Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When they are saying peace and security...

While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Israel has never had peace or security. Not for any real length of time. Their constant falling away-repent-falling away cycle prevents that. their penchant for making alliances with hostile nations in vain hopes of forestalling attacks also is a sad pattern. (Ancient Assyria, Egypt, Cush ... 2 Chronicles 18:1-2, Isaiah 31:1, Isaiah 20:5)

Praying for the peace of Israel as Psalm 122:6 says really means as Gill's Exposition says, a future peace in the Millennium:
"but for the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem, the church of God, and for the peace of it; that Christ, the Man, the Peace, the Peacemaker, who then was not come, might come; that the members of it might enjoy spiritual peace in their son is, and might have peace one with another, and be at peace with their enemies; and enjoy the abundance of peace and prosperity, which will be in the latter day;"
It will be then and only then Jerusalem has peace. That doesn't stop Israel from seeking it though. Nor does it stop false friends from pressuring it upon Israel, either. The Israel Daily newspaper Haaretz this morning has a front page dedicated to peace. An opinion article from Obama is prominently placed there. Here is a photo of today's front page from Haaretz:
In an exclusive article for Haaretz's Israel Conference on Peace, Barack Obama says that the only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state.
Peace talks have once again stalled out. Each President has tried to resolve the issues in the Middle East ever since Israel was created as a nation in 1948. Each president has failed. Only the antichrist will be able to [seemingly] resolve the conflict there but he will prove to be a betrayer and tear up the peace treaty he negotiates halfway through the covenant's time period and turn around and persecute Israel to their almost bloody death. This is part of God's plan.

This latest round of peace talks has ended with a sputter. Secretary of State Kerry failed to make headway. Tablet Magazine actually claims that America is the Arsonist in the Middle East, and that it was "Kerry’s failed peace negotiations set off the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians." Apparently someone has to blame someone.

Obama is pushing the issue once again after it has languished on the back burner these long months. A deadline set by Kerry 9-months ago has approached and it is time to renew attention to the issue. Hamas isn't unaware either and has ramped up rocket fire in this last week. Joel C. Rosenberg writes today,

Escalation: 130 rockets fired at Israel since midnight. IDF calls up 40,000 reservists for possible ground operation in Gaza
(Washington, D.C.) — My heart is breaking over the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians as the situation goes from bad to worse, hour by hour.
  • In recent days, Palestinian extremists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenage boys.
  • Then Jewish extremists kidnapped and murdered an Arab teenage boy, apparently burning him alive.
  • Meanwhile, Palestinian extremists in Gaza began firing rockets at Jewish and Arab civilians in southern Israel.
  • More than 220 rockets have been fired at Israel since July 1st. And just since midnight, 130 rockets were fired at Israel.
  • Israel’s “Iron Dome” system is shooting down many of them.
  • The Israeli Air Force is striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government authorized “Operative Protective Edge” to ratchet up attacks on the terrorists in Gaza. The IDF is calling up 40,000 reservists for a possible massive ground invasion of Gaza.
I know the prophecy in Thessalonians is trotted out any time anyone ever says "peace and security". The verse is actually pointing to the Day of the Lord, AKA the Time of Jacob's Trouble AKA The Tribulation. However, it does do for us to keep the prophecy in mind as we watch unparalleled events in the Middle East occur. ISIS is advancing, a caliphate has been established, rocket fire is barraging Israel, the deadline for the peace talks is renewing pressure on everyone involved, and let's not forget the violence in northern Africa and central Africa. Several of those nations will take part in the Psalm 83 war.

Jordan King: 'We fear spread of Iraq chaos'
Floodgates open as ISIS takes over swaths of both Syria and Iraq
C. African Republic church attacks leaves 17 dead
Mild quake shakes Lebanon, western Syria and northern Israel
63 Women Escape Extremist Abductors in Nigeria
South Sudan Official Orders Curfew Violators to be Shot Dead

We won't know the day or hour, or even whether the Day of the Lord is approaching very near, but we can see that the world is in turmoil and in need of its Savior once again. He will return in wrath next time though. Before there is peace on earth there will be wrath.

