News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
At the beginning of each year, it is my practice on "The Hal Lindsey Report" to review the previous year and highlight both major and minor events or developments that I believe have prophetic significance.
This week, I'll present Part One of "2017: The Prophetic Year in Review."
When Jesus was describing conditions just previous to the end of this Age, He said "you will hear of wars and rumors of war." (Matthew 24:6) In a broad sense, that's true of all years. But 2017 was different. It was rife with rumors of warfare at a level perhaps never seen on earth before.
Two nations figured prominently in those threats. One or both of them may one day make up part of an alliance known in Biblical prophecy as the "kings from the east." (Revelation 16:12)
Of course, I'm speaking of China and North Korea.
The Eurasia Group says that China leads all geopolitical risks in the coming year. To begin with, their war production is off-the-charts. Their state of the art factories are working round the clock producing futuristic weapons specifically designed to defeat the strengths of the United States military.
And some of them, such as the DF-17 missile that utilizes hypersonic glide technology, have western military leaders worried.
China is even working feverishly to engineer genetically-modified super-soldiers.
Just how serious is China? Recently, China's president Xi Jinping gave a three hour speech outlining China's plans for world domination within 30 years. And that was just what he was willing to reveal in public!
It goes without saying that 2017's poster boy for rumors and threats of war was North Korea's maniacal dictator Kim Jong-un. During the year, North Korea tested a series of ICBMs that eventually yielded a missile potentially capable of striking any target in the United States -- or the world, for that matter.
Kim also boasted that North Korea had tested its first hydrogen bomb. Seismic data from that region suggests that he may have been telling the truth.
What's more worrisome is that in December, Kim's regime announced that it will continue preparing "pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force." "Pre-emptive" means they're getting ready to fire the first shot.
As a result, nations across the Pacific region began seriously preparing their responses to a nuclear conflict.
And just as 2017 was fading into the sunset, reports came from Japan that North Korea is already loading anthrax into ICBMs. The presence of anthrax in the blood of a recent defector seems to confirm that North Korea is engaged in a serious bioweapons program.
How's that for "rumors of war?"
In 2017, European leaders may have finally begun to see how vulnerable they are to the Muslim migrants they have been welcoming for decades.
Turkey's Foreign Minister warned his counterparts that they "...have begun to collapse Europe... Holy wars will soon begin in Europe."
In the Netherlands, in order to get re-elected, the liberal Prime Minister had to sound like an ultra-nationalist! He took out a full-page newspaper ad telling migrants, "Act normal or go away... go back to Turkey." That's a complete U-turn!
Sweden still appears to be living in denial. That nation began accepting large numbers of Muslim in 1975. Since then, violent crime has risen 300%. Rapes have increased 1,472% through 2014. We receive e-mails from older Swedish citizens dejectedly telling us that they no longer recognize their nation -- and that they are afraid to go out at night. Many of them will only leave home in groups.
The bottom line is this. No matter what Angela Merkel, the mayor of London, or the leaders of the EU say, most European Muslims are NOT assimilating!
In April of 2017, the citizens of Turkey narrowly voted for constitutional amendments that removed all the checks and balances from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's power. And for a man who has long held delusions of a worldwide Islamic caliphate with himself in charge, that promises to be a dangerous thing.
Already, Erdogan has taken steps to establish a Turkish military presence in the Persian Gulf. The Jerusalem Post reports that his next goal is the Red Sea: "While Iran has taken the world's attention, Turkey is stealthily pursuing its goal of developing a military and intelligence infrastructure on the Red Sea."
What makes developments in Turkey even more interesting is that perhaps the biggest prophetic story of 2017 was the historic alignment of Turkey with Russia and Iran. Ezekiel 38 gives a list of nations that will one day launch a massive assault on Israel. Two of the nations are Russia and Persia, or modern Iran. Several of the smaller nations listed correspond to places now within the boundaries of modern Turkey.
How could Ezekiel have seen this alliance of unlikely nations 2,600 years ago when even 10 years ago it would have seemed absurd? (That's a rhetorical question, of course. We all know how!)
Russia and Iran are traditional enemies. Two years ago, Russia and Turkey were at each others' throats. But with stunning speed, Turkey has joined an active alliance with Russia and Iran.
From a secular standpoint, it is unbelievable. From a prophetic perspective, it is inevitable.
2017 closed with the people of Iran once more in the streets protesting their despotic government. What started as demonstrations against the mullahs' economic oppression has morphed into a revolt against their involvement in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. People in the streets have been chanting, "Death to Hezbollah!"
Why? Because that's where their money's going. After President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran removed the sanctions and allowed them to go full-bore selling their oil and gas, money has been flowing into Iran. Their coffers should be overflowing. But they're not.
As fast as it comes in, Iran is spending the money to build up its own military, arm Hamas in Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen. Now, they want to build missile factories in Syria. In other words, the money from Iran's oil and gas sales has not helped the Iranian people. (Did ANY sane person really believe it would?) Instead, it has funded foreign adventures for the power-hungry mullahs who rule Iran. (And EVERY sane person knew that it would!)
In 2017, America was still fighting in Afghanistan. Why? Because we are at war with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, all of whom are still fighting in Afghanistan. And as 9/11 proved, Afghanistan is important to American security at home.
Speaking of ISIS, in 2017 it was largely defeated on the traditional battlefield. Most of its strongholds in Iraq and Syria were retaken. But the ghosts of ISIS remain. And they haunt the world.
In 2017, what ISIS called "officially endorsed operations" included actions in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
ISIS lost a lot in 2017, but they have not gone away.
Finally, 2017 brought more of the same turmoil and world condemnation that has characterized Israel's history. From the Palestinian rioting over the metal detectors placed at the Temple Mount entrances to its condemnation as an "apartheid regime" by a United Nations agency.
When Donald Trump became President, PA president Mahmoud Abbas journeyed to the White House. He was effusive in his praise of the new President. He applauded his "leadership... courage... wisdom." He tried to flatter Mr. Trump with talk of "your great negotiating ability." In English, he added, "Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope."
By the end of the year, things had changed. On December 6, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. At that point, Abbas decided to cut the United States out of any peace process.
Though Abbas tried desperately to form a united government with Hamas, those efforts seem to be failing. A scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Dr. Ely Karmon, said, "Hamas is just waiting for Abbas to die." Meanwhile, Hamas remains committed to terrorism and they have increasingly close ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
Folks, things are definitely heating up! If you've not been serious about getting ready to leave this world when Jesus comes back for us, don't waste another moment!
I'll continue "2017: The Prophetic Year in Review" next week with Part Two.
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.