The Times of the Signs
A little girl listened to the steeple clock chiming at midday. When the faulty mechanism rang out for thirteeneth time, she ran in alarm to her mother inside: "Mummy, Mummy; it's never been so late before".
by Charles Gardner
The combination of an earthquake of unprecedented force striking Chile with the simultaneous escalation of war-mongering in the Middle East should act as a wake-up call to those who fail to see that we are facing an apocalypse.
All the signs indicating the imminent return of Christ are there for all to see. In particular, Jesus spoke of an increase in wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes, comparing the latter with the labour pains of a woman, i.e. that the contractions would be more frequent and the pain more severe as the birth of the baby drew closer.
This ’quake, registering 8.8 on the Richter scale, comes hot on the heels of the devastation in Haiti which has all but destroyed that island.
Another key sign of the end is the worldwide persecution of Israel.
Perhaps distracted with the military conflict in Afghanistan on the one hand, and a continuing obsession with our favourite TV soap opera on the other, we have failed to recognise that the clouds of war on an even bigger scale are gathering over the Middle East. And it could affect the whole world, with Britain and the United States also drawn in and likely to experience fearful internal attacks.
The nation of Israel – the focus of such a conflagration – is facing a double whammy. One the one hand her sworn enemy Iran, already supplying rockets and missiles to terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah to fire at the state, is also rapidly reaching the point of being able to build a nuclear weapon for the purpose of fulfilling an oft-repeated declaration of their president to “wipe Israel off the map”.
On the other hand the world’s most powerful nations – the so-called Quartet of America, Russia, the EU and the UN – are putting pressure on Israel to agree to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Bible declares that those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed, but that those who belittle them will be cursed, which goes some way to explaining why Britain is experiencing such turmoil at present. Dividing the land God promised his chosen people in ancient days is seen as particularly galling to the Almighty and it seems the nations are sparing no effort to rob Israel of what little land she has.
And the BBC, already reprimanded for its bias over Israel, has contributed to stoking up the fire with a documentary designed to depict how ruthless the nation is by their eviction of an Arab family in Jerusalem. But they gave no explanation of the background to the situation – the fact that the house in question was owned by Jews from before 1948, the Arab family living there since 1967 knew they had to pay rent and it was their failure to do so that resulted in eviction.
The Quartet are on a “direct collision course with God Almighty” with their current pressure on Israel, inviting judgment compared with which the ten plagues of Egypt would be as child’s play, according to Middle East expert Lance Lambert. Some of this is already apparent in that the European Community states of Greece, Spain and Ireland are very close to national bankruptcy with Iceland already declared so.
“The worst is yet to come for Britain and the United States,” added the Israel-based preacher, who has a special insight into biblical prophecy and how it relates to the Middle East. “Their determination to divide the Promised Land can only result in disaster.”
He compared their predicament to that of the Babylonian empire under King Nebuchadnezzar which had been weighed in the balance and found wanting and would disappear in one night.
“In particular the UK has a bleak future,” he went on, noting the way in which Muslims have virtually taken over some British cities. He warned: “Militant Islam is determined to take over the world – in particular the Western nations with their Christian past.”
And I should add here that we have opened the door to this not only through our immigration policies but with the way in which, while the Asian population grows apace in the normal way, indigenous citizens have been seduced into either avoiding having babies through contraception or killing them in the womb if they are conceived. “The sun is setting on Great Britain” with its anti-Semitism, boycotting of Israeli goods and its misrepresentation of Israel by its national broadcasting corporation. “The Almighty who made Britain great (a nation which ruled more than a quarter of our planet just 70 years ago) has finally turned his back on her.”
What’s more, the triangle of states encompassing Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran could result not only in the final eclipse of Britain and America, but also plunge the entire globe into World War III.
We are talking of a battle for the control of the nations, he said, which Islam had tried twice before in human history – in 732 and 1683 – and only failed at the last minute through Christians emboldened by the Spirit of God.
Current negotiations designed to help bring about a Middle East settlement were forecast by Old Testament writers who predicted a time when false prophets would talk of “peace, peace, when there is no peace”. “We’re being seduced by peace plans that appeal to the Israeli people – I know nobody who doesn’t long for peace in Israel.”
