Prophesied Events before the Second Coming
By Rick Brinegar
In the year 2015, many important steps were taken toward the fulfillment of several major prophecies given for the times just ahead. Here are several events that are prophesied to occur just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
- A global economy will be established.
- A peace agreement will be signed between Israel and the Palestinians marking the beginning of the Final Seven Years to the Battle of Armageddon.
- A war will emanate from the Euphrates River region that will kill one-third of the world’s population.
- There will be an increase in homosexual activity.
- A world government will be established on earth.
- The Holy Roman Empire will be reborn and become the center of world power.
- A world religion will cause all to pledge allegiance to the Antichrist and his world-governing system.
Join us as we review significant moves toward the fulfillment of all seven of these prophesied events.
A Global Economy
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
As the world moves into a single economic trading structure, the technology for a centralized, cashless, universal system of buying and selling has become fully feasible and can be implemented on short notice. If you refuse to receive this technology, you will be denied the ability to conduct even the simplest forms of economic activity, and you will be considered to be an enemy of the state. Inherent in such technology today is the means to determine the location of any individual on earth at any time. Privacy and states’ rights advocates have long argued against such a universal identification and tracking system as a threat to citizens’ privacy and an assault on state authority.
REAL ID 2015 Implementation, Next Air Travel Announcement in 2016
In 2005, the federal REAL ID Act set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and established a schedule which would prohibit federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. The REAL ID Act has experienced significant pushback from many non-compliant states over the past decade, forcing federal officials to delay its implementation several times.
A Department of Homeland Security update had declared that, starting on October 10, 2015, visitors to most Federal facilities had to begin presenting “proper identification”, that is, REAL ID-compliant state-issued driver’s licenses or ID cards. The DHS update made it clear, however, that until they announced otherwise, the Transportation Security Administration would continue to accept valid driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by all states for boarding airlines. The Department of Homeland Security said that it plans to make its next air travel announcement at the end of 2016.
20-30% Not REAL ID Compliant Yet
The October DHS update had boasted that, “States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act.” Is compliance really “considerable”? In October, the Idaho Statesman specified just how much compliance progress the states had really made, and posted a list of seventeen states which still have laws prohibiting any REAL ID implementation. Some of the states with bans have sought and received extensions. As of October 2015, nine non-compliant states and territories were counted in the Idaho Statesman report along with 23 fully compliant states and 26 states and territories which had received compliance extensions. Even the Department of Homeland Security concedes that 20-30% of Americans live in jurisdictions which are not REAL ID compliant meaning that their driver’s licenses, at some unspecified point in the near future, will no longer be accepted during security checks at the airport.
Ecuador’s State-Run Digital Currency
Ecuador’s digital currency system began handling actual electronic money transactions for selected services and for sending money between individuals in February. This is the first-ever state-run electronic payment system.
Denmark Law to Make Cash Illegal?
A proposed new law in Denmark would require all payments to be made by contactless card, mobile phone apps or other electronic means, while notes and coins would be abolished. Electronic money is seen as an inclusive and convenient system which eases “administrative and financial burdens” through a government-controlled bank.
DHS Admits to “Behavioral Detection” Surveillance
A recent DHS technique enhances the science of personal identification and location tracking with the ability to determine a person’s frame of mind. In a June report entitled “Data Collection for the Centralized Hostile Intent Project”, the Department of Homeland Security disclosed that they will use “Behavioral Detection Officers” already employed at airports around the country to observe passengers and watch for “a discrete subset of behavioral indicators” of “malicious intent.”
Uganda National ID 80% Complete
Uganda declared in July that the country’s National ID project was 80% complete. 16.2 million of a total of 35 million Ugandans have registered and will be eligible to vote next year. Registration is compulsory.
Identification for Development (ID4D) – Global Biometric ID
The United Nations launched a “new universal agenda” for humanity in September consisting of 17 new goals to replace the expiring Millennium Development Goals. The UN commands the entire planet to commit to the new “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Goal 16.9 sets the target date for universal biometric ID in these words: “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.” The World Bank Identification for Development program’s stated goals are “fighting extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.” To achieve these goals the ID4D program will help countries provide identity for everyone by 2030. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will use Accenture’s Biometric Identity Management System to collect facial, iris, and fingerprint biometric data, and provide many refugees with their only form of official documentation. The information will be stored in a central database in Geneva.
