Friday, June 24, 2016

Global SITREP C3-16: It Was Never About the EU, But All About NATO

24 June 2016: This is a special SITREP that I think is necessary because Bible prophecy teachers will be talking about it in their sermons this weekend.  So I see the need to tell you where I stand, and because I anticipate there are more than a few who will ask questions on this subject.

When it comes to Bible prophecy and 'last days' eschatology, I hold to the opinion that the EU was never the central theme of the fifth and final world empire. This final world empire has been discussed at length in many Eschatology Today posts over the past 7 years which have looked at the angel Gabriel's prophecies recorded in the Book of Daniel, chapters 2 and 8 through 12, as well as Revelation 13. In my view the central eschatological focus should never have been on the EU, but always should have been on NATO. And this is the bottom line on why I see the BREXIT vote as much ado about nothing. It is irrelevant when it comes to the eschatological 'big picture.'

Why? Because the EU is not a military force, NATO is. And the dominant theme in last days prophecy of the 70th Week is one of a final world-dominating empire of the Antichrist wielding overwhelming military power. Without NATO the Antichrist would be a great big nothing. The final dominating world empire is "Rome" in the 21st century, and this time "Rome" will include not only the United Kingdom and other European nations, but also the whole of North America and its peerless arsenal.

"And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation." 
Revelation 13:7b

Addendum 29 June 2016: So how does this relate to prophetic events just prior to the 70th Week (Ezekiel 38/39) and that week itself? What follows is my forward-looking view on how it plays out.

As discussed briefly above, the EU is not powerful; it never has been since 1958.  

NATO, on the other hand, is where the real power lies since right after the end of World War II. NATO was created by its member nations within 1 year of Israel's rebirth: Israel in 1948, and NATO in 1949. Given the type and duration of negotiations that occurred, the establishment of Israel and NATO were contemporaneous. 

NATO and its adjutant North Atlantic Council (NAC), established by Article 9 of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty (NAT), stand as the empowerment of Article 3 and Article 5 of the treaty. This is where the true power of "Rome" in the late 20th century and early 21st century AD abides. The North Atlantic Council has been in active session from 1952 to the present moment - that's 64 years in continuous session. This is where NATO's legal power to engage in warfighting in defense of the alliance's member nations and the Council's interests exists.

By definition, the North Atlantic Treaty (NAT) is a currently existent "covenant among many." (Reference: Global SITREP C2-16: Israel Takes a Big Step Towards the "Covenant Among Many")  In the near future, at the start of the 70th Week, this NAT (covenant among many) will be expanded to include Israel, and a few other nations. Most likely the post-Psalm 83 rump of modern day Jordan and other Sunni Arab states are among those nations. 

Antichrist will "confirm" this expansion of the NAT for a period of 7 years, and after which those nations would be extended full membership in the treaty organization. At the present, this legal mechanism is known as NATO's "Partnership For Peace." And as we know from Bible prophecy this extension of the NAT to Israel will be unilaterally abrogated halfway into the 70th Week. Antichrist's NATO forces would enter into Israel during the Daniel 12:40-45 war under the provision of NATO's Article 5. 

So, this 70th Week "covenant among many," just as its pre-70th Week version, will be crafted, maintained and enforced from a position of military strength, not weakness. These are core principles that have governed the politics of world empires from Nebuchadnezzar to the present. This is accordance with Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Has the UK withdrawn or threatened to withdraw from NATO? From the North Atlantic Council and the North Atlantic Treaty? No, and it never will. 

Consider this as i have mentioned previously on Eschatology Today: are these nations prior to the 70th Week truly dealing from a position of weakness as some interpret Ezekiel 38:13?  All should now be aware of my disagreement with that interpretation. I think the initial response of NATO to the sudden appearance of the Magog horde suddenly coming south towards Israel from the Crimean Peninsula and the Caucasus is one of incredulity ("Are you blankety-blank kidding me!?"), and that quickly shifts to a response of massive retaliation (warfighting) in support of Israel. This becomes a brief world war as seen in Ezekiel 39:6 and elsewhere in Ezekiel's prophecy.

The EU Army?

