August 3, 2015
The Best and Worst Time for Prophecy
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. -Charles Dickens: A Tale Of Two Cities (1859)
I have been a student of Bible prophecy for over 35 years, and I've seen many cycles where interest in last days events has risen and fallen. We are living in what I think is the most divergent point in all of prophetic history. End-time related events have never been so active, while at the same time-awareness has never been so lacking.
One of the clearest examples of how evil the world has gotten is the number of suicide bombings that take place in the world. This heinous method of mass murder started with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza around the year 2000. The practice quickly spread to other parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa. These bombings have become so routine, most attacks don't even make the major news feeds.
I've gone back and looked at our traffic records and I can see how lethargy that has swept over the prophetic community. There were many times when a major event would trigger a doubling or tripling in our daily traffic. In recent years, the response has been very muted. When the Supreme Court voted to make Gay marriage legal in all states, the site's daily traffic only increased by 7 percent.
Prophecy watchers have a long tradition of speculating a president's connection to Bible prophecy. Numerous books were written about FDR, John Kennedy, Nixon, and Ronald Reagan as Antichrist candidates. In the 1994, I was at a Florida prophecy conference that had four speakers in a row hint about Bill Clinton being the devil's handyman.
The speculation suddenly ended with our current president. Barack Hussein Obama is without a doubt the most lawless and immoral president America has ever had, and yet, there is very little chatter about him being the Beast. The Church has become so disconnected to prophecy, I'm not sure Obama could draw prophetic attention to himself even if he sprouted horns and grew a red tail.
Back in 1993, we had a prophetic drought as measured by The Rapture Index, where a whole series of categories went dormant or became downgraded by positive news events. Nevertheless, during that time, enthusiasm for prophecy remained stable.
Today, we need to have a constant flood of news that fails to keep the people's attention. Over the past year, the traffic to most end-time sites has taken a swan dive. The smaller sites have been hit the hardest.
The book publishing world also shows the downturn in prophecy enthusiasm. The number of new books on prophecy is the lowest I've ever seen. During every decade, we have always had a prophecy related book with sales over the 10 million mark. Right now, there is no book anywhere close to this milestone.
Even though so much is going on, one possible explanation for why we are seeing a low in prophetic interest is because things have gotten so bad that people can't stand to watch the news. I know the ratings for news networks is down. How can anyone with a rational mind not turn off the news when Obama comes on and says "I'm a pretty good president," and "I think if I ran [for a third term], I could win."
A lot of Christians have the idea that prophecy is like a treasure hunt: If you figure out the magic date, you'll know when to expect the final day. In reality, prophecy is more like a dance marathon: As there are fewer people on the floor, the closer we are to the end. With apathy having become so rampant, we have a clear signal that the music is about to stop.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus told His disciples again and again that the hour of His return would be highlighted by a lack of awareness on the part of His followers. The Lord was so insistent about getting this point across, He repeated himself four times in the space of a few verses. He also included a story about the 10 virgins to illustrate the point of the surprise Rapture. We are the think not generation.
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36).
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matt. 24:42).
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:44).
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 25:13).
Where's the Blush?
"I can't find my blush!" After almost forty-six married years of hearing that cry of frustration, I know what is meant. My wife, when rushing to get ready to go to one appointed place or the other, is expressing exasperation over the fact that she has lost her tube--or whatever the delivery means--of make-up called "blush."
I take it that it slightly reddens the complexion so as to give a healthy or more lovely look of some sort. I think I've seen in movies where a woman would pinch her cheeks to achieve that effect. I presume a tube of blush is a definite improvement over that method.
To appear to blush, in such instances of enhancing loveliness, I suppose, is a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say. But there's a down side to blushing. Blushing, of course, is what happens to a person when embarrassed, especially by something salacious that is described or viewed by that person who deeply disapproves of such things. If that's true then, metaphorically speaking, the face of Lady Liberty should be crimson as she stands in New York Harbor. Since she is inanimate, someone should get out the blush. She is in need of such make-up. She looks out upon national lasciviousness these days of a sort that assuredly must come under scriptural condemnation.
"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 8:12).
To me, the time of America reaching the inability to blush came with the public airing of what happened in a study just off the Oval Office when Bill Clinton was in his second term as president of the United States. His sexual use of a young intern as his personal means of gratification on many occasions, and the way it was all brought to light, with graphic detail of DNA proof on that stained blue dress should have caused most all complexions on the faces of Americans to turn blood red inn embarrassment. In some cases--mine included--the revelations did cause great consternation. But, for the most part it only provided great entertainment in an ongoing drama, as if it was a popular TV series like Dallas or Dynasty.
Late-night comedians had great fun as they further enhanced and spread the salaciousness. News media in general, rather than condemn the debasing of femininity the president perpetrated, in a concerted effort to divert from the sickening, prurient nature of the whole matter, in an oblique way, praised him for proving to be so deft at lying to the American people and to Congress and getting away with it. It was an amazing thing to watch--this debauching of our culture.
The churches of America for the most part looked the other way. In Little Rock, the man's own church pastor had little to say. People within those churches--some with whom I had personal conversations--expressed no thoughts of shame over the incident. People within those congregations who were of Mr. Clinton's political party defended him as "being under tremendous pressure because of presidential duties," thus not totally responsible for his weakness. They even accused the intern--like his political operatives blamed all women with whom he dallied whom they called "bimbos"-- as being more responsible than Clinton for her seductive ways.
"Where are the fathers of America who have daughters?" I remember asking. Where was the feminist outrage? Where was the shame--the blushing?
There was none. America had already come through a time of the sexual revolution--of the pornographic star of Deep Throat being brought to lecture to universities as a champion of the right of women to do what is right in their own eyes. All of that, and an avalanche of every sort of profligate activity imaginable overwhelmed succeeding generations.
So, to now ask where is the outrage--either from embarrassment or from righteous anger--is likely far too late as the end approaches. When men kiss and do whatsoever they please in public, as gay pride brings society and culture to the point of being like it was in Sodom and Gomorrah--the day of prophetic fulfillment is upon us. Where is the rage against those of Planned Parenthood who flippantly speak of killing babies and selling their body parts--against those who are supposed to be trained to save lives but murder the innocent? Where is the resistance to those in government and in the pulpits who condone the sacrifice of children upon the altars of abortion--who are plunging America into the same abyss that the ancients went, burning infants in the red-hot hands of the idol Moloch?
Not only has America forgotten how to blush, it is a nation that has forgotten the God of Heaven who gave mankind the good sensibility to know when and when not to blush. Jeremiah the prophet, again, has something to present about God's reaction to such complete rejection by any people: "I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them" (Jeremiah 8:13).
The only hope for America--and for the world for that matter--is for God's people to follow His spiritual prescription for healing this land. It is found in 2 Chronicles 7: 14, of course.
I'm wondering, though, if this generation hasn't reached the Abraham Moment.
--The moment the old patriarch asked the Lord--and He agreed--to spare the
condemned cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if there could be found any who blushed
in those cities beside his sorely vexed nephew, Lot, and his few family members.