Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard (NZ)
On Watch at the Door. No 202, September 1, 2015
THE TIMING OF THE GOG MAGOG WAR
There are many prominent teachers who place the timing of the Gog Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 before the final seven years. After listening to Chris White on the topic, and observing what is happening in the Middle East, I now realise how dangerous that position is. I used to hold that position once, and then shifted it to Armageddon, but now I see it as the same war as the Gog and Magog one in Revelation 20 at the end of the millennium reign of Christ. We will probably all need to shift our thinking on various end time events as time progresses. No one seems to understand everything fully yet, but God is slowly opening up to us things that have been sealed for thousands of years. But as everything gets darker, we can know that prophecy will be our guiding light. (2 Pet 1:19-21)
Chris White cites the following problems with viewing the Gog Magog war as occurring before the 70th week of Daniel, the final seven years.
- Ezekiel 39:7 says that Yahweh’s name is never to be profaned again after the end of the war. The 70th week of Daniel, the time of the Antichrist, is characterised by blasphemy and rebellion against God, e.g. Revelation 13:6. In White’s opinion, this problem is insurmountable.
- The nations recognize the sovereignty of God as a result of the Gog Magog war. (Eze 38:16; 38:23; 39:7) The nations are in rebellion against God throughout the 70th week so this contradiction needs to be reconciled.
- After the Gog Magog war, both the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel recognize the Lord’s sovereignty in totality. (Eze 39:22) This cannot happen until the end of the 70th week. (Dan 9:24) It also violates the “time of Jacob’s trouble” which is a purifying event for the Jews during the last three and a half years.
- There are phrases which are inconsistent with Israel’s geopolitical situation currently or for the foreseeable future, phrases such as “dwelling securely” and “a land of unwalled villages.” At the present time, Israelis are not dwelling securely and there are villages with bars and gates. Israel is preparing for war.
White points out how the Antichrist could use popular and wrong beliefs about Islam and the God Magog battle and Armageddon to make it seem as if he is the Jewish Messiah or Jesus Himself at His second coming. Numerous Christians believe that we are to expect a war with Muslims where the Messiah will be victorious. A big victory over Muslims could lead many to accept the Antichrist as the Messiah.
The more I study end times prophecy, the more possibilities for deception seem to open up. The solution is not to turn away from prophecy, but to spend more time in prayer and in the Word. Prophecy will be our guiding light.
I am reminded of Edgar Whisenant who wrote a booklet, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could be in 1988. He was a former NASA rocket engineer turned prophecy teacher who predicted that Jesus would return to rapture His church sometime during the Jewish holiday of the Feast of Trumpets in September 1988. Over 3 million copies were published and 200,000 distributed to pastors in the US. When nothing happened, he revised the date. Apparently one effect was to raise people out of their complacency and many conversions were seen. We can only hope that the current September madness will have a similar effect.
Another well-known list contains 16 coincidences between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. One magazine ran a “Spooky Presidential Coincidence Contest.” The winner found 16 coincidences between Kennedy and former Mexican President Alvaro Obregon. An examination by Snopes.com found that the coincidences are easily explained as the simple product of mere chance.
Why am I telling you this? Because the Internet is plastered with lists of all sorts of coincidences which are supposed to relate to things that will happen in September (or perhaps October)! (See issue No 197 for my comments)
Here are some of the coincidences flying around the Internet which have come to me multiple times from various sources:
The most widely known one is of course the tetrad of blood moons which end in September. The main problem is that there is only one blood moon mentioned in the Bible relating to the end times. It occurs at the 6th seal in Revelation 6 and is accompanied by other celestial and terrestrial disturbances. It is the same blood moon that Joel refers to. However, Mark Biltz and others say they have found correlations between tetrads and things that have happened to the Jews. They fail to mention that nothing happened with some of them and on one occasion the event occurred after the last blood moon so wasn’t a warning of any kind. Another occurred before them, and none actually coincide well with any blood moon. Even the Holocaust did not occur around any tetrad. The Bible is silent on tetrads of blood moons and we should be silent too. God is not vague. He is precise.
There are standard scientific procedures for making predictions from a set of data. We hear a lot about the probabilities of a La Niña or El Niño weather event coming. If Christians continue making unsound predictions about blood moons we will become the laughing stock of the scientific community.
In another coincidence circulating around the Internet, July 14 2015 is the midpoint of the Jewish “Dire Straits,” an annual 3-week period for Jews to be focussed on repentance. The Iran nuclear deal which is bad news for Israel was signed on that day. The US congress has 60 days to decide whether to accept the deal and this ends on September 12 just before Rosh Hashanah and the end of the Shemitah year (If the Jews have got it right!).
