(from my book, Convergence)
I loved that scene in The Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls back the curtain to show this man operating all the controls for that giant, terrifying image of the great and powerful Oz. While there is certainly no comparison between the Wizard of Oz and the AntiChrist, there are some corollaries to what we see happening in our world today, with someone operating the controls of our world behind the curtain.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
Is that what we are seeing today? Where evil is called good and good is called evil?
We’ve seen how many churches today are turning away from God and becoming more like the secular world around them. We’ve learned how technology, which I’ve always thought of as a good thing and based my secular career on it, will be used to control, even enslave us. We’re seeing, even within the US, where the traditional values of God, country, home, and family are being turned upside down, and those who follow those traditional values are called bigots, racists, even terrorists.
But is what we’re seeing the preparation for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy of the end times? Are all these “new” ideas and events actually leading the way to those events that occur during the Tribulation?
Back to those mind-numbing headlines. How close are we to nuclear war? In a statement at a news conference in Laos on May 23, 2023, ex-Russian president and current head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, stated, “There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, there will have to be a pre-emptive strike.”  He adds there is no possibility of negotiations with “that clown” Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy. He also stated, “The Anglo-Saxons do not fully realize this and believe that it will not come to this. It will under certain conditions.” 
We’ve looked at the impact of a single nuclear bomb, and we know Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world , and we realize, from the statement above, they will not hesitate to use them under “certain conditions.” I wonder what those “certain conditions” would be. The impact of that nuclear warhead, should it be launched and even before it lands, would be world-shattering. It would be the trigger that starts World War III.
But when we look at those maps drawn up, first by the Club of Rome, then by the European Commission, we know Russia is not a sovereign nation during the Tribulation. For that matter, neither is the US. So what has this got to do with end-times prophecy?
Remember that second horseman of the seven seals? The red horse of war. We already have Russia stating they will use nuclear weaponry, and it doesn’t take much to imagine the destruction that would follow. We have Iran, a country that has sworn to wipe out Zionism, developing nuclear-ready uranium, and we have all those other countries listed earlier in this book that either have nuclear warheads or have the material to assemble them. When that second seal is opened and the red horsemen rides in, “duck and cover” doesn’t even come close to the reality those who are still living will realize.
But, seriously, how close could we possibly be to a One-World Government? All these countries aiming nuclear warheads across their borders would indicate there isn’t much global hand-holding and singing Kumbaya going on. So we are years, or even decades, away from a one-world government, right?
Well, maybe not. Klaus Schwab, CEO of the World Economic Forum, reportedly called for a one-world government in 2022, as reported by Israel365news Senior Reporter Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz: “During a keynote speech on Wednesday, the opening day of the World Government Summit (WGS2022) in Dubai, the WEF’s executive chairman Klaus Schwab called for world leaders to unite to address global issues such as climate change, trade, and economic disruption. He emphasized that this one-world government must form as soon as possible.” 
US President Joe Biden appears to support this concept. At the March 21, 2022, meeting of the Business Roundtable, where executives of General Motors, Apple, Amazon, and other well-known and high-powered businesses met, President Joe Biden stated, “Now is a time when things are shifting. We’re going to – there’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. And we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.”  It is reported he was quickly ushered off-stage.
But this is nothing new. This New World Order, or the UN’s “Agenda 21,” has been around for nearly two decades now. It was backed by then-President George H.W. Bush, along with 177 other world leaders.  So what could have changed that makes this a real possibility now?
Michele Bachmann, the U.S. representative for Minnesota’s 6th congressional district from 2007 until 2015, stated recently in a video, “They (the World Health Organization) plan that next year, one year from now, they will merge the pandemic treaty and the 300 amendments. They will be synchronized with each other… synthesized with each other, and they will be essentially one document, and they will pass next year. So they’re planning to get all the kinks out, and they’re good to go because they plan to go all-in and vote next year. But the United States delegate, what our delegate said here this afternoon, that the United States is all-in and fully on-board with these 300 amendments…. So the United States is for this. All the nations of the world who spoke today are all for it… So this is a done deal.” 
Those reading this can’t see me giving a deep sigh as I write this and an even deeper one after reading that President Joe Biden has reportedly signed over our country’s health authority to the World Health Organization.  Of course, there is a good deal of contention over this, with some saying we haven’t signed over anything and others saying it is the end of life as we know it in the US.
