Sun, Dec 09, 2001

LABOR PAINS PART 4 MATTHEW 24:4-8 12/09/01

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
MATTHEW 24:4-8

Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Matthew chapter 24, as we finish up our four part study on labor pains or is this the beginning of the end. And as you are turning there, listen to this story that seems to show what has happened to this nation, for these stories come right out of this nation. In fact, we might call this an epidemic that this nation has succumbed to, and it is called apathy. Now there are some things we will rise up for, but in regards to truth, many times people just don’t care, they are very comfortable believing a lie. And on the other hand, there are many things we can care less about. Listen to these reports:

In New York City a mailman, shot by a sniper, is ordered from a building lobby because he is dripping blood.

In Oklahoma City a woman gives birth unexpectedly - on a city sidewalk. Bystanders turn their faces. A taxi driver looks, then speeds away. A nearby hotel refuses a blanket.

In Dayton, Ohio, a dozen people see a woman drive her car into the Miami River. They watched indifferently as the woman climbs on the car’s roof and screams that she can’t swim. The woman drowns.

So many incidents like this have happened that the Chicago Sun-times library now has a special file tabbed "Apathy."

- James C. Hefley

What I see today as I talk with people, as I listen to what people are saying, there truly is a apathetic outlook towards truth. People are willing to listen to what anyone says without checking out to see if it is true or not.

In our study we have been looking at the religion of Islam for I believe it is these Muslim nations that adhere to this faith that will come down upon Israel to destroy her as Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 tell us.


Then, in our last study, we looked at how Yasser Arafat and his PLO are not looking for peace in the Middle East, but they are waiting until the time is right to destroy Israel. This morning, we are going to look at this next World War that will take place in the Middle East and the players that are involved. And as we do I think you will see that we are fast approaching this day which then will led into the 7 year tribulation period. With that said, let’s begin reading in Matthew chapter 24, starting in verse 4, and see what the Lord has for us this morning.

MATTHEW 24:4-8

As I have said before, I believe this war in the Middle East will usher this world into the beginning of sorrows, the tribulation period. And I do believe we are getting close. Listen to what Ayatollah Janati said, he is a leading Muslim clerk in the Iranian government, and he has repeatedly stated "The 21st century will be the century of Islam."

Now some hear that and just laugh. It is just empty words, propaganda. Do you really believe that? Hitler wrote Mein Kampf back in 1923, while he was in jail. And as people read his words they laughed and scoffed at him in disbelief. Hitler and his words were a joke to them.

Then, when Hitler came to power in 1933, nobody ever dreamed that what he said in his book he would carry out! But you know what happened, Hitler did exactly what he said he would do. "He wrote what he meant, and he meant what he wrote."

Why am I bringing that up? Very simply, when you read the Koran, which the Muslims consider "infallible" and unchangeable, as they follow the oral tradition, you will see that their goal is not of love and peace but of Jihad, a holy war to take over the world and make this world completely Islamic, and that my friends is done by the sword!

You see, it is the Islamic Mein Kampf! Before September 11, 2001 we would have heard these statements and ignored them as empty words, but today, I think they have our attention, more people are listening to what they are saying, or at least they should be. In a Iranian newspaper, they say "America is the Great Satan, America is doomed. Death to America! It is only a question of time!" Are you listening?

And listen to these quotes from the Egyptian press. Listen to what former Egyptian Minister of War Amin El Hwwaidi said back in January 29, 1995 in the Egyptian weekly, Rous el Yusef: "The war with Israel is a certainty and we are ready." Also, in the same article, present Egyptian Minister of War Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, said: "In spite of the fact Israel has atomic weapons, Egypt will know how to cut off the arm of the enemy when the time comes." This is suppose to be a nation that is at peace with Israel?

You see, a war is going to happen in the Middle East, a World War, it is only a matter of time. Who are these players? Let’s look at Ezekiel chapter 38 and see if we can get some insight into this battle, and I think you will be surprised that all of these nations, except Russia and Germany, are Islamic in nature. That is how close we are! And remember, they laughed at Hitler and what he said, and many are making the same mistake today about Islam and their plans, their goals. Let’s wake up and smell the coffee!

