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Teachings

Signs of the Times: Meet the Prophets

Kameel Majdali - 4 November 2021

Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and more … the Middle East is ever in the news. If you understand the subject of ‘world trends’ and ‘Bible prophecy,’ this should be of no surprise. Most of the Biblical narrative, past and prophetic, is based in the Middle East. It is the cradle of civilisation, starting with Mesopotamia, where history began and, according to Scripture, it will culminate.

The change of administrations in Washington and Jerusalem have definitely upset the balance of power in the region. Things were looking hopeful for the war-torn region: The October 2020 Abraham Accords between Israel and four Arab countries: Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Morocco, was absolutely historic. It had been twenty-six years since the last peace treaty was signed with Israel, namely by Jordan, in 1994. Prior to that, it was the Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979. Never have so many Arab Muslim-majority nations queued up to make peace with the Jewish state, all at once.

Now that Washington and Jerusalem have new, dovish, leftist governments, it is ‘business as usual’ with proposals to divide the land (including Jerusalem), kick- starting the Iran nuclear agreement, and renewing financial remittance to the Palestinian Authority – with no strings attached. Jordan’s recent tilt towards Iran, considered a Shia menace to the Sunni Arabs, reflects the consternation at what’s happening in the US and Israel … pragmatism dictates making peace with the adversary while you can. And all this was before the controversial, even chaotic, American and Allied Coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

When we consider the signs of the times and Bible prophecy, here are some trends to watch:

  1. The great universal shaking (Hebrews 12:25-29);
  2. The theoretical possibility of worldwide destruction (Matthew 24:22);
  3. Global or world wars, which only began in the 20th Century. Arnold Fruchtenbaum says that the phrases, ‘Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom’ (Matthew 24:7) are idioms for ‘world wars.’
  4. Famines, pestilence, and earthquakes (Matthew 24:7): Despite Covid-19, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918- 1919 was still the greatest yet.
  5. Increased deception (Matthew 24:4). Though lying and mendacity are as old as time, there is an unprecedented spirit of strong delusion in the world today (2 Thessalonians 2:11);
  6. Increase of knowledge and mass travel (Daniel 12:4);
  7. Global attention and obsession with Judah and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12, 14).

When considering these ‘signs,’ bear in mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:6:

“See to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”

Considering that some of these signs are troublesome and scary, what is the basis of our fearlessness? How can we keep from being troubled and afraid? Answer: Invest in your spiritual life, accept the spiritual fruit of peace (Galatians 5:22), and walk with the Prince of Peace.

 

Meet the Prophets

To understand Biblical prophecy and its relation to current events, it is important to ‘meet the prophets.’ Here are two key prophets you may not have considered.

Abraham: The Lord told Abimelech, king of Gerar, to restore Sarah to her husband Abraham ‘…for he is a prophet’ (Genesis 20:7).

David: While preaching to the multitudes on the Day of Pentecost, Peter made a bold announcement that David the king was a prophet (Acts 2:30).

Chances are you never considered that Abraham and David are prophets. After all, they do not appear to have recorded prophecies. Yet, consider this: What do you think the Messianic psalms like Psalms 16, 22, 110 are, if not prophetic?

How about Daniel? In the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible – also known as the Old Testament), the Book of Daniel is not listed among the prophetic books but among the writings. Why did the rabbis do this? Because Daniel interpreted dreams and had a few of his own, but he actually gave no known written prophetic pronouncements.

Yet we rightly consider Daniel a prophet and for a very simple reason: Jesus Christ Himself called him a prophet in Matthew 24:15. If it was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Moses in Genesis and Peter in Acts respectively accredited Abraham and David as being prophets. So we need to look at them in that light. If you want to understand Israel, the Middle East, world trends they influence and end-time Bible prophecy, it really starts with these two men: Abraham and David.

Think about it: the New Testament begins with them and ends with Jesus.

Matthew 1:1: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Next time, we will learn how both men were impactful prophets.

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