Isn't that interesting, that we believers are supposed to be able to "see the Day drawing near"? The author of Hebrews merely assumes it. His thrust here is not to urge it, but to plead that we not give up encouraging one another when the imminent end-time madness becomes obvious.
Over the centuries, some have claimed to "see the Day drawing near" and have been wrong. This has resulted (quite illogically, I think) in a chill on prophecy, in Christians giving up altogether trying to "see the Day drawing near." Brother even scoffs at brother: "People in every age have thought they live in the end times!" "All things are continuing as they were from the beginning" (2 Peter 3:4). No wonder God finds it necessary to warn, "Do not despise prophecies" (1 Thessalonians 5:20). The reasonable response to error in prophecy is not its rejection but more close attention.
Some people are paying closer attention to Turkey. Before our eyes the newly minted Asia Minor economic powerhouse has transmogrified from an ally of the West to an ally of the East, extending friendship to Syria, Damascus, Iran, and Hamas, and becoming "a hot friend cooling" (Shakespeare's Julius Caesar) to the United States and Israel. She does more business now with Russia, Iran, and Iraq than with the EU, and is making nice with Armenia, Syria, and Iran. Most alarmingly, the ascendance of the Islamic AKP party with Prime Minister Erdogan has meant creeping Islamicization of the last secular nation on the block.
"What scares Washington is the suspicion that Ankara's new attitude may be driven less by the practical pursuit of Turkey's national interest than by thinly concealed Islamist ideology."
If Islam is a "religion of peace," why the fear?
It could mean nothing. But it could also mean Ezekiel 38 and 39---an international confederation of nations coming together against Israel. The players named in Scripture are Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, and Gomer (38:5-6). Persia is, of course, Iran. Gomer is a people descended from Noah's son Japheth and closely related to the Anatolians (Turkey).
Ezekiel prophesies of them:
"In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you" (38:8-9).
On Monday, The Associated Press reported:
"President Barack Obama failed to win immediate new pledges of support from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for U.S. goals toward Iran and Afghanistan."
The prophet says, cryptically, to the confederation:
"On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme. . . ." (Ezekiel 38:10).
Wouldn't you like to know what schemes are hatching tonight in Erdogan's mind?
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