President Obama recently made the statement, in effect, that anyone who tells us the economic situation in the United States is not getting better is “peddling fiction.” This he said despite the fact that the debt clock is ticking at a rate that will soon have Americans and generations to come owing beyond $20 trillion. Extrapolated out over an extended number of years, some economists are saying unfunded liabilities of this nation amount to in excess of $200 trillion.
Like it or not, believe it or not, you and I are being swept along by the tide of human history toward something profoundly ominous. Hourly news accounts, no matter how much they’ve been doctored to try to present a recovering national and global economic picture, engender fearful concerns about things to come.
It is almost impossible to grasp the causes and effects of the evil shaping and moving America and the world toward a destiny the supposed best minds on the planet can’t determine. However, that inability to define the problems, much less find solutions, doesn’t stop them from making seemingly wild stabs at trying to channel all of us into a drastically changed economic national and world order.
But, are their attempts really wild stabs, or is there method to their madness?
History is replete with attempts to reshape national and even global economic realities. Money equals power and power exerts control upon this fallen planet. Power is the ultimate endgame of all who seek it for themselves.
Henry Kissinger put it this way: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
The declaration can be understood in recalling the most ancient of accounts of an infamous personality seeking the greatest of all power:
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13–14)
Humankind’s determination to do the same—acquire the power to which the angel named Lucifer aspired—hasn’t changed since the serpent first told Eve that she and Adam would be like God if they ate from the fruit of the forbidden tree (see Genesis 3:5). Tracing the serpent’s trail of power madness to a later time recorded in the Bible (Genesis chapter 11), Nimrod was the would-be one-world- order builder of his day, following the Great Flood of Noah’s time. He, like every megalomaniac since, lusted for God-like power.
Man’s lust for power continues to grow; he has not learned the lessons of the past because, as a whole, he regards the Word of God as irrelevant to the governance of the earth. One philosopher of renown, George Santayana, put it this way: “He who does not remember history is condemned to repeat it.”
The corruption that God saw and condemned in antediluvian times, which caused Him to destroy all upon the earth except eight people, has again reached a dangerous level. Dictators prove the truth of another bit of philosophical wisdom, this by Lord Edward Acton: “All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
In my estimation we see this level of power being sought in the words and actions of the current presidential administration. Circumventing the U.S. Constitution at every opportunity because this president has “a phone and a pen” poses a danger to this republic. To at the same time have another branch of government that is supposed to act as a check and balance to an out-of-control executive, yet does nothing to present opposition, creates real and present danger to this nation.
While mainstream media types of network and cable seemingly sway acceptingly in the mesmerizing economic flute notes of the charmer — the real peddler of fiction — the immediate future looks ominously bleak, according to true financial experts who are without the benefit of the mainstream’s ubiquitous microphones and cameras to get out their warning. The nation and the world are about to experience economic collapse the likes of which has never occurred, is their message.
These are most all in agreement. There will come a trigger point, or a tipping point. This will be one moment in time, and it will prick the immense financial bubble that the money powers that be have manipulated to this point of crisis we face.
My own belief continues to be that it is God’s great hand of control rather than the would-be economic masters that has prevented the bubble from bursting. The crisis awaits the moment in time when the Lord, Himself, will burst the bubble.
If one studies carefully the news of late, it becomes clear that the term “cashless system” is coming more and more into vogue. The economic gurus at the highest levels — in human terms and in supernatural, satanic terms — seem to be preparing a system of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). They want to do away with physical currency and go to the cashless, computer system so they can carry out their sleight-of-hand, monetary machinations electronically.
The marks-and-numbers system of economics of Revelation 13:16-18 is more than just on the drawing board. We are seeing it come to pass in our daily news. All that is required for its implementation is the crisis that will bring it forward. I am convinced that crisis will be created by the Rapture of all who name the name of Christ.
We have been observing prophetic developments in these commentaries for years. So, why present an article on prophetic matters in an over-all sense as if it was covering something new?
I hope, in this multi-part essay, to do something significantly different. Rather than look in a broad, general way at the major issues we cover so often, I want to take a look at the fascinating, specific way these prophecies have been brought into focus at a time I believe is the very end of this dispensation, the Age of Grace (Church Age)–i.e., I want to look at some of the more intricate details of the dynamics and circumstances that have shaped each of the major prophecies for this very hour.
