Aug 13, 2007
For the past few weeks, Wall Street has been gyrating wildly over fears that credit is drying up, and many financial
institutions are holding bad loans that relate to the “subprime” market. We've already had a few mortgage companies forced into
Analysts are calling this the worst financial upheaval since 1998 when markets were startled by the Russian debt crisis and
the implosion of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management.
The term "subprime" is not some bad cut of meat. There's no definition of that term that everyone agrees on. A subprime loan
generally refers to the practice of making loans to borrowers who do not qualify for market interest rates because of
problems with their credit history. A subprime loan is offered at a higher interest rate due to the
increased risk of default.
What basically happened here is that bankers got caught up in the housing bubble and started making crazy loans to people who had zero chance of surviving the type of correction we are now seeing. People who worked for minimum wage were getting better deals than what J.D. Rockefeller could have ever expected to receive. Some lenders were given loans that required no down payment and started off with a 1 percent interest rate--loans that are now being raised to around 7 percent. For a $300,000 house, that would amount to the debtor having to cough up an extra $18,000 a year.
Subprime mortgages totaled $600 billion in 2006, accounting for about one-fifth of the U.S. home loan market.
What has Wall Street so worried is the tendency of the credit problems to move to other areas and the inability
to know the magnitude of the damage. Institutions facing insolvency tend to withhold that information until the very end.
The subprime problem has already spread around the globe to hedge funds in France and banks in Germany . On Thursday, the French bank BNP Paribas triggered a huge slide in global stocks by announcing it was freezing three funds that invested in U.S. subprime mortgages because it was unable to value their assets properly. Union Investment Asset Management, a German mutual fund manager, and Frankfurt Trust have also halted redemptions.
The Federal Reserve has tried to add liquidity to the financial markets. On Friday, the Fed made three injections into member
banks by adding $19 billion, then another $16 billion and, finally, $3 billion. The previous day it added $24 billion, which
is the most aggressive move since the September 11, 2001, attacks. In total, central banks in the U.S., Europe, Japan , Australia
and Canada added about $136 billion to the banking system in an attempt to avert a crisis of confidence in global credit
Financial meltdown would be a collapse in the value of homes. The total value of home equity is greater than the net worth of
the stock market. Because so many equity trading firms are highly leveraged, they would be wiped out by a even a modest
The subprime problem is not even one of the biggest threats facing the global economy. America's massive debt in trade, government bowering at the federal level, and a host of entitlement programs are all far greater in scope. Because avalanches have to start somewhere, there is good reason for financial planners to be concerned about anything that causes rumblings on the mountain
The Bible does not directly say there will be a global financial calamity in the days before the tribulation starts. The Antichrist is predicted to gain total control over the global banking system. Some type of crisis would be very helpful in setting the stage for such a vast shift in economic power.
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev.13:16-17).
You and I live at a time like no other in the history of man. God, the one being in existence who knows absolutely everything about the past, present and future, is presenting for all to see the unfolding of end-time history upon His great radar screen of things to come. Yet, there are few who are observing the issues and events of these end of days with significant degree of faith that God truly knows the end from the beginning.
Jesus pointed the finger of condemnation at the pious religionists and legalists of His time while He walked the planet in the flesh. The Jewish leaders came to Him and tried to trip Him up by chidingly urging Him to prove His omniscience by telling them what the future held. “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16:2-3).
Jesus told those scoffers of those days during which He taught and preached prophetic truth that they didn’t --could not—see the prophetic times in which they found themselves. He told them why in the next words recorded by Matthew: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Matt. 16:4).
Jesus, I’m convinced, was telling these that they had failed completely to comprehend that their prophesied Messiah stood among them. They had not understood His first coming, because some among them were wicked and the others adulterous. Neither group truly believed. The “wicked,” the unsaved, didn’t believe; the “adulterous,” those who were also wicked, but who believed in the sacrificial system of Judaism, had departed from faith that the Messiah would truly come. Neither of that faithless/unfaithful generation could understand, therefore, Christ’s first advent.
Jesus said that the only sign that would be given these was the sign of Jonas (Jonah). This was the symbolic truth of God’s resurrecting from the dead those who believed in Him--i.e., only those with a saving knowledge of God’s way of redemption could understand the signals given off by God’s prophetic radar screen. Jesus was saying the same thing He told Nicodemus, another Pharisee who approached Him: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
The Lord was telling this pious religious leader that unless he came to a saving knowledge and had a new, spiritual birth, he could not even understand the kingdom of heaven. He could have no discernment–of his times, or of anything of eternal importance.
