So again, we come to the seeming disconnect–the tremendous number of biblically prophetic indicators from a strange prophetic silence that surrounds these signals.
I, like others, analyze these matters without ceasing. The signs are everywhere that we are at the end times as given by Jesus when He foretold, for example, that it will be like the days of Noah’s pre-Flood time and Lot’s days in Sodom at the moment He will break in like a thief in the night on an unsuspecting world. And, yet, we are all amazed that the “prophetic progression” seems strangely slow–even to the point of causing us to constantly ask why things seem at a standstill.
How can we ask that question when every one of the Apostle Paul’s 2 Timothy 3 perilous-times characteristics of end-times man is observably on the front burner of society today? People are lovers of themselves, boasters, proud. Children are disobedient to parents, with the assisted rebellion built in to the public school systems of America. We are a people–worldwide—who are unthankful and, certainly, unholy. The government-backed–even church-organization-backed–homosexual agenda, with hate crimes being legislated and implemented to punish those who dare to say God’s Word teaches homosexuality is a sin, shows the perilous-times characteristic “without natural affection” is in our face today.
Abortion takes the lives of more than four thousand babies per day in America. This, too, speaks to the characteristic Paul prophesied would mark the end-times generation, “without natural affection.” We only have to look at the divorce rate today to see that the characteristics Paul gave in prophecy are exhibited within marriage. Infidelity is rampant. People are traitorous to their marriage partners, they are false accusers and truce-breakers. We are an incontinent or addictive generation, whether thinking on illicit or prescription drugs, or on pornography that sears the minds of those who spend hours before computer screens. Also, we are addicted to spending money to satisfy ever-increasing and insatiable material desires.
People love pleasures more than they love God. Mankind is fierce, while at the same time many have a form of godliness, but deny Jesus Christ–who is the power of godliness. This is a blasphemous generation, like the one Paul predicted. The holy name of Jesus is used far more as invective than as a term of reverence and praise in this end-of-the-age hour. That name that God says is above every other isn’t even allowed in many of America’s workplaces, public schools, or government facilities–another panoply of reasons the nation’s judgment is certain.
Why do I and other observers see this as a time of slow prophetic progression, considering this avalanche of prophetic markers? How can we say this when Israel is in position precisely as biblical prophets foretold that nation would be as history draws to a close and Armageddon nears?
Isaiah and Daniel the prophets foretold that Israel would be involved in a peace process at the very end of things to come. Zechariah, many other prophets, and the Lord Jesus himself prophesied that Israel would be surrounded by and hated by all nations of earth at the time of the end. All of those developing prophecies regarding God’s chosen people are front and center right now!
There is a prophetic silence at present. But it is a perceived rather than an actual silence, I think. It is part of the strange cognitive malady with which we all suffer, perhaps.
Overload of day-to-day human activity causes desensitization to even the most traumatic of injuries. “Time heals all wounds” is one common explanation of this cognitive condition. We lose a loved one, and while we will often recall memories of him or her and suffer anew, the overloads of life continue to cause the scar to thicken. The pain fades, to some extent.
So it is in the matter of being watchful in the sense of Mark 13:37. We are so saturated with issues and events of our time that look like prophecy in stage-setting for fulfillment that we develop a malaise. We become desensitized to the phenomenal crush of end-times exigencies.
This is so disconcerting to those who work within prophecy ministries I think, because it is a solitary feeling at times that comes from such lack of interest among true believers. One finds oneself almost hoping something dramatic will happen to shake those believers into understanding exactly how late is the prophetic hour.
Come to think of it…Jesus foretold a strange prophetic silence. He said it would be just at such an hour that He would break in upon a world in darkness. Because our time is so saturated with indicators of Christ’s Second Coming, the apathy-ending event isn’t in the offing. Or maybe it will be the most lethargy-ending event possible that will do the shaking up. Maybe the next prophetic indicator that will end this strange prophetic silence will be the Rapture itself.
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24: 42-44).
Some who observe these prophetic times often make the observation that there seems to be a strange lack of prophetic activity; nothing in the news rivets the observer in the dramatic way, say, that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities might grab one’s attention.
