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Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Yeah, it could be. I don't know. But I do believe it can happen at any moment. And I think we should live in anticipation of that as followers of Jesus Christ. It's clear that the Lord's return could come at any time. So the question is, if Jesus was coming back tomorrow, how should we spend our time today? One day He will come, and then it'll be too late for preparation. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie begins the final message in his eye-opening series called The End of the World, What Does the Bible Say?
We'll focus today on what the Lord would have us do as last day's believers, important insight given the signs of the times. I just read a poll that revealed most Americans believe our country has spun off its axis. And I would say it's not just our country, it's really the whole world. Why do things seem so crazy right now? Doesn't it seem to you as though things are accelerating in the wrong direction on every level?
You know why that is? It's because we're living in the last days. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3, in the last days, things will go from bad to worse. There's going to be an entire shuffling, reshuffling, I should say, of the superpowers. And we're going to see a new superpower emerge led by the Antichrist and his 10 confederated nations under him. And then we read about the kings of the east. We don't know who they are exactly, we can guess at it. We'll face off with Antichrist and his forces in the final battle in the Valley of Megiddo there in Israel, and it's called the Battle of Armageddon.
So here's what it's like. Prophetic events are like dominoes closely stacked together. Once the first one falls, they're all going to fall in rapid succession.
Okay, so in my opinion, which is the right opinion, and if it wasn't, I wouldn't hold it, but I do think it's right, but some disagree with me and I respect their right to be wrong. Okay, so in my opinion, the order of prophetic events is number one, rapture. The rapture, the harpazo is the Greek word, we're caught up to meet the Lord in the air, that can happen at any time. Sometime after that, Antichrist emerges on the scene.
He comes initially as a man of peace, as a peacemaker, but soon it's revealed that he's a troublemaker. If Satan had his son, this is it. That inaugurates the seven year tribulation period. It begins peacefully, but at the midway point, God's judgment falls on people culminating in the final battle of Armageddon fought in the Valley of Megiddo, and then Christ returns. Then we have the millennium, the thousand year reign of Christ, and then the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth. Okay, so that's the big picture. So once that first domino falls, the others fall in rapid succession.
So we're waiting for that. Now, there's something I haven't talked about yet that is a very important part of the prophetic puzzle, and that is the nation Israel. Because the Bible makes very specific predictions about the scattering and regathering of the Jewish people in their homeland.
For instance, the Bible tells us the Jewish people would be scattered in the four corners of the earth. Has that happened? Yes, it happened. It says they would be regathered in their land again. Has that happened?
Yes, it has. Scripture tells us that they'll be regaining Jerusalem as their capital. That too has happened. That they'll be isolated, and ultimately that they will be attacked. That has not happened yet.
We're waiting on that. And it's interesting to know that the Bible tells us that end times events will revolve around this tiny little sliver of land called Israel. And in that tiny sliver of land is the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem means city of peace. Ironically, more wars have been fought at her gates than any city in world history. And this little city of Jerusalem, God said, will be the focal point of end times events, and indeed it is. Not Washington, not Moscow, not Paris, not New York City, not Irvine, not Pedaly.
That's a city in the Inland Empire. It's going to be Jerusalem. And she has always been the capital of Israel. And one of the great things that the Trump administration did was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing that is her capital.
And now there they are. But there's hostility against Israel, and specifically toward Jerusalem. God told us that in the end times she would be an intoxicating drink, a heavy stone, and a burden for the whole world. Zechariah 12 says, I'll make Jerusalem and Judah like an intoxicating drink to all the nearby nations that send their armies to besiege Jerusalem. On that day I'll make Jerusalem a heavy stone, a burden for the whole world. None of the nations who try will be able to lift it. So let's think now a little bit about the nation Israel.
