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

Aug 22, 2011

2011: Record Year for U.S. Weather Disasters

The year 2011 now holds the record for the most costly weather disasters. We still have over four months to go and this year has already surpassed 2008. Even when you adjust for inflation, the weather-related carnage still exceeds all previous years.

National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes told reporters, "I don't think it takes a wizard to predict 2011 is likely to go down as one of the more extreme years for weather in history." The "new reality" is both the frequency and the cost of extreme weather, said Hayes.

The NWS identified nine U.S. disasters that have caused more than $1 billion in damage. Here is the list it came up with:

• Upper Midwest flooding - summer - melting of heavy snow pack in northern Rocky Mountains flooded Missouri and Souris rivers across seven states. $2 billion cost to date.

• Mississippi River flooding - spring/summer - Rains three times normal amount in Ohio Valley flooded Mississippi River and tributaries. $2-4 billion losses; at least 2 deaths.

• Southern Plains/Southwest drought, heat wave and wildfires - spring/summer: Hit Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, southern Kansas, western Arkansas, and Louisiana.$5 billion to date.

• Midwest/Southeast tornadoes - May 22-27 - 15 central and Southern states hit by 180 tornadoes - 177 killed - 160 of those dead in Joplin twister - $4.9 billion cost.

• Southeast/Ohio Valley/Midwest tornadoes - April 25-30 - 305 tornadoes - 327 deaths - $6.6 billion cost.

• Midwest/Southeast tornadoes - April 14-16 - 160 tornadoes - $1.4 billion cost - 38 deaths.

• Southeast/Midwest tornadoes - April 8-11 - 59 tornadoes across nine central and Southern states - $1.5 billion cost.

• Midwest/Southeast tornadoes - April 4-5: Ten Midwest and Southern states hit by 46 tornadoes - $1.6 billion cost. Nine deaths.

• Groundhog Day blizzard - January 29-February 3 - hit central, eastern and northeastern states. - $1.1 billion cost - 36 deaths.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027789/2011-set-worst-year-US-weather-disasters.html

Remarkable about the list is the lack of hurricane damage. In the past thirty years, there has been $726 billion in total weather-related damage. Hurricanes have been responsible for 50 percent of the damage. The tropical season doesn't even kick into high gear until next month. Since we’ve had such a well-rounded year for weather disasters, it would also seem fitting with our luck to have a Category 5 come roaring ashore somewhere in the U.S.

The massive heat wave in the U.S. has rekindled the debate over global warming. The heat has been historic this summer, but I'm not sure global warning is to blame. The past four winters have all had periods of brutally cold temps. I read a report today that said a new computer climate simulation found that Arctic ice is likely to expand over the next decade.

Director Hayes was asked if “climate change” was to blame for the rising frequency of wild weather. He said it would be difficult to link any one severe season to overall climate change.

One reporter tried to blame all the recent weather carnage on the increase in population. The growth rate for people is too small to account for such a huge spike. The damage for this year is seven times what people saw in the eighties. The population has only grown by 20 percent during this period.

I think all these weather events would make perfect sense if people understood the birth-pangs prophecy that Jesus laid out. In Matthew 24:8, we are told that the last days will be the tail end of an exponential curve of activity. Jesus mentioned a great variety of signs—spiritual, natural, societal, and geopolitical—and then He said that these signs will be like "birth pangs."

As the birth of a baby approaches, the birth pangs increase two ways: frequency and intensity. Thus, Jesus was saying that the closer we get to the time of His return, the more frequent and intense the signs will become. There will be more earthquakes and more intense ones. Likewise, things like famine, pestilence, and war will increase in frequency and intensity.

In the past, I've warned people that greater weather disasters were headed our way. In 2006, I made the following comment right after Hurricane Katrina:

“The unending avalanche of catastrophes has convinced me that they are part of the end-time warning signs called the birth pangs. The Bible predicts they will increase in frequency as we get closer to the tribulation hour. I expect the world media will soon be covering new calamities in the coming months.”

The months turned into years, and the birth pangs kept rolling in with greater frequency. It seems that we’ve reached a point where the kindness of God must be at a limit. If we can have nine calamities in less than eight months and still not get man’s attention, any more warning would be pointless. Only God knows for sure, but I think the judgment stage is very very near.