But he warned of the fearful prospect of a cataclysmic war foretold by the prophet Ezekiel some 2,600 years ago that seems to have something to do with Russia and Iran.
“There really will be no peace until the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ) comes. And those who come against Jerusalem will be bankrupted and destroyed.” And he spoke of the growing realisation among leaders in Israel that evangelical Christians (though not all of them unfortunately) are the only friends Israel has. “The only real answer to Israel is a spiritual awakening. We need the Messiah as much as anyone else does.”
Meanwhile Iran is “just a screwdriver away” from completing their work on nuclear weapons, the director of the Atomic Nuclear Agency of Israel has told Dr Michael Evans of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, which campaigns on Israel’s behalf.
An attack by Israel this year is almost certain, Dr Evans added, but much of the response will be directed against the U.S. with suicide bombers striking civilian targets there because of America’s perceived support of Israel. Dr Evans says that in an interview for a TV special, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told him that nothing was more important than the support of Bible-believing Christians.
But he is buying air time on local stations across America because he has been boycotted by top network officials who have apparently been threatened over the consequences of allowing him to speak But Dr Evans is undeterred as even the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once threatened to have him killed.
“This is a crucial moment in Israel’s history,” he said. “Her enemies gather like ravenous wolves circling their prey, constantly plotting and working toward her destruction. The world community is either turning a blind eye to the (nuclear) threat or actively helping Iran acquire these weapons of mass destruction. “…This is more than a political or military struggle – this is a spiritual battle. The enemy wants control of Jerusalem because the Holy City is central to God’s prophetic plan for the future of our world.”
So what have Israel done to deserve their present predicament, you may well ask? A brief but wholly inadequate explanation is that they are the target of jealousy built up over millennia because they claim, and are seen, to be a people specially chosen by God.
How do you explain the logic of a nation ‘re-born’ following World War II partly out of sympathy for their persecution by the Nazis in the Holocaust, now still the target of vicious anti-Semitism? And how is it that the Quartet of powerful nations are pressurising them to divide their land still further in order to make peace?
It was Churchill who, at the stroke of a pen, reduced the extent of the land promised by the League of Nations (the forerunner to the UN) in 1920 by more than three-quarters. And the United Nations subsequently further reduced the proposed Jewish homeland to three small pockets, each joined by a single road – a country smaller than South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park reserved for wildlife!
To conclude, a great conflict in the Middle East along with hostility towards Israel from all nations is among the key signs that we are in the final days of this age, according to the Bible. And the fact that another of the signs, the restoration of Israel as a Jewish homeland, has already taken place a generation ago, suggests that the curtain could soon come down on the present dispensation, with the glorious return of Christ to rule and reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years of perfect peace.
The final pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place. But it isn’t a pretty picture now, and won’t be for those who have disowned Christ or cursed Israel. But when all is as it should be, and judgment has fallen on evil politicians and others who have defied God, the world will indeed be the beautiful place it was designed to be.
1. Since the above was written an earthquake has hit Taiwan.
2. The views and analysis expressed above are not necessarily those of the Christians Together site.
Lance Lambert Lance Lambert is one of the most distinguished Bible scholars and speakers in Israel today and has an itinerant teaching ministry worldwide.
Born in 1931, Lance grew up in Richmond, Surrey and came to know the Lord at twelve years of age. He entered the school of African and Oriental studies at London University to prepare for work in China.
He studied Classical Chinese, Mandarin, Oriental Philosophy and Far Eastern History, but the revolution closed the door to European missionaries and his entry into China.
In the early 1950's Lance served in the Royal Air Force in Egypt and later founded Halford House Christian Fellowship in Richmond, England.
Having discovered his Jewish ancestry Lance became an Israeli citizen in 1980 and now has his home next to the Old City of Jerusalem. His father and many members of his family died in the Holocaust.
Lance is noted for his eschatological views, which place him in the tradition of Watchman Nee and T. Austin-Sparks. He produces a widely appreciated quarterly audio recording called the Middle East Update, which gives his unique perspective on current events in the Middle East, in the light of God's Word. He has written numerous books including The Uniqueness of Israel and is presenter of the video production, Jerusalem, the Covenant City.