Nearing
Midnight

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




April 4, 2016

America’s Faltering Military Readiness

There is no other nation on earth that comes close to matching what America spends on its military budget. At $600 billion, U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next nine largest military budgets around the world—combined.

It should come as a complete surprise that one of the loudest cries in Washington D.C today is that we are not spending enough on defense. Last week, lawmakers were warned by the Pentagon’s top brass that a military budget was being neglected.

It has been reported that the Marine Corps lacks sufficient aircraft to fully train pilots. The Army said it can wage small wars, but doubts it can meet the demands of conflict against major enemies, like Russia or China.

“We track this very closely, and the simple fact is that we don’t have enough airplanes to meet the training requirements for the entire force,” said Gen. Robert Neller, Marine commandant.

General Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, said rotary pilots need a minimum of 14 flying hours a month to stay sharp but are getting only 10 hours. Meanwhile, the Army’s major accident rates are increasing. “It does have our concern,” he testified. “Our aircraft accidents have increased, and we’re very concerned about it.”

General Milley said the force, cut from more than 490,000 to a planned 450,000, is sufficient for counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the overriding strategy of being able to fight a major overseas war is in doubt.

There has been a reduction in military spending over the last few years. In 2013, the budget was reduced by 10.5%. A lot of this reduction was the result of the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. Our defense spending as a percentage of GDP has remained fairly stable at 16%, equal to what it was in the years right before 9/11.

The reason why we are seeing a decline in readiness is because we waste a huge amount of money on military programs. The cost of our weapon systems is skyrocketing and there doesn’t seem to be anyone who is willing to say, “Hey, we can’t afford this.”

The F-35 has to be the most obvious example of cost over-run gone wild. It is America’s most expensive war machine. Each fighter jet was first slated to cost $52 million. After 10 years of mounting expenditures, the per unit cost has now reached $300 million. The bill will likely continue to soar, as deliveries for the fighter jet are scheduled all the way out to 2037.

From windows to jet engines, everything on the F-35 is more expensive. Each helmet for the fighter jet costs $400,000; more than four times as much as the Air Force paid for head wear for other aircraft such as the F-16.

The F-35 easily has the most costly paint job. It takes three days just apply the primary layer of paint. This radar absorbing paint can only be applied at the Aircraft Final Finishes complex in Houston, Texas.

It takes 52 hours to swap out a jet engine in a F-35. A major battle could be long over before a repaired jet is returned to service.

The new jet is also costly to maintain. In 2014, the GAO found that the F-35 fleet would have operating costs 79% higher than the aircraft it replaced.

It’s not just aircraft that have out-of-control budgets. The Navy just sent out for sea trials a destroyer that it has been working on for 20 years. The angled hulled ship looks like something out of a James Bond movie, and has a price tag of $4.4 billion.

There is no way America could have fought World War II with the weapons systems of today. The P-47 Thunderbolt cost just $1 million in today’s money. Even if the F-35 could shoot down German planes at a 20 to 1 ratio, we would have still lost the war. With cheaper airplanes, you can make more of them. The Germans produced over 30,000 fighters. The F-35 will number 2,457 in 20 years from now.

After Pearl Harbor, we didn’t have two decades to develop our military. And you can’t conduct war when your fighters are 300 times more expensive than the ones produced by your enemy.

I have to wonder if the reason why America is not clearly mentioned in Bible prophecy is because we will implode under the financial weight of our vast military complex. At this rate, Uncle Sam will need to beg other nations for jet fuel money just to make it to the battle of Armageddon.

“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle”… Then shall the LORD go forth…And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zechariah 14:2a,3a, 12).

--Todd



End times Petri dish

Sin infection spawned from man's disobedience has metastasized globally at this late point of the final dispensation leading to Christ's return. It is not far-fetched to think of things that are happening in such biological terms, or to express them as such, while two major players in Bible prophecy bring the terminal situation into focus.

The European Union (EU), thought by many observers of prophecy in Scripture to be the nucleus out of which will come a revived form of the Roman Empire in accordance with Daniel 9:26-27, is front and center in relevant news. The most central national entity of eschatology for the wind-up of human history, Israel, is the other key player in today's news of prophetic portent, in my estimation. Of all developments in the milieu of end-times things going on, it is as if some master pharmacologist has upon his lab table a petri dish within which broils a deadly mixture prophesied to explode in a breakout of human history's deadliest era.

Effervescing within that dish are the virulent ingredients that threaten to take peace from the earth in the form of war unlike there has ever been on planet earth. That war will not be brought about by the players most often believed to be the instigators of man's final war. Quite the opposite.

Armageddon will be brought about by the One the false religionists of the world of Christendom proclaim could never judge sin harshly. He is love, and no loving God could react with such hateful, punitive action, these purveyors of prevarication promise. Here, again, is what God's Word says about the very end-times things that are taking place within that petri dish I use as analogous symbolism.

