This week I received a thought-provoking email and sense I should explore its contents with you.
We continue, of course, in the midst of this Covid-19 or coronavirus, or whatever you want to call it. That is literally all we can find in terms of news. If news providers or pundits move away from the topic at all, it is only for a brief moment. They are then right back to giving all the statistics and feared statistics. The pandemic’s effect on both the health of the populations of the world and the economies of the world are news-fodder 24/7.
For the prophecy student of the pre-Trib sort, many questions arise. Why was the economy moving upward as if it had JATO (forgive my old US Air Force term, for “Jet Assist Take Off”)?Then, why did that booming economy descend so dramatically as to make many believe a catastrophic crash is surely coming?
The depictions by even many of the prophecy prognosticators are so dire as to put forward that we are now into the Tribulation—the time of Daniel’s seventieth week.
And why should this not be the fear? The abject fear-mongering by mainstream news is at a near bloodcurdling level in some instances.
Here is a brief excerpt from a writer who analyzes and points to things posited by two major newspapers that can be designed to do nothing less than engender trepidation.
The New York Times claims that “the specter of death speeds across the globe, ‘Appointment in Samara’-style, ever faster, culling the most vulnerable.” Others are claiming Trump will cancel the election to rule as a Jim Jones. “Every viewer who trusts the words of Earhardt or Hannity or Regan could well become a walking, breathing, droplet-spewing threat to the public,” opined the Washington Post. (“Wake Up! Your fears are being manipulated,” by Peter Van Buren, AmericanConservative.com, Rapture Ready News, March 27, 2020)
This writer has received a number of emails expressing fear that all of this means the Rapture of the Church has somehow now been pushed back. Since I have written on numerous occasions that Jesus said that it will be like the days of Noah and days of Lot when He next catastrophically Intervenes in the affairs of mankind, the plunging economy and pandemic conditions around the world must mean the Rapture cannot be imminent.
Jesus prophesied that people will be buying, selling, building, planting, marrying, etc., when He next breaks in on this rebellious world. Just like in the days of Lot in Sodom, God’s judgment will begin falling the very day the people of the Age of Grace are called by Christ into His Presence (Revelation 4: 1).
Well, folks, guess what? People are still buying, selling, building, and marrying. The farmers will be planting this spring. While it is true that all of these things are on a frightening, downward trajectory, they are still taking place. This is not the time of Armageddon when none of these things will come close to being done as they are currently. The great Rapture event can literally happen at any moment. And it is my opinion that, despite the pandemic and the subsequent plunge of economy, the Rapture is more likely than ever to be at any moment.
The Rapture is still imminent!
My own view is that this economy will move back into the upward trajectory. But whether it does or not, we will still be buying, selling, and all of the other things mentioned by the Lord Jesus. His Words, like God, Himself, do not change. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.
So we get back to the purpose of the thinking we are doing based upon the email I received. It was a missive that was meant to salve some of the hurting from the abrasiveness of the fear-mongering we’ve all been subjected to.
Like the Matthew 24:36–42 and Luke 17:26–30 passages about the days of Noah and days of Lot, the 2 Chronicles 7: 14 passage is declared by seminaries and their graduates’ scholarly commentaries to be for the Jews only, and for the time of Tribulation only. These, the “experts”—many of which are my good friends—say we must accept that these portions of God’s prophetic Word don’t apply to the Church. Nor are they for the Church Age, the Age of Grace.
I do not accept these interpretations. I believe these words of Christ in the Olivet Discourse are for the whole world, in every age, but particularly for the end of this present dispensation, in regard to the days of Noah and of Lot prophecy. The 2 Chronicles 7:14 directive from Heaven was indeed for the Jews, the emailer was pointing out. However, it is not exclusively to the Jews.
The Heavenly Father gives the prescription for how to deal with problems of a sin-nature that bring God’s correction and judgment on His people.
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)
Murray Lorance, the emailer, wrote in part:
While some still argue this is a message directed at only the wayward Jewish people of the Old Testament times, that same theme is introduced from the start of the Christian era in Acts 2.
Verse 38 says, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 3 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
I interject here: The words of this Scripture about being baptized for your sins, remember, is preached to the new believers in Christ before Paul’s teachings of belief only in the death, burial, and resurrection for salvation (Romans 10:9–10).
This heart of this initial message is carried consistently through the gospels and the epistles, as well as the final Revelation Word from Christ Himself.
But, to completely appreciate the application of the Second Chronicles passage we have become familiar with, let’s reconnect the prior verse to suddenly see its application to today’s pandemic crisis.
II Chronicles 7:13–14 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, of if I send the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Now, just to understand how earnest God is, back up to Chapter 6:28–31 for Solomon’s prayer of request to God.
“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, if there is locust or grasshopper, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or all of Your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own pain, and spreading his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the son of man that they may fear You, to walk in your ways as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.”
This prayer brought the response of Chapter 7:12 “Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, I have heard your prayer…”
So, will we repent to seek God’s relief, or will just a remnant plead for mercy? Could it be He is stirring hearts everywhere to seek Him? Will you be the watchman on the wall to guide that one back to truth, repentance and His righteousness? [I was delighted when I saw Franklin Graham on an advert on Fox Channel—a one-minute plea, and leading the audience in the sinner’s prayer! How bold! How badly needed in this secular culture.] “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest….! Be that faithful laborer!
If you know the Lord Jesus, you are His person. We are His People.
Let us pray the prayer of 2 Chronicles 7:14 as we look for the any-moment intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
Recently Mike Hile, my long-time friend and traveling companion, sent me a most important email. His thoughts (which I’ve not included here) and the material contained therein couldn’t be more appropriate, even essential, for this present hour.
We are engaged in this nation in unprecedented crisis, according to many of the mainstream media and others. The coronavirus is also engendering unprecedented fear due to great fear-mongering.
Again, as I’ve written in several commentaries, this is to in no way diminish the potential detriment to the health and well-being of Americans and peoples around the world represented by this disease. However, the pandemic, as it has been designated, doesn’t even come close to matching the great plague-like killers of past ages.
Nevertheless, I believe this president is leading the governmental agencies and the rest of us in a top-notch way. He is trying his best to tap down the tremendous fear that is raging.
As good as this president might be at offering calm and assurance that all will be okay in the foreseeable future, his efforts can’t compare to the calming assurance offered by the Creator of all things, our Father in Heaven.
The Lord has, through His Holy Word, given us freedom from the spirit of fear, if we but, as Dr. Charles Stanley says beautifully, “Obey God, no matter what, and leave all the consequences to Him.”
Another way of saying that, even better, is the way God Himself has put it:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
Jesus, God’s Son, who is the very Word (John chapter 1), tells us through the Apostle Paul:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
God wants His people—those born again (John chapter 3) through belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son—not to be fearful. He is in complete control at all times, including this time of crisis, be it real or contrived.
The following Scriptures that assure God’s freedom from fear to those who will study and appropriate His Word as their model for living was compiled by Debbie McDaniel. Debbie is a writer, pastor’s wife, and mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). She encourages you to join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Here is a list of thirty-three Scripture verses she found to assure us that we can live a life free of fear, even in fearful times.
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7)
- “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
- “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
- “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)
- “But now, this is what the Lord says… Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
- “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (Proverbs 12:25)
- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
- “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
- “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6–7)
- “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” (Isaiah 35:4)
- “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22–26)
- “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
- “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (Psalm 55:22)
- “Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” (Mark 6:50)
- “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- “’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13–14)
- “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
- “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” (Psalm 118:6–7)
- “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
- “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:39–40)
- “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7)
- “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.” (1 Peter 3:14)
- “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
- “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22)
- “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’” (Revelation 1:17)
- “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” (Mark 5:36)
- “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38–39)
- “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
- “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways… “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” ( Psalm 91:1–16)
Be Assured, God is still on the throne and your prayers can change things.
Let me say at the outset of this commentary that I in no way intend to diminish the dangers presented by this disease. It is a pandemic to be sure, because it is worldwide. The potential is there for massive health devastation and death.
However, the coronavirus has by no means reached anywhere close to historic levels of past deadly pandemics—or even regional epidemics. Not even close. Yet the projections are presenting to the world’s public an end-of-the-world prognosis, to keep it within medical jargon.
Even those who operate issues and events from Christian and even prophetic perspectives are painting a picture that the world is now almost certainly already in an era not unlike that described as the biblical apocalypse.
Aside from the fears about the millions who might die from coronavirus are the just-as-feared economic ramifications of the now officially declared pandemic.
Here are excerpts of some of the dystopian predictions I garnered from just one website to make the point.
- The financial system is cratering. Banks will begin to fold soon. Many deposits will be wiped out.
- Pensions are being wiped out right now, exactly along the lines we’ve been warning about for years. If you had exposure to the bubble stock market, real estate will begin to crater soon. Expect a 40% plunge on average, nationwide. Unemployment will skyrocket to Great Depression levels in less than 90 days. [Currency manipulation] insanity being pushed by the Trump administration will result in rapid price inflation across America, putting us on the path toward a Venezuela-type scenario, and more money printing goes to insane levels to bail out everybody and everything in the economy. Dumpster diving for food, the national sport of the failed state of Venezuela, will soon be commonplace in many US cities.
