Mid-East Prophecy Update – February 24th, 2019
Are unable to stay we want you to have a blessed week in the Lord if you are too able to stay we encourage you to do so we’ll probably only go for another two or three hours and then you can so today I want to talk about what I would argue is one of the main reasons the Lord’s return is closer than any of us might realize now I know what you’re thinking I can read your mind in fact there’s something coming in right now let just give me a second here you’re thinking well pastor come on man you say that every single week I know you’ve been saying this for years I know I have the Lord’s return is drawing near nearer now than when we first believed the Lord could come at any time do you still believe that yes are you kidding me hello more so now this is actually the reason why I want to address another matter that is sort of in concert with this and that’s why any mention of the Lord’s return is increasingly met with ridicule and I also want to in doing that talk about why that shouldn’t matter so in order to do that we’ll need to first look at three prophecies in the Bible I would encourage you to turn to them if I could trouble you to do so the first of which is in the Old Testament book of Daniel and the second and third are in the New Testament books of Revelation the last book in the Bible and second Thessalonians let’s start with Daniel it says then he speaking of the Antichrist shall confirm now this is an important word and detail that requires some explanation in the original language of the Hebrew Old Testament it’s the same word as it is in my native language of Arabic it’s the word kabir kabir it means great or greater kabir he shall make greater kabir a covenant with many for one week this is a week of year seven years and here’s another detail in the middle of the week the three and a half year mark he again speaking of the Antichrist shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering which implies that there will be a temple rebuilt during this seven year period we know as the seven year Tribulation and on the wing of abominations many believe he the Antichrist will commit an abomination by sacrificing an unclean animal there in the temple and it will happen at the three-and-a-half year mark on the wing of abominations shall be the one who makes desolate even until the consummation which is determined is poured out on the desolate now Revelation chapter 13 verses five and six and he again speaking of the Antichrist was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies and he was given authority to continue for here’s the detail forty-two months three and a half years then verse six he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme his name his tabernacle temple if you prefer and those who dwell in heaven which I personally believe is a reference to those that were raptured prior to the seven-year tribulation second Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 4 the Apostle Paul writes he speaking of the Antichrist will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped so that he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God I believe that all three of these prophecies are speaking of that midpoint in the 7-year tribulation at the three-and-a-half year mark 42 month mark where the Antichrist will commit this abomination that causes desolation and the Jews will realize this is not our Christ and it will be the catalyst that will bring them to a saving knowledge of the true Christ their Messiah Jesus the Christ and for the last three and a half years of the seven-year tribulation it is believed according to the book of Revelation that they will flee to the place that God has prepared for them there’s also other references in the Old Testament to this many believed present company included this is speaking of modern-day Jordan Petra where for the last three-and-a-half years the Jews will be protected from the Antichrist who will seek to destroy them this will be the last attempt of all of the attempts from the beginning of time starting with Cain and Abel to eliminate God’s people God’s chosen people the Jewish people and he will fail and that will take place in the 7-year tribulation the last three-and-a-half years okay I’m beginning with these prophecies because they speak to the Antichrist declaring himself to be God in the midst of the seven year and this after he makes great kabir this covenant for a week of years seven years which includes the Jews rebuilding their temple I would submit that we are on the cusp of this being fulfilled and if you’ll hang in there with me I want to explain what I see as this unstoppable momentum towards a peace agreement only this time something’s different something has changed I’ll start with this fox news report about how according to two senior administration officials the Trump Middle East peace plan is finished finally and President Trump has been briefed on its contents the final draft of the administration’s deal of the century as it’s been dubbed is 175 to 200 pages long and get this fewer than five people have access to the complete document a senior administration official said quote the plan is done the President is happy with the parameters of the deal but officials also said that the plan is unlikely to be released before upcoming Israeli elections on April 9th so we’re basically two months away they said quote we are not going to do anything that threatens Israel’s security now this is where it gets interesting the administration officials have said that Trump is hopeful about the plans ability to move forward and was quoted as saying we have been given a different different set of circumstances okay it sounds like what’s different about this particular piece deal unlike any before it is not only that the President is hopeful but it seems that Israel’s Prime Minister is also hopeful as well according to The Jerusalem Post Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting that Israel’s relationship with the U.S.
