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Is This the Beginning of Sorrows?

 

While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples privately approached him wanting to know when his return and the end of the world would take place. Jesus answered,

   Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.   ― Matthew 24:4-8 (KJV)

   Amazingly, today’s news headlines mirror these words of warning spoken by Jesus 2,000 years ago. Spiritual deception and apostasy abound, much of it moving forward under the false banner of Christianity. Uprisings and rumors of wars blanket the Middle East. The frequency of major earthquakes is increasing – six of them in just over a year. And, famines and pestilences are spreading across the globe with thousands dying every day. Jesus told us not to be alarmed when we see these things because this would be the beginning of an unfolding sequence of events that would eventually culminate in His return. However, the Lord also made it clear that we would go through very difficult times between now and then (verses 9-13).

   Given the current momentum, it is probably safe to say the pace will not slow down – it will only quicken the rest of the way. There will be a groundswell of spiritual deception between now and the end of 2012, and even more to follow as the stage for the Antichrist is cleverly set via the popular teachings of interfaithism and a growing fascination with mysticism, alien beings (demons), and the occult.

   More conflict can also be expected in the Middle East and elsewhere as the path for a “new age” is cleared. And, devastating earthquakes are certain to touch every continent on earth, with North America quite possibly being next in line. The West Coast, especially, is overdue for a major shaking. How much longer will God be merciful?

THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

   Of all the sudden changes sweeping the planet, developments in the Mideast are the most intriguing. In the space of less than two months the entire Islamic region has erupted in rebellion and violence. Where will it all end? Is this alleged movement toward democracy genuine, as the media would have us believe? Or, is a hidden hand orchestrating events with a diabolical purpose in mind?

   Here are some things to watch for in the days ahead as events continue to unfold.

   Take special note of a) how the uprisings are affecting Christians in the region; b) whether hostility toward Israel and the Jews will increase; and c) in what ways these developments will advance the cause of the new world order.

Muslims vs. Christians

   Unbeknownst to most Westerners, the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on the increase. While our government and media are applauding “the move toward democracy,” the fact of the matter is the Muslim revolution is producing greater instability and intensified persecution of Christians.

   A Christian missions organization, that we are close to, recently sent us a confidential report on the true situation in Egypt. We have omitted the names of Christians to protect their identity, but here are some excerpts from that report:

   In Cairo’s suburb Giza, our ministry team … endured great hardship in the last two months. Christmas and New Year were marked by bombings of churches. Fear started to spread in people’s hearts and the famous revival-like atmosphere in churches turned to tears and sadness. Then came the revolution and brought with it uncertainty, more bombings of churches, murders and looting, food supply shortages, the verge of complete economic collapse and the feeling of hopelessness…

   The situation in Egypt … even with the new military-controlled government in place is nothing short of a MAJOR CRISIS…

   Iran, Al-Qaeda and [the] Muslim Brotherhood are known to be the forces behind this uprising as well as the release of 15,000 prisoners into the streets of Egypt. The criminals are looting and raping. A Christian Egyptian woman was raped in front of her husband on their way to church. The churches continue to be bombed since the incident before Christmas.

   The uprising, which spread like wildfire across [Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and other Islamic countries, represents] the takeover of the Middle East and parts of Africa by Radical Islam. It will attempt to spread its domination just as violently across the rest of the world. It has crossed the borders of America already.

   We have received other reports of Islamic aggression against Christians. The following news brief was forwarded to us by a Christian colleague in Israel, who received it from INN.

   ISLAMISTS MASSACRE TWO COPTIC FAMILIES IN EGYPT: News of an Islamist massacre of two Christian Coptic families has emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of Internet connections to the country, after a one-week Internet blackout imposed by the troubled regime. The massacre, not the first in Egypt in recent weeks, took place January 30 at the village of Sharona. According to the report, the Islamist murderers, aided by Muslim neighbors of the Copts, stormed the homes of the families, gaining access to the houses’ roofs from the roofs of the families’ Muslim neighbors. They killed eleven, including children, and seriously injured four more people.

   In early March, another 13 people were wounded and 140 killed in fighting that broke out in Egypt as a result of a church being burned down by Muslims. Surprisingly, this massacre gained some international attention as CNN briefly covered the story. In every case involving conflict between Arab Muslims and Christians that I am aware of, Muslims have been the instigators and primary aggressors.

   Evangelist Franklin Graham, who has been involved in ministry work throughout northern Africa and has firsthand insight regarding the goals and atrocities of Islam, directly warned Americans in a March 18th interview with Newsmax.

   The Muslim Brotherhood is very strong and active here in our country … We have these people advising our military and State Department. We’ve brought in Muslims to tell us how to make policy toward Muslim countries. It’s like a farmer asking a fox, “How do I protect my hen house?”

