Special Report: Forecasting a “Transformed World”

Special Report: Forecasting a “Transformed World”
Vol: 86 Issue: 21 Friday, November 21, 2008

A report featuring the compiled analyses of US intelligence agencies and issued under the title, “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World” offers a mixed forecast for the near future.

The previous report in the Global Trends series, which was completed in 2004 and projected developments through 2020, anticipated continued U.S. dominance through that year, though it recognized that the emergence of China and India as new powers would transform the geopolitical landscape.

The new report predicts, “the U.S. will find itself as one of a number of important actors on the world stage,” playing “a prominent role in global events” but not necessarily the prominent role.

The new report describes a world torn by increased conflict over scarce food and water supplies, rogue states, terrorists and (of course) global warming.

(Global warming. Sigh. As I type, half the country is in a mid-winter deep freeze. Winter storm warnings dot the weather map. Winter is still a month away. There’s that clang psychologists call ‘cognitive dissonance’ again. But I digress. . . )

The Global Trends reports are produced every five years by the National Intelligence Council, which represents all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. The Global Trends reports identify and analyze by region, dividing the world into four spheres of world power.

They break down as follows: Russia to the north, Western Europe and the Americas to the West, Asia in the East and Africa and the Non-Aligned Nations (NAM) to the South.

Eastern Europe is lumped in with Russia; Israel with the West, the Arab world with the NAM and Australia and Japan straddle the line West to East.

The forecast says Russia’s emergence as a world power is “clouded” by persistent corruption and lagging investment in its critical energy industry.

It also raises the possibility that a government in Eastern Europe “could be effectively taken over and run by organized crime.”

The report says that global Islamic terrorist movement is likely to outlast al Qaeda itself, with other groups likely to emerge and supplant it.

So al-Qaeda is doomed but Islamofacism is here to stay. Great.

It also says the global shift from West to East in wealth and economic power “is without precedent in modern history.” (“East” generally refers to India, China and the seven ‘Little Dragon’ nations of Indo-China; Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.)

It’s a pretty dismal forecast; no wonder everybody seems so stressed. I’ve read more than one commentary that complained that John McCain practically campaigned for Barack Obama. Given the forecast offered by this report, if he did, I could understand why.

John McCain may be a lot of things, but he’s no dummy. It’s one thing to seek the job as the 44th President of the United States.

It’s another thing altogether to risk going down in history as the last one.

Assessment:

“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)

I want you to keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that this is NOT a report issued by a Bible-believing ministry or an analysis of the conclusions reached by Hal Lindsey in 1969’s Late, Great Planet Earth.

This is the consensus opinion of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

It is a fairly safe bet than none of these intelligence agencies is basing its forecasts on Hal’s weekly TV program, Chuck Missler’s website or Grant Jeffrey’s book “The Next World War”.

But there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the general trends forecast by these 16 intelligence agencies for the next fifteen years and the general trends forecast by the Bible for the last days.

The only place where they differ significantly is in the outcomes. Bible prophecy starts with the outcome and then forecasts how it comes together. God tells the end from the beginning. Created beings are limited to seeing time in only one direction.

Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Bible forecast the world would divide itself into four spheres of regional power: the revived Roman Empire in the West; Gog-Magog to the North; the Kings of the East; and the Kings of the South. The Bible oriented each of these from the perspective of Jerusalem.

The Global Trends report identifies the same regional power blocs. A skeptic might argue the division simply follows the four points on the compass. Maybe. But it is a US report. Still, it orients the compass from the perspective of Jerusalem, not Washington.

Why is that significant? Because it is the most strategic place on earth — exactly as the Bible predicted it would be — for ONE generation, somewhere in time.

According to Bible prophecy, the pre-eminent world power will NOT be the United States. The ten toes of Daniel’s vision emerge from the two legs of iron that symbolized the Roman Empire. Bible prophecy says Europe must increase, and therefore, America must decrease.

The Global Trends report makes pretty much the same forecast. It is highly unlikely that the sixteen intelligence agencies of America consulted with the Books of Daniel or Zechariah.

The Prophet Ezekiel forecast the development of a vast northern alliance headed by Russia and Iran and including significant parts of Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It is supremely unlikely that the sixteen intelligence agencies consulted the Book of Ezekiel.

Islamic eschatology predicts the rise of an Islamic leader, the Mahdi, who will lead the Islamic world in a victorious conquest of the dar al Harb (Zone of War) that will usher in a period of Islamic peace and harmony. According to Islamic scholars, the rider on the white horse in the Book of the Revelation is the Islamic Mahdi.

According to the consensus opinion of America’s sixteen intelligence agencies, the Islamic terrorist movement, which seeks to conquer the Dar al Harb and impose a period of Islamic peace and harmony will outlast Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

(Interestingly, while I doubt that Daniel, Ezekiel or Zechariah played much of a role in the Global Trends report, I’ll bet the farm that US intelligence has an entire division dedicated to studying the Koran.)

So, what can we glean from all of this that is of use to us in the Battle of the Last Days?

Just this. The Bible is true. And we can prove it.

Bible prophecy concurs with the latest US intelligence forecasts — but the Bible’s forecast came first by some twenty centuries. The Bible’s forecast hasn’t needed revising in all those centuries — the Global Trends Report gets revised every four years.

Each successive report trends closer to the Bible’s forecast scenario, rather than away.

To a lost and dying world, this is a terrifying report. They don’t know what to make of things. They don’t have any answer to the question, “What is this world coming to?”