Modern Israel, as we consistently say, is the number-one signal of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline. That nation is, therefore, the best example in the geopolitical arena to use for focusing on details of issues and events shaping the stage-setting for Bible prophecy fulfillment. The student who watches Bible prophecy develop from the premillennial, pretrib viewpoint has, with clarity others can’t see, I think, seen Israel come back into its own land, with its ancient national language restored. It did so following a miraculous rebirth into modernity on a single day, just as prophesied (Isa. 66: 6-9). The intricate details of the amazing rebirth are there to be gleaned by the hundreds, if not thousands.
Pressured in AD 135 through genocidal action by Roman Emperor Hadrian to leave their homeland given them by God, the Jews scattered into many nations of the world. God’s chosen people never truly found peace; rather, they mostly encountered persecution and death during the intervening centuries leading to coming back in large numbers following the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
Hitler’s perpetration of genocide upon the Jews during the time leading up to and through World War II, culminating in the Holocaust, shamed the world into allowing a Jewish state to be reborn. What Satan meant for evil in trying to thwart God’s promise to Israel being fulfilled, God turned into good. However, demonic rage by the false religion of Islam continued to fester, breaking into all-out warfare against Israel on numerous occasions. God Gave Israel the victory in every instance that nation was attacked.
Now, to look at the clearly observable, detailed kinds of prophetic movement wrought by recent events involving the modern Jewish state. Zechariah the prophet declared the whole world will turn against Israel and Jerusalem, in particular, at the end of human history. Israel’s refusal to give in to demands by the Palestinian Authority (PA)–merely the proxy entity for all of Israel’s Islamist Arab and Iranian antagonists– has brought condemnation of practically every nation on earth.
We’ve all watched the anger spew from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and from the leadership of practically every nation represented in the UN General Assembly. They threaten to grant the PA its request for nationhood, using much of Israel’s land, including East Jerusalem, in which to establish the new country’s capital. The U.S. presidential administration has thus far, in my estimation, shown little more than token interest in opposing this assault on Israel’s sovereignty.
Israel’s only true friends left on the planet consist mostly of evangelical Christians, particularly those who see with the clarity mentioned above through the premillennial, pretrib prism. When the Church–the Body of Christ—is called out of this fallen planet, Israel will be alone, or so it will seem.
But, not so.
At that moment when all seems lost, Michael the archangel will stand for that chosen people (Daniel 12: 1). God Himself will deal with and for His chosen people and the city He equates to the “apple” of His eye. All is shaping into the prophetic picture, with details filling in moment by moment the matters involved in getting to the total fulfillment of every jot and tittle that is foretold. The intricacies of the peace process provide details that fascinate the student of Bible prophecy, for example.
The development of the atomic bomb (an invention of Jewish scientists, incidentally) and the hydrogen bomb, for that matter, has caused a worldwide furor stemming from the Middle East. Israel is at the center of the controversy, of course. Israel has nuclear weaponry and is threatened with extinction–as the Jews always are. They have vowed, “Never again!” Never again will they be subjected to genocide without fighting to the death with those who want every Jew on the planet dead.
Israel is, as of a year ago or so, completely surrounded on all but the Mediterranean side by those whose avowed intention is just that–to eradicate the Jews, thus the nation of Israel.
The world knows that the end of the human race through nuclear war could easily begin at Jerusalem. Thus, that city is ground zero for the entire world’s attention, just as Zechariah and other prophets foretold. Isaiah prophesied that a peace covenant will be made over this very city. It will be a covenant that will, in fact, be made with “death and hell.” It will bring the wrath of God down on the whole world for forcing such an agreement upon His chosen people and upon His most beloved city. (Read Isaiah 28: 15, 18.)
America is at the heart of just such a covenant-producing process. The “Roadmap to Peace” has been a part of world diplomatic jargon for more than a decade now. Jerusalem, with the strong-arming of the diplomatic world to make Israel stop building in that city and with the PA (the Islamist world) demanding that Jerusalem be given over to them, is at the epicenter of the coming earthquake of wrath as foretold by God Almighty through His prophet, Zechariah.
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zechariah 14:12).
God willing, we will continue to look next time at the fascinating details that are filling in more and more of the end-of-the-age prophetic puzzle.
Just as suspected, the year 2016 is on track to be a pivotal year in the shaping of biblically prophetic destiny. The sudden loss of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will produce ramifications far beyond those posed by this sitting president further stacking that court with yet another justice of likemindedness to his own ideological bent.
The ultimate decision involving replacement of the constitutional champion that was Scalia will perhaps, in one way or another, help determine the future course of all of mankind.
