The Approaching Storm :: by Stephen Meehan

I’m typing this article from a hotel room in Guam, overlooking the calm waters of Tumon Bay, on a weather delay for my  intended flight up into Iwakuni, Japan. Typhoon Chaba – a level 4 hurricane presently – is churning its way northwestward, just having passed the island of Okinawa and making its way toward southern Japan and South Korea. The weather service is labeling it a Super Typhoon, with sustained winds of 155 mph and peak gusts of 190 mph. Surely a storm of this magnitude will leave considerable devastation in its wake.

At the same time, across the globe in the Western hemisphere, Hurricane Matthew—also a level 4 hurricane presently— is currently on track to hit Haiti and with the poorer infrastructure of this tiny island nation, will cause considerable damage to buildings and maybe even a tremendous amount of lives lost. The landfall of these two super storms in their respective regions is imminent. Hopefully, the people groups of these areas will be prepared for what lies ahead.

The one saving grace, if it can be considered as one, is that a hurricane of this size can be tracked days in advance, maybe even up to a week prior to it making landfall. Projections can be made as to where it may impact coastal regions and how much strength it may muster, thus allowing expected impact areas to make preparations for its arrival. There is nothing worse than to be caught off guard, especially when something of this enormity is headed one’s way.

While these two storms and others like it can wreak havoc in its path, an even greater storm of far more strength and of considerably more dire consequences is headed our way, and its landfall on humanity is imminent. Just as a hurricane has outer bands that extend outwards of up to a couple of hundred miles from the eye of the storm, the outer bands of this mega massive event are swirling all about us presently and portends that its arrival upon us is extremely imminent – preparations for its onset should have already been made.

The event I’m alluding to is the final seven years of human government, commonly referred to as the Tribulation period, with the final three and a half years known as the Great Tribulation. Students of Bible prophecy have been tracking the progress of this soon engulfing phenomena for generations, while projections of its eventual impact were scribed in the Holy Writ centuries ago. Prophets like Daniel, Ezekiel, Hosea, Zechariah and others, as well as Jesus with His Apostles, foretold of the inescapable moment when this storm would make its appearance.

In the book of Revelation, we are given a behind the scenes account of what will transpire at the onset of the Tribulation Period. Jesus Christ—the Lamb of God—opens the very first seal in Revelation 6:1 and the Antichrist is let loose to ride his horse across the globe. To suggest, as some have done, in their denial of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, that this is not part of the wrath of God, doesn’t make sense. The Antichrist will then ink a seven-year peace accord with Israel (Daniel 9:27) which will be the moment the seven-year countdown begins.

The outer bands of this event, where a peace treaty is signed between Israel and the surrounding Islamic/Arab nations, have been visible for quite a while now, going back at the very least to the Oslo peace accords. With each failed attempt for a so-called peace, we are being drawn in ever closer to the maelstrom that awaits when this “covenant with death and hell, as Scripture refers to it – is finally confirmed by the Antichrist.

Another significant event that will occur at the very onset of, or near the beginning of the Tribulation hour, will be the invasion of Israel by a conglomeration of Islamic countries who have joined forces with Russia, Turkey and Iran, as foretold by Ezekiel the prophet. He wrote of this invasion some 2600 years ago, so the projection and track of this storm has been a long time coming.

In speaking of Ezekiel, I find it intriguing and apropos to the verbiage used in this article, in the way he penned the circumstances of this event. When he talks about Gog bringing in a marauding group of nations to invade the Jewish state, he writes:

“Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” ((Ezekiel 38:9)

The eye of this storm will make landfall in Israel, but Gog’s outer bands of nations involved will be as far north as Russia and Turkey, as far West as Libya, as far south as Sudan/Ethiopia and then as far East as Iran – and then “many peoples with thee.”

Because of that last phrase, “many peoples with thee”, I don’t subscribe to the notion of a Psalm 83 “war” precluding Ezekiel’s Gog/Magog invasion, where some believe the immediate nations surrounding Israel must first attack, since they weren’t mentioned by name in Ezekiel’s account. I believe they (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, Hezbollah, maybe Jordan and others) will be a part of the “many peoples with thee” wording, and a part of the swirling bands—but that is another topic.

