Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do —
I Chronicles 12:32
Can you imagine it?
An early-warning service about global trends as a series of meetings - not in central places like America or Europe - but in far away Australia. Some of the meetings were even in the great Australian outback.
What was this all about?
It is called ‘Understanding the Times’ Tour (UTT). During a 5 week period, my wife Leanne and I travelled from north to south (Melbourne to Sydney to Cairns) and then east to west (Brisbane to Adelaide to Perth) and visited regional areas, too. We travelled to 26 places and held 29 meetings.
The goal? Like the ‘children of Issachar,’ UTT aims to help people ‘understand the times.’ To know what is happening and why. When you ‘understand the times,’ a great miracle occurs. God will download into your spirit how, when, where, why, and what you need to do.
Let’s face it - even intelligent dedicated leadership, confronted with the 21st century’s increasingly complex, change-filled, crisis-riddled, chaos laden challenges, struggles to find the way forward. No manuals, ‘idiot guides,’ or ‘21st Century for Dummies’ books, exist. Yet through the help of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, particularly Bible prophecy, you will be able to navigate with confidence into the future.
The format of the UTT meeting was very simple:
1. Headlines: We looked at the major news headlines, including Iranian nuclear deal, EU bailout of Greece, Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq, the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the US, the Syrian civl war, China’s cooling economy, America’s debt problem, Israel & the endless peace process, and ‘signs in the heavens’ - blood red moon and Shemittah. (Note: Refugees pouring into Europe is another current headline).
2. Ten Trends: Participants were given 10 trends that explain why we have today’s headlines. It started off with the conviction that we are in the last days (Hebrews 9:26ff; I John 2:18). The ten trends included:
A. Time of Restoration;*
B. Time of Contrasts;*
C. Time of Deception;*
D. Time of the Great Shaking;*
E. Time of Travel, Technology, and increasing Knowledge;*
F. Time of Globalisation;*
G. Rise of Fundamentalism;
H. Asia on the Rise;
I. Europe Uniting;*
J. Middle East Epicentre.*
3. Bible prophecy: This wonderful, needful, yet neglected topic was inserted into the the ‘Trends.’ Those trends with a * have Scriptures attached to them.
4. What can you do to be future-ready? This was the most important part of all. Future-readiness does not come by education alone, prudent financial management, or withdrawal survival tactics. It comes by investing in your spiritual life. Obeying the words of Jesus (Matthew 7:24-25), being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); be watchful and prayerful (Matthew 26:41), and trusting God with a whole heart (Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:3-4; Nahum 1:7), are keys to investing in the future.
We at Teach All Nations were very blessed to partner with Vision Christian Radio. I have two programs with Vision: ‘Faith and the Future’ with Neil Johnson weekdays or ‘On the Rock’ during the weekends. That means I can be heard on the radio 7 days a week. Vision organised and heavily promoted the tour. As a result of this impetus from the 600 plus station network, we had people travelling long distances to come to the meetings. Here are some interesting accounts:
• One man drove 4 1/2 hours from Parramatta to Parkes to be in the meetings;
• Another couple came from Ingham QLD to Yarrabah near Cairns, over 500 kilometres return;
• Another couple came 5 hours from Esperance to Narrogin (and Albany), riding on a motor-bike;
• A farming couple came from 300 kilometres one-way to Merriwa, northern beaches of Perth, with their 3 children, on ‘Father’s Day;’
• Perhaps the most heart-warming story was a couple who came by air from Karratha WA (1,500 km away) to our two meetings in Perth.
As you know, the ultimate goal was to give a presentation that would compel people to make a simple decision: above all else, invest in your spiritual life! In meeting after meeting, we got the desired response accompanied by group prayer. One notable example of this was a 94 year old Singaporean Chinese man named Mr. Lim, who does not wear glasses, still drives a car, and can sing opera in Italian and French! His grateful family informe us about his decision.
On the other end of the age scale are our younger people. Often, there was prayer for those born in 1980 or later, since the greatest weight of the future will be on their shoulders.
For those who would like more information about ‘Understanding the Times,’ this blog will be posting segments of the 10 trends in the following weeks. Stay tune.
(NOTE: Yes there will be a tour in 2016 during August and September).