Monthly Archives: February 2010

February 26, 2010
Over the past several months, I’ve heard debate and have been asked as to who or what nations make up the Bible’s reference to the “Kings of the East” (Revelation 16:12).

There has been much speculation, as is always the case with Bible prophecy, concerning the identity of this major end-time player. – In the final analysis, there are two positions worth mentioning, in my humble opinion.
The first is a conglomerate of Muslim nations in and around the Middle East. – Speaking directly, I do not agree with this position. As to why, here’s just a couple of quick responses:
1.There’s not enough population to make up an army of 200 million (Revelation 9).
2.There’s no organized multi-national military force in place.
3.Some of the nations considered as part of this multi-national conglomerate are west of the Euphrates River.
In short, these Muslim nations, some of which are specifically identified in Ezekiel 38, make up the coalition of forces that will join with “Gog from the Land of Magog” (Russia) which will ultimately come against Israel in what us Bible prophecy guys call the “Ezekiel War”. (NOTE: See Teaching tab – “The Ezekiel War” for more specifics.)
So who is it? Revelation 9:14-16 says,
It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.
When John wrote this prophecy in the first century AD, there weren’t even 200 million people on Planet Earth. For centuries, it was a mystery to most people how the Bible could be talking about an army of 200 million soldiers.
The human population exploded in the 20th century. When China’s population passed the one billion mark, end-time writers realized that John’s vision was literally true. In the early ’80’s, I remember being fascinated by Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth book that mentioned how it was now possible for China to field an army of this size.
But there was still one problem with China being the “King of the East”. China may have had the manpower, but it lacked the ability to outfit such a large military force. It takes a nation of economic might to organize a large, effective army. For centuries, China was so feeble that it was unable to fend of a host of colonial powers.
The solution came with the Chinese economic miracle. It is the only communist nation on Earth that has been able to prosper. Where once stood mud huts, one can now find modern cities that have so many skyscrapers they put cities like New York and Chicago to shame. Also, she is in the process of building a new and modern military. — All China needs now is for the four demonic angels to come set them marching westward.
So — after much study and contemplation, I believe the “Kings of the East” has to be China.
Revelation 16:12 says,
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 
Until next time,
Red

How keen is our sense of crisis? How acutely do we perceive the dangers facing our lives, our families and our nation?

The question is, does an accurate sense of crisis drive your actions and move your life forward?
It is quite obvious that our planet faces catastrophic dangers that threaten our very survival. — Once again, does this create within us a sense of crisis so deep that we are motivated to learn how to escape the danger?
I often speak about the threat of economic armageddon lingering over our nation — and also of the spiritual and moral disintegration of our society – the weakness of our national leadership – our geo-political impotence – the danger we face from increasing crime, disease, epidemics and on and on. —
But as I look around and, despite these dangers, I see a very little sense of crisis, or urgency – nationally or individually.
Why, do you think? – Simply, human nature dislikes the truth when it threatens to disrupt our own interests, desires and lifestyle. — We will go to great lengths to hide from the truth or to mold it in our own terms — if the truth demands that we act counter to our desires.
This individual and collective lack of a sense of crisis is the result of a culture of self-indulgence, self- gratification and pleasure.
Wrapped up in materialism and an un-balanced desire for satisfying the senses, our people have lost touch with reality.
This is a deadly state of mind!!
Ancient history shows what happens when people become consumed by materialism and self-gratification, and lose the capacity to sense crisis.
Let’s look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:36-39 which says,
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Here we see a passage describing the time of Noah, when people focused on satisfying fleshly lusts and were shocked when the Heavens opened and the flood came. — It is truly a prophecy for today. (vs. 37.)
And this is why I continue to press the issue of understanding Bible prophecy and its usefulness to waking up those who are “lost” in the crisis, and chaos of the day.
My points in all of this?
1.Knowing what God says about these times and issues takes any fear we may have away.
2.Crisis is all around us and this should place a sense of urgency in each of us towards those whom we know that are lost.
Time is incredibly short so I challenge each of you to start telling your loved ones and acquaintances about our Lord and Savior and how He can deliver them from this hour of worldly crisis.
Luke 21:25-28 says,
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Until next time,
Red

This week I want to take a bit of a side-step from the usual – the darkness of the current world that surrounds us.

