|A look back on 2011|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 02 January 2012 11:10|
Over the past year there have been a number of dramatic developments in relation to Biblical prophecy. I'd just like to pick out a few of those to help get a better picture of exactly where we are on God's prophetic calendar.
The year began with the dramatic developments in the Arab world. A popular uprising dubbed the 'Arab Spring' by Western politicians, who were keen to promote the unrest as a movement towards democracy, swept across the Middle East toppling the governments of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. US President Barack Obama was quick to call for the ouster Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, while France and the United Kingdom intervened militarily to remove Libya's Muammar Gaddafi. But the Arab Spring quickly became the Islamic Winter as hard-line Muslim organizations took control of these countries. The Tunisian government quickly declared that it was severing what little ties it had with Israel, while Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood now declares it will not recognize Israel and will put the peace treaty to a public referendum. There are also signs that Islamic groups have taken control of Libya. Turkey's relations with Israel are still at an all-time low, having gone into free-fall following the election of the country's first Islamic Prime Minister a few years ago. And Sudan, a long time foe of Israel, has also been in the news of late, after reports that Israel recently intercepted a convey of arms destined for Gaza. Tensions between Iran and Israel are escalating as usual, even as President Ahmadinejad continues his tirade against the Jewish state. The threat of a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is intensifying, as Israel and the US discuss the 'triggers' that might prompt such an undertaking. Russia is also becoming involved in the Iranian crisis, castigating Israel for using 'dangerous rhetoric' that could lead to a major regional war. Most of these nations are mentioned by name in Ezekiel 38-39, and will form part of the confederacy that is to come against Israel in the latter days. It should be no surprise then that all of these countries are now growing more hostile towards Israel, and I think that can only mean one thing, that the fulfilment of this prophecy is at hand. Whether it will happen this year or not, I don't know.
Another dramatic development occurred around the same time as the unrest in Egypt was unfolding. A video was published on the internet showing a UFO descending over the Dome of the Rock. It hovered there for around thirty seconds, before shooting off at an amazing speed. Nick Pope, former Ministry of Defence official and one of the UK's foremost authorities on UFOs, remarked that if the film was a hoax then it was one of the most convincing he has ever seen. The event was apparently recorded from three separate locations in the city. Whether it was a hoax or not, it does remind us of one who is coming with “all power and signs and lying wonders”, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9. Revelation 13:13-14 says of the False Prophet, “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do”. It is no coincidence then that we should see a manifestation of this nature, if that is what it was, at this particular place. As I said at the time, it also reminds us how Satan is conditioning the world for the coming rapture of the Church. Those involved in the occult and the New Age movement are already teaching that the Earth will soon pass through a time of great turmoil. According to them, benevolent extra-terrestrial civilizations known as the 'Federation of Light' (also known as 'Lucifer, the light-bearer') are planning to intervene by beaming thousands of people on-board their spacecraft during this time of trouble. Even the Catholic Church has been conditioning its people into accepting the existence of extra-terrestrial life forms. Thus the disappearance of millions of people worldwide in the twinkling of an eye will be relatively easily explained away.
Regarding the Temple Mount itself, which will be occupied by the Antichrist and the False Prophet for a three and a half year period according to Biblical prophecy, last year saw the publication of the first blueprints for the Jewish Temple's reconstruction. The Temple Institute, which has tasked itself with preparing for the rebuilding of the Third Temple, made the announcement in February. As far as I can tell, their design is based on Herod's Temple, as the Temple Institute have reconstructed implements such as the laver which are not mentioned in Ezekiel's prophecy at all. And as I said at the time, the fact that the first room they designed was the one in which the Sanhedrin will sit shows exactly what sort of Temple this will be, one dedicated to the glory of men rather than the glory of God or His Messiah.
Other interesting news relating to the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast. Last year PositiveID, the company that manufactures the VeriChip RFID implant, announced that they were planning to sell the technology to the Israeli Defence Force for 'disaster preparedness'. That came about through the influence of Yuval Rabin, the son of the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who currently sits on the board of directors of PositiveID. Now I don't believe that the VeriChip is presently the actual Mark of the Beast as described in Revelation, but I do believe that this technology could be used to implement it. The similarities are there. It's injected in the right wrist. It can be used to buy and sell. And the fact that it will soon be in use in Israel makes it all the more intriguing.
Perhaps the most dramatic event of last year was the Palestinian Authority's demand to be recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign state. It was a crisis engineered by the European Union and the United States of America. EU Foreign Representative Javier Solana and US President Barack Obama both set a two year deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Solana suggested that if both sides were unable to reach an agreement, the United Nations should impose a resolution. Solana even campaigned for a 'yes' vote to admit 'Palestine' as a new member of the United Nations, oblivious to the chaos that would ensue as a result of the creation of yet another Islamic state at war with Israel. Thankfully Obama opposed it this time around, but the EU has still not learned any lessons, proposing instead to set another deadline for the creation of a Palestinian state and promising to back its establishment when the talks fail. Those who study Bible prophecy will know that is exactly what will happen. According to Zechariah 12:2, 14:2, and Revelation 11:2, the land of Israel will be forcibly redivided. Three and a half years into Daniel's seventieth week, the city of Jerusalem will be divided, and half of it will be given over to the Arab world. Zechariah's prophecy says Israel's enemies shall be “in siege against Judah (modern 'West Bank') and Jerusalem”. But the imposition of an agreement won't bring peace. Rather it will hasten the onslaught of Armageddon. For Hamas and Fatah have always made it clear, the goal of the establishment of a Palestinian state is the destruction of Israel. If only we in the West realized that.
And then of course we have the crisis in the European Union, with the single currency on the verge of collapse. The German government now proposes that we form a 'fiscal union', a centralized EU body that will impose strict financial reforms and regulate the budgets of sovereign nations. But in reality the tighter controls will do nothing to improve the short term financial crisis. Instead it seems that the financial crisis is being used as an excuse to drive further political integration in Europe. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated recently, ”The task of our generation now is to complete the economic and currency union in Europe and, step by step, create a political union... It’s time for a breakthrough to a new Europe.”. And in accordance with Biblical prophecy, the 'revived Roman Empire' is coming to the fore. As the prophecy of Daniel states, this final world empire will be divided, and will be partly strong and partly weak. That is what is happening today. And it is from this final world empire, I believe, that the Antichrist will eventually arise (Daniel 7:8). Earlier last year former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for the appointment of a 'super president' who would give the European Union the clear leadership it needs.
As you can see, Bible prophecy is definitely being fulfilled. What can we expect in 2012? Will the Lord come this year? I don't know. I expect if He comes, it will probably correlate with the Feast of Trumpets, which will be on the 17th September this year. We don't know the exact day of His coming. But we do know the season of His coming (Luke 21:30-31), and I think we are in that season now. That is plain to see. But it is most important that you are ready for His coming. Only those who have had their sins forgiven and have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will go to be with Him when He comes. How do you get ready? God made salvation simple so that anybody could be saved. Just confess to God that you are a sinner, and believe that Jesus Christ bore the punishment for your sins when he died upon the cross. The Bible says that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Trust in Him for salvation today.