Timothy 3 are exploding on the current scene throughout all societies and cultures. I’ve pointed to the fact that we seem to be in the midst of a revisitation by the fallen angels who again want to delude people, just as in the days of Noah, and like Jesus prophesied as recorded in Luke 17: 26-27. (I believe the words of Daniel 2: 43, “…they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men…” have something to do with these inter-dimensional beings insinuating themselves into the developing 10-kingdom mix, as they did in antediluvian times.)
Ancient Persia, in the form of modern-day Iran, is cozy with Russia, just as the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies foretold the people of these geographical areas will be at the time of the end, when the Gog-Magog attack into the Middle East and Israel is scheduled to occur. All of these things are coming in wave after wave, in birthpang-like frequency and intensity, like Hal Lindsey likes to say, and as Jesus prophesied in the Olivet Discourse.
The European Union looks very much to be the matrix out of which the 10-power kingdom of Revelation 17:12-13 will grow, and out of which the man of sin, Antichrist, will spring to power. So, the question to ask, so far as the subject we are addressing now is concerned is: Do we see any indications of the separate powers developing that will “give their power and authority to the beast”?
Again, I’m not clasping onto any conspiracy theory in this regard, involving human geopolitical leadership. Man simply hasn’t the intellectual or derived powers to either formulate or carry out such a scheme. But, in my view, Satan certainly does have that ability –and, he is beginning to arrange things in preparation for his man of the tribulation hour, the guy whose number somehow equates to 666 –the Antichrist. The answer to the question is, I’m convinced, yes! We are seeing movement toward geographical powers trying to rearrange into configuration that might one day be the 10-kingdom entity that will give their power and authority to the beast. Rearrangements by the internationalist, human principalities in high places have been in process of manipulation and orchestrated to the tune of the old serpent, Satan, for decades. The North American Free Trade Agreement office in the Department of Commerce, commissioned to implement the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP, would, upon full implementation of the globalists’ intentions, merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new governmental, world trade bloc.
Developments around the world in geopolitical-economic matters, are shaping in a way that portends just the types of arrangements forecast in Daniel 2:43 and Revelation 17:12-13. GATT (Guaranteed Agreements on Trade and Tariffs), WTO (World Trade Organization) movement, and all of the other powerful monetary pressures for a one-world economy bring that final global tyrannical regime into view. The tribulation toes are forming rapidly in these troubling yet exciting times.
Perhaps no other classification of prophetic indicators exhibits more ubiquitous/prolific such end-time signs in this generation than the category “other gospels.” The Scriptures are found back-to-back, and are repeated by the Apostle Paul for emphasis.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9).
This specific prophetic warning for the last generation just before Christ’s return is again given by the great Apostle and prophet, Paul: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Satan comes at this generation with a full, frontal assault that no Christian should fail to recognize. Tragically, most do miss the attacks, so wrapped in the entertainment hyperbole of the day are they, their eyes on the glitter and glitz of the Hollywood hucksters of lasciviousness. Two examples of the frontal assaults in this regard were the novel, The Da Vinci Code, and the archaeological artifact and subsequent documentary film, The Gospel of Judas.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Browns sold more than 40-million-plus copies. A major motion picture of the same title drew multiple throngs and rang the cash registers at the box offices. In essence, the work is a clever, but complete fabrication of matters surrounding Roman Emperor Constantine and his treatment of and interaction with Christianity. The story distorts and totally misrepresents the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. It gives Jesus greatly diminished status and a nature that is willing to enter into collusion with those who would fake His death, burial and resurrection. As if those blasphemies were not enough, Brown takes up the line of fiction that follows the trail of the search for the Holy Grail from the Holy Land into Europe, where the British Israel theory was hatched –the preposterous notion that Jesus and Mary were married and issued forth offspring that still can claim royal lineage to Christ today.
Sadly, much of the replacement theology of our time is based in this satanic tripe because of the ignorance of those who hold to the belief that Israel no longer is heir to God’s promises to them. The blasphemy of claiming God would ever renege on an unconditional promise is held as doctrinal truth by major denominations within Christianity today. I believe it is one of the key elements of doctrinal integrity that will one day separate the Philadelphian Church from the Laodicean (read Rev. 3:7-19).
The second most overt frontal assault is currently being made by Satan and his minions through The Gospel of Judas. This is a complete upside-down lie that makes Judas not Jesus’ worst human enemy, but His best friend! It is incredible that we could come to this point in the perversion of God’s truth. But, here we are, right on schedule in relationship to all other prophetic signs of the times, so far as God’s prophetic Word is concerned.
One writer of a major publication framed The Gospel of Judas like this:
“…What will make this gospel famous—or infamous, perhaps—is that it portrays Judas quite differently from anything we previously knew. Here he is not the evil, corrupt, devil-inspired follower of Jesus who betrayed his master; he is instead Jesus’ closest intimate and friend, the one who understood Jesus better than anyone else, who turned Jesus over to the authorities because Jesus wanted him to do so. This gospel has a completely different understanding of God, the world, Christ, salvation, human existence—not to mention of Judas himself—than came to be embodied in the Christian creeds and canon. It will open up new vistas for understanding Jesus and the religious movement he founded” (Bart Ehrman, et al., “The Gospel of Judas,” National Geographic, 2006).