- The food supply is cratering in many regions, with food distribution hubs gutted and many local retailers cleaned out. City dwellers are “hunting” for grocery stores in rural areas that have more food. We anticipate gun battles over food to commence soon.
- Speaking of guns, every round of ammunition and every firearm in America is just about gone as of today. Retailers still have some supplies, but wholesalers are wiped out everywhere. More and more experts and even CDC officials are now openly talking about “millions of deaths” in the USA over the next 18 months. (Mike Adams, “URGENT Alert: Financial System Collapsing, Food Supply Collapsing, Hyperinflation Coming, Guns and Ammo Wiped Out, Military Martial Law Plans Leaked,” Natural News, March 19, 2020)
I found other websites forecasting even greater troubles. “America will end as we know it because of the coronavirus crisis” is the conclusion of a number of sites I’ve perused.
Of course, I’ll agree that America as we’ve known it has changed to the point that our founding fathers probably wouldn’t recognize it—at least, not as they envisioned the constitutional republic they created. It is certain most wouldn’t believe how it has turned out in terms of cultural and societal morality. And things like the fiscal irresponsibility of running monetary printing presses, as has been done for decades, with nothing to back the dollar—which itself seems to grow stronger rather than weaker vis-a vis all other currencies—would no doubt flabbergast them.
As we’ve looked at many times in these commentaries, there seems no rational explanation for why the American and global economies haven’t collapsed.
Economists, mostly in the lesser-known blog forums, have pointed to the fact that there will come a tremendous crash at some point. The more renowned financial talking heads of broadcast and cable networks haven’t really examined underlying fiscal structures. They have concentrated on amazement over the ever-rising stock market figures.
Now, it is declared by many that the time of reckoning has come. The coronavirus crisis means the end of all things in terms of economic well-being. Economic/monetary matters have defied the fiscal laws of gravity—as we’ve pointed out—the way Wile E. Coyote defies gravity in the cartoon world. Now we have entered a time that will, many believe, lead to times worse than conditions created by the stock-market crash of 1929.
To those who observe what’s going on through the prism of Bible prophecy, particularly the pre-Trib view of Bible prophecy, things are in tremendous flux. That is, tremendous change is taking place that portends the soon-coming time of the Antichrist regime. This is what must come to pass so that Jesus Christ can return to put an end to human government, which has so egregiously failed at every turn.
However, it is not the end…not yet.
As my good friend Jan Markell says about world conditions in regard to Bible prophecy: “Things aren’t falling apart. They are falling together.” That is, we are privileged as Christians alive at this time to watch the end-times stage being set for all things to unfold exactly like God, through His Holy Word, says they will.
The devil and his minions, both human and supernatural, have tried to accomplish a coup d’état in this nation for the past four years. They have failed at every turn. Now they are, through the crisis at present, determined to change America through the many rushed fixes we are seeing. They hope to attach their tentacles through lockdowns and forced economic/business changes—i.e., ways of doing business—for accomplishing their globalist ambitions. Even with the immense propaganda power of the mainstream media, they have been unable to carry out their attempted coup d’état. This is because, I believe with all that is within my spiritual understanding, the Lord of Heaven has prevented their one-world plans to this point.
This is due to the fact that it is not yet time for the Antichrist world order to emerge. This can’t happen as long as the Church, Jesus Christ’s Bride, is still on this fallen planet.
That’s why the present president has been placed in the most powerful office of the most powerful government on earth. If anyone else held the office at this crucial time, I believe the economy of the United States, and certainly economies of the rest of the world, would have by this time indeed come crashing down. This would especially have been true by now, figuring this pandemic into the economic equation.
This is not to give Mr. Trump undue credit. He is simply living proof of the truth found in God’s Word. The Lord of Heaven raises up rulers and kings, and He brings them down (Daniel 2: 21). That this man is chosen by God to be in the position to which he was elected in such astonishing fashion is a primary reason I believe that the economy that is currently in freefall will again reach previous heights.
Jesus prophesied that when He next intervenes into the affairs of mankind, it will not be at a time of Tribulation-like desperation. It will, he said, be a time of building, buying, selling, marrying, planting. It will be, I believe He indicated, a time of business even more dynamic than usual—just like on the day when Lot was suddenly removed from Sodom, which was judged that very day.
The changes we are seeing at this time are profound. Indeed, America is being reconfigured in a way that will pave the way for what will take place following the Rapture of Christ’s Bride—all born-again believers.
But this isn’t the end. It is however, to somewhat distort the paraphrasing of Churchill regarding the end of the Battle for Britain during WW II, perhaps the end of the beginning of the end.
Jesus said while sitting atop the Mount of Olives just before He died on the cross at Calvary and resurrected for the sin of mankind: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).
He also said: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Last week in this column, I gave an excerpt from an article I wrote some years ago that told of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Those promises came from Genesis 12:1–3 and involved the fact that God would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse His chosen people of Israel.
I then wrote:
My words of those earlier times have continued to prove true, because the facts involved come directly from God’s Word. Israel continues to be an amazing fulfilling of stage-setting for ultimate fulfillment of prophecy yet future.
In this week’s commentary, I hope to show that Iran, the modern nation that covers much of the territory that encompassed the ancient Persian Empire, likewise gives absolute proof of God’s promises coming true. Whereas Israel has dramatically proven to be the beneficiary of the Lord’s promise to “bless” that nation, Iran continues to prove the veracity of God’s promise to “curse” those who curse Israel.
Most who study Bible prophecy are more than aware that the ayatollahs of Iran have, particularly since the fall of Iran’s shah, uttered the most damnable curses imaginable against Israel. They have organized Iran’s peoples into hate-Israel frenzy. The chants include “Death to Israel!” and the Islamic regime declares America “the big Satan” and Iran “the little Satan.”
It is reported that Iran is now suffering from the coronavirus more terribly than even China, the center from which the disease apparently sprang.
At least 429 people had died in Iran from the disease as of Thursday March 12 and more than 10,000 people were confirmed as infected as of that date. Sources estimated that because of the regime’s oppressive and reclusive modus operandi the real tallies of the infected and dead are much higher.
Hatred is so deeply ingrained in Islamic leadership that, even though Israel leads the way in developing effective vaccines and treatments for the disease, they still curse that nation. Their reluctance to accept Israel in any way seems to condemn the people of Iran to a tragic outcome.
Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi took a break from hating Israel long enough to announce a religious ruling that it would be permitted to use a “Zionist” vaccine against the coronavirus.
“It is not permissible to buy and sell from Zionists and Israel,” Shirazi said Wednesday to the Iranian daily Hamdeli. “Unless the treatment is unique and there is no substitute.”
Shirazis statement comes in response to a Hebrew media report on Wednesday citing unidentified officials as saying that scientists at the Ness Ziona-based Institute for Biological Research were close to developing a vaccine for the coronavirus. (Adam Eliyaho Berkowitz, “Holocaust-Denying Grand Ayatollah Okays Buying Israeli Cure for Coronavirus,” Breaking Israel News | Latest News)
While the Grand Ayatollah might at some point allow the use of vaccine produced by the hated Israel, the general attitude of the Islamic hardliners in control is reflected in a statement by Roshan Salih, a prominent journalist for Press TV. He tweeted a Haaretz article about an announcement that an Israeli research center had developed a vaccine for the coronavirus. Salih commented, “I’d rather take my chances with the virus than consume an Israeli vaccine.”
The Iranian government mullahs, it can be argued, brought the curse of COVID-19 down on their own heads. While America and much of the Western world isolated China because of it being the center of the disease, the mullahs decided to take advantage and fully embrace China to get trade deals so desperately needed.
The sanctions President Trump and other leaders placed on Iran have greatly affected the regime’s ability to do business worldwide. They are struggling mightily to stay afloat economically, and the people of Iran are protesting with increasing anger and vigor. The embrace of China, apparently, with the intermingling of people doing business, is one major factor that brought the coronavirus into even the highest levels of the clergy-leadership.
It is reported that some top Islamic leaders are infected, and a number—perhaps much greater than reported—have died from the disease.
The “Butcher of Tehran,” Mohammad Haj Abolghasemi, for example, has died of the disease. He was in charge of the sadistic repression of Iranian dissidents during recent antigovernment riots. The Iranian public rejoiced when Abolghasemi became one of the early fatalities associated with COVID-19.
Other reports leaking out of Iran paint ominous portraits of a nation that might be said to be under curse.
Two days after Iran declared its first cases of the novel coronavirus—in what would become one of the largest outbreaks of the illness outside of China—evidence of unusual activity appeared at a cemetery near where the infections emerged.
At the Behesht-e Masoumeh complex in Qom, about 80 miles south of Tehran, the excavation of a new section of the graveyard began as early as Feb. 21, satellite images show, and then rapidly expanded as the virus spread. By the end of the month, two large trenches—their lengths totaling 100 yards—were visible at the site from space.