It is as Mortimer B. Zuckerman said in November 6, 2000 issue of U.S. News & World Report:

"Yasser Arafat masterminded the violence that has destroyed the dream that two antagonistic peoples could live together...He has convinced the most dovish that he is a pathological liar, a charlatan, and an imposter. As another Nobel Peace laureate, Elie Wiesel, said, that doves ‘finally recognize Yasser Arafat for what he is: ignorant, devious, and unworthy of trust.’...A partner for peace does not set the region ablaze because this or that demand was not met. A partner for peace does not teach hatred, bigotry, and antisemitism to schoolchildren; he does not have his news media incite against his ostensible peace partner; he does not call for a Jihad and celebrate suicide bombers; he does not tell Arab audiences the peace process was a subterfuge, citing a precedent set by Mohammed’s tribe, the Meccans, who signed a peace treaty and later went to war; he does not talk of victory over the Zionists, praising holy war or Jihad while wearing a military uniform; he does not deny the existence of Jewish holy sites known to the whole world; he does not stand silently while other Jewish holy sites are destroyed; in short, he does not destroy the solemn pact he himself made at Oslo. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the ultimate Palestinian goal is not just the establishment of the state of Palestine but the destruction of the State of Israel...It is no longer a national struggle just between two peoples. It is an Israeli-Arab conflict on the verge of becoming a Jewish-Muslim conflict, which will make everything much more difficult to resolve."

That is what we are talking about and the players involved in this war are found in Ezekiel chapter 38. So let’s turn there and see how this will all play out. Starting in verse 1 of Ezekiel chapter 38 let’s begin reading.

EZEKIEL 38:1-9, 13-14

Gog is the leader of Magog and so the question is, "Who are the people of Magog?" This is not a city, for city names can change, sometimes overnight! This is a people, listed in the table of nations in Genesis chapter 10, one of the sons of Japheth who was one of the sons of Noah. And history tells us that Magog is referring to the ancient people known as the Scythians.

Josephus tells us, "Magog founded Magogians, thus named after him, but who were by the Greeks called Scythians." Also, the Great Wall of China was described by Ancient Muslims as the "Ramparts of Magog." In other words it was designed to keep out the Scythians, but who are the Scythians today?

First of all, in verses 6 and 15 of Ezekiel chapter 38 it speaks of them coming from the "far north." If you drew a line from Israel to the far north you would run into Russia! Now that may shock some of you, but it is true. Secondly, the Scythian people lived in the area we call today, Russia! And please understand that Russia spreads out from east to west some 6,000 miles, spanning 11 time zones! Thus, it is hard to miss what Ezekiel is speaking of, Russia!

In fact, Rabbi Chaim Valoshinere said the following back in the mid-nineteenth century: "When you see the Russian army begin to move southward and enter Turkey, put on your Sabbath garments and get ready to welcome the Messiah." You see, he saw, as others have, this war with Russia breaking out and then the Messiah will come! I believe he is about 7 years off, because the Scriptures tell us that in between this war and the coming of the Messiah to this earth to set-up His kingdom is a 7 year tribulation period.

So Russia, with it’s leader Gog, which means "ruler" or "man on top," we may call him a dictator, will come down upon Israel to destroy her. Many have a hard time with this idea, so let me share with you what took place back in 1983, because only by the grace of God are we still here today.

Back in 1983, during Israel’s war with Lebanon, Israel’s army discovered a man-made cave that extended 1 mile into a mountain. To their surprise they found it packed with tanks, all kinds of weapons, plus ammunition that Russia was supplying to Lebanon. They all were Russian weapons! And not just a few, it took the Israeli army 3 whole days to empty out the cave of all these weapons!

Who are these other players that are involved with Russia in this military attack upon the nation of Israel? Listen carefully:

  • MESHECH: He was the sixth son of Japheth and is associated with modern day Turkey.
  • TUBAL: He was the fifth son of Japheth and some say it is speaking of Tobolsk in Russia while others feel it relates to modern day Turkey.
  • PERSIA: This speaks of modern day Iran and Iraq.
  • ETHIOPIA: This speaks of black Africa, probably 2/3 of the African continent.
  • LIBYA: This covers the upper part of Africa.
  • GOMER: This speaks of the ancient Cimmerians who established themselves in the Rhine and Danube Valley - they are the eastern Europeans - Germany!
  • TOGARMAH: This area can be speaking of Turkey and it also can speak of the five Republics that broke off from the Soviet Union when Communism broke up. These five states are: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, and Kyrgystan.
  • SHEBA: This is speaking of Saudi Arabia who are not directly involved with this battle.
  • DEDAN: This is also speaking of the Arabian peninsula, and they are also powerless to do anything.
  • TARSHISH: This may be speaking of Britain, we are not sure, but they too are powerless to do anything about this coming war in the Middle East.
  • YOUNG LIONS: Some say this is speaking of America, but again we are not sure. Even if it is, notice that we are powerless to do anything about this war. All we can basically say is, "Bad boys, stop that!" Like they will listen! Like that will help!

