End-Times Alert: Israel’s Darkest Hours?

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Gary Curtis

This is part one of a two-part article. Watch for part two, coming soon to mycharisma.com.

Many believe Israel is now in its darkest hour since its War of Independence against five invading Arab armies concluded in March 1949. It seems the world is increasingly turning against it.

Just over six months ago, before the Oct. 7 massive massacres on a peaceful Shabbat morning in multiple small Israeli communities and a music festival encampment in southeastern Israel, everything was different. Geopolitical circumstances seemed bright, even while Israel pursued its war with the terrorist group Hamas, making the region of Gaza a humanitarian crisis and war zone with thousands killed on both sides.

However, the atrocities committed by Hamas and other terrorist groups on those several thousand members of sleeping Israeli families and friends that fateful fall morning are almost beyond belief. Hundreds of hostages (including women, children and the elderly) were taken back to Gaza as bargaining pawns. Dozens have apparently died in those terror tunnels under Gaza, while many of the rest are reported to have been physically and even sexually abused.

Recently, leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and proxy forces gathered in an auxiliary building in the Iranian Embassy complex in Damascus, Syria, to plan further deadly attacks. Israel allegedly preemptively bombed the building, killing several generals and bringing a dramatic and dangerous response from Iran two weeks later. 

Overnight on Saturday, April 13, Middle Eastern skies were filled for several hours with 170 “suicide drones,” 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles fired from inside Iran. These weapons of death and destruction were designed to indiscriminately kill innocent Israelis (both Jewish and Palestinian civilians and children) and destroy vital civilian and military infrastructure. 

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Even the falling debris from the projectiles was dangerous and badly injured a 7-year-old girl. Each munition had the potential to damage or destroy religious shrines, sites and hospitals throughout this holy land.

Fortunately, several friendly Arab nations in the region shot down many of these deadly projectiles as they flew over their sovereign countries. Western allies, including U.S., British and French forces, also supported these defensive actions from their limited positions in the region.

Is This The Beginning of ‘the End’?

Growing numbers of unprincipled nuclear-capable nations now threaten each other with devastating destruction by this means. It would seem the birth pangs of the end Jesus spoke of may have begun:

And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world so that all nations will hear it, and then the end will come (Matt. 24:6-14, NLT).

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Great Tribulation, natural calamities and supernatural plagues of God’s wrath, which are prophesied on the unrepentant and ungodly, may not be that far ahead of our present predicaments (Rev. 14-16). 

Gog of Magog

Some see the current alignment of biblical facts and military forces as preparing for the fulfillment of a significant Old Testament prophecy, found in Ezekiel 38 and 39. There, one finds a future leader named “Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal” (Ezek. 38:2b, MEV).

Our Lord declares He is against this Gog and will “put hooks into your jaws and will bring you out … in the latter years … against the mountains of Israel” whose “people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely” (38:4-8).

In verse seven, other nations are mentioned as Gog’s allies, including Persia, which was renamed in 1979 “The Islamic Republic of Iran.” “Iran” is an adaptation of its ancient biblical name, Elam, named for Noah’s grandson (Gen. 10:22), whose family settled in that northeastern region of the Levant or Mesopotamia. 

The prophecy is against “Gog of Magog” saying, “… On that day when my people of Israel dwell safely … you shall come from your place out of the north parts, you and many peoples with you … a mighty army” (38:14-15).

But God takes charge and fights against Gog of Magog and his allies supernaturally with great earthquakes and fires, causing them to panic and fight among themselves. He will judge these marauders and mercenaries “with pestilence and with blood.” God will “rain upon him and upon his troops and upon the many people who are with him with an overflowing rain and hailstones, fire and brimstone” (38:21-22).

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Gary Curtis served for 27 years as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California. Since retirement in 2016, he has continued to blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com. Gary and his wife live in Southern California and have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

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