Jan 23, 2006
The Partnership Between Birth Pangs and Apathy
The year 2006 is only three weeks old, and we've already seen a number
of unusual events that should spark the interest of any end-time watchdog.
So far, we have seen record tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean; a 500-year
drought in Arizona; record periods of rainfall in the Northwest;
setting new records for heat; record snow fall in Japan, and record
Europe and southern Asia. In all these events, the key word is
The previous 12-month period was already of such a historic nature, it
seem like the law of averages would grant us some type of protection from
calamity. The 2005 hurricane season set so many milestones, I'm sure
meteorologists would regard it as one they will never witness a repeat
I have no idea what type of activity we will see with the 2006
season, I but I wouldn't be surprised if we see more storms like
Rita, and Wilma.
The unending avalanche of catastrophes has convinced me that they are
the end-time warning signs called the birth pangs. The Bible predicts
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
The birth pang factor is not the only end-time indicator at work today.
Jesus told His disciples that apathy would also be the calling card of
return. In the Book of Mathew, the Lord repeated himself four times in
space of a few verses. He obviously was trying to make a point of
slothfulness will relate to the last days.
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven,
my Father only" (Mat. 24:36).
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Mat.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the
man cometh" (Mat. 24:44).
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the
of man cometh" (Mat. 25:13).
When I recently checked the traffic flow of some of the larger prophecy
I was amazed to find that their average hits had been in a prolonged
The drop has occurred despite massive earthquakes, record hurricanes,
global terrorism. The two-year hit count for Hal Lindsey, Jack Van
Impe, and Left Behind looks like the price chart of internet stocks once the tech
bubble burst. Oddly enough, Rapture Ready is the only major site I
find with higher traffic numbers.
One of the best ways I've found to measure apathy is to compare the
that certain types of events get to today with what they typically
receive 20 years ago. The Iranian nuclear issue is one good example.
in 1986, the news of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's desire to build a
nuclear bomb would have been huge news. To have him also calling for the
destruction of Israel would have generated a frenzy among prophecy students.
Back then, I would have expected to receive dozens of emails and letters from
people who figured Ahmedinejad was the Antichrist. Today, I
recall receiving a single email from anyone. Several folks
about his connection to the Gog invasion, but none has tagged him as Mr. 666.
Christians have not become more prudent in their approach to prophecy. I
believe a spirit of apathy is at work. As God reveals prophetic truth,
allows the devil to distract people from knowing the how close they are
the end. Nothing is accidental about the "think not" hour.
The disparity between the frequency of birth pangs and the general
apathy is the granddaddy of end-time indicators - for those who are
awake to notice this flashing warning sign. Because they are both at
never before seen in modern times, I can only conclude that we are near the
of the Church age.
If we are drawing very near to the rapture, it's vital that I focus on
that which will be the most productive for the Kingdom of God. We stay
productive at Rapture Ready because we know now would be the worst time
a servant of the Lord to manifest laziness.
"Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen,
can know his return is very near, right at the door" (NLT Mat. 24:33).
Tri-Lateral Tribulation Tremors
Geopolitics again seem to place planet earth in the crosshairs of the coming tribulation –that last seven years of human history before Christ’s second advent. The most recent arrangement of apocalyptic-type signals are three-fold.
The first to consider is Israel in transition, so far as leadership is concerned, and the ongoing "Roadmap to Peace" process that continues to influence all that is going on in that land so prominent in end-time Bible prophecy.
Israel’s acting prime minister is determined that the deadly process continues.
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reiterated Israel’s support for the U.S.-backed Road Map initiative for the Arab-Israeli dispute at a meeting Tuesday with President Moshe Katzav.
Olmert said that while he was prime minister, his government would “stick to the Road Map.” “It would be a mistake to release somebody from a responsibility whose framework he is obligated to,” he said.
Olmert said he hoped Israel will start negotiating a permanent status agreement with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, after elections are held both in Israel and the PA (Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, by Scott Shiloh, Jan. 17, 2006).
You might have noticed I called it a “deadly process.” This is quite accurate, when describing any peace plan for Israel that leaves God out of the equation. The tribulation will produce just such a deadly peace.
The covenant of Dan 9: 27, which Antichrist will confirm (because that peace plan will apparently already be in place) is described further by the Lord, through His prophet, Isaiah:
“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves…And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it” (Isa. 28:15,18).
The second of the tri-lateral tribulation tremors currently causing the prophecy meter to quake involves Iran, the nation that presently occupies the ancient Middle Eastern land called Persia. Persia, as most prophecy students are aware, will be one of the nations that God’s Word, through Ezekiel the prophet, foretells will storm southward over the “mountains of Israel” to take “spoil.” An evil leader from the land of “Rosh” (Russia, most scholars say) will lead the charge. This will most likely take place during the tribulation era, though many believe it could happen even before the Rapture occurs. The full account of this attack is found in Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39.
Events are stirring in Iran that smack of biblically prophesied things to come, with Russia –the nation that provides much of Iran’s nuclear technology and fuel-- not far in the background of the volatile situation.
“Iran's nuclear programme began in 1974 with plans to build a nuclear power station at Bushehr with German assistance.The project was abandoned due to the Islamic revolution five years later, but revived in 1992 when Tehran signed an agreement with Russia to resume work at the site.
There are two Pressurised Water Reactors at the site - one reportedly near completion… According to some estimates, when complete Natanz [another nuclear facility] could house some 50,000 advanced gas centrifuges, which would produce enough weapons-grade uranium for more than 20 weapons per year.
Other estimates suggest the plant will have a total of 5,000 centrifuges when initial stages of the project are completed. With that number, Iran will be able to produce sufficient enriched uranium to make a small number of nuclear weapons each year…” (BBC NEWS, Middle East, Jan 17, 2006).
The third of the geopolitical dynamics seemingly setting up for the tribulation era is the European Union (EU) consistently, and increasingly asserting its influence in the Middle East.
“European powers have begun circulating a draft resolution that asks the UN nuclear watchdog to report Iran to the Security Council, drawing a scornful response from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will hold an emergency meeting on Iran's nuclear work on February 2 at the request of European Union powers, an IAEA spokesman said…” (EU trio's nuclear resolution stepped up, Iran defiant. 19/01/2006. ABC News Online).
As always, we confirm that the EU will be a chief player in endtime things –especially in the Middle East. The nucleus of the EU occupies the very geographical region that was the heart of the old Roman Empire. That empire, according to Bible prophecy, will revive in the end of days, and will serve as the central power base for the world’s last and most terrifying dictator, Antichrist –or, as is put here, “the prince that shall come.”
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Dan. 9:26).
Things involving Bible prophecy continue to manifest themselves as we get deeper into 2006. All Christians should be good watchmen, as directed by the Lord Jesus in Mark 13: 37. While watching, we should also be praying, and doing all within our power –individually, and collectively—to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world, as we go about life on this soon-to-be-judged planet.