1 July 2016: With the UK's BREXIT vote still resonating around the globe the French and German foreign ministers jointly issued an obviously prepared in-advance dictum announcing the European Union's transformation into a "political union" that would include massive rearmament to enable future offensive military operations anywhere around the globe. 

The website (click link) published on 28 June its own report, entitled "The European War Union," which included the full text of the joint position paper written by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (a Social Democrat) and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (a Socialist). 

This dictum might well be seen as a whole lot more than the words of European socialist dreamers bent on creating a European Superstate. German Chancellor Angela Merkel very recently declared that Germany's defense budget would converge with that of the United States on the basis of Germany's GDP. Based upon World Bank GDP figures the 2014 German GDP was $3868.29 Billion, so the announced German defense spending increase would rise from the current $36.6 Billion to $131.5 Billion. France would be required to do the same, as would the other eight nations necessary to form the prophetic 10-nation confederacy, as would other attendant and necessary requirements for the establishment of a European Superstate. Such a thing would truly be unprecedented in world history and will be watched to see if the development of this "European Security Compact" truly matches or even exceeds the dream it is to be built upon.

UPDATE 5 July 2016: Something I've noticed that is sticking out like a sore thumb and which remains unmentioned by prophecy teachers in all of the discourse and sermon pronouncements since the UK vote to leave the EU late last month. That something is that neither The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia were a part of the Roman Empire in 70 AD nor at its greatest extent in 116 AD. Neither were, of course, any North American nations. On the other-hand, there are other nations which were within the Roman Empire in ancient times but have no connection whatsoever to either NATO or the EU since their establishment after World War II.

This indicates to me that spending a lot of time looking at maps of ancient Rome should not be a key part of any exegesis regarding the geographical nature of the final beast empire; that the ten, reduced to seven, political entities represented by ten crowns on the heads of the beast do in fact symbolically represent something which simply did not exist in ancient times, but which does exist in these latter days. That something is an artificial global construct which symbolically would appear as dissimilar material being partly strong and partly weak, like iron and clay. Something which had its origins in and is based in the West, but has legal extraterritoriality as a primary feature. Is it from this recent man-made artificial "sea" of nations that the rise of 10 crowns have their origin?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Prophetic Road to Revelation: Part VI - The 70th Week

Har Megiddo National Park in Israel

12 June 2016: (Continuation of this post is Below) As seen in the image above, the vast Plain of Jezreel lies before the elevated land mount known in Hebrew since ancient times as Har Megiddo. This mount and the plain before it have on the whole become a byword for the end of the age, and known simply as Armageddon, as taken directly from The Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter 16, verse 16:

"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Harmaged┼Źn."

This prophetic event is final 70th Week global war between the alliance of governments under the leadership of the Antichrist and his earthly enemies, known rather simplistically in Biblical eschatology as the "kings of the east." This war is prophetically announced in the concluding words of Daniel 9:27c:

"Even until the consummation, which is determined,

Is poured out on the desolate." 

As discussed previously in Eschatology Today blog items, this final global war occurs during the finale of the  angel Gabriel's prophecy concerning Israel's 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27). However, in real-world terms it almost certainly will occur during the terminal 42 months 7th year (Daniel 11:40-45). Global wars are prosecuted for years, as we have seen in real-time since September 11, 2001 to the present. As can be seen in that passage of Scripture from Daniel, this final global war commences with an Islamist/Russian attack upon the Antichrist's dominion of nations and results in a devastating counter-offensive against those enemies. This global war is vividly described in Jeremiah 25:32-34:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Behold, disaster shall go forth

From nation to nation,

And a great whirlwind shall be raised up

From the farthest parts of the earth.
And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.
 “Wail, shepherds, and cry!

Roll about in the ashes,

You leaders of the flock!

For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled;

You shall fall like a precious vessel."

It is at this time that the consummation the Lord's determined wrath poured out upon the earth and its inhabitants is completed. 

And it is also at this point in time during the 70th Week that the Lord Jesus Christ suddenly appears in space above and entering the earth's atmosphere with His army of saints to put an end to the global war which Jesus  revealed in His 'Olivet Discourse'  that no living flesh would have survived were He not to intervene directly. 

So, this is how human rule on the Earth comes to an end and the Kingdom of the Lord becomes established. But what happens during the earlier portions of the 70th Week? 

