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End-Time Prophecies - Part 3

 

Over the past couple of years I have given you two sermons about end-time prophesies, one oriented about Old Testament prophesies, the other more oriented toward New Testament prophesies. Recent events have increased the total number to three.

Part 1 began the study of end-time prophecies by discussing The Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9, related prophecies in Daniel 7 and 8 and 12, 2 Thes 2, Rev 13 and 17, and examples of time delays in prophecy. Part 1 is thus more static than Parts 2 and 3.

In Part 2, we discussed prophecies regarding the return of the Lost Ten Tribes to their homeland in Israel, then discussed current threats to the Tribes.

Today in Part 3, we will discuss seven future endeavors we should undertake.

1. In order to consider future events, we must first watch world events.

Ezekiel 35 shows that the so-called Palestinians will not stop their war to kill or drive out every Jew and now every Evangelical Christian from Israel. For instance:

(Ezek 35:15 NASB) "As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so I will do to you. You will be a desolation, O Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the LORD."'

The European Union supports the so-called Palestinian objective, partly to avoid problems with the very large Muslim population in their own countries, but also perhaps because of long-standing anti-Jewish and now even anti-American feelings. Prime Minister Netanyahu has finally received U.S. backing. Will it continue? We need to watch events in the Middle East and who will constitute the forces described in the scriptures we will read today. If any nation or company of nations decides to invade Israel, allegedly to keep the peace, we must keep in mind Daniel 9 and other prophecies. If any religious group attempts to influence or control the Temple Mount, we should also consider Daniel 9:27. World powers are becoming more and more militaristic as we approach the time of Christ’s (Ha Mashiach’s) return.

2. We should also watch what might be the prophetic significance of American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; and American policies and actions toward Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt; especially Iran. Will Iraq continue as a democracy? Will some Americans remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future? President Obama’s receent announcement to remove all American troops from Iraq before 2012 indicates otherwise. Will Syria and Iran have to be forced to depose anti-Israeli governments and terrorist organizations in Lebanon and Syria, and to remove and destroy weapons of mass destruction?

In part 1 of this sermon, we mentioned the King of the South in prophesy. But there is also a king of the north. Let’s look at this prophesy and relate it to current events. In chapter 2 of Daniel, Daniel is interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

(Dan 2:31-34 NKJV) "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. {32} "This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, {33} "its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. {34} "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.

In verse 45, we find that Christ is the "stone cut without hands" but it is verse 33 which describes the Roman Empire with its two legs.

(Dan 2:42-45 KJV) And as the toes [ten toes] of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. {43} And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. {44} And in the days of these kings [these ten toes] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. {45} Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

So the Kingdom of God with Christ reigning, appears to accomplish the destruction of the final rising of the Roman Empire. But notice again that there will be two legs, two divisions of the Empire, each with five toes, five kings or governments. The two divisions are the West Roman Empire and the East Roman Empire. The West Roman Empire seems to contain today’s nations of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and possibly Tunisia. The East Roman Empire, which earlier became known as the Byzantine Empire, contained today’s nations of Greece, western Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Syria and Lebanon. What is today Israel and Egypt were considered client states of Rome.

Daniel 7 describes a dream of Daniel wherein four major kingdoms are compared with four wild animals. Verse 7 describes the last, the Roman Empire.

(Dan 7:7 KJV) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

With the ten toes representing the present day nations of the final Roman Empire, let’s look at today’s situation.

(Dan 11:40-45 KJV) And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. {41} He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon [all parts of Jordan]. {42} He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. {43} But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. {44} But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. {45} And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

Several scriptures identify the return of the Lost Tribes to the God-given land of Israel, especially to Bashan. As stated earlier, Bashan is included in the land assigned to the half tribe of Manasseh. Bashan is located east of the Jordan River in what is now southern Syria and northwestern Jordan, including the Golan Heights. Its northern border was Mount Hermon. Its southern border was Gilead. Gilead bordered the Jordan River and extended south to about the present location of the city of Ammon. Assyria occupied much of what is now Iraq. Let me give you a few scriptures which describe the tribe’s return. What might be the timing of this return? We’ve read some of these before.

