The Signs of the Times

Volume 6, No. 5
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." (Rev 16:19)

WAR IN IRAQ

When we consider the history of the region around Baghdad, we realize that this is near where the Garden of Eden was located. It is referred to as the "Cradle of Civilization." It was from ancient UR in this region that Abraham was "called out" to go into the land of promise. Before the Gulf War in 1991, Saddam Hussein was attempting to re-build the ancient city of Babylon. He once proclaimed himself as the successor to Babylon's ancient king, and he named one of his armies the Nebuchadnezzar Division.

With all of this history, the present events in this area are certain to bring "great Babylon" into remembrance, and we can be sure from other Bible prophecies that the final destruction of both natural and spiritual Babylon, along with all its "mystery" and confusion, is eminent.

PREPARATION FOR GOG?

The present crisis in this region is only a prelude. The Middle-East must be prepared for the events described in Ezekiel 38, when a great host from the north will try to invade the land of Israel.

That invasion by Gog and his allies is to take place at a time when the nation of Israel is dwelling safely, confidently, and without walls and gates. As we look at the clues in Ezekiel's prophecy, we note that none of the countries that currently surround Israel, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, are mentioned as being part of the invading armies. It is reasonable to conclude that there will be a time of peace between Israel and her close neighbors before this prophesied invasion.

NATIONS ALIGNED?

The present division among members of the UN security council, and the apparent alignment of France, Germany and Russia against the western allies, is another indicator that the stage is being prepared for these final battles. Ezekiel tells us that Gog will be destroyed on the mountains of Israel, this will lead to the gathering of another force to do battle against Christ and his saints in Jerusalem. Christ will be victorious and the entire earth will be brought into subjection to the "King of Kings."

"...Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." (Luke 21:29-31)

Behold the Fig Tree

The fulfillment of Bible prophecy can be a powerful faith builder. To see events come to pass in this modern world, that were written about thousands of years ago in the Bible, renews our confidence in the sure Word of God. The resurrection and restoration of the nation of Israel to the promised land is a living witness of the foreknowledge and purpose of God in the earth. (See Isaiah 43:10-12.) It is a sign, given by Jesus, that the Kingdom of God is coming very soon.

Promised Return

The rebirth of Israel was to be a dramatic event, described by the prophet Isaiah as a "nation born at once." (See Isaiah 66:8-10) This was dramatically fulfilled in May of 1948 when the State of Israel was declared among the nations. The Hebrew prophets were inspired by Almighty God to write about this future rebirth of this nation in the "promised land."

Ezekiel Wrote

"And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:" (Ezekiel 37:21-22)

Jeremiah Adds

"Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished." (Jeremiah 30:10-11)

Enemies of Israel are Enemies of God

Israel is now in their ancient land in fulfillment of these promises. It is the hand of God that has brought them back; it is God's will that they live in this land. Unfortunately, many people are resisting this Divine plan. People who claim to be servants of God do not respect the written Word of the Almighty, and they have spoken and acted against Israel. As we watch the intense hatred against this chosen people, (who will soon acknowledge their true Messiah, their coming King.) We have God's assurance that they will be saved from their enemies and blessed in the Kingdom period.

"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

Consider the following coming events that have been revealed in the prophetic wrings.

COMING EVENTS

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isa. 55:6-7)

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." (Dan. 2:44)

Sure Word of Prophecy

The fulfillment of Bible prophecy can be a powerful faith builder. To witness events come to pass that were prophesied thousands of years ago in the Bible, renews our confidence in the sure Word of God.

Daniel's Prophecy

One of the most remarkable of all the inspired prophecies is recorded in Daniel, chapter 2. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of ancient Babylon (in about 604 BC) dreamed about a great image with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet that were part of iron, part of clay.

God helped Daniel to interpret the dream, which was a prophetic picture of the entire course of the kingdoms of men, from Babylon through our own day, and into the future Kingdom of God. (As noted in verse 44 above.)

We have seen golden Babylon, silver Medo-Persia, brazen Greece, and Iron Rome fade into history, in the exact sequence as predicted in the dream. We are currently living in the days of the toes of the image, and nothing could be more clear from recent world events and deliberations over Iraq in the UN, that the nations are like iron and clay , they do not cling to one another.

The prophecy indicates that a "stone" will strike the image on the feet, in the latter days, destroying the governments of men forever. It seems certain that current events in the Middle-East are only a prelude to the final breaking in pieces of all these kingdoms of men. They will soon be replaced by the Kingdom of God in the earth.