The first two commentaries below capture what I have been thinking about almost non-stop for the last 3-4 weeks. I've been trying to summarize where we are now, in terms of the sequence of events, and maybe even the timeline itself. We're very very close right now and nothing is slowing down prophetically. I'll let the next two cover it - as two of the best "watchmen" out there, Jan Markell and Terry James have done an excellent job or summarizing where we are right now and how close we are to the rise of the antichrist.
Almost a decade ago an obscure politician came on the scene. Many were intrigued with his "hope and change" offer. Millions bought into it.
Others wondered why America had to be changed.
I was troubled by his associations. How could someone who hung out with America-haters actually be good for America?
Once elected, it seemed that whatever Barack Obama set his hand to suffered -- at home and abroad. He appeared to favor Islam, hate Israel, and love tyrants.
The ultimate insanity -- and betrayal -- was his push to allow the world's primary sponsor of terror -- Iran -- to have nuclear power. There has never been an "evil empire" quite like Iran -- and one that swears daily to wipe out Israel and America. Yet this U.S. President convinced many world leaders that it was the better part of wisdom to let Iran have the capability to blow up the world. What strong delusion!
Before Barack Obama, the Mideast was relatively stable. Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarek were not lovers of freedom but they kept a lid on the mayhem in the Mideast and North Africa. But Mr. Obama overturned it all and de-stabilized an entire region when he backed and encouraged the Muslim Brotherhood and the Arab Spring of 2011. He even welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood into his own administration. The turmoil in the Mideast then set the stage for ISIS which has resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Christians.
Israel has become the nation forsaken and stands in jeopardy. ISIS is bearing down on her. Iran promises to rain down nukes on her. Hamas and Hezbollah threaten regional wars.
But could Barack Obama come about through the hidden Hand of God? Much of this had to happen. Global destabilization was needed to herald a cry for global government. Never let a good crisis go to waste.
Is this mysterious man with a checkered past just paving the way for the real "man with a plan" known as the Antichrist?
No one could have imagined the turn of events these last seven years a decade ago. The world has never been a safe place, but today the globe is reeling and it seems to stem from the loss of White House leadership.
But how could the Antichrist ride into power when times would be good? He has to ride the waves of chaos.
No, I do not believe Barack Hussein Obama is the Antichrist. He may be a type or a forerunner but I do not believe he is the real deal. I believe the real "Mr. Fix-It" comes out of the old Roman Empire.
This new year promises to be even more chaotic than previous years. The tide of turmoil is set for nearly every nation. Europe is imploding thanks to "refugees" they never would have had if we had leadership in the U.S. White House. An economic house of cards is set to fall like dominoes as well.
The world is leaderless. Chaos rules. The stage gets more set every day. Tyrants are threatening destruction on every continent.
Even the most seasoned newsmen who have "seen it all" are in awe of world developments in recent years. All of them realize that something unique in the history of the world is happening today.
What's most stunning about it all is the breathtaking rapidity of these recent developments. It seems we are now seeing change happen faster than ever before. What once took years, now happens in days. What once took days, now happens in minutes. Those of us watching the news simply cannot keep up.
I believe the Antichrist and False Prophet are waiting in the wings. We are not privileged to know the names of these characters ahead of time though some who are alive today fit the descriptions in the Bible.
But the biggest contributor to the end-of-days scenario is Barack Obama. Like him or hate him, he is an apocalyptic character.
Our world today is rapidly assuming, on a global scale, the characteristics of that which will morph into Armageddon. We had to have the Iranian nuke deal to set that stage.
All that needs to happen next is a good crisis, and I am sure a crisis awaits. It could be financial or even an American election that goes very wrong.
In the rather benign 1950s, there was already a longing for a miracle worker. NATO's Paul Henri Spaak said in 1957, "We want a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliance of all people and lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him."
The King is coming. Perhaps today. That's the good news to take away. Things are falling in place.
Those of us who look at world conditions through the lens of the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation scope of things to come believe ours is the correct view of Bible prophecy. We reach that understanding, in part, when considering that 1) Israel must be at the center of world controversy at the very end of the age; and 2) Antichrist can’t be revealed as the man of sin until believers of the Church Age are removed from planet earth.
Now, the details of developments on the geopolitical last-days’ landscape grow ultra-fascinating. We have shown that Israel has become the center of controversy, exactly like Zechariah the prophet foretold that nation will be at the end of the age. We have looked at how this prophetic stage-setting has eventuated, with America’s alliance with and influence upon Israel bringing the Jewish state to the center of the end-times spotlight.
