Monday, April 19, 2010

In the news...

There are several news stories that are related to prophecy watching this morning:

"Hizbullah a division of Syrian Army"

Israel has warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that any missile attack against Israel by Hizbullah would result in retaliation against Syria, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

According to the UK paper, Israel’s missive – sent earlier in April – defined Hizbullah as a “division of the Syrian army,” a military branch of Damascus in Lebanon

"Abdullah: Summertime war possible"

Moderate Muslim and Arab countries face great challenges as major players in the Middle East peace process who work to prevent the next war in the region – which could break out as soon as this summer, King Abdullah of Jordan told the Chicago Tribune editorial board in an interview conducted Thursday

Abdullah warned that despite the good intentions of many, there was a “very good chance” that war could break out in the region in the coming months. “If we hit the summer and there’s no active process, there’s a very good chance for conflict – and nobody wins when it comes to that,” he said.

The Jordanian leader warned, however, that a nuclear Iran could set off an atomic rat race in the region. “As volatile as our region is, the last thing you want is a whole bunch of countries in my part of the world developing nuclear weapons,” he said. He stressed that a preemptive strike would not stop Teheran. “If Iran is hit, Iran will retaliate and create what I consider Pandora’s box,” he cautioned. “Conflicts would ignite throughout our region. A military strike would be disastrous for all of us.”

"Ahmadinejad clears sites for new enrichment plants"

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has approved the sites for new uranium enrichment plants in Iran, a close aide said on Monday, despite growing world pressure to stop the sensitive nuclear work.

In November 2009, a defiant Ahmadinejad announced that Iran would build 10 new uranium enrichment plants after Tehran was censured by the UN nuclear watchdog for constructing its second such facility near the Shiite shrine city of Qom.

In April, Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that plans for two new enrichment plants had been submitted to Ahmadinejad and their construction would start in the first half of the Iranian year, which runs to March 2011.

"Netanyahu: Israel can only rely on itself"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reminded his fellow cabinet members that in the midst of Israel's most serious rift with the US in decades, they must remember that Israel can only truly rely on itself.

Echoing the words of Zionist philosopher Theodor Herzl in 1901, Netanyahu said, "Don’t rely on help from strangers, don’t trust even the charitable and don’t wish for stones to grow soft, for the charitable give degrading charity at most, and stones do not soften. A nation that wishes to stand tall must place all its trust in itself only."

Netanyahu was addressing the cabinet on the day before Israel's Independence Day, which will begin at sunset on Monday, April 19.

"Israeli army chief: The Bible is our guide"

Israeli army chief Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi firmly stated last week that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) view the Bible as the number one influence on its conduct and mission.

"The IDF sees the Bible as a guide in the deep and practical sense of the word," said Ashkenazi. "It is no accident that the IDF swears in its soldiers with a weapon in one hand and the Bible in the other – a custom that reflects the uniqueness of the IDF and the deep bond of the Jewish people to the Book of Books."

Ashkenazi made his remarks last Wednesday at the opening of the 47th annual International Bible Quiz for Youth in Jerusalem

Random comments:

It is interesting that Jordanian leader Abdullah (who, by the way is a fascinating "character", as far as "end time" prophecy watching, and I'll leave it at that for now. But he is a very influential and potent figure in the Middle-East). Regardless, he is joining in a growing list of people who see war breaking out this coming summer.

Ahmadinejad continues to bait Israel. There is just no other way around this idea. The vast majority of the controversial news items that are generated by his regime's nuclear announcements could have been kept quiet. But Ahmadinejad makes these announcements in a very public way.

Netanyahu is correct again - Israel will have no human partners as they square off against the entire world, as stated by the prophet Zechariah. However, he forgot one important partner and ally: God Himself. As the Bible states - If God is with you, who can be against you?


Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott (Castle?)
Your blog has turned up on Google as I have sought to question when the ‘birth pang’s’ begin after being surprised to read that some teach not until the 7 yr trib.

There has been lots of speculation, but I always find it easier to get to the root rather than fiddle with the foliage, so to speak.