Just a short time ago, a close friend, of which happens to be a family member, came to the Lord. Needless to say, my wife and I were joyous over the occasion. – Because they live a bit too far away to attend the same church we do, we all decided to seek out a church closer to their home.
Always an interesting process, we visited several with mixed reviews — too large — too small — too quiet — unfriendly — nut cases — most of you know the drill.
And then one Sunday morning we walked into an unexpected surprise — a room full of people that were happy and friendly. – To quote myself, I said that they seemed “ridiculously joyful”. – Needless to say, I was immediately suspicious. – What was their motive? What did they want from us? – Simply, there had to be a reason for all this senseless happiness.
After the service was over, the four of us left, went and found something to eat, and began the usual post-service critique. – It was unanimous! While we all felt a bit uneasy about all this exuberance — this over-the-top display of warmth and sincerity — we decided we needed to go back one more time to see if it was either a fluke or if it was genuine.
The next Sunday was no different. These people were completely the same as the week before. – And although I was still suspicious, it began to dawn on me that what they had was missing in my life. — What they had was a joyfulness about our Savior Jesus Christ and what it meant to serve Him.
Ultimately, what I realized was that in my current “walk”, people couldn’t tell me apart from the world. — But these people? — You bet there was a difference! — And the minute I realized it was genuine, I wanted what they had – I wanted and needed to get back what I’d lost in my walk.
John 16:22 says”…I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” – I needed to re-focus on the fact that Jesus is coming back and I needed to rejoice in this! In walking this way, no one can, or will take that joy away.
These wonderful people just reminded me of what I had lost along the way. They were and are living as Christ wants and desires us to.
When we look at the world around us today, it’s no wonder people are depressed and feeling hopeless. In fact, just take a quick look at T.V. ads. It seems like half of them are pushing various brands of anti-depressants upon the populace. — And I just saw a new one that suggests taking another anti-depressant to help balance the original one — unbelievable! Now we are masking our emotions with layers of drugs.
Can you as a Christian imagine what it must be like to live in this world today without the loving hope of Jesus? – But even those of us who do know Jesus can fall into these joyless traps that the enemy sets all around us. – I know that I’d lost my joy and hadn’t even realized it until I came into contact with brothers and sisters who were joyous- who hadn’t forgotten the message of their savior.
As a living testimony to the “condition” of these people, one morning I asked this little, older lady why she always seemed so happy and joyous. Without hesitation, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I didn’t think it was optional.”
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Many of us in today’s world face difficulties of various kinds and in many different forms. I know that in my studies of prophecy, at times it seems difficult because of what is going to take place as we approach the final days of “The times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). – Even Daniel Languished in emotional distress because of what he saw in the future concerning his people. but James 1:2 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
We must always remember that no matter what is happening in our lives, it is only to strengthen us for the tasks at hand and that God is always in control. I Thessalonians 5:16 says it best — “Be joyful always.”
Let’s always remember the bright side. Jesus is coming soon and He will reign for 1,000 years here on Earth (Revelation 20), and then will create a new Heaven and Earth that will last for eternity (Revelation 21).
In the meantime, what are we to do? – First, take a look at your own walk. — If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
I can’t tell you how much more I’m loving my walk with the Lord since I re-discovered the joy. — If you don’t have it – if those around you don’t have it — then change it, either by making a difference where you are, or going to another place where it is.
NOTE: If you want to know where I go, just e-mail me and I’ll be happy to share it with you.
I will close with a piece of commentary I’ve used several times in the past. It sums it all up quite well:
“We are the Light in the Darkness”
The evening news is a commentary of the darkness of our world. It is a graphic visualization of the absence of God in many places in our communities —- so —- what is the real problem? It is not just the presence of darkness — it is also the absence of light. — We can pierce the darkness in the Name of Jesus!! — Light exposes darkness and light symbolizes the presence of God. – Light represents all that is good! — We are the light!!
Until next time,
Red
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