In[a stunning] video, shared by the BBC’s Persian service March 3, the narrator [described] the scene at Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery as men carry a casket toward a trench with multiple graves. Qom, like other parts of Iran, is grappling with the coronavirus outbreak that has sickened thousands of people and overwhelmed the public health infrastructure.
“This is the section for coronavirus victims,” the narrator says, as the camera pans across a small portion of the trench, showing mounds of dirt and small, simple markers. People wearing blue protective suits are seen standing nearby. “More than 80 [people] have been buried in this section so far, and they say only 34 deaths,” he says, citing the official death toll on Feb. 28. (Erin Cunningham and Dalton Bennett, “Iran’s Coronavirus Burial Pits Are So Vast They’re Visible from Space,” Connecticut Post, Washington Post, March 12, 2020)
Pressure is enormous on modern-day Persian leaders to bring relief from the suffering of the nation’s enraged population. Instead of joining the more reasonable nations of the world and starting to act in a more civilized manner, thus bringing about better economic conditions, the mullahs double down on their hatred for Israel.
God’s prophet Ezekiel foretold millennia ago the results of the things we are seeing develop at this time of history.
Iran (Persia) will be offered by Gog to share in the “spoil” of the riches they expect when attacking the Jewish state. It is not difficult to believe that Iran’s hate-filled leaders will eagerly join in the assault. It will be the most disastrous outcome for an aggressor in human history to that point. Only Armageddon itself will bring greater destruction to Israel’s enemies.
A headline on Rapture Ready News jumped from the monitor screen: “Will Coronavirus Kill the New World Order?”
By this, I infer the question implies that the globalists might not get their long-dreamed-of, unified world because the so-called coronavirus pandemic will keep the nations of the world separated out of necessity.
This is one question I can answer with absolute certitude. The answer is NO. The coronavirus, nor any other virus or human agency, will destroy the coming “new world order.”
However, the caveat that must be entered here is predicated upon the supposition that we’re talking about destruction of the coming new world order, not changes in it.
Those changes are coming—and we must think in terms of profound, unprecedented changes that will likely rearrange modalities of living even in the United States of America.
For Americans, this prospect is daunting. We’re used to not having our apple carts upset. Concerning our ways of life, the poor among us, the middle class among us, and the wealthy and upper 1 percent of the ultra-rich among our numbers are not easily moved from our routines. God’s Word says through prophecy that a new world order is coming. As a matter of fact, two new world orders are on the way.
So to predict that the new world order—the first of which isn’t even here yet—will not be killed by the coronavirus or anything else is a sure bet.
But the changes that will affect the first of these separate and distinctly different world orders are, I’m convinced, upon us right now. These are manifesting in every news cycle. The “pandemic” of the coronavirus is engendering not the destruction of it, but the changes in it that will forever alter life in our nation and around the world.
These changes we’re witnessing, experiencing, and enduring aren’t Bible prophecy being fulfilled, but rather, are setting the stage for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The first of these world orders is the one Antichrist will rule. It will ultimately be created out of the geopolitical turmoil going on at this moment in history. This turbulence—fomented by Satan, with the United States presidency and the American nation at the epicenter—is generating the current economic earthquake.
The coronavirus hoopla is being used masterfully by Satan and his minions in high places to try yet again to bring this US president down. This must be done in order to get the globalist juggernaut back on track.
This is in no way saying that I take this disease lightly. I agree with my good friend Eric Barger of Take a Stand Ministries, who recently wrote the following:
There is no question that COVID-19 is deadly. There is also no question that some in the media are manipulating this story dramatically as they report on it. Objective reporting is hard to find these days but instead of calling out some of the politicians on the left—who’ve chosen to politicize an epidemic—their allies in the media are choosing to just chime in! Both pundits and political hacks alike apparently just can’t wait to attempt scoring the cheapest of points against the president. It is frankly unconscionable, but, as expected, it appears that nothing whatsoever is off limits for these partisans.
The old serpent has chosen to create the perception of a worldwide spread of a relatively common virus to bring the peoples of the world together. Fear is the ingeniously devilish nucleus around which the globalist cabal has wrapped its plans to get things back to normal, in a perverted model of normalcy. The one-world elitists will do anything and everything within their Lucifer-infused power to restore their internationalist equilibrium, to tear down nation-state sovereignty and dissolve national boundaries.
All of that said, however, the coronavirus pandemic is not the pandemic to which I refer as presented in the title of this commentary. That “real” pandemic, as I term it, is far more lethal—far more terrifying.
The real pandemic facing the world today is 100 percent fatal—not only to physical life, but to life that follows physical death.
It is the virus called sin. Each and every person who has ever been born on this fallen planet with the exception of One, the Lord Jesus Christ, is born with this spiritual virus. It will, for the one afflicted, without remedy, end with the person suffering the process of dying forever.
This hellish, spiritual virus turns mankind against God. It thus brings about thinking that is upside-down—an insanity that precludes rationality. That’s what we’ve been witnessing for the last four years in particular. The Lord of Heaven has turned the anti-God forces over to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28).
There is coming a second new world order. It will be ushered in by King Jesus, who will reign and rule over an Eden-like planet that He will refurbish upon putting an end to Armageddon.
Finally, at the end of Christ’s reign, there will be no more pandemics that corrupt and destroy God’s creation called man. The new heavens and new earth will provide the perfect environment—the utopia the globalists with their climate-change rants proclaim they want. But they will not be around to enjoy it. Sadly, they will have succumbed to the pandemic that is far deadlier than the coronavirus.
To avoid being terminally and eternally ill because of this terrible, spiritual virus, confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins. Believe then in your spiritual heart that He rose from the dead. Do this and you have God’s Word on it. You are now saved. (Romans 10: 9—10)
Some years ago I wrote the following:
Israel is the one nation in human history that the Creator of all things chose to be “a people unto himself”: “For thou [art] an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
Jehovah made promises to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that are staggering in their implications. He promised to bless those who bless the nation that would spring from the loins of these men, and warned about His curse for those who cursed those people. God said to Abraham, “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1–3).
Certainly, this promise can easily be verified as coming true throughout recorded history. The modern record, as a matter of fact, is contemporary proof of the veracity of the Almighty and His prophetic promises. Historians–except those blinded by the great deceiver, Lucifer—concede, sometime reluctantly, that Israel’s history in ancient times was a record of greatness. David and Solomon’s exploits and accomplishments are legendary, but built upon archaeological facts. Israel has achieved greatness among the nations of this earthly sphere.
My words of those earlier times have continued to prove true, because the facts involved come directly from God’s Word. Israel remains an amazing fulfillment of the stage being set for the ultimate accomplishment of prophecy yet future.
We’ve looked many times at recent examples of such stage-setting. The nations of Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others are preparing for their fateful plunge southward over “the mountains of Israel.” It will be the attack Ezekiel the prophet said would come from the military coalition he called Gog and Magog.
Those nations are in constant, interactive ferment north of Jerusalem. Every day there are reports of this intermingling. Sometimes they are against each other, as when Turkey threatens Russia’s client state, Syria. Sometimes Russia and Turkey can be seen hugging, like when Russia’s Vladimir Putin recently met with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as they continue to plan how best to divide their aggression in some sort of semi-orderly fashion.
Persia (Iran) is right in the middle of the fermentation taking place. One day—post Rapture, I’m convinced—these three (Russia, Iran, and Turkey) will determine to take Israel’s riches—the riches that God promised His chosen nation long ago.
It is with this as prologue that I want to think a moment on a recent news item, with regard to God’s promises to Abraham all those millennia ago.
To me, the current headlines could not be clearer. The veracity of God’s blessings to the old patriarch is being proven right before our twenty-first-century eyes.
While in Israel the coronavirus outbreak is stil, somehow under control, Iran is rapidly becoming a devastated country as a result of the COVID-19 virus and the Islamist regime is hiding the unprecedented disaster while doing not enough to contain the crisis.
Officially the regime says that 3.500 people were infected with the COVID-19 virus while the official death toll is now 107.
“This disease is a widespread disease. It has reached almost all our provinces and in one sense it’s a global disease,” Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani admitted during a cabinet meeting in Tehran while reaffirming the official data about the corona outbreak.
If we take a look at information coming from non-government sources inside and outside Iran, we will understand Rouhani’s words were an understatement.
First of all, Iranian lawmakers such as Abdul Karim Hosseinzadeh revealed that in the holy Shiite city of Qom and Rasht another Iranian city the situation is so bad that streets are full of dead bodies.
“Corpses in Qom are piling up,” Hosseinzadeh wrote on his Twitter account.
The Iranian MP warned that if the regime doesn’t take appropriate action such as quarantining cities Iran will have the highest death toll in the world. (Yochanan Visser, “Iran Attempting to Hide the Disaster It Faces as the COVID-19 Virus Spreads Out of Control within the Islamic Republic,” Israel National News, May 3, 2020)
I’m aware that we must be cautious of appending to current issues and events God’s holy, prophetic Word through “newspaper exegesis.” However, it is proper and even expected to examine whether certain issues and events taking place harbor prophetic truth.
