For many years, I have held the belief that the Bible indicates no prominent role for the United States in the fulfillment of end time Bible prophecies. “The world’s greatest superpower” may well have become an artifact of history by the time these prophecies come to fruition. I certainly do not believe that the United States is the “lost” tribe of Manasseh. Nor do I believe the UK is “Ephraim.” There are probably folks from all of the tribes of Israel mixed in with many of the world’s nations, but I do not see them as formed into any national, tribal identity. The time may come when DNA testing will yield some verifiable information – as it has in the case of known Levites and priests. The key to this approach is establishing with certainty the tribal identity of representative individuals – a daunting task.
Meanwhile, we must face the cold realities of life in this country under the most radical administration in Presidential history. Traditional, Constitutional, America is being systematically dismantled. Our economy is shot to ribbons. We are staggering under the weight of the national debt. The dollar is rapidly weakening. The Obama Administration seeks to impose single-payer, government run, “health care” on the nation. Once in place, the population will become dependent upon it and it will never be repealed. The government will then have greatly expanded its control over the total economy and it will have life & death power over the populace.
It’s all about Statism and control. As I have written elsewhere, this Administration seems to have more in common with Karl Marx than with George Washington. As Mark Levin writes, “…the Statist has an insatiable appetite for control. His sights are set on his next meal before he has fully digested his last. He is constantly agitating for government action. And in the furtherance of that purpose, the Statist speaks in the tongue of the demagogue, concocting one pretext and grievance after another to manipulate public perceptions and build popular momentum for the divestiture of liberty and property from its rightful possessors. The industrious, earnest, and successful are demonized as perpetrators of various offenses against the public good, which justifies governmental action on behalf of an endless parade of ‘victims,’” Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, p. 8.
The above is an accurate description of what’s happening to this country under the present Leftist Administration. I recommend that every reader of this column obtain a copy of Levin’s book and become familiar with its contents. You will come to understand why the President’s Chief of Staff says, “Never waste a crisis.” One more citation from Levin, then we’ll take up the issue of prophecy, “For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy. It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way. The individual must be dehumanized and his nature delegitimized. Through persuasion, deception, and coercion, the individual must be subordinated to the state…His first duty must be to the state – not family, community, and faith, all of which have the potential of threatening the state. Once dispirited, the individual can be molded by the state,” (ibid. p. 16).
Can you live with that approach? I believe that it is what’s happening now in this once-great country of ours. If this Administration continues to extend and consolidate its control over even the minutia of society, at the end of Obama’s first four-year term, there won’t be much left except the Left and what it controls. What remains of the free market economy will be shattered. The country – what’s left of it – will be mired in debt for generations to come. The dollar will be virtually worthless. Hyper-inflation will be rampant. Taxes will consume much more of our disposable income. Our once formidable military will be rendered largely impotent in terms of foreign enemies. Gun registration will lead to gun confiscation and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be dead in the water. Private property rights will have been eviscerated. The wealth of America will be redistributed to the rest of the world and we’ll all be equally poor. The remains of our economy will be “managed” by Washington and the American dream will be over.
You might see the above as a paranoid overstatement by a “right wing reactionary.” You could be right – but I don’t think so; and I’d rather be wrong than right. If present trends continue, I think the America we’ve known and loved is on its way down and out. Just plot the trajectory of any given major trend. Read Mark Levin’s book (mentioned above). Read The Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Business Daily – especially their editorial pages. The information is still out there. This despite the fact that this Administration seeks to curtail freedom of speech in the United States – particularly if it reflects conservative thinking or is critical of the Administration. Consider the examples of FOX News and talk radio. Now let’s get back to the issue of prophecy.
Two Kinds of Prophecy
There are two approaches to prophecy. The most common one is to study the Biblical texts that are prophetic – or predictive – in nature, and then make pronouncements as to their meaning and application for our time or the future. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy by J. Barton Payne tells us that there are 1239 predictions in the Old Testament and 578 predictions in the New. These predictive verses represent 27 percent of the total Bible. Those who apply themselves to the study of these predictions are by no means united as to their interpretation.
The second approach is to assume the role of prophet or prophetess and “speak forth on behalf of God.” The question is has God sent prophets forth into the modern world? Most Christians ridicule the idea. “We have the written Word – what do we need prophets for?” Yet many yearn to hear from God in the midst of the current chaos. Some look forward to the arrival of “the two witnesses” of Revelation 11:3. Meanwhile, in some pockets of the Church, there are Christians who believe themselves to be gifted with the ability to prophesy. There’s no Biblical reason such people shouldn’t appear; but the prophecies they give are not always predictive in nature. Often they are simply encouraging.
One such modern prophet is John Paul Jackson. If you Google his name, you’ll find a plethora of commentary – both pro and con. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment. Jackson has had the courage to go on the record with a very specific prophecy. It is part of a larger prophecy that he classifies as the coming “perfect storm.” Here is one paragraph from his “Prophetic Bulletin August 2008.”
