There are a few wars coming, well apart from the “rumours” (i.e. reports) of actual wars already underway: wars of the so-called “Arab Spring,” including the nations of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon, Yemen (a Sunni-Shia proxy war between the KSA and Iran in all but name), Turkey (against Kurdish insurgents); the ongoing Somali Civil War; persistent war in Afghanistan; the on-again off-again conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia; and others.
A common thread in many of these conflicts is Iran. But a heavy thread weaving through the fabric of these disputes, the tensed warp around which the Iranian weft could be said to be thread, is Turkey.
Of the major wars to come, of the more biblically relevant ones, first the antichrist (whoever he is) has to expand his influence.
War 1 – Antichrist wars – Daniel 11
In a back-and-forth battle for domination that spans antiquity unto prophetic future, The King of the North defeats the King of the South and in the process also wins over north Africa.
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
King of the North (KOTN) and King of the South (KOTS) were appellations applied by Israeli prophets of God with respect to the direction from which invading forces came through Israel to battle one another, straddling (and at times implicating) Israel. In ancient times these were predominantly Assyria (modern-day Iraq) and Egypt, respectively. Israel was the natural gateway—natural to anyone wanting to avoid the Arabian desert—between Mesopotamia and north Africa and the Assyrians and Egyptians were the heavies of the day.
It’s hard to see anything, let alone anything of force, come out of Iraq today, although the Shia crescent, which ends in Lebanon, necessarily passes through Iraq, effectively putting Iran in KOTN posture. But such a focus would historically overlook the aggressive Hittite kingdom, forebear to the Turk; a kingdom that waged many wars against Egypt (KOTS).
War 2 – Ezekiel 38 War of Gog and Magog: Non-Arab Islamic Nations of the Middle East
To my reading, it is Turkey (Meshech and Tubal, later Gomer and Togarmah also), and not Iran (Persia), that leads this battle, a battle albeit incorporating Iran and leveraging its proxy influence in the Horn of Africa. Notably, the KOTN is widely and historically generally considered the archetype of the latter days’ Antichrist.
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
Ezekiel continues (38:8-16):
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? 14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Notably, Arabs are not involved in the war. Rather, they (Sheba and Dedan) watch on with knowing glances. It seems incredulous to think that the KSA would watch and do nothing as a force led by arch nemesis—a force more-or-less of equivalent potence, Iran—came with regional hegemonic intent. It is more likely that the Iranians are co-conspirators here, beholden to a stronger Turkish force that naturally precludes any thought of Saudi intervention.
Finally, when all is said and done and, perhaps internecine aggression spent, all of Islam will come together.
War 3 – Revelation 16, The Sixth Vial: Battle of Armageddon
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
There is, however, one other war, an ultimate war against Gog that comes after the Lord’s 1000-year reign, when God releases Satan out of his prison, at the end of that time, for a short season. But for now, there is so little time and so much to be done, as it were—all these wars before Jesus comes—that best to postpone discussion of Revelation 20:7-10 for another time.
Until then, remember: the Tribulation is the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.
At animals.mom.com, they speak of the characteristics of oxen:
A calm temperament is one of the most important requirements for an ox. They must have a willingness to respond to commands and be content to do the same sort of work day after day so long as they are well-fed and cared for.
According to Jesus (and I have reason to trust Him), in Matthew 6:25-26, your heavenly Father will feed and care for you:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Approaching the final pre-millennial festivities, I am reminded that technically, of course, Christmas is not the King’s birthday but instead appropriation by more secular exigencies; exigencies perhaps rendering the whole process moot. But is not equally moot, but certainly not merciful, a penchant for chastising another’s good intent, an intent that does no harm, according to Colossians 2?
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
That said, it is good to get facts straight nonetheless.
Whatever your conviction, whether for this feast day or for that, I proffer early my gift of verse (Luke 9):
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
The point is that everyone with good intent (no matter how it manifests), and who is doing no harm, is with us.
Even some (not all, of course) without proper intent are merely misled, awaiting conversion. Though they better hurry up.
Again, the point is you are working under duress making steady, if dour, progress and keeping your peace irrespective of the goings on about you. How else to develop that tenacious hide and protect that heart of pliable sense? That “willingness to respond to commands and be content to do the same sort of work day after day so long as they [you] are well-fed and cared for.”
