Prepare war, wake up the mighty men...
The world prepares for war.
October 16, 2008 - Audio, 8.00 MIN
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is John Billington. "For the first time in years and in the face of Iran's nuclear drive, Israel surpassed Saudi Arabia in arms purchases in 2008, reaching just over $20 billion… Last year, the US Department of Defense approved plans to sell Israel that amount of arms, including stealth fighter jets, transport aircraft, state-of-the-art missile ships and satellite-guided "smart bombs." "This is the year with the greatest defense spending in the history of the Middle East," Yiftah Shapir, head of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv" Jerusalem Post – Oct 16, 2008
However, Israel is not the only nation with increased arms spending. It was reported last month that "Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, vowed to defy Western attempts to isolate Moscow as he gave his backing to an ambitious re-armament program."
An ambitious re-armament program is an understatement, the report went on to say that "the prime minister, resorted to the language of the Cold War as they pledged to increase defense spending by 50 per cent over the next three years."
In fact, "The defense budget will rise by 25 per cent alone next year. Analysts say that if increases continue at the same rate, Russia will overtake Britain as the world's second biggest military spender by the middle of the next decade."
Well it does not stop there, the United States itself who spends almost half of the total global military budget has since 2001 doubled its budget from approximately 350 billion annually to over 700 billion by next year and is said to be almost back to cold war levels. And well even here in Canada the government has been purchasing ships to patrol the arctic and is promising new military facilities in the land of the igloo as Russia reasserts herself and shows interest in the chilly North Pole. So as global military spending soars we turn to the Bible, to the book of Joel and chapter 3, coming in at verse 1 we read:
"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem," ( we have already seen this take place, we have approximately 6 million Jews that have now returned to the land of Israel, so what is the next event to take place? The gathering of all nations to judgment in the land of Israel) "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
Verse 9 - "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong."
I believe that we are now seeing the beginning of this taking place today. In Ezekiel 38, another vision of the last days, the northern confederacy of nations is told by Almighty God in verse 7 "Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee."
They are preparing for war, and if you read the whole of the chapter you will see that it is a war that they will lose as the creator of the world will intervene for judgment.
Well as the nations prepare for war we also turn our attention to the small Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, and amongst the small cobble streets of the old city is the Temple institute. The Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The Temple institute has also been preparing, and this week they are going to unveil a new laver that they have built in preparation of the third temple. Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute in speaking about the unveiling of the laver said this:
"…We must be proactive, constantly working, praying and thinking towards the rebuilding of the Temple and its restoration to its proper place as the central pillar of Jewish society."
What we are seeing in Israel today is the growth of a religious community with a focus on the Promises to Abraham and the law of Moses which is certainly what is expected from the scriptures. For further reading on this subject please see Volume 17, issue number 4 of the Bible Magazine, back copies can be ordered online or viewed as a PDF under the archives page of biblemagazine.com
Well certainly the Temple will again be the center of Jewish society and in fact the center of the whole world. Isaiah 2:2,3 says:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
"And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
It seems that everyone is preparing, and so is our God, he is preparing to send Jesus Christ back to this earth to re establish the throne of David and the kingdom of Israel which was spelled out before his birth (Luke 1: 30 – 33).
"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
Well as nations double their military budgets we stand on the edge of the divine intervention of world affairs, may when we in the words of Amos, "prepare to meet our God."
Thanks for joining us again, come back next week God Willing for another edition of the Bible in the News on bibleinthenews.com
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