|Dear Richard & Janina,
Beloved, I was recently in prayer for you, and the Lord clearly spoke to me to comfort you with these words. I know you have seen today’s news about the record-breaking earthquake and the ensuing tsunami in Japan. I know you are praying for those affected by this grave crisis.
I received a call from Israel from a high-level government official. He was describing to me the condition of the planet. I said, “My dear friend, let me read you the words of the most famous Jew that ever lived. From the Holy City of Jerusalem, He described the very day in which we are living.”
I turned to Matthew 24, and as I read the words to him, he kept saying, “I’ve never in my life heard that. I can’t believe that’s in the New Testament. It’s amazing.” You see, the earthquakes and catastrophic weather conditions that the planet is experiencing are totally predicted by the Lord Jesus Christ in that chapter. In verse 7 He talked about earthquakes in various places.
Jesus uses another word to describe the planet in chapter 24: groaning. It’s the word used by the Apostle Paul for birth pangs. Romans 8:22 says, “For we know the whole creation has been groaning as in the pangs of childbirth up until this present time.”
My diplomat-friend is not a believer, and when he described the condition of the planet he said, “All hell is breaking loose.” I responded, “No! There’s some good news on which you can focus: All heaven is breaking loose. The Apostle Paul describes this powerfully in I Thessalonians 4:15-18:
||I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words.”
Today, I want to encourage you with these words. Jesus is coming soon. What we are seeing in the Middle East right now is described in Matthew 24:
||And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places…”
The only place where “kingdoms” can be found is in the Middle East. Now, kingdoms are rising up against kingdoms. Late September I met with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City when he came to the United Nations. I also met with more than a dozen of his cabinet ministers including his foreign minister. When we shook hands, I placed in President Ahmadinejad’s hand a page from my Bible with the fifth and sixth chapters of Daniel. I circled verses 24-28 of chapter five. Verse 28 says, “You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting …” It was a prophecy from Daniel to Ahmadinejad’s predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar.
Ahmadinejad showed up for the Fox interview which I had arranged surrounded by mullahs. All demanded chairs next to him so they could pray for him. Not only did they pray for him, he began to pray and call out to the Mahdi for power. That power never came.
The battle being fought on our planet is a battle between two books, two spirits, and two kingdoms. If you read the book, the Good News is: we win! Because Jesus lives, we shall live also.
Remember the prophecy of Jesus almost forty years before the destruction of the Temple. In the second verse of Matthew 24, He prophesied that it would be taken apart stone by stone, and it was. In verse 5, he declared one of the greatest signs of His coming would be deception. He said many would come in His Name—reputation, authority, and fame—saying, “I am anointed.” Many will be deceived.
The word in the Greek for “I” is “ego.” Christ said many strong egos claiming an anointing on their lives would deceive many before His return. We are seeing that today in all realms of society—and especially in the political arena.
I have the rare privilege as a journalist and confidant to leaders in the Middle East to see the signs of the times and correlate them with the scriptures. The Bible says, “When you see these things, look up, for your redemption draws nigh.” I like what the Psalmist David says in Psalm 27:
||“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life…”
Yes, it’s true; this old earth is groaning with birth pangs, but be encouraged, Jesus is coming soon! Many in the world are desperately trying to move in the direction of the Temple site, wanting to divide the Holy City of Jerusalem. Every devil in hell has tried to keep prophecy from being fulfilled. Hitler thought he had succeeded when he had six million of my people murdered; but he did not.
The prophecy in Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones and the spirit of God breathing on them (Ezekiel 37) was fulfilled. The prophecy of Isaiah proclaiming that a nation would be born in a day (Isaiah 66:8) was fulfilled. God has kept every promise to my people. He restored the Hebrew language. Jerusalem was reunited. He will keep every promise He has made to you. David, the shepherd boy, found it to be so. When God made a promise to him through the prophet Samuel, He kept it despite Goliath and a wicked King Saul. David saw the promise fulfilled and declared in Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths bringing honor to His name. Even when I walk through the darkest valleys, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me. Your rod and staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (NLT)
Passover in Israel will be observed starting at sundown on Monday, April 18. In past years, we have been asked to provide Passover meals for elderly Holocaust victims…poor Jews…new refugees that came to Israel with nothing but the hope of praying in Jerusalem…and children who had been victims of terrorist attacks or left orphaned by this great evil. I have visited many of these people and have comforted them.