"At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites (modern Sudan) in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
The Christian community, at least the one aware of and following prophesy, has been closely watching the events unfolding before our very eyes in the Mid-Eastern nations, now seemingly referred to as "The Arab Spring".
I believe the Lord makes some of us interested in prophecy and others - not so much. He gave me a love for and interest in prophecy a few years ago. The Bible tells us that we are not fighting flesh and blood here on earth, and it is very easy to forget that and try to the lay the blame on someone. The Lord has put His hand on me recently and keeps reminding me that the real enemy is a "spiritual" entity, or entities, rather (principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places - Ephesians 6:12). These spiritual entities are working throughout the world to bring about a time when their ruler will literally take over. Their ruler being none other than satan, the old devil, the serpent, the accuser of mankind, God's fallen angel, Lucifer.
Thinking about this, then, leads us to the conclusion that satan is alive and well and thriving in the Middle East right now. His spirit began inciting turmoil in Egypt bringing about the deposing of Hosni Mubarak, who had led his country "peacefully, if not democratically". The world looked on puzzled as we wondered where that came from and now who would be in leadership there. Two or three months later, we still do not know for sure.
The next thing you know, without understanding how exactly, the U.S. and its NATO partners are involved in a war in Libya The old despot, Muammar Gaddafi, is putting up a heck of a fight, not want to give up his throne. Americans are wondering why we are involved in another middle eastern war and we read every day about the exploits of NATO troops.
My church, right here in rural Ohio, is a very large United Methodist Church. It is not your usual U.M. Church. The gospel is preached, the Bible is used, mission is emphasized and Jesus is glorified. It is a living, breathing church. About five or six years ago our Pastor got involved in the genocide occurring in the Sudan, and our church has been instrumental in raising millions of dollars for teaching the Sudanese to farm so they can eat, for building schools so that they can teach their children and to build safe drinking water facilities. Just two months ago many in our church assisted local Sudanese by taking care of their children while they went to designated voting areas so that they could vote on whether or not to divide the country into Southern and Northern Sudan.
Now, the news is bringing forth stories about how the North portion does not want the division and lo! and behold who do we hear stepping up to take the part of the South Sudan? None other than the European Union...whose countries make up the biggest portion of NATO.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). This alliance of sixteen sovereign Euro-Atlantic countries is dedicated to the proposition of maintaining democratic freedom by means of collective defence. The Atlantic Alliance, as it is also known, has been the dominant feature of European security and defence for half a century and remains at bottom a device designed to guarantee continuing US military commitment to western European defence. Latterly it has begun to find a new role in peacekeeping. Like the UN, it has been an expression of a US foreign policy based on ideals believed to be intrinsically favourable to US interests and will continue to exist as long as it serves that purpose.So, referring back to the opening scripture, we are told that these three countries, Egypt, Libya and Sudan will at some point be ruled by the Anti-Christ and that the King of the North and the King of the South will come against him.
NATO began with the Washington Treaty of 4 April 1949, drafted upon the basis of the Brussels Pact of March 1948 (UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), and is a landmark of the start of the Cold War. Primarily intended to deter Soviet expansionism, it was also a response to the questions of collective security that did not find satisfactory answers in 1919-39 and rested upon Article 51 of the UN Charter, which gives UN members the right to individual and collective self-defence. It had three fundamental objectives: to reduce the possibility that Soviet military threats would reduce western Europe to client status, to counter US isolationism, and to co-ordinate the armed forces of western powers occupying Germany. Later it was to provide a safe framework within which Germany herself might rearm.
Read more: HERE
Keep an eye on this area. Soon, this fall, I think; Egypt is supposed to elect a new leader. Libya could fall at any moment and now we have conflict in the Sudan immediately after a vote is taken to divide the country. Is it possible that soon some"one" will be appointed by the Muslim Brotherhood or come out of the Muslim Brotherhood (the group who seems to be at the helm in the conflicts and just happens to be the peoples' pick for leadership in these countries) that will become the Anti-Christ?
Sometimes I think to myself: "The Lord could have put me alive on this planet at any day in history, why did He choose to have me be here now?" These days are not for the faint hearted nor the wishy-washy. I was listening to a talk radio program yesterday, and the topic was the fact that a study had been done and it showed that "born again Christians" have smaller brains that other people! Can you believe that? I wanted to call and ask the "Talkmaster" why, if he was not advocating this theory, on earth would he give it one minute of air time. Unfortunately, there was only ten minutes of air time left and when I dialed the number, I got a busy signal. You would have to be blind not to see hard times ahead for anyone who believes in and lifts up Jesus Christ and/or professes to be a Jew.
I believe in the rapture. Will it happen before we experience persecution? I believe we will suffer some persecution and we will be subject to the birth pains. The Great Tribulation is prophesied to be 3.5 years long. I do not believe we will be here during those 3.5 years, and I believe the things happening now and building up to that time is very close.
Keep your eye on the Sudan and Libya.