Signs of Time are easy to see and understand when viewed from the Bible perspective.
Friday, 17 January 2014
That One Pivotal Event Just Ahead
By Gene Lawley
Amid the social, political and economic turmoil in the daily news as we enter year 2014, is the running engagement of Secretary of State John Kerry in consultations with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a dedicated push for a peace agreement between those two entities. When Kerry took the job after Hillary Clinton resigned, he hit the ground running and has been on the go constantly with that goal in mind.
It has been an annual target for each September since Barak Obama became president in 2009. Obama was “primed to lead us into a new world order,” according to Henry Kissinger, and his globalist cohorts were fixated on the destruction of the United States, and a final solution to that annoying Middle East standoff of that tiny peanut-sized nation of Israel (against hordes of angry, bristling Muslims who had vowed to drive them into the sea).
Those two obstacles stood in the way of that New World Order vision, and Obama went to work in destroying the American economy and its sovereignty by undermining its Constitution and doubling its national debt by some $8+ trillion dollars. Complicit “fifth columnists” within the various levels of national government, many having been appointed and put in place by Obama without congressional approval. The downfall of America is, by most observers, hovering on the brink of economic collapse and the prospects of martial law being enforced, is quietly being prepared for its citizens. No one wants to talk about those things very openly these days.
But for the God of Prophecy
Knowing that the God of the universe is in control and sets the appointed times of events on earth is a great source of comfort and peace to the believer. As for the place of America in biblical prophecy, it is not mentioned in any direct way as a super power in the last days. Yet, it seems to be tied inseparably to Europe and its resurrection of the ancient Holy Roman Empire. At this point, it seems that the United States is the leading factor in bringing a peace agreement to the forefront in the Middle East.
That particular event is predicted in Daniel 9:26-27:
“And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of the ruler who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And the end of it shall be with the flood, and ruins are determined, until the end shall be war. And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease, and on a corner of the altar desolating abominations, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall be poured on the desolator.”
Here is a list of the important points of these two verses:
When the Messiah was “cut off” (crucified), there had elapsed a total of sixty-nine weeks of years, to that point. Some years ago a British student of prophecy, Sir Robert Anderson, carefully calculated the times in Daniel’s prophecy to verify that the sixty-nine “weeks” to the crucifixion of Christ comes to exactly 483 years, and that final week of seven years has yet to come about. Earlier in the passage Daniel was told that seventy weeks would be visited upon his people and upon his holy city. (Seventy weeks of years would total 490 years.)
The people of whom a future ruler or prince will come were the Romans, under the command of Titus, who destroyed the city and the sanctuary (temple) in 70 A.D. Just as Jesus predicted to His disciples, “not one stone will be left upon another” (Matthew 24:1-2). They sought out every thread of gold that glittered between the stones in the morning sunlight.
That prince that shall come will confirm a covenant with many for one week (seven years), but halfway through that period, he breaks the covenant and proclaims himself God.
Since the Romans will have destroyed the temple, and this prince will move into the temple, the holy place, and desecrate it at the halfway point, the covenant must have allowed the Jews to rebuild their temple and restore its religious functions.
As confirmed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4: “…and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself forth, that he is God.” Thus, he desecrates the temple.
The passage ends with the declaration that this desolator will receive a decree of judgment “poured out upon him.”
One obvious point that stands out is that this event could not have happened at the 70 A.D. destruction. Why not? There would have been no time for a seven-year covenant and the temple was being destroyed, not rebuilt so that after three and one-half years that prince could cancel the sacrifices and desecrate the altar. And there was no agreement favoring the Jews, for they were scattered into all nations following the city’s destruction. So, it is a coming moment that seems to be that pivotal, climatic event that ends the age of grace.
The “taking out of the Gentiles a people for the Lord’s name,” ends, and the beginning of that final 70th week which was to be visited upon Daniel’s people now follows. It is the time that Jeremiah calls, “The time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Note that this visitation of God (in judgment) is upon the people of Daniel, the Hebrew nation, not the body of Christ, the church. That entity, the church, was not announced until Jesus did so at Matthew 16:13-19.
