As stated before, the beginning of the Tribulation and all of the horrors that will be seen during that period - won't begin like flipping a switch. No - rather it is (as we are seeing) a continuous process. As Christians who possess the Holy Spirit, we have a level of discernment that non-Christians simply do not have. That also gives us the ability to sense the presence of evil and its growing presence on the earth.
Imagine a huge thunderstorm moving towards you, on an otherwise bright sunny day. Before the storm hits, that light turns to relative darkness, as the first clouds approach. The storm hasn't arrived, but simply looking towards the sky as it approaches, tells you that it will arrive shortly.
It is the same way with the Tribulation. We are now in its shadow. The "storm" is approaching and we know it. We sense it. Thankfully, God, in His infinite mercy will deliver the Church Saints from this period.
As we watch this coming storm, there are abundant signs that we are ever so close.
- The technology for the 'Mark of the Beast' - Check
- Jerusalem as the focus of the world's attention - Check
- "The nations" turning towards more and more central control and totalitarianism - Check
- Lies and distortions on an epic level - mostly from the governments of "the nations" - Check
- "The Nations" turning Against Israel - Check
- The rise of the EU and its form of totalitarianism - Check
- The rise of radical Islam - Check
- The rise of Russian might again - Check
- The rise of the "Kings of the East" - Check
- The consolidation of the "Gog-Magog" alliance - Check
- The consolidation of Middle-East groups aligned against Israel - Check
- The fall of the U.S. - Check
- The ability of the world to watch the two witnesses die and become "resurrected" - Check
- The tangible plans to rebuild the Temple - Check
- The regathering of the Sanhedrin - Check
- Persecution against Christians and Jews - Check
- The rapid rise in technology (used against the nations citizens) - Check
- Increase in "pestilence" - Check
- Earthquakes - Check
And this list goes on and on but the point is made.
Today, we see the irrational (satanically inspired) hatred of Israel.
Consider the current situation: Israel has been on the receiving end of hundreds of missiles launched into civilian areas, nuclear facilities, schools, daycares, homes, businesses - and hundreds of thousands of Israelis living under the threat of a missile hitting them or their homes.
Israel takes appropriate action - and immediately the world condemns them while not mentioning the missiles coming in from Gaza.
This irrational, surreal scenario is so far beyond the normal, expected reaction - can only be a supernatural scenario. No other explanation can come close to describing this situation.
The lies and distortions (which are readily accepted by those who are uninformed) continue to grow in magnitude.
But - as we see with everything else - these are just small examples of what is to come:
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and every kind of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but who have delighted in wickedness." (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12)
Indeed. And we are seeing this process beginning now as the nations continue to turn against Israel (recall that yesterday we saw Turkey and Jordan condemning Israel's recent actions).
Thousands of pro-Palestinian Arab demonstrators turned out on the and Paris on Friday to call for an end to Israeli military strikes on Gaza.
According to The Associated Press (AP), several thousand people crowded the streets outside the Israeli Embassy in west London, waving placards that read "Gaza: End the Siege" and "Freedom for Palestine."
The crowds blocked an entire road and several protesters managed to climb on top of a double-decker bus stuck in traffic, but police said the protest was largely peaceful, according to the report.
A smaller protest took place in Paris, where about 100 people demonstrated near the French Foreign Ministry.
Demonstrators waved PLO flags. One woman shouted "Palestine will survive" had the flag painted on her cheeks.
Stephane Frappreau, who identified himself as Jewish, told AP the demonstrations were about "defending humanity and about stopping the massacre."
"I think that people tend to forget that Palestinians are people who are suffering, kids and women, who are dying every day," Frappreau said. "And I think that people shouldn't confuse things or come to quick conclusions, because being against Israel as we are today is not about being anti-Semitic."
Perhaps the most vocal criticism came from South Africa, where the ruling party on Thursday issued a statement in which it compared Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza to the actions of the Nazis during World War II.
The statement invoked outrage from South Africa’s Jewish community, which demanded that the Secretary General of the African National Congress apologize for the comparison.
In addition, a group of 34 leftist charities and other non-governmental organizations signed a statement Friday urging an end to Operation Protective Edge.
EU countries have urged Palestinian militants to stop firing at Israel, while “deploring” Israel’s killing of civilians.
They said in a statement on Tuesday (8 July) the EU “strongly condemns the indiscriminate fire into Israel” from the Gaza strip, while adding it “deplores the growing number of civilian casualties, reportedly among them children, caused by Israeli retaliatory fire”.
The words did nothing to calm the situation.