Is at its apex here’s a quote Israel’s relationship with the United States is currently stronger than it has ever been stronger than certainly the Obama administration stronger than the Bush administration stronger than the Reagan administration and every administration prior Netanyahu’s comments come some two months before the U.S. is expected at long last to roll out its Middle East peace blueprint after the April 9th election here again this is where it gets interesting last week Netanyahu met U.S.
Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Middle East summit in Warsaw he said that the conference marked a quote listen historic change change different which held a great deal of significance for Israel now this begs the question of what changed what’s different perhaps we need look no further than to another Jerusalem Post report about the Arab world being on board with Trump’s peace plan this brings into play another detail in Daniel because this peace agreement that is kabir made great greater is with many the implication being many nations maybe many Arab nations is that what’s different well apparently Netanyahu made comments to Arab leaders at last week’s conference in Warsaw where a secret tape was revealed and aired Sunday morning by KAM news in it the prime minister warned Arab countries not to reject the Trump peace plan before it is presented he told Arab leaders during the same meeting that Israel knew peace was a quote one-way street for Israel to be at peace or normalized relations with the broader Arab world we must have Israel and Palestinian peace since peace was not forthcoming we were stuck with no options and then he also said this is quote beginning to change oh ofcourse it is true if we make progress and have formal peace with Palestinians it will help us with the Arab world and I would say with parts of the Muslim world a larger peace can be achieved it’s also significant that according to the Jerusalem Post the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Abdel Al-Jubeir responded by saying that solving this is Saudi Arabia now solving the israeli-palestinian conflict would go a long way to quote turn down emotions and set the stage for stronger cooperation for countries the many in the region maybe that’s one of the things that’s different this time even Qatar is seemingly amenable to having diplomatic ties with Israel visa vie resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict this according to another Jerusalem Post report in which Qatar’s Foreign Affairs Minister hopefully I could pronounce his name correctly it’s a long one those Arab names are always long ones they have to have the titles in front of them Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani there I’m not going to say that again was quoted as saying the core issue of the relationship between Qatar and Israel is the Palestinian issue as long as this is not resolved there will always be a problem between us this applies for all the Arab countries the Qatari Prime Minister also referenced U.S.
President Donald Trump’s pending peace plan saying Qatar will accept any plan that is positive for the Palestinians and then he said this and I quote we hope they will bring something positive for the Palestinians dare I say bring something great kabir does it is sound like to you that Qatar is looking for a way to do this and not not do this I know it’s not proper English I know it’s a double negative I’m not supposed to do that but whatever don’t email me it’s in other words it’s it’s really this collective effort on the part of the many if you will that are looking for a way this has changed this is different looking for a way for this to happen they’re actually hoping that it does one last quote from one more source it’s The Times of Israel and it has to do with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who may also be in agreement with the notion that the Arab world sees that this time maybe there is hope something is different last month el-Sisi told CBS News that cooperation between Cairo and Jerusalem this is interesting was tighter than it had ever been well that’s new that’s different and confirmed that Israel is helping Egyptian troops battle jihadists in the restive Sinai Peninsula now here’s what’s interesting Israel and Egypt had never previously confirmed the existence of this campaign in other words it’s different this time this has never happened before our relationship has never been better than it has before okay now here’s the question if this is different this time maybe something is going to happen this time maybe there’s hope that finally after all these years all these failed attempts at bringing peace to the Jews and the Palestinians so they can live side by side in peace and security is finally going to happen do you believe that or are you and I understand if you’re kind of maybe one of those that says yeah yeah yeah yeah I don’t want to get my hopes up I mean I hope it is but you know the proverb says hope deferred makes the heart sick I’m not going to get my hopes up so you know what fine maybe you believe that something is different this time and if you’re right then I think that it would be good to ask ourselves this question if we’re seeing that which will ultimately be fulfilled during the seven-year tribulation beginning to happen now then how close are we really so if the rapture happens before the seven-year tribulation and it does it has to it must and we’re now seeing things that will ultimately be fulfilled in the seven-year tribulation which we’re not going to be here for but they’re already starting to happen now and there’s an unstoppable momentum meaning that it’s not just going to you know one day we’re going to pick up our newspapers and oh my goodness Russia and Iran are leaving Syria they are are you kidding me yeah there’s the Jews and the Palestinians are going to you know delay this whole discussion of a peace