I’m not one to listen to my old messages but I felt compelled this week to listen to the sermon I did the Sunday morning following the terrible destruction of the world trade centers and the pentagon.
You see this preacher believes that something happened that day in the heavens that set in motion a major thrust towards both the return of the Lord and the final destruction of this present heaven and earth, as promised in 2 Peter 3
6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
We live in somewhat of a paradoxical time.
We have a godly President. So much so that it troubles the media to hear him talk of God.
Many Godly cabinet members, Condolesa Rice, John Ashcroft, Tommy Thompson
Certainly several Godly senators and congressmen.
Yet presently we find ourselves almost alone in our stand against IRAQ.
I find that amazing considering the Track Record of Saddam Hussein.
More so, considering the Nations that are against us. Nations we have saved from destruction and rebuilt many of.
But harking back to what I said before, in listening to that old sermon. I shared with the church that morning, that if the nation were to get righted, it would need a wholesale turn back to God.
And in the height of the most Patriotic out pouring in any of our lives. I declared that it was more likely than not that we would not but rather we would fall back into the same old mode. And the truth is we have.
In our streets people demonstrating against the President of the United States in favor of a madman.
Most all the nations of the world siding against us.
The UN being a place of great inner strife, torn between to spheres.
Which brings me to our morning text.
Turn with me to : Joel 3
This passage speaks of the days leading up to the end of this age as we know it.
1 "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, ( Jerusalem’s restoration is assured.) 2 I will gather all nations
(Notice it says God will gather the nations.)
and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them
concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
the Prophet now says, that God would be the judge of the whole world, and that it was in his purpose and power to call together all the Gentiles, as though he said, "Let not the number and variety of enemies frighten you: the Assyrians alone, I know, are not your enemies, but also all your neighbors; but when I undertake the defense of your cause, I shall be alone sufficient to protect you; and however much all people may oppose, they shall not prevail. ( LOOK AT THE CHARGE AGAINST MANKIND ) for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. 3 They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink.
4 "Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia?
Tyre and Sidon
An ancient Phoenician cities on the eastern Mediterranean Sea in present-day southern Lebanon.
The same area where much of the Islamic Jihad attacks on Israel come from.
Palestine and Syria "the land of the Philistines" Do I need to say anymore on Palestine and the Palestinian uprisings. Infintada…..
Friends the world openly attacks Israel without any since of fear of God, but be assured today all that is happening there is under control…. GODS CONTROL.
The scripture goes on to say
Are you repaying me for something I have done?
Friends the incessant attacks on Israel have gone on all the way back to Ishmael and Isaac.
But if war breaks out in that region of the world. The possibility of attacks on Israel looms very real. Not only from Iraq, but places like Syria, the Palestinians, Egypt.
But understand when it happens they will not prevail.
If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. 5 For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. 6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.
7 "See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. ( BACK WHEN USSR WAS STILL A NATION GOD BEGAN TO ROUSE THE JEWS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO RETURN TO ISRAEL
Friday’s papers headline declared Pontiff at odds with Bush over Iraq being a Righteous War.
Friends let me tell you that what is going on in the Middle East right now, is not in the hands of George Bush, or the UN, France, Hanz Blix, Saddam Hussein, Russia, Germany or anyone else. It’s in Gods hands. They are just pieces in Gods plan.
9 Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors!
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say, "I am strong!" Let France say I am a world power, Let Iraq say I will prevail.
Friends even at this point in time, the UN has no say over this.
11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. emphasizes how fast it will happen
Bring down your warriors, O LORD !
12 "Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.
13 Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow- so great is their wickedness!"
But right here, dead smack in the middle is one of the most powerful moments for all of the nations of the earth and all of the people individually.
Look at vs 14
14 Multitudes, multitudes
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
in the valley of decision.
Friends times not only short for America but for all the people of the earth.
The valley of decision is falling upon all of us.
The admonition of scripture to bless Israel was not to America only but all peoples of the earth.
At this point in history we stand firmly behind them and may that never change, but even with our support if all the nations around them were to turn at once and Nations like China and Russia, along with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordon, Egypt there would be precious little we could do with no more than 200,000 of our troops there. America is good but it’s not invincible.
