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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Jesus predicted that prior to His Second Coming there would be an increase in wars and rumors of wars. Read Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 for detail.

The reason?

Because Satan knows that his time is short before the return of the Prince of Peace, Christ. Therefore, demonic forces use the brief time frame to bring exceptional angst to the world public, knowing that when Christ returns as King of Kings there will be a millennial reign of goodwill.

Further, the increased warfare in the Middle East is particularly significant in that it is at the "navel of the planet" where the human race began. Adam and Eve were created by God in Eden. The Bible states the rivers flowing in that geography. That detail points to the larger circle we refer to as the "Middle East."

Coming near the close of the Church Age, we realize that humanity has now come full circle - starting with the first couple we now come close to the rule of the Son of God.

The warring has always been. In Eden Satan as a serpent began the conflict by testing the consciences of Adam and Eve. Their free wills defied Creator God in favor of the evil one. That resulted in what theologians call "The Fall." Nature fell. Supernature fell. In that fall eventuated disease and death.

Creator God had hoped for a human race that would inhabit the planet forever - no disease, no death. However, consequences of the First Parents' disobedience brought to the fore both.. We have to deal with them until this very moment and on into the future.

Even during the millennial reign of Christ, there will be disease and death for His earthly rule will not bring in the full bliss of heaven. The New Heaven and New Earth still awaits the close of the millennium. At that close, the final White Throne Judgment will consign the damned to the Bottomless Pit and Lake of Fire and Brimstone forever. It will also welcome the redeemed of all time into the Father's everlasting domain where no sin can enter.

Now we are experiencing via the daily news biblical prophesy unfolding. It is unnerving. But it is also calming to the believer in that the latter knows that all prophecy must in fact be seen through to the very letter. God is God.

God's Word will unfold according to His time and method. In that, the Christian finds his peace and hope.

Again, it is most significant that the wars and rumors of wars not only envelop the entire planet but in particular the Middle East. Biblical terms such as Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Galilee that once were relegated to the Sunday school lessons are now on the lips of the most secular. In other words, whether they want it or not, all thinking persons are forced to take in the specifics related to God's turf - the Holy Land. And more particularly God's Holy City - Jerusalem.

One of the most fascinating details impinging on all this trouble in the Middle East has to do with the next temple to be constructed. It has to be built upon the original site of King Solomon's temple. Nowhere else will do. And it will have to usher in the minutia of that temple's priestly regalia, furnishings, and ritual. There are religious Jews now planning on that minutia to the last detail.

The problem is that if Jews think they are going to establish that temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, they will have to deal with the people who hate them the most - the Muslims. Further, the second holiest site to Islam, the Dome of the Rock, is placed squarely in the yard of Solomon's original temple.

Can the two edifices stand alongside one another? How will Jews ever put foot on the Temple Mount to construct their Holy Place and Holy of Holies now that Muslim guards threaten their lives?

Christians into biblical prophecy answer these difficult questions by stating with God nothing is impossible. Of course, that is true.

Therefore, the faithful leave the future unfolding of deity's predictions to God alone. He has made ways where there have been no ways. Biblical information reminds the believer that God's thoughts are above our thoughts.

Therefore, His eternal mind has already laid in place the manner by which the next temple will find its fruition.

There are so many specifics related to the present Middle East tension, that is, specifics already pronounced in Holy Scripture. Biblical prophecy is one of the most alluring studies anyone can explore. All the more so when placing the Bible alongside today's daily newscasts.


Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 24, Jesus' Predictions

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a]these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[b] and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The Great Tribulation

15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,'[c] spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. 23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 "Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.