The Ayatollahs of Iran have for years cursed Israel in the vilest terms. They lead in chants, “Death to Israel!” They call Jews the worst names of degradation they can conjure.
We must consider whether the Lord’s promises recorded in Genesis 12 are being proven true in today’s headlines with regard to the coronavirus.
This series of Nearing Midnight articles was written at the end of 2010 and the very beginning of 2011. These articles were written in response to people who were quite fearful about what they saw developing. Glenn Beck, then host of a FOX program and Hal Lindsey were both saying the world’s financial system was on the brink of collapsing.
I believe the Lord gave my spiritual understanding His answer to readers’ fears. The following series of 10 articles was what I wrote, intending to share what I believe the Holy Spirit wanted shared with readers.
I am now –in early 2020– getting exactly the same sorts of fear-filled emails as back in 2010 and 2011.
I wanted to repost this series, in its entirety to again put before readers the same insights I believe the Lord gave me to disseminate a decade ago.
I’m asked if my thoughts have changed about the “Days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecy by Jesus found in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 and 21.
The answer is no… My thoughts haven’t changed because Jesus’ Words in His prophecy have not changed. Like Christ, Himself, His words are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 1
By Terry James
Commentators, secular and religious, weigh in incessantly on all aspects of the issues of greatest concern for these angst-ridden times. Those issues of most profound worry are collapsing economy, loss of personal liberty, and what is going to happen in the immediate and long-term future.
One can almost physically feel the fear in the emails I receive daily. Worries over what the future holds fill the articles and, more to the point for this commentary, dominate the personal missives that search for answers that might provide some degree of comfort.
One of the more mildly fearful emails I received this week says in part, “I watched the Hal Lindsey Report yesterday in which he said that he believes before the Rapture that Christians were going to be persecuted. After reading your nearing midnight article today I can see that Christians becoming more and more isolated for their support of Israel is just another sign that he is right. If Hal is right, with the rapture being as close as it is then persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?”
I listened to what Hal Lindsey had to say in that particular program, and he did paint a bleak picture for the immediate future of planet earth. He correctly pointed to even more terrible times for the world a bit further out–during the Tribulation. I had so many urging me to watch Glenn Beck’s program that I tuned in to that show on the several days he painted a frightening picture of what he says he believes George Soros and the New World Order minions have in mind for the world –particularly for the citizens of the United States.
Mr. Beck, like Hal Lindsey, gave as part of his view of things the prescription he thinks necessary to help with curing the sickness from which the United States and the world suffer. It is interesting that both Lindsey and Beck–one Christian, the other secular (in that he is a FOX News pundit)–give faith turned toward God as a major part of any such remedy.
Now, I am aware Glenn Beck is a Mormon, and that this fact makes the difference between the views of the two men and their recommendations quite distinct from one another. But the intensive urging of both to look more deeply into the crush of troubles weighing heavily on the minds of most everyone is more to the point. Both see what is happening in these strange times as emanating from dark, spiritual forces.
I know that Hal’s analysis is correct because he realizes that the source against which humanity–particularly Christians–struggles is found in God’s Word. I honestly don’t know exactly what Glenn Beck sees as the chief opponent against which humanity must be protected. He points to George Soros and his ilk, but never seems to get to the root of the evil we face.
Lindsey knows–as do you and I who try to be attuned to God’s Word in these prophetic times—that, according to the apostle Paul, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Paul wasn’t writing about the George So roses of the world. He was forewarning of the dark powers behind the earthly megalomaniacs who would be our masters. Maybe Mr. Beck sees those darker powers, too, but he can’t bring himself about to cast God’s light upon that unseen realm. Perhaps that is because he sees us, the American people, as the answer to our own spiritual problems. If we will just summon the same patriotic grit of the founding fathers, we can overcome the human diabolists like Soros. To aspire to vanquish “spiritual wickedness in high places” –the dark, satanic forces of the spiritual world—would not be possible. When all is said and done, Beck’s viewpoint is inclusive of only the humanistic elements of the struggle mankind faces today. In this, sadly, he seems in lock-step with the world order builders that God laughs sarcastically at as recorded in Psalms 2.
I won’t go further about Glenn Beck so far as concerns his acumen in pointing the way to overcoming in the struggle we face as the apocalyptic storm nears. His religion’s prophetic beliefs dictate outcomes drastically different from those found in the Bible. Since he hasn’t overtly introduced those to his viewing/listening audiences–at least, not yet–I won’t address those here.
However, the biblical scenarios are the ones Hal Lindsey does introduce on a weekly basis to his audience. It is this view we will look at when thinking on the prospects you and I face, considering all of the bleak economic and societal news on the immediate horizon.
But, we’ve run out of column space for this week. We will begin scanning our darkening prophetic landscape through God’s radar next week, God willing.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 2
By Terry James
Terrible times like no other in American history lurk somewhere in the future, according to FOX News Channel’s Glenn Beck. He is joined in his stated apprehension for what is coming by thousands of American citizens. Many of these are fear-filled Christians who look to Beck and others to inform them of the proposed terrors to come, and to tell them what to do about it. I continue to hear from some of these through email on a weekly, even daily, basis.
I would like us to look briefly at developments across today’s socioeconomic landscape, thus to examine as analytically and as fairly as possible the portentous matters that give Beck and others fodder for their doomsday scenarios.
Economics-minded forecasters great and small watched the stock market bubble build during the days preceding the Lehman Brothers collapse of 2008, speculating wildly what the bubble’s burst might bring. That financial aneurysm, they determined, would certainly rupture–and, of course, it did. Governmental insanity created by ultra-liberal politicians saw to it that people with champagne tastes and beer drinkers’ budgets for years received home loans they didn’t have much more than a prayer of ever repaying.
We are now familiar with the terms “Freddie Mac” and “Fannie Mae.” We are equally acquainted with names such as Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, and others, who–in the name of “fairness” to those who couldn’t afford housing like the more affluent–demanded these be given the loans anyway, despite the fact the recipients didn’t have the income or collateral to support that level of debt.
Rather than govern the housing industry responsibly, the elected officials invested with the responsibility to oversee things, in concert with their Wall Street cohorts, foolishly threw caution to the fiscal winds. A banking crisis of unprecedented magnitude was thus created, with the housing bubble rupture setting in motion bank failures and threats of even greater crises.
Calls for massive bailouts to avert what the president of the United States and others in government and media speciously screamed would otherwise be world-rending calamity brought about the most devastating crisis of all. Trillions of dollars were, in effect, created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve Bank to save entities “too big to fail.”
The totally irresponsible sleight-of-hand accomplished only the creation of an exploding national debt that most likely can never be repaid. Decisions made by some of the same people who help create the problems strapped on the back of American citizens financial burdens with which generations far into the future will have to deal.
The resulting economic uncertainty deepened an abyss-like recession that more soundly thought-out measures would have surely lessened in severity. Jobs, as we know, are being lost; businesses are closing their doors; deflation or hyper-inflation–the experts can’t figure which—might collapse the American economy within a near-time frame (which the experts can’t predict, either).
The stability of the global economy hangs in the balance, with the other nations and their monetary gurus wondering about the financial fate of the U.S. and its all-important dollar. And, make no mistake: Under present world economic structures, the fate of the American dollar is absolutely critical.
Enter Glenn Beck at the tip of the gloom iceberg. And “iceberg” is a viable term here because the things he and others are forewarning are indeed chilling. Statements the TV and radio show host make almost daily send shivers down the spine of many of his viewers and listeners. He says things like (I paraphrase), “Change is coming, and when it happens, you won’t recognize your country. You will wake up next day, and it will no longer be America as you’ve known it. And, it will happen just that fast. I can’t tell you when that transformation is coming, but it’s coming.”
Beck forecasts the same astonishing change for the entire world in his proposed overnight transformational moment. His words sound almost out of the pages of Bible prophecy from the Pre-Trib view, don’t they? But the change he predicts is tied almost exclusively to the earthly, not to the ethereal–almost, but not entirely, as we will soon find.
Economic collapse, thus societal rearrangements of apocalyptic dimension, is at the heart of his fearful forecast. He implies that we will, perhaps, awaken that morning to a monetary cataclysm–our dollar as worthless as the deutsche marks of the Weimar republic of Germany just before Hitler’s meteoric rise to power in the 1930s. The FOX program host often raises the real probability, in his view, that inflation, which is on the rise, will skyrocket to astronomical levels when the great transformation he fears takes place.
He gives some key commodity future dollar amounts for what he claims the experts tell him will be exponential price rises. A small bag of sugar could be as much as $60 or $70. One ear of corn could be $11 or higher. A loaf of bread will likely be $24. Just under a pound of coffee could be $77. Fifteen ounces of orange juice will likely be $45, according to Beck’s forecasters.
A Hershey chocolate bar, standard size, will cost $15.50, his experts say. Now, that is certainly a crisis in the making if it is an accurate prognostication. Chocolate lovers I know would probably join the rioters Beck believes will rage in the streets once cuts to federal government give-away programs have to be made.
