No one knows when the Lord will descend and call us up to Him in the Rapture. That is because Romans 11:25 says the rapture will happen when the full number of the church God has in mind has been reached. "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in."(NIV) No one knows the number nor how close we are to it.
However the Lord told us that we will not be in the dark, as the unbelievers are, "But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." (1 Thess 5:4). While we do not know the day nor hour, we will sense the Tribulation season approaching because Jesus gave a long discourse listing the signs that will herald the beginning of the birth pangs of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:8), and He gave a list of signs that will occur during the Tribulation (Matthew 24:9-35; Revelation 6-19) In addition to that, the Holy Spirit inspired the bible writers to herald some signs too, in 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Peter 3, for just a few examples). Finally, He gave us the Prophets. Some OT prophecy is fulfilled, and some of it is not. Parts of Isaiah 17 are not, parts of Isaiah 19 are not. Part of Obadiah is not. Ezekiel 38-47 is not. Isaiah 65 Psalm 83 is not. Those prophesies and many others are still to come.
Therefore here is the first admonition of this blog post. Please do not despise the prophesies. Paul's final warnings in his letter to the Thessalonians contained this plea: "Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." (1 Thess 5:19-22). Paul is saying the prophesies are there for a reason. They may not contain things that you want to hear, but do not hate them because of that. The Holy Spirit and Jesus spent a lot of ink preparing for our edification the warnings of the last days. They should not be dismissed.
Secondly, because we study the prophecies, and study the Word in total, we can glean a chronology from them. There are certain things in history that have not happened yet, so of course if they have not occurred, that means they will. God's Word is sure.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:19).
Studious scholars have come to an interpretation of the chronology that seems consistent across the board. Most seem to agree that the Gog Magog battle of Ezekiel 38-39 will occur at or just inches over the threshold of the rapture- at latest. One reason is that the detailed directions from the Lord as to how to handle the aftermath (Ez 39) state that Israel will burn the fuel from the weapons for 7 years. The battle must take place at the outset of the Tribulation at latest because the Tribulation is 7 years, and no one will need fuel after that in the Millennium. (Rev. 22:5). I don't have room in this post, nor is it the point of the post, to delve into all the reasons why but that was just one.
So given that we see things coming together prophetically in, say, the Gog Magog battle, how much closer would the rapture be to us in time? Close.
Here is news of what is happening to ready the immediate fulfillment of the Gog Magog Battle (Russia, Turkey, Iran, et al attack Israel), Isaiah 17:1 (Damascus destroyed) and Psalm 83 battle (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt attack Israel). These three prophecies in particular are considered threshold events to the Tribulation. I include these news excerpts without commentary. They all point to the rapid fulfillment of the verses mentioned above. They all are indicative of conditions that will be present when the missiles fly. In my opinion, they are all pretty heavy. However, there are many other news excerpts I could link to, but you get the idea.
Iranian war fears spark closure of Israel reactor
"ISRAEL is preparing to shut its nuclear reactor at Dimona, where it makes nuclear weapons, because of the site's vulnerability in a war with Iran.The decision, taken by the Israel Atomic Energy Commission and the country's civil defence authorities, follows a realisation that the facility could be vulnerable to a missile attack."
I think Israel closing its only nuclear plant is a very big deal. We have the bible and know an attack is coming. They must have intelligence that points to an attack they believe may happen soon.
Russia docks flotilla at at Tartus Syria
"DAMASCUS: A large Russian naval flotilla led by an aircraft carrier has docked in the Syrian port of Tartus in what Damascus state media hailed on Sunday as a show of solidarity by close ally Moscow."
Russian Navy to base warships at Syrian port after 2012
"Russia's naval supply and maintenance site near Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus will be modernized to accommodate heavy warships after 2012, the Russian Navy chief said on Monday. "Tartus will be developed as a naval base. The first stage of development and modernization will be completed in 2012," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said, adding it could then serve as a base for guided-missile cruisers and even aircraft carriers."
Report: Iran begins uranium enrichment at underground site
"A hardline newspaper close to Iran's rulers says the country has begun uranium enrichment at a well-protected underground facility."
Hugo Chavez jokes about having an atomic bomb during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visit to Venezuela
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Iranian ally Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met in Caracas on Monday, where they expressed their love for one another, took jabs at the United States and joked about having an atomic bomb."That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out," Chavez said, pointing to an area in front of the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, according to a report from Reuters."The imperialist spokesmen say... Ahmadinejad and I are going into the Miraflroes basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles," Chavez continued."
Another Iranian nuclear scientist killed: Israel blamed
"An Iranian scientist working at a key nuclear facility in that country was killed Wednesday in Tehran, the latest act in what appears to be a widening covert effort to disrupt Iran's nuclear program."
IDF official: Iran, Hezbollah stepping up efforts to save Assad regime in Syria
"Military Intelligence chief says face of Middle East is changing in such a way that it is no longer recognizable. "Iran and Hezbollah are strengthening their efforts to ensure the survival of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, Military Intelligence Chief Major General Aviv Kochavi said on Wednesday."They are providing [Assad] with knowledge, weapons and other means and recently with active involvement," Kochavi said. Kochavi also said that the face of the Middle East is changing in such a way that it is no longer recognizable. "It may be that the winds of change carry opportunities and promise, but in the short and medium term the risks are increasing," he stated. On Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that the turmoil in Syria could cause Assad to seek military confrontation with Israel. "Assad cannot continue holding on to power and his downfall is expected to cause a crack in the radical axis," Gantz said."
Pastor JD Farag's prophecy update this Sunday included a graphic I present here. Listen to the 30 minutes update here. It is well worth your time.
This graphic below shows nations that are listed as part of the Psalm 83 battle. Israel soundly defeats them all and occupies the land. (Obadiah 1:15-21)
The graphic below lists the Gog Magog nations that ally to attack Israel. Those are the white arrows.
It is all coming together, accelerating, even. The prophecies are combining to a near fulfillment that is ready to ignite at any moment.
Joel C. Rosenberg wrote yesterday, "The blunt truth is this: We are in deep trouble as a nation. We are facing the horrific and accelerating breakdown of the family — infidelity, divorce, abuse. We are seeing accelerating apostasy within the Church. People are turning away from God, betraying family and friends and ignoring the life-changing message of the Bible. Crime is surging, especially violent crime. The pornography industry now makes more than ABC, CBS and NBC combined. Our national debt has shot past $15 trillion — 100% of our GDP — and there is no end of runaway spending in sight. Washington and Wall Street are rife with corruption. The number one highest-grossing film in the nation right now is called The Devil Inside. Tragically, the list goes on and on." He continued with a startling statement. He said "that America is not simply in decline; we are actually headed for collapse — an implosion — unless we make fundamental and sweeping changes soon."
He made a plea for people to repent and believe the Gospel. It is a plea we are all making with increasing urgency these days. I made it just today - again - with a family member - again. I ended the dialog by saying "Heed these words. Time is short," the same ending Joel Rosenberg concluded his essay with.
Rosenberg linked to a simple Gospel web animation. It is here. Please share it widely and often. Why? Because time is short.