This perception of a lull in prophetic progression, as it is called, might seem at first nonsensical, considering the tremendous procession of probable end-times issues and events that we address each week. Geopolitically, there are many signals of biblically prophetic significance. The European Union (EU) continues to consolidate power while remaining at the same time loosely confederated. Certainly, we legitimately can and do make the case for this strange entity being the likely candidate for producing revived Rome–the ten toes of iron and miry clay given in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-vision of the final world empire (Daniel 2).
Russia is a brooding giant to Israel’s north, and at every opportunity, Iran threatens the Jewish state with oblivion. These nations combine with Turkey and others to constitute a coalescing agglomerate that has the characteristics of the foretold Gog-Magog military machine of Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin openly displays ambition that easily qualifies him as one who might aspire to be the Gog of the Ezekiel prophecies. Iran’s leaders spouts the kind of hatred for God’s chosen people that the prince of Persia no doubt will use to inspire Iran’s (Persia’s) fanatical tyrants to join with Gog in raging against Israel in that satanic attack (Daniel 10:20).
Recently, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has brought his nation into the Iranian and Arab world’s mantra for Israel to, in effect, be neutralized–be eradicated as an entity in the Middle East. Thus, Ezekiel’s prophecy about the Gog-Magog forces continues to congeal, with the ancient area of Togarmah now firmly within the foretold mix of peoples that will storm over the mountains of Israel to meet their God-ordained doom.
So, again, it seems nonsensical to say that there is a lack of prophetic progression, based upon such spectacular developments. Yet some clearly see the strange disconnect, and, I must say, I agree with this assessment. And, still the signals of this being the very end of the age continue to accrue.
Socioeconomically, the end-times signals are prolific, with the whole world in distress. The U.S. and world-wide monetary crises are nothing short of earth-shaking. With the global financial structure intricately linked to the U.S. dollar and its economy, America’s possible banking meltdown and all attendant to such a potential disaster, had the international financial gurus who are in the know poised in the near-panic position. The panic is unabated, despite America throwing trillions of dollars that don’t really exist into the fiscal fiasco.
Rioting in Greece, Spain, Italy, and other so-called “civilized” countries displayed in blatant fashion the economic turmoil. Rage over government-provided social services being withdrawn and jobs cut from government, along with unions losing their funding, caused–and continue to cause–withdrawal spasms like those suffered by addicts needing their heroin fixes.
The nations are in distress with perplexity, just as Jesus prophesied as recorded in Luke 21:25. There is a call for a rearrangement of the economic order. It is just such an order that will serve Antichrist’s dastardly regime as he sets about to enslave the world. His 666 numbers-and-mark system as found in Revelation 13:16-18 can be seen in the making in these very days in which we live.
The electronic means to produce such a system exists, too. The computer-satellite capabilities and linkages–with Internet connecting practically every place on earth–doubtless will be all brought together in some spectacular way to produce the Beast’s system of economic gulag.
Ironically, about the only area of the world that seems to be progressing economically is part of Asia–particularly one specific nation that almost certainly has a prophetic destiny. While the economic and technological apex nation of the world–the United States of America—is suffering, causing the other industrial nations and socialist countries to suffer, that great prophetic Oriental region of the world benefits mightily from the distress and perplexity. China holds much of the debt owed by the most economically powerful nation ever to exist!
China will almost certainly be the “king” of the “kings” of the east mentioned in Revelation chapters 9 and 16. It is even now apparently acquiring the level of wealth that will assure the accumulation of military strength with which to (along with demonic assistance of major magnitude) kill one-third of the world’s population (Revelation 9:15-16, 16:12).
It seems beyond irony that it is the U.S. that is funding most of the Sino-monster. It is the American technological/wealth base that has been primarily instrumental also in providing the financial wherewithal for paving Antichrist’s future kingdom. It is perhaps within these fiscal facts that can be found America’s own ultimate judgment for straying so far from the godly founding principles upon which it was based. Yet there is this strange silence of prophetic progression that is quite disconcerting. Let us further examine the matter next time.
The great industrial nations of the West and new, burgeoning industrial nations of the Middle East and Far East have and are creating power bases for governments that seek to put off the bands of the heavenly authority. This same material–the thing the KJV terms “slime”–is the geophysical building block that has been used to build these massive political entities. It is almost certainly this basic element that we call petroleum today that God will use to bring all of these anti-God politicians and their kingdoms to man’s final battle: “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16).
