January 17, 2010

Hello,

 I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!

 Jesus said in Luke 21:29 – 31, 29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. [Luke 21:29 – 31 NKJV] The “fig tree” is generally understood in Biblical imagery to refer to Israel. Jesus is telling us to look at the fig tree to aid in discerning the prophetic time. Israel serves as God’s timepiece.

 Jesus also tells us in this text to look at “all the trees.” I submit to you that Jesus is referring to the other nations of prophecy. Not only is Israel a major key letting us know that we are indeed living in the time just prior to the Lord’s Return, but the other prophetic nations, the nations of prophecy aligning themselves on the world stage let us know we are certainly living in the last of the Last Days. Who are the nations of prophecy that we should be looking at in addition to Israel? They are Russia, China and the Orient, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, England, and Iraq. These are the primary nations that we see figuring into end time prophecy.

 These nations are seen most prominently in Ezekiel 38, 39, Isaiah 17:1 (the destruction of Syria), and Revelation 16:13 – 16.

 4. The March to Armageddon:

 Last time we took a look at the three sets of judgments that will come on the earth during the Great Tribulation period. It will an awful time to be sure. Topping even these disasters will be a world war of unprecedented proportions. Hundreds of millions of people will be involved in a gigantic, global power struggle centered in the Holy Land. [See Rev. 16:13 – 16] The area will become the scene of the greatest war of history. Great armies from every nation will pour into the Middle East for earth’s final death struggle. [See Zech. 12:1 – 3]

 Climaxing the struggle will be millions of men from the East, probably including China, who will cross the Euphrates River and join the fray. The Bible says, 12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. [Rev. 16:12 NKJV] In connection with this word from the book of Revelation, it might interest you to know that the Euphrates River is drying up even now. Check out this stunning slide show from The New York Times entitled, “The Shrinking Euphrates.” – http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/07/13/world/20090713EUPHRATES_index.html

 Millions will perish in this deadly struggle known as Armageddon. What exactly is Armageddon? It is a word that in our culture has come to describe anyone’s worst fear of the end of the world, but the Biblical prophets have described it more specifically as the final war of a desperate world struggle centered in the Middle East. It will the final act in a series of terrible events that are very much related to today’s headlines. Please understand that this history-shattering war will occur: 1) on schedule, 2) at a specific time, and 3) in its predicted location.

 The name Armageddon comes from a Hebrew word meaning “the Mount of Megiddo”, which is a small mountain located in northern Israel at the end of a very broad valley. This valley has been the scene of many military conflicts in the past and will be the focal point of this future great conflict. Before this mother of all wars is resolved and the victor determined, Jesus Christ will come back in power and glory from heaven. He will be accompanied by millions of angels and raptured Christians, and His Coming is described in graphic terms in Revelation 19:11 – 16,

 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

      KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

 Coming as the King of kings and judge of the world, Jesus will destroy the contending armies and bring in His own kingdom of peace and righteousness on earth. As incredible as these prophecies are, even now the world stage is being set. The nations are taking their predicted places. Ancient prophecies will be fulfilled. The world will rush to Armageddon!

 The Weekly Word is found in Revelation 20:1 – 6. Here the Bible says,

 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. [Rev. 20:1 – 6 NKJV]

 Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.

 Pastor Kevin E. Johnson

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