I wish to take a pause on Proverbs today to now address the war going on in Israel. I have waited this long, before weighing in because I wish to verify before I say anything wrong. Proverbs 18:13 is very much in my mind as I type this out, but even with waiting, I will say that I can only look at the threads but I do not have the full answer or picture. Only God does. As this is not my personal blog, I am going to be careful not to go beyond a reasonable scope in dealing with these two subjects, however, I do have some very strong opinions that will remain silent as they are my opinions.
As we are witnessing and seeing, there was and is a seeming immediate explosion of wars and rumors of wars on the scene. It is almost overnight we have Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Hamas, which has now sucked in Iran, and the U.S. At the same time, China is stretching its arms and is now working with Russia in negotiating and engaging in diplomatic discussions in the Middle East. Where does that put us as Christians? It is on this topic I will spend the rest of this blog with a few considerations at the end.
First, please understand that the U.S. is not mentioned in prophecy. We, as a nation, is glossed over and with our present leadership and decline at home and abroad in respect, influence, militarily, and economically, I am seeing that stage being set. Therefore, our focus in all of this is to be found in Israel and the Scripture.
Jesus gave us a great discourse on what to expect before His second coming. In Matthew 24:4-5, we have the climbing of false gods. There are many in the world today (not counting the many from the past), some more known than others. For example we have: Apollo Quiboloy, Mehmet Ali Agca, Alan John Miller, David Shayler, Maurice Clemmons, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, Todd Kincannon, Gabbie Hanna, Ezra Miller, Jey Rence Quilario. Sadly, there are some so called pastors who have also made some wild claims: Steven Furtick, Kenneth Copeland, and Jesse Duplantis are the three that come to mind who say they are God. I will say, as a pastor, sometimes we have a slip of the tongue. We know what we are wanting to say but we say it wrong. On a recent sermon I was talking about how I am simply a vessel and a tool for God to use (using the illustration of my tools at home how I use what I need when I need it). Instead of saying, I am God’s tool, I slipped and said I am God. On the video description I have made the notes correcting this mistake for all to see, and as of this blog, that video has since been deleted (it may be on YouTube, but I cannot find it to fix that). From what I see, that is not what these people are saying for they have not come out and corrected this. They hold to the “little god theology” based on Psalm 82:6.
Then we look at Matthew 24:6-7. Wars? Rumurs of Wars? How about the famines, pestilences, and earthquakes? I do not have T.V. in my house (T.V. being cable) but I am confronted with many commercials that deal with the famine around the world. Of course this is blamed on so called climate change, but the real reason is ignored. Earthquakes have happened in the past, and we have had some major ones recently (Turkey?).
Jesus tells us this is the beginning of sorrows in Matthew 24:8. Then we go to Matthew 24:9-12, and that is seen today, and it is beginning to be seen in our country with our modern courts as well as the rhetoric coming from our political classes. In this instance, it is not just one party, but I have heard some rumblings from both parties, so I cannot just point at one here. Christians are and will be hated, and the way our nation is going, this will only become more so. On top of that, we do find lawlessness and the hatred for one another. Corruption stems from almost all branches of government and agencies, and if anyone spends any time reading real journalism (not the main news channels on T.V.), this is absolutely seen. Our College campuses have become hotbeds for hatred for Jews and Christians alike, and the war in Israel has brought that out.
The issue is not what is seen on the surface. The issue is deeper. Much deeper. This is where all the news misses (except for one or two out of the way media that I ran across perhaps once). The issue is not what Israel did regarding with how they handled the Gaza Strip. The issue is not just the terrorist response to that, now in the 2023. The issue is not what we see on the surface, but instead what we read in the Scriptures. Psalm 83 is very pertinent and Joel Rosenberg makes the case elequently. The issue, at its core, is Satan’s hatred and war against God, God’s people, and God’s plans.
Satan wanted and wants to be God. Isaiah 14:12-14 gives us the pride and arrogancy of Satan in Heaven. When he failed, as he is not God’s equal but a created being, he was cast out of Heaven. Ever since then, his plan is to overthrow God and to keep His plans from coming to pass. This is why it has always been and will always be about Israel. Jesus will set up His throne in Jerusalem as prophecied by Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation. If Satan can destroy Jerusalem, or anyone who is a believer in Jesus, then he will “win”. It is about Satan wanting to be worshiped instead of God. Sadly many believe him and worship the beast.
What we see is not just conflict. What we see is the setting of the prophetic stage. The pieces are being moved. Is this part of the movement? Possibly. I am not a prophet and therefore I have no vision on how this is all going to play out. Is this the beginning of the end? I don’t know. But there are some points I wish to propose:
1. This war is a Spiritual war where the physical is the fruit that is visible. Keep your eye on Jerusalem for it will be from there Jesus will rule the world with an iron fist (Ezekiel 25-28, Revleation 20:4-6). This is why Jerusalem is so coveted. Even in that, it is a fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 12:3-4). Watch Jerusalem. That is the calendar God is going by, not Washington, Moscow, Berlin, London, Hong Kong, but Jerusalem. Greg Laurie, whom I may or may not agree with completely, has presented a fairly well written article and is worth a read.
2. for all the protests who are calling for a ‘cease fire’ and ‘peace’ (which as a side note is interesting they are not calling for Ukraine to do the same), there can be no peace without the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Therefore, if we want to see real peace in the area, then we should be calling out to God for mercy and salvation for EVERYONE involved.
3. In our own nation, we must be praying for Godly leadership to come to power this election. The trajectory we are one will only leave us like the Roman Empire as it was destroyed. Because of the sins that are often promoted, encouraged, and protected by our governmental leadership, and even engaged in by the same, our nation is on a fast track to destruction – Proverbs 14:34. Our only hope in this country is not in a party or an individual (if you wish to know I am not in on the “Trump is the only one who can save us mantra”, but Joe is also not doing anything good either). The only saving grace we can hope to find is if God’s people get on their knees, repent, and then start being Christian. If Churches would stop being community centers and social activists and start teaching Biblical authority and truth, we will see some semblence of sanity (Please read Alexis De Toqueville on the greatness of America and where he found the secret to America's greatness)
4. We need to keep our eye on Jerusalem, but keep a second eye on the surrounding areas. There are many Biblical scholars who believe that Russia and China will be playing a part in this with Iran and Turkey. There are a lot of moving parts, and while we may not be able to see the end from the mess right now, we can see potentiality all through this.
5. Stay strong in your faith and in the Word of God. Jesus gives us the play by play in His Word, and we did a quick look at that already. Do not be disheartened for these things must come to pass as we see God’s plans being put into motion.
6. Do not fear (Philippians 4:6-7)! God has this under His control.
7. The rapture of the church is soon. When? The Bible tells us we do not know. But we are to keep watch, and to be faithful to the mission (Matthew 28:18-20). As we see the time coming closer, realize there are many who do not know Jesus as their savior. Preach the Word, share the gospel. Show the need for salvation in Jesus alone. That is what we are called to do.
Dear reader, these things, outside of Jesus can cause us to be worried and fearful, but I echo the sentiment in Romans 13:11. Dear believer, wake up, flea the false churches that are doing nothing for the soul and all for this present life. Start to live by faith and not by sight, and watch for the glorious rapture of His church, the believers in Jesus Christ. For He is coming (Matthew 25:1-13)!