Nearing
Midnight

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




August 15, 2016

Despotism by Design: Autocratic Governments

The high point of freedom in the world was 1991. That was the year a coalition of 34 nations led by the United States showed Iraq that bad things can happen when you try to annex your neighbor.

In 1991, we also learned that Communism doesn’t work. Once the Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, America was declared the winner. Most of the Soviet Union’s former client states turned to Uncle Sam and Western Europe for guidance.

The last 25 years have seen a relentless decline in freedom. The biggest cause of the slide has been Islamic terrorism. Every time a Muslim decides to commit mass murder, the government reacts by taking away our rights.

It was because of the shoe bombing that we now have to take our shoes off at the airport. It was because of 9/11 that I had to pass through a dozen metal detectors when I traveled up to New York City.

The most troubling reason why we are losing our liberties is the simple lack of outrage. When the Supreme Court said it had jurisdiction over gay marriage, the moral majority had no reaction. When the President Barak Hussein Obama declared all he needs is pen to write new laws, there was no groundswell to remind him that Congress is the only legislative branch.

We don’t even recognize when other countries make a sham out of liberty. Vladimir Putin has the title “President of Russia,” but it has nothing to do with free elections. Putin’s regime has gone from a mild form of authoritarianism to an outright dictatorship.

Last month Putin signed a so-called anti-terrorism bill into law that infringes on the rights of missionaries and evangelists. Among other things, the measure bans evangelism outside of churches, bans missionary activities in residential neighborhoods and requires Christians to obtain authorization in order to share their faith with others—even on the Internet. As a result of these new laws, churches could face over $15,000 in fines if they are caught in violation.

Before last month’s coup in Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan was already well on his way to turning the nation into a mirror of Iran. Since the failure, Erdogan has acted quickly to set up a dictatorship. He has fired or dismissed 70,000 people from the education system, and closed more than 130 media outlets. Western leaders have chosen to just look the other way.

The nation of South Africa has been long praised as an example of success because it managed to throw off the shackles of the apartheid system. Lately, South Africa has been looking more like a banana republic.

The African National Congress party has used the general term of “national interest” to restrict the freedom of the press. A recent poll revealed that 83 percent of South Africans believe that corruption has been increasing and 79 percent believe that the government is doing a poor job of combating it.

I was surprised to learn that freedom in South Korea is in decline. President Park Geun-hye has been using national security laws to clamp down on the press and political rivals. The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has been actively censoring Web content that is deemed threatening to national security. In its last reported year, there was a 27 percent increase in the number of Web pages that were blocked or deleted by the KCSC.

A wave of oppression has even swept over Europe. You would think with all the Islamic terrorism that they have endured would cause nationalism to dominate political discussions. But here hasn’t been much talk about the escalating terrorism because it’s been stamped out by calling it “hate speech.”

People who open forums to simply express their views about immigration policy our being arrested and threatened with jail time. In Sweden, you are not allowed to post news reports that link Muslims to the rise in rape crimes. People in Germany have had their homes raided just because they started a Facebook page that had a negative view of Angela Merkel’s Muslim immigration policy.

I think the only logical explanation for why despotism is breaking out everywhere like a bad rash is because of our closeness to the Tribulation. The spirit of Antichrist is busy setting the stage for the man who will briefly have the whole world bowing at his feet. The one positive thing about this inrush of iniquity is I believe that the Church is the restrainer that must be taken out of the way before the Beast can be revealed.

“… this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (I John 4:3).

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

--Todd


This Race We Face

Do you sense that time is moving faster than ever before? I must tell you that I sense that the rush of everything going on becomes more intensive by the hour.

We all have had the conversation that when we were younger, time for us seemed to move much more slowly. The older we get, the minutes, hours, days, etc., fly by at a much faster rate.

Maybe it's just that as our age increases, everything slows down within our own physiology--within our capability to match the speed with things whizzing past us. The race of life in which we must participate, possibly, might simply overwhelm us, and we can no longer keep up...

The perception, therefore, might be that time itself is moving ever faster, while that's not really the case.

Some of you physicists could likely make the case that time is actually speeding up or slowing down, or whatsoever theory science postulates these days. But, the clock still moves one second at a time. We live our own given increments of life one tick at a time like every other of our fellow travelers on the planet. So, it is outside the realm of reality to suppose that the movement of time itself is appreciably changed from the time we were youngsters.

It has to be that the increased activities and events crowding in on our given ticks of the clock have colluded to alter our perception--to make it seem that time is moving more swiftly.

There is not much room for argument that in America today, for many of us, life's pressures have seemingly compressed our given twenty-four hours. We are indeed racing toward our destinations--our destiny--at ever-increasing speed, it seems.

This column, of course, is called "Nearing Midnight." The commentaries Todd and I write are focused as much as possible on Bible prophecy. We place Bible prophecy as a template over the issues and events of this, what we believe to be the end-times, generation. We hope thereby to gauge how near human history is to the Second Coming of Christ.

Progression in stage-setting for fulfillment of prophecy is all-important in this gauging effort. How quickly things look to be taking place that line up with what Jesus and the Old and New Testament prophets foretold give some sense of when the Rapture of the Church might occur--i.e., we know that the Rapture of the Church will happen at least seven years prior to Christ's Second Advent (Revelation 19:11). Therefore, if we consider that things are swiftly moving toward what the prophets say will happen during the post-Rapture era and Daniel's seventieth week (the Tribulation), we can say with a degree of certitude that Jesus is on the very brink of calling the Church to Himself (Revelation 4:1).

For example, we have witnessed and analyzed the formation of the Gog-Magog coalition of Ezekiel 38 and 39 taking shape at a phenomenal pace. Russia, Iran (Persia), and a number of other entities that hate Israel are gathering.

There is a building world financial crisis that threatens to collapse the global economy. And, in that regard, the internationalist, new-world-order architects are going full steam ahead in their efforts to do away with national sovereignties and to instead bring the world back to Babel.

We see the absolutely blatant all-out assault on the U.S. presidential candidate who opposes globalism and calls America back to the founders' vision for this country.

Mainstream media now admits, through an article by a New York Times former journalist who is now a news media-analyst for the Times that the mainstream news conglomerate is all in for defeating Donald Trump. The writer admits their objective is to see that Trump, whom they claim--as does Barack Obama--is unfit for the land's highest office never gets into the White House. There's no longer any pretense of fair and balanced coverage of the candidates.

Prophetically, this fits what Daniel the prophet and John the Revelator foretold. There is to be a revived Roman Empire--a final world empire over which a beast called Antichrist will rule. We are, at this present time in history, caught up in a race politically, prophetically, and personally, as believers.

Politically, we witness the fomenting of chaos in our nation by those who want America brought into conformation with the global blueprint. It is a luciferian plan being carried out by Satan's human minions. The current presidential administration has taken an active part in creating this chaos, through the Department of Justice (attorney general) actions and in other ways through international diplomacy.

The presidential race is bringing into focus just how determined the fallen one is to bring all mankind into its prophesied final form. 

Prophetically, we are racing toward the time when the Lord will catastrophically intervene into the affairs of rebellious mankind. The Church--all born-again believers in Jesus Christ--will be removed and the most terrible time of all human history will begin.

Personally, we who name the name of Christ should all be engaged fully in the race to complete the Lord's Great Commission while there is yet time to do His work here on earth. There are those in Heaven watching God's children. They are cheering for believers who are running the race set before us. If you've read my book, Rapture Ready...Or Not, you know that I'm convinced with all that is within me that I met some of these heavenly observers on Good Friday, April 22, 2011.

[link to the book]

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)