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Iron and Clay: Faith in Diffuse Global Powers

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Burning Alight: 12 Endtime Fuses – Part III

Iron and Clay: Faith in Diffuse Global Powers



Wilfred HahnBy Wilfred Hahn ((Eternal Value Review)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



We live in an unprecedented age. What we may think to be norms for the world are surely not. Seen from the perspective of the human timeline on earth, what is being witnessed currently is a period of terminal acceleration applying to a very small sliver of time. This is playing out through many trends and developments.

A sudden burst in world population growth, the industrial revolution, the Age of Oil, and the surges stemming from the eruption of the Age of Global Capital are just some of the major manifestations. All have contributed to a virtual maelstrom of change and so-called technological “progress” of mankind. Unfortunately, it has also fed the flames of the humanist ego.

Is “acceleration” then the main characteristic that defines the unprecedentedness of our world today? It is surely a defining one, but is definitely not the most significant nor pivotal sign. The most crucial aspect of all these trends and shifts is the underlying change in beliefs, values and the worldview of mankind. This is the true “ground zero” that gives rise to mankind’s voluntary fulfillment of last-days Bible prophecy. These shifts all involve “beliefs” and “faith,” and therefore really fall under the definition of religion. In this sense, global mankind—the world—has experienced a massive conversion of religion (belief and faith) in this last-day period like no other in human history. In the process, it has adopted a colossal load of faulty and potentially deadly dogma.

Indeed, it is this change in human “beliefs” that is the common thread that defines our selection of the 12 “endtime fuses” of this series. Globalism is the fourth that we present.

A Strange World of Global Gods

Were a king or ruler of a large nation of twenty-five hundred years ago to come back to life and visit our modern world, he would surely be completely bewildered. Seeing the world today, our ancient king would be amazed that the entire world is so geographically expansive, and moreover, comprised of so many cooperating nations.

For example, he would likely not have known about the existence of the continents of North and South America. But most of all, our ancient king would be astounded that there could be some 240 nations and territories around the entire world that have all surrendered their individual gods and aspects of their sovereignty to the common god of modernity and globalism.

Globalism is a concept that had not yet been invented in their day. In fact, the term “globalism” is relatively new even today. It was a word coined only as recent as the 1940s.

In earlier times, the mightiness of a nation was seen to be a direct reflection of the power of their god(s). Geopolitics then was a competition of the pagan gods. There are a number of accounts in the Old Testament that reflect this perspective. For example, when Sennacherib, King of Assyria, was besieging Jerusalem, he was expressly attacking Israel’s God in the view that his god was more powerful.

He said to King Hezekiah, “Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?” (Isaiah 37:12-13).

Also, we see that David was indignant about the taunts from Goliath for the very reason that he “[…] defied the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:36). Goliath had literally said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel!” (verse 10). The name Israel, after all, is commonly believed to mean “prevailing with God.” In response, David confirmed that it was the God of Israel that was going to bring about the defeat of both Goliath and the Philistines, saying, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (verse 46).

To lose a battle was an embarrassment for the Hebrews, because the Living God was seen by the pagan nations to be weaker than their gods. Joshua, after the defeat by the people of Ai, lamented, “The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this […] What then will you do for your own great name?” (Joshua 7:9).

Today, few nations would take the view that their “gods” are being repudiated, were they to lose their sovereignty. This perception may still apply to Muslim nations, which would directly equate the supremacy of Allah as being confirmed through the conversion of the entire world of “infidels” to Islam. For the most part, nations today have given up their identities with their past gods and have traded them in for the new gods of globalism (including globalization), science and monetarism. We have always seen the three false gods mentioned in Daniel 11:36-39 as representing these main materialistic beliefs of the last-day world.

The rulership of these last days, represented by the Antichrist, shows “no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.” The three gods that will be honored during that time would be the “god of fortresses,” the “unknown god” and a “foreign god.” Who are these gods? It makes for an interesting study (one that was published here more than a decade ago). It is the “foreign god” mentioned in Daniel 11:39 that we think represents the rise of globalism and its parallel dissolution of the sovereign powers of individual nations. In our view (this being an opinion, not fact), this aspect of globalism is represented by the statement, “He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god” (verse 39).

