I’ve been thinking about a part of Revelation that many of us skip quickly through when we are looking for the good “eschatological” bits to assemble our pretty charts and tables and spreadsheets about the end times. Not that any of those things are bad in and of themselves, as good Bereans we should be searching the scriptures and comparing one passage to another to see how they all fit together. Recently though I keep coming back to Revelation 2 and 3, the letters to the seven churches.
Today I’m thinking very much about Revelation 3:8
I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (Revelation 3:8, ESV)
He is the one who opens the door – and he is the only one who can shut it. How is a door that’s to be kept closed stay closed – it has a lock. As I’ve been watching the events unfold in the world these past few months, without really posting much, I finally had this moment where I was able to put to words what I’d been thinking about what I’m seeing. It is like the tumblers inside a lock are slowly being maneuvered into position so that the lock will pop open at exactly the right moment. Those tumblers being in position, I believe, is the fulfillment of every single prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled before the second coming of Christ.
Specifically, looking at what is going on this week in Russia and Ukraine – we see the unmistakable emergence of a new (yet also old, but new for this century) and powerful force in Russia under Putin. Where there was one great power in the world after the fall of the Soviet Union – now we see that even the formerly mighty United States dare not oppose this new aggressive stance of the Russian leader. As the Bible identifies in Ezekiel 38-39, a power from the North with Persia, Turkey, Libya and Sudan will one day attack Israel and be utterly destroyed by God. We see the Obama administration in the Unites States continue to posture and threaten to not come to Israel’s aid if it doesn’t keep with the current leaders framework for “peace” with “palestinian” proxies of the region’s Arab leaders. We know that at the critical moment, that Israel will have to depend on God alone (Zechariah 12:2-8) and He will defend them personally. We see the rising power of a huge country in the East that many fear will make war with it’s neighbors over a number of territorial disputes, one that is rapidly building up the capability to field a huge army and we know has the labor and industrial manufacturing capacity to field a military of frightening scale (say 200 Million men) in a very short time.
Right now both the EU and the US look exceptionally weak, economically, militarily, and morally. As many of us agree, it is that weakness that will invite the crisis that invites a wicked leader of terrifying power, the rise of the little horn that will uproot 3 of the ten.
We’ve already seen so many small moves, I think like the methodical click, click, click of the tumblers in a lock moving into position.
click click click
Israel is reborn
Rome reappears shortly thereafter
Israel is in under constant threat from its neighbors (a time of trouble)
The balance of power in the world crumbles and new players emerge
Rome continues to rise again as an economic power (but a weakened one) Daniel 2 again
The power of the North aligns with Persia, Libya and Sudan – and soon I expect more and more with Turkey as unrest there continues to grow
Egypt falls into a state of chaos and weakness and does not emerge from it (as Isaiah predicted)
A huge power rises in the East that has an excess of men who will never have a chance to marry due to its evil childbearing policies, and cultural preference for sons- one with a huge industrial base that could be shifted to military production in the blink of an eye (like the US did in WWII)
click click click
Do you see any more tumblers on the lock moving into place? I’m sure I’ve forgotten a ton. This would be a great place to point out those verifiable events (not secret conspiracy theories or wild youtube rants) where we can plainly see a resemblance to prophetic events we know or suspect are yet in the future.
Someday soon the clasp on the lock is going to pop open (sooner perhaps for some of us) and the door will be open that no one can shut for those of us that love the Lord. Let’s be ready, and let’s be about our Master’s business while we await his return for us.