Next Generation Identification (NGI) Fully Operational
The FBI’s Next Generation Identification system became fully operational on September 15, 2015 providing state-of-the-art investigative tools to more than 18,000 local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies across the country. The NGI system, designed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, uses a biometric and facial recognition database of fingerprints, mug shots, scars, birth marks and tattoos. It can be used to identify a random person in a crowd and track them as they move. Eventually, our eyeballs, voices and walking style will be recorded and categorized also.
“Legal Workforce Act,” Biometric ID for All Americans
Congressman Lamar Smith promoted passage of the “Legal Workforce Act”, in October which he authored as a solution to the backlash against the Obama administration’s extreme amnesty agenda and the arrogance of executive overreach. The “Legal Workforce Act” contains a controversial enhanced “E-Verify” technology. Potential employees would have to receive federal government permission to work based on information obtained from a massive federal biometric database of sensitive data compiled from virtually every person in the United States.
Nigeria to Link Biometrics With National ID
In Nigeria, biometrics-enabled bank verification numbers (BVN) will be linked with national identity card data by 2016. Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) collaborates with other federal agencies to issue the National Identification Number (NIN), which will be required of all citizens in order to produce a central database for economic planning, healthcare delivery, educational development and security.
MasterCard “Selfie” Pay for Online Purchases
MasterCard announced a pilot program in October in which online customers can identify themselves with either a fingerprint or a smartphone “selfie” facial scan. This kind of online authentication may replace inconvenient passwords and the process of logging on when using mobile devices for purchases.
EEOC Wins “Mark of the Beast” Ruling
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission won a religious discrimination lawsuit in October on behalf of a CONSOL Energy mine worker who refused to use the company’s new biometric hand scanners and who was awarded in excess of $500,000. The employee believed that the use of the scanner would result in him receiving the “Mark of the Beast,” which would be a sign of loyalty to the Antichrist.
Cybersecurity Bill Threatens Privacy
The Senate passed the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act on October 27, 2015. CISA would give companies legal immunity for sharing data-mined user information with the federal government. It must now be reconciled with similar legislation passed earlier this year by the House. Privacy activists say that provisions which allow the Department of Homeland Security to share CISA information with other government agencies turns the legislation into a backdoor surveillance bill that benefits other government agencies, such as the FBI or the National Security Agency.
Google and Facebook Won’t be Stopped From Tracking Users
The Federal Communications Commission announced in November that it will not require Google, Facebook and other Internet companies to implement technology that would allow users to use a “do not track” button to signal websites that they do not want to be tracked.
Apple CEO: Next Generation “Will Not Know What Money Is”
Though cash is still used for more than half of payments by consumers, Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of technology giant, Apple, boldly predicted to Trinity College students in Ireland, “Your kids will not know what money is.” A Lloyds Bank poll had reported that 39 per cent of respondents said they didn’t expect to need cash at all within a decade.
A Heavy Club Forces Compliance
Minnesota Senator Warren Limmer had opposed REAL ID as early as 2009, calling the legislation a classic example of government overreach. He now believes that the federal government is “using a heavy club” to force the states into compliance. “…What is the cost of the card in freedom, liberty, individual rights and privacy?” he asked. Limmer continued, “Does the government have to know everything? This is a step in that direction.” As we rapidly approach the implementation of the Mark of the Beast, the central issue seems to be just what Senator Limmer is talking about: Does the government have the right to know everything?
A Heavy Price for Convenience
The transition to electronic biometric identity and transaction technology may speed up such things as making payments and boarding transportation. It may reduce cash-related crime and the time spent waiting in long lines. However, with this convenience comes a heavy price. Privacy will become virtually nonexistent, and accepting this technology may become equivalent to accepting the Antichrist’s regime.
Middle East Peace Agreement
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)
This prophecy states that “he” (the Antichrist) will confirm the Abrahamic “covenant” (Israel’s right to a homeland in the Holy Land) for a week of years (seven years). This speaks of a seven-year peace agreement between Palestinians and Jews. This agreement will mark the beginning of the Final Seven Years to Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth.
