[Updated to add part of a thought unintentionally left out and a missing word.]
It’s been a while since I’ve reported on any news, but the world has not gotten any better along the way. For one thing, the Middle East is in a shambles still, and things are heating up over there – but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Life and death, health and illness – the important things in life can get sidelined so easy. Our society pulls us in so many ways, and in fact it is part of the problem. Society does not have its priorities right. Sometimes, these weird priorities show up in interesting ways. Time’s Person of the Year nominations often reveals some of the oddities about humanity and the societies we have built. Sometimes, it shows the insanity of humanity overall.
Time Magazine has come out with a new poll where people can weigh in on “Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year 2012?” While people can weigh in, it isn’t clear just how much attention will be given to the poll. At the time of this writing, President Mohamed Morsi was in the popular lead. Of course, this comes at the same time as his controversial “new powers” proclamation, which makes you seriously wonder who is voting in this poll.
Far behind, but in second place, is Kim Jong Un, the new North Korean supreme leader (not sure of the actual title, as it seems to be rather bizarre and confusing). If he wins this, then that would make The Onion’s declaration that “Kim Jong-Un Named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive For 2012” seem serious in comparison. Apparently, his “boyish charm” makes him “a real hunk” who can at times “let his hair down.”
Psy is in fifth place, which probably has him happily dancing Gangnam Style. Here is a man doing crazy things in crazy outfits in a crazy video, yet he seems [Edit:] normal compared to some of these.
Twentieth on the list (at the moment) is Sandra Fluke. For? I guess Time must have run out of ideas at some point, as I am not sure why being a pawn of the Democratic Party qualifies someone to be Person of the Year. Same could be said, I suppose, about Karl Rove (second from last on the list) and the Republican Party, though.
Frankly, the whole list disturbs me. Even the most notable, IMO, on the list, The Mars Rover at number 7, bothers me, as it isn’t even a person.
Aung San Suu Kyi made the list (yay!), but she is sharing the spot with General Thein Sein (huh?). Sorry, but which of them won the Nobel Peace Prize again? The Lady is probably humble enough and gracious enough and patriotic enough to not care very much, but I nevertheless think it is odd. Did the general spend any years in house arrest, or did I miss something?
The fact that Morsi leads 257,127 to 126,646 compared to Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who was shot in the face simply because she wanted an education, sort of sickens me. Interestingly, Morsi has even more votes for “No Way”—285, 783 against to be exact.
However, the situation in Egypt should not be a total surprise. After all, Egypt was the original King of the South, and even if it isn’t the main King of the South prophesied in the end times, it certainly will be a major player. As long as Hosni Mubarak was in power, the truce with Israel was sure to be honored. Now, it, along with everything else, is up in the air.
The interesting thing about all of this is to notice how quickly things change. When President Barak Obama took office almost four years ago, could the scale of change in the Middle East have been anticipated? I highly doubt it.
I remember in WCG in the 1970s, people loved to speculate about many things. We are told that John “wondered” and “marveled” at the Great Harlot (Rev 17:6-7). Did he marvel because of what she was or had done? Or, did he marvel at the speed with which she did her deeds?
Adolf Hitler took over a lot of territory using the Blitzkrieg, lit. “lightning war”. One moves in swiftly and overruns the enemy before the shock of surprise could wear off.
In the 1980s, things were falling apart for the Soviet Union. East Germany and West Germany were beginning to want to end the artificial division between them. Experts talked about reunification. At first, they speculated that it could be as soon as 15 years, but there would be complications if Germany’s neighbors were too wary of Germany’s past. A little while later, some speculated it could happen as soon as 10 years. Finally, some experts really put their neck out and said reunification could take as long as 5 years.
From the time I heard that figure, it was only a matter of months before the Berlin Wall fell, and Germany was reunified within 18 months of that prediction. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to reunification was 11 months.
Things happen quickly.
I realize that not everyone believes that there will be a 7 year reign of the Beast, but I do. One of the things that often gets lost in translation is that if I am correct, there will be no need for those of us in the nations predominantly inhabited by descendants of Israel to worry about when the Great Tribulation comes unless we are destined for a Place of Safety.
I remember one time telling a certain person that the US will fall. They were pretty nonchalant about that, much to my surprise. “All nations fall,” was their answer. I tried to explain that nations fall when they are taken over, subjugated, taken captive and those who are not killed are made into slaves. It was [Edit:] like trying to convince my cat of the danger. Actually, it was worse because at least my cat will pretend to listen as long as I am petting her.
There is a difference between “the Tribulation” and “the Great Tribulation”. The Tribulation, aka “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7), will target the descendants of Israel. It will only be with the US and Great Britain out of the way that Europe can actually take the reigns of the entire world. That means that either the Beast will come to power as a result of a vacuum created when the descendants of Assyria decimate these two nations, or the Beast will come to power and will shortly thereafter seize control beginning with removing all obstacles to his path.
This, I believe, will then result in a 3-1/2 year time period of “peace” in the Middle East. However, it will be a peace enforced through military power, because military force is the only way any type of peace can happen in the Middle East. Even when Jesus Christ returns, He will have to put down the forces that will unite long enough to try to fight Him.
There does not have to be a 3-1/2 year period before the Great Tribulation, but it is the one that fits the model best. People who adamantly say that there cannot be a 3-1/2 year period before the Great Tribulation truly show they don’t understand prophecy. However, those who would dare say that they would preach during that 3-1/2 year period, however, are even more deceived. That period will be a time of suffering. It will be a time of a famine of the Word (Am 8:11). It will be a bit difficult to have a worldwide work while in prison and in the bonds and chains of slavery (for those left alive, that is).
Our job as a Church should be to issue a warning message now while there is yet time! Once a portion of God’s people are taken into the wilderness for an additional 3-1/2 years (“time, times and half a time”) and the rest scattered, it will be up to the Two Witnesses to do the worldwide work. That is why they will be given such great power. It will be literal power (listen up, Ronald Weinland)! Yet, there will only be two of them, and they will need that power to grab the world’s attention so that at least some will repent.
They will deal roughly with their opposition. Jesus Christ will deal roughly with His opposition when He returns. Sometimes, the only way to stop the madness is by force. When someone goes on a rampage, you try your best to restrain him, but if necessary you may have to use deadly force. In an insane world where an insane being is in charge and broadcasting insane thoughts and impulses, there sometimes is no other way.
The Beast will try to forcibly hold together peace in the Middle East, but he will ultimately fail. He will fail because he is part of the problem and not part of the solution. Jesus Christ is the solution.
That is the good news. Yes, it will get worse before it gets better, but there will then be 1,000 years of abundant peace and prosperity unlike any time since Eden. Mankind cannot bring this by his own power. It requires supernatural power from Heaven above.
Jesus Christ will stop the madness. Then, He will be Person of the Millennium.