Now what do these nations, at least the majority of them have in common with the exception of Russia and Germany? They are all Islamic! You see, this is not a political war that is going to happen, but a religious war, and it is a war that Russia will be dragged into because of the alliances it has made with these Muslim nations. Thus, we read in Ezekiel 38:4, "I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords." You see, those hooks will drag them into this battle!

And you must understand that the first biological or nuclear weapon that is launched into Israel by a Muslim nation will make them heros throughout the Islamic communities! How certain is this war? During a private briefing at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Robert Hunter, Ambassador to NATO, declared "That a nuclear confrontation in the Middle East is not just likely, it is certain. It is just a matter of timing." And I will add, God’s timing!

Now some of you may be thinking this is far-fetched! You don’t believe it. You don’t think Russia will do this, they are our friends now. Their leader, Putin, is opening up his arms to America to help us fight the war on terrorism and make this world a safer place. Before you think like that, study the life of their leader, Putin, he is KGB all the way! And what he says outwardly, is not necessarily what he is thinking inwardly. Let me explain.

Way back in 1973 the Soviet Secretary-General, laid out his goals in the "Brezhnev Doctrine." He said, "We will take the two great treasure chests upon which the west depends: the strategic oil reserves in the Middle East and the strategic minerals in South Africa, and then we will dictate the terms of surrender to the United States and the west."

That was some 28 years ago, but their philosophy has not changed. Sun Tzu was a brilliant military strategist of ancient China and one of his most fundamental techniques is summed up as follows: "When you are weak, pretend strength. When you are strong, pretend you are weak." He also said: "Offer your enemy bait to lure him, pretend disorder. Then strike him." And folks, that is just what Russia is doing!

Back in the 1930's, Dimitri Manuilski, a political instructor at the Lenin School for Political Warfare and the teacher of Mikhail Gorbachev, said: "War to the hilt between Communism and Capitalism is inevitable. Today of course, we are not strong enough to attack. Our time will come in thirty to forty years. To win, we shall need the element of surprise. The Bourgeosic (Capitalist)...will have to be put to sleep. So we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There will be electrifying overtures and unheard of concessions. The Capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we will smash them with our clinched fist." Interesting strategy, but do they still believe it?

Back in 1987, some 4 years before the supposed fall of Communism, Gorbachev told the Soviet Politburo, which is the principle policy-making committee of the Communist party. He said: "Comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and Democracy in the coming years. These are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal change within the Soviet Union other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep. We want to accomplish three things: One, we want the Americans to withdraw conventual forces from Europe. Two, we want them to withdraw nuclear forces from Europe. Three, we want the Americans to stop proceeding with the strategic defense initiative." I think they have done very well with their plan so far. In fact, Gorbachev is so good that he has an office in San Francisco that is paid for by our tax dollars, you and me! America seems to have fallen asleep!

When is this going to happen, when is this war going to take place in the Middle East? Listen to what Ezekiel 38:14-16 has to say, "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."’" You see, once Israel is back in the land, Russia and her allies will come against her to destroy her, it could happen at any time!

Now what weapons will they use in this battle? Ezekiel 39:3 tells us, "Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand." Now don’t be fooled and come to the wrong conclusion that the Lord is speaking literally of the bow and the arrow. You see, in 1611 when the Scriptures were translated into English, the King James writers spoke of the weapons of their day. In the Hebrew the word for "bow" can be translated "launcher" and the word for "arrow" can be translated "piercing missel." You see, we can see that can change to fit the technology of the days this event occurs. For instance today we might see them spoken of as nuclear weapons or any of our modern day weaponry, and not a bow and arrow!

In this battle 5/6 of the Russian forces are wiped out by God. Now here is one reason I believe this battle will take place prior to the start of the tribulation period, for in Ezekiel 39:9-10 we are told, "‘Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,’ says the Lord GOD." You see, the weapons of this war will burn for seven years, the time period of the tribulation period and obviously these things will not be needed in the kingdom age.

What are these weapons that will burn for seven years? Some say it is nuclear weapons, and that could be. Let me throw this out to you to think about. David Hocking shares with us in his April 2000 newsletter, Hope for Today, "...Russians are manufacturing weapons made out of wood. It is a product developed by Dutch scientists called lingnostone. It is stronger than steel, is very elastic when heated and molded, and burns better than coal." So it is possible that these are some of the weapons of war that will burn for seven years, till the end of the tribulation period, besides the nuclear weapons that are used for we are possibly given a picture of a neutron bomb exploding in Zechariah 14:12, which says, "And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths."