The Strange Power of Globalism

The Bible gives clear evidence that not only would the world globalize, but also that this worldwide power arrangement was considered a strange concept in earlier times. For example, Daniel presents this perspective. When he provided the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, he spoke of a future kingdom that would be comprised of “mixed peoples,” some of them strong, some weak. He said to the King of Babylon, “[…] this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle” (Daniel 2:41-42).

Just what kind of power could be based on a structure where “people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (Daniel 2:43)? To the mind of Nebuchadnezzar’s day, this would have been considered a strange and confusing kingdom. In his era, peoples and nations were mostly single races (for example, as we would still consider Japan today). Power alliances were not uncommon, but certainly not with nations that were considered “weak” or “brittle.” Multiculturalism did not really exist then either.

It is only in this last century or so that the world has adopted globalism. Nations may or may not participate at times, though it has become increasingly onerous to be a non-aligned state existing outside of this global arrangement. Even though there are many issues and vested interests that will divide nations, a global rulership of “globalism” is nevertheless still intermediated through various transnational organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), NATO, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and others. Other economics-oriented transnational organizations such as the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others seek to maintain coordinated “global rulership” in complementary realms.

It indeed is a bewildering and strange power structure. Power is vague … yet very powerful. Globalism’s source of power cannot be easily identified, yet it is more powerful than any single imperial power ever before.

Global power has many forms. We can categorize them into two broad types—Hard Power and Soft Power. Soft Power includes various forms of world influence. Here can be numbered memberships on world transnational organizations such as the International Monetary Fund or NATO (and a host of many others), or influence upon world culture. Hard Power, by comparison, is more direct and can include such factors as military might, the size of world trade in goods and services, a country’s relative population size, and so on.

Globalism Foretold

The Bible clearly does prophesy that globalism will take place in the last days. God pronounces his last-day judgments upon all the nations collectively, as they are all engaged in rebelliousness; together, they are pursuing similar ideologies, and together rise up against Israel. All the nations of the world are shown unified in these ways. The Lord God says to them collectively, “Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter” (Isaiah 34:1-2).

From Bible prophecy, we can also deduce that the world would have forums such as the United Nations and means of rapid communication (seen today in the form of global media networks and telecommunications systems) that would facilitate a world opinion and consensus. Such things as the “global consensus” of key countries represent “power” in the world. Indeed, the world itself has become a political podium, the actions of most individual nations postured for a global audience. Yes, the “global village” is getting smaller by virtue of becoming more connected financially and economically (this being globalization, which we will discuss in Part IV).

When Balaam prophesied, “For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9, KJV), this presumed that the world—“the nations” collectively—was united in not “reckoning” Israel. That requires globalism during this time. Without a doubt, that state of affairs exists today.

Points to Ponder

Satan and his hierarchy of fallen angels have been busy transforming the minds—the new and unified global beliefs—of mankind to accept humanism and globalism as the new hope. The times today are similar to Babel. The world’s late state of globalism mirrors the sentiment of those ancient times when “[…] they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth’” (Genesis 11:4). Humanistic globalism is counter to the will of God, as evidenced by His supernatural intervention at Babel, causing people to disperse and confounding their “heavenward” efforts with different languages.

While globalism occurs and persists into the Tribulation period, the world in fact does move to a post-globalism state … a second phase of globalism. We rely on Biblical proof for this statement. The “global parliament of man,” as Alfred Tennyson called it,1 will not rule the world in the end. Broad globalism is not the last state. There are yet two regimes that come thereafter—first minilateralism, and then autocracy. The former is represented by the 10 kings that will rule for a short time, and the latter is the form of global government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler (Antichrist).

However, before a 10-nation coalition can rule the world, it will require that the distribution of power in the world become more level between leading nations than it is at the present time. Whatever the make-up of this allied group of 10 nations that will assume world power, it must collectively be able to overcome any superpower. Otherwise, it could not exist uncontested. This development is called “multipolarism” and is already well underway. We can only speculate as to what will be the implications for the future of America.

