You and I live at a time like no other in the history of man. God, the one being in existence who knows absolutely everything about the past, present and future, is presenting for all to see the unfolding of end-time history upon His great radar screen of things to come. Yet, there are few who are observing the issues and events of these end of days with significant degree of faith that God truly knows the end from the beginning.
Jesus pointed the finger of condemnation at the pious religionists and legalists of His time while He walked the planet in the flesh. The Jewish leaders came to Him and tried to trip Him up by chidingly urging Him to prove His omniscience by telling them what the future held. “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16:2-3).
Jesus told those scoffers of those days during which He taught and preached prophetic truth that they didn’t—could not—see the prophetic times in which they found themselves. He told them why in the next words recorded by Matthew: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Matt. 16:4).
Jesus, I’m convinced, was telling these that they had failed completely to comprehend that their prophesied Messiah stood among them. They had not understood His first coming, because some among them were wicked and the others adulterous. Neither group truly believed. The “wicked,” the unsaved, didn’t believe; the “adulterous,” those who were also wicked, but who believed in the sacrificial system of Judaism, had departed from faith that the Messiah would truly come. Neither of that faithless/unfaithful generation could understand, therefore, Christ’s first advent.
Jesus said that the only sign that would be given these was the sign of Jonas (Jonah). This was the symbolic truth of God’s resurrecting from the dead those who believed in Him—i.e., only those with a saving knowledge of God’s way of redemption could understand the signals given off by God’s prophetic radar screen. Jesus was saying the same thing He told Nicodemus, another Pharisee who approached Him: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
The Lord was telling this pious religious leader that unless he came to a saving knowledge and had a new, spiritual birth, he could not even understand the kingdom of heaven. He could have no discernment–of his times, or of anything of eternal importance.
It is with this framework I prayerfully hope to exhort believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to take a renewed look at God’s radar screen of things yet future. His Word plainly lays out for those with spiritual eyes to see and understand the signs of the times. We must not be like the Pharisees and Sadducees at which Jesus pointed the finger, condemning them for their failure to understand His first coming.
The Middle East is the one area of the world the Bible student who is spiritually attuned to God’s radar scope of prophecy shouldn’t be able to ignore in these troubled times. Day after day, week after week –even hourly—issues and events of the region blip brightly on God’s radar. Israel is at the center of the scope at all times these days. However, other, unmistakable blips that we are in the end time pulse brightly from areas in and around the part of the world most often called “the Holy Land.”
Of course, with the bloodshed over the millennia –especially in modern times—the Middle East seems anything but “holy.” And, things are shaping to bring upon Planet Earth man’s most horrific war of human history.
All of this was foretold, and the Lord is using prophetic websites and other venues to make God’s radar visible to all who will observe, with eyes and ears to see and hear. Things are moving with incredible swiftness toward that blessed moment when Jesus will shout “Come up hither!” from the portals of heaven. He will meet with all believers in the gathering storm clouds of tribulation and Armageddon. The raptured saints will then go with Him to the dwelling places He has prepared for them (John 14: 1-3).
Let us look briefly at a few specific prophecies shaping up in the region God’s Word says will host the gathering of all the armies of the world for Armageddon.
The Prophet Ezekiel foretold of a great horde of armies that will one day invade the Middle East to plunder the region, and, specifically, to destroy Israel. This, as we’ve covered many times, is the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. The news items I wish to dwell upon deal with the prophecies concerning that future invasion.
One of the geographical areas, whose armies are foretold to join Gog in his military thrust to the south, is termed “Togarmah.” I realize there are those who confute that Togarmah refers to the region of present day Turkey. And, certainly that ancient region included more than just Turkey. But, the modern nation, Turkey, is at the center of that region called in the prophecy, Togarmah. I hold to the belief that this is fact, and if it is fact –with all the other things shaping up in the region—we should see Turkey on the radar screen of things to come.
Turkey has in recent months turned almost totally into an Islamist rather than a secular state. It has formed alliances with Russia and its leadership speaks increasingly against Israel, with whom it once had a working relationship.