“But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” (John 10:26)

What is chaos and terror and confusion to the world is our evidence that all is well, that God remains on the Throne, and that everything is under His control. We can trust Him.

No matter how scary and bad and dangerous things get, we have the rest of Jesus’ promise to cling to — and the authority to share it with the lost and frightened:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 27-29)

If the rest of the Bible is true, then so is the part about eternal life. Maranatha!

The Trouble with Angels

The Trouble with Angels
Vol: 86 Issue: 20 Thursday, November 20, 2008

Angels and angel stories pre-date the oldest Hebrew texts of the bible. The Sumerians, who pre-date ancient Egyptian society, was the most ancient civilization to depict winged humans in their carvings and statues.

The Sumerians tell the oldest known angel stories of messengers of the gods who would intervene between the gods and men. Angel stories permeate most ancient primitive cultures. Winged, angelic-like beings can be found within most all of their artwork and lore.

In Scripture, angels are presented as messengers. St Augustine, one of the early Church Fathers, wrote that angels are spirit-beings and that ‘angel’ is their designation of office, rather than their nature.

According to Augustine, therefore, anyone bearing a Divine message is an angel. The Greek and Hebrew words translated in Scripture as ‘angel’ means, ‘a messenger’.

Angel stories are not unique to Judeo-Christianity — the ‘prophet’ Mohammed claimed that an angel (Jabril, or Gabriel) dictated the Koran to him.

There are stories of angels in the ancient literature of Babylon, Persia, Greece, as well as references to angel-like spirit-beings within Eastern mystical religions like Buddhism and Hinduism.

Angels would seem, therefore, to exist independently from Christianity or Judaism. Every major religion has its own, unique form of angelic being. What makes them unique, however, is the role they play — all religions tend to describe them the same way.

They are more or less universally described as winged creatures of indeterminate sex and of indescribable beauty. They are capable of appearing both as a spirit and in corporeal form. Depending on the religious tradition, they range from being the gentle and benign to that of malignant creatures possessing great powers.

Uniquely then, it is possible for one to believe in the existence of angels without necessarily believing in either God or the Bible.

In some religious traditions, angels are viewed as gods in their own right — the Romans and Greeks had a pantheon of lesser gods; Mercury, (or Hermes) is depicted by the Greeks as Romans as the ‘winged messenger’ of Jupiter (or Zeus).

But where angels have really hit their stride is within the New Age. People are invited to get in touch with their ‘inner angel’ or their ‘angelic spirit guide’. Some teach we are all angels-in-waiting and that after we die, we become angels.

One hears that all the time, particularly from parents grieving the loss of a child. “She’s God’s little angel, now.”

The New Age tends to portray modern-day angels as ethereal, all-forgiving images of light. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2nd Corinthians 11:14)

New Agers see angels as “doorways” into the spirit world.

A New Age mystic named Andrew Ramer writes his travels with an “angel” through many reincarnated lives, “the two of us working to bridge the physical and spiritual worlds.”

(His angel comments: “We angels cannot enter your world unless you open a window or a doorway for us.”)

New Age angelologists develop that ‘opening’ through a host of techniques that are intended to help people connect with a personal angel. Besides the usual angel workshops–attended by a surprising

number of professionals and religious folk– there are angelic oracles, spiritual specialists, divination tools, angel cards (like horoscopes), karma cleansing and much more.

TIME Magazine’s Nancy Gibbs accidently hit the nail on the head, so to speak, in trying to explain why people would so readily embrace angels while rejecting the notion of a Personal Redeemer.

“For those who choke too easily on God and His rules, theologians observe, angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgmental. And they avail themselves to everyone, like aspirin.”

It doesn’t really take that much faith to believe in angels. Lots of people see them.

And that’s the trouble with angels.

Assessment:

Almost all religious traditions have some form of angel. They almost all describe the same being. But the Bible is unique in that it explains who and what angels are. This tells us three things right off the bat. Angels are real. Angels are not religious. The Bible is true.

I’ll explain how I arrived at the last point from the first two. Speaking through the Prophet Isaiah, God hurled a challenge to the would-be gods of this world, naming the defining characteristic of Deity;

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

There are lots of ‘prophets’ — Nostradamus, St Malachy, the Mayan Indians, Edgar Cayce, etc., but their ‘prophecies’ are of the “I predict my dog will poop on the carpet” type.

Make the prediction, wait for conditions to fulfill it and shout, “Aha!”

I believe that Satan is real, but the Bible says he is but a finite, created being –an angel. He cannot predict the future. But he can manipulate conditions. (Like predicting a dog will poop on the carpet and then locking it in a house until it does.)

God tells the end from the beginning. That is, God starts at the end and then explains how it got that way. By way of illustration, anybody can predict the winner of the World Series — somebody does it every year.

It is a good guess based on statistical probabilities, not prophecy.

That’s how false prophecies, angelic, spirit guide, whatever, appear to come to pass. It is just the enemy playing the odds.

Imagine predicting the winner of the World Series and then predicting the details of every game throughout the season and how they interconnected to bring about the winning result.

Two thousand years before the invention of baseball.

Angels are real. Lost people see them all the time, so they are not religious manifestations. The Bible explains their end from the beginning.

Isaiah introduces Satan’s fall from heaven, starting at the point where he is judged at the end of time, then jumping back to the rebellion that took place before time began .

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” (Isaiah 14:12,13)

The first half of this morning’s discussion covered what angel’s aren’t. Now, let’s discuss what angels are.

Angels are the first of four distinct sentient, spiritual creations of God. The second is the natural, unregenerate seed of Adam, or Gentile (meaning, ‘one apart from God’).

