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GLOBAL GAME CHANGERS

by Dene McGriff

1Global changes in the balance of political and economic power are upon us.  These changes will secure the prophetic outcome predicted long ago in the Bible.  We are about to see major transformations in Russia, America, Israel and the Middle East.  Russia is about to pull off the most interesting change of alliances in modern history and become an economic superstar.  Israel is close to becoming one of the richest countries on earth.  America is about to catapult to become an even greater commercial and military power and the Middle East will be returning to their tents in the desert.

There are news events and there is the Bible.  The two do not conflict.  We shouldn’t make the evening news our Bible, the litmus by which we plan our lives.  It should be the other way around.  The Bible is the standard for interpretation but only when the time is right.  As I have said before in other writings, we have to have the right time and place as well as a “need to know” as we used to say in intelligence circles.  The problem with prophetic ministries is that some base their interpretations on the most recent news or fad, and others base them on prophetic interpretations of the 19th and 20th Centuries.  News is fleeting and often inaccurate hype.  Prophecy is meant to apply to a particular time in history.  Imagine how the world has changed in the past two hundred years.  Yet most Christian educational institutions of higher learning, if they teach prophecy at all (which is becoming very rare), base their teachings on the interpretations of sincere brethren who lived during the Cold War, World War II or even earlier in the 19th Century when American was a fledgling nation.  What kinds of wrong conclusions would they have come to in the mid-1800s?  At one time they were convinced Napoleon was the Antichrist, then Hitler, and so on.

So before we get to the “game changers” we need to look at how to handle Bible prophecy.  First and foremost, the Bible is about the Jewish people in the Hebrew Scriptures and primarily the Early Church and writers was nearly all Jewish until the Gentiles were brought in shortly (3.5 years) the “Jewish Wing” of the Church began to “branch out.”  But, in the main, the prophetic Scriptures speak of the historic and modern nation of Israel. 

All prophecy revolves around this little piece of dirt in the Middle East that many of the people in the world would love to destroy.  It is (or at least was) a tiny worthless piece of land on the Mediterranean Sea that has been fought over by three of the world’s major religions for hundreds of years.  And, it just so happens that after 2,000 years, the original inhabitants, the Jews, declared it to be a nation in 1948.  The dispersal and re-gathering of the Jews to the Promised Land is specifically covered in the Bible and end times’ prophecy which is responsible for about one third of the entire Bible.

We see both in prophecy and the news that world opinion is heavily against Israel.  It is considered by some to be an apartheid state as was South Africa in the 1970s.  We seem to quickly forget that Israel was attacked six times by Arab states; each time Israel has given up military gains with the hopes of having peace.  She has been able to achieve a modicum of protection from terrorists by constructing high walls around the country.  Still more than a billion Muslims are intent on her utter destruction.  After I recently read The Islamic Invasion it is easy to understand why there is no room for compromise with Islamic fundamentalists that wish to impose 7th Century Islamic law and culture on the entire world. 

When the Bible speaks of the “Burden of Damascus” we are witnessing it right this minute as hostilities escalate between Syria and Israel even as we speak. We also know that shortly after the Treaty of Hell and Death between Israel and the Antichrist (Ref. Daniel 9:27; Isaiah 28:15, 18), will be followed by the Gog-Magog War (Ref. Ezekiel 38:1-23; 39:1-16; Daniel 11:40-43).  The defense treaty (wherein an “affirmation” in building the Third Temple shall be delineated and thereby inflame the Islamic World) will probably occur after the Syrian war because the Islamic world will be bent on revenge and the destruction of Israel.  Yes, this “accord” will also involve the construction of a Jewish Temple and the restoration of sacrifices.

It is not hard to imagine these things happening.  We are very close but the focus of this article is on major game changers.  First, many feel that Israel should not even exist.  It is just a little postage stamp of a nation the size of New Jersey.  Up until recently it had no oil or natural resources other than the resourcefulness of its people.  Second, Russia has been a historic friend of the Islamic world in the Middle East since the end of WW II.  It supplied Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt (up until Anwar Sadat who made a historic peace with Israel), etc., with arms.  It consistently voted against Israel in the UN Security Council.  Third, America is viewed by Christians as a nation that is either “the light on the hill” divinely chosen by God or because since it isn’t mentioned specifically by name in the Bible, it needs to be removed from the picture.  This could occur by economic collapse, the eruption of the super volcano such as the Yellowstone caldera, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) throwing us back to the stone age or perhaps the rapture – the disappearance of 70 or 80 million Christians representing the backbone of the spirit and economy of the nation.  But if America is a major player in end time’s events, it may be premature to predict her demise. 

