Jesus gave His disciples things to look for in the time which would signal the end of this society. Matthew chapter 24 provides many signs of the times:
- Deception would come because of false churches teaching about a counterfeit Jesus Christ.
- Wars and rumors of wars.
- Earthquakes in different places.
- Heavy persecutions come upon the church.
- Rise of many false prophets who deceive many.
- Increase in iniquity, and the love of many growing cold.
- The true gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all nations as a witness.
- Abomination of desolation.
- Great tribulation, worse than anything that has ever taken place before in history—man would be able to destroy all life.
- False christs and false prophets arise showing convincing great signs and wonders so that even the elect could be deceived.
There remain some things in Jesus Christ’s prophecy which have not yet taken place. We must keep alert to the time when they will come to pass. The major powers of the world are becoming embroiled in the war between Israel and Hamas. The United States and China are currently keeping the situation at arm’s length. They are resisting putting boots on the ground.
What adds so much to the volatility of the insertion of major powers in this region? Russia, China and the United States have the worst relations in decades, and anything can happen. The United States has ordered the USS Eisenhower carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean to join the USS Gerald R Ford carrier strike group that arrived there earlier. They are in international waters off of Israel to deter the involvement of Iran and other nations. Also, due to the war between Israel and Hamas, China has just stationed six warships in the Middle East.
A giant sitting duck and possibly humiliation
The USS Gerald R Ford is the largest warship ever built. It is 337 meters long and 78 meters wide. It's armory includes F/A-18 Super Hornets, E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters, as well as a number of UAVs. To conduct all operations aboard the carrier, a crew of over 4,500 personnel is needed. However, it could be a giant target for the hostile enemies of the United States, which if destroyed, would totally humiliate the U.S.
The U.S. is negotiating with Hamas, who felt no compassion and killed innocent babies and old people. Can there be peace with those of this mindset and nature? It is like the scorpion and the frog story:
A scorpion wanted to cross a river but he cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates; it is afraid the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung him despite what he said, to which the scorpion replies: "I am sorry, but I couldn't resist the urge. It's in my character."
And yet the world leaders scurry about the world negotiating with those whose nature is to wreak havoc in the lives of innocent people. Russia is hosting a meeting negotiating with Hamas and Iran in an effort to contain the war. Iran and Hamas have been openly hostile towards Israel and the United States.
Meanwhile, Russia and China continue to build on their alliance. An article published at aol.com was titled, “As China strengthens ties with Russia, the Israel-Hamas war deepens their divide with the U.S.”
E.U. leaders are meeting to discuss how it should respond to the Israel-Hamas war. An article dated October 26 at BBC.com stated, “For weeks, the European Union's stance on the war has been clouded with mixed messages, diplomatic gaffes and conflicting national views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has criss-crossed the Middle East trying to keep the war between Israel and Hamas from spreading, and he has met with President Xi of China asking that they use their influence to keep the war from expanding.
The South China Morning Post stated on October 23, “China is ready to ‘do anything’ conducive to promote dialogue and restore peace as the fighting in Israel and Gaza intensifies, its Middle East special envoy said, as he outlined plans to visit the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan on the next leg of his mediation trip. Zhai Jun, who was in Egypt for a peace summit, said China would keep in ‘close communication’ with the international community—including with Arab nations—to jointly push for a de-escalation and to avoid a serious humanitarian crisis.”
Peace and Safety
Everyone is talking peace, but time will reveal whether it will hold. Many expect the war might be slowed down by efforts to free the hostages, but it will not be stopped.
The apostle Paul wrote the church at Thessalonica, and he gave another sign of the end times: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
Paul further admonished the church to be on guard: “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8).
As sons of the light and day, we strive to remain continually spiritually sober-minded as we approach the time when Christ will return and usher in the age of the restoration of all things.
This is my Perspective and the current edition of the Prophetic Times follows below:
October 26, 2023 ynetnews.com reported:
Officials in the Religious Scholars Association of Palestine in Gaza issued a decree calling for the killing of Israeli soldiers and ‘settlers,’ inside and outside the Gaza Strip.
The association is the central governing body that is affiliated with Hamas and functions from inside the enclave. They are charged with publishing religious and moral guidelines, including those issued to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. Since the war’s second day, on October 8, while skirmishes and firefights were still raging inside Israeli territory, the decree called for the taking of lives.
Signed on behalf of ‘The Islamic nation’s religious scholars’, it read: ‘Religious scholars make it unequivocally clear that any soldier and Zionist settler are to be killed, wherever they are found in all Muslim lands, both within and outside of Palestine.’
Association senior official, Saleh al-Raqab, published an article on October 8 called ‘Oh Jihad warriors in Palestine’, in which he wrote: ‘Allah, grant victory to Jihad warriors in Palestine, guide their strikes and gunfire upon the Jews’ throats, stabilize the warriors’ legs and bring forth their stabbing blades into their hearts.'
October 26, 2023 bbc.com reported:
EU leaders are meeting in Brussels at a summit overshadowed by Hamas's war with Israel and the EU's failure to project a united front.