The third unique spiritual creation of God is the seed of Abraham and Isaac, or the Jew. Until the selection of the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob as a unique spiritual creation of God, there were only angels and Gentiles.

The fourth unique spiritual creation of God is the Christian, a new creature, neither Jew nor Gentile; “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. ” (Galatians 6:15)

A Christian or a Jew cannot transform into a Gentile. They are different spiritual creatures. Neither could a Christian, a Jew or a Gentile transform into angels.

The Bible demonstrates how the angels harmonize with the rest of creation. Angels serve as messengers of God. Our relationship with angels is symbiotic and in harmony with creation.

The Bible tasks angels with serving mankind in this life, and then tasks mankind with judging angels in the next.

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

“Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1st Corinthians 6:3)

The Bible says that fallen mankind serves a secondary purpose in the instruction of angels;

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. “ (1st Peter 1:12)

Fallen angels exist as adversaries of God, which then creates harmony in a created physical universe. Evil cannot exist apart from good. But without evil, there could be neither a measure of goodness nor a sense of appreciation for it.

They also exist to provide us with clear choices between good and evil; “that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.” (Psalms 51:4)

Angel worship is forbidden by Scripture. Divine angels never accept worship. But fallen angels live for it.

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4)

And that’s also the trouble with angels.

Special Report: Sudden Fear — And the Desolation of the Wicked

Special Report: Sudden Fear — And the Desolation of the Wicked
Vol: 86 Issue: 19 Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I read a statistic that said the stock market crash has erased something close to one third of the average American’s 401k holdings.

For folks around my age, it means rethinking the age at which retirement is possible.

I know a fellow about my age who retired on his investments a couple of years ago. The crash is forcing him out of retirement.

For somebody in their sixties or early seventies who retired recently, their monthly retirement income has suddenly dropped by a third and there isn’t a lot they can do about it.

So what do you do? A person’s first instinct is to panic. When enough people panic at once, well, that’s how markets crash in the first place.

Individuals panic by cutting back on their cable bill, or selling their extra car, canceling their vacation or coming out of retirement back into the workplace.

Corporations panic by laying off more workers than necessary, selling off more inventory at greater discounts than necessary and closing more outlets than necessary.

Lenders panic by cutting off more credit than necessary to more borrowers than necessary. In all these cases, the thinking is the same — cut back all the way to the bone and then reorganize.

Restructuring is not the same as reacting. One restructures as necessary. When one reacts, it is out of panic.

It’s either controlled or uncontrolled, but its still panic. Panic is when you don’t know what to do — and you do it anyway.

I know Christians who when they panic, instead of cutting back, they double their tithe. They double down on their tithe so that God will bless the stuff they still have.

Sounds spiritual. But it’s not, really. No matter where one stands on tithing as a doctrine, you can’t get around what a tithe is mathematically — it’s ten percent.

(So if you’re already tithing, then ‘doubling down’ is like offering God a tip.)

Ok. Let’s roll everything back to zeroes for a moment and take stock of the situation.

First, we’re Christians who believe that Bible prophecy is true and relevant to this generation and that we are living in the last days. We go to church on Sunday and pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

What does the Bible forecast for the last days? A great apostastic social meltdown. The rise of antichrist. The collapse of the economy. Earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences.

What do we see? A great apostatic social meltdown. “Apostasy” means to ‘fall away from the faith’ — it refers to watering down of doctrinal principles to conform to worldly principles.

The apostasy is global — former bastions of Christianity across Europe have all but formally renounced their faith. Christianity in the West is on the decline to the degree that the term ‘post-Christian era’ is no longer surprising when applied to America.

Is the world ready to embrace the antichrist when he comes? I submit that the antichrist could run openly AS the antichrist and probably get the majority non-Christian vote, if he were half as charismatic as Barack Hussein Obama.

The global economy is in free-fall, as we’ve already noted. And we’ve spent the past ten years up to our necks in earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences.

This is exactly what the Bible predicted for the last days. We know this in our hearts and in our minds. But we rail against the moral meltdown.

We worry for the future of a country under Barack Hussein Obama even as we KNOW what the Bible says is the ultimate future of not just this country but the entire western world under antichrist.

We fret and panic over our 401k accounts, knowing that what is transpiring is all part of God’s plan for the last days.

We search the Scriptures for answers to questions like; “what should Christians do to overcome in such times as these?”

But isn’t this what we prayed for?

Assessment:

There is an old principle of spiritual warfare that says, “Be careful what you pray for. You might get it.” We tend to view it more as a joke than a principle.

We should take it seriously — to do otherwise is the spiritual equivalent to assuming a gun isn’t loaded.

A trained warrior knows what a bullet can do and treats all weapons as if they were loaded unless he has personally inspected them to ensure their status.

The seven words, “I didn’t know the gun was loaded!” form the most tragic phrase in the English language.

Prayer is as real as a loaded gun. Because prayer is real, prayer has real consequences. It isn’t enough to talk about trusting God in times like these. We’ve prayed for His Kingdom to come, for His will to be done.

Prayer is real, His kingdom is real and that His will is sovereign. So if you’re afraid of what is coming, does that mean you’re faithless? Does it mean you aren’t trusting the Lord? No. It means you are human.

But it also means you’re missing out on some of what God has set aside for you.

“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26)

Notice there are two fears being addressed here. “Being afraid” and “sudden fear.”

“Sudden fear” is what comes to us all. Fear of losing my stuff. Fear of not being able to retire when I’d planned. Fear that my 401k is lost and gone forever.