God scattered the people, who were of one mind and one language. Technologies such as ever-advancing computers, linked with satellites to bridge continents and oceans, are swiftly circumventing the Lord’s earliest scattering, as recorded in those passages just mentioned. There is an effort to go back to Babel–to again build one world. Antichrist’s kingdom, as forecast in Daniel, chapters 2, 7, 9, 11, and in Revelation, chapter 13, will be as close as man will be able to come to rebuilding such a geopolitical structure as Nimrod attempted to construct.
Return to Babel
We see that drive to return to the spirit of Babel-building during the present hour. Most every governing asset wielded by those at the heads of the nation-states of the world are aimed at globalization.
Technological wonders, again involving the computer-satellite linkages around the globe, makes this effort at one world a possibility in one aspect in particular: economics. It is the trading in one specific commodity that binds all together…you guessed it: petroleum.
Oil has brought the Middle East into the world as a major center for global economic interaction. The riches beneath the sands of that vast region has made Dubai the wealth center of the world. The money powers-that-be gravitate to that newly born metropolis as to no other place on earth, despite the present down-turn in oil prices, including New York, London, and Paris. It shouldn’t go without due notice that the tallest towers in the world are constructed there. Some are talking in terms of a building one mile high. Shades of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel!
No matter which direction one looks in consideration of where the love of money is driving mankind, the spokes from every financial center on earth lead back to the Middle East hub. The oil sheikhs are rapidly becoming the holders of American assets, as well as holders of the wealth of many other western nations. Politicians and their politics, therefore, must more and more pay homage to Middle Eastern realities. Great Britain, for example, is moving toward becoming steeped in Mid-East Islamic cultural and religious demands. Church buildings and massive cathedrals that were once the homes to Christian worship now are turned into mosques.
Increasingly, Europe moves toward Islamic domination while the politicians and politics of the continent and England seek to appear friendly to the oil-rich monarchs of Saudi Arabia and other Arabian potentates. Even the United States’ local, state, and national politicians in some cases seem to want to placate Islam, for example–in the name of cultural assimilation– by allowing Islamic studies within some public schools, where Bible reading and prayer in the name of Christ are held as illegal.
End-Times Politics Dominate
End-times politics pervade every aspect of life in the United States today. We are all aware of the commercialism that drives the American psyche. Media, whether news or entertainment, hold up the wealthy and the glitzy before the bedazzled eyes of the celebrity-worshiping segments of our citizenry.
Many of the youthful celebs of the hour are the focus of the young, while sports heroes and entertainment celebrities hold the attention of many of the older viewers. We are a nation that is entertainment mad. This is, itself, a form of strange politics because we vote with our remotes on the celebrities we worship, giving the networks the ratings that make them commercially viable. The more votes, the higher they can charge for advertisements aired during commercial breaks.
Politics of the Church
However, as worrisome as politics of the hedonistic entertainment industry is, it is the politics of the churches within Christianity in America today that is most troubling…and, at the same time, most indicative of where this generation likely stands on the end-times timeline.
Politics of a dangerous sort now runs rampant throughout Christianity. The danger comes from the fact that the politics involve poking God himself in the “apple” of his eye: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zech. 2:8).
The Almighty speaks somberly about any dealings with the “Daughter of Zion”–Jerusalem in particular, and Israel in general. The Lord God will not tolerate those who would try to force His chosen into molds that don’t conform to His plan for Israel. And, Israel is the whole house of Israel, the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We witness the daily reports of American and European efforts to pressure the leaders of modern Israel into giving up land in order to convince its Islamic neighbors to live peaceably. And, presently, we see concerted pressure to get the Israeli leaders to allow the dividing of Jerusalem, thus permitting the eastern part of that city to become the capital of the new Palestinian state they plan to create.
America is in a most precarious position, because of the Obama administration’s part in all of this. And those of the Republican Party are, in some cases, culpable, too. It would behoove America’s leaders to read carefully God’s Word on matters involving the people He calls His chosen.
