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“The Night Cometh”
by Art Sadlier   
March 1st, 2012

The twilight is fast fading on the present age and the darkest night this world has ever known is about to descend upon it, the Day of the Lord is at hand.

The handwriting is on the wall and we are watching the stage being set in a steady relentless process. The stage is being set for the final act of this present age. If ever there was a time to sound the trumpet and warn the people it is now. Ezekiel said that we are to watch and warn, “If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people..... Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head” (Ezekiel 33:3-4).

Jeremiah lived in a day similar to today. He warned Israel of the coming Old Testament Day of the Lord. The problem of that hour is the same problem we face today as we approach the final great Day of the Lord. Men will not listen nor heed the warnings that the Lord has and is sending to our world today. Jeremiah said, “O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God” (Jeremiah 5:3-4).

As Jeremiah came to the very threshold of God’s judgment upon Israel, we hear him crying out in anguish for his people, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20). “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jeremiah 9:1). We share Jeremiah’s feeling as we witness what is happening around us in these final days of this age of grace.

In the Mideast, the so called “Arab spring” is transforming the somewhat stable Muslim countries into radical fundamentalist states. It is the same process which transformed Iran into a radical Islamic fundamentalist state, in the 1960’s, a state intent on destroying Israel and setting up a worldwide Islamic Caliphate.

The Muslim brotherhood is the hand behind this movement. They are intent upon controlling these countries in order to further their objective, to destroy Israel and to dominate the world. Whatever the longer term objectives are, the priority is to destroy Israel and eliminate the Jewish people.

If Assad falls in Syria, which is not a given, he also will be replaced by radical fundamentalism. It will make little difference as he is already radically anti-Israel.

The whole “Arab spring” process is preparation for the events of the last days as revealed in the Scripture. Iran began the process forty years ago and now Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and Turkey have been, or are being swept into the camp of radical Islamic fundamentalism. They share the same passionate desire, the desire to eliminate Israel.

There is one state left which has yet to be swept into this camp; it is a state which Psalm 83 indicates will join this alliance against Israel. That state isJordan, look for Jordan to be caught in the “Arab spring” and join the camp of Islamic fundamentalism. The process for this is even now underway. When it is complete, Israel will be totally encircled by her implacable enemies. The stage will be set for the war of Psalm 83. Actually, if war broke out today, it may well be that Jordan would join Israel’s enemies with enthusiasm.

Syria is the main power in this alliance against Israel. Syria has a massive stockpile of weapons including; surface-to-air missiles, high-trajectory long-range rockets and missiles, biological and chemical weapons. The chemical weapons include deadly agents such as Sarin, and the nerve agent VX.

According to Arab media reports, Syria has already moved Scud missiles to Hezbollah camps in Lebanon and erected advanced surface-to-air missiles in the Lebanese mountains.

"Lebanon's Hezbollah is getting stronger. The numbers and the range of the missiles in Syria and with Hezbollah are beyond any imagining. Even without Iran - they cover the whole of Israel."

It seems that the war of Psalm 83 is most likely to start in Syria and Iran will not be involved. It could be that the US will hold Iran at bay as this war unfolds.

According to reports from the Free Syria Army, forces which were stationed in the southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights have been moved closer to Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday that there is growing concern in the Israeli army that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad could attack the Jewish state as pressure mounts for him to step down.

What makes this prospect all the more worrisome is that recent reports suggest Assad has been using chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition, including civilians. If he attacks Israel, it is believed Assad would have no problem using those same weapons against the Jewish state. Syria reportedly has the most extensive chemical weapons arsenal in the world.

Israel has warned Syria that if she uses chemical or biological weapons against Israel; Israel will wipe Syria off the map. Can we read nuclear weapons into this scenario? (See Isaiah 17:1, 14) Israel has a policy called the “Samson Option;” If Israel’s enemies are about to take her down, Israel will use her nuclear weapons to take down their enemy.

The backdrop to this scenario is the fact that Israel and the US are preparing to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. This could be the trigger that ignites the above mentioned war.

Ezekiel gives a picture of another war, an early tribulation period war in chapters 38 and 39 of his prophecy. Right now we see Russia painting herself into her position in Ezekiel’s portrait. Russia and Iran are coming together in a formidable alliance against Israel. Turkey is also set against Israel and is seeking to improve her relationship with Iran and Russia.

Russia is moving into the Mideast scene once again. Russia is also forming an alliance with Syria, no doubt with an eye on the newly discovered oil and gas in the area. Russia has established a Naval Port on the Syrian Mediterranean coast.

Russia does not know that Damascus will be destroyed in the coming war of Psalm 83. The Scriptures reveal that neither Russia, nor Iran nor Turkey will be involved in this war. Isaiah also describes this war and tells us of Syria’s fate. “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1). Also verse 14, “And behold at evening tide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.” Syria will be destroyed in the war of Psalm 83 and is not named as participating in the war of Ezekiel 38-39, which follows by some months.

Today Russia is rearming at a furious pace; they are training a special brigade to come to the aid of Iran or Syria.