Turkey, though considered an Islamic nation, has in recent history been secular in its dealings with the west –specifically with the U.S. Many prophecy students have wondered what might change the dynamic to put Turkey (Togarmah) into the Gog camp in preparation for the prophesied invasion. Are we seeing the answer taking shape today?
And, things continue to light up on the prophetic radar screen regarding the nation many believe to be the nucleus nation in the Gog-Magog war. Russia, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, moved its war ships, for the most part, from strategic areas in the Mediterranean. Russia has for a number of years been moving its naval presence to the south. Vladimir Putin obviously looks with lust toward the riches in that direction.
A third blip, one that lights most brightly on the scope of end-time radar, is the push by the international community –with American Secretary of State John Kerry in the lead—to force a two-state solution upon Israel. This, as we have pointed out previously, gets to the heart of the prophecy of Joel 3:2. God indicates that His land will be divided, and He will bring all nations to Armageddon because of this final, rebellious geopolitical act by the antagonistic nations of the world.
Keep your eyes on God’s radar screen of future things. His forecast is infallible.
Those who view the Bible as literature, as history from a skewed religious perspective or as interesting fable, reckon Bible prophecy to be, if anything worth significant consideration, no more than as history already accomplished, or as symbolism or allegory that must be spiritualized away as meaningless in our present time. We who hold to the Bible as God’s inerrant Word –as the Almighty’s love letter to His creature called man, see prophecy as history already fulfilled, and that is yet to be fulfilled. Bible prophecy is the Lord of all creation letting us in on things to come . . . before they happen. And, God is accurate in his foretellings, 100 percent of the time.
The Apostle Peter wrote, under Holy Spirit inspiration, about those who would at the end time simply think Bible prophecy is –well, nonsense: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet, 3: 3-4).
Certainly we constantly get this sort of mocking and scoffing from those who claim no relationship to Jesus Christ. The world at large might be expected to harbor such mildly veiled hostility to God’s foretelling things to come. But, it is the others –the ones who will tell you they are “Christians”–that are more troubling. These are even more virulent in their scathing rebuke of those who hold to a belief in God’s Word as literal. Belief in the pre-trib rapture is a target that is most generally fired upon from these self-proclaimed believers who hold to all Bible prophecy as symbolism or allegory.
But, increasingly, the attacks are launched at all prophecies yet future. The top stories reported by news media present overwhelming evidence that there might be something to all of this Bible prophecy stuff. But, the evidence just seems to get in the way of the scoffers’ reasoning. Rather than examine that compelling evidence, the mockers choose to lump those who believe in the rapture, and the warning God’s Word gives about the coming tribulation and Armageddon, with the likes of Iranian ayatollahs and the fundamentalist Islamics who want to help apocalyptic events along by bringing death and war upon their enemies–Israel and America. Somehow, they say we are the same as those types, even though their god tells them to send their people out to murder and maim people with suicide bombs while our God sends us out to love people and give them the good news gospel message so they won’t have to spend eternity in hell.
These who concoct and hold such falsehoods are as guilty of creating fables as they accuse us of being, who teach about the rapture and other prophecies that will come to pass according to God’s Word. However, we don’t believe in, teach, or preach fairytales. For example, a clearly emerging geopolitical situation is developing that almost certainly has prophetic implications. And it is no fairytale.
Things have been happening at the North Pole for years now, and it all involves an entity that we view as a major end-time player, according to the prophet Ezekiel. And, we are not talking about Santa Claus! An excerpt from a news item from a number of years ago explains:
“Russian explorers have planted their country’s flag on the seabed 4,200m (14,000ft) below the North Pole to further Moscow’s claims to the Arctic. The rust-proof titanium metal flag was brought by explorers traveling in two mini-submarines, in what is believed to be the first expedition of its kind… President Vladimir Putin has already described the urgent need for Russia to secure its “strategic, economic, scientific and defence interests” in the Arctic…(“Russia plants flag under N Pole,” BBC News, 8/2/07).