How imminent is the eye of this storm to making landfall in Israel? Already, we can see the outer bands of nations being drawn into this swirling quagmire that will descend upon the Jewish State. Russia is already on the doorstep, in the neighboring nation of Syria. Turkey and Iran are both cozying up to Russia, in concordances and military alliances and are also involved in the confusion and slaughter taking place in next door Syria. It can’t be too much longer until an evil thought is conjured up and Gog is hooked into coming down onto the mountains of Israel for his appointed meeting with the God of Israel. Those storm clouds are plainly in view.

Another significant milestone of the Tribulation Period will be the formation of a One World Church or Religion, that will be headquartered in Rome. In Revelation 17, she is described as the Harlot Church. The antichrist will use this false religious system for his purposes during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation, but then the 10 kings who have confederated their rule with the Beast, will turn on this religious entity and destroy it – but this will occur because of God’s will to do so.

There can only be one institution on the face of the Earth that fits all of the characteristics, that is ascribed to her, mentioned in Revelation 17. What other religious system has adorned their priests, bishops and cardinals in purple and scarlet than Roman Catholicism? What other religious entity has such a collection of gold, precious stones, pearls, and untold wealth hidden away in the secret chambers of the Vatican? Who else uses a golden chalice in their masses and a golden monstrance to keep a Eucharistic wafer in to be adored as God?o:p>

Who beside the popes, have committed fornication with the kings of the earth? Papal Rome was responsible for installing and deposing monarchs throughout Europe and elsewhere during the Dark Ages. Christ said His Kingdom was not of this world, but the Vatican has different motives. Who has killed more true saints than has Rome, during her over 600 years of Inquisitions? There is no other entity that has ever existed that comes close to matching all of the features listed describing the Harlot Church than Roman Catholicism—there isn’t even a close second.

It is interesting that next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the so-called Marian apparitions that took place in Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady of Fatima, as she is called, was seen by three young Portuguese children on a few separate occasions and a shrine was later built on the site, with pilgrimages made to the site by many Roman Catholic faithful. These apparitions can only be demonic deception of the highest order, when one considers what these visions have been reported to have said to those in attendance, when it points to itself and not rightly to Jesus Christ for salvation.

We are told from Scripture that the devil can appear as an “angel of light” and clearly this is just such a manifestation of that. Back in my Roman Catholic days, before the Lord saved me from out of that organization, my wife and I visited this shrine in Fatima. I had seen the movie Our Lady of Fatima a few times as a kid, so I was interested in visiting it; the shrine is obviously all about Roman Catholicism’s version of Mary which has nothing to do with Jesus. Women were circling the shrine on their knees in devotion and adoration to the Lady; many had bloodied legs. Their acts of piety to this apparition site were astonishing.

But, as a former Roman Catholic, I can see where these apparitions could become a useful tool for the enemy during the Tribulation period. A majority of Roman Catholics already view these occurrences as legit. However, they could also be used to entice Muslims into a closer allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, and to fall in line with the One World religion. Fatima was the name of the youngest daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, so the name has a special connection to the Islamic people. I don’t think it was mere coincidence that Satan picked this locale to deceive people.

When the Rapture of the true Church occurs, there are going to be a lot of confused, perplexed and frightened people across the globe, wondering what has happened in the world – especially if children and mentally handicapped people are all suddenly missing. I would suspect that a religious leader may be more sought after for answers to what has happened to loved ones more than a political one, although a pope fits the bill for both -being a head of state in the Vatican.

I could see where another vision of an apparition, like the Lady of Fatima, could go a long way in reassuring the frightened masses, and at the same time point people to the Roman Catholic One World Religion and to the antichrist as a new world leader. It could be a part of the strong delusion that will occur to those who have rejected the true saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Just a thought, pure speculation, but it could be plausible.