Next week, we will think a bit on what a changed America might look like if truly effective remedies to deal with Mr. Beck’s fearful vision of a new socioeconomic paradigm are ever implemented.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 3
By Terry James
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has internment compounds placed strategically around the United States. These will be used as concentration camps when anarchy reaches a critical point in America and the world. This sort of warning has been at the heart of fear-filled emails I’ve been receiving for the past seven years, at least.
Today, the trepidation concerning the likelihood of the collapse of America and the world issues daily from a populist mouthpiece. There are others, but Glenn Beck fills the role as chief forecaster of impending doom. He says frequently that we will awaken one morning and find that America has changed. We won’t recognize the nation. It will happen just that swiftly, and the transformation will involve, among other things, probable hyper-inflation that will make money valueless for most people in America. This means that the entire world will follow suit. Global depression, we infer, will be the plight of all but the ultra rich of the world–the George Soroses, etc.
Based upon Beck’s dire suppositions, we consider things to come. Just how far into the future all of this evil lurks, Beck doesn’t know. However, based upon the rapid movement in economic uncertainties, it is likely, he implies, that it will happen sooner rather than later. That new dawning–or perhaps “nightfall” is the more apropos term–will be bleak, he predicts. The dollar will have fallen as the reserve currency for most of the world’s economies. Entire bank accounts will be wiped out, in that their contents likely won’t be sufficient to feed a family for a day, much less for longer. Governments will be forced to cut social programs of every sort–completely eliminating them in most cases. Rioting will explode while those on welfare roll and others used to government largesse will turn violent. The big inner cities will be particularly hard hit.
If the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans can serve as example, looting and violence might well be the order of such changed way of life on that terrible day after the transformation forecast by Glenn Beck occurs. The sorts who looted during the devastating hurricane will almost certainly spill into the suburbs, then into the countryside, pillaging for food and anything else that strikes their fancy.
Riots in the streets of Greece, Spain, and most recently in London, brought about by governments imposing austerity measures on money spent on social programs, present a foreboding picture of how things in the U.S. might look within twenty-four hours of an economic collapse such as Beck and others fear. In the United States, the very thought of what might take place when government handouts are cut off caused Indianapolis, Indiana, city officials to bring in greatly increased law enforcement when officials were about to announce that unemployment payments would not be extended.
So daunting are the prospects that even Beck stops short of delving too deeply into what such a changed world–catastrophically lacking in food, electricity, appropriate sewage treatment, and clean drinking water–would mean to Americans. But such change, he forewarns, is coming…and soon. It is coming, he says, because of the internationalist elitists who want that transformed world through which to rule over the rest of us–a “New World Order,” as George Soros, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and even George H. W. Bush and other champions of globalism have termed it.
Presidents have for decades been leading America into the globalist economic arena. No chief executive has observably been more determined to meld the U.S. economy with the rest of the world than Barack Obama. He said in a speech in Mumbai, India, regarding his desire to take America into the global economic model, “This will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete. There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalization as a threat and those who accept we live in an open, integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities.”
Obama stated further that unemployment within the U.S. that might result from global economic integration is going to be the “new normal.” It is just something we are all going to have to get used to.
Most every proponent of this move into globalism comprehends that the process of merging the American economy into the one-world configuration they desire will be painful for U.S. citizens. Wages will go down. America’s living standard will fall, according to the globalists. Americans will face a struggle in the course that must be taken to reach parity for all of the world community. This is just a fact of life, according to those who know best. President Obama himself says that the nation’s economy might “not be fixed for quite some time.”
Again, if I hear him right, Glenn Beck believes this change will be, for Americans, an instantaneous fall into an abyss of economic depression, not a slow slide into the poor house. He presents an almost fatalistic scenario, concerning our not being able to stop it from happening overnight. He urges all who will listen to prepare for the coming, contrived collapse of the American and world economies.
He says, at the same time, that he believes Americans have what it takes to thwart this drive toward New World Order–this effort to return to Babel. He indicates that he believes fervor for patriotism at the level of that of the founding fathers can reignite a foundational movement to restore sanity to government, economy, and culture/society.
At a rally in Washington DC, he threw some spiritual/religious verbiage into the mix of his exhortation to take back America: “Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”
Sounds like Beck is onto something there, doesn’t it? Let’s look more deeply into where that might be leading next time.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 4
By Terry James
America is on the precipice of economic implosion, according to Glenn Beck and others. A sudden, catastrophic transformation will jolt us one morning upon awakening to the fact that the way of life we’ve known is gone. The Fox News show host pronounces the nation’s doom if his prescription for cure isn’t followed.
If the cure is not taken, George Soros and his ilk, the New World Order titans, will march America’s citizenry into global gulag–on the broad way back to Babel. There, all of mankind will, like John Lennon once sang, “Be as one.”
Beck’s biblical allusions flow soothingly, once the dire diagnosis and prognosis for America’s socioeconomic illness are firmly grasped by his audience. And, a growing number of people seem mesmerized by the host’s descriptions, illustrations, and analyses.
The Lord God knew that being “as one” was a humanistic recipe for disaster, Beck pontificates. The Almighty rushed to the plains of Shinar–as recorded in Genesis chapter 11–to spread humankind throughout all parts of the planet to avoid exactly what Soros and his buddies are again planning to foist upon earth dwellers. After laying out instructions and suggestions about how to survive some harsh, even terrifying, interim times just ahead by storing foods with long shelf lives and making other prudent preparations against the devastation the dollar’s demise will assuredly bring, Beck shifts to spiritual counsel. He leads into this phase with his words at the rally, as mentioned earlier: “Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”
Almost tearful with emotion in his voice, Beck pleads for Americans to go to our knees and pray for the nation’s salvation. Then, with a great inhalation of patriotic resolve like that of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and other of America’s founders, Beck, with Patton-like motivational rhetoric and steel in his voice, fortifies his troops for the battles ahead.
America will triumph through all the assaults against the republic, he declares with vigor, “because we are Americans.” Americans always do whatever it takes to overcome evil.
Glenn Beck exhorts Americans to invoke God’s name and help in the “take-back America” campaign. Good–so far as it goes.
With his next declaration, the Fox host frames his proclamation about the cure he envisions. He declares that the American people–those like the patriots in his audience–will do the necessary sacrificing and make the political and economic changes essential to set the U.S. ship of state back on course to a sound moral and socioeconomic mooring.
America will survive the great crash that is coming and, he implies, it will again become the greatest nation–although perhaps smaller, he adds–because of the goodness intrinsic within the American people. We are, he says, about to “witness miracles.”
And, this is the point where emotionally hyped fervor and patriotic resolve—no matter how sincere—depart from truth that resides within the heart of God’s prophetic Word. No matter how well constructed or intensive the efforts to implement it, Beck’s blueprint–or any humanistic blueprint—for saving the republic is doomed to failure.
To this point, Hal Lindsey’s view of Bible prophecy and Glenn Beck’s analyses and forecast for America’s destiny have run relatively parallel. Both Lindsey and Beck see a time coming in the near term when America will suffer financial collapse. It will be, they each predict, a time of national and worldwide societal darkness worse than the bleakest years of the Great Depression. Based upon the staggering debt of the U.S. and of most every other major nation on earth, theirs is the only conclusion that can reasonably be reached using informed rationale.
Lindsey and Beck also envision a singular moment when America and the world will change forever. It will be an instant so calamitous that it will, in effect, eventuate in a totally transformed global order for every facet of human interaction.
This, however, is where similarities in their view of the future end. Now the views diverge as dramatically as the difference between the eternal places called heaven and hell.
As I wrote in the beginning of “Scanning a Fearful Future,” Glenn Beck hasn’t overtly interjected his Mormon beliefs into his foreboding predictions. Therefore, I won’t address his pronouncements in regard to his religious beliefs–that is, except to again point out that the Mormon view of the end of human history differs greatly from what the Bible says about the consummation of all things encapsulated by this thing God created for man called time.
I feel justified in mentioning this because Beck himself more and more brings the name “God” and the need for the exercise of “faith” into his presentations. However, his consistently stated viewpoint makes it obvious that he believes the fate of us all will play out in an all-earthly scenario, with America winning the day, if we all follow his prescription for dealing with the coming calamity.
Hal Lindsey, like me and those who believe that Bible prophecy clearly speaks of what conditions will be like at the very end of the age, also sees America and the world headed into an economic morass. Unlike Glenn Beck, however, we are of the conviction that if indeed we are at the end of this dispensation–the Age of Grace (Church Age) as we believe is the case–this nation is beyond anything human intervention can do to save it. Next time we will look at what I’m convinced is God’s view of things to come in the very near future.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 5
By Terry James
I must preface what follows by saying that I use Hal Lindsey in this look at the future because I and so many others hold him in high regard as the most widely recognized apologist for the pretribulation Rapture view of Bible prophecy. His book, “The Late, Great Planet Earth,” is of course the work that vaulted him into prominence. His continuing efforts over the decades to forewarn of things to come–with his current TV program serving as an excellent Bible prophecy platform–puts him at the top level of those who watch for Christ’s return, in my view.
