Dec 31, 2018

The Recession is Coming Our Way

There are growing signs that the global economic community is headed for a financial slowdown. Many economists are predicting that it is only a matter of months before we slip into a recession. The last time the US was in this type of slowdown was the end of 2008, which makes the current period of growth the longest in US history.

The greatest indication that we are headed for a recession is key financial indexes being down more than 20% from their January all-time highs. The global stock market has lost $8 trillion in market value since the beginning of the year.

The sudden loss of all this market-cap wealth has people wondering if we are in a correction, or the beginning of a bear market that would pop the current financial bubble. As great as the downturn has been, the stock market is still up massively from the lows of the last recession.

The stock of Amazon hit a high of $2,050 per share and currently trades at $1,470. Its low in 2008 was $42. Apple had a high in 2019 of $233 and $156. Its low in 2008 was $22. Graphic-card maker NVIDIA has been down sharply from its high of $292. It now trades at $133 and it would have to drop to $7 to reach its 2008 low.

The acting Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, tried to quash worries over plunging stock markets by calling all the big-banks. Mnuchin tweeted late Sunday afternoon that he’d called the chief executive officers of the nation’s six largest banks and that those chiefs “confirmed they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumers, business markets, and all other market operations.” His action was so unusual it triggered panic selling on Christmas Eve; the 650-point drop was the largest ever.

The markets have become so wild, the day after Christmas the Dow Jones rose 1,086 points.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says not to panic… yet. Still, he’s increasing his prediction of a recession from “a bit less than 50%” to 60%. He also said, “Trump was wrong to treat euphoric markets as validating his policies. And his critics should not suppose that weak markets mean economic disaster is around the corner.”

I have kept my eye on the ten 10-year bond for well over a decade. I wrote last year that the Fed simply cannot allow this bond to go any higher than 3%. The current rate on the 10-year bond is 2.80%, which is what it was four years ago. Since the Fed has raised rates two full percentage points in the last three years, basic math should have the 10-year bond at around 6%.

The bond market has been suppressed at low rates because normalized rates would create massive budget deficits. If bonds have an interest rate of about 5%, we would have $2 trillion-dollar shortfalls.

The Treasury is starting to have great difficulty in finding buyers for the current amount of debt. The day after Christmas, the Treasury sold $41 billion in 5-Year notes in what could only be called an abysmal auction. It has been the worst auction since July 2009. If we reach a point where the Treasury has to step in and have its primary-dealer banks buy its own debt, it will become clear that America is a Banana Republic.

There have been as many as 47 recessions in the United States, which averages a recession every five years. We are currently in the longest time-period without seeing negative growth in the economy. If I had no knowledge of Bible prophecy, I would say that our chances of having a recession in the near future are very high. We have a massive financial problem that I’ve listed in detail in previous articles. They fester and will eventually result in an economic meltdown.

The one thing that I find the most amazing is that recession is a constant threat to us, but it hasn’t arrived. I think the rapture is the only explanation for the record period of financial tranquility. The storm is coming, but God has predetermined that it would be marked by a time of “think not” peace. I believe we are currently in that window.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mat. 24:44).


Gog-Magog on Automatic Pilot

Most who will read this commentary are certainly at least cursorily familiar with the term “Gog-Magog.” This is the prophecy most who look at end-times matters from the pre-Trib perspective believe is the first foretold event that will likely be the prophecy to be fulfilled following the Rapture of the Church–either that attack on Israel or, possibly, the destruction of Damascus, Syria.

Likewise, most are also familiar with the term “automatic pilot.” This is the switch on an aircraft pilot’s flight-control console that, when activated, causes the plane to fly without outside help. That is, the aircraft flies the course the pilot sets in the flight plan with pilot’s hands off the controls.

I think we have just witnessed the automatic-pilot setting switched on that will culminate with the fulfillment of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. This is a plan of movement foretold long ago, and the course will be followed no matter what. Any external forces that are applied attempting to divert that course will fail.