America is about to become fabulously wealthy, more than she ever imagined.   Fourth, the Middle East grew in importance after the War, and especially in the ‘70s with the Oil Embargo.  Many of these nations have used their new found wealth to provoke Israel and promote terrorism.  That is about to change.  So these are the four areas in which we see major game changers – with Israel, Russia, the Middle East and America.

ISRAEL

2The bottom-line is that either the Bible and its two to three thousand year old prophecies are true, and Israel will survive as predicted, or the whole thing is a gigantic hoax and a lie.  There is no way such a tiny nation surrounded by hundreds of millions of increasingly fanatical Muslims could survive, and under Obama, American support has appeared tepid at best.  But things are happening.  Israel has discovered three huge fields of natural gas in her coastal waters: the Tamar field has an estimated 9.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Leviathan gas fields with estimated at 25 trillion with a possibility of up to 122 trillion in the larger Leviathan basin which would make it the largest in the world.

So what does this mean as a practical matter for little Israel?  Israel would no longer be dependent on energy imports.  It would become one of the largest exporters of natural gas to the world! Israel would be stinking Middle East rich!  It would be the richest nation in the world on a per capita basis.

Natural gas is the ideal fuel with no adverse environmental impact.  It requires no refining, just delivery.  It is the perfect market ready product.  America buys natural gas at $4 per thousand cubic feet but Israel is planning on selling it to Asia for $18.  Tiny Israel is poised to become the richest nation in the world per capita.  It already has one of the most powerful militaries in the world (coming in third after the USA and Germany in several surveys), including nuclear weapons, but it is still so vulnerable – so insignificant with only 8 million people, 2 million of which are Arab.

But wait!  Israel wants to survive to enjoy their riches.  They need protection.  They need an ally – not an erstwhile friend.  So what has happened here?  This is the most brilliant chess move (a game invented by Persia/Iran) the world has ever seen.  What is Israel to do?

Over the past four years the Obama administration shunned Israel.  Obama had a dream of bringing democracy to the Middle East, but after what happened in Egypt, Libya, Syria and other countries in the region, he may realize this approach will fail.  Suddenly, one of his first moves in his second term is a trip to Israel.  Could it be that Obama is brokering a deal to contain Iran?  It seems that Iran is farther along in their nuclear weapons program than we even suspected.  It turns out that Iran has been stonewalling the Atomic Energy Commission for the past decade and can’t be trusted.  What a revelation?

3 Obama persuaded Russia and Europe to back his plan to use Israel to take care of the Iran nuclear plants.  Even the Saudi’s have agreed to let Israel fly over their territory.   But Israel has a few things it needs from America in order to pull the raid off.  Israel needs in-flight-refueling so we are selling them tankers.  It is difficult to get through Iran’s air defense so we are selling Israel stealth fighters for the first time along with 30,000 pound Bunker Buster bombs.  Also, included in their list are Ospreys (aircraft that can take off vertically allowing to get troops in and out of a tight space quickly), cargo planes and radar busting bombs.  It looks like Israel finally has the green light and none too soon since Iran is just months away from functional nuclear weapons – this is going to be one hot summer.

America gets Israel’s help to police the Middle East and eliminates the nuclear threat.  Israel also provides intelligence to Russia on the radical Muslim threat on her southern border.  Israel has another pleasant surprise for Russia which will make her a friend and ally rather than an enemy.  We come to the third game changer.

RUSSIA

Russia has consistently sided with Islamic countries and historically voted against Israel in the United Nations.  So has there been a change of heart?  To answer that question, we need to look at Russia’s position in the world.  Russia and the U.S. have been competing for control of the Middle East ever since the end of World War II.  But Russia had an embarrassing loss in Afghanistan and has troubles along her southern borders (Chechnya and the Stans – all Islamic states).  Russia has nothing in common with the Islamic fundamentalist camp.

So what is she to do?  Currently, Russia is the number two producer of oil and third in the world in natural gas with an unknown but large amount of shale gas and oil.  Russia is the number one supplier of gas and oil to Europe and that is the source of her currency and trade surplus.  Now Russia has a decision to make.  Does it want to continue to back Turkey, Iran and Syria or look for new allies and opportunities?

It appears Russia has had a change of heart.  It is throwing its lot in with the West.  In fact, Russia canceled the sale of their sophisticated anti-missile system to Iran in a special arrangement with Israel.  So what is going on here?  Russia has signed a deal with Israel to develop their two smaller natural gas fields of Tamar and Delit pictured above, including liquid natural gas ports and a pipeline through Cyprus.  Russia signed agreements with China, Japan and other Asian countries to supply Israeli liquefied natural gas.  They are hoping to close a deal on the Leviathan field and pipe the gas into Europe.  This would guarantee Russia a market and put it on the “cat bird seat” in control of Europe’s energy supply.

