In the early parts of this year, actually beginning in mid-December 2010 in Tunisia, protests and violence sprang up in many Middle East nations, so much so that the the protests veered to revolutions and dictators were toppled. It has become known as the Arab Spring. Egypt and Libya’s dictators were toppled, Algeria, Iraq, Golan Heights, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Sudan’s governments were affected one way or another. But the longest-lasting violence has been in Syria. It began last March and the violence is ongoing, and is getting worse. Many nations, even the allies of Syria in the Arab League have all expressed frustration with the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and called for him to stop killing his citizens. Bashad has been seemingly impervious to resolutions, diplomatic entreaties, threats of sanctions or even heavily veiled military nudges from neighbor Turkey.
Even Moscow is getting impatient now. While Russia blocked a resolution against Syria at the UN in October, they now are calling for the government to engage in talks between the government and its opposition.
As a result of all this, tensions are at a critical height. There is talk of attack. There is talk of military intervention, all-out civil war. Israel has been very busy getting Iron Dome deployed and other military preparations, some say, for a strike on Iran. I’m not so sure.
In any case, the US has now sent the Aircraft Carrier Bush to Mediterranean waters just off Syria. No explanation is given for this action. A no-fly zone is on the verge of being instituted over Syria as Syrian airspace closes. American citizens are warned to leave Syria immediately, as “while commercial flights are still available.”
It feels like the noose is tightening, doesn’t it? That all things are drawing together. And you have to suspect that these overt military actions are being accompanied by many other actions happening covertly. I’m not a military analyst but when the United States deploys an aircraft carrier to an area near the prophetic epicenter without explanation, but that area is in the bulls-eye of prophecy at the close of the church age, I pay attention. That Syria’s violence is causing the most tension of all the nations mentioned above, and that Syria (Damascus) is dead center of the most clearly unfulfilled end of days military prophecy ever, then I really pay attention.
The Isaiah 17 prophecy against Damascus, that Damascus will be destroyed, razed to the ground and removed from being a city, seems like it could occur any day. The prophecy is in the passive tense, meaning, it doesn’t declare who causes the city to be destroyed, only that it will be. It could be destroyed by Israel, the US, an accidental conflagration set off by Syrians themselves as their chemical, biological, and/or nuclear stockpile gets grabbed by the revolutionaries, by God directly, or by another way we do not suspect. But Damascus will be destroyed, and the prophecy goes on to say it will happen overnight, “Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more.” (Isaiah 17:14)
“I observe a simmering threat in the region based on a Sunni-Shiite divide,” Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday. “It … has the potential to move the Muslim world from the 21st century into the darkness of the Middle Ages.”
President Gul speaks truer words than he knows…war is going to come to the Middle East (Is 17, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38, 39,) and then to all of us (Matthew 24:6, Revelation 6:3-4). And with that, comes the rapture.
We are stunningly close to the rapture. This is the long-awaited event which closes the church age and brings Jesus’s church to his bosom (2 Thessalonians 2:1). All people since the cross who have believed on Jesus as the ONLY way to heaven by repenting of their sins to the ONLY One who can forgive them, will be gathered alive and transformed, or resurrected and transformed, and brought bodily up to meet Him in the air. (1 Corinthians 15:51-54). He will lead us to the place to which He has been preparing for us. (John 14:3). This is for the purpose of removing and protecting His bride throughout the Tribulation to come. (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Isaiah 26:20).
It will happen suddenly and without warning. Jesus will interrupt the normal flow of life on earth and poke His head in. Not a representative, He isn’t sending Gabriel, He Himself is coming Literally there will be a shout, (1 Thessalonians 4:19).
About that shout…not that the Lord will shout, but in the commentaries I read, they seem to agree that the translation of that word shout means “the word here used is observed by many to signify such a noise or shout as is made either by mariners, when they pull and row together; and shout to direct and encourage one another; or to an army with the general at the head of it, when about to undertake some considerable action, to enter on a battle, and make the onset; Christ will now appear as the King of kings, and Lord of lords, as the Judge of the whole earth, attended with the host, or armies of heaven, and the shout of a king will be among them: perhaps the same is intended, as by the voice of a great multitude.”
Wow! Get ready. If you are saved, then your readiness by now should be in prayer, closely walking with the Lord, and growing daily in His ways by reading and being refreshed by the Word. If you are not saved then getting ready means repenting of your sins. He will not allow an unrighteous person into His kingdom, and since we are all unrighteous (Romans 3:10) the only way to be included is to have asked Him to clean your sins and make you righteous by His forgiveness. Repent now.