Nearing
Midnight

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




Prior Updates

  • Jul 21, 2014
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  • Jul 25, 2011
  • Jul 18, 2011
  •  

    Jul 28, 2014

    America’s Declining Economic Influence

    The United States has been the world’s largest national economy for over 124 years. Shortly before 1890 we surpassed China, which had been the top economy going all the way back to 1500. To now have China outranking America in the 21st century is essentially the reclaiming of their old title.

    However, the wealth of the average Chinese citizen is still greatly lagging. The income of the average person in China is 1/6 of anyone living the U.S., and it will take decades close that gap. Because China has over 1.3 billion people, there are not enough resources on the planet to allow the Chinese to achieve parity.

    One key to America’s economic might is the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency. Since World War II, the greenback has been used as the default currency for the vast majority of global trade. Foreigners love our dollars so much, they hold $10 trillion in notes and bonds.

    A great amount of political power comes with the ability to print the world’s reserve currency. It allows you to play Santa Claus. America hands out over $200 billion in cash and military aid each year to dozens of nations. Just last week, Congress considered giving $57 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza residents, and $576 million to Israel so they can triple their Iron-Dome defense shield.

    In recent years, the love affair with the dollar has started to fade. The massive increase in our nation’s debt now stands at $17.60 trillion, and the hollowing out of our industrial base has caused many nations to question the soundness of holding dollars.

    The fact that Wall Street sets record highs every few days would argue that all is well, but news from Main Street paints a different picture. In the past week, Microsoft said it would cut 18,000 jobs; Atlantic City’s credit rating was reduced to junk status by Moody’s; and Flint, Michigan warned it may plunge into bankruptcy unless retirees accept cuts in health benefits.

    There is no currency that is ready to take the place of the dollar. The Euro would be the best candidate, but Europe has its own host of problems. China has a huge pile of money, but its own currency, the yuan, does not freely trade; which creates a drawback for liquidity.

    The global community is starting to see the problems of having too much trust in the dollar. The Obama Administration has done a huge amount of damage by fostering a culture of authoritarianism in our financial dealings with the rest of the world. We abused our privilege and we’ve demanded the rest of the world play by our rules to join the dollar club.

    The spying revelations made by former NSA agent, Edward Snowden, has resulted in a vast amount of damage to America’s standing in the world. The secret rules that require firms to put spyware into their products has destroyed their competitive advantage. Russia and China have dedicated themselves to cutting their dependence on key firms like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. Another wake-up moment came when a New York court fined French bank BNP Paribas $9 billion for doing business in Sudan, Iran and Cuba. Europeans saw this move as extortion because BNP was not breaking any French laws. It was just Uncle Sam saying, “If you don’t pay us the money, we’ll tax all your dollar transactions at a 30 percent rate.”

    The best example that the U.S. is acting like the mafia in financial matters came with the treatment of rating firm Standard and Poor’s. When S&P downgraded the U.S. credit ratings in 2011 to from AAA to AA+, the government slammed it with a $5 billion lawsuit; claiming that S&P caused investors to lose billions by inflating ratings on mortgage-backed securities. Nothing has happened to the other two rating firms because they didn’t downgrade us.

    The imperial measures by Washington has motivated several nations to seek an alternative to the dollar. A couple weeks ago, the leaders of the BRICS - China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa - came together to launch a development bank to compete against the US controlled IMF. The BRICS Bank will be based in Shanghai and chaired by Russia. This new bank is untested, but it’s one more nail in the dollar’s coffin.

    I believe that God has used America as a tool for maintaining stability in the world. We still are a restraining force, but our usefulness is fading fast. We are rapidly headed for the day when a financial messiah will come and offer his plan for peace and safety. Only in his case, it will be a proposal that comes with a deadly price.

    “And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:16-18).

