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

18 Jul, 2011

There are No Air Conditioners in Hell

I've never been able to find a service that provides the current ranking of top news stories. If there is such a list, the debt crisis would have to be at or near the top. In the past few weeks, I've read dozens of headlines about the debt problems of both Europe and the U.S.

I've had many discussions with friends about the social impact of an economy collapse. Some of my friends see us headed for a Mad Max world of total lawlessness, while others see a global government resulting from the turmoil.

Economists like to reference some point in the past to see what will happen in the future. I don't think history will be much help in this case. During the Great Depression, despite massive unemployment, we had very little unrest. People banded together and did their best to survive the hardship.

Today we are facing a great unknown. America has lost much of its moral base, and I fear even a mild depression could trigger a dog-eat-dog condition. I feel safe here in the Bible belt, but I wouldn't want to live in an inner city when welfare checks start bouncing.

If you want to see what the future might look like, just look at copper. The shiny orange metal is the target of thieves who sell it to scrap dealers for cash. The most shocking part is the measures they go to in order to obtain it.

The problem started out with abandoned houses. Crooks would go into homes that are vacant and strip all the copper piping and utilities that contained the metal. The situation quickly escalated to the point that any form of copper was fair game.

Georgia Power lost nearly a half a million dollars worth of copper wire last year. The utility is taking extra steps to stop copper thieves who have broken into several substations to clean them out. In many cases, the thefts were conducted on live power cables. Crews would respond to reports of outages and find that wires carrying 10,000 volts had been cut from the poles.

The theft has forced power companies to create a new product called proof-positive copper. It works by embedding a code in the conductor, the copper itself that can identify the owner or the purchaser of the conductor. This system can be defeated by melting the copper before selling it.

In Jackson, Mississippi, five tornado warning sirens failed to warn residents of an approaching tornado because thieves had stripped the sirens of copper wiring, rendering them inoperable. In New Mexico, thieves stole a crucial piece of copper bonding from a train track, which could have caused a derailment.

The most despicable examples would have to be all the churches that have been hit in the last few months. In Parker County, Texas, thieves have stolen or damaged air conditioning units at seven different churches. Faith Presbyterian Church in Aledo was vandalized when a unit was pulled from the side of the building. The damage will cost the church at least $10,000. Members of a church in Mesa, Arizona, had to sweat through a service after thieves stole two of the church's three air conditioners. Authorities say the units weighed 5 tons each.

The price of copper has risen sharply in the past year, but it’s only $4 a pound. The value of copper in an AC unit is around $25. Copper had a similar spike in the 1970s, and, adjusted for inflation, its value would be around $6 per pound. We didn't have a problem with people stealing copper back then.

Homeowners wouldn't have to cage up their air conditioners if everyone understood the meaning of true treasure. Thieves steal copper from churches because money is the only thing they prize. The day will come when many of these foolish souls will find themselves in a place where they could use one of those 5 ton units. I would ask any thief, "Why would you trade away eternity for a few pounds of copper, when you have the opportunity to walk on streets paved in gold?"

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where mothsand rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:19-24).

-- Todd

Rome’s Place in Prophecy

Economic emergencies in the news turned my thoughts to Rome and its place in the final unfolding of Bible prophecy. Following the trail of great world empires to today’s news headlines leads inescapably to the conclusion that the birthplace of the Caesars figures to be at the very center of end-times turbulence.

Daniel the prophet gave a sweeping panorama of the major empires that would appear in the time of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and conclude with the world system of government being broken to dust (Daniel 2:26-45). This prophecy of humanistic dominion over the world and its dramatic end came through Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s night vision about a gigantic, metallic man-image.

Those who have studied the appearing, dominion, and destruction of each succeeding kingdom within the prophecy almost without exception believe the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s man-image to represent the Roman Empire. That powerful empire divided into the two legs--the western leg, with Rome as capital, and the eastern leg, with the capital being Constantinople (now known as Istanbul).

Rome is most important to think upon in Daniel’s overall prophetic unveiling because it is the “people” out of whom the one called “the prince that shall come” will emerge to step onto the stage of history as dictator of earth’s final human government (Daniel 9:26-27). This brings us to some logical conclusions, I think. Since most all other indicators are now on stage for human history’s final act, should Rome not be front and center as the end-times spotlight illuminates?

To set that stage again–as we have done so many times in these columns—here are some of the main signals that we are near the end of the end times:

The Kings of the East–Revelation 9 and 16--China and the powers of Asia are on the rise as potentially earth’s most powerful entities. Gog-Magog –Ezekiel 8-39—Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others have formed alliances that continue to grow in strength. The European Union (EU)--Daniel 9 is forming the revived Roman Empire. The U.N.--Psalm 2 personifies mankind’s globalist desire to throw off God’s restraints. Israel--Zechariah 12-14--is at the center of hatred, both its Arab neighbors and the UN as a whole seeking to destroy God’s chosen nation. Cries for peace--1 Thessalonians 5:3--are coming from the international community which is attempting to impose peace on Israel that would divide the land God gave the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

There are many more specific signposts that indicate the present world is at the end of the Age of Grace (Church Age). So, with all of the stage-setting for Christ’s return in view, should Rome, the geographical as well as historical system that will produce the world’s last and most terrible tyrant, not be front and center?

The answer of course, is yes, it must--and that geographical entity just happens to be at the center of one of the great end-times indicators not mentioned above, but most important to consider.

The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This world system, whose would-be masters love the power wealth can generate, is caught up in what I believe is the catalyst for bringing Antichrist’s regime to its prophesied position of satanic control. Most who believe they are destined to control the world don’t have a clue that the great upheaval in economics they are struggling with is the result of the master manipulator–Satan himself—fomenting the tumult. The only way to ever reestablish any degree of control from this point is for there to take place a complete rearrangement of all matters monetary.

This rearrangement can’t happen as long as national sovereignties exist–as long as there is relative liberty left on the planet. Therefore, it will take a crisis of monstrous proportion to bring everyone into compliance with controls of a completely changed world–a new economic world order. <:P> Rome is at the very center of the great economic storm, as the following news excerpt reports:

Italy's Unicredit bank fell by 20% last week and the decline continued today. Some blue chips such as Fiat had trading suspended due to the gravity of losses.

Italy's citizens are generally frugal and pay by cash rather than by credit card (also to dodge taxation). The big debt problem in Italy is government debt. The country's debt amounts to $1.8 trillion, of which 26% must be refinanced in 2011 and 2012.

As Italy has displayed stagnant growth for the past decade, impervious to governments of the left or the right, has a low degree of competitiveness and a low birth rate, analysts are questioning how Italy will be able to service its debts.

This in turn creates a vicious cycle: The greater the pessimism that Italy cannot repay its debts the higher the cost of borrowing becomes fueling further pessimism until an explosion occurs. (Amiel Ungar, "Sovereign Debt Crisis Menaces italy as Securities Tumble," IsraelNationalNews.com, 7/11/11)

I firmly believe that the Rapture of the Church is the crisis that will convince the world–the western world, at least--to forfeit what little freedom there might be left, and give power and authority to the Beast. Antichrist, son of Rome, Satan’s ultimate dictator, will derive his power and control through a perverted economic system as foretold in Revelation 13:16-18.

Rome’s place in prophecy is taking shape before the eyes of God’s watchmen on the wall.