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2010 In Review

The Year In Prophecy- Part 2

By Ron Graff

Printable (PDF) Version of this report

Documentation for every aspect of this report may be found on the corresponding topic pages in Prophecy Central and Apologetics Central.

Scripture quotations are from the New International Version. Hypertext links to Scriptures are to the King James Version in the Blue Letter Bible.




Peace


















Mid-East Conflict





3 – The Peace Process

Much attention was given to a long-awaited peace between Israel and the Palestinians in 2010. The year started with plans for meetings between leaders of the two people, brokered by the US. On the first day of the year, following a visit to Cairo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could meet later that month to rejuvenate the peace process in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Before the meeting could take place, US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Shimon Peres. Their discussions were hampered a new demand from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an Israeli military presence in the West Bank to stop weapons smuggling, even after formation of a Palestinian state.

A Time Magazine article said that the US may have overestimated its ability to persuade Israel and the Palestinians to cooperate.

In May, Mitchell launched Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. He met first with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and then with Palestinian Authority President Abbas in Ramallah. Abbas allocated four months for the indirect talks, insisting that the main disagreements must be discussed — control of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, borders and Israel's West Bank settlements.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated his position that direct talks should begin without preconditions. He rejected a Palestinian demand that direct negotiations be based on the 1967 borders. Throughout the year the issue of Israeli settlements in West Bank areas was an ongoing point of disagreement. The Palestinians want all of the land they lost in the 1967 war, but Israel feels that those exact boundaries would leave them vulnerable to future attacks. For that reason they have established numerous Jewish settlements, presumably with the idea in mind that when a peace proposal is accepted, some settlements would be kept for security reasons and others could be traded with the Palestinians for certain areas necessary to Israel's defense. As the year wore on a flurry of attempts were made to stimulate the peace process. In September, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton attempted to re-launch direct negotiations between leaders of the two groups.

The President asked the United Nations General Assembly to support an Israeli- Palestinian agreement that would lead to the creation of an independent Palestine and a secure Israel in a year's time. He said, "If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state. Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to coexistence."

Egypt

In October, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak weighed-in dramatically on the issue, telling several leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, that "if the peace process collapses, violence and terrorism will erupt in the Middle East and all over the world." At the end of the year negotiators said that they will continue to find new ways to keep the peace process alive.

Daniel 2:26-45








Revelation 19:11-16


GLOBALIZATION

Throughout Old Testament prophecies, there is a theme that Israel will have conflict with her neighbors, but then be restored to a place of blessing in their own land. In the book of Daniel there are several dreams and visions that foretold a succession of world governments from the time of Babylon until the end of the age. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which God allowed Daniel to interpret, gave the outline of this progression. In Daniel 2:26-45 the dream is explained. After Babylon there will be four other human empires, and finally one heavenly kingdom will be established. The gold head of the image was Babylon. History shows that the silver chest and arms stood for Medo-Persia. The brass waist and thighs represented Greece, and the iron legs symbolized Rome. The fourth empire, which still has not had historical fulfillment, will be an outgrowth of the old Roman Empire. It will start with ten nations in some sort of a union, and then grow to global influence. It, in turn will be overthrown by Messiah’s return to Earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:11- 16).

Revived Roman Empire

In our generation we have seen such a union come into existence. The first step toward the formation of a European super state was the Benelux Agreement on June 8, 1948. This was a treaty between three very small countries, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Several years later, in 1957, in the city of Rome, and with a document called "The Treaty of Rome," those three countries joined with three other countries, Italy, France, and Germany to make the EEC (European Economic Community), which was called the Common Market. Today the organization is known as the EU (European Union). In 1973 the United Kingdom came in along with Ireland and Denmark, making a total of nine nations. In 1981 Greece became the tenth member of the union. The EU now has 27 member nations and recently spawned a related organization known as The Union for the Mediterranean. This larger organization includes 43 nations from European, Middle Eastern and African nations all around the Mediterranean Sea.

While it once seemed highly unlikely that another global empire would ever be established, our generation is witnessing forces that could very well result in an end times global government. We will now consider some of these forces that captured headlines in 2010.

Fearful Events

4 – Natural Disasters
Experts say that the year 2010 brought the greatest mix of natural disasters in more than a generation. Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed more than a quarter million people this year, compared with just 15,000 in 2009.

Some of the biggest events were the Haitian earthquake, the Russian heat wave and Pakistani flooding.

Some analysts say that the death toll from disasters is increasing because of unwise decisions about where to build cities and poor construction practices. Others claim it is a result of global warming because of many heat records set during the year, but that is confusing in light of the severe blizzards at the beginning and end of the year.

New World Order

World-wide natural disasters are an impetus to global governance because of the need for humanitarian aid after these events. It is too great a task for a few nations to try to meet all of these needs. This concern leads to international gatherings sponsored by the United Nations to work together on relief efforts, fighting diseases and studying ecological questions such as global warming. Bible Students realize that natural disasters are sometimes judgments from God, especially when they come during or immediately after an event of prophetic importance. However, it is unwise to be dogmatic about the exact meaning of disasters, since there are both natural and supernatural causes of such catastrophes. At the least, these tragedies should cause us to return to our once-strong Christian faith as a nation. And on a personal level, they should cause non-believers to consider giving their lives to Christ.