Lindsey has indicated on his television program, The Hal Lindsey Report, that he believes America and all other nations of the world are headed into the darkest of socioeconomic times. American Christians, he believes, face persecution unlike any that believers in the United States have experienced. He recommends, as does Glenn Beck, that people store food and make other preparations against possible hyper-inflated times to come.
While Lindsey advocates–as does Beck—that we strive to be good citizens and fight the staunch, patriotic fight through the ballot box in order to return the nation to one centered in morality and freedom, he says in practically the same breath that this world system is doomed. There is no hope, apart from the hope that is in Jesus Christ. His seeming dichotomy of thought evokes concerns that must be addressed.
We began looking into prospects for the near future by considering an email I received from one such concerned Christian. Again, he wrote the following, in part:
I watched the Hal Lindsey Report yesterday in which he said that he believes before the Rapture that Christians were going to be persecuted. After reading your “Nearing Midnight” article today, I can see that Christians becoming more and more isolated for their support of Israel is just another sign that he is right. If Hal is right, with the Rapture being as close as it is, then persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?
This writer’s perspectives carry much weight. It is Dr. Lindsey’s view of things that impressed the emailer to write. Since I am asked for my “take” on Hal’s position regarding severe persecution for believers being imminent, I must be true to my study of prophecy and risk going somewhat counter to his stated belief that Christians in America are necessarily going to suffer such intensive, satanically engendered travail.
I mean no disrespect for this man, certainly a special servant chosen for the Lord’s prophetic ministry for these closing hours of the age. However, my assessment differs from his forecast to an extent that I sense it needs to be presented here.
We have spent time thus far looking into the eerie, troubling changes taking place across the socioeconomic landscape of America and the world. Mostly, we have tried to get our brains around the apparent insanity of our leaders and why they have created crises then printed trillions of dollars to throw at those crises–all of this sleight-of-hand chicanery done to stave off supposed national and world cataclysm those leaders warned would otherwise destroy civilization as it has been known. Their supposed attempts to preempt economic Armageddon now threaten to bring about the collapse of every economy on the planet.
The foundation had to be laid thusly in order to begin answering the question so many people want to know. Our emailer framed well the fears of many who worry what the near future might hold. Since world conditions are in configuration that includes issues and events much like those for the Tribulation given in Bible prophecy, will Christians in America face severe persecution before Christ returns to this desperately wicked planet? That is among the most expressed concerns in email correspondence I receive these days.
Hal Lindsey, like Glenn Beck, states that he believes there will be a cultural and societal breakdown due to an economic collapse that is surely about to take place in the United States. I infer from his strongly stated position that he believes Christians in America will face severe persecution as a part of the sociol and economic upheaval about to erupt in this nation.
In the final analysis, however, whether I accurately understand and expound upon Dr. Lindsey’s thoughts in these matters is of minor consequence to the treatment at hand. The fact is that many Christians who do observe these times from a prophetic perspective need answers to questions like the one posed by the emailer. Trying to look at what lurks just ahead in the foreboding mist and haze of the coming days is the proposed objective of what follows.
Next time we will attempt to accomplish this, staying within the confines of what God’s Word actually has to say about the very end of the age.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 6
By Terry James
There are so many ominous signals of stage-setting for fulfillment of Bible prophecy in every direction we look that even secular fascination with things to come is piqued. One such example is the History Channel’s “Nostradamus Effect” series in which I was asked to participate. One of the most immediately troubling signals that threatens apocalyptic disruption of world stability is the very probable collapse of the global economy, which we’ve been examining. There is little doubt, using even a modicum of rationale, that monetary madness infects the entire planet. We will now peer through God’s prophetic lenses into the portentous future nearest us.
The title I’ve chosen for this exploration, “Scanning a Fearful Future,” envelops all of Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey’s thoughts about the dire immediate future for America and the world. If their extremely similar assessments of what this generation faces is truly about to take place, my answer to the recent question to the worried email sender–representative of many such trepidacious emailers–must be given quickly. The emailer, after prefacing his question by saying that Lindsey stated persecution is coming for Christians, asked: “…persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?”
First, I must rephrase his question to get to the heart of what he and so many others are asking. The question they mean to ask is: “…Persecution for the church in America has to be very close. What is your take on this?”
Believers in Jesus Christ–the born again (John 3:3)—are being persecuted around the globe at this very moment. Many are suffering torture and martyrdom. Members of the true church of Jesus Christ have always suffered and died, and will do so right up until Christ’s call, “Come up hither!” (Rev. 4: 2). So, what American Christians are concerned about in regard to this question is whether Christians in the United States will suffer the level of persecution endured by believers like those in, for example, the Sudan. For that matter, the question implies asking whether American believers will suffer to a major extent in any way whatever. Hal Lindsey expressed in several of his TV programs that he believed Christians in America will suffer persecutions, and, I infer, he was speaking of persecutions of the fearful sort–those that might include loss of life in martyrdom. This fearful future, again I infer, will likely be part of a severe societal/cultural breakdown brought about by economic cataclysm. This, as pointed out previously, is much like Glenn Beck’s forecast for Americans in general.
My answer to the emailer and others who continue to ask similar questions is that I don’t believe Christians in America are prophetically scheduled for severe persecution like that being experienced by those in Sudan, China, and other such places around the globe.
Now I can almost hear the clicking of emails being typed. Some are already conjuring the questioning flames of retort. “Do you think American Christians are too good to suffer persecution?”; “Do you think America is God’s pet nation? –That the U.S. doesn’t deserve judgment?!” Please…save your fingers the pain from the white-hot irritation shooting from your keyboard. I agree completely with you. American Christians are NOT too good to be persecuted. The U.S. does deserve judgment. There is no argument there. Now, please allow me to give my scripturally based reasoning in disagreeing with Dr. Lindsey on these matters.
I begin by inserting this caveat about my assertion that American Christians won’t suffer persecution of the most heinous sort. My belief in this regard is predicated upon my prayerfully studied understanding that the world as we know it would have to first come tumbling down, then rearrange to be configured exactly as it is now in order to accommodate American Christians going into such persecution as feared by my emailer.
That world crash, then turn-around, just isn’t going to happen. Everything is in place for Bible prophecy to unfold. Based upon this reality, my case follows in presenting why I’m so sure that what I believe about things to come in the very near future correctly diverges from what Dr. Lindsey and Mr. Beck say they believe is about to happen.
Each is certain that the United States is facing economic catastrophe that will bring about food and other shortages, thus will engender rioting that will bring anarchy and collapse. Lindsey’s fears are less adamantly presented than Beck’s, but the implication that such is in the very near future is there in Hal’s TV program narratives. While Beck doesn’t consider anything regarding true Bible prophecy at all, Hal Lindsey believes that severe persecution for Christians is also in that bleak future.
To briefly state my “take,” in answer to my emailer, I believe that America will not suffer catastrophic collapse while Christians (true believers in Jesus Christ) remain on planet earth. You and I–whether believer or nonbeliever–are, I’m firmly convinced, members of the most privileged generation in history. We are alive at the very end of this fascinating moment in human advancement. For believers, however, the privilege is magnified beyond imagination.
Believers in Jesus Christ are alive during this end of the Church Age for a divinely appointed purpose. We are witnesses to and participants in the very time the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prophesied would see Him revealed in spectacular fashion. The prospect for those who name the name of Christ is truly glorious.
While “Scanning a Fearful Future” is an accurate title for purposes of this examination of things to come, an equally appropriate title for those who are born again would have been “Scanning a Fabulous Future.” We will continue next week with specifically what I believe the near future holds for believers and nonbelievers alike.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 7
By Terry James
America and the nations of the world, as we have explored, are–according to Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey–moving quickly down the road that leads to global socioeconomic cataclysm. I agree. Such a destiny lurks in the murkiness of the not-too-distant future. However, exactly how that destination will be reached and who among the planet’s current population will suffer the disastrous fate predicted by Beck and Lindsey are matters for much closer scrutiny. Two questions we will try to address are in view as we look at the near future through the prism of Bible prophecy:
1) Will America and the world suffer Beck and Lindsey’s feared versions of economic collapse, thus societal catastrophe? 2) Will Christians in America suffer severe persecution as part of any such catastrophic breakdown?
Now, here’s where things can get quite confusing, if careful attention isn’t paid to the thoughts I’m trying to convey. I am of the conviction that America and the world will suffer Lindsey and Beck’s predicted economic, thus societal, catastrophe. Persecution and martyrdom will coalesce to make life for believers even in the U.S. region hell on earth as a result of that immense calamity.
I am at the same time equally convinced that there will neither be national and worldwide economic and societal collapse nor severe persecution and martyrdom for American Christians. Lunacy? Not if one views things to come through Bible prophecy as it is truly given for us to understand.
God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa. 55:8). Believe it or not, like it or not, God’s Word demonstrates that He deals with mankind in dispensations–distinctive eras that He alone determines. This generation is part of the dispensation of grace–the Church Age. This dispensation will morph into the Tribulation, a period of seven years of God’s judgment and wrath also known as “Daniel’s seventieth week.”
