As mentioned before, there are several competing events, prophetically, all of which should launch the world into the beginning of the Tribulation and subsequently the last seven years leading to the Second Coming of Christ Jesus: The Gog-MaGog battle, the Isaiah 17/Psalm 83 scenario (which may trigger Gog-MaGog), and the current push for a peace plan in the Middle East.
One of these scenarios is based upon Iran's nuclear progress and where that will lead. It is crystal clear that Iran's leader Ahmadinejad wants to destroy Israel and in the process hasten the Mahdi's return. He has made his intention clear. Recent news (link here) indicates that Iran's progress towards a nuclear weapon is alarming to say the least. All while the U.S. turns away and ignores the problem.
Iran has begun secretly moving some of its most sensitive nuclear research facilities and materials from North Tehran and the Arak heavy water plant to huge storage areas around the newly-fueled reactor at Bushehr, along with advanced missiles from the southern province of Khuzestan, DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Bushehr nuclear reactor compound is accordingly in the process of transformation into one of the most important military facilities in the country. It is to be dedicated to four special functions:
1.The relocation of Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons research center from North Tehran;
2.As hangars for storing advanced missiles, weapons and components the Iranians want to keep under wraps;
3.For research laboratories engaged in the research and development of new weapons systems;
4.Orders went out in the first week of September to start preparing the compound to accommodate Iran’s most advanced ground-to-ground missiles to be moved out of the oil-rich Khuzestan province.
This is very ominous and shows the continual progress towards a weapon that could destroy Israel in a matter of minutes. But we know from biblical prophecy that such events do not take place for the simple reason that we know Israel doesn't get destroyed. That leads to two possibilities.
Either something prevents Iran from final completion of a nuclear weapon, or they develop the nuclear weapon and decide to not use it. The second option seems highly unlikely, given their position towards Israel combined with their leadership's beliefs in Islamic prophecy.
However, if Israel somehow destroys these facilities, large-scale war would seem inevitable. And the alliances given in Ezekiel 38-39 represent the same exact same anti-Israeli alliances that are in place today, and these alliances are strengthening daily.
Iran is getting very close to having their coveted nuclear weapon. The estimates that we have been given (1 year) seem overly conservative based on what we are reading. And if Israel is to attack, they certainly won't wait until the last day to attack - that would be far to risky if the estimated time-frame was proven incorrect.
The point is, this situation is coming to head fairly rapidly. That fact has great significance: It's a tipping point. If Iran is to obtain a nuclear weapon, that is a tipping point, and if Israel attacks, that too is a tipping point.
What makes this even more interesting, is the fact that God reveals Himself during the battle of "Gog-MaGog". The prophet Ezekiel gave great emphasis in both chapters to the fact that God will reveal Himself and He will do so in a big, dramatic way.
I could be wrong about this, and it requires speculation, but I personally do not believe that The Church will be here to witness these events. During this Church Age, we believe by faith and not by sight, and in the approximate 2,000 years of the Church Age, God hasn't performed these kinds of miracles, or revealed Himself in this manner. There are other reasons, but not the point of this post.
That may be a minor point, because we DO know from the prophetic scriptures that The Church isn't here during any part of the Tribulation. Once the tipping point is reached, the events will cascade in a rapid manner, and the Tribulation won't be far off anyway.
The central point is this: We seem to be getting very very close to the events which will lead into the Tribulation, and simple logic tells us that the Rapture of The Church is approaching.
That is good news in a world that seems full of nothing but bad news. Or, as stated by the apostle Peter:
"And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it
as to a light shining in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19).
God, in His infinite love for us gave us the words of prophecy in order to comfort us in these dark days. It informs us that we have a MUCH better fate awaiting us, as we inhabit this "dark place" - the world that we find ourselves in during these last days. It's a promise that has been given to us. Jesus is finishing the last touches on our real home, New Jerusalem, and He will return to gather up His people - exactly as described in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15.
How much longer?
Only God has that answer, but He told us the signs that would be in place before Jesus comes for His bride. The signs are all around us, and indeed, these signs give us a light in a dark place.
And as the Apostle Paul informed us:
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
Amen. Come quickly Lord.
((( UPDATE: "Nuclear experts watch for Iran's first N-test after sanctions fail" )))