JULY 8TH 2009

Prophetic Brief
Insight and Analysis for the 21st Century An Analysis of the Financial Crisis in the United States - 10

Deception & Interpreting the Signs of the Times

The Afghanistan Briefs

Afghanistan continues to be in the news with new troops, a renewed push against the Taliban and increased deaths. On Monday, July 5th 7 U.S. troops lost their lives in fighting. What are the issues that are driving the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and how do we formulate a Kingdom view about events that are occurring?   In a series of short video briefings, Scott Webster addresses Afghanistan from the perspective of the Word of God. Included in the video sessions are:   1.       Why Be Aware 2.       The Formative Process 3.       U.S. Involvement 4.       Key Players 5.       What Does the Future Hold 6.       Kingdom Insights   Visit scottwebsterministries.org, where these videos will be available for viewing soon.

Two weeks ago the headlines pointed strongly to economic recovery, as I reported from the headlines of a leading business paper in South Africa. In the last few days that changed largely due to new unemployment figures released in the U.S. in which more Americans lost their jobs in June than expected resulting in an unemployment rate of 9.4%, the highest in 26 years. While many economists expect the rate to climb towards 10% and the recession to continue well into 2010, even that news was largely pushed off of the front pages by the unexpected death of Michael Jackson. A population that has an insatiable appetite for the next big news story drives the media which cannot seem to gather enough details nor have enough pundits weigh in on every aspect of Jackson’s life, death and impending burial. Meanwhile over the last weekend, Roger Federer won his record setting 15th Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon in a historic match against Andy Roddick, and Tiger Woods won his own golf tournament near the nation’s capital. Retired NFL quarterback Steve McNair was found dead along with his girlfriend in her apartment. Swinging back to the political, American President Barak Obama arrived in Moscow for a 2 day summit with Russian leaders. All of these things – Jackson’s and McNair’s deaths, victories by Federer and Woods, Obama’s discussions with Medvedev and Putin – have some level of importance, some more than others. I would personally rank the increased unemployment rate and the results from the Russian/American summit far higher in importance than sports victories or entertainer’s deaths (and the sordid details of their lives), though I might be part of a decreasing minority of American’s who hold that view. To troll the headlines is to engage in an exercise requiring keen discernment as everything grabs for your attention. This is in fact part of a work of deception that seeks to hide things that are in plain sight by putting the focus on other, apparently important issues – but which pale when held up against that which has real meaning. There are many who

could recite Steve McNair’s quarterback statistics, or the number of Woods’ and Federer’s championships, but who have virtually no knowledge of the Word of God. One political scientist posited the theory that big time college and professional sports was part of a conspiracy to get the population

focused on issues that would keep them ignorant of manipulations in the political and financial realm that had real consequences. While that may be far-fetched, sitting in Johannesburg and Durban restaurants last week as drunken revelers from several continents cheered on their national rugby and soccer teams would make that claim hold vitality in the international realm as well.

Deception is Focus on the Wrong Thing
Matthew 16:2 -4 2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks

JULY 8TH 2009

Matthew 16:2-4

He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.
for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. When asked for indices to indicate what was important, Jesus upbraided the religious leaders for having the ability to get some things right but for their focus on the incorrect things. Deception is a church that is more stimulated by the next sign or wonder, but which has little understanding of the times in which they live. It is an intense focus on the wrong things, a focus that produces spiritual dullness and eventually will result in God abandoning a generation fixated on that which is trivial – “Jesus left them and went away.” Tomorrow’s weather is that which affects you in the immediate, and it can be deduced without spiritual sight. So these were people who were primarily carnal in their motivation – concerned about their immediate physical environment and unable to interact with spiritual realities and factors. Such is the focus of a people who simply care about how soon the economy will recover, and who look to the various indexes of GDP, unemployment, housing starts and manufacturing levels to determine their view. But just as God was after much more than a weather report when speaking to the Pharisees, He wants far more for us than simple knowledge of when the economy will turn back around. I fully understand that we have been affected by job loss, reduced salaries and plunging housing prices. However, our eyes must be focused on the wider ramifications and spiritual realities signified by the crisis. When Herod could not find the young Christ he executed all male children 2 and under – intense crisis described by Jeremiah as Rachel weeping and lamenting over her lost children (Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew 2:18), yet also a prophetic indicator of the presence of Christ. The intense pain and suffering of those who lost a child did not excuse them from recognizing the importance of the event. That which produced great difficulty for many families was in fact an indication of hope and redemption, one of the greatest signs of the nearness of His coming. Therefore our primary focus must not be simply overcoming the immediate financial crisis while we go unlearnt and unable to discern what is happening in a wider context. We refuse to be Pharisees who look only at our immediate physical environment based on natural factors – we must be a people who focus on the wider purposes of God in this financial crisis and who emerge from the difficulty with spiritual sight and comprehension. By doing so we are moving from the former prophetic order which was driven by personal demand for blessing, to the New Prophetic Dimension concerned firstly with correctly discerning the context and times in which we live.