The other reason I believe there are nuclear weapons involved is that Ezekiel tells us that the Jews will hire professional burrier’s to bury the dead from this battle. And if they would happen to come upon a dead body, they are only to place a marker on it, not to touch it, but leave it for the professionals to deal with it. And these dead bodies are buried east of the Dead Sea in the area of Jordan, down wind! Again, in the kingdom age we won’t have to worry about this, for this world will be transformed to a world of beauty and harmony with the Lord ruling and reigning.

So what does this mean to me? Let me say this, back in 1973, during the Six Day War or the Yom Kipper War, Syria and Egypt attacked Israel. Israel was in serious trouble, so much so that the Israeli Prime Minister gave the word to arm the doomsday weapon, their nuclear arsenal! So they took out their nuclear warheads to take out as many of the enemies as they could before they were destroyed!

That was then picked-up by Russian spy satellites, which caused the Russians to arm their nuclear weapons and put their troops in the air. The United States satellites saw what was happening and we did the same thing, placing our troops in the air, on red alert! But by God’s grace Israel was victorious without using their nuclear weapons and that grace continues to extend into our day.

Also, back in January and February of 2001, this year, "...six divisions of Iraqi troops were massed near the Syrian border and U.S. intelligence officials had ‘additionally picked up Iraqi preparations for launching long-range surface-to-surface missiles,’ the intelligence news agency reported...DEBKAfile said Israeli air force officials were planning a pre-emptive strike against the amassed Iraqi troops and missile sites, using conventional munitions ‘and with the help of small neutron bombs.’...On Jan. 18, WorldNetDaily reported that U.S. forces based in Europe had been placed on heightened alert on information that Iraq and other Arab forces may be planning strikes against Israel...Arab sources said Syrian President Bashar Assad had reached

a ‘strategic decision’ either to allow the Iraqi divisions to march through Syrian territory en route to Israel, to give his approval to Hezbollah terrorist forces to unleash a ‘long-range rocket attack against northern Israel,’ or both." By the grace of God, it didn’t happen, but it will! It could be that close!

Let me say this, back in 1973 I did not know the Lord, I wasn’t saved! How about you? Maybe some of you here this morning don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Don’t miss out on His grace, that free gift of life, for the battle is coming and these false labor pains will move on into the beginning of sorrows. If you don’t know Him then ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be Lord of your life, and He will. Don’t pass up this day, for Paul said,"...Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." II Corinthians 6:2.

You see, I feel it is so important to know and understand the days we are living in so we are not taken by surprise. We need to be aware of the truth no matter how difficult it may be to receive. Franklin Graham came out and properly stated that Islam is not a religion of love and peace, the Koran does not teach that, but it is a religion of war, of violence. And now he is being raked over the coals for those statements, for speaking the truth. How sad. If only people would see that what he has said is true. And I am not advocating, nor is Franklin Graham, a hatred toward Muslims, but the truth of that faith needs to be exposed!

Let me share with you this story for you will see how important it is to speak forth the truth, no matter how difficult, how silly, how unbelievable it might be. The story goes like this:

Pearl Harbor! The morning of December 7, 1941 found 353 Japanese airplanes swarming all of the Harbor site. Within a couple of hours, America lost 8 big battleships, 6 major airfields, almost all planes, and 2,400 men. That happened at 7:50 AM in what was supposedly a surprised attack. But these are the startling facts:

That morning at 7 AM, while the Japanese warplanes were 137 miles (50 minutes) away, two US soldiers on a small radar station in the Pacific scanned the screen and saw dots and dots appearing, until the whole screen was filled. These soldiers notified their youthful supervisor, a lieutenant. No other officer was around, that being a Sunday.

The lieutenant thought these must be planes from California, and without another thought, said, these crucial words: "Don’t worry about it." There would have been time to scramble the planes at Pearl Harbor, prepare the battleships and shelter the men, but this lieutenant, at the most responsible moment of his career, failed the nation.

- Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, 227

May we not fail in speaking the truth of Jesus, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world, so that people may receive that free gift of life. You see, He is coming again as the Lion from the tribe of Judah to pour out His wrath upon a Christ rejecting world. May we bring people to Jesus and away from the false god’s, away from Allah, not by the sword, but in love. There is only one way, as Jesus said, "...‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’" John 14:6. May we not forget that and may we share that with others. Yes, the birth pains, the beginning of sorrows are coming, but we are living in the age of grace, and may we use the days we are living in for the glory of God.

It is as Paul said, "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." Romans 13:11-14. Let us not forget that nor lose sight of the calling of God upon our lives! Put on the Lord Jesus!

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