She is a modern day miracle. To think that there is a nation called Israel, a homeland for the Jewish people. Who would have ever thought such a thing could happen as World War II was raging, and Hitler was building his Third Reich bent on world domination, and he came up with something he called the Final Solution. And the Final Solution was his desire to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. He built all these concentration camps with names like Treblinka, and Ravensbrück, and Auschwitz, and others. And there are six million Jewish men, women, and children were put to death by Hitler. It looked like he might succeed, but of course he failed.
Thank God for that. And mysteriously, unexpectedly, but actually right on schedule, it's like Jewish people around the world got the collective message. It's time to return to our homeland. And they began to return, and they began to try to build a nation again. And on May 14, 1948, Israel officially declared themselves a nation again, and the prophetic time clock began to tick.
This is not just a sign, this is what we might describe as a super sign that such a thing would even happen. Never has a nation been able to maintain its national identity even three to five hundred years after being removed from its homeland until Israel. And listen, God gave this land to the Jewish people. It's in the scripture over in the book of Deuteronomy. He says in Deuteronomy 1a, I'm giving all this land to you, now go in and occupy it for this is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all their descendants. So let's read now what the Bible says about the regathering of the Jewish people to the land of Israel in Ezekiel 37.
And I'm gonna read verses one to six from the New Living translation. Ezekiel 37, the Lord took hold of me, writes Ezekiel, and I was carried away by the spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me around the old dry bones that covered the valley floor.
They were scattered everywhere across the ground. Then he asked me, son of man, can these bones become living people again? Oh sovereign Lord, I replied.
You alone know the answer to that. Then he said to me, speak to the bones and say, dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord. This is what the sovereign Lord says. Look, I'm gonna breathe into you and make you live again. I'll put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I'll put breath in you and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Stop there. It's like God told Ezekiel to preach to a graveyard. Now listen, I've spoken to some pretty dead audiences before and you would be one of them.
Not really. But I mean to preach to a graveyard, to a bunch of dry bones, well what does this all mean? What do these bones represent? It's clearly explained in Ezekiel 37, drop down to verse 11. And he said to me, son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel.
They're saying we become old dry bones, all hope is gone. Now give them this message from the sovereign Lord. Oh my people, I'll open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again and I'll bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens you'll know I am the Lord and I'll put my spirit in you and you will live and return home to your own land and know that I'm the Lord and I've done everything just as I promised for I the Lord have spoken. Wow.
So this has happened before our very eye. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody, I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV, and Google Play, among others. And you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're going to find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon, and our newest film, Fame. You can also stream our feature film, Jesus Revolution, as well as the entire library of the Kingdom Story Company films. Plus our TV programs, our podcast, Harvest at Home, and a lot more.
Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. Well we're getting a clear look at Bible prophecy today as Pastor Greg presents his message how to be a world changer at the end of the world. Now after Ezekiel 37 is Ezekiel 38. Is that not an amazing insight?
I can count. After 37 is 38. What happens in chapter 38? Let's read about it. Because this massive force from the north of Israel marches on her.
This hasn't happened yet, but it will happen. Ezekiel 38 verse 2. Son of man, set your face against Gog, land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal.
Prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God. Behold, I am against you, Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal. I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws and lead you out with all of your army, horsemen, all splendidly clothed, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya.
I'd underline those three words, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet. Now drop down to verse 8. A long time from now. Now of course Ezekiel is writing this years and years ago, thousands of years ago. A long time from now, he's saying, this is in the distant future. This is going to happen in the last days.
So this is the last days event. You will swoop down, speaking to Gog and Magog, on the land of Israel, which will be lying in peace after her recovery from war, after the return of her people from many lands. You and your allies, a vast and awesome horde, will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud.
This is what the Lord says. At that time, evil thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise a wicked scheme and you'll say, Israel is an unprotected land with unwalled villages. I'll march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence.