American Founding Fathers, whether fully aware in every case that they were listening to the directives of the Almighty, gave Americans yet unborn a republic based upon Judeo-Christian principles. And, indications are overwhelming that almost all of them–even the deists like Franklin and Jefferson–knew that Providence had a divine hand in winning the War of Independence and in composing the liberty-laden document that is the U.S. Constitution.
Moving on from the producing of that founding document, the writings of the founders show they recognized that it was not merely an existential deity that started the national ball rolling then left America to its own devices. It is more than obvious that the one and only God’s mighty hand has been on this most materially blessed nation to ever exist throughout its coming up 240 years of nationhood.
Antonin Scalia was consistently a Supreme Court justice who, with each decision he rendered, demonstrated that he believed that our God-influenced Constitution should be defended and preserved. With his passing, we are faced with the possibility that it is a document in danger of degeneration to ineffectiveness at best and to complete disregard at worst.
The Supreme Court has teeter-tottered on the fulcrum of cultural dichotomy, particularly since 1963, with the decisions to eliminate Bible reading and prayer from public schools. By this, I mean the traditional, God-fearing part of America was on one side and the America that wanted no such constraint on the other. Anti-God, humanistic gravity has consistently been tugging the nation downward with succeeding Supreme Court decisions. We witnessed a dramatic increase in the latest such tugging during the year just past.
And, now we face action by a president who, immediately upon Scalia’s death, announced he will nominate a replacement within the ten plus months left of his presidency. We don’t have to wonder very deeply about the sort of nominee that will eventuate. All that is necessary is to consider Mr. Obama’s ideological forays into jurisprudence at the Supreme Court level over the past seven years.
With decisions of the land’s highest court steadily slanting toward the anti-Constitutional side, and now the loss of perhaps that court’s strongest voice for preservation of the document the Founders gave us, we indeed face perilous times.
America, I put to you, is now moving rapidly downward on the slide into national oblivion. It is agonizing to have to say it. But, the facts are staring us in the nation’s rebellious face.
America’s Supreme Court and its problems are but a reflection of that rebellion. We have sown to the winds disregard for God’s biblical guidelines for upright comportment. We are beginning to reap the whirlwind of reprobate thinking and conduct warned about by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 1.
Perhaps the final straw for Heaven’s Supreme Court is we the people allowing a wicked leadership to turn America against Israel and take up the cause of those who are vowed to destroy the Jewish state. What are even more compelling as evidence of the nation’s rebellion are the so-called Christian churches of America joining in the cursing of Israel. We hear every day of those churches that have joined in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction) movement to punish Israel for “occupying” land that these say doesn’t belong to Israel.
To add insult to injury, these proclaim that they–the church–have replaced Israel as inheritors of the promises God gave Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel, they declare, has forfeited the claim to the promises and is no longer God’s chosen people. The Lord is finished with that people.
That is what these would-be usurpers of God’s promises say. But, here is what the Lord God of Israel says in His Holy Word:
This is what the Lord says, “He Who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar–the Lord Almighty is His Name; Only if these ordinances vanish from My sight,” declares the Lord, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
Just as the above promise is still in effect, so is God’s warning of Genesis 12:3. America, if national repentance is not forthcoming, faces a Supreme Decision far more serious than the replacement of a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Mr. President, tear down this wall…What wall? The wall your administration has erected between the American people and the nation Israel.
The Gallup Poll told within the recent past that by a wide margin, we the people of the United States believe Israel is not the problem in the Middle East, or anywhere else. By a margin of more than 60%, we have made it known that we want America to continue to embrace the Jewish state as a close friend and ally –the only true ally we have in that violent part of the world. Yet, you, Mr. President, and those you send as interlocutors in that one-sided, so-called peace process consistently lock arms with Israel’s blood-vowed enemies to try to bully that nation to give in to demands that will never end as long as Israel exists.
Israel’s enemies–and that list includes every Arab state to one degree or another—want Israel eradicated.
The massive snow and ice your White House and D.C. received the other day is a not-so-gentle reminder that the God of Israel will never let that happen.
You have touched the apple of the Almighty’s eye, and continue to do so by your joining the nation of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement that seeks to marginalize Israel.
You directly dare the God of heaven to do anything about your obdurate stance against Him. The current shaking your fist in the face of the Almighty is but the latest of such defiance.
Almost at the same moment you took step towards joining the European Union in an boycott of Israel, D.C. was blasted with near-record blizzard conditions.
