We continue with the final part of our series. Without a doubt, more burning fuses could have been added to the list. Our selection of 12, as we mentioned at the outset, will surely have left out some important shifts in human beliefs. Like every other generation that has sought to interpret Bible prophecy or peer into the future, it is impossible not to be biased by the current trends and conditions that we see around us.
All of the fuses mentioned, represent what can be characterized as sudden last-day changes in beliefs or new idolatries of humanity (with the possible exception of anti-Semitism). All of these changes are relatively recent in the timeline of human history. Crucially, these beliefs represent the choices of mankind—the free-will of a global humanity—that Bible prophecy foreknows. A just God could not pre-ordain these choices. But with mankind having made its evil elections, a chastening Tribulation therefore follows. It is for this reason that these “fuses” have the potential for an explosive impact upon the world.
Burning Fuse #10: Anti-Christianity
When considering opposition to Biblical Christianity, one instinctively thinks of persecution. Indeed, persecution against Christians in its various forms has been increasing in recent times. Various ministries and organizations attempt to track the incidence of such activities around the world. Generally, they report a rising number of incidents both involving governments and communities. These may be denial of rights, physical abuse or murder.
Yet, there are other types of persecution that do not lend themselves to statistical analysis. For example, the increasingly open ridicule of anything Christian in secular public discourse and media is one such manifestation. Also, while Christian persecution may take physically brutal forms in Islamic and other nations, in the West, the Christian faces more subtle forms. The demands and cares of the highly commercialized, consumption-oriented lifestyles of the industrialized nations have been toxic to the Biblical Christian faith.
However, there is a much larger “anti-Christian” phenomenon that the Bible itself prophesies. It is the great “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). By all indications, it is to be a massive desertion of the Christian faith, so big, that Christ asks rhetorically, “[…] when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Says Paul: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Christ told his followers, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:9-13).
Apostle Paul speaks of the characteristics of a “perilous time” for Christians. Eighteen of them alone are mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:2-5. “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
These 18 behavioral characteristics take place under the license of institutionalized religion. That time may already be here today.
We have no trouble finding statistics and evidence documenting the emergence of each of these characteristics as accepted norms in today’s societies—many of which are still called “Christian” countries—and that are “white washed” by theologians and religious organizations. For example, dealing with just the first in the list, “people will be lovers of themselves.” There are myriad surveys that document the increase of narcissism, selfishness … etc. And indirect evidence of this trend is the high incidence of depression.
The World Health Organization has produced studies on this depression trend in recent years, calling it an epidemic. While this phenomenon will have different causes, it is also promoted by the empty values that society incessantly promotes. Self-love is deceitful. It tricks people into believing that they can imagine something better for themselves than what God has in mind for them. Yet there are many so-called Christian ministries today that proclaim that one of the greatest deficiencies of people is that they do not love themselves enough. “Self-esteem” has even been proclaimed as the “new reformation.”1
We could provide statistics that document the widespread emergence of the other 17 characteristics that are found in 2 Timothy 3:2-5; however, space doesn’t allow in this series. All of them occur under the guise and structure of godliness and apparent piety, but denying the power of Godliness. All of these are oppositional to Biblical Christianity.
Virtually all countries that were historically influenced by Christianity no longer make any pretense that their public policies are shaped by Biblical principles. European politicians still speak of their shared “cultural” ties stemming from Christianity (mostly meaning Roman Catholicism) today. Yet, there can be little doubt that Biblical Christianity has already experienced a great and rapid falling away.
Burning Fuse #11: Anti-Semitism
The Bible tells us: “I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them” (Jeremiah 29:18).
As has often and repeatedly occurred down through the past two millennia and in many countries around the world, Jews have ended up being convenient but hated scapegoats. They have been killed and expelled. The “love of money” and “hatred of the Jew” have frequently proven mutually evil.
Just as the Bible and history reveals, the scorn and reproach of anti-Semitism has already existed for two millennia. Just what would qualify this trend as a “burning fuse” at this time?