agreement just deal with the status quo really yeah come on why are you looking at me like that I said do you see that happening I don’t I don’t see that happening I see things speeding up here’s another question if we’re that close and I truly believe with all my heart that we absolutely are that close even closer than we could possibly imagine then what kind of an impact should this have on how we live our lives shouldn’t it have some kind of an effect on the way we live our lives the light touch on this world and the things of this world story is told about a rabbi who only had a desk a chair and a lamp somebody came to visit him said rabbi where’s all your furniture he says I didn’t bring it he says where’s all your furniture to which they responded well I didn’t bring it I’m just visiting he said yeah I’m just passing through I didn’t bring it got a light touch on this world things of this world because there’s coming a time and I believe it’s very soon soon and very soon when that trumpets going to sound and everything here matters no more I mean shouldn’t that affect us the way we live our lives and I’m keenly aware that there are those who mock and ridicule any mention of the Lord’s return and it’s even getting worse if you haven’t noticed but I want to encourage you with what the Apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle chapter 3 starting with verses three and four listen to this he says above all you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires they will say where is this coming He promised ever since our ancestors died everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation come on my parents my grandparents my great-grandparents every generation thought the Lord was going to return in their lifetime where is He come on do you realize that when that happens and it happens that they who say that are actually fulfilling Bible prophesy I like to sometimes point it out I’m not as militant as I used to be but I like to turn them to 2nd Peter chapter 3 and say wow what did you say what Peter said you would say that and then that when you said that that would mean that we’re even closer keep saying it keep mocking me I know I’m being silly but I think you get the point verse 8 second Peter 3 do not forget this one thing dear friends with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness instead listen He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance but the day of the Lord will come like a thief the heavens will disappear with a roar the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare since everything will be destroyed in this way here’s the question what kind of people ought you to be answer you ought to live holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and this really jams people’s gears when Peter says and speed it’s coming what does that mean well I’ll explain it in just a moment you ought to live holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming that day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire and the elements will melt in the heat I thought God was sovereign how is it possible for us to speed things up because if you’re anything like me and I suspect that you are you want the Lord to come back like yesterday right you mean to tell me there’s something that I can do to hurry things along yeah wait a minute I thought God was kind of taking His time because the longer He takes the more people get saved and by the way aren’t you glad I don’t know what year you got saved I got saved in 1982 I am so glad that as many thought Jesus did not come back in 1967 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem as their eternal capital as some believed because had he I was five years old wait no I was three I told you I wasn’t good with math and that’s why there’s not going to be math in heaven but that’s another topic for another time I was three years old no I wasn’t I was four oh my goodness I was four years old in 1967 anyway I’m so sorry actually five but anyway I was born in 1962 I was five right Tom help me out here I was five right simple math pray for me man it’s really bad so I wasn’t saved till I was 19 I’m so glad that God was patient not wanting me to perish but to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ which wouldn’t be till 1982 you see where I’m going with this so can you connect these dots so does that mean then that the way we can speed His coming is to reach the lost and steady and ready the saved wouldn’t that make sense because if God is waiting for that last person to get saved then what are we waiting for I want to go home no more death no more pain no more suffering no more cancer no more cockroaches and termites either just saying I want to go home but here’s the thing we all have loved ones that we don’t want left behind so what are we waiting for let’s get this show on the road man let’s speed it up let’s hasten His return by preaching and spreading the Gospel of the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ this is why we do these weekly updates is to bring to the forefront just how close we are to the Lord’s return to sort of wake up and shake up because in large measure the Church of Jesus Christ is slumbering drowsy sleeping when it comes to the things of God certainly the return of the Lord you know one of the most common by far I mean whatever is the second most common email or comment we receive it’s a very distant second but the number one comment or email we get is do you know of a church close by where I live that talks about Bible prophecy I can’t find one some people have given up and we are their church and they’re watching right now and they partake yeah praise the Lord right all the glory goes to Him 100 thousand views on these prophecy update videos within the span of one week who knew God knew that’s the hunger and the thirst that is out there amongst God’s people for the truth people are not stupid they see what’s going