-- Todd

Fiscal Fluctuations Foreshadow Final Fuhrer

Sorry about the alliteration–just couldn’t resist it…

Great Britain, France, and Germany, Europe’s nucleus nations, are in economic flux not experienced since the powerful foundational gyrations of the European Union (EU). This past week’s regional dynamics put into focus, in my estimation, the scope of the monetary mania that has gripped the global financial markets, particularly since the crisis of 2008.

There has suddenly matured, it seems to me, the ongoing plan to make Europe into a single state, fiscally and geographically. I’m not saying that this conforms, necessarily, to what Bible prophecy foretells, because that end-times entity (found in Daniel 2, as one scriptural example) seems to imply something more along the lines of a pared-down EU--i.e., Bible prophecy seems to have Antichrist’s power base and launching pad to be a kingdom that is partly strong and partly broken, much like the constantly bickering group of European states as they presently exist--these prophetically reduced to only a group of ten or so.

The final fuhrer will, I infer from God’s prophetic Word, have to take over this group by offing three of the “kings” (Daniel 7 and Revelation 17). So, I’m not saying that Europe will soon be one nation, as are the states in America. What I wish to point out is the swift and vigorous movement of things at this moment in the geopolitical arena that is second in importance only to Israel, in terms of Bible prophecy.

The British are caught up in turmoil like at no other time in their history. Besides the rioting and threats of societal breakdown, they are confronted by European pressures to embrace EU efforts at total union. DAVID Cameron [British prime minister] was under mounting pressure last night to hold a referendum on EU membership amid claims that the Coalition is paving the way for full eurozone financial integration.

Tory and Labour MPs believe that Chancellor George Osborne’s hopes for a single eurozone tax system will lead to the EU becoming a fundamentally different organisation to the one the UK joined in 1973.

Many also fear that Britain will come under intense pressure to adapt its tax and regulatory policies to conform more closely with the eurozone once fiscal union is under way, even if the UK remains outside the single currency. Steve Baker, Tory MP for Wycombe, said: "It is very clear that the EU is heading at full speed towards being one country." (Martyn Brown, "Europe 'On Course to Become One Country,'" UK News, 8/16/11).

The leaders of the continent’s two major member-states are heading the call for bringing the EU into total unification. Worldwide monetary upheaval is providing the impetus for the drive toward one European nation superstate.

PARIS — the leaders of France and Germany called Tuesday for greater economic discipline and unity among European nations but declined to take the expensive financial measures seen by many investors as the only way to halt the continent’s spiraling debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average fell, the euro slid against the dollar and key European markets edged down in off-hour trading after Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the results of their emergency talks in Paris. Sarkozy called for a ‘new economic government’ for Europe that would meet at least twice a year with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy as its head… The two leaders also proposed a Europe-wide tax on financial transactions and pledged to harmonize their countries’ corporate taxes in a move aimed at showing the eurozone’s largest members are ‘marching in lockstep’ to protect the euro. ("Merkel, Sarkozy Want Balanced Budget Laws in all Eurozone Countries," Washington Post, 8/16/11)

The EU’s key leaders have talked just the past week about the need for a strong singular economic government, at the head of which should be the current EU President Herman Van Rompuy. While this is fascinating, considering the fact that we believe the "prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26) will come from a revived Roman Empire, which this effort certainly seems to portend, I don’t believe Van Rompuy is that “prince.”

The reason I can say this with a sense of confidence is that 1) Europe is still quite a way off from becoming that revived Roman Empire–economically, at least; and 2) the church is still here, and Paul prophesies in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the man of sin–Antichrist—won’t be revealed until the Holy Spirit removes as restrainer of evil.

This also cannot happen while the church is here. The Holy Spirit resides within each and every living believer of the Church Age (Age of Grace). When the church leaves, the Holy Spirit resident in each member of Christ’s Bride–the church—will interact with mankind (those not taken in the Rapture) in other ways. History’s final fuhrer will then make his presence known. We see the foreshadowing of his appearance within the moving and shaking of the economic earthquake taking place today.