The U.S. is now requiring goods originating from the West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria) to be labeled separately from products from the rest of Israel, following the European Union’s crackdown on products from the disputed territories.
Such weather and “natural phenomena” have manifested after many egregious actions against Israel, as has been documented by John McTernan and Bill Koenig. The snow storm came as a departure from normal winter weather in the area of the nation’s capital. To be sure, it was a mild forewarning of what is to come, Mr. President, if your actions, and lack of action, continue on the course you have chosen with regard to Israel.
We are not currently witnessing God’s judgment and wrath with this snow event, or with other such “acts of God.” When His wrath–His judgment–does fall, it will be, Jesus prophesied, a time more terrible than any that has ever existed on planet earth (Matthew 24:21). But, God is warning yet again, I’m convinced, that dealing with Israel is a deadly serious matter in His interaction with mankind. The closer the time of Christ’s return, the more intense will become His forewarnings.
America has been Israel’s friend, her protector, in human terms. America has, therefore, been blessed of God beyond any nation in history, with material wealth and godly moorings of Christianity at our very foundation. But, the tide is turning, as anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear can discern.
Economic catastrophe looms on the national horizon to such a degree that this great nation’s fall will literally bring the entire world down, when it crashes. And, it’s not a matter of if that will happen, but when. We have been experiencing an economic earthquake for months–even years–and the shaking is getting worse. But, the shaking is mild–very mild, my spirit tells me—compared to the shaking that is coming upon this country and world. Much of the quaking–socioeconomic and geophysical–is a direct result of the way America and the world are dealing with the nation that the God of heaven has, in His absolute authority, determined cannot be destroyed. Satanic forces are ratcheting up everything possible to keep God’s promises to Israel from being fulfilled. There is bound to be such titanic shaking as we are presently experiencing while the biblically prophesied battle between what secularists call good and evil takes place. Be assured–the outcome of that battle is already determined.
Knowing that this request isn’t likely to produce the desired answer, ultimately, I still must make the plea as one given the commission to forewarn during these prophetic times. Mr. President, please do all within your power to see to it that America comes down on the winning side. Regardless, Israel will be the winner. We have the Word of the Creator of all that is who has made the following promise: “This is what the Lord says, ‘He who appoints the sun to shine by day, Who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar — the Lord Almighty is His Name; Only if these ordinances vanish from My sight,’ declares the Lord, ‘will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me.'” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
Regarding the title above, I don’t mean to imply light being shed on the Tribulation–although that is part of what I hope will be done. By using the term “Tribulation light,” I mean we are now seeing issues and events occur in this Age of Grace much like, but not actually those prophetically scheduled for, the seven years of worldwide horror leading up to Christ’s Second Advent–i.e., those issues and events are but similar to those much more horrific, apocalyptic events; foreshadows of things to come.
There are several specific prophecies expounded upon by Jesus while giving His Olivet Discourse that I would like to examine as being “Tribulation light” events in our headlines today.
The Lord gave these as recorded in the following prophecy:
Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21: 20-21)
I would like to probe a bit into the less-prominent “Tribulation light” prophetic indicators within the above Scripture before getting into that which I view as most pronounced in these days so near the end of the Church Age.
Jesus was foretelling that these troubles will be unprecedented in their ferocity during the Tribulation era when God’s wrath will fall upon incorrigibly wicked mankind. He exhorted that when those with discernment see these things begin to happen, they are to know that His return is drawing near. Note, the Lord said when these things “begin” to come to pass, those with discernment are to “look up…for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).
Jesus said as recorded in other places that these issues and events will be like birth pangs. They will come upon end-time’s mankind like pains a woman experiences during the incrementally increasing contractions of having a baby. That is, these pains will begin in a milder manner than they will become the nearer the moment of birth.
Earthquakes, Jesus said, will mark the beginning of “sorrows” (birth pangs). Again, these, obviously, staying within the birthing analogy, will be lighter in severity than they will become during the full-blown Tribulation when Christ’s return is about to happen. We are told in Revelation that there will occur the ultimate earthquake as Christ is breaking through the black clouds of that terrible time. Every mountain will fall. That describes a mighty earthquake indeed!
Anyone who reads the news as presented in our Rapture Ready News section knows of the reports of tremblers from around the world. There seems no geographical region of the planet that isn’t experiencing seismic activity on an increasing scale. All of these quakes are light in severity when compared to the Revelation description of the final quake that will bring every tall structure on earth crashing down. However, the cumulative effects have prophetic evidentiary significance, it becomes ever more obvious.
