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Ipswich Christadelphians

"Prove all things, hold fast what is good" 1Th 5:21

Bible Exhibition Ipswich 2011

 

There are many signs of the approaching end of the age. They show that things won’t continue as they have been. We all need to consider our ways for Jesus speaks to us individually in Revelation 16:15, with a warning: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

And yet we are being given plenty of warning. While with his disciples, The Lord Jesus gave clear indications of the signs which would occur just before he returned.

Luke 21v9  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

10  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

11  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

And continued later in his discourse

25  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.


All these ‘signs’ would appear in the last days before the Lord Jesus returns and it is encouraging to compare his words with today’s world.

 

Wars and commotions 

Testing: Iran's Revolutionary Guard have test fired Shahab-3 missiles today, which are capable of hitting Israel (file picture)

Wars and commotions, or as in Mat 24 and Mark 13 ‘ wars and rumours of wars’, are rife today. There are 59 countries involved in wars at present*. Most noticeable is Syria’s terrible civil war and the ‘rumours’ of war in Iran

Syria, whose capital Damascus is under attack, has vast stockpiles nerve gas, mustard gas and cyanide which are at present being moved out of their storage facilities, either for use or to stop them falling into ‘ enemy’ hands. Very recently too, Syria test fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying chemical weapons giving a clear message that Weapons of Mass Destruction could be used against enemies such as Israel and local US bases.

Iran is also causing great concern over the possible development of nuclear weapons. The Daily Telegraph recently quoted the head of MI6 saying that Iran will have nuclear weapons by 2014. Recently also they test fired a missile which could hit Israel, backing up their threat that it can destroy nearby US military bases and strike Israel within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic.

 

 

Great earthquakes

Earthquake zone

There are certainly ‘earthquakes in diverse places’.  According to the US Geological Survey there are about 17 minor earthquakes  and one major earthquake each year. While not apparently on the increase, the media does make us more and more aware of them. Earthquakes occur at ‘fault lines’ where two of the plates which make up the earth’s crust lie next to each other. These grind against each other and when rock along this fault line suddenly breaks it releases energy which is transferred to seismic waves that make the ground shake.

In early July after the horrific earthquake in Turkey Isarel also suffered an earthquake. It was not huge but all Israel felt the tremor and its another warning that the big one is coming. Similarly Israel’s political world is not on firm ground; Syria is her sworn enemy as is Iran. Either may break, if provoked too far and lash out at Israel which could bring down Russia as Gog, the King of the North, triggering perhaps the greatest earthquake the world as ever known.

Ezekiel 38: 18  And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. 

19  For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

20  So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

If we look at Zechariah we can see that the reason for this earthquake is - the Return of Christ!  Firstly, in Zechariah 14, we have an account of the Nations coming against Israel

1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Then The Lord Jesus appears to save Israel

 3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

And his return in great Glory causes an amazing earthquake.

 4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

5... and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

And the surrounding countryside will be dramatically changed

8 ¶  And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

9  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

10  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.

The repercussions of this earthquake, will affect the whole world. Israel lies on the Dead Sea Rift (Transform), a fault line between two tectonic plates, the African and the Arabian, which passes through Jerusalem! An earthquake violent enough to split the Mount of Olives and which could lift the hill country of Geba and Rimmon, which is deeply cut with canyons, into a plain 20kilometers wide, will affect the whole world.  Isaiah has prophesied concerning the Day, of which we have just read, when the earth quakes and the LORD judges the kings of the earth....

Isa 24:19 19  The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

20  The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

21  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.

22  And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

23  Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.


Signs in the sun

The month of July is set to see a number of huge Solar storms. The largest so far occurred when a sunspot sent a cloud of highly charged particles racing toward Earth at 3million mph. It is not expected to cause any damage but it is surely a portentous event. On Feb. 13th at 1738 UT, sunspot 1158 unleashed the strongest solar flare of the year so far, an M6.6-category X-ray irradiance magnitude blast. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation. The source of th

Just as the Lord Jesus prophesied, we are experiencing incredible signs and wonders in the heavens above and the earth beneath. The sun is becoming active and shooting flares towards earth. The weather also is becoming more and more extreme with floods in Russia, heat waves in the USA and torrential rain and flooding in Japan, where at least 230,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes. 

Distress of nations, ... Men’s hearts failing them for fear 

Ten years ago, people were prone to ask ‘what is the world coming to’; now that’s not the case, for just about everyone believes that ‘things can only get worse’! Bible believers, however, are convinced that these ‘signs’ ‘portents’ and ‘wonders’ show that the end of this world is really near. That’s the end of the world governed by men but the beginning of a perfect world ruled by Christ. What we are experiencing is a Merciful Heavenly Father warning that the final judgement of the world is coming... (2Peter3:10-11)

‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,’

 


Acknowledgements:

http://www.space.com/11506-space-weather-sunspots-solar-flares-coronal-mass-ejections.html

*http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9371821/Iran-fires-missile-capable-of-hitting-Israel.html

http://192.116.243.250/html/ground/GravityNew/DeadSeaStudy.html

The Geophysical Institute of Israel

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