Nations may soon have to make that choice. Even nations like France and Germany who have now all but become our enemies.
This battle that is shaping up is not yet Armageddon but it is a fore runner to that battle.
One would be blind to not see the great divide that is building between the US and Europe.
This bodes strongly of the creation of a 10 nation confederation.
Even the failure of the UN calls for something to take its place. - Dare we exclude a one world order.
Gas prices are rising.
Economies are failing. Church
All the pieces appear to be lining up.
A day is coming when Russia, yes Russia will come down against Israel, not by its own bidding but dragged there by the Lord.
Turn quickly with me to Ezek 38
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of  Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ’This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of  Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush  and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops-the many nations with you.
7 " ’Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9 You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
This becomes very interesting because it would be a natural follow up to a war in the middle east.
Gog is the nations head, Magog the land.
Magog is thought by bible scholars to be Russia. Where one of Noah’s sons had settled.
Many ancient sources have clearly identified "Magog" as referring to the Scythians which were the ancestors of the true Russians.
Hesiod, "the father of Greek didactic poetry" identified Magog with the Scythians and southern Russia in the 7th century B.C. (Hesiod was a contemporary of Ezekiel.)
Herodotus of Harlicarnassus, known as "Father of History" wrote much about the descendants of Magog by their Greek name, the Scythians, in the 5th century B.C. Archaeological discoveries have confirmed Herodotus’ reports.
Flavius Josephus records that the Magogians were called "Scythians" by the Greeks. Philo, in the 1st century, identifies Magog with southern Russia.
Meshech and Tubal refer to regions in ancient Anatolia,Turkey.
The Scythians came from central Asia, from the regions known today as Azerbezian, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirghistan, and Turkmenistan. They moved westward and conquered what is today southern Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and the Caucasus. Mostly Muslim. Interestingly, Caucasus literally means "Gog’s Fort."
Gomer: whose descendants formed the principal branch of the population of South-eastern Europe They migrated to the north and settled in Spain, and France. And according to old Roman maps, place them around the area of Germany
Gomer is also associated with the Cimmerians who eventually established themselves in the Rhine and Danube valleys.
So Gomer covers present day Germany and Austria.
Is anyone seeing the picture here? Who is it we are having trouble with today?
Persia is Iran and Afghanistan , cush, is Ethiopia a very muslim country and
Put: was the third son of Ham, the son of Noah.
Josephus identifies him as the founder of Libya.
Put is associated with North Africa.
Put encompassed the area from present day Libya Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. All highly Islamic nations.
So we have Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
Church it’s hard to miss what God showed us thousands of years in advance.
If the world situation doesn’t serve as a wake up call then I believe America has begun her decline.
But getting back to the middle east look at the description in vs. 15
The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
Back in the 1991 war with Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s armies in their retreat blew up the oil wells of Kuwait. For months fires raged out of control and the skies were black. Saints if that whole region goes up in war do you have any clue how much worse it will be.
Vs 16 continues
16 The LORD will roar from Zion
and thunder from Jerusalem;
the earth and the sky will tremble.
But the LORD will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Friends were talking about a very cataclysmic war.
One in which there is no real mention of America.
I know that don’t sit well with some who think were invincible, but I think the time has come to wake up from our slumber.
To recognize where we stand prophetically in Gods time table and to
1st - Be getting our lives in order
2nd. Be declaring the need for Jesus.
Truth is church if war breaks out in the middle east right now.
Things are pretty stacked against America in the eyes of world opinion.
The muslims hate us.
Europe has turned pretty strongly against us.
We have been narrowed down to Britain, Australia, and Spain.
In light of what seems to be unfolding are you ready if Jesus comes back today, or this week, or this month or this year.
Is your house in order. Are you ready, I mean ready to meat Him.
Have you let go of the things He has asked you to.
Have you forsaken what he has been dealing with you about.
Just like last week’s illustration, just what have you done with the talents the Lord has given you.
This is not a time to have unanswered questions but a time to make certain your salvation.
Church I’m not trying to scare you this morning, I’m giving you a sobering picture of where we stand in Gods time table.
Ezek 3 and 33 calls us to be watchmen calling out the warring. Our innocence or guilt rests in our declaring of failing to declare what God has said.