Todd often makes the observation these days that there seems to be a strange lack of prophetic activity; nothing in the news rivets the observer in the dramatic way, say, that an attack on Iran�s nuclear facilities might grab one�s attention.
This Strandberg perception of a lull in prophetic progression, as he calls it, might seem at first nonsensical, considering the tremendous procession of probable end-times issues and events that we at Rapture Ready address each week. Geopolitically, there are many signals of biblically prophetic significance. The European Union (EU) continues to consolidate power while remaining at the same time loosely confederated. Certainly, we legitimately can and do make the case for this strange entity being the likely candidate for producing revived Rome � the ten toes of iron and miry clay given in Nebuchadnezzar�s dream-vision of the final world empire (Daniel 2).
Russia is a brooding giant to Israel�s north, and at every opportunity, Iran threatens the Jewish state with oblivion. These nations combine with Turkey and others to constitute a coalescing agglomerate that has the characteristics of the foretold Gog-Magog military machine of Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Russia�s Vladimir Putin openly displays ambition that easily qualifies him as one who might aspire to be the Gog of the Ezekiel prophecies. Iran�s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spouts the kind of hatred for God�s chosen people that the prince of Persia no doubt will use to inspire Iran�s (Persia�s) leader to join with Gog in raging against Israel in that satanic attack (Daniel 10:20).
Recently, Turkey�s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has brought his nation into the Iranian and Arab world�s mantra for Israel to, in effect, be neutralized � be eradicated as an entity in the Middle East. Thus, Ezekiel�s prophecy about the Gog-Magog forces continues to congeal, with the ancient area of Togormah now firmly within the foretold mix of peoples that will storm over the mountains of Israel to meet their God-ordained doom.
So, again, it seems nonsensical to say that there is a lack of prophetic progression, based upon such spectacular developments. Yet, Todd Strandberg and, I must say, I have agreed with his assessment during our conversations. And, yet the signals of this being the very end of the age continue to accrue.
Socioeconomically, the end-times signals are prolific, with the whole world in economic distress. The 2008-2009 U.S. and international monetary crises were nothing short of earth-shaking. With the global financial structure intricately linked to the U.S. dollar and its economy, America�s banking meltdown and all attendant to it suddenly had the western nations in panic. The panic is unabated, despite America throwing trillions of dollars that don�t really exist into the fiscal fiasco.
Rioting in Greece, Spain, Italy, and other so-called �civilized� countries displayed in blatant fashion the economic turmoil. Rage over government-provided social services being withdrawn and jobs cut from government, along with unions losing their funding, caused - and continue to cause - withdrawal spasms like those suffered by addicts needing their heroin fixes.
The nations are in distress with perplexity, just as Jesus prophesied as recorded in Luke 21:25. There is a call for a rearrangement of the economic order. It is just such an order that will serve Antichrist�s dastardly regime as he sets about to enslave the world. His 666 numbers-and-mark system as found in Revelation 13:16-18 can be seen in the making in these very days in which we live.
The electronic means to produce such a system exists, too. The computer-satellite capabilities and linkages � with Internet connecting practically every place on earth - doubtless will be all brought together in some spectacular way to produce the Beast�s system of economic gulag.
Ironically, about the only area of the world that seems to be progressing economically is part of Asia � particularly one specific nation that almost certainly has a prophetic destiny. While the economic and technological apex nation of the world � the United States of America � is suffering, causing the other industrial nations and socialist countries to suffer, that great prophetic Oriental region of the world benefits mightily from the distress and perplexity. China holds much of the debt owed by the most economically powerful nation ever to exist!
China will almost certainly be the �king� of the �kings� of the east mentioned in Revelation chapters 9 and 16. It is even now apparently acquiring the level of wealth that will assure the accumulation of military strength with which to (along with demonic assistance of major magnitude) kill one-third of the world�s population (Revelation 9:15-16, 16:12).
It seems beyond irony that it is the U.S. that is funding most of the Sino-monster. It is the American technological/wealth base that has been primarily instrumental also in providing the financial wherewithal for paving Antichrist�s future kingdom. It is perhaps within these fiscal facts that can be found America�s own ultimate judgment for straying so far from the godly founding principles upon which it was based. Yet there is this strange silence of prophetic progression that bugs Todd and me. We will further examine the matter in this column.