Let’s back up a minute. This book is the third and final in this series – a series I call Beginning of Sorrows. Let’s take a quick look at where we’ve been with these books.
Go Set A Watchman, originally released in June 2020, looks primarily at the Olivet Discourse when Jesus tells His disciples what to look for: “Jesus answered, ‘See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:4-7).
Written primarily during the Covid-19 shutdowns and restrictions, it was easy to see and document the way things were headed. “In summary, what Jesus told his disciples to look for as signs of “the beginning of sorrows” are indeed happening all around us. While the number of famines has not increased from over the last three centuries, experts predict we are headed for a famine “of biblical proportions,” partially due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus. Pestilences have increased notably since the turn of this century, with some new diseases: all of which are a type of corona virus. Lastly, the number of earthquakes has increased, and now we have the additional hazard of “man-made” earthquakes in areas not previously known to be at risk.” 
As In The Days of Noah is the second book in this series and was released in December 2021. In this book, we look at what God may have seen in the time before the flood that caused Him to bring the flood. We know from Scripture that God was grieved over mankind. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time. And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—every man and beast and crawling creature and bird of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them'” (Genesis 6:5-7). God found one righteous man on the face of the earth and told him to build an ark.
We looked at what was going on in the world at that time and wondered if what God saw then is what He is seeing today. “The Bible doesn’t give a breakdown of the offenses that God saw that caused him to instruct Noah to build the Ark and then destroy all mankind, but a bit of research reveals at least part of the answer. “Sin” is the perhaps over-simplified answer. God saw mankind living continually in sin, with all his thoughts and imaginations continually dwelling on evil, and that is why He brought the flood.” 
So we have two books – the foundational Scripture in one from the Old Testament and the foundational Scripture in the other from the New Testament – giving us hints and signs of what is coming. We can publish charts (Go Set A Watchman) and examine the state of our world today (As In the Days of Noah) and come to a realization of just how close we might be to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
In this book, we’ve looked at events and processes in our world today that could be leading up to that fulfillment, with emphasis on the one-world currency (CBDC), the one-world government (WHO), and the one-world church, but we also need to look at what Jesus emphasized over and over as the primary sign of the times.
“Jesus answered, ‘See to it that no one deceives you'” (Matthew 24:4, emphasis added).
The Greek word originally used here is planaó: “go astray, get off-course; to deviate from the correct path (circuit, course), roaming into error, wandering; (passive) be misled.” (Strong’s Concordance.4105 planaó)
So Jesus is telling his disciples, and us, to not let anyone lead us astray and away from Him. That is Satan’s goal – to get us away from God and to halt whatever God has us doing and to lessen the harvest of souls for God’s glory. It has been his goal from the beginning when the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. And it continues to be his goal today.
Pastor John Barnett, founder of “Discover the Book” ministry, describes this far better than I ever could in his video, “Q&A-19 What is the most repeated sign of the end – according to Jesus, in one word: Deception.”  I recommend watching this video. One of the quotes from this video: “Satan works usually behind a cleric’s collar.”  It literally set me back in my chair and made me think.
I’ve referred often to the news headlines of today, and it doesn’t take much research to discover that we are being deceived. But what is really telling about where we are in Bible prophecy is that, as Pastor John Barnett states, much of that deceit is coming from behind the pulpit in our churches today.
The pastor of the church Barry and I attend, Dr. Jim Bigl of Calvary Chapel, Aiken, SC, recently addressed this deceit in an “added bonus teaching” in one of his Sunday sermons, “Awakening to God.”  “The word of God has many, many passages regarding the presence and threats represented by deceivers, false prophets, and false teachers. As elders, this is one of the areas that we are always praying over and asking God to reveal any who would threaten his Church. This is, perhaps, one of the most sacred things we do as elders.”
Pastor Jim also reminds us of Paul’s warning to the Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
That word from the Greek, planaó, is used 39 times in the New Testament, primarily in the Synoptic Gospels, but it is also found in 1 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, and James.
