These Are Very Interesting Days

The political season is now officially started.  Last night President Trump announced his bid for re-election to an enthusiastic, overflowing crowd that numbered nearly twenty thousand in Orlando, Florida.  And next week the Democrats will host two political debates with the two dozen candidates that are running in that party's primary campaign.  The media will have its usual bias, putting the Trump campaign under the microscope, while looking at the Democratic candidates as through a telescope.  What a challenge it will be these next few months to listen carefully, wisely, and prayerfully to the speeches given and the reports written about all the candidates.  These are not days to become disengaged.

Meanwhile, things continue to heat-up in the Middle East.  Iran is demonstrating that it is a rogue nation, bowing to no one's wishes and determining to have its own way.  The increased sanctions placed upon Iran by the United States and others, especially the embargo on Iranian oil exports, has brought the Iranian economy to a near standstill.  Iran is strongly courting the European Union nations in an attempt to get relief from those sanctions.  So far the European Union has not been willing to budge.  So, in response, the Iranian government, over the weekend, announced that it will exceed the amount of uranium available for nuclear intentions within the next two weeks.  It is almost as if they are saying, "We are no longer going to abide by the nuclear agreement reached during the Obama Administration."  The Iranians have launched several missiles to show the world what it is capable of doing.  Our intelligent sources have confirmed that it was Iranian terrorists who attacked at least two oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz.  They are resorting to threats by intimidation, which, by the way, have worked for them in the past.  But President Trump really has called their bluff by sending a fleet of naval warships, including an aircraft carrier, into the Persian Gulf and also sending an additional one thousand American troops into the Middle East.  Intimidation is met by intimidation.  I know the media and many within Congress are saying that our President is threatening war with Iran.  Personally, I believe his only purpose is to make a statement to Iran and to our allies in the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, that we are taking the threats from Iran very seriously. 

Yesterday I was asked the question of Iran's role within prophecy.  I referred to that passage in Ezekiel 38-39, known as Ezekiel's War.  The prophet identifies several nations that will form a coalition and attack the nation of Israel during a time of peace.  The leader of that coalition is Russia, with partnering nations of Iran, Libya (North Africa), Cush (those countries south of Egypt, including Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia), and Turkey.  You might remember earlier this spring there was a conference that included Russia, Iran, and Turkey.  This alliance is an important one to keep an eye upon because of the prophecy spoken about it. 

Yet, when one examines carefully those two chapters in Ezekiel, there is a strong sense that the attack will come at a time when Israel believes it is secure - as identified with the phrase "villages without walls."  In Ezekiel's time, villages and town constructed a wall around themselves for protection from enemies.  To not have a wall was either an indication of extreme apathy and negligence or the complete embracement of peace.  Now, for Israel - which is not at peace today, but always prepared for war - to be embracing a time of peace, that must mean either it has successfully conquered its neighbors, or it has signed a peace agreement with those around them.  I have read some prophecy experts who have said that perhaps President Trump's "Deal of the Century" peace plan might be that plan that leads to peace.  If it is, then we are closer to the Ezekiel War than we might have guessed. 

I have been following the unrest in Hong Kong, the former member of the British Empire that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.  Over the weekend nearly two million Chinese young people demonstrated in the streets demanding more freedoms.  One can only wonder what the Chinese leadership in Beijing will do to counter these demonstrators.  I can still remember how they clamped down on similar demonstrators in Tiananmen Square back in 1989.  Or could this be the beginning of the collapse of the present Chinese government?  Please don't shy away from following this very important story.  God is at work preparing China for the end time days. 

Finally, many believe we are poised on the edge of another economic collapse.  The stock market continues to climb, yet many economists see signs of an impending downturn.  The real estate market is sitting upon a bubble as risky loans have become acceptable once again.  We all remember the collapse of the real estate market in 2008-2009.  We know from reading Revelation 6 and 13 that there will be great economic upheavals during the last days.  Could we be seeing real birth pangs of such an upheaval? 

Friends, there is a lot to pay attention to these days.  I strongly believe that God is preparing this world for the grand entrance of the King.  But, before the King arrives, the Bible tells us that there will be some days that can only be described as being horrific.  Yet our hope and confidence is in Jesus!  How we anxiously await His return!


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