Be Very Alert! No 240

Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard (NZ)

On Watch at the Door                                                          No 240, May 9, 2017

WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS

There is a convergence of many things, such as an increase in earthquakes, warnings about the economy, famines, deception, etc., which are prophesied to come together after Antichrist has appeared. (Matt 24:4-8 and Seals 1-4 of Revelation 6). Wars and rumours of wars are much in the news now.

There are high tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions. The US military has installed a controversial missile defence system at a site in South Korea. The system is designed to protect against threats from North Korea. Local residents have been protesting against the deployment.

President Trump did something unusual and called an emergency meeting at the White House where senior leaders talked about the “urgent national security threat” posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Former CIA analyst Bruce Klingner says that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, would likely hit back with an artillery barrage in the event of a pre-emptive strike by the US or an ally. “The North could launch a devastating attack on Seoul,” he says. Hawaii also needs better protection from the growing threat from North Korea.

One former senior security policy analyst, Michael Maloof, warns that North Korea already has the capability to launch a nuclear attack on the US but not in the way that the mainstream media talks about it. North Korea doesn’t have a missile that could reach the US. But it does have the ability to put satellites in orbit and has two there now. A satellite could be equipped with a nuclear bomb which could be detonated high over America or any other country causing a nuclear explosion (EMP, electromagnetic pulse) which can wipe out the power grid and all unprotected electronics. This can bring a nation to a standstill. A recent grid failure in San Francisco which lasted for seven hours and caused chaos by knocking out traffic lights, cable cars, elevators and computer system offered a preview of an EMP threat. Some countries such as Russia, China, Iran and Israel have been working on systems to protect against such an attack. The US is largely defenceless.

As Americans worry about whether a North Korean missile could hit California, sales of nuclear shelters and air purifiers that can block radiation are skyrocketing in Japan. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program is deepening after the issue dominated talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow.

As well as concerns about North Korea, Washington is so worried about attacks generally that local governments in the Washington D.C. area are holding a “full-scale” terror attack drill. Law enforcement and first responders will participate in the exercise “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region.” The drill prepares for an attack involving multiple locations and “teams of perpetrators.”

On the other side of the world, there have been tense naval encounters in the Persian Gulf between the US and Iran. In a recent encounter, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel came near a US guided-missile destroyer. The US vessel fired a warning flare toward the Iranian vessel which later turned and sailed away.

A statement released by “the joint command operation center of Syrian allies,” a group that includes Russia and Iran, has warned the US against further military actions in that war-torn country, following a missile strike on a Syrian air base. The group warned that they would support the Syrian people and Assad’s regime “with all the means that we have.”

Some prophecy scholars believe that these events are leading up to the fulfilment of Ezekiel 38 and 39 Gog and Magog war. Scholars hold different views on the timing of this war. Some expect it to take place before or just after the beginning of the last seven years, others place it somewhere in the middle of the seven years, others at the end along with Armageddon and others say it is referring to the Gog/Magog war of Revelation 20 which takes place at the end of the millennium.

There are a number of reasons why it is difficult to place the Gog/Magog war around the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. After the war, God’s name is never to be profaned anymore; all the nations will know that He is the Lord and is the Holy One in Israel; Israel will dwell securely in the land forever; and so on. These things cannot happen until the end of the seven years.

Four times in Ezekiel 38 and 39 Israel is said to be living safely in the land when these armies descend upon them. (Eze 38:8, 11 – Israel has walled villages now, 14; 39:26) Israel has been preparing for simultaneous wars on all fronts and has layers of defence systems to protect its citizens. In no way can Israel be described as living in safety at the present time. But God promises that they will live in safety in the future when Jesus their Messiah returns and tends for them. (Eze 34:23-31)

Prophecy is accurate and all aspects of the prophecy should be taken into account. The war that takes place at the end of the seven years may be a fore-shadow of the one at the end of the millennium. (Rev 20:7-10)

In New Zealand it is common to hear people say how wonderful it is to live in this far corner of the earth far away from the threat of war. However, North Korea has threatened to target our neighbour Australia too, accusing it of “blindly and zealously toeing the US line.” Major wars or disasters in any part of the world can affect us in many ways and this could happen suddenly.

We must always be prepared for whatever comes our way. There is a striking convergence of many things. It cannot be long before they all come together with the appearance of Antichrist.