Just within the past days, we have the following posts:
- 5.7-magnitude earthquake felt in New Zealand capital
New Zealand’s capital city Wellington was rocked by 5.7-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday (Feb 9), according to the country’s earthquake monitoring service.
- Massive earthquake hits near Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville early on Tuesday morning. The undersea quake struck at 3.19am local time…
- Taiwan Quake Kills at Least 18 as Search for Missing Continues
A strong earthquake rocked a region of Taiwan that’s a hub for chipmaking suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., killing at least 18 people
- 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar
- Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no tsunami risk
An earthquake has struck close to Tokyo, shaking much of the metropolitan region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami
- Chile earthquake: Strong tremor strikes near Tongoy and La Serena
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 has struck off the coast of central Chile, centered off Tongoy and La Serena, seismologists say.
- Strong earthquake hits Solomon Islands
A magnitude 6.4 earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands at 12.19am today, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department.
Such reports continue in a never-ending cyberspace headlines crawl. The tremors are coming with increasing frequency and intensity.
The second “Tribulation light” indicator I pluck from the Luke 21:20-21 Olivet prophecy Jesus gave is the matter of “pestilence.”
To be brief, I bring to your attention the things we have seen develop most recently in this regard. Remember the Ebola scare of a few months ago. Think of the HIV natter that was on the front pages and growing, seemingly, uncontrollably. And now it is the Zika virus that is apparently spread by mosquitoes and which has no medical defense to combat it.
There is growing concern among the medical research community that many of the pestilences are in the process of mutating–developing resistance to antibiotics and other forms of combating disease.
The Tribulation era will see these diseases become full-blown. The toll in human life will be beyond comprehension.
All of these above-mentioned developments are but sidebars to the real story regarding signals that show how near this generation is to the Tribulation era.
“Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom”: This is the real scriptural crux of proof in thinking on where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline.
“Nation” in the Greek language, as used here, is “ethnos” or “ethnic” in English. Jesus was predicting that the very end of the age would produce great ethnic upheaval. People will be raging against each other for reasons of race. Likewise, the Lord said that “kingdom against kingdom” will mark the era leading up to His Second Advent.
Is there any doubt whatsoever that these indicators are in our headlines today? In the very streets of America, there is ethnic rage that sometimes boils to the uncontrollable level. The rioting in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, leap instantly to mind. Such rage is at the heart of problems around the world. Religious fervor, inciting ethnic hatreds, mark this generation as the one Jesus must have had in His omniscient mind when giving this prophecy.
We are experiencing today “Tribulation light” prophetic birth pangs on a moment-by-moment basis. It will be fascinating, as watchers on the wall, to see what 2016 will bring. We, as born-again believers, hope it brings the shout of the Lord Jesus: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)
A perhaps not-so-shocking, but certainly attention-getting, news item points to the ugly head of anti-Israel action arising. The stark growth of Israel and Jew-hating is front and center in the heart of Europe, where Adolf Hitler did his worst to eliminate all of God’s chosen –where Antichrist will arise to try to finish the job the Nazis began.
Although the rise in anti-Israeli sentiment might seem subtle with it coming from the halls of European academia, the world-wide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state is growing more incendiary. The academic community urges that all join the BDS movement.
The Italian academics and researchers, who belong to seven separate universities across Italy, claimed in their petition that the Technion engages in military research and develops weapons that the IDF uses to “repress the Palestinian people.”
The petition continues: “We, the undersigned scholars and researchers at Italian universities are deeply troubled by the collaboration between the Israel Institute of Technology “Technion” and Italian universities.
“Israeli universities collaborate on military research and development of weapons used by the Israeli army against the Palestinian population, providing undeniable support to the military occupation and colonization of Palestine.”…
The committee of university heads in Israel responded: “Israeli universities are under attack from the BDS movement as well as other parties, who are distributing deceitful and inciting material against Israel and its higher academic institutions.
“The committee of university heads is acting with everything it has against this ugly phenomenon. But it’s not quite enough. We request the involvement of the state to act via all possible means to stop this dangerous process.” (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4759523,00.html)
Current issues and events that look to be harbingers of the biblically prophesied apocalypse bombard this generation of earth’s inhabitants. Jesus’ Olivet Discourse prophecies, foretelling things to come in the time of “great tribulation,” seem to leap from news reports that are becoming so routine that they no longer shock. No signal is more prophetically significant than present circumstances involving the state of Israel and city where Jesus was crucified nearly twenty centuries ago.