It is this concept of ‘sudden fear’ that keeps us from being reckless. It is what keeps you from trying to beat oncoming traffic.

After all, you’re saved. You’re a Christian. Nothing can happen to you without God’s permission. So why don’t you just jump out in front of that oncoming car? (The ‘sudden fear’ that God may have granted that permission without telling you.)

Let’s move up to the next level; from ‘sudden fear’ to ‘being afraid.’

God says, ‘be not afraid of sudden fear’. This is the trust level. Where you recognize that the danger is real and the fear is real.

But we needn’t BE afraid of that sudden fear, NOR of the desolation of the wicked when (not ‘if’) it cometh. Note the promise: “For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”

It is ok to be afraid IN the ‘sudden’ sense — but not to be afraid OF the fear. We live in the world, but we are not OF it. The current economic panic began when folks decided they couldn’t pay their mortgages and defaulted.

There are exceptions to every rule but, in the main, what happens when somebody defaults on their mortgage? Do they evaporate? Or do they move somewhere else where they still have to pay, even if it is less?

The Lord differentiates ‘sudden fear’ from giving in to panic. You lose your job and stop paying your bills to preserve your available cash for when you ‘really’ need it. That is panic; fear devoid of trust.

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” (Proverbs 3:27-28)

Sudden fear is an understanding of the situation and a respect for its gravity. Being afraid of sudden fear is what happens when one forgets to place one’s confidence in the Lord.

This is more than just a pretty platitude. It is a bedrock principle of doctrine. It is the Source of that “peace that surpasseth all understanding.”

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

There is but one way to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness than I can find in Scripture — and that is to trust Jesus. It is one thing to respect the risks attached as ‘sudden fear’ — it is another to allow it to rule your life.

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”(Matthew 6:34)

Don’t worry. God’s got it all under control.

Note:

We had our first snow event of the season. It was too much for our local cable company/ISP — apparently winter weather takes them by surprise each year. The internet went dark five seconds before I was to press ‘send’.

My apologies for the lateness of today’s OL.

“Hey! — Is That “

“Hey! — Is That Rain?
Vol: 86 Issue: 18 Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The London Sunday Times did an in-depth report, based on information from unnamed advisors, regarding the new administration’s immediate plans for Israel and the peace process.

We’ll get back to that in a moment, but first, I want to discuss media critic Howie Kurtz’s editorial; “Journalists Glorying In Obama’s Moment.”

“The endless campaign is over, and there’s nothing wrong with the country pulling together, however briefly, behind its new leader. But we seem to have crossed a cultural line into mythmaking.”

“The Obamas’ New Life!” blares People’s cover, with a shot of the family. “New home, new friends, new puppy!” Us Weekly goes with a Barack quote: “I Think I’m a Pretty Cool Dad.” The Chicago Tribune trumpets that Michelle “is poised to be the new Oprah and the next Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — combined!” for the fashion world.

Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed “Generation O”?

Each writer, each publication, seems to reach for more eye-popping superlatives. “OBAMAISM — It’s a Kind of Religion,” says New York magazine. “Those of us too young to have known JFK’s Camelot are going to have our own giddy Camelot II to enrapture and entertain us,” Kurt Andersen writes. The New York Post has already christened it “BAM-A-LOT.”

“Here we are,” writes Salon’s Rebecca Traister, “oohing and aahing over what they’ll be wearing, and what they’ll be eating, what kind of dog they’ll be getting, what bedrooms they’ll be living in, and what schools they’ll be attending. It feels better than good to sniff and snurfle through the Obamas’ tastes and habits. . . . Who knew we had in us the capacity to fall for this kind of idealized Americana again?”

“This is bigger than Kennedy. . . . This is the New Testament.” | “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event,” Chris Matthews famously said during the campaign.

Bigger than the New Testament. Wow.

Now, let’s go back to the London Sunday Times discussion about the new administration’s plans for Israel.

Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party.

A bipartisan group of senior foreign policy advisers urged Obama to give the Arab plan top priority immediately after his election victory. The advisers have told Obama he should lose no time in pursuing the policy in the first six to 12 months in office while he enjoys maximum goodwill.

According to a Washington source Obama told PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in July: The Israelis would be crazy not to accept this initiative. It would give them peace with the Muslim world from Indonesia to Morocco.

Wow. Again.

Assessment:

I’ve often thought about Noah’s predicament, from where he sat, all those thousands of years ago. For one hundred and twenty years he labored building his ark, gathering together the animals.

I believe one can safely assume that any conversation he had with anyone would ultimately get around to the ark and why Noah was building it:

“Hey! Isn’t that a boat? How come you’re building it here? What’s rain? The end is . . . what? It’s going to . . . what?”

A hundred and twenty years of that would get pretty tiring. Everybody thinking you’ve slipped a gear (“Poor Noah! Such a smart man, too. What a waste of potential!”)

The years go by, the ark sits there, Noah invents the pooper-scooper and waits for rain. And waits. (“Are those clouds getting darker? Or is it just my imagination? No, I really think they’re getting darker. . .”)

And waits. . . .

Was Noah surprised when the first raindrops fell? Did he really see the rain coming? Did he recognize the gathering, darkening clouds for what they were?

Did he feel the first raindrops and say to himself, “Better get everybody aboard?” — or did he wait until the clouds opened up in a downpour, just to be sure?

Here’s what I mean. For nearly three decades, I’ve been preaching about the coming of a false messiah, a charismatic and brilliant world leader who seemingly has all the answers to the world’s problems.