Is this a game changer or what?  Russia abandons its Middle Eastern allies and creates close ties with Israel – does an end run around the Muslim Middle East and captures the China-Japan monster market on LNG (liquid natural gas – note, Japan had 55 nuclear plants and is down to 1 now and getting rid of it as well).  This will make both Russia and Israel incredibly wealthy and cut off historic military aid to Muslim countries.  Russia still is not firmly aligned with the West.  Now we come to America.

AMERICA

As I mentioned above most Christians in the United States don’t believe America is even mentioned in prophecy and are convinced the Antichrist will come out of Europe; or of late, the bizarre notion that the Antichrist will come out of Islam.  Ergo, America, like Carthage, must be destroyed or self-destruct.  Either way, it’s got to get out of the prophetic way.  The problem remains that there is a great end times’ nation that dominates the world which the Bible refers to as Babylon, the seat of the Antichrist, an apostate (fallen) Christian country and a huge economic and military power (check out the military spending below):

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Revelation 17-19 describes this nation.  First, it is Christian which rules out China, any Muslim country or countries, Russia and probably post-Christian Europe.  Second, Revelation 18 describes a commercial superpower that the whole world gets rich trading with – a great consumer nation that buys the world’s goods.  Well, that rules out China, for example.  They make stuff and loan us the money to buy it.  It rules out Europe because, frankly it is on the brink of collapse.  The other major feature is that the world trades with “prophetic Babylon” by sea.  That can’t be said for Europe, Russia, China or any other nation.  I covered all of this in a book on line titled In Search of Prophetic Babylon.  In it I chronicle the rise of America as a commercial and military empire.  It still spends more on its military than all of the nations of the earth combined.

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6But wait, you say.  We are in a great spending hole, running deficits like there is no tomorrow – trade and budget deficits – unsustainable and you have said it yourself here on this website in a dozen different articles over the years.  I would like to make two points.  Japan began to crash and burn almost a quarter century ago and it is still the third largest economy in the world.  Experts have been predicting her imminent demise for years now and she is still trucking along, in spite of her own version of quantitative easing.  Rome didn’t fall over night.  It took a thousand years.  America won’t either, even if there were no other new factors. Remember, I promised a GAME CHANGER.

THE GAME CHANGER!

Well here it is.  The US oil and gas boom could shake up the global order!  Oh, wait!  That happens to be the title of an NBC article!  Here’s a quote from it:

 As detailed in the first two installments of Power Shift, an NBC News/CNBC special report, the United States is reaping the benefits of an energy boom created by new drilling technologies that have unlocked vast domestic oil and natural gas reserves. Coupled with decreasing demand due to energy efficiency and continued cultivation of alternative energy sources, an increasing number of experts believe the U.S. could achieve energy independence by the end of the decade – realizing a dream born during the gas crisis of 1973.

Whoever controls energy controls the world.  That led to America’s hegemony at the turn of the 20th Century and after WW II and the rise of Middle Eastern power from the 1970s onward.  This is about to change.  The dirty little secret is that Saudi Arabia and other countries are lying about how much oil they haveThe CIA Fact Book shows reserves by country.  The question isn’t how much they had, but how much they have left?  It shows Saudi Arabia with 262 billion barrels.  If you look it up, you will see that their reserves haven’t changed in the past 30 years.  How could that be when they pump 10 million barrels a day?

Other countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, Australia, Canada and Brazil, among others have equally huge finds.  Fracking is revitalizing older fields around the world such as the North Sea, Alaska and Russia. World oil reserves can increase by ten times over the next ten years (so much for “peak oil”).

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America has discovered so much oil it will be the number one producer in the world.  There are mini-booms all over the country but no thanks to the President who keeps three quarters of the reserves from even being exploited.  Played out oil fields in Texas and California have more oil left in them than was ever taken out to begin with.  This is thanks to the new technology.  There is between 10 and 20 trillion barrels of oil in our shale sands in America alone.  The figure on the right shows just three areas with an estimated 2 trillion barrels, more than the entire Middle East combined. 

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No one knows for sure how much natural gas can be released from fracking in America but it is probably greater than any other nation on earth.  So you take oil and gas and combine it with agriculture, minerals, computers and the rest of technology and America is in for a huge boom.  As I have said in many articles, no nation on earth is blessed with so many natural resources without the billions that China and India have to take care of.  The upside for us is the downside for the Middle East.  Whenever supply increases, price falls.