on in the world today in this country today they see what’s happening in the Middle East particularly in Israel and they’re asking questions and they are the right questions and we need to give to everyone an answer of that hope that blessed hope that lies within us then we’re silent pastors don’t want to touch it ooh it’s too controversial just bear with me and don’t look at your watches I know I went actually the Philippians teaching is the reason but I just need another hour or so just kidding couple minutes when I say that it makes that whatever time I do take not seem as quite as long you know any people have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ because of Bible prophecy I mean it’s like we were talking about in Philippians when I live my life with this anticipation and knowledge that the Lord could come at any time man the Apostle John said it this way the one who has this hope purifies himself in other words gets his affairs in order completes any unfinished business it has this purifying effect where we get serious about the things of God because He could come at any time I want to be ready I don’t want to have any unfinished business down here after all this world is not my home the only thing I have here are those loved ones that I want to go with me so maybe I need to get busy about the things of God maybe I need to get serious about the things of God I don’t believe and just one last thing and then we’ll this will be the last last thing but I do not believe there will ever be anybody in heaven that will say something like this man I wish I wouldn’t have gotten my affairs in order I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much time getting ready for the Lord to return I wish I wouldn’t have taken so much time to witness to people and share the Gospel with people I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much time doing the things of God and serving in the kingdom of God nobody will ever say that what’s the Gospel the Apostle Paul said woe unto me if I don’t preach the Gospel Jesus Christ and Him crucified that’s the Good News that Jesus Christ came that He was crucified that He was buried and that He rose again on the third day and He’s coming back one day that’s the Good News why because the Good News is in response to the bad news and the bad news is is that if Jesus did not do that there’s no hope I’m dead I’m dead man walking I’m dead woman walking for all eternity that’s the Gospel we end with the ABCs of salvation again just as a reminder we have these out front these ABC of salvation cards with the ABCs on the front the scriptures on the back there’s a box of them brother Guy had them printed for us we can always get more printed and also they’re on the back of your bulletin so do not throw away your bulletin anymore you can actually rip that off and use that when the Lord presents the opportunity what are the ABCs of salvation a childlike explanation of how to respond to the Good News of Salvation that is freely given and offered because of the finished work of Jesus Christ and the A is for admit acknowledge that you’re a sinner that you’ve sinned that you need the Savior in Romans it says there is no one righteous not even one Romans says all key word all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God we were all born sinners which is why we must all be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven Romans sort of packages the bad news with the good news the bad news first we’ve transgressed the law of God we’ve sinned against God we’ve missed the mark we’ve fallen short and the wages of that the penalty for that is death that’s the bad news here’s the good news the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord you know as we go through these as we have for almost two years now by the way every week week in and week out we’ve been doing these ABCs of salvation and what’s been happening is you have been equipped and emboldened so now when somebody is presented crosses paths with you which is a divine appointment by the way now you’re not ashamed of the Gospel you’re not you know man what do I do now how do I you’ve got something that is so simple that you can just give to them and share with them here’s the B the B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised him from the dead this is what Romans and 10 says if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead you will be saved that’s the B here’s the C the C is for call upon the name of the Lord or as Romans and 10 also says if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved and here’s why here’s how it works for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and is with your mouth that you confess and are saved and lastly here’s how to seal the deal if you will all all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved period that simple if you’re here today in this church that I am so privileged to pastor and you’ve never called upon the name of the Lord to be saved I implore you today to have this day be the day of your salvation call upon Him while He can be heard before it’s too late I don’t say that to scare I only say that because the Lord is coming and it’s going to be sooner than any of us myself included can even realize it’s that soon why don’t you stand and we’ll pray Father in Heaven I thank you so much for the more sure word of prophecy and perhaps more importantly the impact that your soon return the anticipation of You coming at any time has on our lives the urgency that it creates within us to take serious our Christian lives and to get serious about sharing the Gospel with others oh Lord we do want you to come quickly but at the same time many hearts are broken because of loved ones who are not ready so Lord would you hearken unto the voice of our cry as we pray for those to come to you and in so doing speed your coming in Jesus name Amen …
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