The Imminent Demise of America?
If you are reading this, you may well be considered a terrorist according to a “threat analysis” by the Department of Homeland Security dated April 7, 2009 titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." The purpose of this "one of a series" of threat analysis is "to facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States" so that all "law enforcement officials... may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States." Their concern is fueled because of those who believe in "'end times' prophecies." The document says end-time Bible prophecy teachings "have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement." So if you are reading this website, be warned. You could be labeled a “terrorist” or a “radical”. More on this in a moment.
Recently a “Hate Crimes” bill was passed by the House. “On a vote of 249-175, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill backed by the new Democratic White House to broaden such laws by classifying as "hate crimes" those attacks based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender identity or mental or physical disability.” Christian activists believe that if passed and signed into law, the legislation could be used to target Americans who voice their opposition to the homosexual lifestyle – including pastors preaching and reading the Bible. "Passage would literally throw open the door to attacks against people of faith, who could be prosecuted with federal monies for expressing their views on homosexuality!" warns Gary Cass, executive director of the Center for Reclaiming America. Some believe that if passed and signed into law, the legislation could be used to target Christians. More on this later also…
And then we have the swine flu pandemic. Nothing creates more of a sense of urgency, if not out and out panic as a pandemic. I’m not going into detail. You can Google this yourself. Some believe this is genetically engineered (as was AIDS, Ebola, Lime Disease, etc.) at best by the Pharmacy companies to make money (create the problem and provide the solution) or at worst as an evil cabal intent on thinning the population. Some are warning of forced vaccinations. I think it’s over for now.
Obama is increasing debt at the most alarming rate in the history of the country. At the rate he is going, he will create more government debt in his first four years than all administrations before him combined. Billions are flowing into the corrupt banking system and nothing seems to be working. Banks, insurance companies and some of the largest corporations in America are being nationalized. The nation is falling into the deepest and longest recession since the Great Depression. So what does this mean? America will come out stronger or is all of this activism only making things worse?
In another move, Obama is creating a youth brigade. The bill is entitled “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education” (GIVE) and requires anyone receiving school loans and others receiving aid to serve at least three months as part of the youth brigade. His goal is one million youth! The Bill, HR 1388, would forbid any student in the brigade to participate in “engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.” That means no church attendance or witnessing. Some liken it to Kennedy’s Peace Corps and others to Hitler’s Youth. More on this in a moment.
So what do we have? Christians who talk about end times prophecy may be guilty of sedition. Youth in government programs are forbidden to go to church. And, it is becoming a hate crime (already is in Canada) to speak your conscience based on Biblical teachings. A pandemic may be unfolding daily before our eyes, if not this time, maybe the next. And the final topic is the economy. What does this mean? Where does this leave America? What does this mean in terms of prophecy? How does this all fit? Believe me it does!
Politics and Prophecy
If you are a Christian, you may be considered a “right wing extremist” and lumped in with David Koresh, Timothy McVeigh and Al-Qaeda. According to the DHS threat assessment, “rightwing terrorists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American President present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” The Threat Assessment warns that "historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States." Those who believe this may happen are "conspiracy theorists" who fear "declarations of martial law, impending civil strife or racial conflict, suspension of the U.S. Constitution, and the creation of citizen detention camps." How does DHS define "right-wing extremism'? It writes that it "can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
So what is behind all of this? The document claims this is fueled by those who believe in "'end times' prophecies." These teachings "have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement." The report goes on to declare, “Antigovernment conspiracy theories and end times prophecies could motivate individuals to stockpile food, ammunition and weapons. “So how do you like the way Christians are all lumped together? But wait. There’s more! And don’t forget gun control opponents and soldiers returning from war zones “who possess combat skills and experience that are attracted to rightwing extremists.” It mentions abortion and anti-gay beliefs to fan the dangers of radicalization. It even says that, “Rightwing extremists views bemoans the decline of US stature and have recently focused on themes such as the loss of US manufacturing capability to China and India.” The report goes on and on. They tie racism to the pro-life and pro-marriage movements calling Christians “fearful bigots.” Friends, this report was issued by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security!