As for us Christians, John MacArthur reminds us,
You say, "Will we be there at the day of the Lord?" No. We'll be taken out before the day of the Lord. Now as you know through all the years it has been my conviction to teach you that we are taken out before that final seventieth week, that final seven-year period begins. The great promise is that we have not been appointed unto wrath. We have been appointed unto glory. If you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, the future you look for is all glorious. If you don't know Him, the future you look forward to is all terrifying. It is no insignificant thing that the whole world has its eyes on the Middle East, that's where all the consummation of God's history will take place. It could be in this generation, it could be soon. We must be ready. If you know Christ, you'll be taken before it hits. If you don't, you'll be destroyed when it comes.


12 comments :

  1. BHO seems unable to make an intelligent decision regarding the USA, who in their right mind would listen to him or take his advise on matters within their own nation?

    Israel is a sovereign nation, led by political savvy men and women who have the best interest of their nation and their people in mind when making decisions. They can nothing about what is politically correct for them or what might advance their ratings in the polls.

    Perhaps BHO might learn from Netanyahu, the Knesset, the IDF, Shin Bet and others.

    People living in glass houses should not throw stones.

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  2. Elizabeth wrote: "I know the prophecy in Thessalonians is trotted out any time anyone ever says 'peace and security'. The verse is actually pointing to the Day of the Lord, AKA the Time of Jacob's Trouble AKA The Tribulation."
    * * *
    I agree, and I think this speaks to something that many people seem to be missing. Many of us (pretty much all of us to some degree and at some time or other) want to see prophecy fulfilled and see the Lord return so badly that we tend to hurry God up. We want the Rapture to happen yesterday, and can't wait to leave this sick, sin-infested world behind and move into our heavenly home.

    And we *should* feel this way.

    This attitude, however, as right as it is, can influence us to get ahead of ourselves a bit in terms of what is actually transpiring eschatologically.

    For example (and I am not dogmatic about it...I'm just saying), it is entirely possible that everything Jesus mentions in the Olivet Discourse happens after the Tribulation proper begins. All the general signs: false Christs, wars and rumors of wars--nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and so on.

    Since it is true that the general signs seem to line up quite well with the first four seals of Revelation 6, many believe (and I tend to agree) that these general signs Jesus is speaking of are things that will reach their peak during the early part of the Tribulation. That doesn't mean they aren't happening now, because they are. But...

    Do we have false Christs now? Sure. Are they the specific false Christs Jesus is talking about? Not necessarily.

    Do we have wars and rumors of war now? Yep. Sure do. Are they the specific wars and rumors of war Jesus is talking about? Not necessarily.

    Do we have famines, pestilences, and earthquakes now? Oh yeah, and getting worse all the time. Are they the specific famines, pestilences, and earthquakes Jesus was talking about? Not necessarily.

    So is everybody saying "peace and security" now? They sure are, and the chorus grows louder by the day. But these calls simply cannot be what Paul was referring to. They are merely leading up to something that will reach its crescendo just prior to the abomination of desolation.

    I am among those who believe that Jesus basically started at the beginning of the Tribulation in the Olivet Discourse. Could I be wrong? Sure. But the more I think of it this way, the more it makes biblical sense to me, that's all.

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    1. Many people agree with your interpretation that Jesus' discussion on the Mount of Olives, as recorded on Mt 24, is a Tribulation discussion. I also agree with this. It is a subject not involving the church nor addressing it in any way, it involves the Jews. As Daniel 9:24 recorded the angels' interpretation, the time is decreed for "your people and your holy city" AKA Daniel's people AKA "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer 30:7), not decreed for "Jesus Bride".

      Its chronology actually mirrors Revelation 6.

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  3. This was timely as I was just listening to a John MacArthur sermon on The Beginning of the End: The coming world peace. It is hard to know as a babe in Christ how to pray for Israel at times because of the horrific things going on there. I know any enemy of Israel of course is against God because that is His sovereign land but tonight it was hard reading that the Israel lawmaker ordered the genocide of Palestinians via Facebook of all things. I guess this is why we keep looking up.