Ezekiel said a leader to the far north of Israel (all direction in Bible geographical parlance originates from Jerusalem) will one day lead a coalition to take “great spoil” from the region of the Middle East:
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes” (Ezek. 38:14-16).
To see just how accurate is God’s Word in prophecy, hold a string on a globe directly upon Jerusalem. Then run the string straight up the globe (due north). You will find that the string runs upward along the same longitude and directly across Moscow in Russia. No doubt about it. Russia is the major power due north of Israel!
Just how far north Russia seeks to exert its power is seen in the preceding news excerpt. They reach as far north as possible –to the North Pole. That’s no fairy tale. We aren’t talking about Santa. It’s Vladimir Putin who currently occupies the top leadership position of the people many of us who have studied the future Gog-Magog war think will be at the forefront of the attack on Israel.
Russia’s flexing its muscles at this time seems more than mere coincidence. That nation is shrinking population-wise, and influence-wise. It has fallen far from its exalted dictatorial position as the center of the U.S.S.R. Putin is showing himself to be a man who is determined to use his experience, learned from his KGB years, to restore some of the power and prestige of the old Soviet Empire. His bellicose deportment of late fits within the end-time scheme of things. Israel is threatened by its hate-filled enemies; the EU looks to be the reviving Roman Empire out of which Antichrist will arise; China is the exponentially growing dragon which looks like it could be the king of the kings of the east found in Revelation, chapters 9 and 16.
These geographical elements are facts of life in these troubled times. We believe the prophetic elements well might also be a part of the geopolitical mix that are harbingers of end of days things, perhaps soon to come.
Do you ever read, watch, or hear news reports and say to yourself: “The world has gone crazy!” or something to that effect? Certainly, this seems to be a world going–or already gone–mad. The observation is worthy of in-depth investigation.
Looking in any direction across the landscape of human interaction produces undeniable evidence. This is a planet of people whose sanity is under assault by an unseen force. It is the same sin-sickness that infected the first recorded rebel, Lucifer the fallen one, who is so delusional that he thinks he can still defeat the God of heaven. Thus, I give the malady the designation the “Devil’s dementia.” Indeed, it has gone viral upon planet earth.
The supernaturally inflicted dementia has brought much of humanity to the point that mankind’s thinking has become reprobate. The word reprobate is defined as: morally depraved; unprincipled; bad. Reprobate thinking is rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation (apart from redemption found only in Jesus Christ). It is the kind of thinking with which Satan, the devil, now incessantly assaults God’s creation called man. Mankind is thus fatally infected, his mind only on evil continually, just as prophesied.
Jesus said it would be like in the days of Noah at the time of His Second Coming (Lk. 17:26-27). When we check those days, we find the following: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
Let us consider the spreading dementia that afflicts our nation and the world at this late hour in history. Analyzing the arenas of human endeavor and the upside-down thinking that pervades will quite possibly further give us a sense of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline.
Religion, rather than acting as a comforting abode for the spirit as it is purported to do, more often inflames passions and ignites wars than soothes the savage beast within man. The most volatile religion of our time has at its very heart the demand that genocide be perpetrated upon God’s chosen people. Jihad is the term for “holy war” that inspires much of Islam. It is sheer insanity that demands that parents strap bombs to their sons and daughters to blow up others–this in the name of bringing into being peace on earth!
Christianity today more and more spotlights the madness of the hour. Many who say they are Christians have turned from the very reason for Christianity’s name–Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection as sacrifice so men, women, and children can be redeemed from sin. False teachers and preachers divert the minds and hearts of people to fables. It is an inward turning toward self-centeredness and away from reaching out to the lost of the world as Christ commissioned His followers to do.
In the name of Christ, Catholicism harbors a seemingly endless number of priests who are pedophiles, who prey on the innocent children who are supposed to be under their watch care. This is reprobate thinking and an assault on God–perversion of the worst sort.
The devil’s dementia is working within the Church today, through the wolves in sheep’s clothing, as condemned by Scripture:
“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Tim 3:8).
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).
