Special Report: Forecasting a “Transformed World”
Vol: 86 Issue: 21 Friday, November 21, 2008
A report featuring the compiled analyses of US intelligence agencies and issued under the title, “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World” offers a mixed forecast for the near future.
The previous report in the Global Trends series, which was completed in 2004 and projected developments through 2020, anticipated continued U.S. dominance through that year, though it recognized that the emergence of China and India as new powers would transform the geopolitical landscape.
The new report predicts, “the U.S. will find itself as one of a number of important actors on the world stage,” playing “a prominent role in global events” but not necessarily the prominent role.
The new report describes a world torn by increased conflict over scarce food and water supplies, rogue states, terrorists and (of course) global warming.
(Global warming. Sigh. As I type, half the country is in a mid-winter deep freeze. Winter storm warnings dot the weather map. Winter is still a month away. There’s that clang psychologists call ‘cognitive dissonance’ again. But I digress. . . )
The Global Trends reports are produced every five years by the National Intelligence Council, which represents all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. The Global Trends reports identify and analyze by region, dividing the world into four spheres of world power.
They break down as follows: Russia to the north, Western Europe and the Americas to the West, Asia in the East and Africa and the Non-Aligned Nations (NAM) to the South.
Eastern Europe is lumped in with Russia; Israel with the West, the Arab world with the NAM and Australia and Japan straddle the line West to East.
The forecast says Russia’s emergence as a world power is “clouded” by persistent corruption and lagging investment in its critical energy industry.
It also raises the possibility that a government in Eastern Europe “could be effectively taken over and run by organized crime.”
The report says that global Islamic terrorist movement is likely to outlast al Qaeda itself, with other groups likely to emerge and supplant it.
So al-Qaeda is doomed but Islamofacism is here to stay. Great.
It also says the global shift from West to East in wealth and economic power “is without precedent in modern history.” (“East” generally refers to India, China and the seven ‘Little Dragon’ nations of Indo-China; Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.)
It’s a pretty dismal forecast; no wonder everybody seems so stressed. I’ve read more than one commentary that complained that John McCain practically campaigned for Barack Obama. Given the forecast offered by this report, if he did, I could understand why.
John McCain may be a lot of things, but he’s no dummy. It’s one thing to seek the job as the 44th President of the United States.
It’s another thing altogether to risk going down in history as the last one.
“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. ” (Luke 21:28)
I want you to keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that this is NOT a report issued by a Bible-believing ministry or an analysis of the conclusions reached by Hal Lindsey in 1969’s Late, Great Planet Earth.
This is the consensus opinion of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.
It is a fairly safe bet than none of these intelligence agencies is basing its forecasts on Hal’s weekly TV program, Chuck Missler’s website or Grant Jeffrey’s book “The Next World War”.
But there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the general trends forecast by these 16 intelligence agencies for the next fifteen years and the general trends forecast by the Bible for the last days.
The only place where they differ significantly is in the outcomes. Bible prophecy starts with the outcome and then forecasts how it comes together. God tells the end from the beginning. Created beings are limited to seeing time in only one direction.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Bible forecast the world would divide itself into four spheres of regional power: the revived Roman Empire in the West; Gog-Magog to the North; the Kings of the East; and the Kings of the South. The Bible oriented each of these from the perspective of Jerusalem.
The Global Trends report identifies the same regional power blocs. A skeptic might argue the division simply follows the four points on the compass. Maybe. But it is a US report. Still, it orients the compass from the perspective of Jerusalem, not Washington.
Why is that significant? Because it is the most strategic place on earth — exactly as the Bible predicted it would be — for ONE generation, somewhere in time.
According to Bible prophecy, the pre-eminent world power will NOT be the United States. The ten toes of Daniel’s vision emerge from the two legs of iron that symbolized the Roman Empire. Bible prophecy says Europe must increase, and therefore, America must decrease.
The Global Trends report makes pretty much the same forecast. It is highly unlikely that the sixteen intelligence agencies of America consulted with the Books of Daniel or Zechariah.
The Prophet Ezekiel forecast the development of a vast northern alliance headed by Russia and Iran and including significant parts of Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It is supremely unlikely that the sixteen intelligence agencies consulted the Book of Ezekiel.
Islamic eschatology predicts the rise of an Islamic leader, the Mahdi, who will lead the Islamic world in a victorious conquest of the dar al Harb (Zone of War) that will usher in a period of Islamic peace and harmony. According to Islamic scholars, the rider on the white horse in the Book of the Revelation is the Islamic Mahdi.
According to the consensus opinion of America’s sixteen intelligence agencies, the Islamic terrorist movement, which seeks to conquer the Dar al Harb and impose a period of Islamic peace and harmony will outlast Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
(Interestingly, while I doubt that Daniel, Ezekiel or Zechariah played much of a role in the Global Trends report, I’ll bet the farm that US intelligence has an entire division dedicated to studying the Koran.)
So, what can we glean from all of this that is of use to us in the Battle of the Last Days?
Just this. The Bible is true. And we can prove it.
Bible prophecy concurs with the latest US intelligence forecasts — but the Bible’s forecast came first by some twenty centuries. The Bible’s forecast hasn’t needed revising in all those centuries — the Global Trends Report gets revised every four years.
Each successive report trends closer to the Bible’s forecast scenario, rather than away.
To a lost and dying world, this is a terrifying report. They don’t know what to make of things. They don’t have any answer to the question, “What is this world coming to?”
“But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” (John 10:26)
What is chaos and terror and confusion to the world is our evidence that all is well, that God remains on the Throne, and that everything is under His control. We can trust Him.
No matter how scary and bad and dangerous things get, we have the rest of Jesus’ promise to cling to — and the authority to share it with the lost and frightened:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 27-29)
If the rest of the Bible is true, then so is the part about eternal life. Maranatha!