The times we are in, which I believe are the prelude to fulfillment of Bible prophecy, are times when we must continue to test the spirits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). With the plethora of teachings, sermons, and video blog casts out there today “explaining” the end of days, even setting dates, it is vital we test the spirits of those teachers. Even me – test me! Do not take what I say as gospel, only what the Lord has given us in His Word.
Someone asked me recently why I am writing this book. One of the reasons is so we are aware of Satan’s devices and can avoid the pitfalls of his lies, as Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “My purpose in writing you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven it in the presence of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:9-11, emphasis added).
Another reason is one I try to reiterate in my classes. If we are here in such a time as this, there is a reason for it. God has a plan for our life, and if we are not asking Him what that plan is, then we are failing God.
Let me repeat that. If we are not daily asking God to reveal His plan for us, then we are failing God. Of course, if our names are written in the Book of Life, then we are forgiven through the grace and mercy and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. But I don’t want to stand before that Throne and tell God, “Well, yes, I knew You had a plan for me, but I was busy.” Do you?
One final reason for this book and this series. We can look at what is happening in our world today and become distrustful, skeptical, even fearful, but that is not what God intends. Instead, let us look at what is happening in our world today and rejoice! For we are seeing, in real-time, Scripture being revealed on almost a daily basis. And we will see Jesus Christ face to face!
Think about that for a moment. If the Rapture is as close as I believe it is, we will see Jesus Christ in the clouds, arms open wide, and calling our name.
I pray your name is one of the ones He is calling.
Susan Mouw, Author
The Road to the Cross
Beginning of Sorrows series:
Go Set A Watchman
As In the Days of Noah
 “Russia’s Medvedev: Ukraine Conflict May Last for Decades, No Talks With Zelenskiy”, Reuters, May 26, 2023, https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2023-05-26/russias-medvedev-warns-west-is-underestimating-risks-of-nuclear-escalation-over-ukraine
 “Russia Has The Most Nuclear Weapons In The World—Here Are The Other Countries With The Largest Nuclear Arsenals”, Emily Washburn, February 24, 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywashburn/2023/02/24/russia-has-the-most-nuclear-weapons-in-the-world-here-are-the-other-countries-with-the-largest-nuclear-arsenals/?sh=66b9df2e9300
 Klaus Schwab calls to form one-world government; ‘Daniel’s Fourth Kingdom’, Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, April 4, 2022, https://www.israel365news.com/352428/klaus-schwab-calls-to-form-one-world-government-daniels-fourth-kingdom/
 What is the ‘New World Order’ and why has Joe Biden caused uproar by using the phrase?, Joe Sommerlad, March 22, 2022, https://news.yahoo.com/world-order-why-joe-biden-131828538.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9kdWNrZHVja2dvLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHzUWxSdHjJ2veTqqAVszd-5q7i0RL5kYVpsT-uR3oObdIimEZWmTh7lLjsPHlnT-W0hl7fEF3zccNDEFxUGSY7FK7RwVdYNAo2MPl1hS_sNHZzrjm5uG85FuEH_FrDz6SuotfUoASwpvg4F5IgJqhld6Go_kFowQLkIraqxKiOW
 Agenda 21 and the Movement Toward a One-World Govt, Raven Clabough, June 14, 2011, https://thenewamerican.com/agenda-21-and-the-movement-toward-a-one-world-govt/
 Michele Bachmann: Klaus Schwabs’s master plan for a One World Government is in its final stages, Investment Watch Blog, May 28, 2023, https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/michele-bachmann-klaus-schwabss-master-plan-for-a-one-world-government-is-in-its-final-stages/
 Biden Admin Negotiates Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies, The Epoch Times, February 19, 2023, https://yournews.com/2023/02/19/2517717/biden-admin-negotiates-deal-to-give-who-authority-over-us/
 Mouw, Susan. Go Set A Watchman. South Carolina: Amazon, 2020
 Mouw, Susan, As In the Days of Noah, South Carolina: Amazon, 2021
 Q&A-19 WHAT IS THE MOST REPEATED SIGN OF THE END–ACCORDING TO JESUS, IN ONE WORD: DECEPTION, DTBM, 5/31/2023, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V1AR14WncM
 “Awakening to God, Romans 8:1-13”, Dr. Jim Bigl, May 28, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/CalvaryChapelAikenSouthCarolina/videos/2410131602493506