News Review - 26 Jun 2020
Signs Of The Times

Signs of the Times

Christ’s challenge to the Pharisees: …ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the Signs of the Times?” (Matthew 16:3)

The question is: can we?

Last year at the Feast in the UK, I speculated that our world could well be a different place “this time next year”. I made this statement because we appear to be very close to the end of this age, and if that is so, then we can expect major life-changing events to take place.

But no one could foresee what actually took place! Just a few months later the world descended into chaos. There are now apparently over 500,000 dead from coronavirus worldwide with millions more infected. Many people have been locked up in their own homes for several months, many shops and factories closed, whole cities on lockdown, over 40 million unemployed in the USA, sports cancelled, airlines grounded and airports closed, people wearing face masks, a world of food shortages.

A world completely different to this time last year…

A world that will never return to “normal”!

Pandemic Drives Broadest Economic Collapse In 150 Years

“The coronavirus inflicted a ‘swift and massive shock’ that has caused the broadest collapse of the global economy since 1870 despite unprecedented government support, the World Bank said Monday. Economists have been struggling to measure the impact of the crisis they have likened to a global natural disaster, but the sheer size of the impact across so many sectors and countries has made that difficult.” ( news.yahoo.com)

Federal Debt Tops $26 Trillion For First Time

One of the major problems in today’s world is debt. This world works on borrowed money. In the USA, the numbers are staggering!

“The debt of the federal government topped $26 trillion for the first time on Tuesday, when it climbed from $25,960,547,920,986.11 to $26,003,751,512,344.91, according to data released today by the Treasury Department. Only 35 days had elapsed from when the debt topped that $25-trillion threshold on May 5 to yesterday, when it topped $26 trillion for the first time.( theeconomiccollapseblog.com)

Job Losses Continue To Escalate

In the USA, over 40 million people have lost their jobs – only sustained by government handouts that cease in a few weeks' time - or if they are renewed, will add yet another several trillion dollars to the national debt.

When the government handouts cease, mortgage payments, credit card debt, repayments on the family car, many will go unpaid - leaving the banks near collapse!

“US workers continue to lose jobs at a staggering rate, and economic activity continues to remain at deeply suppressed levels all over the nation. We were told that things would soon be getting back to normal and that the economic numbers would rebound dramatically. But that is not happening. In fact, the number of Americans that filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week was much higher than expected…

We were told that the economy would be regaining huge amounts of jobs by now, but instead job losses remain at a catastrophic level that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before in all of US history.

Without paychecks coming in, a lot of Americans are having a really tough time paying their bills, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that payments have already been skipped on more than 100 million loans… that is an almost unimaginable number, and it has become clear that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead for the financial institutions that are holding these loans.( theeconomiccollapseblog.com)

Britain’s Economy Is Paralysed By Lockdown

“Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April as the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown triggered an economic crash three times greater than the 2008 financial crisis. Revealing the scale of the downturn, the official figures for gross domestic product (GDP) from the Office for National Statistics showed no area of the economy was left unscathed as the government imposed tight controls on business and social life to limit the spread of the disease.” ( theguardian.com)

Coronavirus Will Bankrupt More People Than It Kills

“Coronavirus’s economic danger is exponentially greater than its health risks to the public. If the virus does directly affect your life, it is most likely to be through stopping you going to work, forcing your employer to make you redundant, or bankrupting your business.

Worldwide, Covid-19 …will economically cripple millions, especially since the epidemic has formed a perfect storm with stock market crashes, an oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and the spilling over of an actual war in Syria into another potential migrant crisis. This is about much more than coronavirus, oil prices, or even the global economy. This is about the balance of power between East and West.” ( independent.co.uk)

Coronavirus Pandemic Will Bankrupt Nearly ALL Of The World’s Airlines

“The coronavirus pandemic will bankrupt almost all of the world’s airlines in a matter of weeks, Australian aviation experts say. ‘As the impact of the coronavirus and multiple government travel reactions sweep through our world, many airlines have probably already been driven into technical bankruptcy, or are at least substantially in breach of debt covenants,’ CAPA said in a statement on Monday.” ( dailymail.co.uk)

Bank Losses During COVID To Trigger Next Financial Crisis…

“The head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve warned Friday that banks should ‘stop paying dividends’ and ‘raise capital’ as more Americans struggle to pay their loans and credit losses mount at America’s large banks amid the ongoing coronavirus. Kashkari - who was one of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s top lieutenants issued a stark warning. ‘I am concerned the longer this goes on, the more losses banks will face,’ he told Brennan. ‘Large banks have more capital than they had before the 08 crisis, but not enough’.( cbsnews.com)

A Dollar Crash Is Virtually Inevitable

“The stronger dollar era may be on borrowed time. Stephen Roach, one of the world’s leading authorities on Asia, is worried a changing global landscape paired with a massive US budget deficit will spark a dollar crash. ‘The US economy has been afflicted with some significant macro imbalances for a long time, namely a very low domestic savings rate and a chronic current account deficit,’ the former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman told CNBC’s ‘Trading Nation’ on Monday. ‘The dollar is going to fall very, very sharply.’ His forecast calls for a 35% drop against other major currencies.” ( cnbc.com)

Countdown To Immense Economic Despair…

“Many of the emergency economic measures that were put into place to support the American people financially throughout this are about to disappear, and that means that big trouble is on the horizon.