(Micah 7:14-15 NKJV) Shepherd Your people with Your staff, The flock of Your heritage, Who dwell solitarily in a woodland, In the midst of Carmel; Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, As in days of old. {15} "As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them wonders."

(Zec 10:10 NKJV) I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt [The use of the word Egypt is the writer’s reference to Deut 30:3,5 which predicted this event.], And gather them from Assyria. [Ancient Assyria was centered in modern Iraq.] I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no more room is found for them.

(Jer 3:18 NKJV) "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.

(Ezek 37:15-24 NKJV) Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, {16} "As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.' {17} "Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. {18} "And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, 'Will you not show us what you mean by these?'; {19} "say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."' {20} "And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. {21} "Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations,wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them in to their own land; {22} "and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. {23} "They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. {24} "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.

(Isa 11:11-12 NKJV) It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. {12} He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah (the Jews) From the four corners of the earth.

Classical Jewish commentary, such as Abarbanel, circa the1490s, state that Messiah ben (i.e. son of) David would bring back the tribes. Present day Jewish commentary feel the tribes will return before the Messiah returns. Whichever commentary is correct, we must be aware of any movement or potential movement of the tribes of Israel to this region.

American troops in the present Iraq/Afghanistan war could conceivably partly fulfill this return, especially if they move into Syria and Lebanon. However, what seems more likely considering today’s news of the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq are prophecies telling the elect that they will experience persecution, the elect will be persecuted and live through at least part of the tribulation and only the elect will return to Bashan (east of Golan Heights), Gilead, or Lebanon. Those not chosen will have to endure the entire tribulation. Here are some scriptures about persecution for you to consider. We might ask the question, would those going to Bashan first suffer persecution?

(Luke 21:10-12 NKJV) Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. {11} "And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. {12} "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake.

(Heb 11:35-38 NKJV) Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. {36} Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. {37} They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; {38} of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

(Zep 2:1-5 NKJV) Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, {2} Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord's fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord's anger comes upon you! {3} Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the Lord's anger. {4} For Gaza shall be forsaken, And Ashkelon desolate; They shall drive out Ashdod at noonday, And Ekron shall be uprooted. {5} Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines: "I will destroy you; So there shall be no inhabitant."

The Israeli government abandoned Gaza to their enemies several years ago, in concert with orders from the American government. With the Jewish removal from Gaza and other settlements, nearby Israeli cities such as Ashkelon with its ports and major power plant are under threat of increased Palestinian missile attacks. Zep 2, which we just read, describes the LORD’s reaction.

(Rev 6:9-11 NKJV) When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. {10} And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" {11} Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

(2 Tim 3:12 NKJV) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

 

3. Watch European relations with Israel, the Arab world, with descendants of Ephraim, and America. Most Europeans today are not antisemitic or anti-Israel but they are immersed in a culture which demonizes Israel. This culture is fomented by a European political entity in which nearly everything that is written and said on the Middle East conveys this anti-Israel mentality.

Why this mentality? It was founded by European desires to compete with American international relations and influence in former European Arab colonies. These colonies provide huge markets for the European Economic Community’s products, especially in those oil-producing nations which provide secure supplies of petroleum and natural gas to Europe. It is also influenced by the massive Muslim emigration to Europe with its resultant strong Islamic presence in Europe. The result is a powerful Islamic and Christian symbiosis or common cause where the Moslems have been taught to hate Jews and many so-called Christians are still dedicated to the liberation of Christianity from Judaism - similar to what today is called Replacement Theology.

