Dr. Michael L. Ford
9 May 2005
One of the things I have often emphasized in doing a seminar or simply teaching on the subject of prophecy is that there is no such thing as an Eschatologist. Those of us who have given ourselves to the study of Last Things have to realize ultimately that we cannot rise above the status of a student. A person can become learned in what the Bible has to say about the future. They can believe in literal interpretation of Scripture, and approach the subject with understanding that what Scripture says will take place will do so. But in the end they can only observe events and see where they line up with God’s Word. We tantalize and titillate people with our speculation on how this or that thing might fit together to bring the future to pass, but in the end we must admit that we see as through a glass darkly. We do not know for sure until it comes to pass.
When the Soviet Union broke up, for instance, I charted the emerging new relationships with Russia to show how the new realities actually made the future invasion of Israel from out of the North more likely, not less. On one Sunday, when I was making a presentation about this in a church, one visiting family from another State actually delayed their return home so they could come back for my night session. That is the power of the tantalizing and titillation, as well as our own concerns about the future.
In the years since that event, the march toward the completion of the age has continued steadily. Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was already excited about the knowledge that Chinese technicians were working within Saddam Hussein’s regime. I know that when the Bible speaks of an invasion of the “kings of the East” over a Euphrates river, that will be dry, there has to be some preparation for that event. Not a lot of people get really excited about such little pieces of information, they want bigger revelations, but if you are interested in tracking how things come together, the little tidbits are important.
Little things like the current goings on inside Russia and even the character and background of Mr. Putin, the man in charge today, are important if we are trying to see how the Bible might be fulfilled in our lifetime before the event occurs. It matters that the fall of the Hussein regime actually makes a sort of shadow rebirth of the relationships in the old Persian Empire possible today. That is, when we try to see through that glass into the future albeit darkly.
Stuff I really have gotten excited about in the past few years do not interest a lot of people. So it is at the risk of boring you that I share what are for me some of the biggies. One of the things that have interested me is related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). There are several points concerning this I see as significant though I do not yet know how it will all relate to end time events. For one, I have been interested in the fact that there has been a denial that WMD was found in Iraq. Why is this? The second thing is related to the first. Why has there been a denial of knowledge concerning where much WMD was moved to, and even where significant stockpiles of it exist today? There are other questions related to that, but I do not wish to either be a bore or bog you down with too many questions in one area. I will say that I think these questions might relate to why Damascus will ultimately be destroyed just as the Bible predicts.
Another thing that I am following with interest is the events in Asia. People have a tendency to focus solely on China when we talk about things coming from out of the East. While it is true that China has within its present borders several distinct peoples, I do not think that this fact alone would make it satisfy the Biblical fact eastern invaders into the holy land in the Last Days are in the plural. The rise of North Korea on the stage as a power of more than regional concern might fulfill the Scripture but it does not entirely satisfy me that this is the whole of the matter. Among the nations I am looking at today, trying to see where they are headed are Vietnam and Japan. And, I have to admit it has been over a year since I have heard from my Singapore contact, a matter of some concern.
Then in closing there is the big lie. This is something that tantalizes even me. Why is it that there are two big lies told about Islam? The first is that it is a great religion. It is only great in terms of size. Its growth in the United States has been mainly among the rebellious and disenfranchised, which seems a common way for it to pull converts other than through coercion. The second lie is that it is a religion of peaceful teachings when in fact it is a barbaric religion of pagan seventh century origins. It all will ultimately fit together and where now I have speculations one day there will be understanding. But whether I understand it or not Scripture will be fulfilled.
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