Jerusalem is at the center of satanic rage, and the rage is bursting forth at the center of supposedly civilized Europe, where Islam is in the process of taking over. This is as the Old and New Testament prophets said it will be just before Christ returns to a planet that is home to a world of rebels against God. That rebellion is scheduled, the prophets forewarn, to culminate in history’s final and most destructive war. Armageddon will be triggered because of both Satan and fallen mankind’s determination to install themselves upon the single spot on earth dearest to the heart of God.
Mount Moriah sits at the southern end of the ancient city, crested by a golden dome that represents 1.5 billion people whose religion demands of its adherents blood-vowed opposition to God’s chosen nation, Israel. This is the place God picked to have His temple on earth constructed. It is the precise location where the Third Temple will sit–the Temple that will be desecrated by Antichrist, earth’s last and most beastly tyrant.
Even more importantly, the Temple Mount will be the home of Christ’s Millennial Temple. Moriah, then to be known as Zion, will be supernaturally elevated by the tremendous topographical changes caused when the Lord’s foot touches the Mount of Olives at His return.
Diplomats of the world have, for the past four decades, engaged in effort after effort to bring stability to the region, at whose heart the city of Jerusalem sits. We remember the many settings to and from Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and other capitals of the Mideast. From Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice to, now, John Kerry and even Barack Obama–America’s secretaries of state and a most strangely assertive president have burned mega-gallons of jet fuel in trying to find the formula for peace that would defuse the Armageddon bomb.
All of that diplomatic shuffling is mere prelude to the fretting that is about to take place over this, the most important, thus most volatile, nation and city on planet earth. Zechariah the prophet foretold the end-time anxiety that we believe is, observably, now on the precipice of gripping the international community.
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. (Zechariah 12:1-3)
There is good reason for the building anxiety. Israel’s terrorist-sponsoring neighbors to the north strive mightily to develop nuclear bombs and missiles that will deliver them. No one doubts in which direction these missiles will be pointed should Iran be successful in producing such weapons of mass destruction. Israel’s one, common declaration amidst all of the political infighting remains the core of its defense. “Never again!”
The following summary of atrocities to the Jewish race presents compelling evidence why “Never Again!” must be their passionate declaration, backed by nuclear strength.
Due to [Israel’s] disobedience the Jews have suffered terribly.
They were ruled by Rome in Christ’s day but rebelled in A.D. 70 and 250,000 were killed. They rebelled again in A.D. 135 and again Rome smashed them, killing even more and scattering them throughout the empire. Since then they have been bitterly persecuted. Forcibly expelled from England in 1290 and from France 1306. In 1298 more than 100,000 were killed in Europe. From 1648 to 1658 some 400,000 were massacred. From 1939-45 Hitler’s Nazis killed more than 4 million… In its history Egyptian pharaohs, Assyrian kings, Babylonian rulers, Persian satraps, Greek Hellenists, Roman Caesars, Holy Roman emperors, Roman Catholic pontiffs, Medieval monarchs, Christian crusaders, Spanish inquisitors, Nazi dictators, Communist commissars, Arab sheiks and United Nation delegates have all turned against the Jew yet they still survive. (Charles L. Monk, “A Look at Bible Covenants and Their Meanings,” posted 2/22/03, Sugar Land Bible Church, Category: Bible Study, COVENANTS – 1987)
The Jewish people of Israel collectively declare they will never again let themselves be enslaved within regimes that want them erased from the earth. Never again will they allow the genocide they have suffered through the centuries. Their national vow is backed by the ominous “Samson Option.” This last-ditch military imperative is not lost on the leaders of the international community, which is headed by the G-8 nations.
These leaders of this enlightened age might not believe the Bible is the word of God, but, they know the story of Samson and what happened when he was finally put in a predicament in which he could no longer be free. The world’s diplomats–at least those of the western world—have no doubt that the Israeli Defense Force will bring the house down around them, if it comes to that as Israel’s only viable option. The international community –once termed “the new world order”– has developed a systemic neurosis involving the bleak outlook for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The “Roadmap to Peace” seems to be the nerves-soothing therapeutic course of action upon which the powers-that-be have chosen to eliminate the possibility of nuclear conflict being triggered over earth’s most coveted city.
World leaders are obsessed with Jerusalem. They consider Jerusalem the trigger to Armageddon; they will do whatever it takes to diffuse that trigger.
A country song from way back in the 1960s and 1970s, during the Vietnam War era, plays through my mind these days.
