Thoughts to Ponder

Hang on, Turbulence Ahead!

First let me say that I am not a prophecy student. What I mean by that is that when I read things like Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation I quickly get lost, my eyes blur and I have trouble figuring out what has already happened and what is still future prophecy. Having said that, I can see some simple things and put two and two together and come up with four and that is what I hope to do in this article.

First I want to look at a few prophecies that I know are still future or have happened in the recent past. For example God proclaimed that He would bring His people back to the land of Israel:

Ezekiel 37:11-12
    Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off. ' [12] Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. [NIV]

Jeremiah 29:14
    'I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.' [NASB-U]

We know that this has happened very recently; in 1948! We are also told that Jerusalem (and Israel) will be a place of focus in the end times:

Zech. 12:1-3
An Oracle

    This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: [2] "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. [3] On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. [NIV]

If you watch any news or read any newspapers or Internet news sites you will know this is happening just as the Bible predicted. The news is full of things going on. Iran either has enough nuclear material to build one or more nuclear bombs or will have very soon. Iran has declared that it will destroy Israel. We know that Russia has helped arm Iran and with China protects Iran in the U.N.

Although as I said, I am not a prophecy scholar, I can read what is plan before my eyes; like this:

Ezekiel 38:1-9
    The word of the Lord came to me: [2] "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him [3] and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. [4] 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. [5] Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, [6] also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you.
    [7] " 'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. [8] 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 had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. [9] 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. [NIV]

What country would be from the far north? Russia would fit the bill wouldn't it? And even I know that Iran is the land of Persia! We know that the whole world will be against Israel:

Zech. 14:2
    I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. [NIV]

How can that be, hasn't the United States been one of the strongest supporters? Well we were, but if you have been following the news even loosely you will know that the Obama Administration has given Israel the cold shoulder to the point where Israel feels that their strongest supporter is against them too.

Again if you even loosely follow the news I am sure you have heard of the flotilla that tried to break the naval blockade of Gaza that Israel has in place and of course how the world reacted to this 'attack' by Israel. Now look at what the Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria has to say about this incident:

The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement Thursday in which it said that the results of the incident in which Israel intercepted a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza seem like the Biblical description of "the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption."

That should take your breath away. In this coming war between Israel and Gog, Magog and the rest of the world, we are told this:

Rev. 8:7-11
    The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
    [8] The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, [9] a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
    [10] The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water-- [11] the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. [NIV]

I don't know about you, but that sounds a little like nuclear war to me! But let's keep looking:

Zech. 14:12
    This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. [NIV]

If this war is nuclear of course many people will die instantly, but what about those who survive but are exposed to high levels of radiation? With that in mind, reread that passage from Zechariah. Sure sounds like that could be the effects of radiation to me!

Now many people will just say, well those crazy Christians can make anything sound like it fulfills some Bible prophecy, but there are so many things that the Bible gets wrong. For example, the Bible says this:

Ezekiel 39:9-10
    Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up--the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. [10] They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign Lord. [NIV]

You have to be crazy to believe that in modern warfare you could burn the weapons left over from a war for even one year much less seven years. After all modern weapons are made of steel and other metals that just don't burn on their own. Well that is what SOME people might say, but have you ever heard of Lignostone? Let me quote from one of the web sites which sells this product:

Lignostone -Densified wood laminates: This material has excellent mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. It is commonly used as structural insulation in electrical apparatus, conveyor wearstrips and curves, LNG pipe supports, pattern plates, woodworking machine tables, gears, gear racks, and die boards. Its unique composition provides shielding against nuclear radiation which is useful in some medical and defense applications. (emphasis added)

If you do some research on this product on the Internet you will find some very interesting details. It is a wood laminate, but it is stronger than steel while still flexible, but when it burns it burns very hot! Okay, but you ask, so what? Guess who has started using it in their weapons systems? Russia has started using this material in their military weapons and systems. This makes sense, it is strong, it is flexible, it shields against nuclear radiation... And yet, if say a country like Russia used it in lot of its systems and had a war where they were defeated and therefore left a lot of those weapon systems on the battle field, well it would burn and burn for a long time, and could certainly be used for fuel. Also remember who else Russia gives weapons systems to, Iran.

We live in a very turbulent world, but I think that it is going to get much worse and very soon. One more prophecy that I think is understandable just by reading:

Matthew 24:32-35
    "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. [33] Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. [34] I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. [35] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. [NIV]

Many people will try to disprove the Bible by claiming that Jesus was saying that the generation that was listening to Him would not pass away, but if you read this in context, that isn't what He was saying. What He was saying is that the generation that sees the signs of the end won't pass away. Well what are the signs of the end?

Matthew 24:4-14
    Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. [5] For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. [6] You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. [7] Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. [8] All these are the beginning of birth pains.
    [9] "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. [10] At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, [11] and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. [12] Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, [13] but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. [NIV]

We also know that the end won't come until Israel is back in the land of Judah, but remember this happened in 1948, and the Jews have been gathering from around the world since that time.

We see the rise of Islam, and with it the killing of non-believers. Don't fall for that religion of peace junk, Islam is not peaceful, there may be people who call themselves Muslim who are peaceful but as a whole the religion is one of war and bloodshed. You either bow to it or die, nothing is peaceful about that, and yet we refuse to even call the enemy by its name. Christians are maligned in the news, the schools, the government, in the arts, anywhere and everywhere, but Islam is handled with kid gloves.

When was the last time you heard of a Christian honor killing? Actually you may never have heard of an Islamic honor killing either if all you do is read and listen to the main stream media, but it is happening all around the world, including here in the United States! When was the last time you heard of a Christian suicide bomber? When was the last time a Christian group got so upset over the denigration of their religion that they started rioting and killing people, or threatening to kill people? When was the last time you heard of a Christian preacher giving a religious order (fatwa) to kill some person who had wronged in some way or other the Christian religion?

One last prophecy about the end times:

2 Tim. 3:1-5
    But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. [2] People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, [3] without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, [4] treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- [5] having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. [NIV]

If you don't think that describes the world we live in, then you aren't paying attention. Have you ever been on Facebook, MySpace, or one of the other social networking sites? Talk about lovers of themselves, boastful, proud and abusive, not to mention, ungrateful, unholy and conceited! I love keeping track of friends and family on these sites, but I will tell you I am often amazed at how well Paul described this generation! If he got all that so right, how can we ignore the 'there will be terrible times in the last days' statement?

I truly believe we are in those last days and as much as I hate to say it, I fear that there is much turbulence ahead and if you name the Name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you better be prepared to stand firm and none of us can do that alone, we need God's help. I think it is time we started asking for strength and discernment and the courage to stand firm.

E-Mail Ralph

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July 2010