Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...
With the surprising election of President Trump last November, many within the Christian community thought that the days of social and political marginalization were finally over. The days of anti-Christian legislation and heavy-handed political correctness were finally going to get their comeuppance. Trump's victory was proof-positive that God had postponed His judgment upon the wayward United States and was giving her one more chance to turn things around.
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
What I fear though is that we are not eyewitnesses to some grand, global revival, but rather, a dark and malevolent reaction against it. As I've stated in previous briefs, it's not that God needs Trump to make the US better, but God is undoubtedly the cause of Trump being in office (Daniel 2:20-23) at this time and place in history. To what ends I am not entirely certain. But he plays a role in this final drama of mankind. We know that the Bible states that the conditions on earth will continue to wax worse and worse until reaching a time similar to the days of Noah and Lot. Both of these periods of time were wrought with violence, wickedness, sexual depravity, greed, and a majority who have been given over to their basest natures (Matt. 24:3-14; Luke 17:26-30; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; 2 Peter 3:3-7).
Events today are spinning faster and faster out of control. Unlike times past where one could point to the troubled shores of Europe and say...war is coming, today there are no safe harbors anymore. There isn't a place on earth today that isn't racked by violence, war, crime, depravity, or corruption. We don't even have the luxury of pointing to some impending sign and say, "it" is coming.
It is already here. We are already in it. We are in the birth pangs leading up to the time known as Daniel's 70th Week. The only luxury the Church has today is the knowledge that we will not be here to see when things turn really bad. The Lord has promised His Church that He will remove them before the first Seal is opened (1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9; Revelation 3:10). How do I know this definitively?
Well, the Seal Judgments begin the period of time commonly referred to as The Tribulation. This title is something of a misnomer though because the real name is the time of Jacob (Israel's) Trouble or Daniel's 70th Week. It last seven years (or a week of years) and has two purposes:
How awful that day will be!
No other will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
but he will be saved out of it...
...I am with you and will save you,'
declares the Lord.
'Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
I will not let you go entirely unpunished.' Jeremiah 30:7, 11
Jacob here is referring to the nation of Israel in the corporate sense. Since there are still nations on the earth today and given the context of the rest of the passage, one could easily deduce that this event is yet future. But some out there are still confused about whose wrath this belongs too...so God clarifies this for our benefit to ensure that there is no confusion over who is doing and who is receiving as Revelation 6:16-17 makes so abundantly clear:
They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?"
A quick check on learning:
Who opens the Seals?
Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the executor of the wrath. It is His wrath He unleashes.
Upon whom do the Seal Judgment's affect?
Those who dwell on the earth are the recipients of said wrath.
What does the last Seal Judgment do?
It triggers the first Trumpet Judgment.
As mentioned in a previous article here, I proposed that President Trump would have an even tougher time from the start than President Bush did in his last few remaining years in office. I look at the world through a particular worldview, and I speculate based on both perfect and incomplete knowledge. The perfect knowledge is God's word. The incomplete knowledge is my understanding of the timing of how things play out. So to my imperfect knowledge, there are four seemingly paradoxical situations to contemplate when considering where we are in light of our Lord's return for the Church:
Because there would be a sense of normalcy on earth, His coming would catch the world and many within the Church by surprise (1 Thess. 5:1-5; Mark 13:32, Luke 12:30, Rev. 3:3, etc.)
But the convergence of so many prophetic events is forcing many to wake up to the possibility that our Lord's return could be near. Even the non-Christian world is anticipating some major event in the next few years.
Imminence, in the sense that our Lord's return is unknowable and could be at any moment, is quickly moving from unknowable to inevitable.
This goes back to my first point in that the normalcy bias is beginning to wear off. (At an hour you think not...)
As a watching believer in these final moments of human history, how are we to proceed? I've often stated that we can't know precisely, but we should generally know when our Lord will return. I did on two separate occasions see President Trump being selected both as the nominee and as the President. I am no prophet, but just made an educated guess based off of where I see things heading. What I misjudged, or perhaps underestimated, is the contempt, vitriol, and violence that would ensue. We had two very "populist" and "nationalist" movements take place in quick succession: BREXIT and the Trump election.
This was quickly followed by three major defeats for both populism and nationalism, which was the electoral defeats of Geert Wilders (Holland), Marine La Pen (France), and Theresa May (United Kingdom). These troubles include a never-ending witch hunt against the Trump administration for any whiff of Russian collusion and obstructionism. Adding to this the incessant attacks by a majority of the media, academia, and Hollywood that are relentlessly calling for resistance (aka...revolution). The icing on the cake is the left's continual refusal to the let the swamp be drained.
What I believe happened is that the Left (democrats, liberals, socialists, communists, and globalists) got lazy and comfortable during the Obama years. Both BREXIT and Trump caught them by surprise and have now woken up their vocal minority of left-fringe lunatics in a way that nothing else could have. They are agitated and dangerous, like caged animals being dragged out of their darkened caves into the light of day. They sense change coming and are furiously fighting against what is coming, spurred on by unseen demonic forces which are guiding their blind hatred.
If it seems like this world is spinning out of control. It seems like evil is getting the upper hand and that good people are getting trampled underfoot by the onslaught of negativism, corruption, and just sheer wickedness. But beloved, it only "seems" that way because God has not allowed us to see what He is currently doing behind the curtain. He is moving and positioning the people and events to fall into place exactly as He sees fit.
God wanted President Trump to win the 2016 election. Not because He wanted Trump to Make America Great Again, but because it would accelerate the hardening of those who rejoice in evil. That may seem over dramatic to say, but considering that one of our two major political parties has the wholesale slaughter of the unborn as a key political platform. If that isn't evil, I don't know what is.
I believe that President Trump still has some role yet to play in this grand drama. That role is somehow intricately tied to the nation of Israel. How and why we do not yet know, but God does. And God is allowing the left to be enraged and violent as ones being 'given over' to a debased mind and a seared conscious. This is described in Romans 1:18-32 and God allows evil men and women to be given over to their sins. It is not that He doesn't want to save them, but He is allowing them to act upon their free will, and by so doing, harden their own hearts just as Pharaoh did his before the exodus.
The old saying is that World War I prepared the land (Israel) for the people, and World War II prepared the people (the Jews) for the land. The Jews have a saying now, 'never again.' What is happening now is like that but in reverse. These final moments of the Age of Grace are preparing the people (the unrepentant) for the Tribulation by allowing them to harden their hearts. Once the Rapture happens, and the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit through the Church) is removed, they will be doomed and damned entering into this final week of years. Paul states that God will send a strong delusion that they will willingly believe, and will be condemned forever (2 Thess. 2:11-12).
Juxtaposed to this, is the great swell of tribulation saints from around the world who no man could count that come to faith in Christ and are killed for that faith. We are witnessing a foreshadowing of that now in the Far and the Middle East and Africa, where hundreds and thousands are being killed for the faith in Jesus Christ by groups like ISIS, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. After the Rapture and to whatever covenant is signed (Dan. 9:27), there will be a final world system that will systematically hunt down and kill all those who do not have the Mark of the Beast.
If anything, what Trump's America represents is that final audacious hardening of the unrepentant before God pours out His wrath on a world in open rebellion against Israel, against His anointed, and His authority. But if the unbelieving world can sense calamity coming, then why can't the church? (Rev. 3:3) It is time to wake up and sound the alarm while there is still light. But if you think things are bad now, one second after the Rapture, the world will enter into a period that Jesus said would be worse than any other in human history. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened (Matt. 24:21-22).
...Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
(W.B. Yeats, the Second Coming, 1919)