Those through history who have failed to take into account the Lord’s will concerning Israel–the Jews—lie scattered in the desolation of the dark past. As serious as is the matter of human governmental politics being played against Israel, there is a more egregious such political sword jabbing and slicing at the apple of God’s eye. The political doctrine is also theological in its constituency. “Replacement theology” is the term. Much of “Christianity” today holds to the luciferic doctrine that the Church, Christians, have now replaced Israel –the physical progeny of Israel’s patriarchs. The politics of the false belief system comes into play when human governing bodies infer from church leaders’ holding to replacement theology that there is nothing biblically prophetic about this tiny, though powerfully “disruptive to world peace” nation. Modern Israel has nothing to do with ancient Israel, thus Bible prophecy isn’t to be considered in dealing with the dangerous problems swirling around Jerusalem.
The political entities dealing with the problems of the Middle East thus cannot see, or won’t acknowledge where forcing man-made peace on Israel and dividing Jerusalem is leading.
Here is God’s Word on where it is leading: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
Human Government Forewarned!
No matter the outcome of the presidential elections, let the American president and the leaders of other nation-states who deal with Israel take heed. God, because of the touching of the apple of His eye, Jerusalem and Israel, will banish the perpetrators to shame and desolation. End-times politics was predicted to bring–and is in the process of bringing–all offenders to Armageddon.
Every election season in America brings the same troubling thought: “This is the most critical election this nation has faced.” The declaration can be validated as true in the case of each, because the world moves ever deeper into the end of days, and humanity’s future becomes more precarious with each decision made within the political process.
Powerful dynamics impact our present time, and are forcefully shaping our future in ways that can’t be fully anticipated. End-times politics are upon this generation, as is understood by those with spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear. But, to senses caught up in the ephemeral forces that gush society and culture along at breakneck speed, such matters of eternal consequence are beyond comprehension.
Internal politics of each nation of the world move this generation of earth-dwellers inexorably toward the final seven years of human history that will culminate with the return of Jesus Christ. Yet the politicians and the self-iconizing politics the majority of them practice generates hubris that prevents them from thinking in terms other than those that flow from humanistic pridefulness.
Love of Money the Common Thread
Proof of the man-centered governance that runs throughout the nation-states is evident in the accumulation of personal wealth almost every head of state, whether dictator or legitimately elected leader, garners to himself. Whether considering the Saddam Husseins of the world who build billion-dollar bank accounts for themselves simply by raiding their national treasuries at will, or congressmen in the United States who vote themselves pay increases and special perks in late-hour sessions away from the glare of public scrutiny, the avarice is there, pulsing with greed that validates the Word of God: “For the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Tim. 6:10a).
This will be viewed by some as cynicism of the first order. But, the cynicism is based upon well-known common practices by the politicians of all stripes, although the robbery is for the most part accepted without opposition by the victim-citizenries throughout Planet Earth. Government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has never truly been the case. The concept is impossible to achieve because of the very nature of both those who govern and those who are governed.
Governing the Heathen
Perfect governance was established by the Creator of all things upon a pristine planet. Man has struggled to remove God’s tether of restraint since the first man chose to do what was right in his own eyes. The planet itself suffers as a result. Prophecy from God’s Word foretells the final actions by the rebellious politicians and their politics, and spells out the tragic result:
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psa. 2:10-5).
First Political Superstar
The earliest attempts by human governors and government to conduct human affairs apart from God’s authority was recorded by the inspired writer of Genesis. Nimrod was the first superstar of politics upon Planet Earth following the great flood of Noah’s day:
“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Gen. 10:8-10).
Key Ingredient to Empire Building
Genesis 11:1-9 tells the story of this first king who established a powerful kingdom following the flood. It is more than merely interesting that the same basic material that gave Nimrod and his government the ability to build the tower, which was the primary manifestation of his kingdom and its attempts to usurp God’s authority, is the same material that is so important today to the building of power bases of governments within nation-states.
“And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:3-4).
“Slime” is the word in the King James Version of the Bible to consider here. Oily pitch bubbled up from the ground in the region even then, and this material was used in firing the bricks for the construction of that infamous tower of Babel. God scattered the people who wanted to, in effect, cast off the bands of the Almighty and build a tower of great height that would, symbolically, at least, reach into heaven so those rebels could shake their fists in the face of the Creator. The Lord confused their language, breaking apart even the continents, apparently, during the time of Peleg (read subsequent passages in Genesis).
Ancient/Modern Ties to Mid-East Petroleum
One can’t help but make the analogy to, and draw the parallels of, those times to this end-times era. We will look at some of those parallels with the next commentary.