Although this won't be published until the first week of January or so, today's date is Saturday, December 31st, 2022. The last day in what turned out to be a prophetically supercharged year. In paraphrasing my friend Lee Brainard, we have moved out of the times of simply living through prophetic doctrine, to the times of living through prophetic reality. As I shared with him and some others, I have this weird feeling going on in my brain at the present. This feeling isn't so much prophetic, as it is a mixture between nostalgia, dread, and excitement as we cross over into the new year.
Nostalgia because the only world and life I've ever known, is coming to its predetermined end. There is a bit of sadness associated with this nostalgia, because, even though this world is fallen and the days have grown evil, there are still memorable and happy events that have happened here. Much of my childhood. My marriage. The birth of my children. High points in my career and ministry. I know these memories won't hold a candle to what is coming next, but it would be disingenuous and even somewhat condescending towards God (IMHO) to say that none of those things matter. I suppose it's just disheartening to see the only world I've ever known, come apart at the seams.
There is a certain degree of dread because the world the godless elite are attempting to create, with all their competing nefarious agendas wreaking havoc in our present day. As if marching to the Luciferian drumbeat of Satan himself, they are determined to play gods and act without abandon in ruining every aspect of God's creation. This satanically inspired hubris is storing up the judgment of the most severe kind that God will not delay much longer. Thus, my sense of dread isn't for me, but for them, and for those who follow along blindly into a future day that is equal parts dark and foreboding. It's getting to the point where each new day I half expect to see a sign in the sky that says, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”!
There is also, oddly enough, a growing sense of excitement because of this very dread, because I know each new day, moves us one day closer to the return of our Lord Christ Jesus. The Church (i.e., the corporate, multi-membered, singular, body of Christ that He has been building for the past two thousand years), is not promised wrath, but rather, deliverance from the very time before the wrath even begins (Luke 21:36, 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9, Col. 3:6-7, Rev. 3:10. etc.). These passages are not speaking to the wrath of eternal hell-fire (for which we are already delivered from in the moment we believe), but the wrath of God upon a Christ-rejecting world through a series of 21+ judgments.
Even this promise (the Blessed Hope) has been perverted by those who say the Church must endure certain portions of Daniel's 70th Week to atone for our sins (or some such silliness). They say at a minimum, the Church must be here through the seven Seal Judgments (Revelation 6) because they are not God's wrath, but Satan's. Funny, I don't remember Satan being the one in Revelation 5 who is found worthy to take the sealed scroll and open it.
As I said, all of these conflicting positions put my frame of mind in a weird state.
Now, going into this I had two thoughts running through my head this morning as I made breakfast. The first, having just watched Britt Gillette's excellently deduced forecast for 2023 the day prior, and now, Barry Scarborough's excellent summation on the end of materialism (see here), I have a deep sense of dread for the days ahead. Again, this is not dread for myself or my family, or even for other believers, but a deep unrelenting sense of dread for the unsuspecting Christ-rejecting world at large.
But Pete, remember 2020? Remember Covid? If we are still here, won't we also be impacted by what's coming upon the earth?
We are not exempt from trials and tribulations just because we are American Christians. However, the things these godless elite are planning will quickly spell the collapse of America, and subsequently, the rest of the global order. And because America has its fiscal, economic, political, and technological tentacles into almost every nation on the planet, as America goes, so goes the world. America's collapse would drag the entire global economy down. To do so would run the risk of 'running out of normal,' as the world is cast headfirst into a global depression and chaos the likes of which would make the Great Depression and World War II seem like a picnic. Remember what Jesus said regarding the time just before His return:
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30
Notice Jesus doesn't focus on global wickedness, although that certainly marked the days of Noah. Notice also He doesn't hone in on the gross immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah of Lot's day, although they were destroyed for being exceedingly wicked cities. Jesus focuses on the seeming normalcy of those times and how before the wrath, life was one way, and it seemed to be the way it would always be...until that final moment when the door is closed, and Lot (and family) are taken out of the way. Then, sudden and calamitous judgment fell upon them.
Given the speed and severity at which things are progressing, if we remain too much longer, we will be inside of the territorial waters of the 70th Week itself. My thoughts are, God is going to allow the Church (the true remnant Church) to go right up to the edge, not to punish us, but because He is long-suffering and is giving mankind every last opportunity to get saved before this dispensation comes to its ruinous conclusion.
