Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Introduction to the book of Revelation
Please know that we are on both man’s and God’s time lines.
How that works, I haven’t a clue; but we are.
However, this in no way is meant to imply that we are now living in the Tribulation Period, as some claim. We are nearer to it than we were yesterday…but we are not in it.
These are simply the “last days.”
FYI: mankind has been living in the “last days” ever since the birth of our Lord and Savior… The apostle Paul writes:
2: in these (What?) last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
In a previous lesson, we reviewed signs that Jesus told His disciples to watch for as the end draws near. (See Matthew 24) These signs were:
Famine, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, nation would rise against nation, and there would be false prophets and those coming claiming to be Jesus.
I covered those who declared themselves to be the Lord Jesus Christ just in the 20th century alone in the previous lesson. We won’t review that info again.
I want to look at these other “signs” Jesus said we are to expect in this Bible lesson.
For those who have an interest in history, you may especially enjoy this lesson.
As I’ve often said, “You have to consider human history when you are studying your Bible. The two go hand-in-hand.”
I chose to use Wikipedia as my information source. There are quite a few “links” just in case you want to delve deeper into the information presented.
Here’s a list of the ten most powerful earthquakes in the 1900s:
- Chile 1960
- Prince William Sound, Alaska 1964
- Northern Sumatra 2004
- Honshu, Japan 2011
- Kamchatka 1952
- Maule, Chile 2010
- Ecuador 1906
- Rat Islands, Alaska 1965
- Northern Sumatra 2005
- Assam, Tibet 1950
I chose not to include all the earthquakes because the list is rather long.
But earthquakes occur almost daily around the world.
They are common.
Nation will rise against nation:
Today on the Fox News web page I read this headline:
NATO assumes command of Libya conflict
For the first time in history NATO set a precedent when nations mutually agreed to attack another sovereign nation because its leader was deemed unstable.
One has to ask where they intend to go with this…
which nation is next.
List of 20th century wars – it’s huge!
The20th Century was the bloodiest, costliest century of warfare in human history.
Two world wars, and a large number of major revolutions, along with significant social, political, and economic upheavals made the period from 1901 to 2000 of great importance in a historical, military, and Biblical sense.
The Second Boer War (1899-1902) -- Britain vs. The Boer Republics (Orange Free State and Transvaal) in what is now South Africa.
Somali "Mad Mullah" Jihad (1899-1905)--Somali tribesmen led by religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd Allah Hasan waged a desert guerrilla war against Britain, Italy and Ethiopia. Following repeated defeats by the Somalis, the colonial powers offered him territory in Italian Somaliland in exchange for peace. He resumed his war in 1908 and harassed the occupiers of his country until 1920.
Philippine-American War (1899-1902)--Originally called the "Philippine Uprising", this was a war of independence fought by the Filipinos against the occupying American military. Filipino resistance was ruthlessly crushed.
The Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900)-- The Chinese secret religious and nationalistic Society of the Righteous Harmonious Fists (Boxers), initiated a rebellion against both foreign colonizers, missionaries and their own government in 1899. By 1900, the Chinese government had co-opted the rebels and directed their violent fury entirely upon the foreign presence in China. The Boxers, aided by Chinese Imperial troops, besieged the diplomatic legations (embassies) of the Western powers and Japan, sparking a truly international response. A retaliatory relief expedition composed of troops from: the United State, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Japan invaded China and captured the capital of Peking (now called Beijing).
Italo-Ottoman War (1911-1912)--(also known as the Turco-Italian War and the Tripolitanian War)--Italy decided to add to its growing African empire by attacking Ottoman-ruled Tripolitinia (Libya). The Italian victory began the very swift fall of the Ottoman Empire which would end with the Empire's disintegration at the end of World War One in 1918. The day after Ottoman Turkey made peace with Italy, the Balkan League attacked in the First Balkan War (see below).
First Balkan War (1912-1913)--The Balkan nations of Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece defeated the Ottoman Empire, and seized nearly all of the Ottoman Empire's remaining European territories.
Second Balkan War (1913)--The victors in the First Balkan War fell out among themselves, with Bulgaria attacking Serbia and Greece in an attempt to gain more of the spoils from the first war. Rumania, Montenegro, and the Ottomans also joined the war against Bulgaria.
World War One (1914-1918) the first "official" world war was originally known as "The Great War," and also as "The World War."
Russian Civil War
Polish-Soviet War (1919-1921) a major war between Poland and Russia/The Soviet Union.
Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
Second Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-1936)--(also known as the Abyssinian War)--Italy's Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, wanted to conquer a new "Roman Empire," and chose Ethiopia as his first victim. Ethiopia had defeated Italy in the First Italo-Ethiopian War in 1896, and Mussolini sought revenge for that embarrassing Italian defeat. This war exposed the inherent weaknesses of the League of Nations (an earlier and very weak version of the United Nations) when it was unable to prevent war. Italy successfully conquered Ethiopia in 1936. During WW II, British, Commonwealth, Free French, Free Belgian, and Ethiopian forces liberated Ethiopia in 1941
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)--The Spanish Civil War began as a right-wing rebellion against the leftist Republican government of Spain. Led by General Francisco Franco, the Nationalist rebels fought a long and bloody civil war against their Republican foes. Franco was received significant military aid from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The Republican side was aided by the Soviet Union. Franco won the war in 1939 and set up a Fascist government. This war is considered one of the precursor conflicts leading to WW II.
