Have you ever wondered?       04/12/2024

Have you ever wondered what nation came first? Was it Italy or Greece, some islands in the Pacific, or somewhere in the Middle East? Actually, according to Scripture, the nations developed from Noah, after the flood. The Ark landed on Mount Ararat in modern day Turkey. (Mount Ararat is Turkey′s highest mountain, peaking at 16,854 feet above sea level.) After the flood, Noah, his wife, his sons, and his sons wives, all left the ark and started a new life on a renewed earth. It is written, Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth:…By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations‐Gen 10:1,5.

Traditional Christianity teaches that God is greatly involved with the nations. In the words of the beloved and respected American statesman, Benjamin Franklin (addressing the Constitutional Convention of 28 June 1787), he said, “I've lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth—That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that except the Lord build the House they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this.” In other words, God allows nations to rise and fall—therefore, we can conclude that nations are important to God. They are so important there is even a judgment for them called, the Judgment of the Nations, or the Throne of Glory‐ref Acts 17:31; Dan 7:9, 10; Mt 25:31,32. (If you would like more on this topic, check out this link).

Why does God judge the nations? According to Scripture, nations have a responsibility to obey God′s laws. It is written, Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me (God), even this whole nation‐Malachi 3:9. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God‐Psalm 9:17. Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men‐Psalm 9:20. Why does God judge nations? Because, the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest…by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith‐Rm 16:25,26. Matthew Henry, (1662‐1714), expounds on these verses in his six volume commentary, “…in Judah only God was known, now Christ is salvation to the ends of the earth, to all nations. And the design of it is very observable; it is for the obedience of faith—that they may believe and obey it, receive it and be rules (ruled) by it.” The Bible says, Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance‐Psalm 33:12.

But today, the nations do not fear God—the nations do not acknowledge there is a power higher than the government. Most reject the God of the Bible; which is how God declares people will be at the latter end‐ref 2 Tim 3:3. As an example of the nations gathering together, we currently have the United Nations (who works closely with the European Union), the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, the International Court of Justice, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,etc,etc. Presently, these groups are under the head of the UN. But what happens to the world organizations when a nuclear war breaks out? The Bible explains a new leader will come forth because the Rapture has happened and now that man of sin will be revealed—the son of perdition‐ref 2 Thes 2:3. Climate change will be a huge problem due to the explosions, radiation, and nuclear winter that are sure to follow a nuclear exchange. Death will come quickly for some—those directly impacted by the nuclear blast. Slower deaths for those who suffer through the fallout, extreme cold and famine like the world has never experienced. And if the nuclear conditions do not vastly affect you, because you live in the southern hemisphere, the hardness of peoples heart to do unspeakable wickedness will certainly impact your life—slavery will be a way of life for many. All the world will be under this one world government headed by the Anti‐Christ. And, before it is all over, everyone will be required to take the mark, or the name of the Anti‐Christ, or the number of his name in their right hand, or in their foreheads in order to buy or sell. But be warned, anyone taking the mark, will never go to heaven—there is never forgiveness for this act. There will also be an image to worship—if you do not, death awaits you‐ref Rev 13:16,17.

Scripture is clear,during this time, if you are a child of God, His name will be written on your forehead‐ref Rev 14:1. And if you live to this time, remember, all the Lord God is looking for is repentance. It is written, If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them‐Jeremiah 18:8. But the nations will not repent—but you can, right now. Check out this link if you are interested in surrendering your life to Jesus. It is also written, And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth‐Rev 5:9,10.

What do nations have to do with Bible prophecy and the modern world? Perhaps this quote from a research PDF book entitled, The Nations Belong to God, can be helpful in understanding. “God is in absolute control over everything—over this world, governments, candidates, platforms, and parties. Nothing is happening that God is not using in his sovereignty to bring about his will (Gen. 50:20). God is in control of the nations. They belong to him. Why? Because the earth is the Lord’s (Psa. 24:1). No matter where we go, what happens, or who is ruling, everything is underneath God′s ultimate sovereignty.”

As a fledgling nation, the people of the United States, (during the Philadelphia church age), understood the importance of obeying the Word of God. In his first Thanksgiving Day address, the first U.S. President, George Washington, said, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…”. We would all do well to follow President Washington′s advice.

Sources: geologyscience.com; libquotes.com; presidency.ucsb.edu; rt.com; time.com.

Andrew Walker. The Nations Belong to God: A Christian Guide for Political Engagement, p.11. A Resource Of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, 2024. https://erlc.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/ERL4110_ResearchPDFBook_PoliticEngage_FINAL_020524.pdf

The World Wants Peace, But Nobody Is Listening    04/05/2024

As the war between Hamas and Israel stretches out, the prophetic hand of God can be seen for those who are looking and watching.