Anyway, do we see signs of an approaching one world religion on the horizon? We sure do. Roman Catholicism’s ecumenical drive to bring all under her control is fully underway. Their “Come Home to Rome” campaign is all over the internet, in her desire to lure back former Roman Catholics (like myself) and to entice new protestants and others to join ranks with her false religious system.

They have been reaching out also to adherents of Islam, Hindus, Buddhists and any and all to join forces with them – all under the pope’s authority. Sadly, many are falling for it. The new pope is also reaching out to atheists, homosexuals, transgenders – anybody and everybody is welcome into a covenant with Rome. That storm is on the shores already.

The forecast looks bleak. The storm clouds are approaching. The wind is picking up, with the seas roaring. It is only a matter of time until this event is thrust upon us. We can see the worsening condition of life and of the evil encroaching from all quarters. People are requested to move to higher ground.

The promise of its impending impact has been foretold; there is no way to stop its arrival. The last seven years on earth before Jesus Christ returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem is going to begin one of these days. Signs are all around us that it is near. It is a time that you do not want you or your loved ones to endure. Jesus said it will be a time like no other. All flesh would perish unless He cut it short. One can see and sense evil imploding all around us, yet it is still being somewhat restrained.

I believe we are being allowed to see some of what is to come before Christians are snatched off the earth and taken home to heaven while the last seven years of horror unfold. I’m sure seeing the evil intensifying before our eyes is a means to get the word out quickly about salvation and that time is running out.

Just consider the horrors and atrocities that took place during the Holocaust years. My wife and I watch all the programs and movies that deal with that subject. We lived in Germany for three years and made two trips to Dachau when we had our parents visiting to show them the site where the mass murder of the Jews took place. As horrific as that time was for the Jewish people, there is no mention of it in Scripture. Other than, when I think of Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones, I think upon the images of those gruesome scenes from that era when the Nazis bulldozed those dead, emaciated bodies into dug out mass burial sites. That imagery reminds me of a valley of dry bones.

But, while there are no direct Scriptures referring to that period, there are plenty of Scripture verses warning us of what lies ahead during the Tribulation hour. The Holocaust will pale immeasurably in comparison. There will be a worldwide hunt down of both Jews and new Christians. Anyone refusing the mark of the beast will be killed. With satanic forces directly involved in this operation, hiding places will be non-existent; they will know where you are. Other than possibly Petra where the remnant of Israel will hide out and be protected by the Lord, everywhere else will be a free hunting zone. Take necessary precautions now before this looming storm hits.

This storm is tracking right towards us; there is nowhere on the globe where its impact will not be felt. It will be of such calamitous magnitude, that there isn’t a category level to rate it. Whereas a typhoon or hurricane when it makes landfall may stick around for a few days to unleash her fury, the coming Tribulation storm will not abate until a full seven years has passed. The devastation will be insurmountable. All will endure its effects. Wars, famines, diseases, droughts, earthquakes, utter devastation and a mass hunt down of those refusing the mark of the beast will be wrought upon the whole world.

Take shelter immediately.

The only way out of this soon coming event is to put your complete faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He offers His saving grace completely free to those who accept His plan of salvation. Nothing you can do will merit salvation. Our good works to obtain salvation are as filthy rags. We cannot earn it on our own behalf. Humbly invite Him into your life to save you. Once you have done that, He will save you from the wrath that is to come, which is exactly what the full seven years of the Tribulation are all about – the wrath of God for those who have rejected Jesus Christ and His saving gospel.

Prepare yourself for what lies ahead. For the students of Bible prophecy, we can see in our spirit’s radar screen that the coming hour is close at hand. Red warning pennants of impending disaster are flying off their masts. Harbingers of its full approaching impact are all around us; the siren signals are blaring. Take the required action to avoid this onrushing water swell.

Take cover now!

“I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalm 55:8)

“He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” (Psalm 107:29)

“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” (Isaiah 25:4)

“Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” (Isaiah 28:2)

“Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.” (Isaiah 29:6)

“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” (Nahum 1:3)

Do all for the glory of Christ,