Right now, we are in the midst of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Economic activity has fallen dramatically, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed, and more than 44 million Americans have lost a job so far in 2020.

Without enough income coming in, a lot of Americans will soon be losing their homes… and the grace period on federal student loans will come to an end at the beginning of October . Basically, all of the economic pain that had been deferred will come rushing back with a vengeance over the next several months.” ( theeconomiccollapseblog.com)

Will Major US Cities Be Transformed Into Economic Wastelands?

To add to the chaos, rioting is happening all over the US.

“Rioting, looting and violence erupted in major cities from coast to coast, and very little was done to suppress that violence. As a result, the core areas of many of our largest cities now resemble war zones, and in the months ahead there will be a constant threat that the violence could flare up again at any time. Needless to say, many businesses that have been torched or looted are going to be extremely hesitant to rebuild and start over in the same location when the same thing could easily happen again.” ( endoftheamericandream.com)

A Worldwide Situation

While all this is going on in the world, other problems are largely being ignored by the media. One area we watch carefully is Europe, where great changes are taking place. If we are near the end of this age, these are the sorts of problems we should be seeing!

US Troop Withdrawal A ‘Wake-up Call For Europeans’

“While some in the German establishment fumed over the US presumably keeping Berlin uninformed about plans to withdraw thousands of troops, others envisioned it as a chance to loosen ties with their turbulent NATO ally. Everything here suggests ‘that it was not technical, but a purely politically motivated decision,’ he told Deutsche Welle. However, it is a further wake-up call to us Europeans to take our fate more decisively in terms of security policy as well.” ( rt.com)

How Will Europe Guarantee Its Security Without The US?

Europe is being forced to rearm!

“News of the withdrawal of US troops from Germany has prompted calls for Europe to play a bigger defense role. Could Europeans really take their security fate into their own hands? … is Germany ready for a paradigm shift — working toward a Europe that can protect itself, without the US?

…it would also put the spotlight on an uncomfortable issue for the Germans: their stance on nuclear weapons — which are, after all, considered the last guarantor of independent sovereignty.” ( dw.com)

German Navy Prepares For Worldwide Military Missions

Suddenly, Germany finds the money to upgrade its own military – yet it could not pay its dues to NATO.

“Given the growing conflict between the great powers over geopolitical zones of influence and trade routes, the rearmament is being systematically promoted by the grand coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) as well as German industry. In mid-May, the two German shipyards Lürssen Group and German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK) announced their intention to merge into a national German shipyards’ alliance. The declared goal is to create the necessary armament structures for the building of German warships. ‘The know-how in German shipbuilding, to which naval shipbuilding makes an important contribution,’ had to be ‘secured’.” ( wsws.org)

Merkel: Damning Assessment Of ‘Fragile EU Project’

European unity is not working right now. Nations still want to do their own thing! As Mrs Merkel points out, they need “cohesion and solidarity” right now!

“Angela Merkel has issued a damning warning about the implications of the devastating coronavirus crisis and ‘how fragile the European project still is’, during a speech in the German parliament. She insisted Germany will use its six-month presidency of the European Council, which begins on July 1, to promote solidarity and economic growth among the remaining 27 member states. The German Chancellor said: ‘The pandemic has revealed how fragile the European project still is. Cohesion and solidarity have never been more important than today’.” ( express.co.uk)

EU Panic: ‘Fundamental Flaw’ In Brussels System Crippling Bloc

“Lord Howard said: ‘Coronavirus has exposed the fundamental flaw in the whole concept of the Euro and the Eurozone. I don’t think you can have a single currency without a single Government’.” ( express.co.uk)

Germany’s Solution:
‘The World Needs More Europe’

Interesting that Germany will lead the EU at this critical next six months…

“Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined her objectives Thursday for Germany’s forthcoming six-month presidency of the European Union, saying a more global role and enhanced international governance are a way forward for the troubled bloc. ‘The dramatic global consequences of the (coronavirus) pandemic demand that Europe takes on more global responsibility,’ Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

‘At this time, the world needs Europe’s strong voice for the protection of human dignity, democracy and freedom,’ she added, Reuters reports. This is not the first time Merkel has touted an EU global role. Her simple solution remains: more EU in more places more often.

The presidency of the Council of the European Union passes among member states on a rotating basis and lasts for a six-month period, with Germany taking the role from July 1 until the end of the year.” ( breitbart.com)

Unity Only Possible Out Of Chaos…

"What will it take to propel the Community off dead center and toward the road to total unity? The British weekly, The Economist, in its January 22, 1972 issue, provides a clue:

‘Only something TRULY SHATTERING, it seems, might quickly produce the united Europe…. Europe’s nations like being themselves too much, and feel little compulsion to be anything else’.( The Plain Truth, February 1973)

Accord with Russia Soon?

