Kingdom Trends 2016

Here are the trends that I see ahead as we enter a new year.  And it is not good news.
World trends; South Africa, the global economy, the local economy. And the church trends that will have to change to meet the changing world.

If you want the good news then there are many popular prophecy sites that will give you the usual "thus saith the Lord, This is the year of breakthrough...this is the year of new anointing" etc. I am not going to do that. I am not a prophet....I am a prognosticator using hopefully a Word of Wisdom to give you an honest assessment of where we are at in terms of world trends and where we are heading based on those trends. And most importantly what are the critical challenges facing the church as we enter a new year.

Let me put the trends for you in multiple perspectives with quick overviews of the next 30 year trend; the medium term economic and geo-political trends; and the immediate crisis we are now facing here in South Africa.

The long term 30 year trend....

The population of the planet now 7 billion people adds 1 billion people every 12 years. Over the next 30 years another 2,5 billion people. 

Most of this massive increase in population will migrate to the world's cities. We now have 4 billion people in cities. In 30 years it will be 6,3 billion.  The overcrowded cities will be short of water, energy, jobs. City  pollution will accelerate, overcrowding and bad sanitation will greatly increase bacterial and virus diseases as well as respiratory illnesses.

More than half the coming world's 9,5 billion people will not have access to adequate water. Already today 2,7 billion people face water scarcity and as countries like India and China deplete their underground aquifers in the years ahead the crisis intensifies.
Saudi Arabia has already depleted its aquifers and across the Middle East absolute water scarcity is now a reality.  Water wars are a certainty in many parts of the world as nations struggle to control rivers, dams and the last remaining water sources.

Currently one third of the world's rivers are going or gone and lakes are drying up as the world's need for irrigated crops and industrial water for industry increases every year.  The declining water supply plus increasing food needs means future starvation for many a certainty.

Right now 87% of the world's assessed fish stocks are classified as over-exploited or fully exploited.  If the world continues fishing at its current rate all fish stocks could become extinct in 30 years according to a report from the UN.  At present 3 billion people receive a fifth of their protein consumption from fish. Around 10%-12% of people world wide rely on fishing for their livelihood.  The oceans produce around $3 trillion of wealth each year. If we are to save the future of oceans fish populations we need to convince millions of people to stop fishing and many millions more to lower fish consumption. Do you honestly think this is going to happen?

Climate change is the big story these days.  But it is a major disinformation story. Yes the earth is getting hotter. And no its not man made. The earth goes through these climate cycles. We have been through hotter cycles and colder cycles before without industrial pollution.

The bad news. It's getting warmer. This will increase the amount of energy in the world weather systems which will increase the intensity of storms, the intensity of rain in some areas and droughts in others.  The increasing temperatures will also increase crop pests and pathogens, lower the amount of food we are able to produce globally.  Global grain yields will fall.  Weather patterns will be disrupted.

At current rates of deforestation half the remaining rain forests will be gone in the next 30 years.  Slash and burn across places like Africa, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia make room for new plantations of palm oil, rubber, cocoa, coffee and vast new areas opened in South America for growing soya as animal feed.  Animal habitats are destroyed, biodiversity gone, the natural function of the rain forests to put moisture in the air will stop and increase droughts.  The these natural forest habitats take hundreds of years to form. They and the animals will never come back.

The post-antibiotics era has already started. The age of superbugs immune to any of our most potent antibiotics have already appeared.  With billions crowded in the supercities of the future new strains of resistant bacteria will mutate. Already signs of certain sexually transmitted diseases immune to antibiotics are appearing. This will spread among the promiscuous.  The massive use of antibiotics in animals such as chickens, pigs, cows will increase the likelihood of new forms of avian type viruses spreading from animals to humans with new world pandemics to come.

The combination of warmer weather, lack of water, crowded cities, lack of sanitation, malnutrition and impaired immune systems, declining effective antibiotics....all these will lead to massive increases of diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, cholera.

As people live longer in the west, the problem diseases of aging will increase. In 30 years the number of people living with various forms of dementia will triple.  And need for caring for aging populations will bleed national health budgets.

As the world integrates its communication systems and financial systems through the internet, cyberattacks will increase as malicious world powers attack each other through service disruptions and cyber warfare.  The common people will suffer.  This will also be a favourite disruptive tactic from all sorts of new terrorist groups.

While the oil, gas and coal supplies look plentiful and cheap today this scenario will not continue over the next 30 years. The reality is that oil production will have to increase from the current 90 million barrels per day to 190 million barrels per day.  This is not possible under any sort of optimistic production scenarios.  Oil will eventually become unaffordable above $200 per barrel.  While new technologies such as electric cars will replace oil, they are still very expensive and unaffordable for the common person. Even with mass production of lithium-ion batteries this will be a technology for the world's well to do.

While new technologies are wonderful and I am very much a techno optimist, the problem remains replacing the world's current infrastructure of oil, gas and coal and rolling out a word wide new energy infrastructure.  It is not going to happen in 30 years.  The problems can very well overwhelm the world while the solutions are still in the lab stage....like Hitler found out with his too late fighter jets and atom bomb.

The other side of the exploding world population is the demographic time bomb of western Europe and countries like Japan.  They are dying for lack of children. And it is too late to change their destinies.  There is not a country in Europe that is producing enough babies to replace the dying.  In 30 years the median age of Europe will be 50. One in ten Europeans will be over 80.  Every government planner in Europe can make the sums.  The productive group of people age 25-55 must work to keep the economies going, they must pay the taxes to keep governments going, they must pay the mountains of debts left to them by the previous generation, they must care for the retired elderly and they must start new families and care for the children.  And that critical age group is shrinking drastically. And the young people entering that age group have already decided, they have no interest in caring for the old or for burdening themselves with making children, they do not want to marry, they do not want responsibilities.  They want careers, travel, fun. 