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9
Nevertheless, if we are still here, we might have to live through some of this, however, let us never forget that Christ still has us firmly in the palm of His hands, and not a hair on our heads can be harmed unless He allows it (John 10:28-29). If He allows us to endure trials, it will ultimately work for both His glory and blessings toward us. So whether we go up this year, or we remain, we need not fear what comes our way. That is not to diminish any of the sufferings some of you may be enduring presently, which I know is not pleasant. But whatever lies in our path, the good and the bad, let us count it all joy.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
I suppose the real question we need to sincerely ask ourselves is, are we living in the last days or not?
To a lesser extent, are we living in the last days of America?
Does the former presume the latter?
If the answer is yes to the first question, what do we do with this information? If we truly believed it, are we living like it?
The second question seems like we are actually living through it. At the rate that we are going, we may be collapsing in months rather than decades. We know that there is no superpower nation like the United States (as we are now) mentioned anywhere in Bible prophecy. Our absence has led many to believe that something disastrous happens to the US before the end to mark our noticeable absence.
If you believe the answer is no, then what do we do with abundant evidence piling up around us that a 'Great Reset' is upon us? How do you explain the herculean efforts by democrats, globalists, and technocrats to rid the West of its Judeo-Christian roots? How do you explain the intentional suicide of western civilization through the destruction of the family, the church, and the civil government?
Let me put that another way. If replacing our Judeo-Christian model isn't the intent, then why are all three of the aforementioned under relentless and savage attacks? Furthermore, if you don’t think we are in the last days, at the rate and direction this world is currently heading, what kind of world will your children inherit? A freer world, or a more dystopic one?
I recently watched a Glenn Beck program (H/T Jim P) where he interviewed Whitney Webb, who is an incredibly intelligent and amazing researcher non-Christian researcher. I mention her belief status not to slight her findings, but to point out the sad state of affairs that even as our pulpits are increasingly choosing to remain silent, even non-Christians are speaking out on the proposed end state these godless elite are planning for us.
Notwithstanding, both Glenn and Whitney are operating from a flawed understanding of how events will actually unfold because they don't have a proper understanding of biblical eschatology. Mormonism (for which Glenn is) has a much more Post-Tribulation view of the last days, while Whitney doesn't actually state what she thinks will happen, but as a non-believer, her understanding will undoubtedly come from a human perspective. Either way, both of their understandings are filled with a great deal of uncertainty and vagueness because they can't understand what God's word actually teaches.
The Bible teaches that the world will continue to deteriorate morally, politically, religiously, and economically, ultimately arriving at a point of global regionalism after a great crisis. This regionalism will then be co-opted into a singular one-world government run by one man, the Antichrist. He will then gain iron-fisted control over the entire planet until he is ultimately destroyed by Christ Himself at the Second Coming.
The RMS Titanic was, based on the historical commentary of the day, a marvel of human ingenuity and progress heralding a new dawn of human achievement. The Titanic (and its two sister ships- the Olympic and Britannic) were the new British line of White Star luxury liners which were launched between 1910 to 1914. While Titanic received the bulk of the attention (for obvious reasons), the other two also lived (relatively speaking) short life spans given the money and effort that went into building them. The Britannic served as a hospital ship during World War 1 but struck a mine in 1916 and sank in the Aegean Sea. The Olympic, the first of the three White Star liners launched in 1910, was sold for scrap metal by 1935. As it turned out, both tragedy and modernization befell these behemoths of man's supposed greatness.
Somewhere in this musing, I was reminded of the two-hour sinking of the RMS Titanic. in that, as the evacuation of women and children ensued, the band began playing "Nearer God to Thee" before the ship capsized. I don't know how true that is, but I guarantee you people were, in their final moments before being plunged into the dark, icy waters of the North Atlantic, getting reacquainted with God. It is, after all, our naturally intended state of being. We were created to worship God, and that includes prayer, fellowship (walking with), and singing praises to our Creator. It would seem, given the opportunity, the most natural thing to do in anyone's final moments would be to make amends with the Almighty.
It also reminded me very much of how the passengers must have felt before they set sail. Most were sailing under the presumed confidence in the media-spun hype of the day that Titanic was unsinkable due to the fifteen water-tight bulkhead compartments built into its hull. However, the historical review of its maiden voyage highlighted a series of easily preventable issues that could have averted disaster.