For weeks, the European Union's stance on the war has been clouded with mixed messages, diplomatic gaffes and conflicting national views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But after days of disagreement, EU leaders aim to reach a common position. At issue is whether to back a ceasefire or humanitarian pauses in the fighting.
European Council President Charles Michel says the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is of grave concern and the leaders are keen to facilitate access to food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter.
They hope that will create safer conditions for the release of more than 200 hostages seized by Hamas gunmen during their 7 October attack. Many of those held captive are European dual nationals, including citizens from Germany, France, Portugal and the Netherlands.
EU member states hold sharply differing views and it all makes for a very confusing picture. Arriving for the summit, Spain's caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he would like to see a ceasefire: "But if we don't have that condition, at least a humanitarian pause in order to channel all the humanitarian aid that the Palestinian population needs urgently.
October 25, 2023 jpost.com reported:
A handwritten note discovered on the body of a Hamas terrorist encouraged the fighters to carry out a merciless massacre, including decapitation and dismemberment of the victims’ bodies.
The note, announced by IDF Spokesperson R.-Adm. Daniel Hagari in an interview with American television network CBS, contains words of encouragement from the Hamas leadership declaring the religious importance of killing Jews, and imparts inspiration from historical Muslim leaders who massacred men, sold women and children into slavery, and looted cities. The terrorists are encouraged to decapitate heads and remove the hearts and livers of their victims.
‘You must sharpen the blades of your swords and be pure in your intentions before Allah. Know that the enemy is a disease that has no cure, except beheading and removing the hearts and livers. Attack them!’ the note reads.
October 25, 2023 wsj.com reported:
In the weeks leading up to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, hundreds of the Palestinian Islamist militant group’s fighters received specialized combat training in Iran, according to people familiar with intelligence related to the assault.
Roughly 500 militants from Hamas and an allied group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, participated in the exercises in September, which were led by officers of the Quds Force, the foreign-operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the people said. Senior Palestinian officials and Iranian Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani, the head of Quds Force, also attended, they said.
More than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed Oct. 7 by Hamas fighters who poured across the border from the Gaza Strip. Scores of others were kidnapped and taken back to Gaza, where they are being held hostage.
October 24, 2023 voanews.com reported:
China will continue to support ‘all efforts conducive to promoting dialogue’ for the two-state solution amid the escalating conflict in the Middle East, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
In the regular foreign ministry press briefing on Oct. 23, spokesperson Mao Ning, said, ‘As we speak, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is escalating, the situation in Gaza is very grave and armed conflict is spreading with a growing spillover effect.’
‘All parties should abide by the international law and international humanitarian law, protect civilians and do everything possible to avert an even worse humanitarian disaster,’ she said. She added that humanitarian needs must be met.
‘China will continue to support all efforts conducive to promoting dialogue and restoring peace and do its part … for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question.’
Her remarks highlighted the difference between Washington and Beijing on the Israel-Hamas war, which analysts worry will further fuel tensions between the two superpowers. President Joe Biden told Americans on Oct. 19 in a televised live speech that the U.S. must increase its support for Ukraine and Israel.
October 21, 2023 defense.gov reported:
Following detailed discussions with President Biden on recent escalations by Iran and its proxy forces across the Middle East Region, today I directed a series of additional steps to further strengthen the Department of Defense posture in the region. These steps will bolster regional deterrence efforts, increase force protection for U.S. forces in the region, and assist in the defense of Israel.
First, I redirected the movement of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to the Central Command area of responsibility. This carrier strike group is in addition to the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which is currently operating in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It will further increase our force posture and strengthen our capabilities and ability to respond to a range of contingencies.
I have also activated the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery as well as additional Patriot battalions to locations throughout the region to increase force protection for U.S. forces.
Finally, I have placed an additional number of forces on prepare to deploy orders as part of prudent contingency planning, to increase their readiness and ability to quickly respond as required. I will continue to assess our force posture requirements in the region and consider deploying additional capabilities as necessary.
October 21, 2023 the-express.com reported:
China has deployed six warships to the Middle East as the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalates, according to reports. The 44th naval escort task force - from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre - has been involved in routine operations in the region and spent several days in Oman last week.
The Chinese warships left Muscat for an unspecified location on Saturday after participating in an exercise with the Omani navy. The task force includes the Zibo, a guided missile destroyer, the frigate Jingzhou, and the supply ship Qiandaohu - all of which will be stationed in the Middle East as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.
During the visit to Oman, Chinese commanders met with Omani military officials and visited military institutions, while sailors from both countries toured shops and even organized a basketball game, according to a state news agency. Since arriving in the Gulf of Aden north of Somalia six months ago, the PLA task force has been involved in escort missions for shipping. However, it handed over its mission to the 45th task force - from the PLA’s Northern Theatre command - earlier this month.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping said on Thursday that a two-state solution to establish an independent Palestine is the “fundamental way out” of the Israel-Hamas war.