Government leaders in Europe have made those calculations and realized their national survival depends on massive influx of new families from Moslem countries of Africa and the Middle East.  And so they come by the millions. And each Moslem family promises to have 4-8 children to fill the schools, the work places.  As the churches of Europe empty out, the Mosques are filling up. In 30 years Europe is Arab and Moslem and a dying old generation of Europeans.  And as the Middle east economies collapse from water shortages, oil shortages....the mass migration into Europe will be an unstoppable flood.

The Medium Term Economic Crisis....

I am not going to bother with a 30 year economic prediction. 5-10 years will do. The reality that is not talked about in the media is that there is an economic war going on between America/the west and a new alignment of China/Russia in the east.  There are competing currency wars going on.  The rest of the world are doing competitive currency devaluations for export growth. America has taken a different route. They are doing the old Joseph/Egypt strategy as follows:

Joseph told the Pharaoh there will be abundant corn for 7 years and then a drought. Corner the market by buying up cheap and then sell high when the corn drought hits. In the end you end up owning all the productive assets of Egypt.

The American financial elite are following this strategy as their economic war strategy.  For 7 years the US Fed has flooded the world markets with $16 trillion of essentially no interest money.  The world emerging markets grabbed this money eagerly.  Now the money spigot is being turned off. Interest rates are going up and up. The US Fed is going for the next 7 years create a word dollar shortage.  The US dollar rises in value. Everyone else scrambles desperately for dollars to pay for their trillions in dollar debt. 

China and Russia have seen this coming and have formed currency swaps with all of their trading partners to move their trade out of dollars and into their own currencies. The rest of the world has a choice ahead...America and access to dollars or join the East trading cartel and their new currency regime. 

The devastation in America will be to their manufacturing economy of a high US dollar and middle class life style.  These will be sacrificed for world hegemony.   Just like the middle class savers who were paid nothing for their savings the last 7 years and the retirement industry decimated by zero interest rates. You are not supposed to retire. You must keep working all your life and then die. That is the price of world empire.

In the end this is going to end badly.  The Euro has no future because Europe has no future. The dollar will eventually collapse because America will lose the economic war to the new world economic powers of the east.

The Long Term Trend for the Church...

This last year in America over 4,000 churches closed and 3,500 people per day left the church.  Over the next 30 years something dramatic will happen in the church world wide:  They are leaving because what is being preached from the pulpit is no longer relevant to what is happening in their lives.
It will finally become a rising realization...the rapture is not coming to save us out of the inevitable international crises that are now predictable and unavoidable.  We are here to stay and we are here to heal a dying world, to save a lost humanity, to reconstruct a collapsed world order.  That Jesus actually meant it when He commanded us to disciple the nations into the Kingdom of God.

In South Africa....

The reality is this....the Rainbow nation dream is dead.  A good scripture that describes our situation is Joel 1. Read it. It describes our situation.  I don't have space to quote it in length but a few lines....
"that which the palmerworm hath left the locust has eaten, that which the locust has left the canker worm has eaten, that which the cankerworm has not eaten the caterpillar has eaten.....the field is wasted the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted, the new wine is dried up....the trees of the field are dried up...the joy is withered away from the sons of men."

We are in a desperate situation and 2016 is going to be even worse.  The taxes will rise, inflation will rise, the rand will fall, the corruption in government and industry will increase, the wasteful expenditure will increase, the poverty of the nation will increase as we as a country must sell more and more of our national assets to foreigners for forex so that we can keep importing goods so we can keep living far above our sustainable standard of living. 

The joblessness will not be solved, nor the increasing crime, nor the poverty, nor will there be placed competent people in government to tackle our crises. The water and sanitation problems will not be addressed, the teachers will not teach in 2016 and the learners will not learn. The young and educated will continue to emigrate.  Our median age of the farmers who feed us is 58 and the young do not want the thankless task of growing our future food.  They also do not want to be another farm killing statistic.  The government will not support the farmers in this terrible drought we are going through and as a result many farmers will lose their farms and never return. We are headed for the international begging bowl of other countries begging our future food.  If this drought persists into next year's planting season most our farmers are wiped out....with no help coming from government.

And here is my scripture from Joel 1:14 for 2016 for our nation:

"Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God and cry unto the Lord."

South Africa is ahead of the woes coming to the rest of the world. There are no safe places to run to. There is no comforting theology of "don't worry Jesus is coming to take us out of here from all these troubles."  These troubles are here and now and they are going to intensify.

The churches and preachers who have been shouting down "Christian Reconstruction" as a cult or some abherrant theology while comfortably holding meetings are going to get a reality check which is this:

Our country is falling apart. The only binding factor in this nation that can keep us together to work together for national solutions are the Christians of all races.  Nobody trusts and believes politicians anymore...or at least nobody will by the time Mr. Zuma leaves office in 2019.  At some point in the future the talking must stop, the hope for escape must be rejected and we call on the Lord as per Joel 1:14 and ask the Lord to show us how to rebuild our nation according to His will and His word.

Unfortunately it is not going to happen in 2016. Still too may preachers and ministries in a prophetic fantasy world of "this is your wonderful breakthrough year of prosperity".  I know that is what you want to hear.  But it is not going to happen. 2016 is going to be tougher than 2015.  But God has a plan for this nation but first comes a time of discipline and judgment.....and afterward revival and reconstruction.

In 2016 I am preparing for the revival and the reconstruction that must come. And that will be the theme of my 2016 blogs...how do we build our communities and nation on the principles of God's word.

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