Q: Let’s talk about what’s going on in the world right now with Ukraine. How is it connected to the End Times?
A: First is Christ’s prediction in Mathew 24:6, “There shall be wars and rumors of wars…” We see Russia invading Ukraine and hear the rumor that China will seize Taiwan, perhaps in the fall. This is the example of a war and a rumor of a war. The Russian political and military machine has been active behind the scenes, in Iran, Syria, and other nations. Presently they are visible in the Ukrainian invasion. When Russia begins a major war, we should be reminded of the big battle coming – in the future – called the battle of Gog of Magog (Ezekiel 38-39). This is not that battle, but could, over time, lead to a more extended conflict in the Middle-East.
Q: What does the Bible tell us about Gog and Magog, and if the Ukraine conflict turned out to be part of this or a precursor to it, what will we see happen according to Scripture?
A: Russia is deeply connected, either economically, militarily, or both, with most nations alluded to Ezekiel’s Gog war, such as Persia (which is Iran), Togarmah of the north (which includes Turkey), Libya (and parts of northern Africa) and the areas of Meshech and Tubal, which can include areas as far as Afghanistan and the southern Russian states, which are Islamic and were once part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. If Russian troops were to move into other Baltic nations, or into Eastern European NATO nations, the situation could turn into World War III and eventually bring us to the brink of a Middle-East oil and gas conflict, which would play a part in the Ezekiel Oracle.
Q: Previously as well as during this current conflict, Daystar has been involved in helping Jewish people from Ukraine and the surrounding region return to their ancestral homeland of Israel. What is the End Times significance of that?
A: Several major biblical prophets gave clear and precise prophecies that in the latter times the Jews would return from the north country, and other Gentile nations, back to Israel. God said He would send “fishers” and “hunters” to find them and bring them back Israel (Jer. 16:14-16; Isa. 43:5-7). In Jeremiah, the fishers and hunters search the mountains, hills, and rocks (in the north) to find the Jews and bring them back. This is literally occurring with the refugee situation in Ukraine. Daystar has assisted financially, to help fulfill this great prophecy by meeting this great need, and helping the Jews who are again refugees, to get back to the land of their ancestors!
Q: How does the regathering of the Jewish people to Israel link to the Gog and Magog War?
A: In Ezekiel 38 and 39, when this Gog of Magog war is unleashed, it happens when Israel is “dwelling safely” (Ezek. 38:8, 11, 14). The Hebrew word for “safely” can also refer to “a place of refuge; being secure.” The Jews who have returned from the north country (Russia, and now Ukraine), are now dwelling safely. This is important to note, as this war will occur in a time when Israel and the Jews are safe, in cities without walls (Ezek. 38:11) and homes without bars or gates. Amazingly, this is the setting we see at this present time in Israel. Yes, Israel has enemies. However, in a tour bus you can travel from Dan to Beersheba, from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea, and sense the peace of God.
Q: Why is the Jewish people being in the land of Israel so important, and why must the Church be actively engaged in helping make this happen?
A: The prophets of the Bible indicated that for the Messiah to rule in Jerusalem, Israel would first be restored as a nation (Isa 66:8); Jerusalem would be the capital and would grow and expand (Psa. 102:16); the land would blossom, stream would appear in the desert and produce food and fruit (Isa. 27:6; 35:1-7); and one of the final events is the Jews would then begin returning to Israel from all nations, with the most immigrants coming from the north! All of these things combined are a part of the “restitution of all things” that Peter predicted would occur. Peter taught that after the restitution or restoration, the heavens would release Christ, and He would return back to the earth (Acts 3:21). Then Jesus returning to their homeland, is part of the prophetic plan of God in the last days. The Church and Israel are linked with a spiritual umbilical cord. Both of our blessings, from God, are linked with each other. Helping the Jews return is one part of God’s blessing pact (Gen. 12:3).
Q: Over the last few years, we’ve seen democratic nations very easily embrace authoritarian tactics. What do you think God is showing the Church through this?
A: I believe what we are seeing is a part of the time of the end, and Satan knowing he is running short on time and is working in “high places” to bring about laws that would silence the voices of reason in season. The Early Church believers understood that the “Church” was actually a “Kingdom,” just as Christ had taught. The idea of a “Kingdom” outside of the Roman Empire did not sit well with the Roman leaders and Emperors, who were the dictators of their day. The Church learned to operate in Kingdom authority as they attempted to live peaceably among all men. However, they never compromised who Christ was, His death, burial and resurrection, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians today must do the same. Speak boldly in love, but never apologize for the truth.
