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

Feb 11, 2013

Flash: Pope Benetict XVI to Resign

Word broke at about 7 a.m. est that Pope Benetict XVI has announced he will resign as pope of the Roman Catholic Church, effective February 28, 2013.

Reportedly, he is the first in 600 years to step down.


He gave as his reason that he is no longer up for the job, physically. This stunning development sets into motion a flurry of suppositions and questions, of course, regarding just who will be the next pope.


Tom Horn’s and Chris Putnam’s book, Petrus Romanus, was the subject of a recent book review on Rapture Ready. It’s theme is the prophecy by the Catholic Church’es St. Malachy, who predicted a string of popes that will conclude with the final pope –Peter the Roman.


The popes have, it has been determined, followed Malachey’s succession line to the letter, with the next to final pope being, it is said, of the order of the olive –which Pope Benedict chose to claim upon ascending to the papacy.


We have received many copies of today’s announcement from the Vatican. Great interest pervades the community of prophecy students, especially of the Pre-Trib view, in the matter of the line of succession of popes.


If this pope adopts the name of Petrus Romanus, or something similar to do with the name of the apostle Peter, we might be looking into a most profound development in prophetic progression. If he chooses some other name that is diametrically different, the line of Malachy’s prophecy regarding Roman Catholic popes will have been broken.


We watch, with you –and with great interest.


The Marijuana Lobby's Master Plan

I'm absolutely amazed at the organization and effectiveness of the pro-marijuana lobby. For decades, the people arguing for legalization have always been the types who wear tie-dyed t-shirts and argue with the intelligence of people who were obviously already using the product. The lobbying groups had as much political legitimacy as Mad magazine's long-running attempt to turn its Alfred E. Neuman into a presidential contender.

The folks lobbying today for the legalization of marijuana look like they could be working for a Fortune 500 company. They wear business suits, and they have a firm grasp of how the legal system works.

Their master plan calls for using taxation as a ploy in making pot legal. They are arguing that the federal government should regulate marijuana the same way it handles tobacco. States will have a steady source of income, and since must people hate new taxes, the news funds will only come from taxpayers who smoke.

In 2012, states collected $25 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements. Never mind the fact that cigarette smoking costs more than $193 billion (i.e., $97 billion in lost productivity plus $96 billion in healthcare expenditures). Those costs come out of someone else's pocket. The billions of dollars from tobacco taxes is used to build schools, roads, and other pet projects.

With the number of smokers literally dying off, states need a new source of revenue. In the 1950s, half of the population smoked. Today, that number is down to 19 percent of all adults (43.8 million people).

Another benefit of the decriminalization of marijuana is the cost savings on law enforcement. Since marijuana is a Schedule I drug, in the same category as heroin, it costs states a huge amounts of money for to house people convicted of possession. Advocates are arguing that legalization would help clear out backlogged courts, and it would free up jail cells for more dangerous criminals.

The odds are still long that a bill would pass Congress, but lawmakers have been quietly working on several bills that would blaze a trail. Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon argues that the federal pot prohibition will soon end.

"You folks in Washington and my friends in Colorado really upset the apple cart," Blumenauer said. "We're still arresting two-thirds of a million people for use of a substance that a majority feel should be legal. ... It's past time for us to step in and try to sort this stuff out."

It's not just liberal Democrats who have been receptive to the marijuana lobby. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently came out in support of efforts to legalize hemp in his home state of Kentucky, and U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is expected to introduce legislation allowing states to set their own policy on marijuana.

There is one huge disconnect with the people on the pro-marijuana side. They frown on smoking tobacco, but for some odd reason, they smile on smoking cannabis. Smoking of any type causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction). Since marijuana has not been genetically refined like tobacco, it contains a much larger amount of tar and carcinogens.

There would be no marijuana lobby if is weren't for the Obama administration deliberately looking the other way. On the federal level, marijuana is still illegal. It's pointless to have a Drug Enforcement Administration when you have states saying it's okay to light up.

The prize for the biggest blunder should go to the church. In my research for this article, I didn't find any major Christian groups willing to take a stand on this important moral issues. It is like the church of Jesus Christ doesn't exist. Since I'm still here on earth, I can't blame it on the Rapture.

The lack of moral watchdogs has ensured that marijuana will eventually become legal. Once this fight is over, legalized prostitution and assisted suicide will quickly follow. We are living in the days of Noah. Jesus linked this period of extreme wickedness to His return. Since we are rapidly running out of vices to make legal, it would seem the end is very near.

"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37-39, KJV).


