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.