"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." (Joel 3: 1-2)

That, my friends, is Armageddon that the Lord is prophesying through Joel. The nations of the world are going to pay a terrible price for their rebellion against Him and for the treatment of His chosen people, the Jews--Israel.

The intention to divide God's land--land He gave to Israel forever--is at the heart of the prophesied simmering brew. The world--including much of Christendom, is turning against Israel in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) piling-on. This, of course, involves economically punishing Israel because they refuse to give up land in order to give the Palestinians a nation within current Israeli borders--land won by Israel in several wars that already belonged to them by divine promise in God's holy eyes.

The EU, out of which the one who will be Antichrist will emerge, many prophetic observers believe, is presently speaking out of both sides of its official mouth. Its spokesman seems to obliquely defend Israel, while at the same time holding the Jewish state responsible for the hold up to a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestinian so-called problem. We learn more about all this within the following excerpts of current headlines.

Without the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there would be no Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the European Union’s envoy to Israel said Monday, arguing that the best way to fight BDS is to take steps to advance a two-state solution...

"The most effective antidote against the BDS movement is to solve the Palestinian issue. If there were no Palestinian issue, there would be no BDS movement,” [EU] Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen said at a conference in Jerusalem...

Earlier during the conference, which was organized by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper, Faaborg-Andersen expressed the EU’s desire to see Israel thrive and said the union completely rejects any efforts to boycott Israel. “Let me make one thing 100 percent clear: The European Union is against BDS. Our policy is totally opposite of BDS. Our policy is one of engagement with Israel.”...

But it is important for Israel not to be seen as undermining a two-state solution, he said. “If more effort is put into showing a will to move forward and to obtain progress in this process, it would greatly weaken the BDS movement.”

(Source: The Times of Israel , Boycotts will disappear when Israel advances peace, EU envoy says, by Rapheal Ahre, March 28, 2016)

The all-out effort to "divide" God's land--that given Israel in perpetuity-- is underway. America's president has chosen to put the United States at the center of this dangerous petri dish mixture. Certainly the world must be near the time when the final prophecies will begin manifesting. That means the Rapture of all born-again believers is even nearer!

--Terry

 

March 28, 2016

“Allahu Akbar” Strikes Again

Last Tuesday, I was up late at night looking at the news, and I suddenly noticed a sharp decline in the Dow futures—while at the same time gold was spiking higher. My immediate thought was that the followers of Islam had struck somewhere in the world. Then I saw this headline: “Deadly Bombing Rocks Brussels Airport” which confirmed my suspicion.

Islamic terrorists had pummeled the airport and a subway station killing more than 31 people and injuring over 200. The terror group, Islamic State, proudly claimed responsibility for the carnage

Belgian authorities were shockingly unprepared for the attacks. The general view was that their nation is immune to violence. Only two short months ago, Brussels officials were so confident that they were free from terrorism, they ran an advertisement ridiculing the idea that the city is a center of Islamic radicalism.

VisitBrussels, the city’s tourism department, crafted the #CallBrussels campaign in an effort to disassociate the city with Islamic terror after residents were linked to the November 2015, Paris attacks and other extremist plots.

The citizens of Europe are locked in an endless cycle of terrorism because they refuse to deal with the root cause of the problem. Islam operates like a deadly virus. It invades host nations; it multiplies rapidly; it takes over urban areas and kills without remorse.

Officials have told the Associated Press that ISIS has trained at least 400 fighters to target Europe in deadly waves of attacks. Terror cells like the ones that struck Brussels are free to choose the time, place and method for maximum murder and chaos.

A few days ago, I saw footage of a 60 Minutes crew being attacked by Muslims in Sweden. Ironically, the crew that was attacked had gone there to create pro-migrant propaganda piece. The Muslims were so demonically despicable in their behavior, the reporters were unable to put a positive spin on the situation. Here is a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42jpuXJPk0w

I don’t see how it is possible for ISIS to have a capital city after claiming responsibility for the Belgian attack. Raqqa, Syria should have been carpet-bombed after the carnage in Paris. Instead, we dropped a few bombs on the city, and then declared (a false) victory. Meanwhile, the flag of ISIS has spread all over the Middle East.

The liberal media fails miserably at describing the truly evil nature of these Islamic terrorist attacks. The two bombers at the airport sought out the largest grouping of people. When they screamed “Allahu Akbar” and pushed their detonators, they knew their bombs would send out a cloud of nails and screws that would rip into the flesh of everyone standing around them.

If the press would do their work honestly, those who hold to the Islamic faith would have been shamed back to the deserts of the Middle East long before this latest attack.

Rather than going after the Islamic terrorists, we light up buildings in colors to show our support for the victims, and we can’t even properly pull off that stupid token act. The One World Trade Center in New York was supposed to have its spire lit in the colors of the Belgian flag—red, yellow and black.

