SCHIEFFER: Trying to understand the news of this terrible summer, it's hard to come away with any feeling, but that we are in the midst of a world gone mad (Emphasis mine).
On one side of the world, an ego-driven Russian leader seems to yearn for the time of the czars, when rulers started wars on a whim or a perceived insult, and, if people died, so be it.
In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause, a strategy that might actually be working, at least in some quarters.
Last week, I found a quote of many years ago by Golda Meir, one of Israel's early leaders, which might have been said yesterday. "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children," she said, "but we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children."
In a world gone mad, what is to be learned? (Emphasis mine) Perhaps we should start by remembering what historian Will Durant once said. "Barbarism, like the jungle, does not die out, but only retreats behind the barriers that civilization has thrown up against it, and waits there always to reclaim that to which civilization has temporarily laid claim."
Back in a minute.
Click this link to access this particular segment of FTN as well as a transcript of it.
"In a world gone mad...."
When you consider the "bitter fruit" of global warming such as droughts in diverse places (poised to become a "super drought" in California according to some scientists), along with earthquakes all along the Pacific Rim, the outbreak and spread of Ebola in Africa, the march back to the Dark Ages in the Middle East (The "Islamic State" or "Caliphate") complete with horrific public executions including beheadings, crucifixions, burial of people alive, stonings, and such, and all the unrest, turmoil, intolerance and injustice manifest across the globe, it is tempting to call Bob Schieffer's comment a gross understatement.
Naturally, speculation abounds as to what all this represents in terms of what lies ahead. Pastors, prophecy teachers and such on TBN and CBN are pretty much convinced we are in the "End Times" and things will get far worse, culminating in a litany of horrors reflected in the pages of the biblical books of Daniel and Revelations (among others) before God steps in and presses the reset button.
We humans have brains wired to detect patterns and the confluence of events unfolding right now make it difficult to deny that one way or the other life is truly imitating art (Which is to say events are lining up with ancient prophecies). Many will pooh pooh this, although to my way of thinking this is akin to a farmer sitting on his porch denying that the supercell sweeping his fields portents destruction.
Is it possible to determine exactly what's next on the "prophetic hit parade"? Not exactly beyond saying current downward and troubling trends will continue to worsen and pick up speed. But as I like to analyze and speculate -- and freely admit I get things wrong and have to revise and in some instances toss pet hypotheses on the "discard heap" - I will at least share some things I feel will take place albeit I have no idea of exactly when:
The Islamic State will ultimately be contained albeit with great loss of life.
A major regional war will be fought in the Middle East possibly as part of containing ISIS and other terrorist forces (Best guess - sometime during 2015-2016)
Enemies of Israel, both terrorist groups and nations, will attempt to conquer her. These forces will ultimately be defeated at a tremendous loss of life especially among their ranks. As part of the fighting the Dome of the Rock will be destroyed, possibly by an accidental missile strike on the site by anti-Israeli forces. Israel's geographical boundaries will expand greatly.
The "great war" depicted above will trigger global economic upheaval which will require radical measures to remediate.
Israel will construct the Third Temple.
Economic, natural and other disasters will intensify unrest and chaos throughout most if not all of the world. Many will begin to long for a "strong arm" government that will cut corners and restore order and contain crime, terrorism and military adventurism.
Like Germany in the 1920s-1930s, a charismatic leader and his idolatrous propagandist, a false prophet (Messiah? Some contend the leader will be the false messiah and not the false prophet), will rise to prominence and attain great influence within and outside Israel (Historic parallel: Hitler and his Minister of Propaganda & Public Enlightenment, Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels). Although ostensibly a peacemaker, the latter day Fuhrer will not show his true colors until he enters the Third Temple in Jerusalem and commits sacrilege. Ancient prophecies indicate that this evil man will be literally inhabited by HaSatan at this point and, with his false prophet (false messiah?), will use faith (false religion), technology and economics to control the peoples and nations that fall under his shadow (No access to ATMs, bank accounts, the Internet, etc. without being part of his essentially dictatorial system). Naturally, both men's lawlessness (subversion of & opposition to Torah) will come to light quickly resulting in their being widely opposed by the Jewish people, genuine Godfearers and others.
Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute discusses the coming of this false prophet in a 12m:25s video teaching segment at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6MXcdBI5cU&feature=youtu.be. Here is what is posted immediately below this video clip:
Published on Aug 20, 2014
Who is that false prophet that Torah warns us against? How can he perform wonders if he is false, and if he is false why does he appear? Why does G-d empower him to perform wonders, if not to ensnare Israel? There are many false prophets today in the business of making false promises promising peace and prosperity if only Israel will turn her back on G-d's Torah. We have been warned!
One variant on what I've outlined above -- which focuses on Islam and its role in "end times" events is Joel Richardson's e-book Will Islam Be Our Future? A Study of Biblical and Islamic Eschatology at http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/index.htm ( Richardson's e-book is free & online in its entirety).
Others hold to a different spin on Islam's role in future events and foresee the anti-Messiah coming out of the West: http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/an-islamic-antichrist/
The "final Fuehrer" and his propagandist will institute draconian measures to contain and eradicate dissent and eliminate those who refuse to be a part of their fiendish political-economic-false religious system.
At any rate, the true messiah will be revealed to Israel and the world and be instrumental in ending the reign of terror unleashed by the charismatic leader and his idolatrous propagandist. Judgment and the messianic age will begin.
Will the "end time" prophecies all be fulfilled in a short period of time - say between 2015 and 2024 (as some prophecy teachers have proclaimed) -- or will they unfold over a greater span of time? This is difficult if not impossible to say for sure. A lot depends on what people do -- or don't do. But whether all will unfold "right around the corner" or over a period of forty or fifty or more years, it would be wise for all of us to move away from compromised values and other forms of disobedience (sin) and conform to what the Almighty has laid out in scriptures.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Having trouble making sense of the Book of Revelations? Then head on over to
For Christians who subscribe to a pretribulation rapture: Shove aside those "Left Behind" movies & books and grab a copy of Robert Van Kampen's The RAPTURE QUESTION Answered: Plain & Simple