All one has to do to understand what is going on in bringing down the United States is to cogitate on the thoughts once uttered by one of America’s avowed enemies. “Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president, wrote in an essay that passage of the American healthcare overhaul is ‘a miracle’ and a major victory for Barack Obama’s presidency, but called it ‘really incredible’ that the U.S. took more than two centuries from its founding to approve health benefits for all” (“In the News,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/26/10, p. 1).
The American government and the present administration demonstrate beyond any doubt the dementia that affects U.S. leadership. These “leaders” demand that Americans learn to live within their means, yet the politicians run up tabs of trillions of dollars in the drive to convert the nation to European-style socialism at best–to a Marxist state at worst. The big tax-and-spenders have strapped and continue to strap future generations with debt that can never be repaid. Only God’s staying hand has prevented the complete implosion of the U.S. and world economies to this point.
It is madness, but if viewed through spiritually attuned senses, it’s madness that can be understood as defiantly following the reprobate thinking that opposes the God of heaven. With a considerable majority of U.S. citizenry opposing the massive spending spree, the majority party ignores the people’s wishes. Instead they tie to their insane fiscal scheme taxpayer-funded abortions and other anti-God legislation, which enables atrocities such as public schools outlawing Bibles in classrooms while distributing condoms and birth control pills to students.
The madness spreads and metastasizes. FOX News reported some years ago that a mother was devastated that her fifteen-year-old daughter was transported to an abortion facility by a public school in Seattle, Washington, for an abortion. This was done because the mother had signed a consent form she thought was for the child’s medical safety, in case there was a medical emergency while she was at school. The school powers-that-be interpreted the consent form as meaning they had the right to abort the child’s baby. That the girl was pregnant is troubling enough, but the government-funded school taking such godless action demonstrates a reprobate mindset that would have in earlier generations been unfathomable.
FOX News reported the same day that a phenomenon known as the “flash mob” has come into being, whereby young people assemble on an Internet gathering site, organize, then physically take to the streets to vandalize and destroy merchandise within stores and damage other places. The report disclosed that an activity known as “catch and wretch” is the recreational activity of a growing number of children as young as nine years old. They pick out a victim (sometimes the elderly), as would a pack of wolves, then they beat them and do other dastardly things. Lawlessness is the result of the devil’s dementia, of which Antichrist will one day be the chief proponent.
Geopolitical Dementia Nowhere is the upside-down thinking that is the devil’s dementia more evident, from the biblically prophetic perspective, than in the arena of geopolitics. Time after time I’ve heard people within the Obama government and media pundits accuse Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being the cause of Middle East tensions. These imply that Israel is the roadblock to peace in the region because the Jewish state consistently perpetrates acts against the impoverished Palestinian people.
They praised the Obama administration as the sane influence, and say the Israeli government should be pressured to give in to the two-state solution and the division of Jerusalem.
The devil’s dementia–the reprobate, woolly-mindedness–couldn’t be more exposed than through such diatribe. Despite the fact that Israel’s enemies, since its reestablishment as a nation in 1948, have been blood-vowed to wipe the Jewish state from off the earth, these Israel haters still spew with a straight face that Israel is the troublemaker.
The history is plain for anyone with a sound mind to understand. Gamel Abdul Nasser, the Egyptian tyrant, attacked Israel with a huge coalition of Arab states in 1956, and again in 1967. Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s leader, accompanied by another huge contingent of Arab states, assaulted Israel on Yom Kippur in 1973. The objective in all the wars initiated by the anti-Israel forces was to wipe the nation off the map. The Arab enemies of Israel still hold to the eradication of Israel as their focus of hatred. Iran’s Mullahs and government leaders have at every opportunity declared that they wants to scour the Jewish State from the earth; they even want to bring on Armageddon so the 12th Imam can emerge from the ashes to institute Allah’s glorious reign upon earth.
And the world’s diplomats and media call Israel the culprit! The devil’s dementia has gone viral, and Jesus Christ is the only cure.
There is a sense even among those who hold little or no regard for Bible prophecy that troubling events in the Middle East could bring about the end of the world. Bible prophets, and we who adhere to a literal interpretation of the things they foretold, have been putting forth on world issues and events for years. Yet, genuine concern didn’t seem to raise its head until then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mentioned some years ago the 12th Imam, and his soon coming forward to bring about man’s final war.
