Nearing
Midnight

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




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  •  

    April 20, 2015

    Iran’s Nuclear Intentions Are Clear

    One of history’s most profound moments of naiveté and folly occurred in 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned home from the Munich Conference. At the London Airport, Chamberlain proudly held up a piece of paper containing Adolf Hitler’s signature.

    On it was a deal that allowed Hitler to take over part of Czechoslovakia if he promised not to seize any more land. Chamberlain had hoped the agreement would become what he declared as “Peace in our time,” but what actually resulted was the most costly war in human history.

    The deal over Iran’s nuclear program makes me wonder if it will soon be time to say to Neville Chamberlain, “All is forgiven.” Despite the terms “deal” and “historic understanding” being used, it is unclear that any agreement exists other than in the minds of the negotiators. The only thing achieved by the talks has been a general framework between Iran and six world powers. The final agreement will be worked out by a June 30 deadline.

    The timeline of nuclear diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program is now in its 13th year. In 2002, an Iranian opposition group exposed two nuclear facilities in the cities of Natanz and Arak. While various nuclear non-proliferation bodies talk, Iran keeps expanding its atomic infrastructure. A huge problem is that they don’t have any set time limits with Iran. In just the past couple years, five major deadlines have come and gone.

    Iranian leaders are already trying to unravel this pre-agreement deal. As soon Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived home, he started babbling about terms that were completely opposite to what he had just agreed to in Switzerland. A week later, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a deal would require an immediate end to sanctions and there would be no inspections.

    There is an old saying that goes: “Never argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” I think we allowed ourselves to become entangled in idiocy when we accepted the argument that Iran has a legitimate need for nuclear power. There is no practical economic reason for Iran to want nuclear reactors. Because it has a 100-year supply of cheap oil, it is ridiculous for Tehran to claim it needs nuclear power to generate electricity.

    Iran’s willingness to endure years of painful sanctions over its nuclear program should also be taken into consideration. After going this far, the Mad Mullahs of Iran are not going to allow their prize to be taken from them.

    Another important problem with the talks is that the use of diplomacy with an aggressor never works. Unless there is the backing of military force, negotiations have always failed to prevent warfare. President Obama has already made the process toothless by excluding the option of military action.

    Obama has repeatedly said that said Iran should never be allowed to have access to nuclear weapons. Here are three quotes from the man himself:

    “Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable. And we have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening.” – November 7, 2008.

    “There should be no doubt – the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” – July 1, 2010.

    “Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.” – January 24, 2012.

    I don’t know what is going on in Obama’s head, but it is becoming increasingly clear that he lacks the willpower to stop Iran from building an atomic bomb. The problem could be egotism, narcissism or a secret hatred of Israel.

    Obama refuses to force Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as any part of the deal. His delusional nature reminds me of the Germanwings co-pilot who flew that jet into the French Alps. In our case, the situation is reversed. We have plenty of time to remove Obama from the controls, but we don’t have a consensus to act.

    At some point, Israel will be forced to take action. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows a nuclear Iran would mean Israel’s doom. The Jewish State has already acted to end the nuclear ambitions of Iraq in 1981 and of Syria in 2007. A strike against Iran would just be one on a grander scale.

    An Israeli strike would instantly cause things to go from bad to worse. The act of Israeli jets bombing Iranian nuclear facilities may result in American fighters being ordered by the White House to intercede on the side of Iran. Of course, Obama would blow a head gasket—blaming Israel for sabotaging his peace plan.

    I’m normally not one to speculate on what God has planned for the near future. The way events have unfolded in such rapid pace, it seems that the Lord is setting things up for a major disaster to occur on Obama’s watch. With a little over a year and a half before Obama leaves office, we’ll soon find out.

    “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).

    --Todd


    Rethinking Babylon the Great

    The hour is late, according to practically every biblically prophetic indicator. Most every geographic region, and in many cases specific nations, are coming into sharper focus in lining up for prophetic fulfillment.

    The Gog-Magog coalition (Russia, Iran, Turkey, etc.), China as king of the kings of the east, and, of course, Israel, all stand poised as if on some strange starting line. These are like tense athletes ready to launch into full competition, yet they stand at that starting line, with tremendous tension building, as if awaiting the starter's pistol to fire. When it fires, it will be a deadly competition that will end at Armageddon.

    That seven-year course of murderous interaction leading up to the finish line seems as near as the next major crisis. The Tribulation could begin at any time, it seems. Only the lack of a peace agreement with Israel at its center stands as somewhat of a time constraint, preventing Daniel's seventieth week from initiating.

    All of that said, it is more than just odd that end-times Babylon of Revelation 18 is nowhere to be seen. Babylon--the ancient place in Iraq where the great city once stood--is there, of course, but, rather than being built as we thought when Saddam Hussein began a small restoration project on the site, it is, in fact, now being threatened by ISIS. That horde has already destroyed much of the antiquities near the site, with no apparent force to stop them.

