|Mt. Carmel message|
|International Bible teacher Lance Lambert gave out this message during a gathering of Christian leaders on Mount Carmel in 1986.
|The Fall of Damascus|
|With the current high levels of instability in the Arab nations, Jerusalem-based journalist David Dolan examines the situation in the light of Isaiah's prophecy concerning the destruction of Damascus.
|Dawn or Dusk?|
|A 'word' received by Clifford Hill has attracted a variety of responses from Christian leaders in the UK in terms of what may lie ahead for us in the nation.
Potential Triggers Everywhere
In our inter-connected and unstable world it doesn't take much to create a crisis of tsunami proportions. Wilfred Hann of Eternal Values Review surveys some of the trigger points that can have world-reaching and world-changing consequences.
by Wilfred Hann
DISCERNING the times is surely not a dauntless exercise. It has its challenges, even for researchers and historians. It is often difficult to determine what is or is not a critical development or trend in the moment. What data item is merely distracting noise, or what piece of news is important and relevant?
What today is an indication of what is to come in the future?
As a result, most people go through life without a concept of the times nor an understanding of the “linear” cosmology of the world. Time passes … ho hum.
Well, recent times have been far from “ho hum” for at least two reasons. For one, epic and material changes are taking place … and rapidly. Quite frankly, there are so many shifts underfoot of late, the range of possible scenario types playing out ahead is extremely large. (Please see the Signs of the Time feature of the January 2010 EVR for a more in-depth perspective on this point.)
The second reason is that many of the huge shifts underway, are significant viewed from a Biblical perspective. What we mean by “Biblical perspective” is the cosmological timeline of God’s purposes and dealings with all mankind.
After all, there are appointed times and therefore also seasons to be recognized. Apostle Paul confirmed this linear timeline view, saying, […] knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness — a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light” (Titus 1:1-3).
Jesus Christ chastised the Pharisees on this particular point, saying: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).
We can conclude therefore that we would do well to discern the times in view of the Bible’s pronouncements. To that end, this same merciful God even chose to prove his very existence to mankind by telling us in advance as to some important points and events on that timeline in advance. When we sense and discern the seasons of those events that are described literally in the Bible, there is compelling reason to sit up and take notice.
However, as the Bible indicates, while we are expected to be able to discern the times, we still cannot foreknow the exact timing and details of future events. That said, just what are some of the significant developments on the boil? In no particular order:
1. Tensions between China and the US are rising. From this spectre, a major change in epoch is likely underway … a new chapter for the world is being opened. Confrontations are now more direct. It was only a matter of time before the agendas of these two nations would no longer be mutually compatible. Please see the Signs of the Times column in this issue for a further insight as to the significance of trends in Asia today.
2. Google. Indeed, Google, the major web search engine is withdrawing from China. This very event may be a signpost …a marker of the times with respect to the aforementioned point. A major worldinfluencing corporation such as Google has decided to leave behind a potential business opportunity in a land of 1.3 billion potential consumers.
3. Global Debt. Governments around the world are plunging into greater indebtedness at an alarming rate. It is an unprecedented development during peacetime. This issue’s Personal Perspectives column outlines the potential “Biblical”:significance of this rather sudden acceleration of late. (See graph on pg.1)
4. Europe on the Ropes? Many analysts today believe that the European currency union must soon collapse. The development path to the state of the European Union today has been probably one of the most singularly amazing developments of the past half-century. Could its economic and monetary marriage soon dissolve? It would be sure to have great repercussions on the world’s power order.
5. Rise of Islam. That there may be an Islamic connection to geopolitical trends in the world today, has been seared into the consciousness of most North Americans ever since 9/11. However, this influence is much more significant and complex than most people know. The influence of Islamic elements, in many different ways, is very like a prime vector of the “appointed season” of our times.
An inter-connected and shaky world
We live in world interconnected as never before. Single events can domino into serious reverberations quickly around the globe. And, there are many potential triggers that can launch such world-reaching consequences. Just which will prove to be the smoking gun … and who would be the trigger person? Here we again recognize the near futility of making short-term forecasts of any kind.
Consider the case of the Sino/American squabbles of late: Just who will prove the more powerful … or the more ruthless? The range of scenario is wide. One of the largest wealth transfers in history could take place. But the long-term victor is not yet sure, as wars can comprise many battles. Is China more dependent upon US consumers or is the US more dependent upon Chinese purchases of its debt? Both are factors that now add heft to possible outcomes. A case can be made either way. Whatever the outcome, you can be sure that the geopolitical outcomes will shake our world, as must be the case if all “Biblical perspectives” are yet to play out as prophesied.
Wilfred Hann/Eternal Values Review, 01/04/2010