Is Armageddon Near? (posted 4-25-02)
Having specialized in Bible Prophecy for several years, I am being asked more often these days, "Whats your take on whats happening in Jerusalem?"
I usually give them my short answer, i.e., "The Bible says that the whole world will turn against Israel in the last days, leading to Armageddon." They usually dont take time for the longer answer.
Heres what the Bible says: "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle" (Zechariah 14:2-3).
Jesus speaks of tribulation events just before Armageddon in Matthew 24:15-21. John also writes, "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, (Jesus), and against his army" (Revelation 19:19).
All of these Scriptures refer to the battle of Armageddon. Are the battles now occurring in and around Jerusalem Armageddon? No. Armageddon will not occur until the end of the tribulation period, which hasnt even begun yet.
Jimmy DeYoung, an eminent authority on Bible prophecy who lives in Jerusalem, well says that these Middle East events are "trends" which lead to Armageddon. I agree.
Is the future world dictator, called the "beast" in Revelation 13, on the scene today? The Bible says that this "beast," which Daniel calls a "prince" is a successor to the people who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A. D. (Rome). He will sign a covenant with Israel and many other nations which will promise a week of years or seven years of peace in the end times (Daniel 9:27). This week of years is what we call the "tribulation period." I believe this "prince/beast" will come out of the European Union, which appears to be almost like a modern restored Roman Empire.
Javier Solana, foreign minister of the European Union, met separately with PA Chairman, Yasser Arafat, and Israel PM, Ariel Sharon, April 25, 2002. He was searching for peace. Were he to succeed, can you imagine the world prestige he would gain? Is Solana this "prince/beast," aka world dictator to be? I do not know. He appears to be a type of "anti-Christ" and is beginning to do some of the things the beast will do when he does show up (Daniel 8:25). Watch him!
If the stage seems to be setting up for Armageddon, and I believe it is, then it is high time to wake up, be sure of our salvation and win all the people we can to Jesus before the end.
The next event in Bible prophecy is the coming of Jesus in the clouds to rapture his church out of the world and to heaven. Then this beast/world dictator will be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3-8). I may never know who the "beast" is. I have made arrangements to be "out of here" at the rapture. How about you?
About Armageddon, Jesus and His church will come back to earth landing on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) at the end of the tribulation, and He alone will win the battle of Armageddon (2 Thess. 2:8, Rev. 19:15-21). Amen.
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© 2002 D. B. Martin
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