“What are some things that are coming? What are some of the things/consequences that will come? In time, water will be more expensive than oil, and cities will evacuate thousands because there is not enough water to meet their needs…Earthquakes will strike not only coastal areas but devastate the Midwest as well. Israel will bomb Iran and anti-Semitism will escalate as fuel costs soar. A dirty bomb will explode in a coastal city. There will be thunderstorms with huge hail, 24 inches of rain in 24 hours, record-setting tornadoes with winds of more than 350 miles per hour and tornadoes in unusual places. There will be an unexpected blight that will hit various hybrid seed crops and weaken the yield. In addition, drought and devastation from storms will dramatically cut into various harvests and the national food storage will deplete.”
Is Jackson merely playing the odds? Would national repentance render this prophecy null and void? What if only parts of it happen? Is Jackson a true prophet, a well-meaning wishful thinker, or simply a charlatan who’s found a lucrative gig? There’s a way to know. Read Deuteronomy 18:21-22.
The way to make his prophecy fail, according to Jackson, is for the Church to repent. He says there are four things he says Christians must do:
- Return to knowing God and his ways rather than just knowing about God.
- Learn how to contend again for the faith.
- Return to a love of God’s word and a belief that it is infallible and inerrant.
- Declare sacred and solemn assemblies of repentance, with fasting.
You may, or may not, have problems with one or more of the above items. What specifically is “the faith”? Is it Evangelical doctrine? Do you believe that the Biblical text is inerrant? Put another way – are you an evangelical-type Christian or another variety? Do you know how to know God? Why would God punish whole cities for the sins of evangelical Christians in the country at large? Are these prophecies just lucky guesses based on prevailing conditions?
The presumption of the gift of prophecy often engenders more questions than it answers. But Deuteronomy 18:21-22 remains the standard test. Like Jeremiah, we should give prophetic claims the benefit of the doubt (Jeremiah 28, especially verses 6 – 9), until we know better.
It is not certain that America is finished – but we appear to be on the skids under a weak, apologetic President. Politics aside, life as it unfolds daily is cause & effect. If evil is not checked it will flourish (Ecclesiastes 8:11). As former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, once said, “Weakness is a provocation.” The world’s jihadists are always probing for weakness – as is every predatory type on the planet (I Peter 5:8). Many of the world’s dictators and would-be tyrants are looking for advantage. They see the world in terms of strength and weakness – not right and wrong. Many politicians and leaders are either immoral or amoral. They are driven not by conscience but by opportunity. As this Administration displays weakness, they move to fill the power vacuums. If we allow that to continue indefinitely, we are doomed as a nation.
Internally, the current Administration seeks too extend and consolidate its power. As the government gains strength, the individual citizen is weakened. This process moves us away from the Constitution with its Bill of Rights and toward tyranny. Today, some two billion people live under tyrannies. Life, for them, is seldom a positive experience. For many it’s hell on earth. Do we want to sink to that desperate level?
This Administration is spending trillions it doesn’t have – indebting future generations with incomprehensible debt. Washington’s definition of a budget cut is a smaller increase. To see where we are at the moment, Google the US National Debt Clock – it’ll shock you sockless.
The point is few of today’s megatrends are encouraging. Unless “we the people” reclaim our rights and power, and vote out those who are harming our country, those trends will continue in a downward direction. Do we want a bankrupt welfare state? Do we want to display weakness in the face of growing international menaces – be they jihadist or communist? Do we really want to give a soulless elite in big government control of our health and lives? Do we, as a nation, want to continue to support the moral rot that is the UN? Why do we keep shooting ourselves in the foot – then dancing around like someone else did it?
Unless God tells us specifically, we don’t know what He has in mind for this country. He can take us down or build us up. He’s God. When He looks down upon our political and moral corruption, what must he think? How about the millions of unborn babies whose lives have been brutally terminated before they came to birth? How does he view our pornography, prostitution and other vices? Has God changed? Does he give evil a pass now? You know the answers to the above questions.
God may indeed have sent prophets to warn us of impending disaster (Amos 3:7). Perhaps people like John Paul Jackson, Bob Jones (not the university founder), Paul Cain and others are true prophets. Perhaps they are not. We’ll only know when their prophecies come true or fail. However, any Christian who knows his or her Bible even a little ought to know what’s wrong in this country. It shouldn’t take a prophet to tell us. If each of us voluntarily cleans up his or her act, it might make a difference – at least personally. “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are being judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world,” (I Corinthians 11:31-32).
America may or may not be finished – but you and I don’t have to be. But that’s a selfish thought. We should pray for our nation, for our President, for the Supreme Court and for the Gang of 535 in Congress. It’s not too late to turn things around.