As we have seen in the recently revised Part V: Ezekiel 38/39 as a transitional Event to the 70th Week of The Prophetic Road to Revelation, there is a global war involving weapons of mass destruction which serves as the transition in that it completes the stage setting necessary for the Antichrist rise to absolute power through his confirming a covenant (peace treaty) among many nations. That covenant will appear, falsely, to have settled all issues which brought about the brief but extremely violent events described in Ezekiel 38/39.

This is the point during my composing this post at which I sat relatively idle and necessarily prayerfully silent for the past couple of weeks, not knowing where or how the Lord would have me go in furthering in this eschatological interpretation of the events of the 70th Week. 

My prayers did not have to wait very long for a response. Out of the blue I am informed by an Email that I am to receive Dr. David Reagan's (Lamb & Lion Ministries) newest book (image above), "Wrath and Glory: The Meaning of the Book of Revelation." This is a revised or second edition of the original first published in August 2001, a month prior to September 11 and the start of the long war between Islamists and the West which has continued to the present moment, and according to Gabriel prophecy of Daniel 11, will continue into the 70th Week. I stated in earlier posts that the past is prologue for the future. It is my personal view that since 9/11 we have been living in an almost benign prologue of what will occur during the 70th Week when WMD use (nuclear, biological and chemical warfare) will be the norm rather than the dreaded exception it is today.

Now, there are a great many books written concerning the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which is in essence the story told in prophecy about the coming events of the 70th Week. Some of these great many books are, quite frankly, very bad and not worth your time in reading them. However, there are some, more than a few actually, which are very, very good. One such book was the first one of this type I ever read and was written by Jack Van Impe (pub. 1982), titled "Revelation Revealed"

However, since my opening and commencement of virtually non-stop reading of Dr. Reagan's book this weekend, there is no question that his book is fully a cut above all of the rest of the good books on this subject, not that this is any sort of a surprise given the years of Bible scholarship that have come from Dr. Reagan's pen and keyboard. And, yes, this is a boldly certain endorsement of Dr. Reagan's book; it is without question fully a Spirit-guided book. Its content and resources make it indispensable for any student of Bible prophecy library, even if you happen to already possess the original 2001 edition.

While I will not at this point quote from Dr. Reagan's book directly, as that will require a specific permission to do so, I will in the coming days address many of the keys he identifies as necessary in coming to a greater understanding of what the Revelation of Jesus Christ is. As always, the Holy Spirit will be your guide.

I was immediately drawn and fascinated by the cover artwork for this book. Look closely, down towards the Earth below and behind our triumphant returning Messiah. You will see the 70th Week version of Har Megiddo which stands in stark contrast to the image at the top of this post. Look even closer and you will see combat aircraft at full afterburner, attack choppers, missiles and all manner of modern military hardware in full battle array engaged deep into a pitched battle rhythm. This image precisely illustrates what the angel Gabriel and John the Revelator describe to us in their respective Scriptures. The cover art is an image of ancient Bible prophecy coming to fulfillment in a 21st century world with 21st century hardware, and which which has been a consistent theme of Eschatology Today. It puts a 21st century face on Biblical prophetic texts which are in excess of 2,500 years old. 

The Book of Daniel and the Revelation of Jesus Christ are Spiritual companions of each other. They come from the same Source. They prophesy about the same period of time which is the finality of the 70th Week. The difference for us is that neither is about the distant future with respect to our time. As Daniel was twice informed (Daniel 12:4 and Daniel 12:9) in the book which bears his name, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."  This book, and this blog, are about the fact that these prophetic Scriptures are no longer sealed up, they are about the end times in which we live and which we can and should fully understand. The watchmen have been enabled and know with great precision what they are to watch for.

The discussion of Part VI: The 70th Week began with a virtual snapshot of the ultimate and final battlefield at Harmaged┼Źn  and linked that to how the 70th Week commences with the Antichrist's confirming of a "covenant (treaty) among many" nations following the chaos of Ezekiel 38/39.

