When Jesus was describing conditions just previous to the end of this Age, He said “you will hear of wars and rumors of war.” (Matthew 24:6) In a broad sense, that’s true of all years. But 2017 was different. It was rife with rumors of warfare at a level perhaps never seen on earth before. Two nations figured prominently in those threats. One or both of them may one day make up part of an alliance known in Biblical prophecy as the “kings from the east.” (Revelation 16:12) Of course, I’m speaking of China and North Korea.
The Eurasia Group says that China leads all geopolitical risks in the coming year. To begin with, their war production is off-the-charts. Their state of the art factories are working round the clock producing futuristic weapons specifically designed to defeat the strengths of the United States military. And some of them, such as the DF-17 missile that utilizes hypersonic glide technology, have western military leaders worried. China is even working feverishly to engineer genetically-modified super-soldiers.
Just how serious is China? Recently, China’s president Xi Jinping gave a three-hour speech outlining China’s plans for world domination within 30 years. And that was just what he was willing to reveal in public!
It goes without saying that 2017’s poster boy for rumors and threats of war was North Korea’s maniacal dictator Kim Jong-un. During the year, North Korea tested a series of ICBMs that eventually yielded a missile potentially capable of striking any target in the United States — or the world, for that matter.
Kim also boasted that North Korea had tested its first hydrogen bomb. Seismic data from that region suggests that he may have been telling the truth. What’s more worrisome is that in December, Kim’s regime announced that it will continue preparing “pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force.” “Pre-emptive” means they’re getting ready to fire the first shot. As a result, nations across the Pacific region began seriously preparing their responses to a nuclear conflict.
And just as 2017 was fading into the sunset, reports came from Japan that North Korea is already loading anthrax into ICBMs. The presence of anthrax in the blood of a recent defector seems to confirm that North Korea is engaged in a serious bioweapons program.
How’s that for “rumors of war?”
In 2017, European leaders may have finally begun to see how vulnerable they are to the Muslim migrants they have been welcoming for decades. Turkey’s Foreign Minister warned his counterparts that they “…have begun to collapse Europe… Holy wars will soon begin in Europe.”
In the Netherlands, in order to get re-elected, the liberal Prime Minister had to sound like an ultra-nationalist! He took out a full-page newspaper ad telling migrants, “Act normal or go away… go back to Turkey.” That’s a complete U-turn!
Sweden still appears to be living in denial. That nation began accepting large numbers of Muslim in 1975. Since then, violent crime has risen 300%. Rapes have increased 1,472% through 2014. We receive e-mails from older Swedish citizens dejectedly telling us that they no longer recognize their nation — and that they are afraid to go out at night. Many of them will only leave home in groups.
The bottom line is this. No matter what Angela Merkel, the mayor of London, or the leaders of the EU say, most European Muslims are NOT assimilating!
In April of 2017, the citizens of Turkey narrowly voted for constitutional amendments that removed all the checks and balances from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power. And for a man who has long-held delusions of a worldwide Islamic caliphate with himself in charge, that promises to be a dangerous thing.
Already, Erdogan has taken steps to establish a Turkish military presence in the Persian Gulf. The Jerusalem Post reports that his next goal is the Red Sea: “While Iran has taken the world’s attention, Turkey is stealthily pursuing its goal of developing a military and intelligence infrastructure on the Red Sea.”
What makes developments in Turkey even more interesting is that perhaps the biggest prophetic story of 2017 was the historic alignment of Turkey with Russia and Iran. Ezekiel 38 gives a list of nations that will one day launch a massive assault on Israel. Two of the nations are Russia and Persia, or modern Iran. Several of the smaller nations listed correspond to places now within the boundaries of modern Turkey.
Russia & Iran
How could Ezekiel have seen this alliance of unlikely nations 2,600 years ago when even 10 years ago it would have seemed absurd? (That’s a rhetorical question, of course. We all know how!) Russia and Iran are traditional enemies. Two years ago, Russia and Turkey were at each others’ throats. But with stunning speed, Turkey has joined an active alliance with Russia and Iran.
From a secular standpoint, it is unbelievable. From a prophetic perspective, it is inevitable.
