30 May, 2011
The Master Plan Gets a Good Trial Run
Bible prophecy has been very active in the news, thanks to Harold Camping's misguided judgment-date prediction. I was just amazed at how much coverage the liberal media gave to Camping. Normally, the press ignores any subject related to Christianity. Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" book series had to sell over 30 million copies before the liberal media was willing to acknowledge its existence.
The press seems to have an endless fascination with Mr. Camping. Even after the May 21 date passed uneventfully, a horde of reporters showed up at Family Radio's headquarters to report on the new date of October 21 of this year.
It quickly became obvious to Terry and me that the liberal media had an agenda behind its coverage of Camping. Because we are the largest prophecy site on the net, the media comes to us for comment whenever they do decide to report on eschatology. Normally, this only happens when oddball subjects come up, like, "Is Obama the Antichrist?" or "Does the Bible have anything to say about the Mayan prophecy for 2012?"
This time around, the press only gave us limited coverage because we wouldn't play ball with the narrative they were trying to establish. We did interviews with newspapers, explaining how Camping was wrong, and none of our comments made it to print. If we were telling people to sell their worldly possessions and climb to the top of the nearest mountain to meet the Lord, I'm sure we'd have our pick of prime-time interviews.
Rapture Ready's traffic, however, has benefitted greatly from the coverage. Because we are the top-ranked site on the subject of prophecy, we have had a record amount of traffic. It only took us 19 days into the month of May to smash the 294,000 unique visitors record set just two months ago. Right now, as I'm writing, we have over half a million visitors.
I have access to a very complex readout of how people find Rapture Ready. Most people come to the site by doing their own searches. When Time magazine featured us in 2002 as part of its cover story article on "Left Behind," most people came to RR by following dozens of links from news organizations that parroted the story. Today, people don't need the media to find information. They can search for it themselves.
Another major difference between 2002 and now is our ability to handle traffic. Back then, we had to struggle to accommodate 60,000 unique visitors. At one point, I had to direct some of the traffic over to our mirror sites: tribulation.us, and rr-rapture.com. Today, even with a ten-fold increase in traffic, our server was still able to handle the load.
In the 24 years I have been working on Rapture Ready, I have always followed a plan for the site's progression. Right now, I am down to one final goal that I call the "master plan," and I even created two articles on the site related to it. The "master plan" is this: Getting Rapture Ready on a server network that is so powerful it allows an unlimited number of people to access the site's data.
I strongly believe the Rapture will generate the greatest panic for information in human history. When millions of people realize that they have been left behind, they will get out their laptops, smart phones, or iPads, and search for all things related to the end times.
Even though the bandwidth of the average server has made an incredible leap in its ability to feed out information, we are still far short of my goal. The problem is not just the numbers. The post-Rapture traffic surge would involve people spending hours looking at dozens of articles. Last week, the average visitor only read one page. Since this is the first time we have been able to easily handle a traffic surge, I'm very hopeful about us reaching the point of unlimited bandwidth.
I doubt the Lord Jesus is going wait around until every web surfer on the planet can access our domain all at once. It greatly pleases me that we've now reached the point that our network of mirror sites will allow millions to draw upon our resources.
I’m very thankful to everyone who has stood with us in helping to fund the site. Camping has a profoundly negative impact on our finances by causing most people to sit on their hands, waiting to see what will happen. What happened is that our opportunity to contribute to the Kingdom of God continues.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).
"Rapture" at Center of End-Times Storm
The couple of weeks just past bring in focus–for me, at least—stark reminders of the times in which we find ourselves, in relationship to Bible prophecy.
Geophysical disturbances wreaking death tolls in the central United States are part of events engendering the sense of the lateness of the hour, prophetically speaking. The tornado that tore apart Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 100 and injuring hundreds, certainly adds to the sense of this being a prophetic hour. Studies show that records for devastating storms, earthquakes, and other such phenomena seem to be falling with each month that passes.
I personally had my life touched by the most recent outbreak near Oklahoma City, when one of my closest friends in ministry lost everything he owns, while thankfully he, his wife, and neighbors were safe in a storm shelter. (Please see my note below this commentary.)
We have written many times in these commentaries--and others have written in their commentaries--about the frequency and intensity with which so many things that appear to be end-times indicators are storming upon a world ripe for God’s judgment. The birth-pang convulsions are front and center of our daily, even hourly, headlines.
World economic crises continue to mount, but are pushed to the back burner so far as headlines are concerned, because things of more immediate import crowd them out for the moment. Still, the global economic meltdown continues. The U.S. is in a position out of which it looks impossible to ever emerge. The rest of the world, particularly Europe, is in even worse fiscal condition. The powers that be, the global monetary gurus, seem to have become calloused to the truly monumental seriousness of the situation. It is as if they believe they can indefinitely delay the inevitable payments coming due.
The monetary manipulators have their eyes set on a completely changed economic order as the solution, no doubt. They need a crisis of major magnitude--I’m convinced they believe—in order to galvanize all of their elements of aspiration into rearrangements which they can completely put under their collective controlling thumb.
At the same time, things are heating up that involve the U.S. and the world dealing with the nation Israel. There is no more profound signal of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline than things going on in this arena of geopolitical activity.