The US will become the largest producer of oil and gas and will soon be the largest exporter as well – in spite of President Obama’s policies.  So much for national debt and trade deficits!  China and India are desperate for energy, fresh water and food and we have an abundance of them all – and food galore!

THE MIDDLE EAST

Trends in the Middle East are not good.  The strangle hold the Middle East and OPEC has had on the world is just about over as are the artificially high price of oil.  The Saudis and other countries have had us over the proverbial barrel for the past 40 years but that is history.  Not only have they dominated energy during that time, they have become fabulously wealthy.  But did I say “Game Changer”?  They are about to have a rude awakening.  Saudi Arabia depends on a minimum oil price of $72 a barrel just to break even.  If it falls below that they are in trouble and it will fall dramatically.

It is no secret that Saudi Arabia has been the largest source of terrorist funds in the world.  Yes, our good friends the Saudis have been stabbing us in the back while smiling at us across the room with their feet planted firmly on the floor and their hands crossed humbly on their lap.  Terrorist funding is about to dry up.  The Saudi terrorist funding machine is about to dry up!  Wouldn’t it be nice to have all that natural gas?  Meanwhile nearly every country in the Middle East is under pressure from the Islamic extremists.  Just as in Egypt, they are better organized and better funded.  The Jihadists are taking one country after another.  Soon they will be aligned for battle – Gog-Magog, the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel’s prophecy will have begun but the nations of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula will swing with the West who buys their oil:

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 “Sheba, Dedan (Saudi Arabian Peninsula states),

the merchants of Tarshish (the West),

And all their young lions will say to you (Gog-Magog),

Have you come to take plunder?

Have you gathered your army to take booty,

To carry away silver and gold,

To take away livestock and goods,

To take great plunder.”

(Ezekiel 38:13)

The Muslim world is going to be enraged by Israel’s action and enticed by her wealth.  It won’t be long before the Gog Magog War occurs.  The chess pieces are falling into place.  The map above shows the three wars.  The Oracle of Damascus refers to the six wars since Israeli independence (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006) and the seventh-phase of that same war:  The Burden of Damascus.  The Gog-Magog War is the next one coming after the end of the Arab-Israeli sevenfold conflict (Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 17; Zechariah 9; Psalm 83; Amos 1; Obadiah 1) as the entire Islamic world piles on Israel and the Armageddon Campaign ensues immediately after the Gog-Magog conflict (Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezk. 39:1-16; Daniel 11:40-43) – ultimately issuing in the very Battle of Armageddon announced in Daniel 11:44; Ezekiel 39:17-20; Revelation 16:16) happening at the end of the tribulation.

FINAL ANALYSIS

The point should be obvious.  Little Israel is the focus of the world’s attention and all Bible prophecy is about her.  How could such a little country be such a big deal?  Her very existence is a glory to God’s faithfulness to a people that goes back 4,000 years and a major irritation to Satan who is hoping to carry out his final solution.  But there are game changers afoot.  Russia makes a major move, abandons its Muslim friends and begins to help Israel. Israel discovers huge gas fields just off the coast.  America gets a financial shot in the arm with huge discoveries of oil and gas in its own backyard.  The Middle East terrorist juggernaut faces a major decrease in income.

America is the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth, and is about to reassert her world leadership in a dramatic way.  The western Christian church does not have a prophetic ear to hear.  It is falling away from the faith every day as the church tries desperately to get along with culture (Think:  Emergent Church).  Teenagers abandon church as soon as they leave home.  The church is under cultural fire and in retreat.

These game changers reinforce the final prophetic build up to the Tribulation – the Seventieth Week of Daniel’s Prophecy.  God is trying to warn us.  He laid it all out in a book written two or more thousands of years ago.  The detail and accuracy is incredible.  The challenge for the church today is this, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Islamic nations are enraged.  War is coming and Israel is the target.  Nothing can stop this juggernaut.  It is not only prophetic - it is here and America is the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the middle of the room that everyone tries so desperately to ignore.  We ignore all of this at our own peril. 

The FINAL BABYLON is about to reassert, in no uncertain terms, her military and economic might – Russia is being politically neutralized – the Oracle of Damascus is unfurling before us and the Iran-Syrian Axis is about to experience the fury of Israeli buster bombs in order to stop those who would drive her into the sea.  Meanwhile, we, as the Laodicean Church, do not know that we are “neither cold nor hot…wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:16-17) … we will be counseled to “buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Rev. 3:18).

Dene McGriff, Sacramento, CA

 

 

 

 

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