The Tribulation Network receives thousands of hits a day and a great many of those hits come from the U.S. government and military so “big brother” is watching… just so you know. So for the record, we never advocate violence. We do believe America is in prophecy although not in the way the extremists they are talking about believe. We do not see America as the “Christian” savior nation of the world. We never advocate political activity of any kind, survivalism, violence or escapism by rapture. We merely believe that the church (small “c” – i.e. the people) is to be a living testimony to the world of the saving and transforming power of Christ in our lives.
When it comes to prophecy, the issue before us is this. Is the Bible true? Is it the Word of God? Is it a prophetic book? Have its prophecies been accurate? Should we care? I think the answer to all of those questions is yes. It was accurate in the Old Testament, in the hundreds of prophecies concerning the fate of the nation of Israel, the coming of the Messiah and all of the prophecies related to the Last Days (representing at least one fourth of the Bible). As I have pointed out in other writings, prophecy has been discredited for many reasons. One of the most obvious is that scholars through the years kept trying to make the Bible fit their world and historic view. The Book of Daniel says: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end…Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Daniel12:4, 10) So we see that last days’ prophecy was not to be revealed in clarity until the end. That takes an open heart and mind, not a bunch of preconceived notions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Another reason prophecy is subject to criticism has to do with crying “wolf” too many times, as it says in 2 Peter 3:3-4, “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
Does this nullify prophecy? We know many, especially those in the younger generation, who are tired of warnings. They have heard it all. But wait a minute! What are the signs of His coming (see Matthew 24)? Wars, rumors of wars, pestilence and famine are some of them, but that could be any time. But more specifically we have the prophecies relating to Israel’s regathering as a nation. We see an almost supernatural alignment of Islam against the Western “Christian” world and even more specifically Israel and the U.S. The deception is growing and we need to recognize it. In the Purpose Driven Life (pp 285-286) Rick Warren declares “The details of my return are none of your business.” That seems to be the mood of most churches today.
It appears that anyone who believes in end times Biblical prophecy will be mocked, demonized or even declared a dangerous radical. How do we handle this? Don’t be surprised when it happens. Be clear in your own heart and mind what God is saying. Below is a review of some of the basics we see.
1. The presence of Israel, a tiny nation with 5.5 million Jews the size of the State of New Jersey is a “cup of trembling” and unanimously condemned by the nations of the earth. (Zechariah 12:2) It is ironic that the peoples that suffered most during the holocaust have been declared a racist apartheid state. Israel has become the focal point of attention and hatred.
2. Prophecy declares that in the last days a great apostate (meaning “falling away”) “Christian” consumer nation (Revelation 17, 18 and 19) will make a defense treaty (Daniel 9:27) with Israel. (Please see In Search of Babylon for details) So what nation is the world’s largest economy, military, “Christian” in name at least and one of the only friends of Israel likely to make a treaty and have the power to enforce it? Christian leaders absolutely refuse to consider the answer to this question honestly but lamely claim it is Iraq, Russia, reunified Europe, Rome – doing anything but recognizing the only elephant in the room (Please see Doug Krieger’s text: Rise or Fall of American Empire…the Evangelical Cover-up of America in Bible Prophecy). They uniformly declare that since America cannot be found in prophecy, it must be destroyed! Please see the 28 action packed chapters on Antichrist – Reflections on the Desolator.
3. The government is not rejecting lukewarm Christianity, only prophetic Christians who may be critical of government and apostate Churchianity. Where does this leave Christians? With a lukewarm church that is non-judgmental and accepting of one another and other religions (a la Rick Warren) – a feel good Christianity designed to entertain, inform and help you through the problems of life by either promising an “early out” via the pre-tribulation rapture or encouraging you to get involved in making society a better place as long as it is done in a politically correct way.
4. Where does this leave Israel? After one final salvo aimed at Iran’s nuclear program, Israel will be told to accept peace in exchange for land (pre-1967 borders which is strategically impossible to defend) – but not to worry. America will defend them and sign a treaty to prove it. Readers, when that happens, it is literally “the beginning of the end”—the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. Again, I refer you to another online book titled The Prophetic Sequence where all of this is documented in great detail.
The New Obama Approach
The Youth Brigade and proposed “Hate Crimes” bill represents an interesting new direction to say the least. Why would youth be prohibited from participating in religious activity or voicing their religious opinions? What happened to freedom of speech and expression? What is the message we are sending to our youth? What kind of indoctrination will they receive? Since when are veterans a security threat?