While it has surely existed for quite some time, only recently has anti-Semitism resulted in a globally-coordinated persecution. The atrocities of the Nazis during the 1930s and 40s, and the general rejection of the Jew’s appeal for a homeland or safe haven during that time, may well qualify as the first “global” action involving the Jews. Not much later the United Nations did open the door to the formation of the new nation of Israel in 1948.
In recent years, incidents of anti-Semitism are again increasing. A most curious aspect is that it seems to rage with little provocation. People that know nothing about Jews and their history, perhaps never having had a personal encounter with a Jew, somehow are easily prone to horrible invective and hate speech against Jews. A survey in the Boston Review in 2009 found that 25% of non-Jewish Americans blamed Jews for the financial crisis in recent years. The internet is overrun with anti-Semitism for no apparent reason. It would almost seem that hatred of Jews is a natural disposition of mankind. Why?
Anti-Semitism has demonic dimensions. After all, Satan is and must be their adversary. For the Beast and the nations that rage against God (Acts 4:25), to disprove or invalidate the promises and prophecies of God, they must neutralize and eradicate the Jewish race. Mainly as consequence of these factors, Jews have repeatedly and unjustifiably been the scapegoats of various allegations.
Burning Fuse #12: Anti-Zionism
Israel was founded as a Jewish state in 1948. It was to be the Jewish homeland. Today Arabs living in Israel have the highest standard of living of any other Arabs in the Middle East. In view of the tensions between the two populations, this is a testimony to the progressiveness of Israel. But how long can Israel be so magnanimous? Today, approximately 20% of Israel’s population is Arab, and their population growth rate is significantly higher than that of Jewish Israelis overall.
Prophecy scholars teach that the prophecies of blessing by Balaam speak about today, specifically Numbers 23:9 (KJV): “For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” Two last-day conditions are mentioned in this verse. One has already occurred; the other is presently coming to completion very rapidly.
Uniquely today, we already live in a time where the “foreign god”mentioned in Daniel 11:392 is on the scene—in other words, the time that the international consensus of the nations of the world is gaining power through globalism. Through such transnational organizations as the United Nations and others, all the nations of the world now have forums of policy exchange. Not only do such worldwide organizations exist, but also more recently the power of “international consensus” through these organizations has begun to increase very strongly.
While the roots of today’s 193-member United Nations may go back to 1865, 3 it is only since 1945 that this “infrastructure” of world nations has been formally completed. However, to this point, the power of “international consensus” has been largely counterchecked by the might and influence of a few superpowers, first the then-waning British Empire, and more recently Russia and the United States. Now, only the United States remains in this league, though in recent years is appearing to lose influence and conviction. The result is that “the nations”—primarily through the United Nations and its various assemblies—are increasingly setting the policies for the entire world. And, clearly, “the nations” as a group hate Israel.
More Than Just Political Bias
The bias of “the nations” against Israel has already been well set. But, to this point, the actions of “the nations” against Israel have been largely only through means of slanted politics and exclusions. The hugely imbalanced record of actions and resolutions adopted by the UN against Israel are a clear indication. Though Israel is an advanced, democratic nation and has been a member of the UN since 1949, it has not yet been eligible to be a member of the Security Council of the United Nations. Currently, there are five permanent members of this steering group, with an additional 10 rotating members. All other nations in the world are eligible, including such international pariahs as Libya, Sudan and others. Israel is not. Recently, Canada has also been excluded from eligibility. Why? Its current government, led by Steven Harper, is staunchly pro-Israel.
Following the miraculous refounding of the land of Israel in 1948, the Jewish people have been in the process of returning to their land. The aliyah (homecoming) is still underway, to be fully completed after “Jacob’s trouble.” Crucially, in this regard, a significant milestone occurred in the recent decade. For the first time in over 2,600 years, more Jews (41% of all Jews) are now living in Israel than in any other nation. Prior to that point, the United States held that honor.