Instead, the spire was lit in red, white and blue as night fell on Manhattan. Since we no longer remember what happened to the twin buildings that once stood in place of One World Trade Center, the irony of the mishap is lost to most people.

There would be far less bloodshed if our leaders read and understood the Bible. In Genesis, we are told that there is a spiritual conflict between Abraham’s two sons. Isaac would be the son of the promise and Ishmael would be cursed as a “wild ass” of a man with his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him.

“The Angel: ‘Return to your mistress and act as you should, for I will make you into a great nation. Yes, you are pregnant and your baby will be a son, and you are to name him Ishmael (‘God hears’), because God has heard your woes. This son of yours will be a wild one—free and untamed as a wild ass! He will be against everyone, and everyone will feel the same toward him. But he will live near the rest of his kin’” (Genesis 16:11-12 TLB).

--Todd


World Catching Its Breath

Despite such terroristic actions such as witnessed in Brussels this week just past, like it does from time to time while lurching toward the end of this troubled age, the world, prophetically speaking, seems to be pausing to catch its breath.

We've sometimes called it a "lull" because prophetic progression appears to be on hold. It's kind of like in the south when a severe springtime storm is about to produce a big tornado. Everything gets eerily still.

What is actually happening, I'm told, is that the big super-cell thunderhead is sucking the surrounding atmosphere into its building vortex. All turns a greenish-yellow color and not a leaf is rustling.

One of the mistakes we who observe things on a global scale with regard to Bible prophecy make is to view things too much from our American perspective, I think. Things seem to be whirling around us, but the larger picture presents a different view.

You hear the rumbling and see the lightning flashing on the black horizon, but all is perfectly still, as if the complexion of the earth has taken on a sickly pallor. It seems that this humanistic system is holding its collective breath in somewhat of a perceived pause in these scary moments.

Presidential politics right now in the U.S., on the other hand, are anything but eerily calm. For example, the campaign rhetoric and vitriol are raw rough and tumble. Americans who see things through a strictly political prism believe this is a storm we are in--one that will determine where our world will be torn apart, depending upon who wins the presidency. The atmosphere is turbulent. We are in the midst of a terrible, national storm with the nation's future at stake.

That might all be true, but on a global basis, thinking in terms of Bible prophecy, there seems to this eschatological weather observer to be an environment surrounding us with an ominous pallor that harbors far greater lethality. There portends within the building storm clouds far greater dangers than those given off by the political winds that are whipping us all into a frenzy here in America. Internationally, the powers and principalities of Ephesians 6: 12 are working quietly behind the scenes. They are striving as hard as ever before to bring about that great, end-times tornado the Lord terms Tribulation.

One can sense, if spiritually attuned to the pre-storm goings-on, the very corruptive atmosphere of fallen man being drawn into the coming Tribulation vortex. Yet there seems to be for the moment an eerie calm, despite evidence everywhere one looks of brewing trouble.

The president of the United States is reportedly working with the United Nations to bring about a two-state solution to the "Palestinian-Israeli problem" before he leaves office. Israel, itself, remains basically in a lull, while looking in every direction at a storm that is gathering against it. Russia and its headstrong president are making strange, unanticipated withdrawal gestures and movements in and around Syria and other entrant points to the Middle East. North Korea blusters ahead with nuclear and missile tests, actions intended to threaten it's immediate neighbor, South Korea, and the rest of us as well. China builds islands in international waters then claims them as their territory, while building military bases upon the newly formed land to threaten anyone who dares question its intentions.

Iran continues to silently work on a nuclear program that it no doubt thinks will one day be used against the Great Satan and the little Satan--the U.S. and Israel.

The world's building economic disaster expands by the hour like an embolism within the human brain. The silent bubble could erupt explosively at any time, bringing the global, financial catastrophe many fear.

Agents of the Father of Lies work feverishly and incessantly to implant within the fallen minds of mankind that Christianity is a viper's nest of hatred. Just to our northern border, Canada's supreme judicial body has ruled in a number of cases that biblical text can be construed as hate speech that must not and will not be tolerated. One pastor spent 10 years and more than $200,000 to finally get a reversal of such a charge against him. Americans would be foolish to assume that such a devilish invasion of evil jurisprudence isn't in Satan's plans for this nation. As a matter of fact, we've already experienced such evil at some level. The cases involving the homosexual agenda and bakeries and flower shops that refuse to provide services for same-sex marriages come to mind.

All of the above and much more give evidence of the very atmosphere of liberty we have enjoyed since the country's founding being sucked into the building thunderhead that will produce the greatest storm in human history.

While the world catches its breath, the power of the storm continues to build. Satan seems as if he will have his way against all of humanity in this great destructive era that now rumbles upon earth's angry horizon.

But, Jesus said: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

The Lord promised the believer who is alive at the time this end-times storm threatens:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

It is altogether fitting and appropriate to echo the words of John the revelator: "Even so, come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20b).

--Terry