Even the National Intelligence Council (this being an American institution) has a similar opinion. We quote from its recent report, Global Trends: “The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today. By 2030, no country—whether the US, China, or any other large country—will be a hegemonic power. The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to informal networks will have a dramatic impact, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750 […].”2

Indeed, we can conclude that the advent of globalism and its prophesied shifts, yet to occur in the future will involve much geopolitical volatility. It indeed represents one of the “burning fuses” of the end times, holding the potential for explosive impact.





++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Zechariah 12:3,9:
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Disclaimer: Rapture Bible Prophecy Forum, ( http://www.rapturebibleprophecyforum.com ) does not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the reply button.

If you are new to this site and would like to post articles, opinions, youtube videos that are appropriate for this site just e mail me at

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Steven



Re: Iron and Clay: Faith in Diffuse Global Powers

For Fair Use Discussion and Educational Purposes
Link: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/hahn/h99.html
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Burning Alight: 12 Endtime Fuses – Part IV
Eager Griefs: Idolatrous Economics


Wilfred HahnBy Wilfred Hahn ((Eternal Value Review)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



We continue with the 5th “burning fuse” of the end times. What is it? Prophecy confirms this development we are about to explain. The Bible tells us that a time will come when commerce—the act of buying and selling—can be controlled worldwide. This facility will actually be invoked at one point during the Great Tribulation period, “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” (Revelation 13:16-17).

This is an oft-referenced verse, frequently misquoted and misinterpreted. It is the source of much speculation about the identity of the “mark” and the “number.” However, the most critical error concerns the identity of who it is that actually brings in these controls. It is not the first beast with 7 heads that comes out of the sea, which is of the lineage that gives rise to the physical Antichrist. Rather, it is the second beast (which emerges from earth and has two horns like a lamb) that brings in these commercial controls. This latter beast is commonly linked with the False Prophet, who is mentioned in Revelation 16:13.

Assuming that this connection is correct, it is telling that it will be a religious figure that ends up being the world’s last “economic guru.” This is not accidental. Why? Because free market macroeconomics (and its global spread, this being globalization) is the world’s largest and fastest growing religion (belief system). The beliefs imbedded in this bosom ideology are the hope of humanity today, though an increasing number of observers may be having their doubts.

The spectacular Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that has played out in recent years, provides a foreshadowing of the final economic and financial collapses yet to come. As such, this development definitely qualifies as one of the burning fuses of the end times. To recall, it is the change in human “beliefs” that is the common thread that defines our selection of the 12 endtime fuses of this series.

Idolatry of Modern Economics

What is idolatry? To answer this question, we first need to examine its object … the idol itself. Just what is an idol? Consulting a dictionary, we read descriptions such as this: “[…] a representation or symbol of an object of worship […] a false conception […]” and so on. The Bible, however, provides an easy, useful definition: An idol is any object of human reliance that is vulnerable to toppling. For example: “A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple” (Isaiah 40:20). This is a most humorous depiction. After all, why worship something that we ourselves must prevent from toppling with our own hands?

Again, Isaiah tells us: “The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer spurs on him who strikes the anvil. He says of the welding, ‘It is good.’ He nails down the idol so it will not topple” (Isaiah 41:7). Jeremiah, too, made the same observation: “[…] they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter” (Jeremiah 10:3-4).

God must surely laugh at mankind’s attempts to build and set up his own gods. He chuckles that mankind does not see the futility of his idols if they indeed must be nailed down and defended. Said Gideon’s father, Joash, when coming to his senses after Gideon smashed his idols: “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar” (Judges 6:31). Anything that mankind allows to become an idol will be sure to disappoint and come up empty.

Modern day idols may not take the form of figurines and statues. They are more likely to comprise “isms” and systems … i.e. capitalism, globalism, technology … etc. These can be idols nonetheless.