   When asked whether President Barack Obama was doing enough to protect Christians at home and abroad, Graham responded,

   No. If anything it’s the opposite. Muslims are protected more in this country than Christians … The president has made many statements but he doesn’t back them up. We have to do more to protect the Christians in the Muslim world. Their lives are in danger.

   Graham went on to note,

   Under [Egypt’s Hosni] Mubarak and [Jordan’s] King Hussein and other moderate leaders, Christians had been protected … Eleven million Christians live in Egypt and I fear for them, because if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power, you’re going to see a great exodus of Christians. Same thing in Tunisia and Lebanon. I fear for the church because the Muslim Brotherhood is going to be a very terrible thing.

Muslims and the New World Order

   One doesn’t have to look far to discover the influence of prominent globalists in the Islamic Revolution. For example, Mohamed El Baradei, who has risen to the top of Egypt’s liberation movement to become its chief spokesman, served on the board of directors of International Crisis Group (ICG) until returning to Egypt in January to lead the revolution. ICG is one of the most pro-world government organizations in existence. Prior to stepping down in order to spearhead Egypt’s uprising, El Baradei worked side-by-side with ICG’s other elite board members who include George Soros, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Javier Solana (one of the most powerful figures in the European Union), and Wesley Clark – all of whom are staunch globalists.

   According to Michael D. Evans, best-selling author of Jimmy Carter: The Liberal Left and World Chaos, “El Baradei showed up in Cairo only two days after the uprising began and was immediately named a negotiator by the Muslim Brotherhood.” If the “Brotherhood” ends up with the single largest block of power in Egypt – which is all but certain to happen – the forces of globalization will be able to dictate whatever agenda they have in mind. Even more troubling: Among Arabs there is a saying – “As Egypt goes, so goes the Arab world.”

   Victor Sharpe, Mideast expert and author, recently weighed in on the strategy of Radical Islam:

   [Following the US] call for “free” and democratic elections in Gaza, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas) used the democratic process to come to power and immediately trashed all semblance of democracy by instituting oppressive Sharia law and raining thousands of missiles upon Israeli towns and villages.

   Now, Sharpe contends, the Obama administration is taking Islamic radicalism to the next level. His article titled, “Obama Well Knows What Chaos He Has Unleashed,” minces no words in blaming Obama for the revolution. He writes,

   Obama is no fool; he engineered this…

   Under Obama’s watch, the true democratic revolution against the mullahs in Iran was snuffed out because the American president refused to support the demonstrators in the streets of Tehran. In contrast, the same Obama ordered Hosni Mubarak to leave office and let the rioters in Cairo have “free” elections.

   Prior to Mubarak’s fall, World Net Daily’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Aaron Klein, reported:

   Mubarak’s regime feels Obama is pushing the advancement of the Muslim Brotherhood against US interests … They are genuinely trying to understand why Obama is seemingly championing the anti-regime protests.

   Victor Sharpe argues,

   The grotesque policies of Obama have caused Lebanon to fall under Islamic occupation, with the Iranian puppet, Hezb’allah, now controlling the Lebanese government. Jordan’s kinglet, Abdullah, sits on a powder keg whereby his throne is under increasing pressure from violent members of the same Muslim Brotherhood.

   The leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hammam Saeed, has confirmed his organization’s goals, boasting that the unrest will spread across the Mideast until Arabs succeed at toppling leaders allied with the United States and until the Arab world can fully destroy the nation Israel.

Muslims vs. Jews

   No nation is more directly impacted by the action of Islamic revolutionaries than Israel, whose citizens are understandably on edge over developments in surrounding states. Jan Markell, a Messianic Jew and the President of Olive Tree Ministries, expresses her concern.

   Israel has Hezbollah and Syria to her north, Hamas to the west, and could have the Muslim Brotherhood to the south controlling Egypt. This is truly a recipe for disaster.

   Markell elaborates:

   The frightening possibility is that rather than being a force for liberation, these regional protests may, in fact, be undermining democracy by imperiling pro-Western allies one-by-one and fertilizing the soil for Khomeini-like Islamic factions to gain power and sow their killing fields. It could be the Iranian Revolution of 1979 all over again in these nations, and if it is, it represents a horrific scenario for Western and Israeli interests – as well as for the people who will find themselves the victims of the Islamist bloodbaths that will by necessity ensue …

   Just where this is ultimately going is uncertain, and what role Israel will play is unknown. Since the theory is that there would be world peace if only the Palestinians had their own state, perhaps all of this will be blamed on Israel. Millions of rioting Middle East Muslims could turn on the Jewish state. With the mood of the current US administration towards Israel, America might offer little help.

   The Obama administration has been tightening the screws on Israel from the moment it took office. President Obama is currently at the forefront of pressuring Israel to sign a seven-year agreement that would have the Jewish state concede much of historic Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority. As a minimal consolation, Israel would be permitted to lease these lands back from the PA for the duration of the agreement.