To achieve these ambitions the European nations had to operate as one entity. Each nation had to abandon its autonomous foreign policies and establish a united policy. France was the driving force behind this effort via the vision of General Charles de Gaul and Arab politicians including the former Mufti of Jerusalem and Nazi-collaborator, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Nostalgic Nazi and fascist antisemitic and anti-American groups soon joined in and encouraged actions to eliminate Israel. Islam is also growing in popularity in Latin America. The 1973 oil crises gave France and Germany a pretext to base the integrated Euro-Arab policy on the danger of an energy shortage. The consequence of this alliance between the nine European Community countries and the 22 Arab League countries was the isolation and demonizing of Israel.

What are the doctrines and policies of this alliance? To recognize the so-called Palestinians as a people, not just Arab refugees; to recognize the PLO/Hamas and its leaders as representatives of the so-called Palestinians; to force Israel to retreat from its Biblically defined borders to those now undefendable borders established by the 1948 war of independence; to give Arab-Islamic sovereignty to Jerusalem; to exert European pressure on the United States to align with their Arab policy; and to paint Israel as a danger to world peace. The Hamas goal is no Israel.

4. Watch Muslim, Arab, Chinese, and Russian relations with Israel, Syria, and Iran.

5. Watch American and British relations with Israel, Europe, Iran, the Muslims, and the Arabs.

6. Watch America to see if it continues to repeat the path of retreat and decline like past great civilizations such as Rome and today’s countries such as Israel and Britain. It is happening as we speak and has been for forty years.

Consider the following:

Recent prayers at the Virginia Technical University invocation were given first by a Muslim cleric who repeatedly mentioned Allah, then by a Buddhist representative, then by a Jewish representative, then lastly by a Lutheran cleric. But none mentioned the name of Jesus Christ or Yeshua ha Mashiach. Doesn’t this indicate the rejection of Christianity from our schools?

Compare this event with an 1892 statement by the United States Supreme Court:

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

Is it any wonder why America was on the accent at that time? Is it any wonder that now, about a hundred and twenty years later, demented murderers are able to massacre school attendees?

If America is truly the home of a tribe of Israel, should we not be conscious that the promises of blessings and curses described in Deut 28 might be applicable to us too? Surely we have been blessed. Are our national sins to earn us the curses of Deut 28 also? In Mat 24:21 Christ describes these times as the worst in all history. Books are being written by concerned authors telling us of the consequences of our loss of respect for our leaders, the treason of many who choose political party over nation, and those who abuse their freedom of the press to promote their leftist political agenda, sins of immorality, and other modern national sins.

One of the most widely read books of all time is “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Written in 1788 by Edward Gibbon, it sets forth five basic reasons why that great civilization withered and died. These were:

The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis for human society.

Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread (welfare) and circuses (entertainment) for the populace.

The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting, more brutal, more immoral.

The building of great armaments when the real enemy was within - the decay of individual responsibility.

The decay of religion; faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, losing power to guide the people.

The oft-heard warning that "history repeats itself" has an ominous meaning in the light of the above. Let’s read a few scriptures which should give us pause concerning the potentially disastrous results of the apathetic values many in our nation seem to be courting.

(Ezek 7:14-15 NKJV) 'They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, But no one goes to battle; For My wrath is on all their multitude. {15} The sword is outside, And the pestilence and famine within. Whoever is in the field Will die by the sword; And whoever is in the city, Famine and pestilence will devour him.

(Ps 33:12-19 NKJV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. {13} The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. {14} From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; {15} He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. {16} No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. {17} A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. {18} Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, {19} To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

(Ps 81:13-14 NKJV) "Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! {14} I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries.

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been about 200 years. These nations progressed through this sequence:

From Bondage to Spiritual Faith

From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage - “We dedicate our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor....”

From Courage to Liberty

From Liberty to Abundance With freedom came the ability to succeed in life. American industry led the world and provided the means for military victory.

From Abundance to Selfishness From 1946, immediately after WWII, unions have struck basic industries for huge wage increases. The result has been inability to compete with other nations and the loss of basic industries, national greed, and laziness.