The Temple Mount will be Shared Under the Agreement
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:1-2)
This passage depicts the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement between Jew and Gentile. It also describes a Jewish temple standing on the Jewish controlled portion of the Temple Mount. This arrangement will be part of the seven-year peace agreement.
Judea (the West Bank) will Become the New Palestinian State
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains…” (Matthew 24:15-16)
This famous prophecy of Jesus indicates that Judea (the West Bank) will become a Palestinian state and that Jews will be allowed to remain in their homes, living as a Jewish minority under the new Palestinian state. It also indicates that Jews living in Judea during the Final Seven Years will have to run for their lives halfway through the seven-year period.
The UN and the World Community have already acknowledged Israel’s right to a homeland in the Promised Land. Both Palestinians and Israelis have publicly endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state in the area of the West Bank (Judea). This projected arrangement is called the “Two-State Solution”.
The only possible answer to the contention over who should control the Temple Mount will be to place it under a sharing arrangement between Muslims and Jews. This possibility has already been discussed. As a matter of fact, a bill has been introduced in the Israeli Knesset that would mandate that the Temple Mount be shared between Muslims and Jews.
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis have discussed what to do with the 350,000 Jews presently living in the area that will become the new Palestinian state. Both sides have said that Jews who refuse to move could remain in their homes living as a Jewish minority in the projected Palestinian state. We can see that all the conditions prophesied for the coming Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement are already under discussion.
Disappointing Peace Process
The history of the attempts by Israel and the Palestinians to find a peaceful solution to decades of conflict has been disappointing. The 1993 Oslo Accords were hailed by President Clinton as the beginning of a “bold journey” toward peace. However, the peace process had run aground by the time President Clinton left office, and the Camp David Summit of 2000 ended without an agreement.
Direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians began in July 2013, but collapsed by the end of April 2014, after nine months of intensive shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry. The White House has advised that the Israelis and Palestinians are unlikely to resume negotiations during President Obama’s remaining time in office.
Jordanian Arrested for Advocating Jewish Temple Mount Prayer
A move toward the sharing of the Temple Mount by Jews and Gentiles made headlines at the beginning of 2015. Jordanian Muslim Sheikh Yassin Al-Ajlouni was arrested in January for advocating Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount just a week after he had issued a public statement retracting his very unpopular comments. Al-Ajlouni had even suggested that a special “house of prayer” should be set up for the Jews on the Temple Mount.
UK Recognition of Palestinian State
In 2014, the United Kingdom’s Parliament had voted in favor of a symbolic, non-binding motion recognizing Palestine as a state alongside Israel. In March, Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called on the British Parliament to formally recognize a Palestinian state, following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute election promise not to pursue a two-state solution.
Netanyahu Urges “Mass Immigration” of Jews
“I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: ‘Israel is the home of every Jew,’” Netanyahu said. “To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Nearly 30,000 Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015.
Netanyahu Wins Decisive Victory
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party won a clear and decisive victory in Israel’s parliamentary elections in March. Netanyahu commented at that time that there were alliances forming in the Middle East that could make peace progress possible. He affirmed later in November that Israel has not given up on the hope for peace, and that he remains committed to a two-state solution with a Palestinian state which recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.
Vatican to Recognize “State of Palestine”
Israel conveyed its disappointment in May with the Vatican’s decision to accept an agreement with the Palestinians which laid the groundwork for the formal recognition of a Palestinian state. An Israeli Foreign Ministry source told the press that the agreement is harmful to the peace process, and that it “moves the Palestinian leadership further away from returning to direct bilateral relations.”
Tony Blair Quits as Middle East Peace Envoy
Tony Blair stepped down as Middle East peace envoy in June, following years of criticism about the potential conflicts of interest between his role in peace negotiations in the Middle East and his business activities. He had always been seen as a true friend of Israel but was criticized for his reluctance to challenge the Israelis over their unwillingness to agree to a two-state solution.
Jerusalem Historically Only the Capital of Jewish people
“Jerusalem historically has been the only capital of the Jewish people, and so it will remain,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 17, at the government’s official Jerusalem Day ceremony at Ammunition Hill.