It was astonishing to many that U.S. President Donald Trump, almost without forewarning, announced that U.S. forces and diplomats will be pulled from the Syrian theater of conflict. This, although he had said as part of his campaign for the presidency that he planned to remove America’s forces, which he believed had spent too much American blood and money in the war-torn area of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is, in fact, following up on that campaign declaration.

In so doing, he has caused many staunch supporters, including the likes of talk show host Rush Limbaugh, to say that they think it is a mistake to make this move at this time.

Yet Mr. Trump is making the move without much consultation with anyone, so far as we can tell. This is believed to be one reason General Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis is leaving the administration as secretary of defense. Whether it influenced the removal of General John Kelly as chief of staff is a matter of much conjecture. Certainly, it seems a strange course of events for one who has been as forthcoming (transparent) as President Trump.

To those who are considered more or less expert observers of biblically prophetic development, the move to remove American forces and diplomatic service types from Syria invites Russia, Iran, and Turkey to fill the power vacuum created with the evacuation. These three actors on the geopolitical scene in the Middle East are the key nations many, including this writer, believe Ezekiel the prophet referred to in his chapters 38 and 39 prophecy. Russia (Rosh), Iran (Persia),  and Turkey (Torgomah) are slated to attack over the mountains of Israel to take “great spoil.”

Not coincidentally, many believe, Israel is developing significant accomplishments in the production of oil and gas in the Golan area and in its Mediterranean coastal waters territory. Plus, Israel’s technological achievements in practically every area are becoming legendary. There is “great spoil” to be had as we move forward into the new year.

Whatever else is to be considered, the fact that America is being removed as a blocking agent to what goes on in the immediate area north of Israel is most relevant to prophetic development. The United States, by name, is not mentioned anywhere in prophecy yet to be fulfilled. The nation’s absence is particularly intriguing in the matter of the Gog-Magog assault.

The only reference anyone can find of any realistic possibility of the presence of America is when the nations observing the attack send their note of diplomatic protest.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38:13)

The phrase “all the young lions thereof” are thought by many to refer to the nations that have sprung from the British Empire, which are thought to be “the merchants of Tarsish” entity that precedes the “young lions” reference.

At the very least, this abdication of American power from this region that has such prophetic significance portends dynamic prophetic movement for the immediate future. It is happening, again, as if on automatic pilot. Protests by people on the president’s side politically and by those who are rabidly against him don’t seem to affect his decision.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other diabolists have praised the move. This would seem to give credence to the ludicrous claim by Trump’s political enemies that Mr. Trump colluded with Russia in “stealing the 2016 presidential election.” Still, even that collateral political damage consideration–that this proves collusion–has no seeming effect on Trump taking America out of the picture as a direct actor in the Syrian matter and, most likely, the Afghanistan matter.

The whole thing appears to be on automatic pilot.

God doesn’t cause individual leaders to make mistakes in the sense that He manages them a moment at a time. That would take away the free will in their ability to do right or wrong and to make decisions on a personal level.

Now, I know I’m getting into some deep water here–and probably some trouble.

What I mean is that the Lord doesn’t make these leaders think in one direction or another. God does know the end from the beginning, however, so He has given his prophets like Ezekiel the thoughts these human leaders will have. God will put “hooks” in the “jaws” of Gog (Ezekiel 38:4). Ezekiel tells us that the leader called “Gog” will have things come into his mind “and he will ”think an evil thought” (v.  10).

This seems to indicate that God is making Gog take the action he will take. However, I view it as God simply knowing what this leader will do. God’s holy will is bound to be done no matter what in the prophecy. The prophecy will be on automatic pilot at that point of the fulfillment process.

The year 2019 indeed looks to be one for students of Bible prophecy to “watch”–as given in Titus 2:13, which can be most comforting as the new year proceeds. In that sense I can say without reservation, Happy New Year!