From Selfishness to Complacency No one cared that they now bought foreign goods and products. They were only interested in obtaining what they wanted. It could be made anywhere.

From Complacency to Apathy They lost all care about whether what they did was right.

From Apathy to Dependence They wanted other nations to provide their security so they need not have to sacrifice for it. The word “victory” passed from use.

From Dependence Back Again to Bondage.

Thirty-five years ago the U.S. was 200 years old. This cycle is not inevitable - IT DEPENDS ON the American People. We now seem to be between apathy and dependence, between not caring about potential dangers facing our country and looking for other nations to help us in our economic and military ventures and security. This country has the power to achieve total victory over our enemies but the concept of total victory has been missing from our vocabulary and national policies for over sixty years. We are entering a very dangerous path. The American people must awaken to their situation, become aware of the approaching danger, and begin the necessary corrective actions to reverse this cycle. Corrective actions must begin with national repentance and rededication to following the Godly principles given us by our Creator. If we do so our Creator may relent of the punishment that is planned for us, just as He did for Ninevah as we read in Jonah 3:10. Rededication does not include removing "In God We Trust" from our currency or removing the Ten Commandments from Court Houses or praying to Allah or worshiping the god of pleasure instead of our Creator.

The public is often apathetic about what liberals do, even when they allow our most sensitive military defense secrets to be shared with our enemies, encourage free trade with our enemies enabling them to build up their military capability, paid for with interest earned from loans to us allowing a hostile and threatening Red China to control the choke-point of the formerly U.S.owned Panama Canal, and promote the shutting down of many of our military bases. We must not allow our industrial complex to weaken to the point we can not produce sufficient military weapons or our debt-ridden economy to be manipulated by foreign enemy nations as is currently being organized by Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela. If our military strength is weakened by whatever cause, will the U.S. be forced to go to another nation or nations to provide our defense? We already seem to be testing that concept. Blackmail is a potent weapon against a people no longer willing to dedicate their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for their country.

Hosea 7:7-12 Ephraim is among the peoples; he is rotting away. Ephraim is like a cake – incapable of turning. Strangers have consumed his strength, but he has taken no notice; also, mold (i.e. grey hairs) is scattered over him, but he has taken no notice. Though Israel’s pride has been humbled before his very eyes, they have not turned back to their God the Lord; they have not sought Him in spite of everything. Instead, Ephraim has acted like a silly dove with no mind: They have appealed to Egypt! They have gone to Assyria! When they go, I will spread My net over them, I will bring them down like birds of the sky; I will chastise them when I hear their bargaining.

Ancient Assyria included both Iran and Iraq. These countries were intended as examples of enemies but today these prophetic examples have come to fruition in the persons of Libya’s former ruler al-Qaddafi, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian dictator Hafez Assad, and other Muslim leaders.

7. Watch European policies and attitudes toward European Jews and American competition. Be aware when the value of the American dollar is falling compared to the Euro and other foreign currency and how that can impact America’s economy.

 

In conclusion, can the final events described in the prophecies we’ve discussed be far away? Again, watch world events. We also attempt to provide a comparison of other current and prophesied events in our frequently updated sermon "Where Are We in God’s Master Plan?"

I hope you have benefited from this attempt to tie these end-time prophecies together. But most important, I hope you use the facts we’ve covered to enable you to watch world events in anticipation of the final "week" of Dan 9:27.

And finally, pray for that final peace in Jerusalem. Psa 122:6 says “Pray [earnestly] for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”

That is the day we all look forward to; the day when this evil world will pass away and we will enter a new and peaceful world under the government of God, Yahweh, our Father; and Jesus Christ, Yeshua ha Mashiach, our Redeemer.

 

  

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell

29 October 2011

 

Copyright 2011, Wayne Bedwell

 

 

 

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