A brief look of events: On October 7, 2023, Hamas (not only the governing body of Gaza, but also a terrorist/militant group backed by Iran), successfully penetrated the Israeli border in 30 places along what is called, the Iron Wall (the wall between Israel and Gaza); as well as along Israel's sea coast. They preformed the most terrorizing attack on Israel in recent years: beheading, torturing, raping, and murdering over 1,000 civilians and military personnel, besides other nationals. They also took over 200 hostages—Jews and tourist alike. It has been almost six months and still many hostages have not been released—nor any of their remains, if they have died.

In retaliation to the October 7 attack, the Israeli military forces were focused on destroying the Hamas war machine so that they could no longer threaten Israel. However, due to Hamas′ war strategy of mixing with civilians, Israel felt there was no other options in reaching Hamas, but to bomb Gaza and those who chose to stay there. (The topic of whether Israel was right or wrong in their actions is not the issue of this blog. We merely wish to recap the events for the purpose of Bible Prophecy.) To date, there has not been a conclusion to this war.

According to the UN website, on Friday, March 22, 2024, the United States brought forth a draft for the UN committee to vote on. It called for an “‘immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides’, facilitating ‘essential’ aid delivery and supporting ongoing talks between Israel and Hamas militants to create a sustainable end to the hostilities, tied to the release of hostages”. However, the draft was vetoed by permanent Council members China and Russia. The main complaint from Russia was that the resolution, “put no real pressure on Israel over its war crimes”.  They further accused the U.S. administration of “throwing a bone to American voters and persuading a domestic audience it was being even‐handed in the crisis.”

China urged the committee they need to call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, in line with the wishes of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary‐General. While the Representatives of the Arab group (who have no official say at the UN), spoke to reporters to express that they condemned in the strongest terms “this genocide inflicted on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip”.

The disheartened Ambassador from Israel, Gilad Erdan, commented that the draft would have been the first time any UN body condemned Hamas′s attack on his country. He predicted that the failure to adopted this draft would be “a stain that will never be forgotten”. He furthered his comment by saying that Hamas knows they cannot win militarily, so they use Gazans as human shields to maximize civilian casualties, so the Council will pressure Israel to ending its military operation and issues false statistics and numbers. He called the famine in Gaza, “Hamas propaganda”, emphasizing that according to his government, 341,000 tons of humanitarian aid in hundreds of trucks have entered the enclave. He emphasized that “Every civilian death in Gaza is tragic, but the only one to blame is Hamas”. And finished by reminding the committee that Hamas and Iran have one goal—to wipe Israel off the map.

This brings us to Monday, 3/25/24, when the UN met again and finally passed Resolution 2728. This resolution calls for a cease fire for the month of Ramadan. The resolution also calls for the release of hostages and the establishing of humanitarian access to Gaza. What this resolution does not call for is an sustained cease fire on the terms that Hamas will return hostages—in other words, hostages first then cease fire happens. The resolution greatly angered many because they thought it was either too lenient with Hamas, or too lenient with Israel. What particularly angered Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, is that he felt the U.S. had retreated from a “principled position” by allowing the vote to pass without conditioning the cease‐fire on the release of hostages held by Hamas. The U.S. could have vetoed the resolution, which would have halted proceedings, with just their one veto—but instead they choose to abstain.

So, where does that leave us regarding Bible Prophecy? This war has only strengthened the continued alliance of Russia and a number of Islamic countries like Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and many of their Islamic terrorist groups. What do they have in common? They hate America and the West, and they hate the Jews. We also see, as Israel pursues the expulsion of Hamas from the region (and the smuggling of weapons into Gaza), the more they anger the very Arabs they are suppose to live at peace with—not a good recipe for peace. In the past, there have been several attempts between the Palestinians and Israeli leaders, using the U.S. to broker those deals—both sides genuinely wanting peace. However, not one has gone through. Why? Could it be the age old rivalry between Isaac and Ishmael? A situation created ages ago that has provoked a modern day scenario of hatred and war. Check out this link if you would like to learn more.

There have been several suggestions given to the leaders of Gaza (Hamas) regarding a shift in the governing body of Gaza, even temporarily, in order to provide care for the injured or starving civilians of Gaza. However, Hamas is not willing to step down and in fact, has rejected all proposals, even those given by other Arab nations. The Palestinians are pressuring the UN counsel to vote on whether they can become full United Nations members, even though they have no country. Currently, they are just observers at the UN with no say. The Palestinians are demanding that the time has come, they want a homeland of their own, even though there has never been a country call Palestine (check out this link), only a region. Back before WW1 the Arabs living in the region of Palestine associated themselves as Syrians.

But, it is not enough for the world to be angry with Israel for trying to secure the safety of it′s citizens, the world wants to punish Israeli′s for having a homeland. An area of land given to them by a vote of the United Nations; a homeland they fought for, and many died for. With blood they bought the Golan, West Bank, Gaza and Sinai. Not because they wanted it, they were forced to defend themselves. The Arabs of surrounding countries attacked them—just like Hamas did on October 7th.