We'll stop there. Interesting phrase, live in such confidence. You know when Israel became a nation, it was a huge struggle to establish her statehood in 1948. Then they were attacked in the 67 war. They were attacked again in the 70s in what has been called the Yom Kippur War. And they prevailed. Even when their enemies attacked, not only did they survive, they won the battles and even expanded their territory, regaining control of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which is really key to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
But it says they live in such confidence. That can only be said fairly recently. Israel has become a very strong economic and technological power today.
Now who is Magog? Who is this force from the north of Israel attacking her? Now if I laid a map out for you of the world and we looked at Israel, to the immediate north of them would be Russia. And this is a whole other thing I could go into for another 25 minutes easily, describing to you why I think Russia could be Magog. I don't think anyone can say with absolute certainty, but I think you can make a very good case for it and many Bible prophecy experts that I respect believe it is modern day Russia. It is worth noting that among the allies of Russia is Persia. Persia is the name of Iran. On March 21, 1935 Persia changed their name to what we call Iran and they are an ally of Russia. So God specifically says that Magog will have an ally in Persia. If Magog is Russia, and I do believe with absolute certainty that Persia is Iran. That means this was prophesied hundreds of years ago and now they have an alliance. This is so unlikely. They really had no reason to have an alliance, but we know they have one today.
Now let me say this. This is the leadership in Iran. The Iranian people are wonderful people. Most of them don't want these people in control of their nation today. And they've rebelled on many occasions and we've heard wonderful stories of revival breaking out among Iranian people and we're hearing stories of them turning to Jesus Christ. So I'm talking about a regime.
I'm talking about who's in control of the story right now. But Russia has a new intercontinental missile system that they claim could destroy all of the United Kingdom. One single missile. It has 15 nuclear warheads on it and they put it on combat duty. You know what the name of that missile is?
Satan 2. Can't make this stuff up. Crazy. Let's just play this out. Let's say Magog is Russia. Let's say they march on Israel with their allies. Well if this were to happen you could see how this would trigger a chain of events. An expert on the Middle East wrote these words and I quote, Iran knows how to unlock the doors to a nuclear Armageddon. There is a growing sense in Israel that Jerusalem is quickly running out of time. Tehran has inserted the nuclear key into the gate lock of Armageddon and is beginning to twist it open. So we could say whoa, everything could just fall into place immediately and certainly it's a sign of the times. And we know that the leaders of Iran have claimed on more than one occasion threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map.
And here's something that might surprise you and I'll just say it and this might offend someone, but I don't care anymore because I'm 70. America needs Israel more than Israel needs America. Now certainly Israel has benefited from their relationship with us.
We've provided them with a lot of things. Most notably the so-called Iron Dome which is a very sophisticated defense system that has protected them and helped them from many attacks that continue to come their way. But why does America need Israel? Because of a promise that God made in Genesis 12 three when he said, I'll bless those that bless you and I'll curse those that curse you. Look at any nation historically that has raised their hand against Israel and has sought to destroy her and look at what happened.
There's a blessing promised for those that support Israel and support the Jewish people and I'm happy and proud to say our nation has done that. But in this story Israel stands alone and here's what God says is going to happen in Ezekiel 38 18. This is what will happen in that day when God attacks the land of Israel. My hot anger will be aroused declares the sovereign Lord. And then he says he will decimate Magog with their armies and there's so many weapons that it takes seven years to destroy them and then God's going to pour his spirit out on Israel. So where does this event fit in the prophetic puzzle? Short answer, I'm not sure. I'll give you an educated guess. I think it could happen sometime before or right after the rapture.
Why do I think that? Because it takes seven years for them to burn the weapons and the tribulation period is seven years so maybe that's where it will happen. But it's somewhere in here and here's another thing it triggers. A great spiritual awakening happens in Israel after God destroys Magog and God. But that is not happening right now and here's an interesting verse in the New Testament Romans 11 25.
