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The World in Upheaval
"Distress of Nations with Perplexity"
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March 26, 2011 - Audio, 5.75 MIN
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Hello, this is Paul Billington with another edition of the Bible in the News - and what incredible news it is! Earthquake, Tsunami, nuclear pollution, the Arab world being convulsed as the people rise up against their rulers; rockets fired into Israel, terrorist attacks, NATO air-strikes in Libya... The whole world, both physical and political is on the move.
The Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara has referred to "tembatsu" or "divine judgment," and whether he realized it, or not, the truth is that our world is nearing the end of the present age when the Living God will bring His judgments upon a world that has become extremely wicked.

Yahweh, the God of Israel, has revealed Himself to us through His word, the Bible. He has revealed Himself as a God of judgment, and it is clear that the ending of the present world is drawing near because of the gross immorality and wickedness in peoples who have turned away from the Creator. It is a time like that of the Flood.

One sign of this impending judgment is the abnormality that we are seeing in nature. The unusual weather patterns, earthquake - natural disasters - all are under the control of the angels, and express God's displeasure.

Add to this the political chaos that we see developing with its violence and economic consequences, and we must surely see that condition of affairs described by Jesus in Luke 21:25 when he spoke about "the distress of nations with perplexity." There are many problems and crisis upon crisis, and most are beyond human solution. The rising up of the masses in Islamic countries that we see is the breaking out of the spirit of revolution seen previously in other parts of the world and described by Jesus as "the sea and the waves roaring," and by Isaiah the prophet when he wrote that "the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt" (Isaiah 57:26).

The dictators and strong men of the Arab world, the rich and powerful leaders of Islamic countries have subdued their populations for many years using the tools of superstition and ignorance to (in many cases) oppress the people. Even the rich Islamic countries where populations enjoy material luxuries, have been denied any freedom of political expression - and so it is that the peoples have risen up in civil discord and convulsion. Through the means of modern communications these people have learnt about the liberties enjoyed by democratic countries - and so they want to have a say in the government of their affairs. Where freedom is obtained, it will substantially change the character of those countries, and then this will be reflected in their foreign policies - some in one way, and others in a different way.  This again signals the end of an era. The Middle East is undergoing a major change, and the scene will be set for the next Act.

This movement in the political tectonic plates of the Middle East will inevitably impact upon Israel, but it remains to be seen just how the Jewish state will respond and react. Israel must prepare itself for a changed situation, and it is with great interest that we look for the effect of this upon Jerusalem and the West bank (Judea and Samaria) particularly.

The continuing hostility towards Israel seen this past week in the firing of rockets, and a bomb attack at a Jerusalem bus station, is accompanied by the demands  of the world for a two-state solution and the division of Jerusalem. This relentless animosity towards Israel together with the political and physical attacks against her must have an effect upon the national consciousness and psyche. It is part of the preparation of the nation for her future religious transformation.

What we must always keep in mind is the fact that Israel today is the raw material that is under preparation for the kingdom of God, when that kingdom is restored again to Israel (Acts 1:6). This will come to pass when, in the midst of a great crisis, the Messiah is revealed to his people. In the words of Zechariah 12:10,

"I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."

As events move towards this end - and the end of this age, we continue to watch the Bible in the News - so join us again next week on

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