It is humanly impossible to accurately foresee the future. Nevertheless, as the calendar is about to roll over to 2022 it is customary to cast a glance forward to the possibilities and trends that may shape the world in the days ahead. 

Naturally, most people cannot imagine anything other than more of what has occurred in the past. In that respect, their attitude echoes the words recorded in Scripture: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.” — 2 Peter 3:4

Indeed, where is the promised return of Christ? According to the Watchtower, the promised presence took place in 1914. But if that is true we must conclude that the promised presence doesn’t amount to much since the world has gone on in a business-as-usual fashion for more than a century. The Watchtower claims that the success of the worldwide preaching it has sponsored is one of the strongest proofs. But first-century Christians also spread the good news far and wide and without all of the tools and technology we have today. So, again, the question: Where is this promised presence of his? 

According to the apostle Peter, there is something that occurred in the past that people choose to ignore. What is that? The apostle went on to say: “For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water.”

What does this mean being out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God? The word of God Peter was making reference to is what is stated in Genesis, when on the second epoch of creation God said: “‘Let there be an expanse between the waters, and let there be a division between the waters and the waters.’ Then God went on to make the expanse and divided the waters beneath the expanse from the waters above the expanse.”

From the time of creation several billion years ago planet Earth was completely covered in water—a shoreless sea. On the second “day” of God’s special “week” He created a division and caused a mass of water to be suspended high up with an atmospheric expanse between the two aquatic masses. The water canopy that was suspended over the earth was not in the form of vapor. It was literally an ocean of water put in place by an act of God. We do not know if God originally intended to somehow remove the watery canopy gradually, but because of the rebellion of countless angels that materialized as men to cohabit with women God caused the heavenly ocean to crash to the earth over a period of 40 days. And the world that existed then was destroyed when it was flooded with water. 

So what? The apostle went on to say: “But by the same word the heavens and the earth that now exist are reserved for fire and are being kept until the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly people.”

In what sense are the present local heavens and earth reserved for fire? Well, over the course of the past 70 years numerous nations have developed atomic weapons and delivery systems. There are over 10,000 nuclear devices that have been stored up. 90% of these have been produced by Russia and the United States. By harnessing the power of the atom it is now possible for men to literally destroy the world with a fire hotter than the sun—exterminating humanity and ruining the planet beyond reclamation. 

During the so-called Cold War, a policy known as MAD prevailed. It stood for Mutually Assured Destruction. It meant that the temptation to use nuclear weapons was tempered by the knowledge that other nations would respond with their atomic weapons, thus assuring the destruction of all parties. The acronym was most appropriate because it was assumed that only a madman would launch a nuclear strike and destroy the world. 

On the surface that is surely true. However, in reality, men do not rule the world. Demons do. The demons are the same angels that materialized before the Flood. According to the word of God when his promised presence begins, or more accurately, immediately prior to his promised presence, Satan and all of the demons will be thrown out of heaven and come down to earth. Satan will go on a maddened rampage, bringing untold woe upon the earth and sea. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses may believe that Satan was evicted in 1914, but it is a myth. And myths and fairy tales cannot stand up to reality. 

After the Cold War ended with the dissolution of the communistic bloc known as the USSR, the West assured Russia that NATO would not move one inch to the East. That was 30 years ago. Gradually under the control of the Anglo Empire NATO has crept closer and closer to Russia, incorporating former Soviet nations into NATO and moving missiles, weapons, and troops within striking distance. In recent weeks Russia has laid down an ultimatum: Step back and stop the militarization on Russia’s border or there will be a military response. NATO has agreed to negotiations scheduled to begin on January 10th of the coming year. 

Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler

We will see what happens, but history shows that wars often erupt after peace agreements are reached. Think Neville Chamberlin in September 1938 returning from a meeting with Hitler with a signed agreement and the British Prime Minister declaring “peace for our time.” Exactly one year later the Second World War began. 

It was exactly 25 years ago this past October for no particular reason I picked up the Bible turned it to the middle of the book of Ezekiel and started reading. I read for hours every day for a few months and read all of the Hebrew prophets over and over. 

One of the first things that jumped out at me is the judgment Jehovah brought against Egypt contained in chapters 29-32. In the 31st chapter, Jehovah likened Egypt to a towering cedar tree that was grander than all the other trees in God’s garden. It cast its shadow over all the earth and was the envy of all the other nations. But God gave the command to the tyrants to chop the cedar down and its downfall shocks the world. The significance of the prophecies against Egypt is that it begins the day of Jehovah. Ezekiel 30:3 says: “For the day is near, yes, a day of Jehovah is near. It will be a day of clouds, an appointed time of nations.”

America is regarded as the greatest nation on earth. I am certain the towering cedar represents America. The prophecy of Daniel concerning the kings of the north and south confirms the fall of the king of the south during the time of the end, which is symbolized by Egypt, the original king of the south.  

In the 32nd chapter, Jehovah likened Egypt to a great sea monster. That harmonizes with Revelation and the seven-headed monster that comes up out of the sea only to have one of its heads mortally wounded. 

The death of the sea monster will cause darkness over the world. “And when you are extinguished I will cover the heavens and darken their stars. I will cover the sun with clouds, and the moon will not give its light. I will darken all the shining luminaries in the heavens because of you, and I will cover your land with darkness,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”

The apocalyptic language found in Ezekiel is very similar to what will occur when the 6th seal is opened. Jesus also echoed these words when speaking of the tribulation. So, the downfall of America is destined to mark the beginning phase of the day of Jehovah and is preliminary to the accession of the eighth king and his one-hour reign. (The Downfall of America) 

As the world enters the new year it is apparent to this watcher that America is being pushed into a suicidal war with Russia and China. The financial system is primed and ready to implode from the mountain of unplayable debt and three quadrillion dollars of derivatives overhanging. The grand cedar may look impressive from a distance but as a certain prophet once said: Look, the ax is already lying at the root! 

As regards the question, where is this promised presence of his? The exhortation found in the letter of James has never been more relevant: “You too exercise patience; make your hearts firm, because the presence of the Lord has drawn close.” — James 5:8

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