Nearing
Midnight

Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.




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  •  

    Nov 24, 2014

    California’s Biblical Drought

    America’s most populous state remains locked in a drought that has no historic comparison. What started out as a “100-year drought” quickly became a “500-year drought” and has now become a drought that can only be compared to a drought of biblical nature. If it wasn’t for the complex system of pipes that draws water in from other states, California would resemble the infamous 1930s Dust Bowl.

    The lack of rainfall in California has been made all the worse by unrelenting heat. The year 2014 is likely to go down as the hottest year in California since 1895, when temperature record-keeping began.

    There was hope that a El Niño weather pattern would come to the rescue, but its prospects have begun to look increasingly dim. When an El Niño forms in the Pacific Ocean, it normally brings in significant rainfall to Southern California. Scientists now say El Niño will be too small to provide any meaningful relief.

    Because most of California’s precipitation occurs in the winter, the next few months are extremely critical. From December to March, Los Angeles averages 12 inches of rainfall. From May until September, the Los Angeles area received less than one inch of rainfall.

    Unless the skies open up, California is facing some very tough choices in the coming year. To continue supplying water to its urban areas, large portions of California’s agriculture business will need to be curtailed. At 25 percent of all water used, the Fruits and Nuts Industry is at the top of the list. Since California grows as much as 90 percent of some of our nuts and a majority of some fruits, a cutback could have a huge impact on grocery prices.

    A key reason why we have not seen panic in California is because of the ability to pump water out of the ground to make up for lack of surface water. For decades, irrigation systems have been pumping water out of the ground faster than nature can recharge them. Now that wells are starting to run dry, lawmakers are scrambling to regulate the precious liquid commodity.The cost of water in some communities has risen several fold in just the past year.

    All the talk about conservation has actually had zero impact on the residential usage of water. The average American uses 100 gallons per day, with Californians averaging 124. The higher average for Californian’s comes from the wealthy using 379 gallons per person per day. With water costing one dollar per thousand gallons, all those Hollywood millionaires have little regard for how much it costs to fill up their Olympic sized swimming pools.

    The time for true panic will come when the reserves in California start to run dry. They are currently around 25-40 percent of capacity. Unless winter rains turn things around, some cities will soon face the dilemma of having to ration water.

    Over the past decade, America has had an endless series of weather disasters. Every year, some region of our nation sets a record for the worst ever drought, flood, tornadoes, or hurricanes. Disasters are so common, it is easy to lose sight of the significance of the California drought.

    I see these calamities as a persistent warning from God. What has fascinated me is how often we have a record year for a given disaster, and then the following year is completely opposite. In 2011, America had the most number of tornadoes ever. One year later we set a record for the slowest season. Hurricane Sandy is noted for being the largest Atlantic hurricane on record with a price tag of $66 billion. Since it struck in October of 2012, we have had the longest quiet period for major hurricane activity in our nation’s history.

    The important thing about warning signs is that they don’t last forever. Because Jesus said he would come for the church at an unknown hour, there is a limit to how obvious the birth pangs will become. Right now, I see everything playing out perfectly for people who know the signs and are patiently waiting for Jesus’ return.

    “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew24:44).

    “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains” (Mark 13:8).

    “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:33-34).

    --Todd


    Dangerous Victory

    One could almost hear the collective shout when the November 4, 2014, midterm elections were concluded. Now the voters had spoken and they had chosen to throw the rascals out. If not a shout, it was certainly a collective sigh most of us experienced when there seemed to be a change in direction of the course the US ship of state is to now take.

    For most Christians who instinctively believe--based upon biblical truth and Holy Spirit conviction--that the course correction had been made in the polling booth, there seems to be a common misconception. We can relax a bit, because our prayers were heard and we did our duty. The powers that be who are taking our nation down the dark tunnel that leads to the abyss have at least been halted for the time-being.

    This is the sense I get from reports coming to me from those who are responsible for overseeing prophecy ministry. The sense engendered, however, does not comfort. It instead raises the prospect that danger lurks somewhere just ahead.

    According to some indicators, traffic on websites that deal with Bible prophecy has dropped off to a considerable extent since the November 4 elections. That drop-off in interest in staying abreast of the issues likely involving Bible prophecy, actually, seems to have begun to manifest even earlier. It began with the polls and pundits indicating the general direction of the eventual results of the elections--that the Republican side would enjoy a landslide victory.

    The attitude seems to be that the Lord has put things on hold so far as prophetic progression is concerned. Now, we have some breathing room. We can get back to concentrating more on our earthly lives, at least for a while.

    This brings to mind Jesus' words in several respects. The Lord said, as recorded in Matthew, chapter 24, the following:

    But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

    Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:36-44)

    Now, please, you seminarians and would-be seminarians: Please don't write to tell me this is for the Tribulation era, not for the Church Age. I'm absolutely convinced--along with such scholars as my friend, the late Dave Hunt--that this has to refer to the time of the rapture of the Church--not to the Second Advent, when Jesus breaks through the Armageddon clouds as prophesied in Revelation 19:11. I have written in depth a number of times about the reasons I believe it is a rapture passage, and won't go over those again here.

    Suffice it to say that I believe Jesus here was referring specifically to a generation that would be on planet earth at the time when He again intervenes catastrophically into the affairs of man. It would be a time when things were going along in a relatively normal way. There would not be worldwide calamity as we see in the twenty-one judgments of the book of Revelation.

    Yet, Jesus foretold us about all the things that would be in the Tribulation itself in His leading up to telling us about this sudden, unexpected break-in upon that "think-not" generation. Jesus said about the signals that would give warning that this break-in was coming: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

    Regardless of the fact that the November 4 elections seem to indicate a "course correction" for America--thus apparently giving many Christians reason to return to apathetic ways--the signals Jesus referred to are almost certainly all around us at this very moment--signals of stage-setting for the seven years of Tribulation that are just around the proverbial corner.

    The November 4 elections represent a dangerous victory for Christians who stop observing the times. Earthly political parties are not the answer to our sin-laden woes. They only exacerbate them.

    We try to analyze these crucial issues and events of our times on a daily, even hourly, basis at Rapture Ready. There can be no excuse for why any of us as God's children--alive at these, the most exciting times in history--should not be watching expectantly. There will be no excuses why we were not listening for Christ's shout: "Come up hither!" (Revelation 4:1).

    --Terry