EU Seeks Coalition to Revive Mideast Peace
More than a year after the collapse of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, European foreign ministers agreed in July to create an “international support group”, to revive peace negotiations. The foreign ministers had been inspired by Europe’s role in the nuclear deal with Iran. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said, “This week tells us that diplomacy in the long run can deliver.” Mogherini sees an opportunity for EU diplomacy in the absence of a new push for peace from Washington as U.S. President Barack Obama approaches the end of his final term.
Netanyahu: Iran Nuclear Deal “Historic Mistake”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the nuclear deal, which was finalized between the major powers and Iran, was “a historic mistake for the world.” “Wide-ranging concessions were made in all of the areas which should have prevented Iran from getting the ability to arm itself with a nuclear weapon,” said Netanyahu. He concluded that Israel is not bound by the deal and “reserves the right to defend itself.”
Rabbi Glick: “We will Not Allow Any Violent People… to Scare Us Away.”
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt by a Muslim gunman last year said in July, “We will not allow any violent people… any terrorists, to scare us away.” Tensions on the Temple Mount were aggravated, and deadly extremist attacks surged in October because of growing Palestinian fears that Israel was increasing Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
Quartet Invites Arab Countries to Restart Peace Talks
The Middle East Quartet (United Nations, Russia, United States, and European Union) invited the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in September to meet to seek a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A 2002 Arab Peace Initiative had called for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria in exchange for full normalization of ties between Israel and the Arab world.
Hopelessness may Trigger Palestinian Intifada
There is talk again of the expectation of a “third intifada”, a massive insurrection of Palestinian society against the Israeli “occupation” of their territory. The Palestinian population seems to have the same sense of powerlessness today that drove the previous intifadas. In October, Israel’s Public Security Minister approved initiatives to make it easier for Israeli citizens to obtain guns. It was also announced that tougher sanctions will fall on the families of any Palestinians involved in the recent spontaneous waves of attacks on Jerusalem. An uprising by Palestinian Arabs against Israel in Gaza and the West Bank in the late 1980s and again in 2000 resulted in many deaths. In just the second intifada alone, 500 Israelis and almost 3,600 Palestinians died.
Turmoil may Drive the Peace Process
It appears that Israelis and Palestinians are further from peace today than they were when the Oslo process began. To many analysts, the Middle East peace process has, for all intents and purposes, collapsed. However, the turmoil in the Middle East, which seems to be an obstacle to peace at the moment, might yet become the force needed to drive the peace process. The positions of Israel and the Palestinians may still be too firmly entrenched, and the current situation not yet unbearable enough to bring them to the negotiation table. It may yet take something like a deadly “third intifada”, a major regional war or even a nuclear conflict to create the dynamics necessary to fulfill the prophesied peace agreement.
Sixth Trumpet – World War III
“And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.” (Revelation 9:13-16)
The “Sixth Trumpet War”, which results in the death of “a third of mankind,” begins when four angels are loosed in the region of the Euphrates River. The nations touched by the Euphrates River (Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran) all threaten the extinction of Israel. The year 2015 was a year of increasing regional hostilities. Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah are currently forming a coalition, adding to the mix of volatile hotspots in the Middle East. North Korea continued its provocative and belligerent rhetoric toward the West. And, as the United States was set to deploy troops on the ground to battle ISIS, the Iranians, the Turks, the U.S.-led coalition and the Russians all had bombers in the crowded skies over Syria.
Obama ‘Delusional’ About Stopping ISIS
Following Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in January, former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton accused the President of being “delusional”, for claiming that American leadership and “military power” in Iraq and Syria were “stopping ISIL’s advance.”
“Perpetual” War on Terror Now Limited to 3 Years?
President Obama issued a request to Congress in February to authorize military force against ISIS, six months after the United States had begun bombing Iraq and Syria. The resolution opened the door for ground combat operations in limited circumstances, and covered military actions against ISIS and those who fight with ISIS against the United States and its allies. The resolution has a three-year limit but no limit on the geographic extent of U.S. operations. Continuing conflicts in Iraq, Syria and beyond, which is what the Bush-Cheney administration once called the “global war on terror”, have been fueled by America’s drive to control oil resources and maintain a dominant strategic position in the Middle East.
