Setting the stage for prophetic fulfillment continues at a quickening pace. Progression related to end times matters spread across the eschatological horizon, making choosing which particular topic to write about somewhat of an exertion—but a not unwelcome exercise.
News of the hour presents some fascinating directions in which to aim our attention. I’ve chosen three items for consideration in this commentary.
The first area of possible, even probable prophetic relevance is China’s increasingly hegemonic activity. Sino-expansionism is among the most blatant signals of stage setting for prophetic fulfillment.
Chinese leadership is projecting two-faced influence and manipulation through its new-found power as king of the kings of the east. They are employing their usual, inscrutable methodologies to convince the world community they are reliable partners with which to do business. On the other hand, the leadership—communists all—are not only building an enormous military capability, but making moves to intimidate their neighbors through provocative bullying encounters upon the high seas.
This bullying even includes flying military aircraft from the China Sea island bases they are creating in deliberate, near-miss incidents with American aircraft. China’s increasingly powerful navy more and more moves near the point to ramming some of our naval ships in the region. Thus, as the U.S. military challenges China’s obvious intention to claim increasingly territorial waters that are not theirs.
The following gives a flavor of China’s dangerous activity as of late:
The expansion of China’s military is no secret. Beijing raised the People’s Liberation Army budget by 7% this year, typical of its annual increases…
On Wednesday, the PLA Navy announced it had finished work on a destroyer warship that can displace 10,000 tons, according to the state-run China Daily News website. This is a particularly major advance. The extra-hardy, domestically built destroyer not only helps Beijing double down on its disputed claims in the East and South China Seas but also gives it new deterrent weight against its most powerful Asian rivals such as Japan and India. ***[Source: New Chinese Navy Destroyer Can Best Japan, India And Maybe the United States, Rapture Ready News, July 2, 2017]***
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, despite meetings with American President Donald Trump while smiling, promising to make an effort to corral the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, is presenting his own dictatorial propensities these days. Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned against “impermissible” challenges to Beijing’s authority over Hong Kong.
Mr. Xi was speaking at the swearing-in of the territory’s new leader Carrie Lam, as Hong Kong marked 20 years since its handover to China from Britain. In a speech, he said that Hong Kong needed to “improve its systems to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
“Any attempt to endanger China’s sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government… or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line and is absolutely impermissible,” he said.
There is growing concern that the Chinese central government is undermining Hong Kong’s more politically liberal traditions, despite its promise to give it a high degree of autonomy. ***[Source: Xi Jinping warns Hong Kong over sovereignty ‘red line’ – BBC News]***
Secondly, in the matter of end times trending, we look briefly at the coalescing, Turkey-Iran relationship. It is a most fascinating element of the prophetic, stage-setting development in these closing days of this dispensation.
It is more than of curious interest to me that the new American president appears to have been, wittingly or unwittingly, again a catalyst for development of key Biblically prophetic preparation.
Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi during his Middle East trip, and his more-or-less pledge to come down on the side of the Saudi Kingdom as they face increasing threats from the likes of Iran, has set in motion a closer tie of two key Gog-Magog partners.
The newly forming closeness between Turkey and Iran is in view as they deal with the controversy over Qatar.
The following excerpt enlightens a bit:
The latest Iranian comments, as well as Turkey’s decision to send troops to Qatar amid a dispute with Saudi Arabia represent the creation of a new Qatar-Turkey-Iranian sphere of influence that has potential to influence the region and Israel. Qatar and Turkey have both had close relations with Hamas over the last decade. The creation of a warmer relationship between Doha, Ankara and Tehran could threaten Israel and could bring Jerusalem closer to Riyadh and Cairo. ***[Source: Turkey’s power-play in Qatar leads to warmer relations with Iran, By Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post]***
Turkey, under the almost overnight dictatorship formed by Tayyip Erdogan, seems headed in the direction of becoming at some point the entity Ezekiel the Prophet called Torgomah. His regime is embraced, apparently, by the Ayatollahs of Iran (Persia). It is a most interesting development that presents even more interesting possibilities.
The third and last item I would like to look at with you in considering end times trending is the matter of the slap-down it looks as if President Trump is in process of giving the globalists within his administration. This, if it has legs—as they say—is, in my opinion, key to stage-setting for the days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy by the Lord Jesus. Again, that prophecy is found in Christ’s Olivet discourse in Matthew 24: 36-42 and in Luke 17: 26-30.
In brief, I continue to believe that America—and much of the world—is about to experience not an economic melt-down, but an economic boom, based upon Jesus’ words in that prophecy.
The globalists, I sense, were feeling as if they about had Mr. Trump pulled over to their sides in the matter of America’s trade relations. It looked very much like the president would put their agenda, rather than America first—continuing to let America’s wealth drift out without quid pro quo. Now, because of the president’s recent action, the Wall Street types are fearing a global trade war that would end their grasp on U.S. wealth in particular.