It is with this framework I prayerfully hope to exhort believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to take a renewed look at God’s radar screen of things yet future. His Word plainly lays out for those with spiritual eyes to see and understand the signs of the times. We must not be like the Pharisees and Sadducees at which Jesus pointed the finger, condemning them for their failure to understand His first coming.
The Middle East is the one area of the world the Bible student who is spiritually attuned to God’s radar scope of prophecy shouldn’t be able to ignore in these troubled times. Day after day, week after week –even hourly—issues and events of the region blip brightly on God’s radar. Israel is at the center of the scope at all times these days. However, other, unmistakable blips that we are in the end time pulse brightly from areas in and around the part of the world most often called “the Holy Land.”
Of course, with the bloodshed over the millennia –especially in modern times--the Middle East seems anything but “holy.” And, things are shaping to bring upon Planet Earth man’s most horrific war of human history.
All of this was foretold, and Rapture Ready continues to make God’s radar visible to all who will observe, with eyes and ears to see and hear. Things are moving with incredible swiftness toward that blessed moment when Jesus will shout “Come up hither!” from the portals of heaven. He will meet with all believers in the gathering storm clouds of tribulation and Armageddon. The raptured saints will then go with Him to the dwelling places He has prepared for them (John 14: 1-3).
Let us look briefly at a few specific prophecies shaping up in the region God’s Word says will host the gathering of all the armies of the world for Armageddon.
The Prophet Ezekiel foretold of a great horde of armies that will one day invade the Middle East to plunder the region, and, specifically, to destroy Israel. This, as we’ve covered many times, is the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. The news items I wish to dwell upon deal with the prophecies concerning that future invasion.
One of the geographical areas, whose armies are foretold to join Gog in his military thrust to the south, is termed “Togarmah.” I realize there are those who confute that Togarmah refers to the region of present day Turkey. And, certainly that ancient region included more than just Turkey. But, the modern nation, Turkey, is at the center of that region called in the prophecy, Togarmah. I hold to the belief that this is fact, and if it is fact –with all the other things shaping up in the region—we should see Turkey on the radar screen of things to come.
The following excerpt is a quite bright blip, I think, and worth analyzing a bit.
ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkey's president today asked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to form a new government after the ruling party's resounding victory in July 22 elections, Erdogan said.
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer assigned Erdogan to form a new Cabinet two days after the new Parliament was sworn in. Erdogan has 45 days to present a Cabinet list for Sezer's approval… Sezer, a staunch secularist, has in the past objected to several names proposed by Erdogan.
Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, which has roots in Turkey's Islamic movement, won 341 of the 550 seats in the Parliament in the general elections...” (C. ONUR ANT, Associated Press, "Turkish president calls for formation of new government," 8/6/07).
Turkey, though considered an Islamic nation, has in recent history been secular in its dealings with the west –specifically with the U.S. Many prophecy students have wondered what might change the dynamic to put Turkey (Togarmah) into the Gog camp in preparation for the prophesied invasion. Are we seeing the answer taking shape today?
And, things continue to light up on the Prophetic radar screen regarding the nation many believe to be the nucleus nation in the Gog-Magog war. Russia, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, moved its war ships, for the most part, from strategic areas in the Mediterranean. The following item reports changing priorities for the Russians:
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's navy should have a permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea, navy chief Admiral Vladimir Masorin said on Friday, RIA news agency reported. "The Mediterranean Sea is very important strategically for the Black Sea fleet," Masorin said during a visit to the base of Russia's Black Sea fleet in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol. "I propose that, with the involvement of the Northern and Baltic fleets, the Russian Navy should restore its permanent presence there," Masorin said, RIA reported…” (Reuters, "Russia seeks navy presence in Mediterranean," 8/3/07).
A third blip, one that lights most brightly on the scope of end-time radar, is the push by the international community, led by Tony Blair and the “Quartet” comprised of the U.S., Russia, EU, and the U.N. to force a two-state solution upon Israel. This, as we have pointed out previously, gets to the heart of the prophecy of Joel 3:2. God indicates that His land will be divided, and He will bring all nations to Armageddon because of this final, rebellious geopolitical act by the antagonistic nations of the world.
Keep your eyes on God’s radar screen of future things. His forecast is infallible.