North Korea Blasts U.S. Over New Sanctions
North Korea accused the United States of “groundlessly” stirring up hostility in January, after the U.S. had sanctioned Pyongyang officials and organizations for a cyberattack on Sony Pictures. An unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry denied any role in the breach of tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails and business files.
New Iranian Missile could Reach Europe and Beyond
An Israeli analyst revealed in March that the new Iranian Soumar missile could reach Europe, and that it could be deployed on ships and submarines to “project their power worldwide.”
Iran and the U.S.–Friend and Foe at the Same Time?
In what some see as the latest in a series of reversals and inconsistencies in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, Iran has become a de facto ally of the United States in the fight against ISIS. President Obama had said previously that Iran and the U.S. “share a common interest.” At the beginning of April, Iran and the United States began working together to retake Saddam Hussein’s hometown, Tikrit, from ISIS. The battle against Sunni extremists has taken the form of a synergy of American airstrikes and Iranian-backed ground assaults. The Iraqi military serves as the conduit between these sworn enemies even as the U.S. is actively trying to subvert Iran in places like Yemen.
Russia Delivers S-300 Air Defense Missiles to Iran
After lifting a five-year ban on delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran in April, Russia announced that delivery of the air defense system was on schedule. The United States and Israel had objected to the lifting of the ban, claiming that it was a direct result of nuclear talks with Iran.
NATO Exercises Send Putin a Clear Message
In a reaction to Putin’s aggressive actions against Ukraine over the last year, NATO countries staged massive exercises in May, deploying more than 21,000 troops along Russia’s borders in Estonia, Lithuania and Norway. The alliance appeared to be sending a message that NATO is resolved to defend its new members. Trident Juncture, an amphibious NATO exercise, unfolded across Europe later in October and November as tensions continued to escalate. During the exercise, hosted by Italy, Spain and Portugal, thousands of U.S. troops, including 2,200 soldiers and more than 800 Marines, conducted operations ashore and afloat in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
Russia “Playing With Fire” Over Nuclear Threats
Leaked notes from a meeting in April between U.S. and Russian officials revealed that Russia had talked about “a spectrum of responses from nuclear to non-military” if NATO moved more forces into the Baltic States. Senior Pentagon official Robert Work said, “Anyone who thinks they can control escalation through the use of nuclear weapons is literally playing with fire.” The United States had begun deployment of heavy weapons across Europe in an effort to stand up to Russia.
Defusing Iran’s Nuclear Threat
President Obama was confident in July that by defusing Iran’s nuclear threat, even if only for about ten years, there would be time to improve relations. American concessions have moved the negotiations forward at every stage. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action does little to eliminate Iran’s capacity to become a threshold of nuclear power – it just delays it. Henry Kissinger commented that it does nothing to change “three and a half decades of militant hostility to the West.” Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, called the deal a dangerous compromise and an “historic mistake.” In September, the Senate failed to muster enough votes to cripple the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, giving President Obama one of the biggest foreign policy victories of his second term.
Russia – Greatest Security Threat to U.S.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, who took the top post on October 1, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in July that Russia poses the greatest security threat to the United States. “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States,” Dunford said, “I’d have to point to Russia.” General Dunford intends to expand the fight against ISIS by sending more U.S. troops to be “co-located with Iraqi units.”
Putin Creates New Reserve Force to Counter the West
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the establishment of a new reserve armed force in July to specifically address tensions with the West over Ukraine. This new force will be formed in addition to already existing Russian reserves and will consist of part-time personnel who will be paid monthly and train regularly.
North Korea Threatens War with Nuclear Rhetoric
A spokesman for Korea’s National Defense Committee hinted in August at the country’s willingness to use nuclear weapons against the United States and South Korea. The NDC spokesman said, “The army and people of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] are no longer what they used to be in the past, when they had to counter the U.S. nukes with rifles.”