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    1. " It is hard to know as a babe in Christ how to pray for Israel at times because of the horrific things going on there"

      I very much empathize. I had the same thought and to my amazement, managed to create a poem that I think does a stellar job of addressing that question. For your reading pleasure: http://singlechristian1.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-about-jews.html

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    2. Thank you Hakam :)

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  4. I listened to Jay Sekulow Live yesterday and they were talking about the current situation in Israel and from what they were saying is that Israel is trying to be cautious about the targets that they are striking to limit civilian deaths but Hamas is now shooting rockets in various civilian areas so it makes it harder for Israel to strike those areas knowing that it would cause severe civilian losses. In other words, they have their backs against the wall because of course if they retaliate the world and media will label the biggest war criminals in the recent decades.

    I think Israel should defend their country and I don't think people have any understanding of how disruptive and downright scary it is to be living under the fear of your homes with your family getting destroyed. I know we as Americans would not tolerate the constant bombardment of rockets into our country.

    Another thing that mentioned on Jay Sekulow Live is that Israel really cannot afford to be engaged in this war because the more serious threat of ISIS is more grave. According to him, he's currently attending a Middle East forum in Oxford University in London and most of what they had planned for that forum was eclipsed by the sudden emergence of ISIS. Apparently in attendance at the forum are various people who are living in the Middle East, anti and pro Israel, and all agree that despite all the current conflicts in the Middle East, ISIS is the most dangerous threat for all especially considering how organized, cruel and rich they are with billions in stolen money from the banks they looted in Iraq.

    Although as Christ-followers this world can be very tiresome, we must remember all our families, coworkers, friends, and many others who do not yet know our Lord Jesus and keeping praying for The Lord to open their eyes to the light of his glorious gospel.

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    1. Unknown, thank you for the update and the information. :)

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  5. WHAT?? We cannot SEE the Day of the Lord approaching? Sorry, disagree.

    Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Further: there are other articles easily found online that Hussein Obama wants to the one to BROKER the Israeli-Palestinian "necessary" peace agreement. I'm with Jeff (who occasionally comments here) on this one. It would seem that the AC-to be is still hidden in plain sight to many. Not just b/c he wants to be the one, but b/c he will get it done!

    And there is nothing wrong with desiring the rapture. We are told to WATCH... in fact, commanded to! Let the Spirit and the Bride say COME! (Other Scriptures as well which I do not have time to dig up right now.) Yes we are to patiently watch, but we are to eagerly watch, too. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not.

    With all the signs converging I wouldn't be one to say the rapture is a far ways off, nor would I be buying any green bananas. [grin] Instead I'd be making sure my lamp was FILLED WITH OIL. The unwise virgins had lamps -- that were even burning at one time, but theirs were about to go out & they had no CURRENT oil with them.

    Amen!

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    1. Hi Reva,

      What I wrote was "We won't know the day or hour, or even whether the Day of the Lord is approaching very near, but we can see that the world is in turmoil "

      We cannot see it *very* near. Is the Third Temple built? No. Is the world at war? No. Are there great earthquakes with many deaths? No. Is there pestilence killing a third of the world? Is the global economy crashed? No. No. It is not *very* near.

      In addition, from the vantage point of the early Christians, they had been told via Matthew 24 that the first thing that was going to happen in the times of the end as a sign was that the Temple would be torn down. In the near sense the Day approaching would be the destruction of the Temple, which occurred in 70AD. Details in Hebrews indicate the epistle was likely written in 67-69 AD. So the Day certainly was approaching.

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  6. Guess it depends on WHAT the Day of the Lord actually is... I myself take it to be the actual Tribulation. And then all these things you mention, Elizabeth, WILL take place DURING that 7 years. But in the meantime, all is GOOD TO GO for the pre-trib rapture -- no other signs need to be in place, nor does the temple have to be built first. The global economy WILL crash soon after the rapture!! Ez. 7 says people will literally be casting their money into the street (no doubt, it'll be no good!! ~ esp. as everyone is heralded to take the mark {of the beast} Until then? Ordinary living....
    I know people in all "symptoms" of last day living -- weddings, babies, graduations.... all planning for a bright future (down here) with no knowledge or belief whatsoever of what is soon to come upon this world!

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