As disturbing as these blasphemies are, there are others far more troubling, in my view. They are far more troubling because they come, supposedly, from within Christianity. The most egregious examples are the new Bible versions based upon texts other than the authorized.
There isn’t space to go into detail here, but the new “Bibles” that tone down the blood atonement of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, or that relegate God to gender-neutral status rather than acknowledging Him in the masculine –that try to present a message that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with things like judgment, punishment, or Hell –that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with Christ’s coming again and the prophetic Word, are not Heaven-sent, but hell-spawned.
Let us not be deceived by those who seek to diminish Jesus Christ in any form. Let’s not fall for any other gospel, but be fortified and edified by that once given –the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). That is essential to understand in this last time.
Most every signal is appearing on the landscape of this generation. We’ve pointed to them time and time again in these commentaries. Primary in our look at prophetic matters are things wrapped up in geopolitics. Israel, in particular, we’ve pointed out numerous times, is at the center of the last-days analysis.
All of earth’s diplomatic machinery seems geared to deal with the potential for nuclear conflict in the Middle East. And, one can’t think of the Middle East turmoil without acknowledging that the tiny nation Israel would likely be the ignition point for what many fear will become Armageddon. Religion is an area that continually draws our attention as prophecy watchers, using God’s Word, the Bible, as the blueprint for the consummation of human history.
There is scheduled, according to that blueprint, the amalgamation of many religions, and an apostasy that will culminate in a vast religious conglomerate that will be antithetical to all that is the true Church of Jesus Christ. Even the evangelical members of the Body of Christ have begun to seriously give way to the apostasia predicted in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. Many have joined the entertainment-mad world of secularism in their delusion that greater numbers in the sanctuaries translates to a greater spirituality. The question that must be asked, however, is: to what “spirituality” does such clamoring after truly lead?
Signs in the heavens and the earth have begun to manifest themselves. This is not to say that these are the “signs in the heavens and the earth” prophesied by the Lord Jesus for the time of great tribulation. Those spasms will be infinitely more powerful and intense, no doubt. But, they could easily be viewed as early birth pangs that are leading swiftly toward the “time of sorrows” Jesus plainly predicted. The record hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the rest are convulsions of a planet pregnant with judgment that continues to fill in God’s cup of wrath.
Jesus words, as I’ve suggested before, seem to be coming true in our time. He told the pious religionists who commanded him to stop the people from shouting “Hosanna!” while He rode the little donkey into Jerusalem to offer himself as Israel’s Messiah: “…I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Lk. 19:40).
The people of Planet Earth are, for the most part, “holding their peace” –i.e., are denying Christ and rebelling against the Heavenly Father. The very elements in the astrophysical and geophysical realms are, in my view, therefore, increasingly crying out.
All of the above are strong signals of the last time in which we live. But, the signal that makes even spiritually attuned prophecy watchers, who would be normally on guard for the subtleness of time as it creeps toward the era of apocalypse, like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, is money. Mammon, the love of which is the root of all evil, slowly weaves its web like a deadly spider, networking and ensnaring, until liberty itself is encased in a cocoon of soul-destroying bondage. We see the ultimate outcome of the evil Babylonian system of economics. It is indeed a frightful picture for the generation of earth dwellers that will have to endure it. The captains of industry will lament its destruction by the wrathful hand of God.
“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!” (Rev. 18: 11-18).
Just as we can see the many other signals of the gathering hurricane of apocalypse, we see that end-time economics –the world’s love of money—has long been in the process of gelling into a glue-like quagmire, out of which the people of earth will not be able to extricate themselves. As a matter of fact, God’s Word prophesies that there will be a group of economic masters who will one day enjoy power at the level just below earth’s supreme tyrant, Antichrist, himself! The Scripture says:
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).
The proverbial frog continues to boil. Even God’s children are lulled into the false sense of security economic prosperity brings. In fact, lust for financial prosperity is at the very heart of some of the most profound problems faced by the Church today. Just channel through the religious networks, and watch and listen to the message that bombards your eyes and ears. The prosperity message is ubiquitous over the air and on cable satellite transmissions. The love of money is painfully obvious, while Christ’s gospel suffers, and the souls of men, women, and children hang in the balance.
We have mentioned many times the technologies that are enslaving the people of earth. The computer and surveillance cameras, the chips and the erosion of constitutional safeguards. But, it is the stratospherics of global economics to which average citizens can’t begin to relate.
More and more the European Union (EU) is at stage center in planning that involves world trade, just as the EU more and more asserts itself into the affairs of Israel, and the ongoing efforts to, if not bring peace to the Middle East, at least do something to avert nuclear conflict in the region. The Bible foretells that the Antichrist will come from the geographical area that is at the heart of the EU. We can sense his foreshadow, while the World Trade Organization (WTO) meets at Brussels and brainstorms to develop trading bloc regions around the globe. The EU, of course, is at the very center of all the grandiose planning.
Seems innocuous enough, doesn’t it? The world economic web, however, is being finely woven, and intertwined by collusion that will eventuate in Revelation chapter 18, when God must catastrophically destroy all that rebellious mankind has constructed.