This is one of the key lessons of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), which continues at this present time. Idols topple and totter. Things held to be venerable emblems of mankind’s achievements and hopes, are vulnerable to toppling. Comically, they must then be propped up by man. Therefore, we see politicians and policymakers around the world desperately trying to prop up their belief systems … trying to cover up the futility and falsehoods of these beliefs. Countries such as Greece and Cypress needed to be bailed out. More and much bigger bailouts lie ahead. As the great idol of global commercialism crumbles, policymakers are becoming increasingly desperate, resorting to theft and deception.

Idolatry Gone Rampant

Anyone who has eyes to see knows that the world today is governed by materialism. More than ever, people, nations and virtually the entire world are almost totally preoccupied with the human pursuit of happiness, peace and material prosperity. God does indeed want us all to be joyful, prosperous and at peace. But not without Him, the true Source. Not without reverence and glorification. Instead, what we have today is the accepted perversion that peace and happiness are directly linked to prosperity. There’s no need for God. Give people prosperity, and there will be peace and happiness.

The working theory has been this: All we need to do to solve the instabilities of our geopolitical world, is to have everyone engaged in the pursuit of “free market” economics … to become prosperous. That’s the presumption behind many efforts to bring peace.

For example, among many, the World Economic Forum—hardly an altruistic entity, as its membership is comprised of approximately 1,000 multinational corporations—takes this view.1 Typically, their thinking is that a free-market and capitalistic revolution will solve all the problems of political and religious unrest. Closing the large gap between the financial and economic wealth of the West will fix the problem. In their eyes, this disparity must be the main source of the problems.

Governments and various global agencies are all united in this view, supremely confident that the model of free markets, consumerism and inflated financial wealth will bring contentment and peace.

Manmade Prosperity as the Solution

How did this modern perspective of materialism and “greed is good” come into such wide acceptance? It is a relatively recent phenomenon in world history. We will attempt a brief summary.

Down through the centuries, Christians sought to find themselves on the right side of the divide between God and Mammon. Generally, the pursuit of material gain had been frowned upon since it was seen to be incompatible with a virtuous life. In fact, for a long time the Church—at the time, the Roman Catholic Church—saw it as its duty to regulate economics and commerce. These fields were not necessarily under the rule of kings and sovereigns. Whether Christian or not, the Church sought to enforce moral conduct upon society overall. Greed, usury and materialism were definitely the emblems of Mammon. These were to be stamped out.

Responses ranged from Monasticism—hiding away in monasteries and taking vows of poverty—to the rigid enforcement of feudal life, in the belief that as not all men are made equal or the same, they should remain in their station, whether peasant, priest or lords of estates. The concept that all wealth or anything material is bad—in other words, the natural world that God created is to be detested—were among the extreme interpretations.

However, perspectives began to change noticeably as of the 1700s. Christianity was at the very center of this shift. A transition was influenced by new philosophies, technologies and discoveries, and most importantly religious beliefs. The greatest of these was the Reformation, which indirectly encouraged a strong work ethic and capitalism. All of these forces working together—sometimes in opposition and parallel—gave rise to a cauldron of change.

At first, devotion to serving God and Christian stewardship brought rewards. These were not the object of faith, just the attendant blessings that God gave in grace. As these rewards accumulated—mostly in forms of wealth, technology and comforts—the pursuit of godliness for the sake of wealth itself become the focus. Idolatry began to take root. Next, the focus shifted to the process of creating wealth and comforts—any kind, for that matter. Then, the “pursuit” of wealth and possessions became the idol. Lastly, wealth itself became the false god.

So societies gave way to the “spirit of capitalism,” and more recently, to the full-fledged, society-wide endorsed “love of money.” Today, the “love of money” is invoked as both the solution to the world’s troubles as well as the hope for future progress. What at first was a gradual development, eventually gave way to a flood of materialism and the worship of material wealth that we presently witness.

Today, modern commerce has become the most powerful force on earth … a figurative tyrant. Mostly, this tyrant is held in high regard by much of modern Christianity. In fact, so-called Christian organizations exist to validate the ideas of “free markets” and the “spirit of capitalism” as scripturally-endorsed forces for good. Yes, Scripture endorses good works. But these come from inspired individual hearts, not systems or machines. True capitalism, like democracy, is only good if the majority of people have the One that is Good living in their hearts.

Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism2 and R. H. Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism3 provide excellent documentaries of how this progression to mass idolatry came about. Both of them were spurred to write about these issues already at the turn of the 20th century. Were they to have lived to see our day, they would probably have been shocked. What is still called capitalism by name today is only a faint parody of its early roots, a far cry from honest labor and godly stewardship. Today, we live in the “Age of Money,” “The Age of Global Capital.” It involves a religion … a faith in the ways (financial and economic theories of wealth) of mankind.

Today, our societies endorse greed as good… at least some measure of it. Too much, of course, is not completely condoned. But the definition of what is too much or not enough is a relative concept and in constant flux. All the same, the very pillar of modern day economy and its theories is indeed the “spirit of greed.” Says one writer, “The essence of this philosophy of avarice is the idea or of the duty of the individual to work towards the increase of his wealth, which is assumed to be an end in itself.”4 Most of us live right at “ground zero” of this phenomenon. According to one influential business writer about the US, “The American way of business has been hijacked by the values of a financial community that is so preoccupied with trading and deal-making that it has lost sight of the purpose of its own existence.”5

Points to Ponder

The conditions of materialism and economic oppression witnessed today—even in such advanced nations as the U.S., Canada and others—is at least as rampant as during the times that the prophets sounded the warnings and indictments against Judah and Israel. To date, global leaders and finance ministers from the major nations have no answer to the Global Financial Crisis other than to reshuffle debt and to shift liabilities upon governments and aging populations. The result is even greater financial slavery for the average citizen; even greater relative wealth of the “haves.”

We see that what began from good motives has long ago given way to the “doctrines of demons.” It is a system that has become little more than the worship of self-interest and greed as the common givers of good and prosperity for mankind. It is this “doctrine of greed” that today plays the role of a new secular religion, one that is unifying much of the world—and also pulling the entire world into a common net.

According to this perspective, freely-trading financial markets are all-wise and all-knowing. False and deceiving forms of wealth are considered just as acceptable as real wealth. Economic growth, for its own sake, is good. Consumption must be maximized as an inaeliable proof of progress.

It used to be the other way around. The most beneficial activity for society overall was the act of frugality and denial. Now that this system of frugality and honest work has produced great wealth, the system itself is being worshiped apart from the workings of God’s grace. And, therefore, it is ripe for total collapse.

The fact that today’s popular theories are false as relates to the peace and godliness of mankind is widely evident, yet purposely ignored. Even though many nations have become richer (in the world’s definition), survey after survey shows that people in America, Europe and Japan are less pleased with their circumstances than 50 years ago. Why? According to the Bible, and evidenced by surveys, the problem is envy, greed and idolatry. More will never be enough, “man cannot live by bread alone” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

So, we see that a large part of the world has traveled the slippery slope from piety to rampant greed. Applying the language of our day, what once was honest vocation led to capitalism, then to the “spirit of capitalism,” and in recent decades, the outright idolatry of materialism and “greed is good.” In this process, we see the five-stage progression of sin. First, man sins. Then man finds ways to justify it. Next, he boasts about the sin. Finally, good and truth are torn down. But, that is not the end. Lastly comes judgment.

At that time there will be such a crisis, that people will likely respond as they did to Joseph in the third year of the famine: “[…] Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh” (Genesis 47:19). This “burning fuse” is getting very short in this writer’s opinion. As this article lays out, the world is ripe to have its financial and economic control systems put at the disposal of the False Prophet and the evil purposes of the Antichrist.





++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Zechariah 12:3,9:
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Disclaimer: Rapture Bible Prophecy Forum, ( http://www.rapturebibleprophecyforum.com ) does not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the reply button.

If you are new to this site and would like to post articles, opinions, youtube videos that are appropriate for this site just e mail me at

stevensandiego@ymail.com
I will send you a PASSWORD

Ybic
Steven