Unfortunately, the same mentality that makes it wrong to pray or promote anything Christian in schools but it is okay to discuss other religions, practice meditation and visualization in class. Christians are viewed as narrow, absolutist, bigoted and judgmental. The controversy in California over Proposition 8 defining marriage between a man and a woman has not only reached new lows but the characterization of Christians as haters of gays. I thought we were all entitled to our own opinions. That doesn’t mean we hate anyone. Laws are about definitions and one would certainly have a hard time arguing that in the entire history of mankind that the generally accepted definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
The issue at hand is not marriage, gays or straights but whether God has any say in the matter. Just as the children of Israel were continually influenced by the religions and idol worship of the surrounding cultures, the popular thing today is to make your own designer god and define God in your own terms. Who defines whom? The potter or the clay? The creator or the creation? Unfortunately, Christians focus on one or two sins – homosexuality and abortion. They fail to give all of the other “sins” equal footing. The point isn’t in measuring degrees. The point is that man does not have a relationship with God because he doesn’t recognize his own condition and the need for a divine, transforming life. The secular world views Christians as judgmental, single issue hypocrites who think they are better than everyone else and unfortunately they are not that far off. Although we say, “hate the sin but love the sinner” - many do not do that but can be seen on street corners waving signs and shouting at those who disagree with them.
Unfortunately, secular liberals tend to lump all “Christians” into the same mold. But even worse, the tolerant liberal tends to be most intolerant when someone disagrees with them on these issues. It is no longer okay to believe the Bible as the Word of God or in a righteous God who condemns all sin (not just one or two). But because most so-called Christians are woefully ignorant of what a real Christian is and how God works in them and transforms their lives, they have become legalistic brainwashed automatons going through the motions thinking they are fighting to preserve their values and world view.
The administration reflects societies jaundiced one size fits all view of Christians who must become more accepting of others or else. The result is a lukewarm Laodicean form of Christianity that will become accepting and compliant as long as they can continue to have the good life. Suffering is not their cup of tea. An early rapture sounds like a great alternative. For the few remaining who know the Lord and believe in His Word, it is becoming very hard to express an honest difference of opinion. Right now, the secularists are piling on them but soon the nominal “Christians” will join the fray. The Obama approach will enforce a new era of political correctness, a watered down cultural Christianity and a dismantling of true Biblical Christianity. There will be nothing more seditious than taking the Bible literally and not being accepting of “others.” Those who promote end times prophecy may be mocked or arrested.
It is premature to say if the Swine Flu will be another catalyzing event. Certainly 9/11 led to the so-called Patriot Act which did more to undermine constitutional freedom than anything in modern times. The current financial crisis has given the government unprecedented power extending the activism begun by the Bush administration. Whether this is a sinister or a stupid move, who knows? But it is historic. Let’s look at it.
Obama and the Economy
I have written many articles on the economy over the years so let me just summarize here. Over the decade we experienced a number of bubbles. “When one bubble blew up...the feds pumped in more hot air - inflating a new bubble somewhere else. When the dot.com bubble exploded, they pumped overtime. Pretty soon, they had inflated huge bubbles - in emerging markets, housing, consumer credit, the financial industry, commodities, food, and even art. Private debt - used to fund the asset bubbles - was the biggest bubble of all. And now, with all those bubbles flattening, along comes another one. A bubble in public debt.” (Daily Reckoning)
We also know that this was caused in large part by the creation of derivatives. Let’s put derivatives in perspective. The GDP of the U.S. is about $15 trillion and the world’s is $50 trillion. An article I wrote several years ago explains what derivatives are in fairly simple terms. They are basically bundled debt instruments that are sold, leveraged and resold again and again. Some liken them to casino bets. The only problem is that if the original debt instruments fail, say bundled mortgages amounting to $50 million, the derivative instruments attached to it may total hundreds of billions of dollars—now that’s failure big time! The whole daisy chain comes unraveled and the debt becomes due. Let’s look at another interesting case – AIG, one of the world’s largest insurance companies and my former employer. There was a small AIG group in London that saw the market potential in derivatives so they began to insure these huge packages for pennies on the dollar. They were called credit default swaps. Who bought these swaps? Banks and investment houses such as Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, Bank of America, etc., bought them. Now the bailout has grown to $180 billion. Has AIG benefited? Hardly! It was all part of the bank bailout and guess who got the money?