Here’s how we would know him. He would appear on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere. His heritage would make him acceptable to both sides as of the seed of Abraham.

He would launch his career as the messiah by confirming a seven year peace agreement between Israel and the many.

Daniel describes him as having ‘a mouth speaking great things’ and as having ‘a look more stout than his fellows’ but says it is by craft and his allegiance to ‘a god that his father’s knew not’ that he ascends to global leadership.

The Apostle Paul says that in his time, he will be acclaimed as the messiah. The Apostle John says that eventually, he will demand the worship of his followers in exchange for participation in his global religious/financial/political system.

Noah watched and waited and preached and watched and waited and preached for 120 years. When the rains finally came, did it take him by surprise? Or was he expecting it? When it did happen, was it like he expected?

Did he see it coming every day until the Day, or was he hanging on the daily weather report?

Here we’ve got this world leader in waiting. His background is so diverse that nobody is even certain where he was born, let alone to which he is a genetic member.

He comes to power on the cusp of an economic downturn some have compared to the Great Depression, as world leaders scramble to develop the infrastructure for a global, central economic authority to oversee the global economy.

He comes to power as all the various nations named in Bible prophecy align themselves precisely as predicted, at a time when Israel faces constant existential peril.

He comes to power just as the global body politic has had enough of fundamentalist religious-inspired conflict, ranging from Islamic terrorists to Christian ‘hate’ speech and is seeking a kindler, gentler, more inclusive religious system.

He is a world leader who claims to be a committed Christian. What documents exist confirm he was born and raised a Muslim.

His pronouncements on religious issues; ie, pro-abortion and ‘all ways lead to salvation’ make clear he is neither Christian nor Muslim philosophically, making him uniquely acceptable to Jews.

All these are things I’ve been preaching about and warning of and writing about for almost my entire adult life as signs of the impending Tribulation. Jesus Christ Himself likened the time just before His return to that of Noah.

“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.” (Matthew 24:37-38)

I listen to the rising tide of global Obamaism, hear of his agenda for the Middle East, look at the configuration of the world he is inheriting, compare it to Bible prophecy and I wonder.

After all those years of warning people, when those first raindrops started to fall, did Noah think to himself; “I think this might really be it?”

Wow.

Change Like We’ve Never Dreamed . . .

Change Like We’ve Never Dreamed . . .
Vol: 86 Issue: 17 Monday, November 17, 2008

Change Like We’ve Never Dreamed . . .

Change is coming. That is no longer an issue of any debate. What began as a managed crisis has jumped the tracks. It isn’t management anymore; it’s damage control.

The economy is much more that the Dow Jones averages but it is the Dow Jones averages that we use to measure how things are going.

For the past eight years, investors have been bombarded with warnings of an impending economic collapse. Take note of who has been sounding the warnings. You’ve been right here all along.

Forget what they are saying now. Remember what they were saying then. And especially, who was saying it.

John Kerry ran against George Bush in 2004 largely on the promise to roll back the Bush tax cuts and ‘fix the troubled economy’.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid gained their majorities in 2006 on a pledge to ‘fix the troubled economy’.

For most of the past eight years, we’ve been inundated with warnings about the “Bush tax cuts” and the “Bush recession”.

And so on. And so on. Over and over, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

In March of this year, Neil Cavuto did a segment on Fox News under the banner; “Is The Media Talking Down the Economy to Get a Democrat Elected?”

It wasn’t much of a question — or at least, the answers weren’t hard to find. Cavuto read off headline after headline;

“. . . the Associated Press claiming Americans are being subjected to, and I quote “economic water torture.” And then this little ditty item on the GDP, “The economy nearly sputtered out at the end of the year. . . . We were up at the end of the year. Why someone here says this is all part of the media’s plan to get a Democrat in the White House.”

Cavuto threw to his guest, Ben Stein, who replied;

“Well, the media has been selling us on fear and recession for months maybe years now. Even before there was and really seriously bad news they were selling, selling, selling fear. They have been shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theatre now for months, quarters, I’d say probably over a year. The actual economic conditions are not that bad. I think if we have a recession, if we have a serious recession, a great deal will lie at the media’s feet.

Guest and author Peter Sheahan summarized the situation this way;

“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell people life is going to be bad, they’re going to make their decisions to tighten their wallets, stop spending their money, and then life will be bad.”

Well, the message finally got through. The ‘Bush economy’ is in the tank. The Democrats control everything; the White House and both Houses of Congress. Now what happens?

If Trends Research Institute is right, food riots, tax rebellions and possibly, civil war.

Assessment:

Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events. His track record includes predicting the Crash of ’87 and the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

He successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar.

He predicted in a November, 2007 UPI article that 2008 would be known as the “Panic of 2008” in which he specifically warned that “giants would tumble to their deaths.”

Celente’s predictions aren’t the result of either Divine revelation from Heaven or demons working a Ouija board.

It’s more along the lines of ‘prophesying’ that a dog left in the house for three days will poop on the floor.

That’s why we spent as much time as we did examining how the economy got into this predicament. So you could see for yourself that Celente is simply analyzing the trends — putting two and two together and coming up with four.

That, plus his track record, which demonstrates that he’s been paying attention to those trends. Let’s compare what Celente sees for the next four years, based on current trends, to what the Bible predicted would befall a single generation, somewhere in time.

“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said in a recent interview. “It s not going to come yet, but it s going to come down the line and we re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”

The Apostle Paul described the social conditions for that generation as ‘perilous times’ to come. Then he gave what (to me) is a pretty solid outline of the Left, it’s motives and its agenda.

