Many years ago, I put together (was general editor of) a book with a number of prophecy scholars, broadcasters, and writers. That book was called Foreshocks of Antichrist. The compilation of chapters dealt with issues and events of the times, issues and events the other authors and I believed significant in considering prophecies that surrounded the coming of Antichrist to power, as foretold in chapters of the books of Daniel, Revelation, 1 John, and others. That was about 1996, I think, and I believed, at the time, that conditions could not ripen much more so far as the world’s being ready to reap the bitter harvest the Antichrist will bring was concerned.
I was wrong, of course, which proves we must never be too quick to think that things can’t get much worse. They can, and have, gotten worse, since my great, now deceased, colleagues such as Dr. John Walvoord, Dave Breese, Zola Levitt, and many others, dissected the issues of our time with the omniscient scalpel of God’s Word in that Harvest House book almost 2 decades ago.
Back then, Israel was in a peace process –just as now. Then it was Yasser Arafat, Yitzak Rabin, and Bill Clinton working on the Oslo Accords. Peace was in the offing, and some thought this was the covenant in the making that would bring Daniel 9: 27 to fruition. But, Rabin, prime minister of Israel, was assassinated, and Bill Clinton soon fell into the Monica Lewinsky quagmire that exposed his infidelities and held the nation’s rapt attention for months.
Earthquakes came again and again, seemingly in greater numbers and intensities. The Middle East teetered constantly on the edge of igniting into major conflict in that region, and beyond. It looked more and more as though the world could not move into a mode that was any more prepared for the coming of Antichrist and his global dictatorship. But, I was wrong. Things could get worse –much worse.
The next shocker that stepped up signals of the prophetic times occurred Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Giant, fuel-laden passenger jets slammed into the twin World Trade towers in lower East Manhattan, and into the Pentagon, and another aircraft headed for the nation’s capital was forced into a Pennsylvania field by heroes on the plane. Planet Earth seemed to go into an even higher level of stage-setting for the coming Antichrist. Fear spread among Christians and non-Christians alike, and churches –you will remember—were filled the following Sunday. I, myself, was asked by my pastor to speak to my own church about these startling events. It was a time of trepidation about the future and reflection on how to best cope under the changed circumstances. It was a foreshock that had overshadowed other terrorist attacks and other events of recent times. Terrorists from the Middle East –the land of the Bible, and of Bible prophecy—had turned up the heat on the Armageddon boiler.
Things seemed to settle. Then came fears of Saddam Hussein developing weapons of mass destruction. This meant, also, an economic stranglehold on the oil supplies of the world, if he could get into position to hold Middle Eastern oil hostage, and to threaten Israel and other of his neighbors. The tension again was raised. The fast track to Armageddon seemed back on the rails.
Fear that Armageddon lay right around the next geopolitical corner was not assuaged, while George W. Bush and the American military planners and state department forged military alliances for the assault on Hussein’s Iraq. The alliances were less numerous than those put together by the first President Bush to be sure, but nonetheless, they were more powerful in ability to accomplish the task due to advancing technologies for war-making.
The battles for Iraq succeeded, but the larger war on terrorism rages still, while the whole world waits for the next proverbial shoe to drop.
Europe looked like the next major foreshock to the coming tribulation and Antichrist’s regime of global government. The talk and actions of trying to forge an EU Constitution for a time had all of us looking with great wonder at developments, in consideration of prophecies in the book of Daniel. But, again, the foreshock –for the moment—seems to have fizzled just a bit, with the EU showing signs of fiscal crumbling.
The greatest tsunami ever to be recorded, following the great quake in the Indian Ocean, stunned Asia and the rest of us as well. More than 285 thousand people are believed to have lost their lives –maybe even more. This event, combined with the most prolific and record-setting hurricane season in the history of record-keeping, at the time sent national and international news media to us who study and comment on prophetic matters, in an almost frenzy of wanting to know if God was telling Planet Earth something.
The foreshocks, when they manifest themselves –the birth pangs— continue to get stronger. The longer the lull between contractions, the more shocking the calamities that follow seem to be. This might be the potential Caldera-supervolcano of foreshocks— silent, seething, building, swelling, while God’s cup of wrath fills to the brim. We presently watch what many refer to as a building bubble of pending catastrophes. The economic insanity has every nation on earth filled with distress and in perplexity. All-out war in the Middle East is about to explode, with Israel looking closely at Iran’s nuclear program that threatens to destroy the Jewish state. But, for some reason a preemptive strike that would ignite conflagration continues on hold, as if the very Hand of God is preventing it from happening.
We are in a lull. The lull has brought apathy among Christians that itself dangerously smacks of endtime prophecy: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mat. 24:44).