What is most notable about Russian Middle East policy is that it tends to side with the extremist forces. These friends include primarily Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Russia makes money by selling arms to Syria paid for by Iran, knowing that part of them will be transferred to Hezbollah. Russia also profits by selling nuclear reactors and nuclear equipment to Iran. An alliance with Tehran also ensures that Iran doesn’t back Islamists within Russia. Since there is no cost to Russia for engaging in this pro-radical policy it is most attractive.

In the UN, Russia has protected Iran from stronger sanctions and the Syrian regime from tougher action to back the revolutionary forces there.

In all of this we see Russia being prepared for the war of Ezekiel 38-39. Russia has hardened her heart against Israel and God will further harden Russia’s heart and bring Russia to the place of Judgment. “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords” (Ezekiel 38:4).

We see Russia as the bold leader of this alliance against Israel. “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them” (Ezekiel 38:7).

Ezekiel says that an evil desire will play a role in Russia’s decision to lead this invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38:10 says “an evil thought”).

Verse 11 indicates that this war will come after the peace treaty of antichrist. “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.”

Verse 12 reveals Russia’s real motive, “To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” I am sure that Russia will feel that it is time to destroy Israel and that Russia may as well take over Israel’s considerable oil and gas reserves.

The scenario for both of these wars is now falling into place. Today we see preparations underway for these two separate end time wars.

First is an alliance that is now forming on Israel’s borders; this alliance is even now making preparations to attack Israel (Psalm 83:3-7). See also the above noted threat regarding Syria. This attack will take place prior to the peace treaty which will begin the tribulation period. Psalm 83 indicates that this will happen at a time when Israel is under great duress from her antagonists. That is the present scenario, in Psalm 83:1-6 each of these verses speak of this present hour. Ezekiel 35-36 is a parallel passage, and we also find many verses that speak specifically of this present hour.

Today the Palestinians, Hamas and Hezbollah are all swearing that Israel must be destroyed and that they are willing and able to do it.

Second is an alliance of nations that are well beyond Israel’s borders. “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee” (Ezekiel38:3-6).

I repeat that this attack comes when Israel is at peace. This is vital to the understanding of the timing of this first war and its imminency. “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.” “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it” (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, 14). This is obviously after the peace treaty of Antichrist is signed. Paul indicates that this false peace will be a very brief peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Therefore it is evident that the war of Ezekiel 38-39 will take place very early in the tribulation period.

It is absolutely stunning how the scenario for these two wars is now unfolding.

Only the Lord knows the exact timing of this next war, but we are to discern the times and the seasons. Theoretically, and in sync with the scriptures, and in sync with signs around us, the war of Psalm 83 could take place at any moment. That would mean that the war of Ezekiel 38-39 could take place within a matter months from now. It is significant that preparations are now underway for both of these wars. They will take place in fairly rapid succession.

The peace treaty and the appearance of antichrist would occur between the two wars. The rapture will occur prior to the appearance of antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

The world wide peace treaty of antichrist will affect the character and nature of the war of Ezekiel 38-39.

It seems that prior to the peace treaty there will be a time of war and great strife and turmoil. Both Paul and Jeremiah emphasized this. Paul said, “Peace and safety” indicating that peace and safety had disappeared from the earth prior to the peace treaty.

Jeremiah conveyed the same idea when he said, “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). This conveys two ideas. First prior to this peace treaty people are hurting. Secondly it conveys the idea that this is a false peace that is ineffective and very brief. Remember that Jeremiah’s prophecy had a near and a far fulfillment.

We conclude then, that prior to antichrist’s appearing to sign this peace treaty there will be a time of great distress, war and turmoil. I suggest to you that we are seeing the stage being set for that situation, a situation which will occur after the war of Psalm 83.

I do not think that the world has ever been in such turmoil, with such potential for wars and rumours of wars. The whole Mideast is about to burst into flames. The potential for a tremendous economic and monetary collapse is growing by the hour. Such a collapse would bring rioting and social upheaval such as the world has never seen. The potential for nuclear exchanges and chemical and biological warfare along with escalation of terrorism could shake men and nations to their foundations.

Though the men and women of the world cannot see the peril that is approaching, Paul said to believers, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6).

A word of clarification

1. I have been spending much time and ink on the war of Psalm 83. Why? I believe that we are standing on the threshold of this war. It is a cataclysmic event that is staring us in the face. I believe that it will lead into the tribulation period. Jeremiah was fixated on the coming of the Babylonians and the Day of the Lord judgment that was pending.

2. What is the timing of the rapture with regard to this coming war? Will it take place before this war or after this war? The rapture is a sign less event which can happen at any moment. All we can be sure of is that it will take place prior to the tribulation period, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3; 10). (Note - there are ten articles on our website that deal with pre-millennialism)

3. If we see the signs of these two coming wars we know that the Day of the Lord is near and the trumpet is about sound.

Are you ready? Are you saved? Will you be ashamed before Him at His Coming? Or will you rise with confidence to meet Him in the skies?

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