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,” Paul warned.(2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

Ah, but as a nation, we didn’t ‘turn away’ — we embraced that agenda with both arms.

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth . . . But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.” (3:7,9)

This is what Celente predicts as well — he says that the country is going to suddenly realize that they’ve been had.

“The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That s going to be the big one because people can t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”(3:12)

We re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It s going to come as a shock and with it, there s going to be a lot of crime.’

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”(3:13)

“It s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we re going to see many more.”

“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:6)

And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression, people s minds weren t wrecked on all these modern drugs over-the-counter drugs, or crystal meth or whatever it might be. So, you have a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody s comprehension.”

“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:21)

Uniquely in Scripture, the word translated ‘sorceries’ here is not translated from ‘magea’ – meaning ‘magic arts’ (as in Acts 8:11) but rather, ‘sorceries’ is translated here from the Greek ‘pharmakea’ meaning ‘the use or administration of drugs.’

The hand-maidens of drug abuse are prostitution, theft and murder. Celente is inadvertently quoting Scripture.

I checked Celente out. He’s the real deal. He has been hailed as some kind of predictive genius by CNN, USAToday, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist . . . the point is he is neither a crackpot nor is he regarded as a crackpot by the mainstream.

So, what does this mean to us? Well, lots — and not much. It depends on your own perspective. It doesn’t mean that much in the sense you probably already know all this.

Maybe not Gerald Celente or the Trends Research Institute. Or his track record. But by and large, the narrative is familiar.

But at the same time, it means lots — if you’re looking for information you can share with that lost person to show YOU aren’t a crackpot when you open up your Bible where it says the same thing.

Is Celente right on every detail? I don’t know — the details haven’t all unfolded.

But he concurs with those details the Apostles predicted two thousand years ago. The only place where I see a major difference is in the timeline.

Gerald Celente is forecasting four years into the future based on his analysis of current global trends. The Bible is forecasting 2,000 years into the future based on Divine revelation from God.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2nd Peter 1:21)

Again, why is that important to us? Bible prophecy was given to this generation, not for use as a parlor trick, but for use as evidence we can produce to prove to a lost and skeptical world that the Bible is true, the time is short, and the opportunities for salvation are limited.

“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. ” (John 14:29)

Two Months And Counting . . .

Two Months And Counting . . .
Vol: 86 Issue: 15 Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twenty-nine years ago, another incoming US president was facing the same question of what to do with Iran. Iran had recently seized the US Embassy and taken its personnel hostage.

They’d been in captivity for almost four hundred days when the voters took the keys to the Oval Office away from Jimmy Carter and gave them to Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was asked on the eve of the election if he had any new ideas upon which to negotiate the hostages’ release. Reagan told the reporter, “The United States does NOT negotiate with barbarians.”

On January 20th, as Ronald Wilson Reagan was being sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was loading the hostages up on a plane bound for Germany.

Reagan’s advisors looked at four hundred-plus days of fruitless negotiations and concluded that the only thing that would move Iran was a credible threat of force from a new administration.

Barack Obama has assembled a team of ‘experts’ to advise him on how best to deal with Iran’s mad mullahs come January 20th.

Barack Obama’s advisors looked at eight years of fruitless negotiations and concluded the best course of action for the new administration is to “open the door to direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations at the senior diplomatic level.”

The reason? Because America couldn’t defeat Iran in an open conflict. That wasn’t just their conclusion — it was the conclusion they leaked to the Associated Press so that Ahmadinejad could benefit from their advice as well.

“Threats are not cowing Iran and the current regime in Tehran is not in imminent peril,” according to the AP’s copy of the report.

The Iranian people, “have seen the outcome of US-sponsored regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq. They want no part of it,” the report said. So, who are these experts advising Obama?

Former US ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James Dobbins, Columbia University scholar Gary G. Sick and “seventeen other experts” whom the AP declined to name.

Based on their analyses, however, it is a safe bet than none of them know much about military matters. Military men know better than to show their cards first and then bet later.

Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said in a report this month that Iran now has a technology base to make nuclear weapons, limited only by its current level of uranium enrichment.

“The worst case for a nuclear device is 2009, but it could well be 2011-2015 before Iran gets there,” Cordesman said in an interview Tuesday. He added: “The critical issue is when Iran could have an effective nuclear-armed missile force. That could easily take two to three years longer.”

Israel says Iran could have enough nuclear material to make its first bomb within a year. The United States estimates that Iran is at least two years away.

“Estimates differ on the status of Iran’s nuclear program because there are simply few hard facts,” said Michael Makovsky, foreign policy director of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

But the lack of hard facts doesn’t seem to bother Obama’s panel of experts. According to them, if the US attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, America will lose.

Assessment:

Israeli Major-General Amos Gilad gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post, not coincidentally published on the same day the JPost carried the AP story about Obama and his experts.

General Gilad reached a slightly different conclusion than did Obama’s military experts, primarily because General Gilad is a military officer and Obama’s ‘experts’ are former ambassadors.

Do you know what the qualifications for holding the rank of ambassador are? Apart from receiving the appointment, usually in exchange for some political favor, there are none. Absolutely none.

(Anybody want to hazard a guess as to what the basic qualifications for becoming an Israeli two-star general might be?)

General Gilad assessed the situation regarding Iran by citing the Israeli Air Force raid on Osirek in 1981. “They said it couldn’t be done in 1981, and the fact is, it succeeded.”