Jesus spoke first about the Destruction of Herod’s Temple and the disciples asked him ‘when, what signs’? First of all Jesus told of future events that were NOT signs, of deceptive false christ’s and wars. History tells us the destruction of the Temple was fulfilled in AD70 at the start of the new ‘Dispensation of Grace’ or the ‘Church Age’ along with the escape of the Christians from besieged Jerusalem.

AD70 marked the BEGINNING of the signs Luke 21:28 “When these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh”, This fixed imminency; yet inexplicably, 2000 years were to pass before the next sign was fulfilled when ‘nation against nation’ (the world war’s) fulfilled between 1914 – 1945 setting the prophetic clock ticking again for Israel when the Ezekiel prophecies also came to pass in 1948, this time near the closing of the Church Age.

I am able to look back and watch the slow but steady growth of these ‘birth pangs’. I have had four births, all overdue, which began innocuously enough by a ‘tightening of the muscles’ around my abdomen; later a persistent, mild ache in my back. I was having mild contractions for a week before they developed into real pain which grew in intensity. Likewise the coming birth of the new Messianic Dispensation!

At first, years came and went between events until now it is all around us as volcanic ash floats over my head in the U.K.! I agree that Jesus was speaking to Israel, not the Church, but the previous events have all taken place within the ‘Church Age’, so why not the ‘birth pangs’ as well? These are clearly described by Jesus as ‘the beginning’, the ‘coming’ or the approach of His return.

Without these ‘birth pang signs’, there is no other Scriptural hope given for the near return of Jesus, as 1948 is over 60 years past. Without these increasing birth pang signs marking time, Jesus could still be many, many years away from His return so depressingly there’s not much point in ‘looking up’.

Although I wouldn’t quarrel over this with nay Sayers; if I thought for one moment they were right, it would rob me of the hope which these prophesied birth pangs have given me through a rather lonely Christian walk. As it is, The Holy Spirit has quickened this certainty to me and substantiated it with clear, easy to understand Scripture. Imo.

I am glad to have now read your debate with dissenters, and by hearing conflicting sides, it is very clear to me that those differing have not correctly divided the Word. Normally, Reynald Showers is a teacher I greatly appreciate, but in this instance I consider he hasn’t thought this through properly.

So very well done, Scott, The Lord enabled you to answer your critics to my advantage. Thank you and God bless.

Scott said...

Thanks so much Sue. Thats always an interesting debate for a variety of reasons....

I have scratched my head for years, as to why "my people" (ie, people with whom I usually agree) - deviate so much on this particular passage.....I have my ideas (I'll come back to this)..

First of all - people "create" context around something that doesn't need to be created. Jesus was point-clear and He described exactly what he meant - by the Noah reference, we don't have to guess, or inject our opinion....The reference to Noah is given as that described: People eating, drinking, marrying etc, when the flood hit unexpectedly.

To create additional meaning there is unscriptural. There is NO suggestion that the reference means anything else. It means, that LITERALLY - when "this return" of Jesus happens (aka the rapture) - people will be going about life as normal - eating, drinking etc...Nothing more, nothing less...It seems obvious:

As DL Cooper famously said "If plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense"....

I have about 6 more reasons this reference cannot be a second coming reference. Imminency is one of them (By the way, the doctrine of Imminency is what has applied x 2,000 years, appropriately)...As stated, the Second Coming is NOT an imminent event, and it never will be - even in the last seconds, there is an order to the sequence of events that dictates that the second coming is NOT imminent - at any point.

At least Showers was honest about the problems that they have (why would Jesus used a very "Paralambano" if NOT as a reference to the rapture? He used the exact same verb in John 14 which is a well-known rapture reference..Why would He have confused the issue to such a degree? (if not discussing the rapture)?

Also - IF one tries to apply the argument that He was only addressing the Nation of Israel, because the gathering was Apostles only - thats ridiculous, because there are multiple such instances in which He was only addressing the apostles, and we never suggest that those passages ONLY apply to the Nation of Israel (the "Last Summer" is one glaring example....Is that to be applied to the Nation of Israel? Not hardley.