U.S. Surprised by Russian Accord with Iraq, Syria, Iran
The Iraqi military’s Joint Operations Command announced in September that an understanding with Russia had been reached, and that intelligence about ISIS would be shared with Iraq, Syria and Iran. American officials see Assad as the main source of instability in Syria and believe that he must be removed, while Russian officials think that the defeat of ISIS should come first before negotiating a solution to the Syrian conflict. Secretary of State John Kerry had said that he had hoped Russia and Iran would play a positive role in Syria and that they would back a political transition. The ISIS militants, which the United States is now trying to subdue, are allied with the rebel coalition supported by the U.S., which is fighting against the Assad regime in Syria.
WWIII Shaping Up in Syria
Beijing dispatched naval forces in September, including an aircraft carrier, to Syria alongside a Russian military force that will join Hezbollah and Iranian army regulars in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS and assure that Bashar Assad’s regime is not overthrown. The goal of Iran and Hezbollah is to become the dominant government over most of the Middle East. Meanwhile, the United States is supplying and training forces to overthrow Assad.
Russia Builds Arctic Base 300 Miles from U.S.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced in October that Russia now owns a military base in the Arctic. The base can “comfortably” house 150 soldiers with enough supplies for 18 months. Earlier in the year, Moscow had filed a claim at the UN covering a vast swath of the region including the North Pole. Its navy has also held military exercises in the far north.
China Warns: “Provocative Acts” could Spark U.S.-China War
On October 19, a United States destroyer came within twelve nautical miles of a Chinese South China Sea artificial island. China’s navy chief warned U.S. Admiral John Richardson that encounters between their forces, even a minor incident, could spiral into major conflict. Washington has accused China of a massive land reclamation project and does not recognize Chinese claims to territorial waters around the artificial islands. The European Union sided with Washington on the matter, saying through a senior EU official, “The U.S. is exercising its freedom of navigation.” In May, the China Times had warned, “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea.”
Rice: Iran Nuclear Deal Creates Arms Race
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized the Obama administration for signing a nuclear arms deal with Iran in October. Rice called the agreement a “$100bn pact to destabilize the Middle East.” She feared that the pact would create “an arms race in the Middle East,” and she also claimed that it left Iran with a “threshold” nuclear weapons capability.
American Boots on the Ground in Syria
In the most significant escalation of the American military campaign against ISIS yet, President Obama announced on October 30, 2015 that the United States would deploy troops on the ground, Special Operations forces, who would be sent to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria to assist anti-government rebels in fighting against ISIS. Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear that President Obama’s decision to send U.S. troops into Syria is not a decision to enter Syria’s civil war, but rather that the administration’s goal is to destroy ISIS. Since 2013, President Obama has repeatedly vowed that there would be no American “boots on the ground” in Syria. The United States has bombed targets in Syria since September 2014 but has not been successful in stopping ISIS or in training “moderate” rebels.
Ron Paul: Obama’s Syria War Illegal
Prime Minster David Cameron had to discontinue the United Kingdom’s air campaign in Syria because he did not have enough votes in Parliament to continue. According to Ron Paul, President Obama has circumvented this kind of hindrance by simply ignoring Congress and the Constitution. This makes the involvement of the United States in the expanding war in Syria illegal.
Pentagon: Russia Putting World Peace at Risk
United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told a California audience in November that Russia’s “challenging activities” and nuclear saber-rattling are “disturbing.” “We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot, war with Russia,”he added. “We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake; the United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”
New, “More Usable” Nuclear Bomb in Europe
The B61 nuclear bomb is getting an upgrade which military strategist believe will make it “more usable.” There are 180 of the B61 low-yield, earth-penetrating “mini-nukes” stockpiled in Europe as a deterrent to rogue states concealing their weapons of mass destruction underground. The upgrade turns the B61 into the B61-12, which is more of a “smart bomb” with improved targeting capabilities. The government’s $8 billion upgrade may be how the administration sidesteps President Obama’s pledge to not develop new nuclear capabilities.
Russia Developing Nuclear-Armed Drone Sub
A Washington Free Beacon article reported in November that a secret nuclear-armed drone submarine had been inadvertently shown on a document during several Russian television broadcasts. U.S. officials said that the long-distance drone submarine is expected to carry a very large megaton-class warhead that could be used to attack harbors and coastal regions. The drone submarine will have a speed and depth capability greater than that of any manned submarine in the world.