“Iran is a country with smart people that have capabilities,” he noted. “It really would be a considerable challenge. Come the day, if and when this or that option is adopted, what will matter is the outcome.”

Gilad’s comments came at a time when some senior figures in the defense establishment have indicated in private forums that Israel might have to begin to prepare for the reality of Iran achieving its nuclear goals.

That isn’t going to happen, the general says. Nobody in the Israeli defense establishment is that naive, he said.

Israel cannot accept a nuclear Iran, not only because it might press the button, but because the very fact of this regime having that weaponry would constitute an existential threat.

“The Iranians are determined to obtain nuclear weaponry,” said Gilad. “Iran is controlled by an ideology and a regime that has set itself the goal to be rid of Israel.”

Gilad dismissed Obama’s experts out of hand, saying that “diplomatic pressure against a state this determined can slow processes, but cannot halt them.”

On Wednesday, Iran announced it had test-fired a two-stage, solid-fuel rocket with a 1,200-mile range that could reach Israel. Said Gilad: “They will continue. The picture is clear. They are building more missiles. They’re dealing with uranium enrichment.”

For Israel, he said, “this is indeed a situation that we can’t tolerate. What can be done about it? First of all, we still stick with the diplomatic option, and all the options are on the table, as President Bush said.”

But George Bush has less than two months left in office. What then? “I can’t go into details… elaborating directly assists the enemy in its war against Israel.” (Hence the difference between generals and ambassadors.)

“The test will be in the result – whether we are able or not to prevent this grave threat. . . The more we talk about it – however seductive that may be – the more we brag, the more we weaken our capacity to achieve. We cannot accept a nuclear Iran. We cannot be reconciled to it,” he concluded.

There isn’t much Obama has telegraphed about his intentions regarding Iran that gives the Israeli defense establishment reason to believe an Obama administration would support an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.

General Gilad made a point of referencing President Bush when he said all Israel’s options were on the table. That seems odd, considering Bush has but two months more in office.

One would think Israel’s defense establishment would be looking past that — to an Obama administration.

But then there was this last week . . .

During the economic summit in New York on Thursday, President Bush had a “brief, unscheduled but warm encounter” with Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni who were on the sidelines of an interfaith conference organized by the United Nations at the behest of Saudi Arabia.

“They were not supposed to meet,” Livni’s spokesman told The Jerusalem Post. But as soon as Bush was done addressing the conference, the head of UN protocol approached Livni’s staff and told them that the president wanted to speak with them. The president walked from the podium directly to them.

“It was an extraordinary gesture,” said Livni’s spokesman, who said that the three talked in a side room.

At the end, Bush took Livni aside for a one-on-one conversation and then left.

So, what can WE conclude from all this? Well, one thing we can conclude is this. If you’re hesitating about going to Israel in the spring with the Omega Letter because of the possibility of being caught in a war zone, you can quit worrying.

If war is going to break out with Iran, it will break out before January 20th while George Bush is still president.

If not, then it is unlikely to break out until after Ahmadinejad has had a chance to test an Obama administration with something a bit less risky than taking on the Israelis — making March an ideal window during which to visit.

Who knows when Western Christians may have the chance to walk the streets of an Israeli Jerusalem again?

We still need a few more folks to sign up for the tour to be viable. And we’re running out of time to meet the tour minimum. (If you’ve already confirmed, don’t worry. If we can’t fill the tour, you’ll be refunded fully.)

On the other hand, if you are still sitting on the fence, hop off and join us. Here is a link to the sign up sheet.

“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” (Psalms 137-6-7)

Selah.

Can We Be In the Tribulation Already?

Can We Be In the Tribulation Already?
Vol: 86 Issue: 14 Friday, November 14, 2008

According to Bible prophecy, the antichrist builds his government on three main pillars of power; a global government, a global economy and a global religious system. All three must exist and be functioning prior to his arrival on the scene, since his time frame is limited to just 2,520 days.

The prophet Daniel says that the antichrist will be a prince of the people who destroyed the city and sanctuary; “. . . and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. . .” (Daniel 9:27)

That was accomplished by the Roman legions under the command of Titus in AD 70.

Daniel says this coming Roman ‘prince’ will confirm a seven-year covenant between Israel and ‘many’ that results an a period of peace and safety for the Jews of Israel.

Two things to note about this covenant. First, note the context. This is about Israel’s future. Not about the antichrist. In this context, he is a supporting player, not the object of the prophecy.

The fact the antichrist confirms a covenant ‘with many’ would be irrelevant if Israel were not the other principal to this covenant. An agreement in which Israel plays any lesser role cannot be Daniel’s covenant.

The second thing to note is that this covenant must already exist in some form. One cannot ‘confirm’ that which does not exist. This is not a newly-negotiated covenant cooked up by the antichrist to include Israel among the many.

It is a confirmation of a previously existing agreement. There is but one failed seven-year agreement involving Israel, the revived Roman empire and ‘many’.

That is the Oslo agreement, initially negotiated to run exactly seven years, negotiated between the State of Israel and Yasser Arafat on behalf of the Palestinian ‘people’ under the supervision of the Europeans.

The Oslo formula of ‘land for peace’ remains the foundation upon which any future agreement will be built. Every effort since has built on the efforts of Oslo.

Once Daniel’s covenant is confirmed, Temple worship will be restored, which requires Israel to somehow recover possession of Temple Mount. We know that it must be restored because mid-way through the Tribulation Period, the antichrist suspends Temple worship.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

Any covenant negotiated with Israel that does not leave Israel in possession of Temple Mount and provides for the restoration of Temple worship is NOT the covenant of Daniel 9:27.

