First, the Middle East. The build-up to war continues, along with the rhetoric:
"Syria: We're ready for peace or war"
"Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem jumped into the fray at a press conference with Moratinos, saying that Israel “should not test Syria’s determination” and “should know that a war will move to Israeli cities.”
"He also hinted that Syria would not sit idly by if Israel took military action against Hizbullah in southern Lebanon."
“Whoever thinks territorial concessions will disconnect Damascus from the Axis of Evil is simply deluding himself and running away from the truth,” Lieberman went on. “And therefore our message has to be the exact opposite – we must bring Syria to the understanding that just as it gave up on the dream of Greater Syria and control of Lebanon... so, too, will it have to give up on its ultimate claims to the Golan Heights.”
Lieberman said that what had to be clear to Assad and Muallem was that their comments represented a dramatic change, because they hinted that if Israel responded to a Hizbullah attack from Lebanon, “Syria would be in the game."
"Report: Hezbollah raises alert level"
"Lebanese sources tell Saudi paper Shiite group fears heightened tensions between Jerusalem and Damascus may lead to Israeli strike."
"Hezbollah has raised the alert level among its fighters, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported Saturday, citing Lebanese sources."
"According to the report, the Shiite group's leaders were instructed to take precautionary measures for fear of an Israeli strike."
"The Lebanese sources told the newspaper Hezbollah believes the chances of an Israeli attack have increased in light of the belligerent back and forth between Israel and Syria."
The rhetoric continues. As stated in the first article, one must consider the possibility that Iran is pushing the buttons and attempting to create a diversion away from their nuclear progress as they rapidly approach the point of having a nuclear weapon. Also, as previously stated, one must consider the possibility that Isaiah 17 is looming large.
We know what will happen in the Middle East, from biblical prophecy. The questions that we follow closely, are the "when" and "how" the prophetic events occur.
The earthquake story has also been rumbling along, but has recently taken a back-seat to the events in the Middle East.
On Feb. 4th we witnessed a 6.0 earthquake off the coast of Northern California, something typically newsworthy, but again, overshadowed by other world events.
Its just past 9:00 am today on the east coast, as we have seen the following over the past 24 hours:
6.1 Kuril Islands
5.1 New Guinea
What strikes me is the diversity of these locations. Poland, Japan, Peru, New Guinea, just to name a few. These areas represent very different areas of the world, or to quote Jesus "various places" (NIV).
The warning signs continue, as they have now for a generation. But clearly the birth pains are increasing, in frequency and in magnitude, just as with any birthing process. The signs are there for anyone in the world to see - its a very simple matter of connecting the dots that have been given to us in the Bible.
God wants us to be watching and to be prepared - that was the essential message in Jesus' end times discussions:
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42)
"So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44)
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 24:13)
"So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time." (Mark 13:23)
"Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come." (Mark 13:33)
"What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'" (Mark 13:37)
Is Jesus trying to tell us something?
He has given us these signs so that the "wise" (Daniel 12:10) would understand. And to "understand" means to be prepared, in light of this understanding.
Scoffers will often attempt to state that we shouldn't be "wasting" so much time observing the signs, and that somehow this prevents us from doing God's work. There are two easy answers to this concern.
1. Jesus made it abundantly clear that we should be watching the signs (As quoted above. He couldn't have been more clear). Additionally, if He didn't want us watching for the signs, then why did He spend SO MUCH time giving us the signs to watch, and then explaining the importance of watching these signs.
2. It is quite possible to do God's work AND watch for the signs. Like walking and chewing gum - or walking and talking at the same time; not a stretch by any means.
Ultimately, it is doing God's will to watch for the signs, and to use the message of end times prophecy to trigger our preparation efforts.
We are preparing to meet with Jesus. Its a date planned for all of us, and it will take place in Heaven.
Thats something worth preparing for isn't it?
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