Since 2020, there’s been a greater since of urgency about living with purpose. Why do you think that is?
A: Honestly, if a person feels they have no purpose they will lose the desire to live. Every person is important. You may not like your looks, your weight, the clothes you have to wear, and feel like even your pet dog has turned against you! However, every day get up and plan to do one good act, one good word of encouragement, or help someone in a tiny way. You will be surprised how good you will feel. When Jesus taught that it was, “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), He was not just alluding to money. Your feeling of worth is connected with your willingness to bless others. You are rewarded for giving a glass of cold water, for sharing with others a bit of what you have, and for edifying those who are down.
Q: What do you think the Lord is calling the Church to do in this new season?
A: It is a fact that most human beings cannot resist being loved or feeling they are loved. That love feeling changes everything about them. Everyone needs true, heartfelt affirmation and to know someone really is concerned about their life and future. The Church often talks about the need for revival and the restoration of gifts. I say we need to see more fruit on our spiritual trees (Gal. 5:22). If the world could see Jesus – the real Jesus – in us, they would all want the Bible Jesus, because He loved people who were outright sinners. We won’t have to beg people to follow Christ if we will follow Christ the way He taught us to follow Him. The key is love. God is wanting the Church to start loving people – not for what they can to for us, but for what we can do for them.
Q: When it comes to the last days, what is one thing that you think most Christians misunderstand?
A: Having preached prophecy for several decades, I believe the biggest misunderstanding is the purpose of End Time prophecy. The book of Revelation opens by saying, “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1). But too many people refuse to study Revelation, as they view it as “doom and gloom.” Others excuse themselves from the table of prophecy as they believe the book and symbolism is just too difficult to swallow. God did not reveal End Time prophecy to scare us, but to prepare us! We should discern the times to help others find their way through the coming darkness into the glorious light of the Kingdom of God.
Q: What major thing do you see happening in Israel in the near future, and how is it connected to the End Times?
A: Israel is on the cusp of many medical and technological breakthroughs. Many years ago, an Israeli leader shared with a close friend that over time he believed Israel will discover the cure for most diseases that exist. Israel is also a master of agricultural breakthroughs and growing food. They also have amazing military advancements. At the same time, the people in the land have continually fought for the right to exist in the land. This conflict will eventually climax with the future rise of the Kingdom of the Beast (Rev. 13) and the final battle of Armageddon. Israel and Jerusalem will be the center of the final biblical prophecies, as it related to the Messiah and His return!
Q: In the Bible the Antichrist is referred to as the lawless one, so is the current rejection of truth that we’re seeing a product of the Antichrist spirit?
A: 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 is one of the most important New Testament chapters exposing the spirit of lawlessness that is unleashed, leading mankind to the final great deception. Paul wrote that people would fall into the satanic trap of deception because, “They received not the love of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:10), and they, “Believe not the truth” (2 Thess. 2:12). The rejection of truth is the culprit of deception at the time of the end. Paul warned that in the time of the end, people would give themselves to, “Seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1). Being seduced refers to being drawn away from something, to the point of becoming someone who is roving around without direction. In context, Paul is alluding to people who are drawn away (seduced) from solid doctrine. We must abide in truth, be truth lovers and truth seekers. The truth will live and the lie will die.
Q: What has the Lord shown you personally about this year, this season, and how the Church needs to prepare?
A: We see so many various possibilities this year. Some are great opportunities and others can be some form of crisis. I would caution the Church to be careful in accepting prophetic speculation as prophetic revelation. For the past 18 months, I have heard speculation that the stock market was going to crash (this was last year), the dollar was going to die, gold would go to $5,000 an ounce, and all of the grocery shelves would be empty. These things could eventually occur. However, speculation is not divine revelation. Yet, Christians continually watch videos where men are making outlandish predictions that were supposed to have already happened, but haven’t. Unproven and unfounded speculation creates unneeded anxiety and stress.
We must always be reminded of Christ’s words to the disciples. When He gave the signs of His coming, predicting famines, earthquakes, pestilences (viruses), wars and rumors of war, Jesus said, “see that you be not troubled” (Matt. 24:6). As Joni has often said, “Focus on the crown, the jewels, and the souls!” Be reminded that Christ also taught that when “all of these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your head, for your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).