Hollande Calls ISIS Carnage “Act of War”
ISIS has taken responsibility for the worst attacks in France since World War II. They are among the deadliest terrorist assaults against the West since September 11, 2001. French President Francois Hollande called the attacks, which killed at least 129 people and injured 352 on November 13 an “act of war” and vowed a “merciless” response. Secretary of State John Kerry described the wave of violence as “heinous, evil” and “vile” and called it “an assault on our common humanity.” The European Council released a joint statement condemning the siege as “an attack against us all.” A leaked German intelligence document had revealed that, “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law.”
Republicans Demand U.S. Lead New War to “Eradicate ISIS”
Republican presidential candidates pushed for more aggressive military action following terrorist acts in Paris, France, one of the United States’ NATO allies. Senator Marco Rubio called for bringing “everyone together to put together a coalition to confront this challenge.” Jeb Bush wanted the United States to lead a new war to “eradicate ISIS from the face of the earth,” while Lindsey Graham demanded an immediate ground invasion of Syria.
Turkish-Russian Tensions After Turkey Downs Russian Jet
Tensions between Turkey and Russia have erupted into a diplomatic crisis since Turkey shot down a Russian jet it accused of violating its airspace on November 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Turkey shot the plane down to protect oil, which he says Turkey is illegally importing from ISIS. Turkey vehemently denied the charge and insisted that it won’t apologize for the shoot-down.
Dragged Into World War III
In 2015, tensions continued to increase between the West and Iran, China, and North Korea, as Arab states continued to vow the destruction of Israel. Russia’s intervention in Syria, a diplomatic crisis between Russia and Turkey, and the emergence of ISIS as a global terrorist threat could yet drag the United States and its allies into a regional world war, even into World War III.
The Gay Agenda
“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:28-30)
Religious Liberty Challenged by Same-Sex Rights
With the backing of the court system and the regulatory state, sexual-revolution initiatives and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activism continued to challenge religious liberty in America and around the world in 2015.
Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage “Legal” Nationwide
On June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court decided, in a 5-4 vote, that the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment require states to license marriages between two people of the same sex. The decision overturned a November ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld traditional marriage laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Justice Kennedy joined four other justices in striking down state bans on same-sex marriage. President Obama welcomed the ruling, saying that it “affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts.” Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy claimed that same-sex couples may now not be deprived of “that right and liberty” to marry and affirmed that it would “disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.”
A New Sexual Liberty
In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Roberts appeared to have some difficulty finding such a “right and liberty” in the Constitution. “Celebrate the availability of new benefits,” he said, “But do not celebrate the Constitution.It had nothing to do with it.” “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment,” Roberts said. “The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this court’s precedent.” Frank Turek, of OneNewsNow, noted that when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868, homosexual behavior was a felony in every state in America. “So if the 14th Amendment was intended to require same-sex marriage,” wrote Turek, “then every state in the union intended to throw the new couple into prison as soon as the marriage was consummated!”
Christian Leaders Warn of Persecution Ahead
The Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision was immediately denounced by Christian leaders worldwide, who warned that it will undermine religious liberty and intensify persecution of more Christians. Franklin Graham said, “I’m disappointed because the government is recognizing sin.” Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said, “I believe this action of finding some illusory Fourteenth Amendment right to same-sex marriage will have wide-ranging and perilous consequences for the stability of families and for freedom of religion.” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville said, “Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.”
Huckabee: U.S. Moving toward ‘Criminalization of Christianity’
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had previously warned pastors attending a Family Research Council Conference of the coming criminalization of Christianity. He told the pastors that if they refuse to perform same-sex marriages because of their convictions, “…your behavior will be criminal.” He said that pastors will not just be expressing a preference, but that they will be “…breaking the law subject to civil, for sure, and possibly criminal penalties for violating the law.”
Citing God’s Authority, Kentucky Clerk Defies Supreme Court
In September, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis clung to her religious beliefs, despite death threats, calls for her resignation, and an order that she appear in federal court. “To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s word. It is a matter of religious liberty,” she said. When a same-sex couple asked Davis under whose authority she was denying them a marriage license, Davis replied, “Under God’s authority.”
