One of the things that is hard for people to really accept the true reality of, is that history, whether it is ancient and reaching back in time many thousands of years, or more recent past history that spans the time of Christ to the last few hundred years, or even the future which will inevitably become history as well, is something that seems to develop pretty slowly—especially in relation to the very short lives we live, even if some of us manage to last long enough to reach the 100 year milestone.
History for the most part, resembles a giant machine that appears to the observer to turn incredibly slow, yet just keeps on churning. It is said that God’s wheels of justice turn slowly, but they never stop turning. We, as humans, expect things to happen in line with our very limited and very short time on this earth. Not so. All the empires since the beginning when Adam was created took hundreds, if not thousands of years to be birthed, grow into a power, peak, begin their descent from their pinnacle, and finally implode or collapse. The Egyptian empire appears to have lasted the longest of them all. If one includes the time of Ancient Egypt, the middle Kingdom of Egypt, and then the latest years of their prominence on the world scene, historians say it lasted somewhere around 3,000 years or so—if they are correct. There is still a lot of discrepancy with a lot of the dates of major events in world history.
Today, we live in a very fast moving world. Everyone, unless they live in the primitive bush lands of Africa or undiscovered tribal areas of South America, lives a pretty fast paced life, allowing for the differences in different cultures. In America, we are busy; we live fast; we are accustomed to nearly instant everything, from food, to being run through the check-out lines as quickly as possible in our supermarkets.
We expect the same with fulfillments in Scripture. The last two thousand years would certainly have been a surprise to the early church since they had thought that the Lord was returning much sooner than it has turned out. The Lord has gradually opened His Word though and it now makes sense why 2,000 years was taken to get to the point where we are. One of the things that was told to the great prophet Daniel in the Old Testament was that much, if not most of what was given him to record would not be opened up for understanding until the very end of days has been arrived at.
Most people are oblivious to what has happened in the last 60+ years. The Bible has made it abundantly clear that the center of everything having to do with world history, and how it eventually unfolds revolves around this tiny nation. Since the Jewish people finally were provided their ancient homeland once again, the prophetic clock started once again. For the majority of the world, including Christian people nearly everywhere, the time period between the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth until the mid-20th century, was a mystery. Not to God, and He did not reveal it to the world until the time was right. After the total destruction of Jerusalem, the wholesale slaughter of 1 ½ million Jews, and the burning of Herod’s temple, hardly any prophecy was fulfilled—until 1948. Since that time, over 100 specific prophecies have been fulfilled, not only fulfilled, but to astounding detail and accuracy.
Another phenomenon that is now quite evident is that the speed of events coming to pass has increased to rocket-launch speed in comparison to previous historical events predicted in the Bible being fulfilled. Don’t take my word for this; check it out for yourself. It is absolutely astounding! There is hardly a day that goes by now when something crucial does not ratchet up which is going to bring about more of what God told us about thousands of years ahead of time.
This is my reason for writing this rather long introduction to the rest of the study. I’m hoping to bring you facts with hopefully some wisdom as well so that you can see that this is not the rambling of a religious nut. Everything will now directly affect your personal life. Things will never go back to the way they used to be.
Jesus instructed us to watch! He has put people in place who point out the things that are going on so you can check them out for yourself. God requires you to do so because His provision for us was something that Heaven itself could hardly bear to watch. If we had any idea how close our world was to being obliterated at the time when Jesus Christ was being crucified, most of us would be way more serious in our walk with God today. After all, the whole world was destroyed in Noah’s day, and for lesser reason. Literally! I’m sure the more holy of the religious orders today would ridicule my statement, but just take a really good look at all the events that happened at that time and make sure that you catch all the details of what was told in the Gospels. Jesus was God in the flesh, but the plan of God was to clothe Him with a human nature just like we have, so that He could live just as we do, and have to deal with temptation just like us. When He was facing crucifixion and everything else that proceeded it, the human nature questioned God is there wasn’t some other way. This is because He knew quite well what was ahead. The Romans were known for their cruelty, and in His case it was going to be driven to an extreme that was not even normal for the sadistic Roman soldiers. They were driven by a group of jealous religious leaders that needed to kill off their competition for the submission of the people who they were not only controlling by their phony religiosity, but also fleecing, not unlike much of what happens through the crooked side of politics today.
The prevailing message of the hour today is for us to prepare ourselves for being brought directly into the presence of the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords—GOD in the flesh. Some might think, “God and I are ‘okay’, and then go back to living like God doesn’t care whether we live differently than a sinful world or not. Think again. The Bible makes it clear that every single knee will bow, including every demon in hell. Many of us have been coddled with nice, delightful sermons that have made us feel good about ourselves week after week. God does want us to feel good about ourselves and our walk with Him, but we are wrong if we think that God doesn’t require us to live differently than the world around us–not necessarily in a weird way, but definitely reflecting the ways of God and His love. This is a time for us to take stock of where we stand with Him. We also need to check the priorities of our lives. There will be a reckoning, and as far as I am concerned, I’d just as soon have my life be something that is pleasing in His sight.
Now, let’s look at some more proofs that show that the Rapture is something that we need to see as an imminent event. Hopefully, by the time this series is complete, you will see why Jesus said that we should take the information given and “comfort one another” with what He said.