    It could be, of course, that the fulfillment of the final prophecies involving this region is far off yet. However, the Lord, I'm convinced, is telling those who are paying attention that all of these things are on the very cusp of fulfillment, not somewhere in the distant future.

    There must be a land (nation) and a city of unprecedented power, influence, and opulence on the scene by the end of that prophesied seven years to wrap up history prior to Christ's Second Advent.

    I've read Mark Hitchcock's book on the topic, as well as a number of other books on the subject of the city known as Babylon the Great. Most have it that the city will be quickly built with modern building methodologies and equipment. This, to me, is becoming less likely every day.

    Yet that nation and city must be there before Christ's return, as given in Revelation chapter 18 and other places. There is nothing "spiritual" about the prophecy. The land and the city will be "literally" destroyed in an hour, the prophecy says. To me it is doubtful that building such a city of great opulence and influence could be accomplished during the Tribulation--as the tremendous geophysical destruction from God's judgment and wrath, it seems logical, will make such construction prohibitive.

    The one factor that is a big unknown is the amount of time that will elapse between the Rapture of the church and the signing of the covenant that will initiate the seven years of Tribulation. If this is an extensive period of years, it is possible, perhaps, for a city such as given in Revelation chapter 18 to be constructed. Still, logic dictates that it would take a very long period to have the merchants of the earth grow rich from the delicacies that Babylon the great will offer.

    I think it is time to reconsider whether it has been America the whole time that this prophecy references.

    Despite every economic and other problem that has been thrown at America--even with the most destructive (purposefully, I'm convinced) president in its history--America stands far above the rest, $18.5 trillion deficit and all. Like the earlier prophecy says about that ancient city and land (Jeremiah 51:7), America has been a "golden cup" in the hand of God--i.e., this nation has seen to it that the gospel has been disseminated to the world. It has served as midwife in the rebirth of Israel into modernity, and has acted as its earthly protector (realizing, of course, that God, Himself, is its ultimate protector).

    Sadly, however, America has also become--like that doomed land and city--the most sinful in all of mankind's history. Like it or not, the United States fits the model, and there seems no such other that has even the most remote chance of one day fitting the model, if we are talking about a relatively near-term fulfillment of the prophecy in which Babylon the Great is involved.

    Let us think a bit more about this nation that alone fits the description of the region in which resides Babylon the Great. The United States stands at the center of the world, whether the other nation-states of the planet acknowledge or deny the fact. America is the envy of the world community for the materialistic good she possesses and produces, thus giving her great wealth and great power. It seems the globalist elitists of that world community are determined to do incrementally what they can’t do any other way short of all-out nuclear war, in which there can be no winners. They want what America has. They want the wealth redistributed, to create for themselves a power base of working class to support their needs to establish a worldwide humanist empire.

    Does this sound like the ravings of a conspiracy nut? Maybe so. But if it’s a conspiracy theory, my rave is biblically based. It is not a conspiracy, in my view, of a group of world leaders from around the globe who seek to create a world order dictatorship. I’m of the opinion that most of these people believe they have altruistic intentions. They sincerely believe, for the most part, that building such a world, totally controlled by the globalist-elite thinking they can provide, is the way to world peace and prosperity.

    However, the real maestro in this plan to create the new world order we heard the first President Bush talk so much about is none other than the greatest of all deceivers–the father of lies. His moving through the minds of men to build a world apart from God is not without precedent. We see that influence in the following:

    And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 1:1-4)

    This account of civilization that developed in due time following the great Flood reflects the fallen mind of mankind. It is a mindset that has not changed over the many thousands of years since. It is an early attempt at one world order, without consideration for God the Creator’s input in determining the governance of culture and society.

    The Bible records God’s dealing with that early rebellion of the globalist-elites’ attempt to establish their humanistic kingdom:

    And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

    The Creator dealt with these one-worlders by confounding their language. He erected instant language barriers between the people working on the tower of Babel and other projects in the area so that they couldn’t complete the projects. God then supernaturally scattered the people who had become as one culture into the whole world.

    The God of Heaven is on the brink of again intervening into the murderous affairs of rebellious mankind. The destruction of Babylon the Great, like the destruction of the Tower of Babel, will lead to the end of man's attempt to usurp the throne of God. But, this time it will be a fix that will install the Prince of Peace on His earthly throne.

    I know I'll be in trouble with the seminary types, but, based upon evidence in view and Scripture, I have to be open minded to the possibility that we are living in that mysterious place whose chief, doomed, city is called Babylon the Great. One thing sure: We shall see, perhaps sooner rather than later. I find the following most interesting, upon considering Revelation 4:1. (And, keep in mind, the book of Revelation is not strictly chronological in its presentation. The call might refer to a time considerably earlier than this city's destruction.)

    And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18: 4-5)

    --Terry