Now if the creation of ad hoc money in the form of derivatives, the creation of paper money by the Fed and bonds by Treasury created the problem to begin with, then what makes us think these same guys are going to solve the problem? They have collectively pumped more than 15 trillion dollars into the dead broke banks and the economy. Yet credit is still squeezed (Note: Credit card companies are delimiting lines of credit as never before.). In spite of government purchase of bonds, they are having a hard time holding long term interest rates down. I predict most of these banks will fail because the derivate exposure is now estimated at $1.4 quadrillion worldwide (i.e., $1,400,000,000,000.00). Meanwhile, countries around the world are printing money and issuing debt in amounts never seen before with no inflation. In fact, many countries like the U.S. and Britain are buying their own bonds which is called monetizing debt (also a way of lower long term debt such as mortgages), usually a sign of hyperinflation to come. But that isn’t happening yet because like giant black holes, money created out of nothing is disappearing into black holes of debt. The Feds balance sheet has increased six times from a half a trillion to over $3 trillion
said, “The crisis did not come about because we issued too little money but because we created economic growth with too much money, and it was not sustainable.” Money is not lent from money saved, but from artificial money loaned at artificially low rates by Central Banks to stimulate the economy. To say deficits and debt don’t have to be paid is not exactly true. But central banks inflate the money supply so they can pay the loans off with deflated currency and in the process, destroy the value in the currency. Governments create more and more debt knowing that they will be gone before anyone figures it out. The idea that a nation gets wealthy by consuming rather than producing is an oxymoron and anyone with a modicum of sense knows it. As the German Chancellor says, this is not sustainable. By 2010, it is estimated that American debt will increase to $14.22 trillion from $9.5 trillion at the end of the Bush era. That is nearly $5 trillion in only two years! This debt could strangle the economy and eventually lead to hyperinflation especially if other countries balk at continuing to loan to us. Every recession since WWII has been met with increased spending and the effect of the stimulus does not work but is masked by inflation. Eventually, the interest on the debt becomes the largest line item in the budget. The countries supporting our “debt habit” insist on higher and higher rates of return which drives up interest rates, stifling housing and investment.
Many economists would say that we should let banks fail, let auto companies fail and restructure. They would argue that the more they do to prevent depression, the greater the mess they create. They cite the Great Depression and Japan as examples. The government is growing increasingly intrusive taking an ownership position in car companies, banks, insurance companies, etc. Technically, this is called nationalization. We may think it is over, but the next mortgage bust is coming in 2010 and 2011 when many adjustable rate mortgages reset and as the commercial sector implodes. We don’t have to look very hard to see businesses from retail stores to restaurants to car dealerships closing all around us. We may think the derivative crisis is behind us but it isn’t and there isn’t enough money in the world to save us. The economy is like the proverbial tar baby and the more the government struggles to save it, the worse the final adjustments will be.
So does this mean that all of the prophets of doom are right? Is America going to be the next banana republic?
America’s Prophetic Future
At the risk of being labeled a radical, but in contrast to most evangelical leaders, I don’t believe we should count America out. If we had another hundred years, there is little doubt that we would decrease in power and importance. But as a practical matter there are no contenders. Russia is a basket case. China has unemployed millions returning inland to the farms, destabilizing the country—both blame the USA for their woes. India and China both are facing tremendous population pressure, decreasing crop yield, a lack of potable water and are ripe for pestilence. The Middle East is facing a financial crunch as oil prices have dropped a hundred dollars a barrel due to decreased demand. Europe is as confused as ever as her many peoples find it difficult to agree on anything.
Even though the U.S. is still bogged down in two wars, and the economy is reeling, it is still the largest economy and military in the world. It is still Christian in name at least and still Israel’s only significant friend. Again, I refer you to In Search of Babylon. There is no other nation that I know of that fits the description of prophetic Babylon. So don’t count it out yet. We know that one of the characteristics of the last days is apostasy and deception. Many Christians are either not expecting to be here and promote the notion that America’s role in Bible prophecy is insignificant because the pre-tribulation rapture or some economic, military or natural calamity will somehow diminished her as the world’s only super power. Because America isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible, they assume it must be destroyed or at least diminish so other countries can take its place. But most think life will go on as usual. They are asleep at the wheel. Prophecy is not important to them. They can’t imagine anything bad happening to them. All I can say is: Slow down, 180 degree turn ahead! “Let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”