    --Todd


    Sure End-of-the-Age Indicator

    It is my usual procedure to not respond to the virulent email I get almost daily from those who don’t believe in the pre-trib view of the Rapture. These days the hate email is coming from those who sometimes even write that they hope we who do believe that God’s Word teaches this doctrine be sent to Hell–the same place where they scream we are leading people with our “false teaching.”

     There are a number of these anti-Rapture flame-throwers who send out their rants on a regular basis. They have extremely limited audiences, and they are no doubt hoping beyond hope that their angry protestations will somehow make it in front of the massive audiences such as that with which Rapture Ready has been blessed. I guess I’m answering their wishful thinking in this column this week.

    However, the anger has reached such a fevered pitch that I sense it should be addressed. The rage is, I’m convinced, a sure signal that we are indeed at the very end of the age.

    In fairness, there are those who have scriptural arguments for another view of the Rapture, or for the position that there will be no Rapture. These are, most generally, gentle and rational in presenting their cases. Those who present their cases in those instances are not of the group that I’m attempting to address in this column.

    I will present here the full text of one email I received recently. It is actually one of the milder of the sort of which I’m addressing. I prefer to not give those more radical than this one any space in this forum.

    I’ve watched this particular blogger change from one who in earlier times seemed to at least present a scriptural case worthy of consideration to a person of scathing rants full of irrationality and outrageous invective. Again, he is one of the milder Rapture-position detractors I find in my inbox almost daily.

    Here is his most recent commentary.

    THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE IS IDENTIFIED......................... Revelation 6:2

    This Scripture is describing a RELIGIOUS DECEPTION of a CROWNED rider on the deceptively WHITE horse having a BOW, which is a WEAPON OF WAR without arrows to kill the body, but rather to kill the mind with anti-Christian deception . He is CONQUERING MINDS with anti-Christian false doctrine. He is waging war, in the later years, against the doctrine of Jesus Christ as it is recorded in the Holy Scriptures.

    The CROWNED RIDER'S name is C. I. Scofield. His BOW, without arrows, is the Scofield Bible. He has been CONQUERING the minds of ignorant Christians who are being deceived into believing the anti-Christian FALSE DOCTRINE OF THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE.

    Jesus explicitly states, in His Olivet Discourse, that the rapture will occur as recorded in Matthew 24:31 "AFTER THE TRIBULATION" which He states will occur before the rapture as recorded in Matthew 24:29, If your mind has been "conquered" by the rider on the white horse into believing the anti-Christian false doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture you had better wake up and repent because "Many are called, but FEW ARE CHOSEN."

    2 John 1:9

    "Whoever transgresses and does not abide IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST does not have God. He who abides IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST has both the Father and the Son."

    Well, maybe this writer is not so “mild” as I thought on a second reading. Seems we who believe in the pre-trib Rapture are, according to his thinking, headed… well, not headed to heaven.

    C. I. Scofield–the Antichrist, huh? Perhaps Billy Graham, another teacher of the Rapture, is the False Prophet–you think?

    Again, I feel that I should apologize for giving such unscriptural nonsense so much space before such a wide audience. But, there is a point in doing so. I believe this gravitation toward–a free fall, really—into hatred for the pre-trib Rapture position shows just where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline. We are, I believe, in a prophesied period of false teachers and false accusers among the flock.

    The apostle Paul foretold that the last days would produce perilous times that would bring false accusers (2 Timothy 3: 3). The apostle Peter said there would come scoffers mocking Christ’s coming again (2 Peter 3: 3-4).

    God’s Word forewarns those who make falsehoods their message: “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

    The Scripture says further in defense of those–like C.I. Scofield--who proclaim the prophetic Word in truth: “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalms 105:5).

    Jude, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has ominous words for those who make it their priority to wreak destruction within the body of Christ. His words are given as what to watch for at the very end of the age, when Christ’s return nears:

    “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 1:12-13).

    “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” (Jude 1: 17-19)

    I prayerfully urge the angry, anti-Rapture detesters to reconsider their ungoverned use of rhetoric against a most important promise made by the Lord Jesus.

    “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).

     --Terry