I want you to understand this mystery writes Paul dear friends. So you don't feel proud and start bragging because some of the Jews have hard hearts but this will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to Christ. So God's going to pour his spirit out on Israel but he hasn't done it yet. But when the full gathering of the Gentiles be come in which is King James for the full number of people believing in Jesus is completed then the rapture happens you see. So this is why I believe there might be walking this planet some person that God is waiting for to believe.
Can you imagine if you knew who that person was? Hey dude could you get saved like now? Let's go.
Come on what? What are you waiting for? The last person believes and we're caught up to meet the Lord in the air. So we're waiting for that event to happen. So okay you say interesting but so what?
Well this should affect you and the way that you live. Because you my friend are a last days believer. Now do I believe Jesus could come at any time? Yes. Do I believe it might be 10 years from now or 20 years from now?
Yeah it could be I don't know. I'm not a date setter. I don't know when he'll come. No man knows the day of the earth. But I do believe it could happen at any moment and I think we should live in anticipation of that as followers of Jesus Christ. You don't have to be afraid when Jesus Christ is living in your life. Pastor Greg Laurie with good insight for last days believers today here on A New Beginning and more of this message is yet to come.
But if you're not sure you're a last days believer. If you're not sure you've ever entered into a relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. Well Pastor Greg can help you with that right now. Let me tell you how you can come into a relationship with God right here right now.
First of all you need to recognize you need God. You need to admit you're a sinner. I know some people choke on that word but the Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But then you need to recognize that Jesus Christ the son of God died on the cross for your sin. The Bible says while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. And then you need to believe in Jesus.
Jesus put it this way. For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son and whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. You might ask how does one believe in Jesus?
To believe means to put your faith and trust in Christ and Christ alone. And to receive him into your life as your own friend, savior and Lord. The Bible says for as many as received him he gave them the power to become sons of God. Would you like to receive Christ? And by that I mean would you like to ask Jesus to enter into your life and be your savior, your friend, your Lord? If so you can just pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for my sin. I turn now from my sin and I ask you to come into my life and forgive me of all of my sin.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for hearing this prayer. And thank you for answering this prayer. In Jesus name I pray.
Amen. Hey if you just prayed that prayer I want to congratulate you and say welcome to the family of God. Yeah that's right and we want to help you get started living for the Lord. Let us send you a copy of Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It's an easy to understand translation with hundreds of helps that will guide you into building a strong foundation for your faith. We'll send it free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg today. Just ask for the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. You know Pastor Greg I don't know about you but I'm sort of a fan of behind the scenes programs.
You know behind the scenes on how they made a favorite movie or how they recorded a favorite music album. Can you give us a behind the scenes look at what's going on at Harvest here at this time of the year? Well we're busy because it's Christmas and like all of you we have our own personal responsibilities to get ready for Christmas. But then at the church we have a lot going on as well as we do various service and such.
But you know the funny thing about Christmas is wow you know you can become so busy almost like you're spinning your wheels and missing the point altogether. Remember the story in the New Testament where Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem with a 12 year old Jesus. And when they got home he wasn't with them. Mary thought Jesus went with Joseph. Joseph thought Jesus went with Mary and they literally had lost Jesus. Wait how do you lose Jesus?
Doesn't he glow in the dark? No not really but they literally lost Jesus and they went back and found him. And of course you know he's in the temple talking to the elders and he said to them did you not know that I must be about my father's business. But here's my point in the busyness of Christmas we can lose Jesus. Lose sight of what it should be about that is celebrating his birth.
And so as we're in this month right now we're all running to and fro to all these events. Let's remember to honor the one that this season is all about. And the best way we can do that is to worship him and it is also to give to him. Remember those wise men they brought gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Would you prayerfully consider bringing a generous gift to us so we can continue to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ through a new beginning.
It's such an important time for your investment here at the end of the year. Thanks so much for your generosity. You can take care of all the details easily when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime 1-800-821-3300.
Or go online to Harvest.org. Well next time more from Pastor Greg's message, How to be a World Changer at the End of the World. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to Harvest.org
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