The news excerpt informs.
While one of Trump’s recurring campaign promises was that he would “punish” China and other key US trade counterparties if elected, for taking advantage of free-trade by imposing steep tariffs and duties on foreign imports to “level the playing field,” the president’s stance changed drastically after the election, U-turning following his amicable meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping in March, but mostly as a result of pressure by his ex-Goldman advisors to keep existing trade arrangements in place and not “rock the boat.”
Now, all that may be about to fall apart.
And what may be even more striking is that Trump overruled his cabinet, as “the sentiment in the room was 22 against, and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed.” Axios adds that while “no decision has been made, the President is leaning towards imposing tariffs, despite opposition from nearly all his Cabinet.” ***[Source: Trump “Overrules” Cabinet, Prepares To Unleash Global Trade War, Zero Hedge]***
Needless to say, if Trump follows through, the outcome would have a profound effect on U.S. economic and foreign policy; Trump will formalize his decision in the coming days.
Donald J. Trump might just be president at this moment for the end times buying, selling, building, etc., prophesied by the Lord Himself. It is at just such a time Jesus tells us the following: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Lk 17: 28-30)
I remember writing a few years ago a piece on Israel. It was the morning that was the first day of the Pre-Trib prophecy conference in Dallas–the 23rd such conference, according to Dr. Tim LaHaye, the founder of the forum. that year’s conference was on Israel and that nation’s destiny.
We have addressed this subject on a number of occasions on Rapture Ready, but it is one that never grows stale–at least not with me. So, it was that the insights gained during that conference while listening to Dr. David Hocking made the trip worthwhile, even if I didn’t sit through many other sessions.
Israel is the prophetic signal–if one were to choose just one specific sign–that should prove to any rationally oriented mind that: 1) God’s Word is true, and 2) This generation is very near the end of the dispensation of grace.
Dr. Hocking, one of the most knowledgeable scholars and speakers on Israel, spent 45 minutes or so laying out the case for Israel being the one nation that is guaranteed to be such forever. In the process of his presentation, he, without having to say so, built the foundation to show that the God of the Bible is the one and only God. He told how he had opportunity to witness to a cabbie who had driven him from the airport to the hotel. He said the cab driver made the mistake of asking what he was doing in Dallas. Dr. Hocking told him he was speaking at a conference. The cabbie, a Muslim a native of the Middle East, asked him what he was speaking on, and the conversation that followed was one of great interest. The shuttle van’s driver said something about Allah being in charge of everything, and Dr. Hocking went into depth–for the brief duration of the ride from DFW to the hotel, how there is only one God and His Name is Yahweh. He didn’t say–or I don’t remember him reporting that he did so–how the conversation ended. But, David spoke the following morning with his head still attached, so I presume the driver didn’t consider the infidel’s offense of sufficient magnitude to take jihad action. Or, maybe Dr. Hocking didn’t mention Mohammed, which seems to be the red line for employing the scimitar, like in the case we remember involving the writer Salman Rushdie from some years back.
Again, David Hocking’s presentation was on Israel and her destiny. That topic continues to be at the heart of what is going on, prophetically, in the world today. One question Hocking addressed was the question of whether Israel today is fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Is the modern state of Israel a literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy?
The more academic of Bible prophecy scholars–the seminarians–mostly hold that Israel being back in the land God gave the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is “preparation” for fulfillment of prophecy, in their view, but not literal fulfillment of any specific prophecy. I was rather surprised, and pleasantly so, to learn that David Hocking considers it literal fulfillment, not merely preparation for fulfillment of prophecy from the futurist point of view.
Dr. Hocking certainly fits into the fold of academia, but his overwhelming, evidence-laden exposition on modern Israel being prophecy fulfilled in our time proved, to me, at least, that the academic purists within the pre-Trib view of eschatology camp are out of sync with what God predicts for Israel.
Now, for a commercial. That’s what my book, Cauldron: Supernatural Implications of the Current Middle East, is about, in its essence. It is a treatment–and, if I may say so, a very reader-friendly treatment–of why Israel is at the center of world geopolitical controversy and has become a nation blamed for the threat of global nuclear war–thus, even though it is that tiny Jewish state, itself, that is constantly threatened with destruction from its enemy neighbors.
The book covers the current, precarious state of world peace. It goes back to the book of Genesis to find the beginning of the supernatural hatred being waged against modern Israel at this very hour. It deals, often in minute detail, with some of the international intrigues being plotted for the wind-up of human history.
The bottom line is summed up scripturally with the prophetic words, “He who keepth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” To put it another way–“Israel forever!”
All directions in God’s Word to humanity–the Bible–point outward from God’s touchstone city to the human race. That is, Jerusalem is the topographical center of the world from God’s Holy perspective.
