China, The Persian Gulf, The Slavic Lands and The Great Tribulation
(March 6, 2000)

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Trouble, big trouble brewing in three areas of the world: China, The Persian Gulf and Yugoslavia. Each of these three areas is mentioned in the bible as being connected with the end times/great tribulation. China is almost certainly indicated in the sixth trumpet/sixth vial-Revelation 9 and 16. The Persian Gulf appears to be indicated in Numbers 24:24 and Yugoslavia appears to be indicated in Luke 17:37. I will explain the latter two, since the first one is fairly well known.

Numbers 24:24 reveals Balaam's final oracle. Prior to uttering it, he exclaims, "who shall live when God doeth this." "Ships shall come from the coast of Chittim and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish forever." To the Hebrew, Chittim was any Island to the West of Israel. Balaam saw it as a last days naval power. "Chittim" is pronounced "kitty" in the Hebrew tongue. Twice, since 1993, the USS Kitty Hawk has afflicted Assyria (Iraq). The prophecy is that, eventually, Chittim will perish forever. That Chittim is modern day America is something that I have stated prophetically before.

Luke 17:37 states that "wheresoever the body (GK-soma) is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." This is Jesus' answer to the question posed by the disciples---"where Lord". They were inquiring geographically. What place were they curious about? The scriptures immediately preceding warn us to "Remember Lot's wife" and speak of sudden separations of people, one taken, another left. In short, upheaval. It is interesting to note that the other translation for "soma" is "slave". The slavic nations, including Yugoslavia, are so named because they have been perpetually enslaved peoples. I have stated prophetically before that the Slavic Lands are The Place Of Tribulation.

So now, in the final year of the sixth prophetic day, we find boiling pots in each of these areas. Tension is rising quickly in this third month of the year 2000.

If four angels with the ability to cause a war that will kill 2 Billion people have already been released from the Euphrates River, where have they gone? Let us speculate that we see China, Yugoslavia, Russia and Iraq as the four countries that are behaving themselves in keeping with wartime insanity. There seems to have been an increase in their collective insanity since 1991.

There is one more thing---a very important matter. Matthew reveals that the end will not come until the gospel is preached in all the world. Apparently, TBN will do it before the end of 2000 by Satellite. Mark reveals that the gospel will be published among all nations. The end cannot come until these things are done. The largest missionary organizations in the world are co-operating in an effort to present the New Testament in every dialect prior to the end of 2000. If this is accomplished in the Lord's sight, then he can come. So, it appears that this criteria is very close to being met.

So how close are we? Israel is back in the land. Jews are accepting Jesus. This is the blossoming of the fig tree. My pastor is a former Rabbinnical student---Hallelujah and more of a Rabbi than he ever was before. "When her branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors."

Enquiring minds want to know. How close are we? It could be at our door. But the warning from scripture haunts---"woe to those who look forward to the day of the Lord". It will be a day of darkness. How many of our churches are spiritually preparing to go through even one week of trouble, let alone 3 and 1/2 years of the worst persecution the world has ever seen?

It is time to redouble our efforts to be diligent and serious in our relationship with Jesus. We must be active, not passive. We must regain our first love, whatever it costs us. And we must do it before the trouble reaches our shore. It could be soon.

Stephen L. Bening

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