This would be celebratory news were it not for the reasons why this has occurred. While the country of Israel is experiencing healthy natural population growth, Diaspora Jewry is declining not for reasons of aliyah alone, but more because of secularization and outmarriage (Jews marrying with people who are not Jewish).According to one study, whereas outmarriage rates were generally below 5% for the majority of Diaspora populations in 1930, today it is in excess of 45%.4 In America, fewer Jews report having two parents of Jewish origin. Less than 40% of the 18-34 year old age group, who identify themselves as Jewish, have two Jewish parents today. 5 In fact, a major point of debate today is the very definition of Jewish identity.
For this and other reasons, the Jew is becoming ever less numerous in the world. While the Jewish people represented 7.5 people out of every 1000 in the world in 1938, today this figure is less than half—only 3.5 per thousand.6
Would it seem likely, that more than one-half of all Jews will remain in the Diaspora? According to Scripture, it is certain that the aliyah is not yet complete, this occurring only fully after the Tribulation. For America, would that mean that its Jews will simply assimilate and eventually wither away?
It seems doubtful. If past history is any guide to the future, it has always been true that the largest population of Jews—specifically in those countries where they reached prominence and contributed to a Golden Age—eventually were persecuted and displaced.
Hopefully, the Messiah will come first and America will never be the handmaiden to another such atrocity and therefore suffer being uprooted. Of one thing we can be sure: When the Jew leaves America, it will be the harbinger of the downfall of the USA. For, to repeat, “I will bless those who bless you,” said Lord Jehovah(Genesis 12:3).
The Coming Protocols of God
Ultimately, once the Jews repent and recognize their Messiah, they will be forgiven as well. “‘In those days, at that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare’” (Jeremiah 50:20).
At the end of the Tribulation, the Jews indeed will recognize their Messiah. Then will begin the Millennium, the seventh, final and greatest period where Israel would again flourish unmolested and free of international interference in its own land.
Once the tribes of Jacob are restored, says the Lord, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). “[…] Once again he will choose Israel” (Isaiah 14:1).
Returning to Balaam’s prophecy, we yet want to comment on the second condition found in that verse (Numbers 23:9) that would apply to Israel in the endtimes—that it would be entirely alone in the world. That has not happened yet.
The United States has been Israel’s strongest supporter in the world in recent times, though its record has not been unblemished in this regard. But the fact remains: Were America not to have been in this role, our Lord would already have had to play His hand in delivering Israel. Indeed, this will yet happen in the future—when Israel is in fact left all alone and all the nations of the world come against it.
No matter the world’s possible financial or economic sanctions against Israel, “the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD—the grain, the new wine and the oil” (Jeremiah 31:11-12).
Thoughts to Ponder
We have come to the end of our series on 12 endtime burning fuses. All of them point to the rapid and wilful rejection by the world of its Creator and the Son of God. The God of Love, who prizes genuine adoration and glorification through the free will of mankind, is denied, denigrated and disobeyed. All of these changes in beliefs represented by the 12 fuses have accelerated in recent times, some of them finding their traces as little as one to two centuries ago. They are together emblematic of the times … the very last of the last days.
As God’s plan decrees, one day there will be a Jewish, global confederacy. It will be the Millennium … and not as the result of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or any other contrived conspiracy theory. Gentiles will then be thankful that Jews are not the evil they are often made out to be. “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:23).
God will restore the Jews for the sake of His promises to the patriarchs (Romans 11:28). This is such wonderful news for Jews and Christians alike. For if God is willing to go to such lengths to keep His promise for “David’s sake,” how much more so on behalf of Jesus Christ, His own Son.
1. Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, Robert Harold Schuller, Word 1982.
2. “He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god” (Daniel 11:39).
3. The formation of the International Telecommunications Union in 1865 is widely regarded as the earliest root of today’s United Nations.
4. Serigo Della Pergola, Jewish Out-Marriage: A Global Perspective, International Roundtable on Intermarriage, Brandeis University, December 18, 2003, Table 1.
5. The North American Jewish Databank, National Jewish Population Survey, 2000-2001.
6. Aron Heller, “Think tank: Jewish numbers in decline,” reporting on The Conference on the Future of the Jewish People—July 12, 2007. The Columbian. Accessed July 27, 2007:http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=25655&sec=35&con=4http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=25655&sec=35&con=4