2017 closed with the people of Iran once more in the streets protesting their despotic government. What started as demonstrations against the mullahs’ economic oppression has morphed into a revolt against their involvement in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. People in the streets have been chanting, “Death to Hezbollah!”
Why? Because that’s where their money’s going. After President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran removed the sanctions and allowed them to go full-bore selling their oil and gas, money has been flowing into Iran. Their coffers should be overflowing. But they’re not.
As fast as it comes in, Iran is spending the money to build up its own military, arm Hamas in Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen. Now, they want to build missile factories in Syria. In other words, the money from Iran’s oil and gas sales has not helped the Iranian people. (Did ANY sane person really believe it would?) Instead, it has funded foreign adventures for the power-hungry mullahs who rule Iran. (And EVERY sane person knew that it would!)
In 2017, America was still fighting in Afghanistan. Why? Because we are at war with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, all of whom are still fighting in Afghanistan. And as 9/11 proved, Afghanistan is important to American security at home.
Speaking of ISIS, in 2017 it was largely defeated on the traditional battlefield. Most of its strongholds in Iraq and Syria were retaken. But the ghosts of ISIS remain. And they haunt the world.
In 2017, what ISIS called “officially endorsed operations” included actions in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. ISIS lost a lot in 2017, but they have not gone away.
Finally, 2017 brought more of the same turmoil and world condemnation that has characterized Israel’s history. From the Palestinian rioting over the metal detectors placed at the Temple Mount entrances to its condemnation as an “apartheid regime” by a United Nations agency.
When Donald Trump became President, PA president Mahmoud Abbas journeyed to the White House. He was effusive in his praise of the new President. He applauded his “leadership… courage… wisdom.” He tried to flatter Mr. Trump with talk of “your great negotiating ability.” In English, he added, “Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope.”
By the end of the year, things had changed. On December 6, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At that point, Abbas decided to cut the United States out of any peace process.
Though Abbas tried desperately to form a united government with Hamas, those efforts seem to be failing. A scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Dr. Ely Karmon, said, “Hamas is just waiting for Abbas to die.” Meanwhile, Hamas remains committed to terrorism and they have increasingly close ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
Deception (Fake News)
Some call it fake news. Jesus called it deception. When His disciples asked about the signs of the last days, Jesus began by giving His followers this warning: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” (Matthew 24:4)
We live in an age of deception — fake news, false advertising, viral lies, and clickbait. The mainstream media perpetrate falsehoods regularly, as do various alternative media.
But one of the major sources of 21st century deception can be found in an unlikely place: our schools. For instance, the U.S. Department of Education urges all public schools to teach Islam. It’s really just thinly veiled propaganda, though they would certainly not use that word. The DoE says schools should teach Islam “to create an anti-bias learning environment.” Many regularly teach the religious doctrine that God and Allah are the same. Forget the “separation of church and state” arguments for the moment. This one teaching alone is a form of gross — and deadly — deception. And the deception is being inculcated in our malleable children. By order of the state!
In 2017, truth became even more subservient to political correctness. Isaiah 5:20 says, in part, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil….” Those words perfectly describe the pervasive spirit of deception that seems to have settled upon our world.
Another sign of the end times is an increase in the persecution of those who name the name of Jesus Christ. Christianity Today reported, “For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.” Fox News said, “Nearly one in 12 Christians across the globe lives in an area where there is high-level persecution against members of the religion.”
A Yemeni man called “Sam” told CBN News, “Life for Christians in Yemen is very hard. For that matter, across the Middle East, there’s not a country where Christians are not suffering for their faith. This is our reality.”
But 2017 also found the persecution of Christians arise in unexpected places. Canada enacted Bill 89, which gives the state the power to take a child away from his or her parents if they do not agree that their child is transgender. Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition warned, “…we’ve entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed in Canada’s history … Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith.”
Even in America, it is becoming dangerous to be a Christian. Especially one who is willing to take a stand for Judeo-Christian values. In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. His story is a reminder that following Christ may soon harm a believer’s ability to hold a job or run his own business in a western nation.
Over the last few decades, some Bible scholars have postulated that the “mark of the beast” might be a computer chip inserted under a person’s skin. The chip would serve as an identifier and repository of vast amounts of information about the individual.