Part 2 - October 25, 2010
So, again, we come to the seeming disconnect � the tremendous number of biblically prophetic indicators from a strange prophetic silence that surrounds these signals.
Todd and I analyze these matters without ceasing. The signs are everywhere that we are at the end times as given by Jesus when He foretold, for example, that it will be like the days of Noah�s pre-Flood time and Lot�s days in Sodom at the moment He will break in like a thief in the night on an unsuspecting world. And, yet, we are both amazed that the �prophetic progression� seems strangely slow � even to the point of causing us to constantly ask why things seem at a standstill.
How can we ask that question when every one of the apostle Paul�s 2 Timothy 3 perilous-times characteristics of end-times man is observably on the front burner of society today? People are lovers of themselves, boasters, proud. Children are disobedient to parents, with the assisted rebellion built in to the public school systems of America. We are a people � worldwide � who are unthankful and, certainly, unholy. The government-backed - even church-organization-backed - homosexual agenda, with hate crimes being legislated and implemented to punish those who dare to say God�s Word teaches homosexuality is a sin, shows the perilous-times characteristic �without natural affection� is in our face today.
Abortion takes the lives of more than four thousand babies per day in America. This, too, speaks to the characteristic Paul prophesied would mark the end-times generation, �without natural affection.� We only have to look at the divorce rate today to see that the characteristics Paul gave in prophecy are exhibited within marriage. Infidelity is rampant. People are traitorous to their marriage partners, they are false accusers and truce-breakers. We are an incontinent or addictive generation, whether thinking on illicit or prescription drugs, or on pornography that sears the minds of those who spend hours before computer screens. Also, we are addicted to spending money to satisfy ever-increasing and insatiable material desires.
People love pleasures more than they love God. Mankind is fierce, while at the same time many have a form of godliness, but deny Jesus Christ � who is the power of godliness. The holy name of Jesus is used far more as invective than as a term of reverence and praise in this end-of-the-age hour. That name that God says is above every other isn�t even allowed in many of America�s workplaces, public schools, or government facilities � another panoply of reasons the nation�s judgment is certain.
Why do Todd and I see this as a time of slow prophetic progression, considering this avalanche of prophetic markers? How can we say this when Israel is in position precisely as biblical prophets foretold that nation would be as history draws to a close and Armageddon nears?
Isaiah and Daniel the prophets foretold that Israel would be involved in a peace process at the very end of things to come. Zechariah, many other prophets, and the Lord Jesus himself prophesied that Israel would be surrounded by and hated by all nations of earth at the time of the end. All of those developing prophecies regarding God�s chosen people are front and center right now!
There is a prophetic silence at present. But it is a perceived rather than an actual silence, I think. It is part of the strange cognitive malady with which we all suffer, perhaps.
Overload of day-to-day human activity causes desensitization to even the most traumatic of injuries. �Time heals all wounds� is one common explanation of this cognitive condition. We lose a loved one, and while we will often recall memories of him or her and suffer anew, the overloads of life continue to cause the scar to thicken. The pain fades, to some extent.
So it is in the matter of being watchful in the sense of Mark 13:37. We are so saturated with issues and events of our time that look like prophecy in stage-setting for fulfillment that we develop a malaise. We become desensitized to the phenomenal crush of end-times exigencies.
This is so disconcerting to those who work within prophecy ministries such as Rapture Ready, I think, because it is a solitary feeling at times that comes from such lack of interest among true believers. One finds oneself almost hoping something dramatic will happen to shake those believers into understanding exactly how late is the prophetic hour.
Come to think of it ... Jesus foretold a strange prophetic silence. He said it would be just at such an hour that He would break in upon a world in darkness. Because our time is so saturated with indicators of Christ�s Second Coming, the apathy-ending event isn�t in the offing. Or maybe it will be the most lethargy-ending event possible that will do the shaking up. Maybe the next prophetic indicator that will end this strange prophetic silence will be the Rapture itself.
America ~ Apostasy ~ Christians ~ Economic Crisis ~ Europe ~ Gog/Magog ~ Israel ~ Kings of the East ~ New World Order ~ Signs of the Times