As Russia is still seen as the main threat, watch out for some sort of treaty between Europe and Russia. Mr Armstrong warned…

“Before World War II, a mutual accord had been made between Germany and Russia. History often repeats itself.” ( The Plain Truth, October 1985)

‘One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church’

The Roman Catholic Church continues its Ecumenical thrust by getting more and more protestant groups to recognise the Roman Church as the only true Church…

“Seventh-day Adventists, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals Signed a Historic ‘Ecumenical Charter’ that Affirms Faith in ‘One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church’. On Saturday, January 25, 2020 a historical ‘Ecumenical Charter’ was signed by Seventh-day Adventists, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals and Methodists. The signing ceremony took place in the San Paolo Maggiore Roman Catholic Church in Bologna, Italy. The document that was signed is a pledge of commitment to each other. Adventists pledged a commitment to Rome, and Rome reciprocated that commitment.” ( adventmessenger.org)

The Pope continues to point out that the world’s economic order is flawed – and needs to be changed! If/when the existing financial system collapses, will they look to him for solutions?

Pope Calling For Downfall Of Global System

“The Pope sparked the fury of BBC Today listeners after delivering a poignant message calling for the international community to review and change its economic system. ‘We need to reconnect with our real surroundings’.” ( express.co.uk)

High Prices At Grocery Stores… And Shortages

Meanwhile, away from all the politics, another huge problem looms…

“If you have been to a grocery store lately, then you already know that prices are higher than usual and that there are shortages of certain items. Many Americans have been assuming that as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly rolled back that these shortages will eventually disappear, but now even the Washington Post is admitting that ‘shortages may get worse’ in the weeks and months ahead.

Of course there will still be plenty of food available in the grocery stores, but you may have to do without some of your favorite products for a while. And you should also brace yourself for significantly higher prices for many of the products that do remain available. As WBTV has noted, this will especially be true for basic meat staples such as ground beef and chicken…” ( theeconomiccollapseblog.com)

UN Warns World Faces Worst Food Crisis In 50 Years

“The world has entered a critical period, as depression unfolds, a virus pandemic rages, socio-economic chaos will flourish to unmanageable levels for governments and central banks. UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, warned Tuesday that the world is on the brink of the worst food crisis ever witnessed in the post-World War II era. Guterres said the virus pandemic could push more than 50 million into instant poverty, further saying countries must act now to shore up food security or risk imminent crisis:

Guterres pointed out that millions were already suffering from hunger and malnutrition before the pandemic. Now a public health crisis, coupled with a worldwide depression, has triggered a perfect storm of extreme poverty and hunger that could generate a sustained period of social unrest.” ( zerohedge.com)

Billions More Desert Locusts Devour Crops From India To Africa

“From India and Pakistan to Africa and the Middle East, farmers face a perfect storm. Already struggling with crippling coronavirus lockdowns, they face billions of locusts devouring crops and putting millions at risk. The scenes out of parts of northern and central India this week were alarming to watch as billions of desert locusts descended on several states. And it’s only going to get worse. Heavy rains and the cyclone season in June are expected to see the swarms multiply.” ( cbn.com)

Rumours Of Wars

As Jesus Christ warned in Matthew 24, we can expect… “…wars and rumours of wars… For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6-7).

We are witnessing this right now.

Next, it’s watch out for 'natural' disasters, earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes. Again, if we are close to the end of the age, these will occur. They are the “signs of the times”!

“As if we didn’t have enough already going on in 2020, now we are facing the possibility that several regional wars may erupt. China and India had both been pouring troops into a disputed border region, and now there has been an incident where they were actually killing each other. On the Korean peninsula, North Korea just blew up ‘a joint liaison office’ that it had used for talks with the South Korean government. And in the Middle East, Turkey is warning of grave consequences if Israel goes ahead with a plan to annex portions of Judea and Samaria.” ( endoftheamiercandream.com)

The Real Problem…

“Dreaming of a world without God”

Written well over a decade ago the author of the article below could clearly see the way things were headed:

“There is a curious void in the modern American left. That void is the empty spot where God should be. The American left - and the Democratic party, as its political representative - has worked tirelessly over the course of decades to cast God from the public square, all the time disclaiming their mission by invoking ‘tolerance’ for all beliefs.

Where’s God in the liberal moral equation? Nowhere to be found - and with good reason. the American left now stands for the wholesale displacement of traditional religious morality and the utter rejection of the divine. ‘We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion,’ atheistic commentator Christopher Hitchens writes…” ( worldnetdaily.com)

We Were Warned…

We were warned about this endtime attitude over 2,500 years ago…

“Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction.

They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!’

We were also warned about what would happen – Britain and the USA would be destroyed – suddenly!

Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: ‘Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like A HIGH WALL, CRACKED AND BULGING, THAT COLLAPSES SUDDENLY, IN AN INSTANT.

It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern’.” (Isaiah 30:8-14 NIV)

Never Forget These Words…

This world “…COLLAPSES SUDDENLY, IN AN INSTANT”

We MUST be watching, we MUST be discerning … The Signs of the Times!

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent [love] among yourselves: for [love] shall cover the multitude of sins. (I Peter 4:7,8)