From critical medical information to credit and banking information, the chip would guarantee security and convenience. It would also make possible an amazing Bible prophecy concerning the Antichrist’s partner, the False Prophet.
Revelation 13:16-17 foretells, “He causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark.”
In July of 2017, a company in Wisconsin implanted tiny computer chips into the hands of about 50 employee volunteers. These chips only allow them to open doors and buy snacks from vending machines without money. In other words, to make things more convenient for the busy employees. It sounds harmless enough, but portends more ominous possibilities in the future.
Last year, The New York Times called certain toys “the cybersecurity nightmares of 2017.” The paper was referring to the fact that more and more toys contain cameras and microphones that connect to the internet — and constantly gather data. Today, toys spy on us. Cell phones spy on us. Televisions, cars, and even refrigerators spy on us.
In 2017, TSA began using facial scans at some airports. In October, the liberal Slate magazine reported on legislation pending before Congress. It said, “…an alarming section of the bill would give… a green light to begin using biometrics to identify people in airports nationwide… right now there’s only one technology fit for a biometric surveillance system: automated, real-time face scans.”
On another front, digital currencies — cryptocurrencies — came into their own in 2017. Bitcoin’s value rose to unbelievable levels. But from a prophetic point-of-view, I’m more interested in government-issued digital currency.
These cryptocurrencies foreshadow a future world currency that can be completely controlled by the Antichrist.
Another development that hints at a “mark of the beast” economic system is happening in China. They are actively building the largest DNA database in the world. For the “mark of the beast” to work, it will need to be made secure using DNA and other biometric identifiers. The Chinese government has also found a way to control the internet within their borders. In 2017, they achieved the ability to erase data and images mid-transmission! In the future, these techniques could go global. That would be a tremendous aid to the Antichrist by allowing his government to absolutely control all communications between people.
2017 also saw a marked rise in another hallmark of the last days. 2 Timothy 3 [:1-5] says…
There will be terrible times in the last days. 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.
…[R]adical Islamic terrorists continued to brutalize the world with hundreds of terror attacks. But in October, here in America, Stephen Paddock killed 58 and wounded 546 when he shot up a Las Vegas music festival. The next month, Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and killed 26 and wounded 20.
In 2017, many people considered it entertaining to present fantasies of President Trump’s assassination. Even his beheading. It was a year in which human beings became increasingly — and overtly — brutal.
2017 saw dramatic earthquakes, catastrophic hurricanes, a thousand-year flood, and one of the most destructive fire seasons in history. Jesus compared end times events to a woman going through labor pains. Paul wrote, “The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:22) That means the whole planet is in travail. In 2017, we saw it.
Maybe the greatest earthquake of 2017 was the earthquake in American politics. In last year’s Prophetic Year in Review I said, “Compared to what Donald Trump is facing, Richard Nixon had it easy!” Boy, I sure got that one right!
New World Order
Why are people so upset with President Trump? Sure, he rubs some people the wrong way. He says unexpected and, sometimes, inappropriate things. He speaks — or tweets — when maybe he should stay silent. But when you look beyond his bluster and just look at his actions and record, he’s mostly a moderate, right-of-center politician. Not at all out of the mainstream. I think the real reason so many people are obsessed with destroying President Trump can be found in his resistance to the New World Order.
In 2017, he refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. He formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. He’s renegotiating NAFTA. He put an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He demanded that NATO members pay their own way. He called the United Nations to account and cut some of its funding. He got tough with the Palestinian Authority. He put the Muslim nations on notice that it’s their responsibility to confront and curb Islamic terrorism. And more. In other words, he stood up to and fought the globalist elites who were on the brink of cementing their supra-national control of the entire world. And, believe it or not, by doing that and by seeking to return autonomy and sovereignty to the United States — and bring Judeo-Christian values back to the public square — President Trump may have complicated the build-up to the Antichrist’s one-world government. And doing that guarantees him some terribly powerful enemies. Including Satan himself.
That’s why, as we enter 2018, it is so critical that all believers follow Paul’s admonition:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
I would go a step further. I urge you to pray earnestly and daily specifically for our President and Vice President. Pray that God will encourage them, give them wisdom and determination, and protect them as they stand in the gap for the America we know and love.
transmitted by Hal Lindsey – 1/12 & 1/19/2018