The chorus goes as follows:
God bless America again.
You must know the trouble that she’s in.
Wash her pretty face, dry her eyes and then,…
God bless America again.
The war was raging while Walter Cronkite read the mainstream view of the news to us at dinnertime. Film of bloodied American GIs and corpses of black-pajamaed Viet Cong projected from our TV screens while we downed our evening meals.
B-52s dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives, carpet-bombing an unseen enemy many thousands of feet below. Rolling Thunder, as it was called, churned up killing fields of earth mixed with flesh and blood night after night–day after day.
More than fifty thousand American soldiers and airmen went through the horrific, grinding process of becoming casualties of war their country’s leaders, it turned out, never intended to bring to total victory–giving their last measure of devotion for America the beautiful. At the same time, the ugliness of political warfare was being uncovered and displayed in a news media orgy of, in my view, pro-Communist gleefulness.
A U.S. president of the United States was turned out of office in disgrace–and, rightfully so. Watergate became forever an ingrained term within the American-English lexicon.
Would America ever recover? Would the curse that had descended since the time of Korea, with America’s young men and women dying in a “police action” purposely fought to stalemate rather than to complete victory, ever lift from our nation?
There have been moments of seemingly possible national egress from the plunge into the abyss of political corrosiveness. It looked like the nation might pull away from the cultural rot begun in earnest during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the legitimization of murdering babies in their mother’s wombs.
The Moral Majority appeared for a brief, shining, moment to be making headway in engendering movement toward moral sanity. Somehow, however, a national, cultural darkness began descending following the Reagan years. An almost tangible veil separating America’s formerly flawed but Judeo- Christian-governed morality from a new immoral malignity fell with the Clinton years, the White House intern’s stained, blue dress and all the rest.
Jeremiah Wright, Barack Hussein Obama’s black-liberation theology “pastor,” from his Chicago pulpit, spewed a venomous rant that America’s chickens had come home to roost and implied that the Lord of Heaven should damn America–using God’s name in vain with the invective. Wright was, I infer, talking about the Islamist attacks on the Trade Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
As much as I detest “Reverend” Wright’s hate speech against the United States, I must admit that indeed, America’s chickens appeared to have come home to roost, suffering on that September 11, 2001, Tuesday at least some degree of God’s judgment. In my view, the past seven-plus years of Wright’s best-known parishioner’s time in the Oval Office has brought an intensification of that judgment.
The year 2016, I sense strongly, is going to be a truly pivotal year for this nation and the world. It is proper, I believe, to wonder whether God’s judgment is now on track to preclude that of the corrective sort, such as in the past. I’m thinking of times like the Great Depression of the 1930s, following the debauched era of the Roaring Twenties, as it was called.
Is God’s judgment now entering a destructive rather than another corrective phase? Is it entering a time such as when Sodom and Gomorrah came to their end–i.e., is it possible that God will ever bless America again?
Like that country song tells throughout its lyrics, I, too, love America and don’t want to ever let it fall because of my not doing my part in helping keep it upright in every sense.
All of this said, spiritually enlightened Bible students know that neither the leaders of this nation nor of any other will rectify the rapidly mounting problems. Only Jesus Christ will solve the otherwise unsolvable, sinister evil that is at humanity’s core.
There are, within the community of Bible prophecy observers, those who wonder whether America is the most likely candidate for being the Babylon of the eighteenth chapter of Revelation–according to the Bible, the country that will be the most materially accomplished of all nations of earth’s history. I am one of those who ponder this possibility more seriously with each passing news headline involving America’s president and State Department dealing with Israel.
God, it is abundantly clear, has through His dealing with America more than lived up to His promise to bless those who bless the progeny that would come from Abraham through Isaac. America, acting as midwife in the rebirth of the Jewish state into modernity in 1948, has been the recipient of bountiful material blessings beyond measure. God has truly blessed America.
Conversely, God has promised to curse those who curse His chosen nation, Israel. The cultural war is observably causing the loss of America’s former striving to promote Judeo-Christian values the Founding Fathers infused into the Constitution. Just as troubling is the obvious disdain this president and those around him have for Israel, even choosing to champion Israel’s enemies at every diplomatic opportunity, it seems to me.
Such continued folly will not perhaps, but will certainly, bring national disaster the likes of which our previously blessed nation has never experienced. If indeed forgiveness of our national sins is possible, given the lateness of the prophetic hour, let us who name the matchless name that is above every name implore God to bless America again. This must be done, however, not with vain repetition in the idle words “God bless America” often used by presidents and politicians when ending their meaningless speeches.