Therefore, north, south, east, and west, in terms of Bible prophecy, can be determined by considering that all-important city as the starting point.
We will look in this commentary at the kings of the east prophecy. That prophesied group of potentates, then, must be viewed as if we are standing, perhaps, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and looking eastward. This is how we can know that the kings of the east referred to in prophecy yet future are those kings or national entities of China and the Orient in general.
Here are the nucleus scriptural references to the kings of the east prophecy:
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:13-16)
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (Revelation 16:12)
We note with interest that the Euphrates River seems to be the boundary dividing the Occidental world from the Oriental. God tells through prophecy that this boundary harbors some powerful and tremendously evil demonic actors that are incarcerated until time for the prophesied invasion from that Oriental world. As a matter of fact, these are so powerful that they will imbue this force of two hundred thousand-member military with the capability of killing one-third of the people of the world.
I’m aware that there is a train of thought that puts forth that one-third of a specific number of combatants who are to die in the overall campaign of Armageddon will be killed by this force from the Orient. To me it reads that one-third of those living on the planet will be killed.
That there are supernatural elements involved within this murderous capability cannot be denied. It is reasonable to presume, I believe, however, that nuclear weaponry might be employed in accomplishing that grisly task.
The prophecy concerning the kings of the east becomes particularly fascinating, I think, when looking at geopolitical military rearrangements taking place today.
To preface these considerations, I urge us to remember that the demonic minions that will be the catalyst to galvanize the destructive kings of the east force are presently under God’s restraining power. These evil entities are held back until a particular “hour, and a day.” There is a specific moment when they will be unleashed to cause the two hundred million-man force to kill one-third of everyone living on the planet.
I have always considered it a point of fascination that since the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, there hasn’t been a single incident of a nuclear weapon discharged in any sort of military conflict. There have been nuclear tests of every sort, above ground and below. But, not a single nuclear warhead of any sort has been fired as part of military action.
My friends, this lack of employing nuclear weaponry has taken far more than diplomacy, human fear, in trepidation, or whatsoever else. This has been the obvious, restraining hand of the God of Heaven. Just like in the case of the evil angels being restrained somewhere beneath the Euphrates, the nuclear, war-making genie has been kept in the bottle marked “For Tribulation Only.”
As a matter of fact, the nuclear factor has been used, I’m convinced, by the Lord Himself, to prevent man from self-destruction. If nuclear weapons were not at the ready at every moment of every day, the human race might have long ago ended most if not all life on earth with conventional weapons only slightly less horrific. Man has–some would surmise–retained the common-sensibility, at least to this point, to refrain from all-out war, since those two, small-by-comparison nuclear bombs that ended World War II.
North Korea forges ahead with production of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to far-distant points. This, despite a president who has vowed that such development will not be allowed to be brought to the point the NK weapons can be used against the United States. There seems shaping a showdown of monumental magnitude at some point soon.
Yet, as many who read these commentaries know, I’m convinced there will be no earth-shattering event such as nuclear war take place until the Rapture has occurred. I’m convinced that Jesus’ words in the days of Noah and days of Lot prophecy in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30 indicate it will be business as usual–even better than usual–right up until He next “reveals” Himself to a rebellious world. This will be Rapture, not Second Advent when He will come back to earth to put an end to Armageddon and the threatened, complete destruction of all life on earth.
Meantime, it is an almost certainty in my spirit-mind that there will be no complete disarmament of the nuclear powers. These weapons of mass destruction will doubtless, in my opinion, be used during the Tribulation, as part of judgment and wrath poured upon the evil and rebellion that will be against the God of Heaven.
The North Koreans might be restrained in some fashion from unleashing their nukes on the rest of us for now. They will, however, likely have them at their disposal when they rage across the dried-up Euphrates under demonic influence. China and the rest of the Oriental diabolists will, the prophecy says, kill one-third of people left on the planet at that time. Certainly, nuclear weaponry could accomplish fulfillment of that prophecy.
It is interesting to think on the fact that there seems to be no nuclear weaponry used on Israel as the Gog-Magog forces descend like a cloud to take great spoil. It is a conventional force that makes the assault, apparently. At that point there is either great restraint so they can enjoy the “spoils” they intend to take, or there is restraint on the Gog-Magog forces of some other sort, preventing use of nuclear weaponry. There are those who believe that this is because there has been nuclear disarmament at this juncture, and there are no nuclear weapons available. I do not agree.
God, Himself, will unleash His own form of “nukes” at that time, destroying all but one-sixth of the invading force.
The assault from the kings of the east seems to have no such encumbrances of nuclear restraint. The attack seems to come later than the Gog-Magog attack as the wind-up of the campaign of Armageddon looms.
One thing is sure in my view of these matters. We are witnessing things shaping for prophetic fulfillment in the arena of the kings of the east in regard to the nuclear factor.