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To make sense of the tumultuous year of 2019, we must look back to a Bible prophecy recorded millennia ago.
The prophet Habakkuk in chapter 1 saw a vision of our time now: “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear! Even cry out unto You of violence, and You will not save! Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention” (vs. 2-3).
How true is this today!
Verse 4 continues: “Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth: for the wicked does compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceeds.”
The events of the past 365 days—and what is occurring now—can make us wonder the same thing as Habakkuk: “How long do we have to experience such evils, ills and confusion?”
So much happened in 2019, it is difficult to remember it all. There were the ongoing wars in the Mideast and Africa—oil tanker seizures in the Strait of Hormuz—intensifying racial strife worldwide—growing division (and threats) between Eastern and Western powers—entire nations plagued by famine—disease epidemics like Ebola threatening to morph into pandemics—increasing earthquake activity worldwide that could bring violent eruptions predicted to last centuries—riots of every kind for seemingly every cause—multiple severe storms throughout the world leaving flooding and destruction—instability and disorder within every facet of societies. The list could go on and on.
Readers, know that this question of “how long” we have to watch the world spiral toward destruction is of titanic importance. In my nearly 53 years of knowing God’s truth, and almost 49 years of teaching it, the culmination of His masterplan for mankind has never been more in the forefront of my mind. The Kingdom of God—a divinely run supergovernment—must soon come to save humanity from the problems, evils and ills it has brought on itself.
Ever-darkening world conditions make this abundantly clear.
Think of the seemingly endless spate of mass shootings. These are increasingly leaving people wondering, “Where will it happen next?”—and, “Could it happen to me, or someone I love?” Sadly, the answer to the first question is becoming, “Anywhere,” and the answer to the second question is, “Yes.”
Some events strike closer to home than others. In November, multiple shots were heard from our World Headquarters campus here in Wadsworth, Ohio. Early reports revealed a 26-year-old man was killed by officers in the Wadsworth Police Department and City Hall parking lot, under two miles from the campus. Cleveland News 5 reported there were “several rifle shell casings on the ground, a shotgun and handgun and a couple of cars in the parking lot littered with bullet holes”.
A later press conference attended by Real Truth reporters revealed the incident was a case of “suicide by cop.” The man was shot six times after drawing a very realistic looking BB pistol. Even the city wherein God’s Work is done is not immune to the commotions increasingly plaguing society.
Also not far from home, a 24-year-old masked gunman clad in heavy body armor killed nine (plus himself) and injured at least 27 others at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, in August. The victims included his sister. Astonishingly, he took nine and wrecked 27 lives in less than one minute. Police say that if their response had not been immediate, the death toll would have been in the hundreds.
I cannot count the number of trips to and nights I have spent in Dayton since I was a small child. I have dined in the downtown area where the shooting occurred. For me, the picture is very real.
And we should at least note that 55 people (including seven on a playground) were killed or wounded just in Chicago on the same weekend of that month—a worse total than the incident above. These received almost no press because “it’s Chicago.” But we could also talk about how many died or were shot in Baltimore and St. Louis and Los Angeles and New York and…and…and…
No one—regardless of party, political or moral persuasion—knows who or what is truly to blame. I John 5:19 says “the whole world lies in wickedness.” Who believes this? II Corinthians 4:4 adds that Satan is the “god of this world” who has “blinded the minds of them which believe not.” And who believes this? Revelation 12:9 speaks of Satan “which deceives the whole world.” And again, who believes this? No one even talks about such verses, never mind believes them! The true God will soon take back and fix what Satan has destroyed. Only then will tragedies like the one endured just 180 miles southwest of where I write be stopped.
Watching world conditions and events can be “vexing,” as was the case with ancient Lot observing his surroundings (II Pet. 2:7-8), but it is also to be deeply motivating! As the mess that encompasses the world only grows steadily worse, our desire to do something about it—to fix it!—should grow steadily stronger.
So many leaders have more concern for their own careers and agendas than for the people they are elected to serve. Isaiah 9:16 has application: “The leaders of this people [the modern-day nations of Israel] cause them to err.” We are truly a nation today that is “erring” in almost every way imaginable.
God was right in Amos 3:3 when He asked, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” The obvious answer is, of course not! The two big political parties of America simply cannot walk together. Without Christ’s intervention into world affairs very soon, it is impossible for mankind to ever see the goal of world peace achieved.
When God changes—revolutionizes—society, it will not just be from the “top down.” Every individual will be taught the correct way to live and given every opportunity to make the right choices. God describes one Israelite nation—Ephraim—in the following way: “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it” (Isa. 1:6). In the modern vernacular, which borrows from this verse, they are “sick from head to toe.” Every level of society demands the change we are so blessed to understand is just ahead!
Think about the conditions Habakkuk saw in vision. They are at an intensity never seen before, and they are rapidly growing worse. God’s Kingdom CANNOT be far away!
And I said nothing about the riots in Hong Kong, mass protests in Moscow, worsening horrors in Venezuela, 57 who died in a Brazil prison riot (16 decapitated), a bomb that killed and injured scores in Cairo, the canceled Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between Russia and America, Israel attacking sites in Iraq for the first time in 38 years, India suddenly ending the long-time autonomy of the region of Kashmir next to Pakistan and creating an uproar, President Trump issuing a 100 percent embargo of non-medical products going into Venezuela, and unending turmoil on the American southern border. Nor did I reference any recent earthquakes or storms, mass death of whales on the west coast, bees and bats disappearing seemingly everywhere, billions of grasshoppers suddenly descending on Las Vegas, and so much, much more.
In one sense, there could be no worse time to be alive. But more correctly, there could be no better time either! The chaos around us is the surest signal that God’s Kingdom is close. Keep watching!
Readers, there is coming a time when Isaiah 11:9 will come to pass: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My [God’s] holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Satan’s influence will no longer hold sway over the world and the conditions The Real Truth reports on will go away. May this be soon!