PROBLEMS IN THE PRETRIBULATION CAMP

In order to defend their pretribulation stance, some proponents have come up with interpretations of Scripture which are completely different from what traditional pretribbers have taught. They have even been challenged by those, such as Mark Hitchcock, who support the traditional view. Unfortunately these new interpretations are being promoted by well-known leaders and prophecy scholars.

One point of contention is that the term apostasia in 2 Thess 2:3 doesn’t mean a falling away (or rebellion) from the faith but a physical departure such as in the Rapture. Traditional pretribbers never held this view. Some prominent evangelicals who support this view now are Thomas Ice, the late Tim LaHaye (author of the Left Behind series), L.A. Marzulli, Gary Stearman and popular prophecy teacher J.D. Farag. This view is believed to have been first introduced in 1895 by J. S. Mabie and popularized by E. Schuyler English in 1949, but the major proponent now is Thomas Ice, Executive Director of The Pre-Trib Research Center.

In a public debate with Alan Kurschner, Thomas Ice admitted that he was incapable of producing a single document in all of Koine Greek literature where apostasia means a physical or spatial departure. If the Rapture was intended the word would have been harpazo. The only other occurrence of the Koine Greek in the New Testament is in Acts 21:21 where a falling away or rebellion occurs.

Kurschner says, “This biblical passage (2 Thess 2:3) has convinced more ex-pretribulationists that their pretrib theology is wrong than any other Bible passage. The reason for this is straightforward: The fundamental premise of pretribulationism is that there cannot be any prophesied events that will take place before the rapture, and consequently they believe in the novel idea of what has come to be called the “any moment” rapture (a.k.a. imminence).”

Commentary on J.D. Farag – Jacob Prasch. This is not just about Farag. A problem in the pretribulation camp.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPxGR8lDU_g

This is a commentary on the book of Revelation. When reading it, remember that God is still opening up His Word to us and no one has the full truth. Be a Berean! You may find Chapter 12 interesting in relation to the woman.
http://www.revelationcommentary.org/

IN BRIEF

Pope Francis has been in Cairo and addressed the Egyptian people. He said he hoped his visit would help bring peace and encourage dialog and reconciliation with the Islamic world. This comes at a painful time for Egypt’s Copts. A short time ago ISIS suicide bombers killed 45 people in twin church bombings and in December a cathedral bombing killed 28 people. A spree of murders has forced hundreds of Christians to flee North Sinai where ISIS is most active.

One of the hottest trending topics on Google this year is the ‘great sign’ of Revelation 12. Many believe that it will reach a stage of completion on the 23rd September. I wrote about this recently in Alert! 237. People love signs. A few years ago people got caught up in the four blood moons hype and nothing happened. I fear that many will get caught up in Antichrist’s great signs and wonders. We are given signs in the Bible to look for in the last days, e.g., Luke 21:25-28, but the woman of Revelation 12 is not one. And they don’t even know what to expect!

A new poll asked 2,010 British adults by telephone a series of questions about their beliefs and the Bible. “Christians” refers to those who attend religious services at least once a month. A quarter of those identified as “Christian” did not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. About one third of “Christians” surveyed stated they did not believe in life after death at all, while approximately one fifth (21 percent) of non-Christians said they did. It certainly makes you wonder what is being taught in churches as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the core of the Gospel message.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden says that people are abandoning the faith in record numbers. More than 90,000 left the church in 2016, almost double the 2015 number, and the main reason cited was “they do not believe in God.”

For the first time, Russia has been ranked among the worst violators of religious freedom. There is an ongoing crackdown on religious minorities, foreign missionaries and evangelists.

An official Harvard University guide on gender says that for some people gender identity can “change from day to day.” The flier was distributed to students on the elite Ivy League campus.

In 1970, when Earth Day was conceived, the late George Wald, a Nobel laureate biology professor at Harvard University, predicted, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist and best-selling author of The Population Bomb, declared that the world’s population would soon outstrip food supplies.

A monster mid-spring snowstorm in Colorado postponed a rally that sought to bring attention to “climate change” and “global warming,” as well as protest President Donald Trump’s climate policies. Heavy snowfall and blizzard-like conditions were forecast.

President Donald Trump has proclaimed May as ‘Jewish American Heritage Month.’ “During Jewish American Heritage Month, we celebrate our Nation’s strong American Jewish heritage, rooted in the ancient faith and traditions of the Jewish people,” Trump said. Trump mentioned that the Jewish people have left “an indelible mark on American culture” through an ethical code and “tikkun olam” or repairing the world. Obama emphasised Islam’s “great” contribution to the US.

When trials come: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph 6:10-11)

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