Now we see the continued resistance of the world in regards to Israel′s right to exist as a nation. Reported by AP News online, dated February 26, 2024, the United Nations′ highest court concluded “historic proceedings into the legality of Israel′s 57‐year occupation”. “For over 6 days the International Court of Justice heard from an unprecedented number of countries”. They were there, at least the majority of them, to argue Israel was violating international law and called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Most agree that the reason they can not have peace in the Middle East is because of Israel′s occupation of the land. There needs to be two states—Palestinian and Israeli, living side by side. Never mind that the leaders of the Palestinians in Gaza just murdered almost 2000 Jews living on the border of Gaza and Israel—and most of the world thinks this two state solution will work?

The average time for advisory opinions to be released from the Justices is six months after oral proceedings. That would mean perhaps sometime around August they may render their opinion. The U.S. President himself, (Israel closes ally?), is also calling for a two state solution. Are their any supporters of Israel? Only a few, with not enough world recognition to make a difference.

As this is not the first time Israel has had to stand by themselves on the world stage, the Bible seems to indicate that there is coming a time when world opinion will be so negative that the Israeli's will need a friend. friend will be the Anti‐Christ who heads the EU. Israel will think they have it made—the Bible says they sign a peace treaty with death‐ref Isa 28:15. Check out this link if you'd like to learn more. They will believe this treaty guarantees peace and safety, but instead, sudden destruction will come-ref 1 Thes 5:3. That sudden destruction is the Russian, (along with other countries), invasion into Israel. Check out this link if you would like to learn more (http://biblestudies.org/Documents/Bible_Prophecy/Russian_Invasion_Israel.htm).

Back to the statement made by the U.N. Ambassador to Israel, he warned that the vetoing of the U.S. draft would be “a stain that will never be forgotten”. This may be a prophetic statement. The Bible is very clear when dealing with Israel. It is written, “I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse”‐ Gen 12:3 (NAS). Regarding the land of Israel the Bible says, “Sihon, king of the Amorites, Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan; and He gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to His people Israel.”‐Ps 135: 11,12 (NAS). “For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.”‐Jer 30:3 (KJV). ‹I gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among nations; and they have divided up My land. ”‐Joel 3:2 (NAS). Even though this is an Armageddon verse, it has a very stern warning for those who want to divide the land of Israel. Perhaps it is best said in the book, The Miracle of Israel. In the book is the historical account of Blaise Pascal, a renowned French thinker of the 17th century. He was a master of mathematics, physicists, an inventor, writer and philosopher. It seems Louis XIV summoned Pascal to his throne room. He wanted to be provided with proof of the supernatural. Is there any way to verify that miracles really happen?, the King asked. Without hesitation Pascal replied, “Why, the Jews, your Majesty—the Jews.” To directly quote the book, “Pascal was, of course, referring to the Jewish People′s surprising ability to outlast their enemies, who even then had confined them to over crowed ghettos, excluded them from society and subjected them to death and the destruction of their way of life…Simply put, the Jews occupied a special place in the family of man. The mere fact of their survival attested to the singular role they played in human history.” God is not going to forget all those who turned their back on His land or His people. He will repay them to their face‐Deut 7:10. But, if Israel was well loved by the world and the Jewish people well esteemed, then we would not be in the latter days as spoken of by the Bible. ·Pray for peace in Jerusalem: May those who love her·be safe [prosper]. May there be peace within her walls and· safety within her strong towers‐Ps 122:6,7 (EXB). How do you make peace with those who don′t want peace—they want you dead no matter what you do?

Israel needs to get to the point where she seeks God and says, “Mine eyes fail for Thy Salvation, and for the Word of Thy Righteousness. Deal with Thy servant”‐ref Ps 119: 123‐125 (KJV). The Psalmist warns of a time coming when the cries will be heard, “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law”‐Ps 119:126.

Sources: livemint.com; cnn.com; csis.org; rt.com; npr.org; theguardian.com-U.S. Gaza Ceasefire Resolution-Explainer; msn.com; theguardian.com-Israel Hamas War Where Do Surrounding Countries Stand?; theguardian.com-Israel Alone—Allies Fears Grow; aclj.org. reuters.com; jpost.com-Palestinians Reject Proposal To Introduce Arab Multi-National Force In Gaza; britannica.com; thejewishstar.com; worldhistory.org; jpost.com-Palestinians Want April Vote For Full United Nations Membership; un.org-Gaza: Security Council Passes Resolution Demanding "An Immediate Ceasefire" During Ramadan; un.org-Russia and China Veto US Resolution Stating Imperative Of "Immediate And Sustained Ceasefire" In Gaza; apnews.com; unric.org.

“The Miracle of Israel”, The Miracle of Israel Foundation, Arizona, 2013, p5.