Your mind sharp, your heart soft, … your hide necessarily thick.
But only if your heart is soft.
Therefore, this Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other occasion of good intent, recall one penitent who said:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Innocent as a spring lamb, yes.
Be (also) like unto the oxen, brethren.
Your daily bread – “kavanah”
Press in unto the Lord. He in you; and you, Him.
He is the vine. The Tree of Life. Get rooted in. Don’t mess about. And be irrigated by rivers of living water. Take hold. Grow. Then flourish. In both temperance and zeal. Through a disciplined, purposeful, persevering intent toward the Lord and His Spirit.
The world is dark, trying to extinguish your light. Press into the Lord and press out against the world.
What’s the worst that can happen? You stumble? (There’s a prayer against that.) Even still, it will happen only seven times. Hold on true and the kingdom is yours.
Yield to the Lord. Resist the world.
Two opposing dispositions that you master when you listen for (and heed) the soft sound of the Spirit. You may hear the Lord himself speak to you. But the Spirit works in silence. Yet the more you block the world out, the more you “hear” and feel the Spirit’s Holy presence.
King Yeshua can be tough, necessarily ruling with a rod of iron. Fathers often discipline their children so. We call it tough love. The Holy Spirit is always kind, nurturing, a soothing comforter, and more often works in complete silence.
Press into the Lord.
Tune into the silence.
This amazing chart concurs with a Nov 19, 2021 reset. On that day, 15 Kislev, the earth goes up in flames. It commemorates the Abomination of Desolation, “the transformation, by Antiochus Epiphanes, of the sacred Temple at Jerusalem, in 168 BC, into a heathen one”.¹
Fervent heat. Hot. Very.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
The Apostle Peter concludes from what Noah’s rainbow can only allude to: this time, the earth goes up in flames.
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
I am hoping to have been raptured before then, caught up on the Feast of Trumpets (not idiomatically known as “The Feast Of Which No Man Knows the Day or the Hour” for naught, mind you), logical date for the King to meet His bride.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
While the world awaits for a start to the tribulation, I recall that most “missed”—and from right under their nose—a First Advent’s significance, as it played out in real time. (Even those who literally walked with the Lord took, without exaggeration, half a century to reconcile what went on.)
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mar 10:29-30)
If you are being persecuted, then consider it joy because you are both resisting the enemy and paying any penalties now, before the coming kingdom.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:10)
Those who are living an easy life now will have to bare their persecutions during the millennial kingdom, while those suffering now will then be free, whole, and full of light during the Lord’s reign.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Mat 5:44)
Do not be strong but meek, yielding to the Lord.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:10)
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
Persecution suffered right now is truly joy. Count it all joy and keep looking up, your redemption draweth nigh.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14)
Hang in there. Only one more year to go.
Many economists and financiers are speaking in terms of the worst or the greatest since the 1930s—yes, the Great depression. Public debt is now at greater levels of GDP than in man’s history ever, and with substantial private debt too, we are facing a significant reckoning that will be financial—it is already underway, of course, with this year’s lockdowns devastating economies—as much as spiritual.
Though there will be famine and pestilence, I suspect things may not get quite as bad as the 1930s, only because it won’t be allowed to last as long: I maintain that Messiah will return next Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and the world—as we know it—to end on November 19, 2021—”that great and terrible day” (Wrath of the Lord)—falling upon the anniversary of that Abomination that maketh Desolate of antiquity.
Recall, also, that Rev 6:6 says:
6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
Apart from unparalleled inflation, at least with respect to food, it suggests that the wealthier folk—”the oil and the wine”—will remain relatively unharmed by the financial misery—untouched by famine—if not unharmed by the political misfortunes.
Nonetheless, bad it will get, and except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Mat 24:22 KJV)
Without going prep-crazy, it probably is worthwhile having your pantry full of comestibles; just for that rainy day (or year), as it were.
When will it be commensurably amenable to some sort of normal living again, assuming that the world ends but that we spiritually leave it to return again and reign with the Lord? I am going to suggest on Hanukkah, the anniversary of the re-dedication of the profaned Temple, likely to be the date when the Lord will re-dedicate the world under his reign: Sunday, November 28 to Monday, December 6 of next year (2021).
This will be the last of the Feast of Tabernacles before the Lord’s return.
The next Feast of Tabernacles will be a celebration of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb before the end of the world.