World War Two (1939-1945)
Cold War (1945-1990)
Greek Civil War (1946-1949)--The first major military conflict of the Cold War. Communist rebels supported by Yugoslavia and other Communist nations fought against the pro-Western Greek government, which was given significant support by the United States and Great Britain. The war ended with a government victory.
First Indochina War (1946-1954) --The "First Indochina War" was really a regional conflict involving France, as the colonial ruler of "French Indochina," against the nationalist (but Communist) rebels seeking independence for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. This war was a part of the Cold War, since in also involved the United States (and to a lesser extent), Great Britain, aiding their ally France, while the Communist rebels (the Viet Minh, Pathet Lao, and Khmer Issarak), enjoyed aid from the Soviet Union and Communist China. Below are the "smaller" conflicts that in part made up the First Indochina War. This war led directly to the Second Indochina War, which in the United States is best known as the Vietnam War.
French Indochina War (1946-1954) --(known in Vietnam as "The French War")--Communist Viet Minh rebels led by Ho Chi Minh waged a successful war of independence against French colonial forces who re-occupied Indochina following the Japanese defeat in WW II. The Viet Minh were aided by the Soviet Union and by Communist China. France received significant material support from the United States. France agreed to grant independence to North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia following the Viet Minh victory over French troops at Dien Bien Phu.
Pathet Lao War (1950-1954)--Laotian communist forces (The Pathet Lao) was allied with the Viet Minh fought against French colonial forces. Independence achieved after the Vietnamese communists defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu. The Pathet Lao later continued their war against the new Laotian government, finally taking over the country in 1975.
Khmer Issarak War (1950-1954)--Cambodian (Khmer) communist forces allied with the Viet Minh fought against French colonial forces. Independence achieved after the Vietnamese communists defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu. The Khmer communists (Khmer Rouge) later continued their war against the new Cambodian government, finally taking over the country in 1975.
First Kashmir War (1947-1948)--First war between India and Pakistan over possession of Kashmir.
Korean War (1950-1953)
Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)- Algeria won independence from France after a very bloody guerilla war.
Suez War of 1956
Second Indochina War (1956-1975) --The so-called "Vietnam War" was really a regional and international conflict involving not just north and South Vietnam and the U.S. but also embroiling Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Below are some of the "smaller" conflicts that in part made up the Second Indochina War.
Vietnam War (1956-1975)--The Communist North Vietnamese and the southern Viet Cong engaged in a long war to overthrow the pro-American government of South Vietnam. The U.S. and other allied nations sent troops to aid the Saigon regime. The last U.S. combat troops left in 1973 and Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. …Known in the U.S. and much of the world as "The Vietnam War." …But known in Vietnam as "The American War."
Laotian Civil War (1959-1975)--North Vietnam sent large numbers of troops into Laos to aid the Communist Pathet Lao against the U.S.-backed Royal Laotian government. The Pathet Lao seized power in 1975 and maintains a good relationship with Hanoi.
Cambodian Civil War (1967-1975) --North Vietnam sent large numbers of troops into Cambodia to aid the Communist Khmer Rouge against the U.S.-backed Cambodian government. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) had maintained a large presence in eastern Cambodia for years prior to the beginning of the Khmer Rouge war in 1967. Following the fall of the U.S.-backed governments in Cambodia and South Vietnam, the two former Communist allies engaged in warfare between themselves. (See below).
Yemen Civil War (1962-1970)-- Egypt sent troops to support the Yemeni Republican government against Royalist rebels supported by Saudi Arabia.
This was a major rift in the Arab world.
Sino-Indian War (1962)--Short but bloody border war between China and India.
Second Kashmir War (1965)--Second war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
Six-Day War (1967)-- Israel defeated the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq in six days.
Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968)--The armed forces of the Communist Warsaw Pact (Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, and Hungary) invaded Czechoslovakia to bring down a reformist Czech government.
Bengali War of Independence (1971)--Can also be considered a Pakistani civil war. East Pakistan rebelled against West Pakistan, seeking independence. India intervened and helped East Pakistan break away and become the new nation of Bangladesh.
Lebanese Civil War (1975-1991)
Ogaden War (1977-1978)- Ethiopia against Somalia and Somali rebels in the Ogaden desert area. The Soviet Union provided huge amounts of material and logistical support and Cuba sent thousands of troops to fight on Ethiopia's side. This war was a part of the Cold War.
