Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Mar 8, 2010

Europe's Need For Strong Central Leadership

Mark Twain is believed to have once said, "Figures don't lie, but lying can figure." If Twain were living today, he might be talking about the European debt crisis.

The European Union’s constitution has a flaw in it that is now starting to manifest itself. The EU was brought into existence by putting the cart before the horse: A full-fledged currency was formed without a central bank, a treasury, and a political organization to regulate the monetary policy.

The lack of strong oversight has created ample opportunity for financial fraud and mismanagement. Right now, Greece is the center of attention. It has a massive debt load that has pushed it close to the point of default.

One of the rules for being a member of the European currency is that you must have a budget deficit--the difference between what the government spends and the funds it receives though taxation and other measures--of no more than 3 percent of gross domestic product. Greece currently has a GDP deficit of 12.7 percent.

Greece's runaway spending doesn't sit well with more responsible nations like Germany. A recent poll shows that 71 percent of Germans think the EU should not help Greece at all. By sharing the same currency, they suffer the consequences of the euro’s decline in value. It's basically like opening a joint checking account with a shopaholic.

It’s no wonder that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the euro is in its most difficult situation since it was launched. "The euro is now, for the first time since its introduction, in a difficult situation, but it will come through," Merkel was quoted as telling the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The euro currency can survive a default by Greece because the country accounts for only about 2.5 percent of the EU’s total GDP. The problem is that Greece is not the only euro nation with debt troubles. Portugal, Ireland, and Spain are close behind.

We are now learning that several nations cooked their books to join the EU. In order to meet targets, governments over the years have used all sorts of accounting tricks to hide budget deficits. In the case of Greece, it hid a huge chunk of its military budget. Greece admitted to underreporting military spending by €8.7 billion between 1997 and 2003. It also hid $15 billion in expenses from European regulators by recording them as off-balance-sheet transactions though the same type of financial derivatives that got the US housing market into a pickle.

We live in a world where nothing gets done unless there is a crisis. This is especially true when it comes to financial responsibility. People are rioting in the streets of Greece over a few token measures to bring in spending. Years of government handouts have allowed the situation to get so bad that some economists doubt whether anything can be done.

There is the possibility that the European Union will collapse with some or all members leaving the common currency. The Bible strongly indicated that better days are ahead for the organization. The prophet Daniel predicted that an empire will arise out of Europe and dominate the whole world. What is missing is a special leader to set Europe's destiny into motion.

The vision given to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2 showed all the great Gentile empires that would come to rise on the earth. Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold; Media-Persia was the breast and arms of silver; the Grecian Empire was the belly of brass; and Rome was the legs of iron. The final government will be the feet of iron mixed with clay.

The interesting thing about the series of governments is that they progressively lose value as you go down the list. As the head of gold, Nebuchadnezzar had absolute power over his subjects. At the bottom was the Roman Empire, which was represented by iron. You had a ruler who was largely beholden to the Roman senate for his power base.

The Bible tells us there will be a final world power made of ten leaders. Because it is described as iron mixed with clay, this government will have a connection to the Roman Empire, and it will have an extremely weak power base. This scenario is what we see today.

The most likely outcome of the Greece debt crisis will be a Band-aid in the form of some kind of loan guarantee from an outside financial organization. The EU system is so flawed, another crisis is certain to quickly follow. It is my hope that the Rapture is the catalyst that triggers that event.

In any case, the backlog of financial problems is going to eventually require a change in the way the EU operates. Any sign that the EU is about to break apart should be our signal that the Tribulation hour is very near.

-- Todd

The Tulsa Prophecy Conference

Hosted by Phil Goodman, the annual conference has a new time and location.
It is set for May 6-8 and will be at the Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills Hotel.
For registration and details click here.

Big Brotherism

Marxism, communism, Nazism, fascism--these evoke thoughts of tyrants and dictatorships. Well, Marxism and communism might be wishful utopianism to some within political ideology circles in these days of movement toward socialism. But for the most part, thoughts of these isms generate study-related memories of the likes of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, and other such humanity-destroying beasts.