How can I say so with such confidence? Because the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is the one that starts the clock ticking.

From the signing of that confirmation of the covenant until the return of Christ at Armageddon is 2,520 literal days. If that covenant were already in place, then the antichrist would already be in power.

Except that at some point before he could BE the antichrist, he must first recover from a deadly head wound.

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Revelation 13:3)

It is AFTER his deadly wound is healed, that John says, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”

So, the antichrist, having been healed from a deadly wound, is acclaimed by the whole world for this apparent miracle. John says that, AFTER this takes place;

“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

Let’s stop there and summarize. First, the covenant, confirmed by a prince of Rome. Then the head wound. Then he is acclaimed as worthy of worship as a god.

Then he is given power to mesmerize the population with a supernaturally gifted ‘mouth speaking great things and blasphemies’ — and this power lasts for forty-two months (1,260 days or 3 1/2 years).

This is the first half of the Tribulation Period. If the antichrist were active and if we were now in the Tribulation, all this would already be in motion. None of it is as yet.

But let’s pretend that we’re in the Tribulation now. That means that within the next 1,260 days, a functioning global government capable of ordering mass executions for political purposes must be fully in power.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Notice this power isn’t given him over just Europeans. Or just over the nations around the Mediterranean.

It is over ALL ‘kindreds’ (families) tongues (languages) and nations (ethnicities)

Anybody care to guess what the word translated into English as ‘all’ means in the original Greek? (Give up? Ok. It means, ‘all’).

That power is, after forty-two months, fully developed and operational. Then, the second beast takes his place onstage.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11) This second beast is a counterfeit prophet, one who has the appearance of Christianity, but who openly teaches the worship of the first beast (the antichrist).

“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”

This second beast will be Satanically energized with supernatural powers. “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, “(Revelation 13:12-13)

Now, I want to stop here again. We are just now at the mid-point of the Tribulation — it started 3 1/2 years ago with the confirmation of the covenant with Israel and the healing of the first beast’s deadly wound.

What must also exist by this point?

Obviously, a global religious system, since there is a global religious leader with the power to condemn apostates to death. So if the Tribulation were to begin tomorrow, say, then within the next 42 months, a new system would have to replace both Christianity and Judaism.

According to the Bible, the persecution of Christians and Jews would be global, bloody and with the enthusiastic cooperation of the global population.

Like most of you, I can see all that coming. But it isn’t here.

The third pillar in the antichrist’s government is a global economy that is tied to both the global religious system and the global government. All three are administered by the same overall authority.

All three must not only exist, but they must be fully operational within three and one half years of the covenant that restores Temple worship to Israel.

Because three and one half years after Israel’s Temple worship is restored, it must then be taken away, signaling the onset of the “Great Tribulation” in which three quarters of mankind die from the plagues and judgments that fall upon an unrepentant human race.

Assessment:

There are some Christians who believe we are already in the early part of the Tribulation Period now and that the current head of the EU/WEU, Javier Solana, is the antichrist.

For that to be true, then, Israel must be in a period of peace and safety right now.

The covenant must be in full force, the Jews of Israel must be in possession of the Temple Mount and the Jewish priests must now be offering legitimate sacrifices to God in a ritually cleansed Temple.

That means the ashes of a pure red heifer must already have been found and sprinkled to cleanse the Holy of Holies after two millennia of desecration.

Within the next forty-two months, the false prophet must convince everybody on earth except the Jews to worship the beast.

By the mid-point of the Tribulation, the global economy will be tied to a mark in the right hand or forehead without which no man could buy or sell.

So within 1260 days, all cash transactions must cease to exist.

Within forty-two months, all Christians and Jews the world over will be hunted down and ultimately executed if they refuse to take the Mark of the Beast.

Problem: Even with Satan’s enthusiastic cooperation, there isn’t enough time. You can’t get there from here.

The covenant has not been confirmed and Israel is not living in peace and safety. Temple worship has not been restored and al-Aqsa remains standing atop the Holy of Holies.

There is no functioning global religion. There is no functioning global religious authority. As long as there are Christians and Jews, there can NEVER be a universally acceptable global religious authority.

The global economy is outside of any one nation’s control, let alone the control of one man. Cash makes global control impossible. And a universal currency would take a lot longer than 42 months from now to implement.

That is not to say that the Rapture couldn’t take place tomorrow. The Rapture of the Church is an event INDEPENDENT of the Tribulation Period. They are not ‘bookends’.

The Rapture is the conclusion of the Age of Grace. It is when Jesus comes to retrieve His Bride from the earth. The Tribulation is the resumption of the Final Week of the Law. They are as separate as distinct as Pentecost is from the Destruction of the Temple forty years later.

Since the Holy Spirit indwells the Church, when the Bride is retrieved, His earthly ministry concludes, just as Jesus’ earthly ministry concluded at the Ascension.

Temple worship didn’t cease on the day the Church Age began — it continued another forty years before Titus.

The Rapture of the Church could take place tomorrow and the Tribulation Period could still be a decade or more into the future. Maybe two decades. However long it takes. The two are independent events.

That is why we, as Christians, are not charged with watching for the antichrist. We are given details concerning the coming of antichrist because, if we can hear his approaching footsteps, we can know that the time of our deliverance is even closer.

The signs of the times were given for the lost — the saved don’t need them — except as witnessing tools.

The Tribulation period is close. No doubt about it. What does it mean to the Church? It means the Rapture is closer.

“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh,” Jesus said. (Luke 21:28)

At the beginning. Not at the end.