Economic Issues

5 – Economic Problems
The economic chaos in the world and in the United States improved somewhat last year, but our slide toward socialism continued with the adoption of the so-called “Obama Health Plan.” Almost immediately there was a huge negative reaction to this legislation. Even before that, in the previous year, one of Newsweek’s cover articles announced, “We Are All Socialists Now.” Socialism is not a true “share the wealth” program. It has an extremely wealthy “elite” at the top that controls the government and the economy. The very rich capitalized on the economic melt-down, widening the gap between the rich and poor, and reducing the number of middle class families in the U.S.

The end result of this slide toward socialism could be the One-World economic system that is foretold by the Bible. It used to be hard to imagine what could bring the whole planet to the point that an economic dictator could literally control all the buying and selling around the world.

In Revelation 13:15-17 we read:

He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Economic Issues








New World Order

Here is a brief review of some of the news stories during the year that show how the financial crisis has pushed us into a one-world government state of mind. In March, following the approval of the health plan, a new Fox News poll reported that 79 percent of voters think it is possible the American economy could collapse, including large majorities of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and Independents (80 percent).

Moreover, 78 percent of voters believe the federal government is "larger and more costly" than it has ever been before, and by nearly three-to-one, more voters think the national debt (65 percent) is a greater potential threat to the country’s future than terrorism (23 percent).

A report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April discussed how this organization sees the International Monetary System evolving after the financial crisis. It will take time to implement, but basically they think that the best way to ensure stability after the crisis would be to launch a global currency. In July Chuck Colson sounded the alarm that the massive US debt held largely by the Chinese, could lead to an overnight collapse of our economy and a dictatorial take-over of our government!

A Breitbart article in September picked up the same theme. University professor Laurence Kotlikoff, imagined a doomsday scenario about an economic clash between superpowers the United States and China, which holds more than 843 billion dollars of US Treasury bonds. "A minor trade dispute between the United States and China could make some people think that other people are going to sell," he wrote in the IMF's Finance & Development review. This could result in a massive sell-off of US treasury bonds, which would then force the government to print more money to pay for them, leading to hyper-inflation.

Der Speigel then printed a major article, Money Is Power: An Inside View of the IMF's Massive Global Influence in which it called the emerging G20, "that coalition of the strongest economies, the center of power in a new world." And it called the IMF, "The New World Order." The article explained that Europe, the United States and the United Nations have all become too slow and fragmented to compete with "dashing powers like India and China." (This is interesting, since the IMF, headquartered in Washington D.C., is an arm of the UN.)

Moral Issues and the Elections of 2010

One encouraging sign was the November elections. They were a referendum on the careless spending and socialistic trends that had characterized the previous two years.

New World Order

6 – Political Developments
Three major trends of 2010 bear watching as we go forward into this new year.

Progress toward a global government – This was mentioned above, noting the continued strengthening of structures such as the European Union. In the previous paragraphs we have also shown how natural disasters and economic problems are pushing the world toward the establishment of international organizations that can deal with such world-wide problems.

Islam





Terrorism

Growth of Islamic influence and extremism - Ever since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, there has been a renewed push for world conquest by radical elements of the religion. While it is generally thought that this radical element is only about 10% of all Muslims, that number still represents more than 100 million people, and they are the ones with the most power and influence. Christopher Caldwell's book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. Shows that, in spite of Europe’s apparent strength and wealth, they face a grave threat. Their culture is likely to be extinguished in the near future by Islamic culture. “Moreover, Europeans are politically weak,” explains Caldwell, “because their leaders have capitulated to political correctness and ideals of diversity, which render them unable to criticize any aspect of Islam.” Terrorism continues to affect people everywhere, and even though there are other kinds of terrorism, such acts by militant Islamists are by far the most numerous. Turkey, a key player in the Middle East, has apparently become disinterested in becoming a part of the European Union, and would like to resurrect some of the glory of the old Ottoman Empire. Therefore, Turkey has taken a hard turn against Israel, and is trying to re-establish its influence in the Turkic countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It has also been more friendly to Russia, Syria and Iran. Terrorism expert Walid Shoebat points out that Turkey was the center of the Ottoman Empire, the last Muslim coalition of nations. He explains, "In 1924, the Caliphate was dismantled by the West, and this is why Muslims hate the West... In 1928, four years later, the Muslim Brotherhood was born. This is the umbrella of all the Muslim terrorist organizations."

Economic Issues

Socialistic trends in the U.S. - Florida Republican congressional candidate Allen West told Newsmax that the United States is nearing a “tipping point” toward socialism when more than half of all Americans are dependent on the government for financial support. West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, points out that 49% of Americans already pay no income tax, and once we reach a majority that are "wedded to the government" by monthly support checks we will discover what Margaret Thatcher did. She said, "Socialism works very well until you run out of other people’s money."

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Last Updated: 2/11/11

Documentation, Scriptural references and illustrations
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Copyright © 2011 by Ron Graff.
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