The Israeli army said on Wednesday morning the intensity of the fighting is increasing. It reported that a barrage of 45 projectiles was fired in less than 60 minutes at one point during the night, while the Israeli air force struck 160 targets in Gaza.
Israel on Tuesday also said it is preparing a ground attack on Gaza if need be, recalling events in 2009, when a ground incursion led to the death of some 1,500 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.
“If we need to go inside in a ground operation, then we will do it”, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel’s security minister, said on TV.
Thousands have turned out in London and Oslo to call for an end to Israeli strikes in Gaza. The event organizers say Palestinians are facing “a horrific escalation of racism and violence” at the hands of the IDF.
The British capital saw the largest turnout with thousands of protesters rallying outside the Israeli Embassy on Friday. Demonstrators flooded the streets around the building waving placards that read“Gaza: End the Siege" and "Freedom for Palestine."
A group of 17 protesters brought traffic grinding to a halt on Kensington High Street when they scaled one of the city’s iconic double-decker buses. The activists suspended a banner from the vehicle on which was emblazoned: “Judaism rejects the Zionist state and condemns its criminal siege and occupation.”
The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign which supports the protests says that: “Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are currently facing a horrific escalation of racism and violence as the Israeli State pursues a strategy of collective punishment.”
The Norwegian capital also saw around 3,000 pro-Palestine activists gather outside the parliamentary building in support of peace in Gaza. Representatives from the Palestine Committee of Norway gave speeches at the event, condemning Israeli strikes in Gaza that have already claimed 106 lives as Operation Protective Edge entered its fifth day on Saturday.
“There is one occupier and one occupied. There is one offender and one victim. It is Israel that never will have peace before they tear down the wall. We need politicians who condemn the wrong-doings of the offender,” Heikki Eidsvoll Holmas from the Socialist Left Wing Party, reported the Local.
EU diplomats believe Israel will launch a ground invasion of Gaza if a Hamas rocket causes serious Israeli casualties.
The concerns come amid rapid escalation in fighting over the past four days.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group which rules Gaza, says Israeli strikes have killed more than 100 people, including “at least” 35 children. Israel says Hamas is responsible for 490 rocket attacks.
None of them have claimed direct casualties so far, in part due to Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
But Israel has made preparations for a ground assault and has designated three objectives if it goes ahead: to destroy Hamas’ stockpile of some 12,000 rockets, to demolish its undergound tunnels to Israel, and to force ceasefire terms that will prevent future attacks.
An EU diplomatic source told EUobserver on Friday (11 July): “If they [Hamas] … hit a kindergarten or a school and there are serious [Israeli] casualties, then that will spark all sorts of consequences, including a ground assault”.
Ghazi Hamad, Hamas’ deputy foreign minister, accused Walzer of crocodile tears.
He told EUobserver by phone from Gaza City on Friday that Israel is “killing civilians on purpose” in what constitutes a “crime against humanity”.
Proposed Security Council statement includes no mention of rocket fire by Hamas, making it unlikely the US will approve
The Palestinians and their international supporters are discussing a UN draft resolution that would condemn all violence against civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and call for “an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire.”
An initial draft of the proposed Security Council resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, expresses “grave concern” at the escalating violence and deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories due to Israeli military operations, particularly against the Gaza Strip, and at the heavy civilian casualties including children.
The Palestinian draft makes no mention of the firing of hundreds of rockets into Israel by Hamas, which controls Gaza, and that would likely make it unacceptable to the United States if it was introduced in the Security Council.
Terrorists operating out of southern Lebanon looked to join the Hamas bombardment of the Jewish state early Friday morning by firing two Katyusha missiles at the northern Israel town of Metulla.
Rocket attacks continue unabated at multiple locations in central and southern Israel on the fifth day of Operation Protective Edge.
Rocket attacks from Gaza continued unabated Saturday, with multiple areas of southern and central Israel coming under fire. At least two people were wounded in the strikes Saturday, a day after an 80-year-old woman was pulled from the wreckage of her home in Be'er Sheva.
The Code Red rocket alert siren was sounded at around 3:30pm in Sderot and in the Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon regional councils. A rocket exploded in an open area in Be'er Sheva and three other rockets fell in open areas in the Merhavim Regional Council.
At around 2pm Saturday, a rocket struck the road leading to a house in the southern community of Netivot. Two teenagers were treated for minor injuries - a 16-year-old boy with a head wound and a 19-year-old girl. Both had been running for cover when the rocket struck. The two were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva for treatment. The rocket caused damage to the home, a car and the road.