Monetary Magicians and 2014

I don’t like “I told you so's” any more than you do. However, I did write things that we see developing now in a number of Nearing Midnight commentaries, so will take the credit–or blame—for doing so here.

I wrote that I suspected things would start looking up in the short term for the economy–for America and for the world. But, I also said that it will all be the proverbial smoke and mirrors, sleight-of- hand wizardry by the controlling powers that be. The mantra is on by the Obama administration and its collective mouthpiece, the mainstream media. The mantra is that if the opposition would just get out of the way and let them work their magic, there will be no stopping the march not only to recovery, but to a utopian, national construction of some sort.

My friend, economic expert Wilfred Hahn, pointed out the specious nature of the arguments for supposed glowing recovery regurgitated by the above-described administration propaganda machine. Similar sophistry about almost-miraculous recovery is gushing from reportage in other parts of the world. Hahn writes in the February 1, 2013, issue of his newsletter, Eternal Value Review, the following under the heading "Mephistopheles & the Global Monetary Magicians": The drumbeats are again starting up. Surely good times are coming. Everything is coming up roses. That’s the new sentiment at the start of the year 2013.… This past year, we have observed some remarkable—and, we would even say, earth-shaking—worldwide developments.…At the very least, another major turning point is evident. All of the world’s largest central banks have crossed the so-called “Rubicon.” They have gone past the point of no return. They knowingly and willingly have chosen to brazenly “steal and thieve.” It is awe-striking to witness.

What signifies this turning point…a new defining moment in the slide to global financial bedlam? Recently, some unorthodox new policies were announced by a number of major central banks around the globe… both European bond and stock markets soared, thinking that no matter how severe the financial state of the Eurozone, the central bank could be relied upon to eventually bail everyone out.

A few weeks later, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (FRB) also demonstrated its resolve to print unlimited money.…It announced QE3 (Quantitative Easing #3), a third program to flood the economy with money deposits. Ben Bernanke, the head of the FRB, stated that he would do so “without limit” and assured financial markets that ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) would extend into the year 2015.”

This past week, President Obama told reporters that his administration had overseen the creation of more than 6 million jobs. The truth is that there have been more than 8 million jobs lost (jobs no longer available to American workers) in the past several years. No one calls the president on such statistical bait-and-switch gobbledygook. He indeed paints a rosy picture of recovery at every opportunity, as does his spokesman, Jay Carney, and others who propagandize for this administration.This is politics in America, and I am fully aware that this is the way it is done in the process of bamboozling the voting public, a large percentage of which has no idea–some not even caring--that they are being lied to.

My problem with the politicians’spin process at this time is that there is no one in the major news media who will question the overtly obvious misinformation and deliberately false reporting of the figures. No president in American history has been given this sort of slavish acquiescence. Such adoration as is daily given Mr. Obama by ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and practically all others that constitute mainstream news journalism is nothing short of dangerous to assuring a free, well-informed populace. Such sycophantic obeisance is the kind of stuff of which dictatorships of every variety are made.

One must wonder whether this idolization of America’s first black president–making him the equivalent of a cult figure, a celebrity icon worthy of Hollywood in its heyday-might be setting up in the minds of some the possibility of attempting a most disturbing constitutional change. As a matter of fact, there are growing rumors to that effect. The rosy picture being painted, cooking the books, and just downright lying about the economy roaring back, when in actuality it is headed in the opposite direction–it is feared—are an attempt to set up certain outcomes for the 2014 midterm elections. Might it be, it is conjectured, that creating the illusion of a robust economy is desired by the president’s slavish press in order to enhance chances for winning a greater majority in the senate, and to win back the House of Representatives for the Democrat party in the midterm elections–thus to begin dismantling certain constitutional restrictions with a majority in both houses of Congress?

Many harbor the concern that getting rid of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution–or at least to change it— might be the objective of the president and his political handlers. Might a third Obama presidential term be a part of the monetary magicians’ blueprint for America’s future?

If getting the president a third term or even more, through the constitutionally prescribed political process, could be legitimately accomplished, there is really no reasonable argument that can be made to say it is wrong. The key here is the word “legitimately.” Lying to the American people–even if many of them are willing dupes—is the epitome of lawlessness. The Constitution is law by which we the people are to comport ourselves. The Founding Fathers drew from God’s Word, the Bible, to construct much of that national legal document.

Here’s what that Bible says about things that are contrary to law genuinely designed to see to it that people live safely and peaceably: “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:9-10).

Lawlessness is a deadly matter. It destroys people. Antichrist will, through devilish wizardry, come to wield, through lawlessness, absolute power. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25).