The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. Zechariah 12:1-3 NKJV
One of the most gratifying things about being a watcher as the Lord commanded is having the opportunity to actually see prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes. The declaration by President Trump this past week of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the ensuing condemnation by the United Nations along with protests throughout the Middle East certainly appears to demonstrate the truth of this passage from Zechariah. Yet this has also been a week of other events with prophetic implications, and those who believe and watch would certainly agree that the pace of signs appearing is obviously accelerating as the world approaches the time of God’s judgment.
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—“lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:28-37 NKJV
This generation has not only seen the nation of Israel established, but now seen Jerusalem recognized as its capital by the President of the United States of America. Israel’s enemies are at their borders and the nations of Ezekiel 38 are aligned together watching for the excuse they will need to justify their attempted invasion. In the past week Israel has twice struck targets near Damascus and has publicly stated they will do so again if they perceive any threat against them. Will the next strike be all the excuse Israel’s enemies need?
“And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Ezekiel 38:22 NKJV
I am, however, still dumbfounded by those who see what is happening around the world and believe it is still life as usual. To those who choose to watch and study the prophecies we are given in God’s Word, the times we are living in are as apparent as the sun in the sky, yet those who choose the opposite road somehow seem to think that there is nothing untoward happening that has not happened before and there is certainly no reason to believe the time of God’s judgment is approaching. In fact, mentioning that possibility brings not only derision, but often hostility regarding the possibility of being judged for their actions.
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:1-7 NKJV
Something I believe many miss when reading this passage, or possibly completely unaware of, is the comparison of these two judgments of the world by God. We know the entire world was covered by water during the flood, and in this passage we are told that the next judgment will be by fire. In essence, God tells us that the entire world will be judged by fire just as the flood did with water. If you have seen the images of the destruction caused by the wildfires in California this week, consider that as a prelude to what God says will happen to the entire world.
"Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. 2 Samuel 22:8 NKJV
“For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; ‘and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:7 NKJV
I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. Acts 2:20 NKJV
The most perplexing reality we face today is a world which sees, but doesn’t believe. Yet we know the truth that there will soon be a time where even the doubters will recognize that the God of the universe is speaking. It is beyond me that anyone could read the words above and not be afraid of what God has said He will do to this world as a result of His righteous anger, as well as recognizing that the signs of this approaching time of judgment are all around us.
“And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; “for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Matthew 13:14-17 NKJV
I hope you are one of those who can truthfully say, I see and hear. The good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, promises deliverance from this time of judgment by the gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. If you have never made the choice to accept that gift, I urge you to do it now by praying a simple prayer like this;
Jesus I know I am a sinner. I have sinned against you, but I know you loved me enough to send your Son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins and then rise from the dead so that I may live forever with You. Lord forgive me of my sins and come into my life and help me to begin to live for You. In Jesus' name, Amen.