From the largely inexperienced crew who had not trained properly on passenger evacuation drills to the ship's leadership who had both ignored and downplayed earlier warnings about the icy conditions on their route of travel. As it were, error after error compounded in a cascading series of bad decisions. The over-preoccupation of various crewmen with mundane tasks also added to the general lack of awareness of the dangers ahead. Lastly, the ship was traveling too fast at night (at 24 mph) through 'iceberg alley' to safely navigate the dangerous waters. Meanwhile, the passengers onboard were going about their lives without a care in the world.
And then disaster struck.
For most, the moment it happened, didn't even realize the magnitude of the situation. The mere glancing off the iceberg failed to expose the 300-foot gash under the waterline of the dark waters. When reality finally sank in, the passengers' priorities radically changed. Before the iceberg, they may have been sleeping comfortably in their cabins or deciding what book to read, or what meal to have. They may have been drinking and dancing. However, after it struck, it went straight into confusion, chaos, and then survival mode.
For all the things that did go wrong that night, at least when the Titanic sank back in 1912, there was still a sense of moral civility amongst the population. Women and children were loaded first into the lifeboats first ahead of the men. I don't think there will be much civility if any, once the USS America hits the iceberg of the Rapture of the Church in the very near future. It will be every man for himself.
"Untergang der Titanic" by Willy Stöwer, 1912
The further we move into the 21st century, the closer we draw towards the two thousandth anniversary of our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection. While debate still ensues amongst our great theologians regarding the exact year of the event (i.e., 29-33AD) it seems our enemy has honed in on the year 2030 as 'the year' to introduce the Great Reset. Whether that year pans out to be the 'great year' or not, remains to be seen. Setting the reality of Bible prophecy aside for the moment, it seems we have so many compounding and existential threats coming at us, there is absolutely no way to avoid hitting them. In other words, it is not just one iceberg, but a wall of them, with each capable of sinking our unsinkable ship.
However, what I find interesting, is that while even our best and brightest theologians are struggling over the finer points of the calendars, they (the godless elite) are moving heaven and earth to aggressively push this agenda to meet this year. They are breaking every law, breaking every cultural norm, destroying nations left and right, and killing tens of thousands to meet this deadline as if the hounds of hell themselves were biting at their heels. In the process of racing toward this globalist utopia, they are not heeding the warnings God is giving them. They are racing too fast into the icy waters of the dark unknown, all the while, those onboard the unsinkable new world order are busy going about their daily lives without a thought or care as to what might happen.
Thus, where America is in the near future brings something else to mind. A "black swan" event and the "swan song" both serve as metaphors for either a cataclysm or the finality of the end. Black swans are generally understood to be an unseen or unpredictable event of cataclysmic importance. The rapture of the church will be the ultimate black swan event in the world. It won't be a black swan moment (thief in the night) to the watching remnant church, but to everyone else, it will catch them completely off guard (1 Thess. 5:1-9). Conversely, the "swan song" speaks to a final act or pronouncement before one's death. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the swan song historically traces its roots as far back as the Roman poet Juvenal but is believed that a swan only sings one beautiful song in its life, and that is right before death.
I don't think America has one beautiful song left in her lungs. The remnant church reaching out to the world either through missions or the internet might be that, but most of American Christendom seems completely oblivious to what is happening in the world. They are either been blindly led by the misguided kingdom now dominionism of a triumphal church or is buried neck deep in dead orthodoxy put to sleep by decades of Protestantism and now woke evangelicalism. Either way, the bulk of what is called Christian, is in name only and not in true, biblical Christianity. From Britt Gillette's article "How Close is the Rapture of the Church?"
In his blog post, “Barna: Most Americans Create a Customized Worldview,” Ken Ham states, “Seven out of 10 U.S. adults call themselves ‘Christians’ and yet only 6 in 100 (6%) actually have a biblical worldview.” He then went on to cite statistics from a recent Ligonier Ministries survey. Among its findings:
56% believe “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
38% see Jesus as “a great teacher, but he was not God.”
60% say, “The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.”
65% think “Everyone is born innocent in the eyes of God.”
37% agree that “Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth.”
Regardless of the earth dwellers' mental and emotional status, judgment is coming. The iceberg of the Tribulation (Daniel's 70th Week) is out there in the darkness, awaiting contact with a world largely oblivious to the dangers. True, there are still a few brave watchmen and pastors speaking out, but the voices are largely being drowned out by the music, commotion, and distractions of this life. But as troubling as that may all be, one of the final indicators of the nearness of the Rapture of the Church, is this very thing- the normalcy of a fallen world oblivious to what is coming. This is what marks the days of Noah and Lot. As to the sad state of affairs for Christendom at the end of this dispensation, remember Jesus' question.
And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8