Apparently Sir Isaac Newton calculated that the last half of Daniel’s 70th week would begin on September 23 this year. (Note: we haven’t entered the first half yet!) And Jesus is expected to rapture the church at this time. Apparently in another prophecy he predicted that Christ’s millennium would begin in 2000!
On the 23rd September Pope Francis arrives at the White House to meet with Obama. Some suggest the timing of this event is unusual as Pope Francis is the 266th Pope, and he will be arriving in the USA on the 266th day of his papacy. There are 266 days from the time of fertilization in a human conception until birth. They wonder if something is being birthed. There is another longish list involving the number 239!
There are also dire warnings about an economic collapse on September 13 based on economic depressions in cycles in sevens. Pastor Lindsay Williams is 100% sure this will happen. Also that the New World Order will be implemented on September 25th and a New World currency introduced on October 20th.
All these predictions and emphasis on coincidences reflect a lack of trust in and knowledge of the Word of God. God cannot be put in a box like this and be expected to do things on certain dates because of coincidences that people have discovered. We should be looking intently into God’s Word for guidance and spending more time in prayer in order to understand what is from God and what isn’t. Some of what people are doing is more like occult numerology! Bad things are coming and we do need to be prepared, but basing one’s expectations on coincidences is unhelpful. But praise God if it will result in many conversions!
Mysterious trumpet-like sounds from around the world are leading many to believe that the Messiah’s return is near. There are videos on the internet with the sounds, but many of these have been shown to be hoaxes. Others are found to be near railway shunting areas, and in one case the sound was found to be from a bulldozer scraping concrete nearby. The sounds closely resemble industrial noise. Christians who believe these could be related to the return of the Messiah are being greatly deceived. In end-times prophecy there are only two trumpet events on the horizon. The first is the one associated with the Rapture. Christians won’t be around to record this event as they will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and raptured up. (1 Cor 15:52) There are also the Trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 and 9. These begin the wrath of God being poured out and it will be obvious what they are about when people see a third of the earth burnt up, etc. Christians would not be deceived so easily if they were better acquainted with the Word of God.
A committee of the Denver City Council has stalled what was expected to be routine approval of a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Denver International Airport after at least four council members expressed disapproval of the company’s alleged opposition to same-sex marriage.
As in the days of Lot:
It has been pointed out to me that Pastor Brian Houston has responded to reports saying that “an openly gay couple were directing a choir” at the Hillsong Church NY campus. Houston says that one of the choir directors did make an unexpected public statement regarding his engagement to a man who sometimes sang in the choir. He understands that they have not been involved in any active leadership role since. Houston says that he believes God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz has said that he will not take a public stance on social issues like homosexuality because “that is not the example Jesus Christ models in the Bible.” Lentz says, “You go look at what Jesus did, he was always talking about the heart of an individual and the soul of a person, not these symptomatic societal problems.”
Homosexuality is far more than a “symptomatic societal problem.” Homosexuals need to know that what they are indulging in is a very dangerous sin which will affect their souls in eternity. The sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10) They will end up in the lake of fire. (Rev 21:8) If we love homosexuals we cannot remain silent and will want to tell them about the sacrifice of Jesus and His love for them so that they needn’t go to hell. Lentz is responsible for a flock of over 7,000. He will be judged severely if he doesn’t tell them that homosexuality is a sin, even if half the congregation disappear as a result.
The South Carolina church that was founded by the Southern Baptist Convention’s first president has adopted a new non-discrimination policy that will allow for the congregation to not only marry same-sex couples but also ordain openly gay, lesbian and transgender ministers.
A Belfast pastor, James McConnell, has made his first court appearance after being charged with making “grossly offensive” remarks about Islam. This case is one of a growing number of examples of British authorities using hate speech laws to silence Christians. The police routinely ignore incendiary speech by Muslim extremists. McConnell has no regrets about what he said. He does not hate Muslims, but denounces Islam as a doctrine. His church funds medical care for 1,200 Muslim children in Kenya and Ethiopia.
A controversial Hebrew Roots pastor, Jim Staley, has been found guilty of fraud. He has been given a 7 year prison sentence and ordered to repay $3.3 million to elderly investors he defrauded. Victims and their relatives said some elderly investors trusted him because of his professed Christian faith and family values, and some because they were slipping into dementia.
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