The matters involved within the recollection include revolution, war, torture, gulag, genocide--any and all systems of governing that should be avoided at all costs. Fear and apprehension over dictatorships were the very reason the United States Constitution was written. Specifically, the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to that Constitution, spells out the rights of each citizen that government cannot usurp. These rights are, the shapers of the Constitution meticulously wrote, "inalienable." That is, these are rights given by God, thus cannot be taken away by men--and/or women--in government.

Another ism has developed that threatens the inalienable rights of man. Its ominous construction continues at a torrid pace and will ultimately be worse than any of the aforementioned isms. As a matter of fact, it will be all of those tyrannical nightmares rolled up into one system of utter decimation. George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, authors of well-known novels, played upon fear of such governments in their futuristic books, 1984 and Brave New World. The swiftness of movement of the developments of late makes their works of fiction look ever more prophetic.

Orwell used London and Britain in 1984 as the genesis of a world of ruthless control. "Big Brother is watching you" is a phrase the author used with portentious effect. It continues to be used by those who warn of the exponentially-encroaching surveillance technologies. Again, Orwell's vision was almost prophetic in the biblical sense.

A friend who is a well-known journalist in Great Britain recently e-mailed me with the following troubling, though fascinating, information:

I was putting together some slides for one of my presentations yesterday and discovered that Britain has 1.5 times as many surveillance cameras as China! We now have cameras that talk to people, bossing them around in the streets! They are being installed in twenty cities. They are also getting listening devices. Some places also have face-monitoring systems so they can scan for people the authorities are interested in.

The average Briton is now filmed about three hundred times per day! We also have camera cars patrolling the streets, filming whatever takes their fancy and harassing motorists.

We are years ahead of America in plans to put GPS systems in cars, etc. They also want even more speed cameras, speed-averaging cameras--you name it. All of them are being linked into one enormous grid. The records of journeys are logged and kept. As you drive down the main highways, your number plates are scanned every few miles. Our son and I spent a day in the control room where all this information is monitored--an astonishing operation, with screens showing all the main roads. The EU is now planning to store all e-mails, log every web page visited, every phone call, etc., which Britain has done for years.

My friend has told me--has told the world--that cameras train on his home from right across the street, atop a telephone-type pole. It is just a matter of time until all of England is under a surveillance system much more sophisticated and intrusive than our 1940s author, George Orwell, could have imagined. All of Europe is sure to follow suit, and we can see more than cursory evidence that America is coming into Big Brotherism's orbit of control.

The whole world is on track for super-sophisticated tracking. And a familiar name pops through the inky blackness of cyberspace to make this a readily observable fact. The familiar name is google.com.

Who in the world knows as much about you and your private thoughts as Google? That's the question Katherine Albrecht, radio talk-show host and spokeswoman for Startpage, a search engine that protects user privacy, is posing to American Internet surfers.

"It would blow people's minds if they knew how much information the big search engines have on the American public," she told WND. "In fact, their dossiers are so detailed they would probably be the envy of the KGB." (Chelsea Schilling, "Life with Big Brother: Killer Way to Slay the Google Beast!" WorldNetDaily, 1/27/2010)

Albrecht detailed how Google and other search engines gather and maintain dossiers on everyone who uses the service. The information is released to governments--to, for example, America's Homeland Security Agency--when such information is requested. It seems the Bill of Rights is cast aside, without a constitutional amendment of any sort even being considered. Such ability to collect data on their victims was merely the dreams of such people as those in Stalin's secret service and Hitler's Gestapo.

Albrecht said Americans unwittingly share their most private thoughts with search engines, serving up snippets of deeply personal information about their lives, habits, troubles, health concerns, preferences and political leanings.

. "We're essentially telling them our entire life stories–stuff you wouldn't even tell your mother–because you are in a private room with a computer," she said. (ibid.)

Big Brotherism, of course--in our view at Rapture Ready--is another way of defining the ideology that is heading up the drive toward establishment of the regime of Antichrist, found in Revelation 13:16-18. With government's groping for control in ways that totally disregard the wishes of U.S. citizenry, more often than not throwing constitutional safeguards to the winds of political expediency, the ideology becomes ever more manifest through our daily headlines.

All of this shows how very near this generation must be to the Tribulation hour--thus, that much closer to Christ calling His Church to be with Him (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).