My seemingly irrational claims, viewed in light of dispensational truth, are on sound biblical footing. Please consider slowly and carefully. Putting forth that I believe America and the world both will experience and will not experience apocalyptic socioeconomic collapse makes sense from dispensational perspective. Holding that American believers in Jesus Christ will not go through such persecution that includes martyrdom, all the while proclaiming that believers living in this nation will suffer persecution and martyrdom, is a biblically correct dispensational pronouncement.
These paradoxical proclamations are made understandable by the words of the greatest of all prophets–the Lord Jesus Christ. His astonishing prophecy about the end of this dispensation in which you and I are living addresses the two questions for which we seek answers.
Bible prophecy’s answers to these are as follows, I’m firmly convinced:
1) Neither America nor the world will suffer societal and monetary catastrophe that will bring about apocalyptic collapse due to man-made accidental bungling or contrived manipulation. However, there will be a crash of the world’s socioeconomic system, which will cause chaos of unfathomable scope, brought about by the God of heaven in an instant of time.
2) Christians in America today will not face persecution of the sort suffered by martyrs in past ages and by believers in parts of the world at present. But, following God’s next catastrophic intervention into earth’s history, believers in North America–as well as all other believers in Jesus Christ–will suffer persecution even worse than that inflicted upon believers of previous times.
Most Relevant Prophecy
When thinking on prophecies that are stage-setting for the wind-up of history, we most often point to prophecies involving Israel being back in the land of promise as most key to where we stand on God’s end-of-the-age timeline. The peace process and Jerusalem being at the center of the world’s spotlight show precisely the lateness of the hour.
That said, I believe no prophecy is more relevant for this moment in history than that given by Jesus Christ Himself, which encompasses not just the future of Israel and Jerusalem, but of the entire world:
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17: 26-30)
This prophetic declaration by the Creator of all things is about the generation that will be alive at the dénouement of the age. Specifically, it refers to one catastrophic moment in the present dispensation when all of this world system will come crashing down. We will next look in-depth at the details wrapped up in Jesus’ foretelling of planet earth’s near future.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 8
By Terry James
Planet earth is on the brink of what both Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey have stated they believe will be monetary and societal collapse of unprecedented magnitude. We also looked previously at a prophetic declaration by the Creator of all things, which is–I believe I can verify–about the generation that will be alive at the very end of the age.
Specifically, Jesus’ prophecy refers to one catastrophic moment in this present dispensation–the Church Age (Age of Grace)–when all of this world system will come crashing down.
Again, here’s the prophecy from Christ himself:
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
Are the two cataclysms–the one Beck and Lindsey talk about on their TV programs and the one Jesus foretells–related to each other? If so, how?
We will now try to answer the questions about world collapse, whether persecution for American Christians is imminent, and how it might all be tied together prophetically. We will do so by looking in-depth at the details wrapped up in Jesus’ forecast for earth’s near future.
Jesus gave what I am convinced is the premiere end-of-the-Church-Age prophecy in Luke 17:26-30. He describes in considerable detail world conditions and activities at the moment He breaks in on things of this present age.
He tells in His prophecy just the opposite of what Glenn Beck says is on the brink of happening to the people of America and the world. That is, the Lord’s description of how the worldwide catastrophe will happen differs greatly from the Fox host’s prediction of the cause of the calamity he says is just around the corner.
Remember, Mr. Beck is predicting for the near future the direst of socioeconomic collapses. He recommends that we prepare for, quite likely, hyper-inflated times to come, at the very least. He indicates that he fears that from the collapse will spin draconian governmental measures to quell the rioting that will occur when those millions who are given government hand-outs no longer receive the largesse. There is more than enough evidence of unchecked government today to prove Beck’s fears are well founded. The phenomenal growth of federal intrusion into practically every facet of the citizen’s life today portends grave consequences for liberty in the months and years just ahead. For example, bureaucratic regulation such as the move of the unelected FCC apparatchiks to invoke “net neutrality”–a Big Brother-like regulatory process that could eventuate in establishing dictatorial power over Internet usage–threatens anyone who would express opinions that run counter to state-approved language. The current administration intends to implement this despite the fact that a federal appeals court has ruled the administration doesn’t have the authority to do so.
Hal Lindsey sees the same cataclysm approaching, basically for the same reasons. He also recommends that we prepare for possible food shortages, and he says he believes Christians in this country will face severe persecution, which I infer to mean persecution of the sort suffered by martyrs for the cause of Christ. I must add here that I agree with both of these gentlemen–to some degree. And I disagree, also, with both–for differing reasons. But I reserve my thoughts in that regard for the biblically based logic I hope will make itself manifest as I analyze the words of the greatest of all prophets.
We now are basically familiar with what Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey say about the two questions involving the probability of American and world socioeconomic collapse and, in Lindsey’s case, about Christians in America facing imminent, severe persecution.
Let’s dissect carefully what Jesus predicts for the times just ahead. I say with confidence that Jesus tells the future from this moment forward, based upon what I’m convinced His words are speaking to this generation at this very hour. He prophesied in the Luke 17:26-30 passages that in the “days” He, the “Son of man,” is about to break into earth’s history, mankind will be doing certain things. It will be a time like the days of Noah before the Flood and the days of Lot while he was still in Sodom.
People, the Lord said, will be eating, drinking, marrying, building, buying, selling, and planting. Things will be going along pretty much as normal for the time. The Lord indicates no catastrophic, worldwide socioeconomic breakdown of any sort in this time immediately before “the Son of man is revealed” (Luke17:30)–the time He breaks into human history.
This time cannot be the Second Advent of Revelation 19:11. At the time the Lord of Lords and King of Kings breaks through the planetary darkness of death and destruction at Armageddon, perhaps as many as three-fourths of all people on earth will have died as a result of wars, pestilence, and geophysical disasters brought about by God’s judgment and wrath upon an incorrigibly wicked, unrepentant world of earth-dwellers.
In other words, planet earth’s living conditions at the time of Christ’s return in power and glory at Armageddon will not be anything like living conditions at the time of His intervention into human affairs as He describes in the days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy. At the end of the seven-year Tribulation period, it will be anything but business as usual. It will truly be hell on earth when Jesus comes to destroy all human government and the soul-rending carnage it has produced.
So, Jesus, in the Luke 17 account, was foretelling the days leading up to the time when He calls His church to Himself–”His church” meaning all born-again believers who have lived and died during the Church Age (Age of Grace). This is known as the Rapture. To learn more about this stupendous event, read 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, John 14:1-3, and Revelation 4:1-2.
To repeat, Jesus was not describing His coming back to earth in the Luke 17:26-30 prophecy. He was telling about His coming to above the planet to receive His people–Christians—to Himself. Christians–the Church—then will accompany Him back to the heavenly places He has prepared for them in the Father’s house–heaven.
Again, we have reached the limits of our space for this commentary. We will next further examine Jesus’ telling us about–I’m convinced—this very hour in which you and I inhabit planet earth.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 9
By Terry James
Jesus Christ–God in the flesh—foretold that the time just before God’s judgment and wrath befall rebellious mankind at the very end of the Church Age will be like it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. Although those times were wicked and all thoughts were focused continually on evil, people of the earth were carrying on with normal activities like eating, drinking, planting, building, marrying, buying, and selling.
In the days of Noah, earth dwellers were carrying on business as usual right up until the moment that Noah entered the ark and all who were left on earth were swept away by the Flood. In the days of Lot, there was an air of civility, with Lot even serving as a judge at the city gates during the day. At night, however, the depravity ran rampant when homosexual lust turned to voracious, predatory assault. Lot and his family members were removed, and all people who were left behind in the city were consumed by the holocaust from heaven.
Jesus said He will be revealed when conditions are like they were during those times. We have seen that the time when He intervenes into the affairs of mankind as described in Luke 17:26-30 will not be His Second Coming at Armageddon (Revelation 19:11). It will be another, earlier intervention–but catastrophic, nonetheless.
We have pointed out many times in these commentaries the strangeness of the dynamics of our times. Crises are building in many critical aspects of human interaction. We have wondered in amazement at the insanity of the dastardly mismanagement of economic matters by governments around the world. How, we puzzle over, have the economies of America and the world avoided crashing?
Why, despite threats of the destruction of Israel by the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear production facilities not occurred? Why, with the tremendous buildup of arms by the many Islamic Israel-haters in obvious preparation for an attack on the Jewish state, has there not been a major blow-up in the Middle East that would disrupt world stability?
Yet the anxieties about the world sitting on a number of powder kegs afflict only a few people, relatively speaking. Except for those who are unemployed in America, for example, it’s business as usual. The majority of people just don’t worry about the precarious position of the nation and the world. The masses are buying, selling, marrying–even men with men and women with women, I might add. And building continues, despite the housing debacle and trillions of dollars of debt wrought by monetary madness such as that found in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Most troubling, the church in America–and I am referring to those who are born again (see John 3: 3)—is, for the most part, oblivious to world conditions that present strong evidence that we are on the brink of the prophesied apocalypse. This makes this generation of Christians precisely the generation I believe Jesus was speaking prophetically to when He said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).