At the same time, we’ve delved into how the United States of America has gone into decline like the deteriorating visage of a terminally ill cancer patient. Why is the U.S. not mentioned in Bible prophecy? Perhaps we are learning why, as previously dissected, with America’s wealth currently being siphoned by the geopolitical power that will one day have a military force that will kill one-third of all peoples on earth at the time China and others of East Asia rampage into the Occidental world across the dried-up Euphrates River.
American tax dollars are paying for the equipping of that future juggernaut, it appears. America’s decline seems related to the country’s movement away from friendship with and close support of God’s chosen nation. Again, America looks to be key to developing prophetic stage-setting when thinking on what’s going on with the area of the world out of which history’s final and most despotic tyrant will emerge. Antichrist’s launching pad will be Europe–the area of ancient Rome, the prophet Daniel foretells (Dan. 9: 26-27).
Europe spawned World Wars I and II, and was in near total shambles following the Allied victory over Germany, Japan, and Italy. The Marshall Plan, conceived, implemented, and paid for by the United States, rebuilt that prophetically destined continent.
The European Common Market came into being in 1957, engendered by the Treaty of Rome. This followed a number of European nations agreeing to form the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, which was implemented in 1952. Other agreements moved European nations closer, like the treaties establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The formation of the European Economic Community (EEC) brought Europe to the point of coming into the prophetic picture as what will one day form the revived Roman Empire. Point is, none of these developments would have happened as they did if not for U.S. rescue of Europe from the ravages of WW II. This isn’t meant to give America undue accolades. The U.S. would, itself, never have existed if not for the God of heaven’s divinely appointed purpose for the American republic in end-times development.
The intricate linkages with the U.S. economy have kept Europe–and the western world, for that matter—at an elevated economic level never attained in history. The interlinkages of America and its dollar with all of these nations mentioned in Bible prophecy are nothing short of miraculous, when one truly studies the details involved. America’s loss of economic power is presently having a deleterious impact on most every nation on the planet–except, perhaps, China, which, again, looks to be the entity assigned by destiny to be the chief agent for siphoning wealth and power from the most materially blessed nation to ever exist.
The ominous bubble of economic catastrophe is building hourly for America and all nations of planet earth. There is almost certainly no human way to prevent it from eventually bursting. It becomes more obvious by the day to those who see prophetic developments from a premillennial, pre-Tribulation viewpoint that it is only God’s staying hand that prevents the explosion that will collapse the global economy.
I believe–again, based on what I know to be the pre-mil, pre-trib view God’s Word presents regarding prophecy yet future–that it will be the Rapture of the church (all born-again believers in Jesus Christ) that will burst that explosive bubble.
All stage-setting factors are in place–in detail—for the coming to power of Antichrist and his regime of murderous tyranny. It will be an economically driven dictatorship of absolute control over buying and selling, as Revelation 13:16-18 clearly presents.
That “prince that shall come” (Dan. 9:26) can’t appear on the world stage (2 Thess. 2:3) until the church is removed to heaven when Jesus Christ calls all believers to be with Him (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 4:1). It is upon the Rapture that this world’s immense bubble of false security based upon Satan’s lies will burst and the humanistic structures of false hope will come crashing to dust.
The singular, most fascinating detail out of all of prophecy to remember is the following: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired two ballistic missiles on Wednesday that it said were designed to be able to hit Israel, defying U.S. criticism of similar tests carried out the previous day.
State television showed footage of two Qadr missiles being launched from northern Iran which the IRGC said hit targets 1,400 km (870 miles) away. Tests on Tuesday drew a threat of new sanctions from the United States.
"The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 km is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance," Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency. The nearest point in Iran is around 1,000 km from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Iranian agencies said the missiles tested on Wednesday were stamped with the words "Israel should be wiped from the pages of history" in Hebrew, though the inscription could not be seen on any photographs.
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Wednesday fired 2 Iranian-made “Qadr H” ballistic missiles from the Eastern Alborz Mountains, as part of ongoing IRGC drills in Central Iran and elsewhere around the country. According to Fars, “One missile had a message written on it that said in Hebrew: ‘Israel should be wiped off the Earth.'”
According to Israel Radio, the Hebrew message actually read: “Khayavim l’hashmid et Israel” – “Must destroy Israel,” not wiping “off the Earth,” which means the Fars writer doesn’t know Hebrew or decided to add flare to the note, which had to be compact because you can only fit so much Hebrew on the side of a ballistic missile.
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the IRGC said the missile firings are a firm response to the embargoes against Iran’s missile defense program. “Our enemies have realized that broader sanctions and security pressures have had little impact on our capabilities. That’s why they now seek to confine us in the missile field through economic sanctions,” Jafari said.