The American administration speaks out of both sides of its mouth, in one breath betraying Israel in doing things like selling arms to Israel’s enemy Arab states, but denying arms sales to the Jewish state.
Over the last year, the United States refused to approve any major Israeli weapons requests. Government sources asserted that the refusal represented a White House policy to link most arms sales to Israel to progress in the U.S. plan to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
At the same time, Obama has approved more than $10 billion worth of arms sales to Arab League states, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. ("Israel's Netanyahu Keeping Mum about Obama's Virtual Arms Embargo," World Tribune, Feb 10, 2011–thanks to Jonathan Stettin)
In the next breath, President Obama demands the impossible of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then, after receiving so much negative backlash, backtracks on his declaration that Israel must give the Palestinians land so the 1967 borders can be reestablished–claiming the U.S. is an unmovable friend of the Jewish nation.
Israel’s being at the center of the vital issues of peace and security for that Jewish state and for the world cannot be overemphasized. This is the number-one signal that we are bumping up against the very end of this dispensation–the Age of Grace.
This fact and all of the other things of prophetic significance we write about week after week are overwhelming in the weight of evidence they present, telling the discerning student of Bible prophecy and observer of the times that Christ’s shout “Come up here!” must be near indeed.
And, this brings me to the interesting thing I would like to point out at this most crucial hour. Thanks to Harold Camping, I believe the world has moved forward a significant notch in the matter of nearing the end of the age.
One news media scoffer reported the following:
When the world did not end at precisely 6 p.m. yesterday, Doomsday prophet Robert Fitzpatrick's fragile grasp on reality crumbled.
"I don't understand why nothing is happening," said Fitzpatrick, flipping through his Bible for clues to why Rapture failed to show up on time. "It's not a mistake. I did what I had to do. I did what the Bible said," he said, looking increasingly disheveled and confused as he stood in Times Square before mocking crowds.
Fitzpatrick is a follower of Harold Camping, 89, an Oakland, Calif., evangelist who promised that on Judgment Day the righteous would be sucked up to heaven while sinners--even children--were to rot among fires, earthquakes and tsunamis engulfing the Earth. (Heather Haddon and Doublas Montero, "Doomsayer Confused as World Doesn't End," New York Post, 5/22/11–thanks to Chris Mangan)
Now, I said above that, thanks to Harold Camping, I believe the world has moved forward a significant notch in the matter of nearing the end of the age. The scoffers are fully out of the woodwork, that’s for certain. Camping’s failed prediction–and all of them, Camping’s and others, have failed—brings 2 Peter 3:3-4 into focus as never before: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
Todd and I have received some proof of this on an up-close-and-personal basis via email. Here are but a few examples.
“How is it up in heaven?”
“We’re enjoying hour after hour laughing our [posteriors] off at the great stuff you have on your web site. (on our off time, of course) Keep up the great work…what a bunch of kooks!”
“You don't really actually believe in this garbage do you? Well I guess we can just all wait and see soon that you are all crazy and full of crap. LOL! What a crock!
Aaaahahahahahahahahahahahah huuuuuuuuuuuh AAAaaaahahahahahahahahahaha
Now will you get a life?”
“Really--are you retarded? Did you experience brain damage in an accident?
Taking money from common people...
You will roast if there is a god.”
“You are all idiots, really.... Congratulations on the brilliant predictions. You are retarded, you are a moron. You should be poor and homeless soon. Happy rapture day – you [expletive deleted].”
Well, you get the drift of the comments that make Mr. Camping’s failed prediction of Rapture out to be ours as well.
Yes, 2 Peter 3: 3-4 is most assuredly in the process of being fulfilled. But, that’s nothing new. We have seen such scoffing for…well, decades.
Here is the thing I want you to see that I find so fascinating. With all of the obvious prophetic indicators in play every hour of every day at present, we now have the word “Rapture” in the middle of it all! People now know what the Rapture is by definition, at least to some extent.
Whereas the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins made some aware of the word "Rapture," Camping, through demonstrable media hatred for anything truly Christian, has made the word practically a household term. Mocking or not, the ubiquitous use of the term has left most–within the U.S. and much of Europe, at least—without excuse.
The Lord of heaven never brings His judgment and wrath without sufficient warning. The world is hearing the sirens…
Special note from Terry James
I wanted to draw your attention to the dire needs of a wonderful personal friend. one of the Lord’s most faithful servants in the area of Bible prophecy and his wife suffered the complete loss of their home and all belongings in the massive tornado that struck near Oklahoma City on Tuesday, May 25. Dr. Larry Spargimino and his wife, Jennifer, thankfully, were able to get to a storm shelter, and are physically unharmed. The complete loss of their home, vehicle, clothing and all other possessions, however, means hardship for them in the coming weeks. In addition to the many prayers that we hope will be going before the Throne of God for them, we are asking if possible that you make a financial donation to help them more easily get through this ordeal. Donations can be sent to them at: Larry and Jennifer Spargimino, Southwest Radio Ministries , 500 Beacon Drive , Oklahoma City, OK 73127.
May God Bless you for opening your heart to a true champion of Christ’s prophetic Work in this crucial hour.