Davis spent five days in jail for refusing to obey a federal judge’s ruling ordering her to issue the licenses. After her release from jail, she altered all marriage licenses issued by her office by removing her name and all references to the Rowan County Clerk’s office.
Kentucky Governor-Elect Matt Bevin said that, when he takes office in December, he will adapt the state marriage license forms for those who object to same-sex marriage by removing the names of county clerks from the forms through executive order. Kim Davis continued her court battle to resolve the issues related to her alteration of the Rowan County forms. She petitioned the court to reverse rulings against her, but her request was rejected. In an October article in the Advocate, Justice Kennedy reportedly suggested that public officials who object to the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling or other legal mandates should resign. Justice Kennedy said, “It would be difficult for me to say that people are free to ignore a decision by the Supreme Court.”
Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders
In July, the Boy Scouts of America ended its ban on openly gay adult leaders. Under the new policy, discrimination based on sexual orientation will also be barred in all Boy Scouts offices and for all paid jobs. The Mormon Church, which is actively involved in “scouting”, responded by saying, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote.”
LGBT Rights Promoted Globally
In August, the United Nations held its first-ever meeting of the Security Council to address the human rights of LGBT people. Those who attended the briefing, co-chaired by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and her Chilean counterpart, heard about the abuse and violence being perpetrated against LGBT people in areas controlled by ISIS. In September, major corporations including Google Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Coca-Cola Company, Accenture, AT&T Inc., IBM Corp. and Procter & Gamble Company joined a new coalition to push for LGBT rights in the workplace in countries such as Russia, Uganda and in the Middle East. In November, Uruguay became the latest country to join the Global Equality Fund, a United States initiative which promotes LGBT rights around the world. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Uruguay since 2013, and transgender individuals can legally change their gender identification without surgery.
“Bathroom Bills” a Problem for Houston and Dallas
Houston, Texas decided it had a problem; its LGBT nondiscrimination law. On November 4, 2015 Houston voters went to the polls and defeated the so-called “bathroom bill” by a wide margin. Opponents had alleged that the law would allow men who perceived themselves as women, including sexual predators, to enter women’s restrooms. Supporters of the law, including lesbian Mayor Annise Parker, contended that it broadened important local assistance for protected classes to respond to discrimination. Franklin Graham called it a true victory that highlights people’s moral convictions, and said, “Voters and leaders at all levels across America need to take note that these battles are worth fighting for the sake of the future of our nation.”
Soon, the same coalition of pastors from Houston, who helped defeat the transgender-rights ordinance there, volunteered to help pastors in Dallas oppose a similar issue. The Dallas City Council inconspicuously slipped “gender identity” specific language into an existing LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance on November 10, 2015. Councilman Art Medrano said that the new ordinance wording only clarifies that “a person’s gender is determined by the person’s own perception of their gender,” meaning real or perceived perception.
Mormon LGBT Policy Divides Church
The Mormon Church declared same-sex couples apostates and barred their children from baptism in November. An LDS church document stated, “The legalization of same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court ruling in June raised the question of whether there might be room for monogamous, legally married, same-sex couples in the church. The new definition appears to close that door.” About 1,500 LDS members submitted letters of resignation to protest the change in same-sex policy. One of the protestors said, “The people in the Mormon Church are finding that this is not a Christ-centered policy.”
President Obama Honored as LGBT ‘Ally of the Year’
Barak Obama became the first sitting president to be photographed for the cover of an LGBT publication, in November. Because of his stance on LGBT issues, the cover of OUT magazine has declared him to be the “Ally of the Year.” During his term in office, the President has repealed the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He has also appointed several LGBT advocates to high-profile positions in the White House administration and the military.
U.S. LGBT Envoy and Vatican Address LGBT Persecution
Randy Berry, the newly appointed U.S. State Department’s special envoy for LGBT rights, met with Pope Francis in November to forge a partnership to stand against the persecution of LGBT people in many countries. Berry said that “issues of violence and extreme discrimination are of concern
to us all.”
Editor’s Note: Part 2 of “Prophetic Fulfillments of 2015” will be published in the March/April edition of Endtime magazine.
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