It’s always been true that man would rather believe satanic lies than God’s truth. Adam and Eve believed Lucifer (as the serpent in the garden of Eden) when the father of all lies told them that they would not surely die, like God said, if they ate of the forbidden fruit. Mankind has fallen for the lies ever since, preferring to accept any lie rather than the only truth there is –truth from the mind of the Creator of all things. Evolution, for example, has become the basis for knowledge in America and around the world. Despite the proof that everything we know about has to be created –it doesn’t just happen—the purveyors of evolution tell us that all we see around us just “happened” to happen. It all came from nothingness, and grew to be –well—all of this!
That’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? That the tree from which Adam and Eve ate was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since that disobedient eating of that forbidden fruit (fruit involving knowledge), not only have human beings died, but the human race has fallen head over heels for the lie that all knowledge must begin from within the evolutional model. The father of lies knew what would be the results of his seduction from the very moment he first enticed Eve. His methods haven’t changed. People still grasp onto the seductive lies of Satan. They latch, with trepidation, onto the thought that those like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have the answer to the future, while God’s prophetic truth sort of just backs up what that Islamic Hitler-like dictator from Iran and others have to say from their version of the Koran.
The now out of power Iranian fanatic dictator, like many followers of the satanic prophecy, believes the 12th Imam as the Mahdi, an Arabic word that generally references a messiah, or a guide. This messiah will, they believe, come from his occultation (unspecified place of abode) to show followers the right pathway, and to make Islam the only religion on earth. The former Iranian president, as do fanatic clerics of the region, holds forth that it is desirable to bring on Armageddon and the end of the world, in order to bring the Twelfth Imam into the world.
It is feared by many Middle East observers that the Islamist Mullahs believe that producing nuclear weapons, and using them once they are developed, is the reason they have been placed by Allah at this time in history, in this volatile region. Israel, they proclaim, must be destroyed at any cost, so that the 12th Imam can rearrange the present world order. So –it is transparent, to me at least—that the international community and UN appeasers believe the Islamist beasts must not be confronted; rather, Israel must give in at every point of Islamic aggression, or threatened aggression. If peace isn’t achieved –at any price – the world will end in nuclear Armageddon. The collective thought seems to be that resisting Muslim madness, and Iranian nuclear ambitions in particular, could be the trigger point to World War III.
Such will apparently be the degree of appeasement when Iran (the area of ancient Persia) comes down with the Gog-Magog forces as prophesied by Ezekiel. The prophet foretold that the world, watching the attack on Israel, will issue a diplomatic protest note, with a Neville Chamberlain-like question: “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezek. 38:13).
The end of the world is on the minds of media and the appeasement-minded within the international community. To these world worry-warts, “fundamentalist, evangelical” Christians are in the same grouping with the fanatic Islamics, like those of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ilk.
Satan wants the world to see true Christians as intermeshed with Islamists, much like the Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations want innocent women and children intermingled with their murderous members when the fighting starts. The devil attempts to counterfeit everything Almighty God does. He tries to make it seem that the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and those of us who believe Christ is coming back to destroy His enemies believe exactly the same thing. Lucifer wants the world to believe that we are fanatics who want to bring on Armageddon so the end of the world can hurry and get here. Our “religion” will then triumph.
Actually, Christians and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-type Islamics are at opposite ends of the theological spectrum. We have the God of all creation, who sent His Son to die for mankind, that all people might live forever. The mullahs of fundamentalist Islam believe in a god who wants their and other Muslim children, if it is expedient, to die for Allah, so that that god can enslave a planet. The Lord God Jehovah wants eternal life for mankind. Lucifer wants the end of the world, so all of God’s creation called man will be destroyed.
Whether Israel nukes one of its enemy neighbors, or whether the madmen of Iran strike into Israel, we can be sure of one thing. This world is under the control of the one who spoke it into existence. Here’s the truth: “Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph 3:21).