   This proposal was officially put forth last November, but negotiations were well underway prior to that time. Aaron Klein published an article on September 1, 2010 revealing that major concessions were already being offered by Israel. Reporting from Jerusalem, Klein wrote,

   Ahead of the start of today’s Mideast summit in Washington, the Israeli government publicly conceded [that] sections of Jerusalem will become part of a Palestinian state while holy sites would be governed by a “special regime.”

   Speaking in an interview with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Defense Minister Ehud Barak outlined a deal with the Palestinians: “West Jerusalem and 12 Jewish neighborhoods that are home to 200,000 residents will be ours. The Arab neighborhoods in which close to a quarter million Palestinians live will be theirs.”

   “There will be a special regime in place along with agreed upon arrangements in the Old City, the Mount of Olives, and the City of David,” added Barak.

   Radical Muslims have been able to apply pressure on Israel in a variety of ways, with the United Nations being their most reliable ally and chief weapon against the Jewish state. Consider these facts:

  • Of the 175 UN Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
  • Of the 690 UN General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

   Since 1990, in situations involving tension between Israel and the Palestinian Authority or PLO, every resolution has gone against Israel. Not once has the UN condemned the Palestinians – not even when acts of blatant terror had been committed.

   Between the efforts of Barack Obama and the UN, the additional push coming from the EU and the Vatican (mainly behind the scenes), and the intense pressure being applied by Muslim countries, it will be just a matter of time before an agreement is reached. The only question is when, and how?

Timing of Events

   In my travels over the last few weeks, a favorite topic of discussion among Christian analysts has been concerning Israel’s next move. Will the ongoing revolution successfully cast itself as pro-democratic and freedom-loving to the point where Israel will actually proceed with signing a peace accord? Or, will the revolution lead to an all-out war with Israel first – followed by a peace treaty with the Antichrist. Only time will tell, but most believe there will be war first and that it will begin soon (historically speaking).

   The thinking behind this is that wars have been effective in advancing the cause of world government because major changes occur more easily during times of crisis. World War I, for example, led to the forming of the League of Nations – the first significant political step toward a world government. World War II resulted in the founding of the United Nations, which today exists in the form of a limited world government. If this pattern holds up, then a third world war might be used to take mankind the final step into a comprehensive system of global government – a new world political, economic, and religious order under the direction of the Antichrist.

   Could the current Islamic revolution lead to such a war? John McTernan, author of As America Has Done to Israel, expresses his view on the matter:

   I do not see any downtime with events ...

   Islam is rising and is going to look fearful. Much like the Nazis in the late 1930’s. I have warned about the Muslims creating a caliphate and this is exactly what is now forming. This entire revolution has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. The Muslims will say this for the blinded Hard Left Fascists. Muslims are going to unite and it is for one purpose and that is to destroy Israel and probably the West.

   All the events you are now witnessing are geared toward destroying Israel. It may not appear like this right now, but Satan is organizing this with the goal of destroying Israel. [However,] God is setting a trap for the Muslims and Allah ...

   It appears that the Muslims in Europe will rise up against the West and try to join this caliphate. This will bring massive bloodshed to Europe. If they start in Europe, it will spread to America. In the end, I see Islam being crushed, but not without incredible death and destruction. Allah is the god of war, and he is not going away without a ferocious fight.

   I still think the final jihad will start with all-out war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The trigger is going to be Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The coming Islamic caliphate will respond to conflict, and all the nations around Israel will be drawn into the war, to their doom. This will be the Obadiah/Psalm 83 war … Egypt will not take part in the great battle described in Ezekiel 38, 39 as it [will be] totally destroyed in the prior war. The events now unfolding are preparing Egypt for this war.

   While other interpretations of these prophesied events exist, there is almost unanimous agreement among my Christian colleagues that the world is about to become much more violent. The only disagreement seems to be over whether this time of predicted war and bloodshed begins prior to the reign of the Antichrist or if it will wait until after he makes (and breaks) his treaty with Israel.

   Regardless of how the sequence of events unfolds, I believe that our time of speaking freely is short. The question becomes what should Christians do?

   The answer: Live your life each day as if you only have one month to live. Consider your priorities. Make God number one in every facet of your life. Share His Gospel of truth with unsaved loved ones and prepare your heart and mind to endure difficult times for the sake of Christ. Persevere and stand firm to the end. 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  ― Ephesians 6:10-13

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. ― James 1:12

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please do so now. Pray the following words in faith, and mean them with all of your heart:

“Lord Jesus, I am a sinner and I need you. I believe that you are the perfect Son of God and died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I repent of my sins. I receive you now as my Savior. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Please give me the desire and strength to love, obey, and serve You. In Your name I pray, Amen.”