Friday, May 30, 2008


Several reports are coming out, including an article in the Jerusalem Post, which reveal a large-scale arms deal between Syria and Russia. This arms sale would include anti-aircraft missiles, MiG fighter jets, surface to air missiles, and an array of additional weapons. This is part of a disturbing trend in the the region, as Russia is also actively supplying Iran and Turkey with arms, in similar agreements. This is taking place while the world watches Russian involvement in constructing Iranian nuclear facilities, which are expected to have the capability to produce nuclear weapons by the end of this year. Of course, this is in the context of Iranian President Ahmadinejad having well-known intentions to destroy Israel.

The most concerning aspect of this development is the close association between Iran, Russia and the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. Hezbollah and Hamas currently occupy and control Lebanon and Gaza, respectively. The general assumption is that these Russian made arms will end up in the hands of Hamas and Hezbollah, which is not surprising given that many of the missiles currently being launched from Gaza are supplied by Iran and Russia.

As mentioned previously, prophecy watchers are keeping a close eye on developments between Russia and Iran, and their influence in the region. The current alignment (through various treaties and arms deals) of Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, along with northern Africa's Islamic States, and the various terrorists groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah, looks very much like the geopolitical scenario seen by the prophet Ezekiel approximately 2,500 years ago.

All of this is occuring at a time of Israel experiencing major political turmoil. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is under intense investigation, with mounting pressure to resign and it is becoming apparent that his term will end soon. The question then becomes, will Israel hold new elections, and if so, who will be in power next? Its unclear how Olmert's demise will change things in Israel, but its certianly a significant development - one to follow closely. This political uncertianty may also serve as an opportunity for one of the terrorists groups to attack Israel, as so frequently promised.

As usual, its difficult to see exactly where all of this is going, but in these end times, any significant development in Israel seems to have prophetic implications. Things are happening at a rapid rate in the middle east and its a given that violence will continue to escalate, probably over the course of this summer.

Meanwhile, we'll continue to watch and spread the news of Christ's return.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why Do We Watch?

Whats the point of watching "signs", as given by ancient prophetic scriptures? Whats the point?
After all, people have mistakenly thought that they were living in the last days before - why would we want to make that same mistake?

There are multiple reasons for watching. One could argue that prophecy reveals the presence of God - that through prophetic fulfillment, one can make the case for God's very existance, as there is no other explanation for hundreds of prophetic scriptures being fulfilled in a manner exactly described in the bible. Only a sovereign God could know the future. In fact, no other religion can claim such literal, specific fulfillment of prophecy, as we have seen throughout bible history. Additionally, prophecy represents approximately 30% of the bible. Ignoring prophecy leaves a significant void in our understanding of God's word.

But there is a better reason for reading and understanding prophecy. It is important to Jesus. Very important. Jesus instructed us to watch for the signs of His coming over and over and over again. A quick glance at His last discourse, known as the Olivet Discourse, reveals no less than TEN warnings to watch for, and know the signs preceeding His coming:

Luke 21:36
Mark 13:33
Mark 13:35
Mark 13:37
Matthew 24:42
Matthew 25:13
Luke 21:28
Luke 21:31
Mark 13:29
Matthew 24:33

Isn't that enough? Don't we want to be obedient to Jesus?

I find it interesting that many folks express a desire to follow Jesus' commands, yet they ignore one of His most important commands, and that is to watch for His return, and the various signs that indicate His return is soon. In fact, we know from Matthew 24 that one generation of people living on the planet will see ALL signs given for His return. He urged us to know the signs, and understand the "season" of His return.

So what if we're all wrong? What if, for some reason, we're not in the season just before Christ's return?

All I can say is - I'd rather be wrong in making efforts to obey Christ's commands (to watch), rather than being wrong by ignoring His commands. In other words, I'd far rather face Jesus, having attempted to watch for the signs, and having been wrong, as contrasted with actually BEING in that last generation, and ignoring the signs. Plus, there is the added benefit of watching the signs and having such bible study bring us closer to Christ. Its hard to find a prophecy "watcher" who isn't coming closer and closer to Christ, as we await His return. Its hard to be lukewarm when you feel that Jesus' return is very near. I repeat: Its hard to be lukewarm when you feel that Jesus' return is very near.

However, the evidence is overwhelming that we're in that season; that we're actually living in the last generation that Jesus described so vividly.

Just as we watched for a loved one to return from a long trip, we watch for Jesus to return. It shows our deep love for Him, and our deep desire to be with Him. Lets not make the mistake made 2,000 years ago, when Jesus walked on this earth. The signs of Christ's first coming were largely ignored; something Jesus addressed following the resurrection. As Jesus appeared to the apostles, He reminded them of why they didn't understand the events which had just taken place, three days earlier:

"He said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms'. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures". Jesus went through all of the prophecies about Himself on the last remaining days that He had on earth.

The bottom line: If its important to Jesus, it should be important to us. Period. So lets keep watching.


Hezbollah Gains Control of Lebanon

The terrorist group Hezbollah has taken control of Lebanon, following a bloody internal conflict over the last few weeks. This is significant for a number of reasons. Now Hezbollah can control the northern border with Israel, without obstruction. Hezbollah has also been re-arming themselves with a variety of missiles, acquired from Syria and Iran for the last two years. Two years ago, we watched a one month battle take place between Israel and Hezbollah. Despite the U.N.'s Security Council resolution that Hezbollah disarm, Lebanon's new government have now informed the world that they have no intention of disarming Syria and Iran, both of whom have stated their intentions for the destruction of Israel on numerous occasions, have supplied Hezbollah with thousands of missiles, all intended to reach Israel in the next conflict.

The prophets Zechariah and Ezekiel predicted these events nearly 2,500 years ago. According to Zechariah, "...all the nations of the earth are gathered against her". We also know from Ezekiel 38-39 that a massive invasion of Israel will take place, as led by Russia "from the far north" and Iran (aka "Persia"). We watch these events in the middle-east with great interest, as they are stated to take place "in the latter days", which is old testament code for the time just preceeding the coming of Christ. We also watch these events because God will reveal Himself during this epic war: "I will make known my holy name among my people Israel, I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel" (Ezekiel 39:7), as he destroys the invading force, presumably in a supernatural manner. Ezekiel 39 gives us great detail for these events.

It seems hard to believe, as we haven't seen God directly intervene on this earth, in such a dramatic manner, since the time of Christ. However, for those of us who have doubts, God left us with this word, as spoken through the prophet Ezekiel, "It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of" (Ezekiel 39:8). That scripture removes any doubt - this invasion will take place, and it appears to be shaping up exactly as described throughout these two chapters in Ezekiel's prophecies.

Israel is preparing for another conflict this summer. Will the next conflict evolve into the epic battle described by Ezekiel? No one can know for sure, but with every development in the middle-east, things seem to be moving rapidly in that direction. We watch these events in the middle east because watching prophecy unfold reminds us of the exact nature of prophecy fulfillment, and that tells us something very important: God knows all, and reveals His presence through prophecy.

After all, God has informed us that HE, and HE ALONE will conclude this war and He will do so for one reason:

"I will display my glory among the nations" (Ezekiel 39:21)

So we'll continue to be obedient to Jesus' command to watch these signs, as we prepare for His coming. At the same time, we all must remember to pray for the Nation of Israel as they face their enemies, all of whom are arming for the next invasion. We can also rest assured - God is in control and He will make this abundantly clear very soon. Keep watching!