Back to the "argument"....I am convinced that the authors who state this (above) are those who used this in their arguments with the post-trib group..(Don't forget, the post-tribbers believe Olivet is "chronological" from the birth pains to the passage we are discussing - which is absurd, because Jesus clearly stopped chronology at the Second Coming scriptures.

To close, its clear as a bell that we are in the birth pains now, as started in the WWI era. This is clear and we have the luxury of history to tell us. For the first time in human history, we had World War, and unprecedented famine, pestilence, and earthquakes. Exactly as Jesus described. And the second such wave was WWII - and then, almost immediately after that, Israel was formed "as a nation", exactly according to Isa 66.

But as mentioned, I am weary of this argument - it doesn't matter that much in the big picture, and most folks are entrenched in their views.

I actually devoted considerable time abd verbiage to this issue in the book "Signs of the COming Christ" and attempted to show both sides of this...But to me, its a slam dunk/....

Anyway - thanks so much for the kind words, and God Bless


Scott said...

Oh , one more thing...I really didn;t want to engage in this debate on that board, but something kept telling me that someone out there needed to see the truth on the topic...I have to wonder if perhaps that could have been you (?)

Just interesting....

Scott said...

Ok, one more point...

Jesus clearly stated that one generation would see these signs.....

So, for people that believe Olivet is only pertaining to the 7 year trib, then why in the world is this 7 years referred to as "a generation"?
I have never seen 7 years as a generation anywhere = IOW, thats a terrible reference for a 7 yr period....

Ok, I'm done :)

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott
Great! It is you.

As it is well after midnight, I must not linger but wanted to say I appreciate your reply very much and will print it off to read thoroughly. Before I ‘popped in’ to check your blog I had been considering the Scriptures about ‘one in a bed’ etc. It isn’t ‘polished’, but thought you may find it interesting?

This is evidence of a global event with people on opposite sides of the earth doing similar, normal activity. Some will be asleep in bed during the night time, the believer taken, the unbeliever is left.
During daylight hours across the globe, women will be working at the mill, the believer taken, and the unbeliever left.
Two working in a field, the believer taken the unbeliever left.

This has to be the Rapture because no kind of ‘normality’ will exist during the Great Tribulation and by the end of the Tribulation it will be total chaos. Jesus had said it would be a time of unparalleled horror never known before. The heavens and the earth will be in a cosmic blackout. After the earth, sea and water courses have been severely shaken and polluted, nothing will be stable. Few if any ‘mills’ will be intact, and the grain non existent after being eaten by insect plagues, burnt by fire storms as well as being flattened by huge hailstones. To say nothing of the condition of fields after being rearranged by huge earthquakes that will flatten mountains, with valleys ‘thrown up’ in mayhem.

Thanks again Scott, I am so pleased to have this valuable input. It certainly was for me, but I am positive others have been encouraged by this as it is so easy to be discouraged by well meaning folk unintentionally ‘pulling the rug’ from under our hopes. MARANATHA!
God bless

Scott said...


You are exactly correct - and that is indeed the most literal view (which is always reliable IMO).

The last hours of the Tribulation will see the last judgments very rapidly. Just imagine:

- There has just been the most massive earthquake that the world has ever seen. It literally levels everything on earth
- This is followed by total and complete darkness and 100 lb hailstones.

And people are going to try and sell me on this being a situation in which people are going about their normal business? Please.

But they will attempt to say "Well, thats not REALLY what it means...What it means, is that people will be taken away like the flood (huh?) - or, they will attempt to change the context - into something that isn't contained within the scriptures....

Jesus gave us the exact context - when He said it will be like the days of Noah, He followed up by stating exactly what He meant by that...There is no need for guesswork.

And as Peter said, in 2 Peter - Prophecy is NOT a matter of "man's interpretation", but is given by God DIRECTLY to the prophets - In other words we shouldn't be interpreting, rather, we should read what is contained in the scriptures and NOT add to them.

Thanks again for your comments - very interesting and insightful.