The article is consistent with similar reports in recent years suggesting that a growing number of rabbis believe the War of Gog and Magog and the Messiah are coming soon.  
 Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, for example, described in the Ynet News article as “a prominent rabbi,” is reportedly “certain that God is causing the turmoil in order to put the people in their place.” Said Lefkowitz: “God goes and humiliates (those feeling) sinful pride. At first there was this little fire here, and a state that thought that it is big and strong suddenly needed help from the entire world. Not a war, nothing special, just a small fire.”

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, described in the Ynet article as an “unconventional Lithuanian leader who is believed to have mystic powers,” recently spoke of the tumultuous events underway in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. “People have come to me and said that it’s ‘Gog and Magog,'” he said. “We cannot know. But it’s probable that any unrest that God creates shows that the Messiah is coming, and that we must begin to prepare for it and become stronger.”

On this, I agree with Rabbi Kanievsky — the War of Gog and Magog is approaching, the Messiah is coming, and we must be prepared and become stronger spiritually as the Lord’s return draws near. That said, I suspect the Rabbi and I disagree on the Messiah’s identity. That’s a good discussion to engage, particularly now. The Hebrew prophets told us the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephratah, would minister to the people living darkness in the region of Galilee, would teach in parables, would do miracles, would suffer and die as a guilt offering for our sins, and then would rise again and His body would not see decay in the grave. What’s more, in Daniel chapter 9 we learn that the Messiah will come, atone for our sins, and be “cut off” before the Second Temple is destroyed and Jerusalem is crushed by the Romans. That means if the Messiah didn’t come before 70 A.D., He is never going to come.

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that our Messiah has come, and that He is coming back, possibly sooner that we realize. Today, we are seeing the type of “uprisings” and “lawlessness” that the Lord Jesus warned in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 would precede His return. What’s more, I believe we are steadily approaching what the Hebrew Prophets called the “Day of the Lord,” the tumultuous events that will lead us right into what Jeremiah called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), what Jesus Christ called the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21), and what the Apostle John described in horrific detail in the Book of Revelation.

At the 2011 Epicenter Conference, we will be teaching through the biblical Book of Joel to better understand what the Hebrew prophets taught us about the End Times and the “Day of the Lord” and how we can be prepared, and prepare others. Over the next few days, Lynn and I will host a retreat for the keynote speakers and panel moderators for the conference in the D.C. area. We’re looking forward to studying the Book of Joel and other Scriptures in-depth, praying together, and finalizing details for the Prayer & Vision Trip and conference in Israel, less than 90 days away. We’d be grateful for your prayers, as well. Thanks.

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