Pointers Towards the End
The economic crisis is one of the primary indicators that we are moving towards the time of the End. Jesus said that no man knows the day nor the hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36), history does have a

Tomorrow’s weather is that whic h affects you in the immediate, and it can be deduced without spiritual sight. So these were people who were primarily carnal in their motivation – concerned about t h e i r i m m e d i a t e p hy s i c a l environment and unable to interact with spiritual realities and factors. Such is the focus of a people who simply care about how soon the economy will recover, and who look to the v a r i o u s i n d e xe s o f G D P, unemployment, housing starts and manufacturing levels to determine their view. But just as God was after much more than a weather report when speaking to the Pharisees, He wants far more for us than simple knowledge of when the economy will turn back around.
JULY 8TH 2009

terminus or an end point. There will be a culmination of history, and life today is moving towards that point of finality and climax. These are certainties that cannot change, and therefore we know that the events taking place around us are leading towards this ultimate point. One of the primary conditions that indicate that we are living in the time leading up to the End is Babylon’s universal economic system described in Revelation chapter 18. In the last newsletter we dealt with the first condition that identifies that we are living in the time leading towards the end: Babylon requires that there be a highly functional globalized economic system involving all of the nations. But it is not simply the fact that commerce has grown and that what used to be provincial American capitalism has now become global. It is the values behind the system of global trade that earn Babylon the terrible judgment we read about in Revelation 18. It is her deficient values that we, the people of God, are required to reject when we are told to come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup (Revelation 18:4-6). The second condition which indicates that we are living in a time that is heading towards ultimate culmination is:

that results in the merchandising of human beings. It is trade that ravages humanity; it is an economic system that is so corrupt that it destroys human life. That is because it is a system that has become completely taken over by satanic principles – it has become a home for demons and a haunt for every unclean thing where the quest for profit reigns supreme. The values that drive the system of globalization match this description perfectly: values of competition, scarcity, hoarding, consumerism, profiteering, etc. Anything will be bought and sold for a profit. There are even human trafficking systems in which people are literally bought and sold in a modern day slave trade, often exploiting the weakest of society – women, children and the poor. The border between Mexico and the U.S. has become a war zone as highly profitable drugs and weapons pass back and forth in order for some to make a profit. Humans also are smuggled across, some to be left to die by the guides who they paid, wandering in the merciless deserts of the American southwest without water. But even innocuous things like manufacturing of goods is done by a system that is built on deception and greed. For example, luxury items like Gucci and Hermes bags used to be made by small family companies in Europe who produced beautiful items made of the finest materials. It used to be a niche business for an elite clientele, until these family concerns were bought out and turned into global brands for purchase by the middle class, who covet signs of wealth and privilege. Marketing executives play up the companies old world heritage and claim the items are still made in Europe by hand, but such labor is far too expensive to allow the goods to be priced for mass consumption. Manufacturing has been exported to China, where a luxury brand name leather handbag can be assembled very cheaply and still sold for $1,200. How do the brands get away with this? Some hide the “Made in China” label in the bottom of an inside pocket or stamped black on black on the back side of a tiny logo flap. Some bypass the “provenance” laws requiring labels that tell where goods are produced by having 90 percent of the bag, sweater, suit or shoes made in China and then attaching the final bits — the handle, the buttons, the lifts — in Italy, thus earning a “Made in Italy” label. Or some companies just blatantly lie and replace the original label with one stating it was made in Western Europe. We are living in a time in which the economic drivers of greed, consumption and globalized commerce determine what life is like in every nation. We can see that the systems of the earth are being molded to fit into a scenario that is described in Revelation 18, and we know that regardless of the amount of time that passes until Babylon’s cup of iniquity is full, we must live by a different standard and value system.

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B) Babylon is a global economic system driven by deficient values which exploit men and degrade human life.
When John the Baptist told people who owned two coats to give to him who has none, he was indicating that profit was acceptable (ownership of two coats), but profiteering was not (Luke 3:11). Profiteering describes a person who seeks exorbitant profits especially through the sale of scarce goods. A true capitalist would not give coats away, he would seek to corner the market on coats and then pray for the coldest winter on record so that the law of supply and demand would allow him to grow rich on the backs of those who had no coats – the poor. John banished this value system while indicating it was o.k. to continue to engage in a system of exchange. What is required is that as we engage in the affairs of this life, we do so from a different value system. The basis of our work and business dealings cannot be greed and the intense consumerism that drives the surrounding society. Babylon is described as a system that has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird (v 2). In the long list of commodities that are being exchanged between nations, the final things noted by John is that Babylon trades in the bodies and souls of men (v 13). This is a system of trade

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Releasing The New Prophetic Dimension • Activating The Capacity To Build • Obeying The Command To Finish

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