But, as we have been examining, there are those who are scanning the fearful future. Glenn Beck, the Fox News program host, says he sees coming a man-contrived world economic collapse, hyperinflation, and societal collapse that only patriotic, sound-thinking, even spiritually-inclined Americans can begin to fix. He doesn’t know when it will happen, but, he says, it will happen almost overnight. We will awaken the next morning to a world totally different than what it was before we went to sleep.
Hal Lindsey, the author of The Late, Great Planet Earth, says much the same thing. He foresees, as a part of that feared socioeconomic collapse, severe persecution for Christians in America at some point. Jesus’ words, which I believe speak directly to this generation, present a different picture than Beck’s forecast (and to some extent, than Lindsey’s) regarding things about to break upon a mostly unsuspecting world. My own thoughts that follow are based upon what I believe is wrapped up in the Lord’s forewarning to our generation in Luke 17: 26-30.
Two statements are necessary at this point. First, it is God’s staying hand that prevents the impending calamities outlined in this essay from collapsing America and the world into the worst times in history. Second, if things continue on their present course geopolitically and socioeconomically–and if God takes His hand of control off developments–the collapse feared by Beck, Lindsey, and many others will certainly come at some point. The longer the rebellion-engendered crises build, the more devastating will be the crash when it comes.
I begin my analysis of what lies just ahead in that fearful future about which Beck, Lindsey, and others have conjectured, and over which so many emailers have fretted. Again, I believe that the answers reside cocooned within Jesus’ “days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecy. Now, we apply His analogy to the present generation.
Jesus foretold that human activity will be going along in a business-as-usual manner. God, in one day, will take His family–believers—out of harm’s way. That very day, His judgment and wrath will begin falling on those not taken. To reiterate because the point can’t be overemphasized: If one accepts Christ’s words as true, and as literal, as I do, one must agree that things must be going along as normal for the time when the sudden intervention happens. Jesus plainly says that the generation alive at the time of that divine intervention will be removed to safety before the devastating events of judgment take place.
Both Beck and Lindsey say they believe a world-rending socioeconomic collapse is imminent. Beck, at least, believes the crash and totally changed America and world will be brought about by the diabolical efforts of New-World-Order types like George Soros. Both Beck and Lindsey are recommending that we make preparations to survive that coming time of devastating collapse.
Yet Jesus tells us that it will be business as usual right up until the moment He removes believers from the planet. There is no man-made, worldwide catastrophe in Christ’s prophecy. As a matter of fact, Jesus says all will be relatively normal, in terms of human activity, until that removal. Then He will be revealed by way of His cataclysmic judgment that begins to devastate planet earth. It is God who causes the cataclysm, not George Soros or any other human or other entity. Mankind’s involvement in the whole matter is that of displaying total rebellion and refusing to repent of sin, thus bringing on God’s righteous judgment. One era–the Church Age—comes to an end with the removal of believers. The next era then begins at some point with the confirming of the covenant with Israel, as given in Daniel 9:26-27. That period will be the seven years of Tribulation, the last three and one-half years about which Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew24: 21).
Next we will look into the fearful future, specifically as it relates directly to America’s near-term financial destiny and to whether believers will face deadly persecution.
Scanning a Fearful Future: Conclusion
By Terry James
My disagreement with Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey regarding their statements that they believe America is about to suffer economic, thus societal, collapse is only one of degree. There is absolutely no doubt that collapse is coming. It is how that implosion will eventuate and who will be caught in the carnage that are at the heart of my disagreement.
My divergence from Dr. Lindsey’s fears about the immediate future for America and Christians is of the very mildest sort. I look to God using him in a mighty way during the past decades as validation of his mission being God-ordained. Thus confutation is entered with all due respect. That stated, I must give the reasons I believe Beck and Lindsey’s fears for the immediate future are somewhat off the mark, as far as Bible prophecy is concerned.
Every signal across the geopolitical, socioeconomic, and religious spectrum–even signals involving the geophysical and astrophysical— scream through the sirens of forewarning. We are at the very end of the Church Age–on the brink of the Tribulation. Yet most in America–including most believers in Jesus Christ—are going about business as usual. Except for the relatively few voices forewarning of the impending cataclysm, there is no recognition of or interest in the end-times storm warnings.
Jesus, as we have seen, said human activity will be like it is at present when He next breaks into earth’s history like a thief in the night. Again, we look at the Lord’s words in the book of Matthew:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matt 24:36-42)
As we have examined, this break-in upon mankind’s history cannot be describing the Second Advent. It will not be business as usual at that time, when the planet is decimated by wars and God’s judgment and wrath. Jesus is here speaking of the Rapture–His imminent, catastrophic break-in upon earth’s history.
So, we come to our present hour. America is the apex nation of the world. That is, it is the most materially blessed nation and one of the most spiritually blessed nations ever to exist. This, despite the fact that it has degenerated in many ways to become perhaps the most wicked in human history. The United States is so blessed with material wealth that every nation on earth is inextricably linked to its economy in one way or another.
It is true that its dominance is under threat and is eroding quickly. The economic meltdown and unavoidable implosion of America’s monetary hegemony is imminent. But everything of global financial significance still hinges on the health and fate of the American dollar. This is to the great consternation of the people Glenn Beck rails against as wanting to bring the dollar down so that a new monetary regime can be brought to bear on the hapless citizens of what they envision as a Babel-like, one-world order.
Despite incessant assaults, the American economy hasn’t collapsed. It should have by now, but it hasn’t. It is, despite ominous signs ahead, business as usual–just as Jesus said it would be at the end of the age. If America’s economy crashes–as Beck says it will very shortly— the entire world will collapse to rubble. The business-as-usual element of Christ’s prophecy about it being like the days of Noah and Lot would be out the proverbial window.
If the U.S. economy collapsed, taking the world’s buying and selling capability into the darkest times in history, it would take years–if ever–for everything to recover so that things would again come into business-as-usual configuration. Yet the devastating, world-rending collapse is coming. It cannot be stopped. I completely agree with Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey in seeing that coming economic catastrophe in the immediate future. However, I disagree that the folly of man or the deliberate manipulations of human diabolists will bring the fearful disaster. And the disaster will not happen until God’s prophetic timing allows. It will continue to be business as usual despite increasing harbingers of economic calamity. Perhaps conditions will even look like they are improving. But if so, it will be smoke and mirrors–a sham “recovery.” The damage is done. Recovery is impossible.
This all means that Jesus Christ is poised to do exactly what He foretold. The prophetic signals and conditions prevalent in America and the world should have the attention of every believer. Jesus is about to fulfill His glorious promise as recorded in John 14:1-3.
The Rapture, I believe Jesus is telling us, will be the sword of judgment that pierces the building, festering boil of humanistic rebellion. When the Church is taken to heaven, the minds of those left behind who want to control will no longer have restraint on their thoughts and ambitions. There will cease to be a governor on man’s conscience, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8, because the Holy Spirit will allow the evil within mankind to do its dastardly work.
This will be the time–during the chaos of the days immediately after the Rapture—that all of Mr. Beck’s fears will come to fruition. Neither patriots nor anyone else will be able to save America and the world.
Now to try to answer my emailer concerning whether Christians in America will suffer severe, even deadly, persecution, as I infer Hal Lindsey believes. Christians of America in this pre-Rapture time certainly are not immune from persecution–even from the persecution like that suffered by the Christian martyrs of history. However, it would take a horrendous catastrophe–such as the one Beck predicts—for American society to totally turn its back on Christianity, thus to begin physically attacking Christians in the way Lindsey fears might happen.
The Church, with the Restrainer resident within each believer, will continue to be salt and light–to exert influence over America’s societal and cultural conditions. That influence, although observably becoming less and less effective, will be sufficient to prevent all-out, Nazi-like persecution against Christians in this nation.
When the Church-Age saints go to Christ upon His call to them (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1-2), America and the world will be devoid of the Church’s buffering influence. Those who accept Christ during the Tribulation will undergo the most horrific persecution of human history.
Again, if a calamity like the one Beck forecasts were to befall this nation before Christ’s foretold intervention into earth’s history, such a collapse would take the U.S. and the world out of the time of business as usual Jesus said will be in place when He pays the earth that surprise visit.
Jesus was telling us in Luke 17:26-30 and Matthew 24:36-42 specifically about His coming for the Church, and the general time-frame of that event. With all that is in alignment precisely as Jesus and the prophets described, I am convicted in my spirit that now is that time.
Those who haven’t become part of God’s family–believing in Jesus Christ for their personal salvation—face a fearful future indeed. They will be left behind in an instantly changed world gone mad with chaos infinitely worse than even Glenn Beck predicts.
There is still opportunity in this Church Age for the person who hasn’t accepted the Lord Jesus as personal Savior to do so. But time is fleeting. The Rapture could take place at any moment.
Here is what God’s Holy Word, the Bible, has to say to you, if you want to escape from this world that is soon to suffer God’s righteous judgment. Truly follow these instructions from the heart of the God who loves you and wants you to be safe with Him forever. You will then be assured not of a fearful future, but of a future that is fabulous beyond description.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10: 9-10).