We may very well be seeing Him sooner than we might think! Some theories that have been taught have some serious flaws in them and I’d like to show why they are in error. This is not to put anyone down, nor to be arrogant in my thinking that I might know more than some others. It is so that we do not miss the time of our opportunity. We really do not want to be here when the “Day of the Lord”, or “The Great Tribulation” arrives. Jesus said that we have the opportunity to be counted worthy to “escape all these things”! Is it being a spiritual chicken to look for this? Is it showing that we are not nearly as committed to the One that paid for our freedom to believe our God has made special provision for His own during this time of His great wrath? NO! It has to do with taking Him at His Word and believing what He said! God is not a liar!!
There are three wars that still on their way, which are going to affect Israel directly as world history heads toward Armageddon and the subsequent return of Jesus Christ. This is besides the multiple wars that the whole world will be embroiled in, whether in limited localities, or on the extreme scale which will reach clear around the planet. The first one is recognized by very few, no matter how versed they are on prophetic events. There are still a few “hold-outs”, but the truth of the matter is becoming known. I even heard one of my favorite Bible teachers make a statement at the beginning of one of his conference teachings that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a man of his notoriety and stature in the Church take. He opened by saying that one of the DVD’s he had previously produced should not be bought by anyone present because he now knew it was wrong. He was referring to a DVD on the famed Biblical “Gog & Magog” war spoken of by the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel. It took a whole lot of humility to admit in front of, not only the crowd present, but also all that would hear this via the media. His statement, which he then explained in detail, showed how the list of enemies given by Ezekiel in this well-known passage was not at all the same as another list of enemies given in several scriptures, and also having to do with a war that Israel has not faced yet. The enemies that so many had not recognized as being listed in contrast to Ezekiel’s list was an “inner ring” of nations and tribes that had nothing but Israel’s total obliteration in mind as their #1 goal…which is no different than the often stated goal of an “outer ring” of enemies that happen to be listed by Ezekiel as participating in the Gog / Magog war.
Now, this may or may not have any interest to you as a Christian. Yet, God went to great length to detail this with such specificity that I feel it would be a personal insult—at least for me as a Bible student and teacher, to ignore it, or worse yet, to avoid it because it has nothing to do with the Great Commission. Many feel it has nothing to do with our intimate Christian life and fulfillment of the Great Commission. I have found fulfilled prophecy to be a great tool when sharing Jesus with people. Speaking of end time events is not the prime drive of my life, nor should it be for any Christian, but neither should we avoid the subject because there are conflicting views in some areas. This is the case with salvation as well! Yet, I still share the plan of salvation with anyone that I can. When it comes to our world today, people really want to know what is happening! If they don’t get answers from us, they will get them from a source that will doom them because of the mass delusion sweeping this world. So, which will it be? Don’t be afraid to take a stand. Don’t be afraid to share what you know–even if you don’t know it all! None of us do. You’ll be absolutely amazed at what you see God do.
Back to Israel’s coming wars…I suspect quite a number of readers are wondering what this has to do with the position of the Rapture in the events ahead, but as you will find, these wars are positioned right around this great world shaking event. The war involving Israel that we are on the threshold of today is what we might call the “Obadiah war”. Obadiah is a very small prophetic book near the end of the Old Testament which most people have never read. Yet, this book in just a handful of verses gives an awful lot of information. This passage is also backed of course by others in the Old Testament which also show the distinction between Obadiah’s war and the war of Gog and Magog.
How far apart these wars are is not told. They may even happen nearly in tandem. Yet, they are definitely distinct from one another. Because of the fact that everything has now sped up, these wars will not be very far apart at all. Because I had not intended getting into detail on these wars, allow me to just give you the list of enemies that Israel will face, both the inner and outer ring.
This is the scripture giving the names of the inner ring that Israel will face as we see it today. Here is what it says in Psalms 83: 5-8:
“For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy (league) against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Selah (Psa. 83:5-8, NKJV).
Here is the list from Scripture:
- Edom: Southern Jordan and Palestinian refugees
- Ishmaelites: Saudi Arabia (Ishmael was one of the fathers of the Arabs)
- Moab: Central Jordan and Palestinian refugees
- Hagrites: Egypt
- Gebal: Northern Lebanon
- Ammon: Northern Jordan and Palestinian refugees
- Amalek: The Negev and Sinai Peninsula areas
- Philistia: The Gaza Strip and Hamas
- Tyre: Southern Leganon and Hezbollah
- Assyria: Syria and Northern Iraq
The other list found in Ezekiel 38 is totally different and reads like this in Ezekiel 38: 1-11:
“The word of the LORD came to me. Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, prophesy against him and say: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around; put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth-Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you. Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which will be had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, I will invade a land of un-walled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unprotected unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars…” (Ezekiel 38: 1-11)
There are many differences between, not only the list of enemies, but the wars themselves. Would you consider taking the time to read both very carefully and make notations of the differences? Also, please read the storyline well in context. In other words, make sure you get the whole story and not just a part.
I suspect strongly that we are going to see the war which is imminent at this time, but there are some arguments that seem to indicate that we might not be here for the “Gog & Magog” war. It doesn’t really matter either way, for the most part. One thing is for sure, when these events begin to unleash, there will be great fear and anxiety—everywhere! I believe that there will be nuclear weaponry unleashed, as well as of the chemical and or biological type. I also have good reason to believe that this is the time when Isaiah’s prophecy of Damascus’ total destruction will be fulfilled as described in Isaiah 17. Other cities will be destroyed as well. The death toll will be enormous and the war will involve pretty much the whole Middle East.
Iran will not be destroyed at this time, although there is a chance that they will have their nuclear capability attacked. Only God knows exactly how it is all going to unfold. The point for us is this: Whatever we want to do with our lives in order to “finish well”, we need to start immediately—not tomorrow!
To Be Continued in Part 4