There is but one heavenly Rx for obtaining an answer to such a prayer:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
God does not change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That call to repentance to His people is still in effect–and it is for Church Age saints, just as it was for His chosen people of ancient Israel. But, time is swiftly fleeting.
“We will make America great again!” is a current presidential politics proclamation. No, “we” won’t. We have proven, through our actions and lack thereof, that as a people, we want to take America in the other direction. “We” didn’t make America great in the first place, and we certainly can’t make it great in the future.
“God bless America again,” when offered in genuine spiritual, obedient humility–not in politically-prideful demand–before the throne of Almighty God, is the only petition that has a prayer of a chance to save our nation.
Economic emergencies in the news turned my thoughts to Rome and its place in the final unfolding of Bible prophecy. Following the trail of great world empires to today’s news headlines leads inescapably to the conclusion that the birthplace of the Caesars figures to be at the very center of end-times turbulence.
Daniel the prophet gave a sweeping panorama of the major empires that would appear in the time of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and conclude with the world system of government being broken to dust (Daniel 2:26-45). This prophecy of humanistic dominion over the world and its dramatic end came through Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s night vision about a gigantic, metallic man-image.
Those who have studied the appearing, dominion, and destruction of each succeeding kingdom within the prophecy almost without exception believe the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s man-image to represent the Roman Empire. That powerful empire divided into the two legs–the western leg, with Rome as capital, and the eastern leg, with the capital being Constantinople (now known as Istanbul).
Rome is most important to think upon in Daniel’s overall prophetic unveiling because it is the “people” out of whom the one called “the prince that shall come” will emerge to step onto the stage of history as dictator of earth’s final human government (Daniel 9:26-27). This brings us to some logical conclusions, I think. Since most all other indicators are now on stage for human history’s final act, should Rome not be front and center as the end-times spotlight illuminates?
To set that stage again–as we have done so many times in these commentaries —here are some of the main signals that we are near the end of the end times:
The Kings of the East–Revelation 9 and 16–China and the powers of Asia are on the rise as potentially earth’s most powerful entities. Gog-Magog –Ezekiel 8-39—Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others have formed alliances that continue to grow in strength. The European Union (EU)–Daniel 9 is forming the revived Roman Empire. The U.N.–Psalm 2 personifies mankind’s globalist desire to throw off God’s restraints. Israel–Zechariah 12-14–is at the center of hatred, both its Arab neighbors and the UN as a whole seeking to destroy God’s chosen nation. Cries for peace–1 Thessalonians 5:3–are coming from the international community which is attempting to impose peace on Israel that would divide the land God gave the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There are many more specific signposts that indicate the present world is at the end of the Age of Grace (Church Age). So, with all of the stage-setting for Christ’s return in view, should Rome, the geographical as well as historical system that will produce the world’s last and most terrible tyrant, not be front and center?
The answer of course, is yes, it must–and that geographical entity just happens to be at the center of one of the great end-times indicators not mentioned above, but most important to consider.
The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This world system, whose would-be masters love the power wealth can generate, is caught up in what I believe is the catalyst for bringing Antichrist’s regime to its prophesied position of satanic control. Most who believe they are destined to control the world don’t have a clue that the great upheaval in economics they are struggling with is the result of the master manipulator–Satan himself—fomenting the tumult. The only way to ever reestablish any degree of control from this point is for there to take place a complete rearrangement of all matters monetary.
This rearrangement can’t happen as long as national sovereignties exist–as long as there is relative liberty left on the planet. Therefore, it will take a crisis of monstrous proportion to bring everyone into compliance with controls of a completely changed world–a new economic world order.
Rome is at the very center of the great economic storm. Its financial stability has come under great stress over the past decade and it’s economy –like that of all of Europe and much of the world—is in sharp decline with danger of imploding.
At the same time, Pope Francis and his strange handling of Vatican orthodoxy, changing things almost as radically as Barack Obama has radically transformed America, adds increased surreality to the influence this prophetic reviving empire has on end times stage-setting.
I firmly believe that the Rapture of the Church is the crisis that will convince the world–the western world, at least–to forfeit what little freedom there might be left, and give power and authority to the Beast. Antichrist, son of Rome, Satan’s ultimate dictator, will derive his power and control through a perverted economic system as foretold in Revelation 13:16-18.
Rome’s place in prophecy is taking shape before the eyes of God’s watchmen on the wall.