Jesus clearly stated that the later days would signal the soon return of the Lord at a time when there would be a great increase of threats of war. Jesus said: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. all these are the beginnings of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:7-8) There is at this time a great deal of saber-rattling between China and Japan over a few islands, but also over un-forgiven issues of the past. There is still a great deal of animosity between these powerful nations over grievances caused by and suffered from WWII in Japan’s aggressions against China. These grievances even extend back into the latter part of the 19th century!
With all of the events happening in Ukraine with Russia’s takeover of the Crimea, the world may not notice this growing unrest that is developing between China and Japan. Revelation 16:12 says: “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” During the latter part of the Great Tribulation the “kings of the east,” likely headed up by China, but perhaps also including India and Pakistan (also feuding nations), will make their way by the hundreds of millions across the dried river bed of the Euphrates on their way to gather for the battle of Armageddon against Israel. (Revelation 16:16)
I believe the church will have been raptured by this time and will, after the Great Tribulation, return with the Lord to the earth when He will establish his thousand-year kingdom. When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He will stop all the nations that will gather to destroy Israel. All the wicked members of those nations who are gathered to destroy Israel, God will destroy. Yet, the evidence shows that many member of these same nations will survive to be made up of believers at the return of the Lord to Jerusalem. Then the members of these nations, who will have been faithful to protect Israel during the Tribulation, will come to worship the Lord. Among these nations will be China. Isaiah predicts: “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.” (Isaiah 49:12) Sinim is believed to be a reference to the Asian nation of China probably settled soon after the dispersion at the tower of Babel.
Keep your eyes on these nations which are threatening war with one another, such as Russia, Syria, Iran, China and Japan, North and South Korea, and others. Also pray that the gospel will penetrate these nations so God will raise up faithful believers in them. These nations and “wars and rumors of wars” all have an important bearing on what God intends to do in the latter days. The Church will be raptured at any time, so be sure you are faithful to serve the Lord with courage, purity and a dynamic testimony. We should not get complacent or compromising! At any time the “Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
I believe the “kings of the east” are rising up through their own conflicts. They are inspired by the pride of the devil. In this way, I believe they are being prepared by growing in military and economic strength for future alliances with the anti-Israel forces of the earth, eventually to come against God’s people in the latter days. All of these things signal the soon coming of the Lord!
(If you would like to read my analysis of the current events in Ukraine as they involve the U.S., Russia, Iran and other nations from a prophetic perspective then respond to this post with your request for my Prophecy in Perspective e-Newsletter along with your e-mail address.)