1whowaits wrote:Considering the events in Syria and Iran, it does appear likely that there could be some major events in the ME in the near term. If this does take place a major confrontation between Israel and the Islamists could occur within months, or within the year. But if a major event involving Israel did occur in the near term it would not be armageddon, the events preceeding armageddon have not occurred, events would be peaking too early. Has there been and AOD? Where is the great falling away? Is there any candidate for the Mahdi/AC?
So the muslim paradigm may rise to the surface, but the peak may not be reached for a few years, 2015 being a theoretical example( when the solar and lunar eclipses occur on feast days- the sun and moon will be darkened).
Just wondering, for discussions sake, how you folks think the muslim paradigm could play out. What might be the first events? How do you see the muslim events playing out over time?
I'll give you my current position in this regard, which could change depending upon developments and any other insights. A few pieces of the prophetic puzzle that Scripture gives us may need to be repositioned as more and more is unsealed for us.
To begin, I do not believe in a "7 year tribulation" that is often taught by some prophecy teachers (this teaching only began during the mid 19th century along with pretribism). Scripture only speaks about tribulation in general since the days of the early Church, with 3.5 prophetic years or 42 months or 1260 days of "great tribulation" prior to the Second Advent. Either the first half of Daniel's "70th Week" is fulfilled with the First Advent and the second half will be completed just prior to the Second Coming, or the 70th week is already fulfilled in full with the work of Christ. My reasoning for this is here (http://tinyurl.com/76eoglm).
Next, many view the Abomination of Desolation as either being fulfilled with the al Aqsa Mosque/Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount or the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD. At this time, I view these as prophetic foreshadowings only and am still expecting the Islamic Antichrist to position himself [eis -- in, toward, against] the "temple" of God. I understand the temple in view here to be the temple as it is now defined in the New Testament:
1 Peter 2:5, “And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.” (NLT)
1 Cor 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
But this positioning in/toward/against the spiritual temple could see a "dual fulfillment" by beginning at the site where the physical temple once stood, per my previous post to David above, similar to the principle that the Apostle Paul illustrated for us in 1 Corinthians 15:46, saying, "it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual." This event would begin the countdown to the Second Coming of Christ.
As for the next war that begins to take place, it will not be "Armageddon" per se. "Armageddon" is when the armies of the surrounding Muslim nations gather themselves in the "valley of decision", their final push or campaign to destroy an already battered Israel, who are instead destroyed by Christ, our King and Deliverer who comes to the rescue His people. In my view, these Islamic nations by that time will have already been fighting against Israel and waging wars for quite awhile now -- months, perhaps a few short years, which could begin just prior or after the AoD. I believe that Ezekiel 38-39 describes this extended campaign, providing us with a broader wide-angle view of a conflict that would last the duration of Antichrist’s 42-month persecution of Israel and her children, coming to one climactic conclusion that has now come to be known as "The Battle of Armageddon". Armageddon is therefore more of a focused or zoomed-in view of how the Gog-Magog battle will end, for at the end of God-Magog -- which we would call Armageddon -- the Seventh Trumpet will sound, and we will see the return of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Jesus Christ, who will be physically present in Israel. Literally.
The Seventh Trumpet will announce His return (see Revelation 10). There seems to be a rapid succession of events on the Day of the Lord, events which I believe could happen in the span of as little as one literal day, though it could be a few more. The rapture is immediate as soon as the Lord descends from Heaven with a shout and gives the command for His elect to be gathered with the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. I believe that the Antichrist -- the leader of the armies that have gathered against Israel and the holy city -- is destroyed at this time whom Christ will "consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming" (2 Thess 2:8). We are gathered to meet the resurrected saints and Christ in the air instantly and we escort the King of Kings back to Jerusalem immediately for the "apantesis" (1 Thess 4:16-17), where He sets His feet upon the Mount of Olives and issues judgment against His enemies.
Zech 14:4-5, "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee."
Right around this time an angel preaches the everlasting gospel to the earth, a world that is witnessing the most momentous events in the history of mankind. Revelation 14:6-7, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Indeed, "Beg the LORD to save you--all you who are humble, all you who uphold justice. Walk humbly and do what is right. Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you from his anger on that day of destruction." (Zep 2:3 NLT).
But Christ isn't finished. His judgment has only just begun. He will then "roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake" (Joel 3:16a) This is when there will be thunders, and lightnings, a great earthquake, hail, islands and mountains being removed (Rev 16:16-21). "But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel" (Joel 3:16b).
The armies that had already been gathered for Armageddon (thinking that they would destroy Israel and bring about their Islamic version of "peace and safety" with the destruction of the "Zionist regime" and the Jews) will be in complete disarray. Their "Mahdi Savior" is now destroyed in complete contradiction to their own Islamic prophecies and in utter confusion they begin to attack one another. Zech 14:13, "On that day men will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other." '"On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,' declares the Lord. 'I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.'" (Zech 12:4). How ironic, they believed so strongly that with the destruction of Israel they would bring "peace and safety" to the Islamic world, to the Palestinians and all Muslims "oppressed" by the Jewish enemy whom they've blamed for the plagues and their torment, but now "sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (1 Thess 5:3).
Gaza will become a wasteland (Zep 2:4). Jordan will be as Sodom (Zep 2:9). Turkey and Syria will be destroyed (Zep 2:13). Egypt will be burned (Ezek 30:4). Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and others will face the fury of the Holy One in Israel. "He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill [the places] with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries." (Psa 110:5-6). Hezbollah will be destroyed. Al Qaeda will be wiped off the map. The Muslim Brotherhood will melt away like wax. Hamas will be consumed by the fire of God. All terrorist organizations will fall by the wayside. They will hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains and cry out for the rocks to fall on them for fear of the Lord on the day of His fierce wrath. But none will escape.
After the seventh angel has finished sounding there are voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." Indeed, "it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this [is] the day whereof I have spoken" (Ezekiel 39:8).