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  • Tudor Peţan, Rev. Willem J. J. Glashouwer and Victor Otet from the county of Cluj in the North of Rumania, representing Orthodox (!) Churches
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Romania – Understanding the Times

Tudor Peţan - 29 October 2019

Among the first thematic TV series produced by our studio 20 years ago was The Final Countdown. Together with our guests on each show, we analysed the signs of the end times and the returning of the Lord Jesus, relying on the passages of Scripture found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

Then, 12 years ago, we began a strategic partnership with Christians for Israel International. Along with the publication of literature in Romania to dispel ‘replacement theology’, we began to organize annual ‘Prayer for Israel’ conferences in Romania. Understanding the times has been a central subject regardless of the specific theme of each edition.

We never risked then, nor even now, to propose any hypotheses or calculations of time, being mindful that “…about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” Matthew 24:36.

A first category of signs, which we considered merely ‘the beginning of birth pains’, accentuated that ‘the pains’ became acute and grew in frequency: wars and rumours of wars, persecution, terrorism, earthquakes and other unusual natural phenomenon, disease and epidemics difficult to control, false teachings and lying prophets, political and religious leaders who lead many astray, corruption and a lack of loyalty and honour, a falling away from the faith or a ‘lukewarm’ state, the abounding of transgressions, attacks on the family and life given by God, the diminishing of love.

Afterwards, we see the expansion of globalisation for which we are given rational arguments concerning security, protection from terrorism, a more rational administration of resources, population control, health, free travel, education, communication means, finances, freedom of religious expression. Notions such as ‘political correctness’, ecumenism, anti-discrimination, and ‘hate crime’ have worked their way into our everyday language, causing one’s faith to be practised privately behind closed doors, ‘human rights’ replacing God’s commands.

These realities take on new meaning if we view them from a biblical perspective: the alliances between nations and leaders, the radicalisation of Islam, the evolution of Turkey, Brexit and a new dynamic among nations, the secularisation of Europe and a growing spirit of populist nationalism the positioning of Russia, nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea, China’s rise and the ‘back to Jerusalem’ movement, violent persecution against Christians, and the Syrian and Middle East conflicts. Whole chapters in the Bible beg to be re-read and understood: Isaiah 17 (about Damascus), Isaiah 19 (Egypt, Assyria, Israel) Ezekiel 36-38 (the restoration of Israel, Gog, Magog, Gomer, and the judgment of the nations).

A second category of signs of the times includes the restoration of Israel and the spreading of the Gospel. Israel ‘sprouts leaves’, grows and even blossoms. There is great evidence of explosive economic growth, as well as in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, science, research, IT, the military and information.

And all of this happening under conditions of maximum hostility:

  •  amplification of anti-Semitism
  •  economic and commercial boycotts
  •   political resolutions against Israel
  •  the intensified struggle for Jerusalem
  •  the increase of internal and external violence

In Mark 13 we are urged to keep our eyes on the ‘fig tree’, with the immediate interpretation: “As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that He is near, right at the door.” Mark 13:28-29.

Whole paragraphs in Romans 11 intensify this urging upon us as Christians, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,” Romans 11:25. How close are we to the moment that the number of Gentiles which will enter the Kingdom is complete? I believe we are at the beginning of a final intense harvest, a spreading of the Gospel message in places where it was not previously possible until now. Muslims are already exposed to the Gospel in Europe and among their own population with supernatural appearances of Christ. Powerful works are taking place in India, China and Asia, where there is a great opening for the work of the Holy Spirit among Catholics (including those in Romania) and the Orthodox. Revival is growing even in North Korea, the nation that is the most closed to the Gospel (Open Doors 2016 report). The Lord is breaching borders by mobilising prayer and intercessory networks in all the world. On a recent broadcast of Alfa Omega TV, one pastor told about a young lady from his church who began to study Korean at university trusting that she will soon be able to minister in Korea the moment the walls come down. Because “the gospel must first be preached to all nations”. Mark 13:10

In this intense preaching, for the final harvest, the Lord wants to use every believer in his area of influence: every missionary, church, organisation, and media entity to strategically win communities, cities, and nations. Holy Spirit activates people of prayer and intercession, with strategic piercing prayers and prophetic proclamations. In this context, the spiritual partnership of 12 years between Christians for Israel International and Alfa Omega TV takes on a greater importance for the Romanian nation: a divine partnership “for a time such as this…”

The Lord uses mass-media; video resources; printed materials (Alfa Omega TV has published seven books and booklets of Christians for Israel International); new technology and new-media coverage globally as well as for penetrating areas which are inaccessible by using classical means. In mass-media, in the work of the Church, and in personal ministry we need to be open to new modes of operation. Just like the last fishing expedition on Lake Tiberias, following Jesus’ resurrection, He doesn’t ask us to change the direction of the boat (that is, our vision) but merely to throw out the net in a different way, on the other side, the right side of the boat. This instruction comes to us after a whole lifetime as ‘fishers of men’ who have been readying the boat and its position in order to throw the net over the left side of the boat.

We thank the Lord for all He brings to Romania through Christians for Israel International and through other pro-Israel media voices; this helps us to understand the times, anticipating His Second Coming and ushering in the moment by spreading the Good News to every creature.

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