Third Indochina War (1977-1989)
Cambodia-Vietnam War (1977-1991)--During their war against the U.S.-sponsored regimes in Saigon and Phnom Penh, the North Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge were able to mask their ideological differences and ignore the historical hostility between their two peoples. After taking power though, these differences turned violent. Beginning with low-level cross-border raids and escalating into full-fledged war in late December of 1978 when Vietnam launched a massive conventional invasion of Cambodia, swiftly occupying the nation within days. Vietnam set up a new government in Phnom Penh with Khmer Rouge defectors but found itself immersed in a long and difficult war of occupation as the Khmer Rouge returned to the guerrilla warfare they knew so well. Vietnamese troops left after more than a decade, with the friendly government of Heng Samrin in control of most of Cambodia.
China -Vietnam War (Feb. 17-Mar. 16, 1979)-- Similar to the difficulties between Cambodia and Vietnam, the Hanoi regime enjoyed good relations with China during the war against the United States and South Vietnam, but once that conflict ended, ideological and historical differences interfered with Sino-Vietnamese relations. Using the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia as a pretext, China launched a massive attack along their common border. Vietnam's border troops put up a very good defense, causing major casualties to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Within a month of the invasion, China basically declared that it had taught Hanoi a lesson and withdrew. Results of this war include: moving Hanoi closer to the Soviet Union, which was a rival of China; a modernization of the PLA as China realized they did not do very well against a smaller country; and the beginning of a long-lasting but low-level border conflict with between Vietnam and China. (See below).
China-Vietnam Border Clashes (1979-1988)--After the Chinese invasion of Vietnam in 1979, continued warfare and infiltration along the border kept these two neighbors in a state of low-level warfare. The two Communist neighbors now maintain cordial relations, but further research is needed to ascertain when the cross-border raids and artillery exchanges ended.
Thai-Laotian Border Clashes (1980, 1984, 1987)
Afghan Civil War (1978-Present)
Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1981)--Though technically not a war, this was a major crisis that nearly brought the U.S. and Iran to war, and the repercussions of this conflict are still felt today.
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1979-1989)
Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)
Falkland Islands War (1982)
Israeli Invasion and Occupation of Southern Lebanon (1982-2000)
Invasion of Grenada (1983)
Gulf War (1991)
Third Balkan War
Second Chechen War
Famines – is anyone watching?
Here’s a 20th century list:
- 1907 famine in east-central China
- 1914-1918 famine in Belgium
- 1916-1917 winter famine in Russia
- 1917-1919 famine in Persia. As much as 1/4 of the population living in the north of Iran died in the famine.
- 1917-1921 a series of famines in Turkestan at the time of the Bolshevik revolution killed about a sixth of the population.
- 1921 famine in Russia killed 5 million.
- 1921-1922 famine in Volga German colonies in Russia. One-third of the entire population perished.
- 1928-1929 famine in northern China. The drought resulted in 3 million deaths
- 1928-1929 famine in Ruanda-Burundi, causing large migrations to the Congo
- 1932-1933 famine in Kazakhstan killed 1.2-1.5 million.
- 1936 famine in China, with an estimated 5 million fatalities.
- 1940-1943 famine in Warsaw Ghetto
or were bombed to death in the winter of 1941-42, when supply routes to the city were cut off and temperatures dropped to -40 degrees.
- 1942-1943 famine killed one million in China
- 1943 famine in Bengal
- 1943 famine in Ruanda-Urundi, causing migrations to the Congo
- 1944 famine in the Netherlands during World War II, more than 20,000 deaths
- 1945 famine in Vietnam
- 1946-1947 famine in Soviet Union
- 1967-1970 Biafran famine caused by Nigerian blockade
- 1968-1972 Sahel drought
- 1974 famine in Bangladesh
- 1991-1993 Somalian famine
- 1998-2004 Second Congo War. 3.8 million people died, mostly from starvation and disease
I think it goes without saying that we all have been desensitized to some degree due to the flood of disasters just in our lifetime. Murders for example are rather common. They appear daily in the media. We tend to take notice when several are killed; but one here, two there; is hardly worthy of our attention… But even that is not always the case.
A thousand people were killed in one Japanese village alone just a few weeks ago and I wondered how many people knew of this. So I asked.
The result: very few people were aware of this single disaster.
But when I brought up Charlie Sheen and his upcoming “tour;” well not only had they heard some were willing to purchase a ticket ringside…
This tells me the attention of most folks today are not on the “SIGNS” Jesus warned us about; but instead their focus is on other “things.” To wit: the upcoming royal wedding, two major soap operas were ending their run on T.V., then there is Britney Spears, Lady GaGa, American Idol, Mel Gibson…the list is endless.
In one of our Genesis studies, we found that man’s relation to man, and to the LORD God, had deteriorated to such a degree that it prompted God to say,
5: Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil (How often) continually.
6: The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart.
My friends, open your eyes and ears, and you’ll soon realize we are dangerously close to coming “full circle.” Fred read a piece from I Timothy last week describing man’s relationship to man, and to God, before the end comes, bringing with it God’s wrath.
This world is the devil’s playground.
Too many choose to delight in “earthly things,” which the father of lies invents and promotes. Pray my friends for the people and this earth. It is going to get worse.
(To be continued)
By: GJ Heitzman