This was intentional and is similar to how the text of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is put together by an omnipotent and utterly sovereign God who exists independent of time and space. As you read through its chapters the texts will jump in time, going either forward or backward at will, but always with the purpose of foretelling the wrath-filled future of the 70th Week and revealing Jesus Christ throughout the process, and in so doing revealing the very nature of God the Father. 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ is understandable today simply because the time for its fulfillment is near. That's the work of the Holy Spirit manifest. Just as the Book of Daniel has been unsealed and is understandable simply because we are living in the days of the time of the end of mankind's political rule over the Earth. The end results in the beginning of Jesus Christ's eternal rule as King of kings and Lord of lords.  

We should all be reading this book, in prayerful study and in conjunction with the other prophetic books of the Bible, such as Daniel. Do you know why? Because God promises that all who do so (as well as those who hear and those who heed these words) will be Blessed! The Greek word for blessed in this text is makarios, and it means to be blessed in the most supreme manner possible by God the Father. Good reason to start reading, right? 

So, what will come next in Part VI: The 70th Week are some of the essential details, given in an orderly fashion so that they make sense and through the power of the Holy Spirit enabling a full, big picture view of the text. God not only whats you to read this book, of which He is the original author, but He wants you to understand it so that you can teach it to others in your family, friends and perfect strangers if and when that potential arises for you.

I am sure we have all seen the various graphically illustrated timelines for the 70th Week. If on the rare chance you've not seen one before simply Google "end of days timeline" and select images Dozens of different variations will be presented for your viewing. Most, if not all, are a simplistic combination of pictures and brief descriptions illustrating the passage of time future from the point of the Harpazo (Rapture) of the bride of Christ to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

I will present the same information but in a slightly different manner. 

The Harpazo/Rapture occurs prior to the revealing of the Antichrist. In less than a microsecond the millions upon millions of deceased true believers of Jesus Christ will be instantly raised from the dead in eternal spiritual bodies just like Jesus has after His resurrection, and those who are alive on the Earth will be instantaneously transfigured into the same type of eternal spiritual bodies. Both groups will meet Jesus Christ in the air and enter into Heaven with Him.

The 70th Week begins with the appearance of a rider on a white horse (left in the below image). This is the first of the so-called "four horsemen of the apocalypse" which are symbolic representations of the Antichrist, Global Warfare, Scarcity of Food, and Death. These four are present whenever and wherever war occurs, however, during the 70th Week their effects will be more terrible and unprecedented than at anytime in the history of the Earth. The event which reveals the Antichrist is a covenant (peace treaty) that he will confirm among many nations for a period of 7 years. From the Biblical perspective, the most important of the nations within the provisions of the treaty will be Israel. Antichrist will unilaterally abrogate this covenant with Israel exactly 42 months after he confirms it.

The Antichrist a/k/a the "first beast" of Revelation 13:1-8 is literally an extremely charismatic man who initially mimics the Lord Jesus Christ; he is an imitation Christ, a false, satanically-empowered messiah, a man who orthodox Jews will accept as being Moshiach ben David according to Jesus Christ as recorded in John 5:43. Antichrist brings with him the other three "horsemen" and their appearances are rapid sequential. Also with the Antichrist is a false religious leader, the false prophet, a/k/a the "second beast" of Revelation 13:11-17 who will also be satanic in nature, and in combination with Antichrist and Satan forms an unholy trinity, a false godhead. What the false prophet will do as empowered by Satan is clearly and plainly written in the text

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Concurrent with the appearance of the Antichrist and his confirming of the covenant among many nations are the sealing of God's elect: the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the non-Jewish believers in Christ. The are sealed so that no harm comes from God's wrath being poured out upon the planet during the 70th Week. Also concurrent is the ministry of the Two Witnesses. The details of their ministry is given to us all clearly and plainly written in the text of Revelation 11. 

Notice that I have now used the phrase "clearly and plainly written in the text of..." twice. This is of great importance because it is through the plain text that God communicates prophecy directly to each of us. Nothing is hidden, everything is completely understandable and all of it is literal as literal can be. Anyone who says you cannot understand the Revelation of Jesus Christ by simply reading the text of this book is a liar. Again, the Holy Spirit is your guide and comforter in this endeavor, He will convict you of its absolute truth.

If you have any questions as you read the Revelation of Jesus Christ post them in a comment and timely answers will be provided.