Now, break for a bit of current event headlines right out of the Rapture Ready News page:
“Netanyahu Plans a National Referendum on US Peace Framework to Extend Negotiations for Another Year”
(A poll taken last July 24 reported that 55 per cent of Israelis would support the prime minister were he to submit a peace deal for a public referendum.)
“Kerry: Saudi King Backs Israeli-Palestinian Peace Push”
“Peace Deal Is Best Israel Will Get, Says Lieberman”
In the first title above, posted on the January 8 page, it appears the Prime Minister is beginning to lean in favor of the U.S. proposal framework, yet wants another year to swing the Israeli people behind him. A year’s extension makes that confirmation more uncertain as to the time line, but then, what about the signals of the blood moons, this year and an exact duplicate for 2015? Netanyahu may well have in the back of his mind the fate of his two predecessors. (See below.)
The second article, posted January 7, reports Kerry’s success in getting Saudi Arabia backing for the U.S. proposal, thus increasing pressure on the Israeli faction.
The third one, posted January 10, is especially worthy of note: Avigdor Lieberman, the hawkish Israeli foreign minister widely regarded as a major obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, has urged his country to accept the deal currently being brokered by Washington as the best offer it will ever receive.
Since 2009 and Obama’s debut on the world scene, diplomatic efforts have increased with annual target dates for the successful completion of an agreement that both sides will embrace, yet it has never come this close. Combined with the converging of other related end-time events, it does appear that God’s appointed time may be rising over the horizon.
During the week of January 6 news reports marked the declining health condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, finally coming to his death on Saturday, January 11. The whole scenario presents a very interesting picture of why, perhaps, the former prime minister has suffered in a coma since 2006, yet alive, marking time. Remember, it was during his term in 2005 that Israel agreed to turn Gaza over to the Palestinians. All Jewish residents were moved out of Gaza and all of the improvements were left to the new owners.After it was finished, Prime Minister Sharon suffered the stroke that has left him in a coma for eight years.
In 1993, Bill Clinton met with then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Oslo, Norway, and worked out an agreement now called the Oslo Accord. It was not favorable to Israel’s progress up through the June, 1967, war and the Yom Kippur war in October, 1973, in obtaining more of the territory God had promised them. It was a five-year process that would have turned over territories to the control of the Palestinians after three years. In 1995, Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated.
Now, former Prime Minister Sharon, having been the central Israeli figure in turning Gaza over to the Palestinians in 2005, has come to the end of his long coma. Is it only a coincidence that these two leaders have met such tragedy in their lives? Or, is God sending a message to Israel? It may be that more time for clarification on the issue is Netanyahu’s concern. It would definitely be mine. God apparently does not like to give up territory. He promised to restore to Israel in these last days.
“Comfort One Another With These Words”
The “signs of the times,” under which I would list this suggested coincidental linking of events, are in many venues, just as Jesus predicted in the gospels—wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in many places, turbulence in weather, strange things in the heavens. All these we are seeing, regularly and in increasing volume. The coming “blood moons” this year and next are also among those signs in the heavens and deserve our instant attention, for the first one reported by NASA will be on April 15.
This pending event about to happen is tied particularly to Paul’s prophecy of the Rapture of the body of Christ, for he includes it as the pivotal event that is the turning point for the coming of the day of the Lord, like a thief in the night. If one reads 1 Thessalonians 4:16 through 5:4 without considering the chapter break, it reads as one context, just as in the original text. Verses 2-3 of chapter 5 detail the circumstances in which that transformation of believers, both dead and alive, in chapter 4:16-17 happens. Those final verses read like this:
“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. For when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety!’ Then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail upon a woman with child. And they shall not escape.But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief.”
This incident is not the Second Coming of Christ; it is very evident upon thoughtful consideration. A thief at night comes, takes what he is after and goes away with it; he does not stay. At the Second Coming, Jesus will come, fully visible, with His large army of saints, and He will stay and establish His authority over the whole world.
When that pivotal event happens, perhaps even when the agreement is announced, or some time in between the announcement and the signing of the covenant, that cry will sound out, and believers by the millions around the world will disappear, in the twinkling of an eye. Sudden destruction and chaos will begin a seven-year period of increasing lawlessness and evil without resistance; then judgment.