“But always, first of all, I warn you through my servants the prophets. I, the Sovereign Lord have now done this.” (Amos 3:7)
I have a foreboding in my spirit that must be unleashed today. Though we are heading into the springtime season, and some things look rosy or encouraging on the national front, there is a growing burden within me that all is not well and that everything is about to change.
I have been holding this message in my heart for months–maybe years. In the late 1970s I became convinced that America was in serious trouble due to her growing apathy and many sins. I began sharing that message around the nation in a message called “When Free Men Shall Stand.” I knew at that time that the future liberty of the United States was at stake.
On April 29, 1980, Washington for Jesus gathered 700,000 believers on the National Mall for a day of prayer and repentance to call the nation back to God and his purposes. That fall, Ronald Reagan amazingly swept into office and an era of “Morning in America” brought decades of stability and economic prosperity–the longest time peace-time economic expansion in our history.
Judgment had been diverted or delayed due to repentant hearts, increased prayer and godly leadership. During that season, I continually asked God why America was not being severely judged for her sins as she deserved. He made it clear at that time that it wasn’t about us–it was all about his grace and an explosion in global evangelism that was taking place. God was being merciful because the US, despite its many sins and weaknesses, was leading the world in fulfilling the Great Commission.
We still play that role, but many other nations like Brazil and Korea are on the rise. In the past two decades, global Christianity has switched its center from the West (Europe and America) to the Southern Hemisphere (Africa and Latin America) and Asia. Many believe that China is destined to become the leading nation in world evangelization in the 21st century.
At the same time, the light of truth and liberty continues to dim in the United States of America. Now many “prophets” are saying that grave dangers loom… and everything is about to change.
Today I add my voice to the growing chorus to help warn and prepare us.
First of all, a caveat about the word “prophet.” When I ran in 2006 for the Washington State Legislature, my opponent took some of my writings out of context where I’d referred to a prophetic nature or gifting. He wanted me to look like a wild-eyed kook who wore camel’s hair, ate locusts, and called people to repent. I explained then:
- Prophet with a capital “P” are those who spoke God’s word in Old Testament days and even have some inspired books in the Bible by their names.
- In the New Testament, prophets with a small ‘p’ (e.g. Philip’s daughters and Agabus in Acts 21), possessed a gift for sharing God’s words and sometimes discerning the future. Ephesians 4:11 lists prophets as a gift-ministry in the church and Romans 12:6 mentions prophecy as one of the motivational gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I believe many people in this world are “prophetic” by nature–let alone by God-inspired gift. I happen to be one of them, not by choice, but by birth and calling. Today I want to speak prophetically about what I see coming. I believe with all my heart that something that I have not seen or experienced in my 50 plus years on earth is about to take place.
Many other prophetic voices are saying the same.
Last year a friend of mine encouraged me to read the national best-seller The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny written by William Strauss and Neil Howe. The authors both live in the Washington D.C. and are involved in the governmental arena in training and research about history and economics.
Their theory is that history goes in cycles that are based on generational traits. One generation is a Prophet generation grows up as increasingly indulged post-Crisis children ( e.g. Baby-boomers after World War II). A Nomad generation follows as under protected children during an awakening (read Busters). Next follows a Hero generation that grows up as increasingly protected post-awakening children (i.e. the Millennials), and are finally followed by an Artist generation that grows up as over protected children during a Crisis (the coming generation).
Strauss and Howe apply their in-depth paradigm to all of American history and many of their predictions are eerily accurate. I believe they stretch their theory in certain places to keep it intact, but they are definitely on to something–that generational cycles–what they call “rhythms in history”–can tell us quite a bit about future trends.
Here’s their view of the future (written in 1997): “Around 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire…The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and the twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II…The next Fourth Turning–America’s rendezvous with destiny–will begin in roughly ten years and end in roughly thirty.”
Pretty sobering prediction. In 2007, the collapse of major banks, institutions and the housing market happened exactly when they said it would. Strauss and Howe are “prophesying” that the worst part of the Crisis–and whatever renewal grows out of it–still lies ahead and could go on for decades. Though I didn’t agree with everything in their book, Strauss and Howe are “seeing” a likely future cycle in American history.
Like many others, I’ve been trying to bone up on economics the past few years because of a fear that our US level of debt, spending, and growing government tyranny is taking us toward a breaking point. A convincing book I read was David & Robert Wiedemer’s Aftershock which forcefully predicts a coming economic meltdown in the West.
The Wiedemer’s have credibility. They were among the few that predicted the 2007 downturn.
They believe we are in a “Bubble Economy” where the three falsely inflated sectors (bubbles)–the stock market, real estate, and private credit–have begun popping (since 2007) and they are predicting two more: government debt and the value of the dollar. They say “Next comes the Aftershock. Just when most people think the worst is behind us, we are about to experience a cascading fall of several co-linked, bursting bubbles that will rock our nation’s economy to its core and send deep and destructive financial shock waves around the globe…Rather than seeing home prices stabilizing and the US economy recovering in the next year or two, as many “experts” want you to believe, we see serious, ground-breaking new troubles ahead. In fact, the worst is yet to come.”
David & Robert Wiedemer predict that 2010 will see some false hopes of recovery, then the final two bubbles will pop in 2011 or 2012, but more likely in 2013 or 2014.
Glenn Beck of the Fox News Channel is a rising prophetic star in the new media. He also correctly predicted the 2007 real estate crash and is probably the strongest voice today on looming judgment in this nation. I borrowed today’s title from listening to him. He strongly believes that dark storm clouds are on the horizon of this nation. His American Revival tour is committed to raising up an enlightened citizenry that will come back to God and the core principles of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. At times he sounds like a preacher that desperately desires his audience to be informed, turn back to God, put on His armor, and fight for our nation.
Christian Prophetic Voices
Then there are the voices of many prophets in the Body of Christ. I recently read a compilation of prophetic words from about twenty respected Church leaders who believe that judgment looms in our nation. I have never seen such a uniformity of message on this subject. Here are Dutch Sheets’ words from the recent blog Is There Hope for America?:
“Not since October of 2000, have I been so burdened for America…[We] are in a horrendous crisis of monumental proportions, a season much like Israel in the days of Joel. This Old Testament prophet warned of devastating judgment coming to Israel, but laced the warning with hope and God’s mercy if certain things occurred. That is precisely where we are in America. We Americans are a confident and optimistic people, which is often good, but can also create a dangerous denial and crippling passivity. This is happening with many. But please do not be deceived by those who are saying everything is fine. The truth is that we, as a nation, are in serious trouble.”
I have been hearing the same thing message in my heart the past few months. In fact, it doesn’t take much of a prophetic gift to open your eyes and see the danger signs:
- We have a non-revived and apathetic Church that God holds accountable for our national sins.
- Blatant immorality, family breakdown and increased abortions in the land.
- Growing government tyranny and control.
- Unsustainable budgets and deficits for as far as the eye can see.
America–and maybe the global community–is in uncharted territory and great danger. Call it reaping what we’ve sown, economic idiocy, generational cycles, immoral people or corrupt politicians, or all of the above. But any way you cut it, it spells:
Because if there is a God, he is all wise in directing history, just and holy in punishing sin and disobedience, and merciful in his designs for all to come to repentance. Despite all the human factors, we are in this predicament because God is both holy and gracious.
For these reasons, I believe today that everything is about to change. Whether it’s a Last Days scenario or just another cycle of judgment and renewal, only God knows.
I do know this. We need to ready ourselves to survive and to triumph through Christ. Next week I will discuss the steps we need to take.