Did you notice one of the latest headlines from the New York Times,
Russia and Turkey Vow to Repair Ties as West Watches Nervously
MOSCOW — Against a backdrop of rising tensions between Turkey and the West, Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey pledged on Tuesday to repair relations after nine months of open antagonism.
You can read the rest of the article just by giving it a google, but for believers and for Israel the headline alone would have caused one to stop and investigate. What? Turkey and Russia cooperating? Who would have thunk it! Then...
When you team that news with the additional headline:
Putin encourages Iran to join Russia-led Eurasian alliance
...It appears that the events of the recent days in the Middle East are indeed conforming to the prophecies we have in Ezekiel 38-39. The prophecies we have recorded for us in Ezekiel are chronological, with Ezekiel 38 falling somewhere between the prophecy recorded in Chapters 36-37 (which describe the re-birth of the nation of Israel, 1948) and Chapters 40-48 (which are descriptive of the Millennium).
The coming war against Israel which is described in Ezekiel 38 can be narrowed in time frame to somewhere between 1948 and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Ezekiel prophesied that God would use this battle against His people to turn His people back to Him and complete the return of all of the Jews back to Israel, never to leave again. For God will intervene against this coalition and destroy them and win the victory.
When this battle occurs we will see a coalition that includes Russia, Iran, and Turkey. It appears this coalition is coming together right before our eyes, with Iran constantly and consistently threatening to invade and destroy Israel. They boast that they can destroy Israel in eight minutes. (Yes, we do seem to be making it possible and even easier for them to produce nuclear weapons). And all of this appears to be happening while some in this new Eurasian alliance are striving to convince the world that Israel is safe and not at risk.
While they are saying, " Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (NASB77)
Some scholars believe this battle against Israel will occur right before the rapture of the church. Some say it will happen during the transition between the rapture of the church and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Others believe it will happen at the end of the Great Tribulation or somewhere in between the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the end of the Great Tribulation. As for myself, I see this event happening right before the rapture of the Church or right after the rapture of the church.
According to the Scripture no one can know the day or the hour of the coming of the Lord for certain.
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Matthew 24:36 (NASB77)
The same Scripture tells us that we should be aware of what is happening all around us.
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 (NASB77)
Could the rapture of the church be upon us? I’ve never been one for setting seasons and expectations but teaming these events with the prophecy of Isaiah 17 (the destruction of Damascus, Syria), (we see that happening right now) and the change of tone in Saudi Arabia towards Israel, headlined recently in the Israeli Times, which reports of the Saudi’s seeing a need to fight against anti-Semitism, in a change of attitude towards Israel, August 18, 2016. (On a side note, usually, when the media starts to emphasize a topic geared towards the general population it is in preparation for what is going to flow from the government of Saudi Arabia).
When you add the possibility of the fulfilling of Ezekiel 38:13 which records the protest of the Saudi’s to the battle of the coalition against Israel and the protesting of the taking of a “spoil”, which is the motive behind the Coalition led war...
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all its villages, will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'"' Ezekiel 38:13 (NASB77)
...well...there is a lot going on in the Middle East right now that has been given to us prophetically in the Word of God.
What does that mean for us? Get Ready...you are saved, right? If not, this would be the time to change that. Stay alert...keep our eyes on Jerusalem. Let’s not be surprised. Stay focused. We don’t live for this world. We live in this world for the Lord God and His glory. Stay excited. It’s going to happen someday...and we’re one day closer for sure. Stay motivated. Do the best you can in all that you do...for the Lord. Stay spot on. Love God and Love People. Share and live the gospel at every opportunity, by word and by deed. Stay assured. Everything is going to be OKAY, God is in control. Stay informed. Read the Bible...and you just might want to note what God is doing in the world...and pray...Maranatha.
Sometimes, there’s more to headlines than meets the eye. This is one of those times and there will be more to follow.
By Pastor Ralph Sawyer