You know the song –
“You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why…”
Having found yet another little gem from the Scriptures on the Second Signpost (Dan. 7:4, 8:4-6, Rev 6:3-4) just this last week, I was reminded of this Christmas song. For such relatively short prophetic passages in God’s Word there are all kinds of implications of what conditions will be like when the Second Signpost finally strikes.
In Matthew 24 (and Mark 13 and Luke 21), Jesus tells us all the events of the end times, one after the other, and how they will all occur in one life time. Note the Four Signposts He mentions in Matt. 24:4-8, i.e. the delusion, the war, the famine, the destruction; one-two-three-four.
But note that of the four, for which one does He tell us not to be afraid? It’s the second with its war, just as, of the four horsemen, only the second one takes peace from the earth and is given power to start war in the quarter of the earth (Rev. 6:8b).
As I’ve written about before, the word for peace in Rev. 6:4 is iraynay, which is peace of mind and stability, as the second horseman will take it away. But what is Jesus telling us exactly in Matthew 24 and Luke 21?
Matthew 24:6 says,
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.”
As we find sometimes in our English Bibles, the words chosen by the translators don’t quite capture what the Greek is saying. (They do fine in relating to us the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but end time prophecy has proven itself different.) That word behind “alarmed” is throeo (Strong’s #2360, thro-eh’-o). Throeo means to clamor, to make a tumult, to make a loud cry due to being terrified, and could even mean to scream. In Matthew 24:6 the Greek may literally be saying, “see that you aren’t screaming (from terror).” Why would He tell us this? Could it be for the same reason that every time an angel appears to someone the first thing the angel says is “don’t be afraid”? In other words, when the Second Signpost strikes will there not be every human reason to be afraid and in terror? The world will then likely be screaming, but we, His followers, are to be different.
That word throeo is only used three times in the whole New Testament – it’s used in the same verse in Mark 13 talking about war, and for a third time in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, where Paul writes to calm down the church there that Christ hasn’t already returned.
It is interesting that where Paul tells Christians not to throeo because Christ has not come yet and there was panic He was missed, Jesus is inferring to us in Matthew 24 that the world will throeo because Christ is coming, even though its only one of the preceding signs. And we are not to act like the world.
We can contrast throeo with the common words used for fear in the New Testament, like Strong’s #5399 and #5401, which means to be afraid. These words are used 142 times. But throeo is different.
Another uncommon word used for terror is the word used in Luke 21:9. It is different as well. Christ tells us, “When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened.” The Greek word behind “frightened” is ptoeho (Strong’s #4422, pto-eh’-o) and it means to be terrified; to be terrified to the point of fleeing or acting in a panic. Again, our English Bibles fall short here. It comes from a root word meaning to fly, flutter, or to go off in a panic into irrational behavior. It’s quite a bit different from “frightened”. Ptoeo is used in only one other place in the New Testament. It is in Luke 24:37 after the Resurrection when Christ appears to the disciples and they think He is a ghost – something supernatural and terrifying. And here, too, Christ says to them, “peace be with you.”
And so, I believe Jesus is telling us that when the Second Signpost strikes and the Persian ram is running all over the Middle East, including to the south where the oil is, and the second horseman is taking peace from the earth, we are not to act like the world. Christ is not just telling us to not be “afraid” – we are to not scream and to not run around in a panic. Christ’s command to be calm is telling us the Second Signpost will indeed be terrifying.
But we are to be different. Even the bulk of people in the church will likely panic and scream – but they need to be told too, why the Iranian invasion is different and why we need to be different.
This kind of behavior might just have people asking you – “how can you be so calm?!? The world is falling apart and you are calm?!!?” That’s your invitation to witness what the Iranian invasion is truly all about, and what is truly happening, and that Christ is indeed coming in a few years. Be ready. Be ready in the head, in the heart, and if you can, be ready physically.
Like the Christmas song says, “you better not cry.” And you better not panic. And right here I’m telling you why. Because Christ told us not to do these things. Because Christ is coming. And you are His and we are to be different from the world. And He told you ahead of time that the terrifying Second Signpost is coming. So watch out, and stay calm. As Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Hallulujah!
[Note: The jpeg accompanying this post is meant to be printed and used. I pray it is used as a reminder, and as a tool for drawing the curiosity of people. I’ll add a page-size pdf version to the Resources page.]
Categories: Preparation, Signpost #2: Iran, The Four Signposts
Thank you for this good word. Just last evening – 21December, Holy Spirit spoke to me:
“….you must be prepared to share comfort and truth with the hurting. There isn’t much time to prepare for the great shaking coming to your nation and around the world. What is coming will be catastrophic for those unprepared. Continue in My will….. You must be prepared for many will seek your council. Remain calm and trust Me to protect and defend you. Your times are in My hands. Fear Not…..”
The greatest hour for His people is just ahead. LORD bless and again Thx. 🎉 aw
Amen. Jesus also encouraged a measured, patient perspective with simple phrases such us “…the end is not yet because (certain things must happen first)…” The emotional/spiritual component within us needs to be prepared through having the eyes of our understanding enlightened as He shows us “things to come…”. That’s why this web site is such a valuable resource… and will continue to be so increasingly for so many.
Even from the perspective of other observers (who aren’t necessarily believers) we can gather valuable observations which show us an advancement in the trend of Iran continuing to prepare for war, as seen in their planned purchase of Russian tanks (see link).
Many years ago I wrote the following poem which I’ve never forgotten, and points ever more closely to the days ahead:
Don’t mourn or lament for the world,
When into hell’s fury it’s hurled;
For would you compete with such great defeat
By letting your feelings be swirled?
Let not your heart be troubled, child;
For though confusion may run wild,
The reason is clear– My coming is near;
I’ll gather all those reconciled.
Thanks for sharing that word, Ali.
Wonderful poem, Daniel. I love the third and fourth lines – an interesting question.
Great post Mark! Holy Spirit will know how to respond in us and yes… it will be with calmness and with power!
Mark, I am considering self-publishing. Would you recommend Westbow Press and why? I am considering another press company but not comfortable with some of their subjects. Thank you, Bea
The link provided by Daniel is interesting. According to that, Iran may already have more than enough manpower and (religious) motivation to perform an invasion of the whole Middle East, but not the needed equipment – not by far. For this reason, the second signpost might be some years ahead – so Iran can become stronger after the sanctions are lifted, and/or until it has achieved nuclear weapons.
(Unless of course they secretly already have nuclear weapons. Then if they mount them on their mid-range ballistic missiles in a surprise first-strike, they might destroy enough of their adversaries’ strength to succeed with motivation and numbers.)
And yet – I guess Iran’s present equipment is more than enough to destroy ISIS, and to conquer all of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – and then stop, for a while, to grow stronger.
I had never thought of this before, but is it really certain that the Persian Ram striking in three directions does so in all three directions at once?
“I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.” Dan. 8:4
This text does not seem to demand that it strikes in all three directions at once – it seems to allow for the possibility that the three strikes are three different ones, acted out consecutively, with some time between them.
Could it be that it first strikes West – taking Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; and then rests to become stronger.
That it than strikes North, to take Azerbaijan; and then rests again to become stronger yet.
An then, finally, being much stronger than today, maybe having nukes and all, charges South to take the Gulf States?
It would be similar to the First Signpost. Saddam’s Iraq first taking on Iran for years, then making peace with it, and then taking on Kuwait – also two different wars, not one.
If this idea is correct, the first strike may happen soon, causing concern; then the second strike,l causing fear. But only the third strike, Southwards, will be the Second Signpost proper causing panic.
Mark, what do you think of this possibility?
I went with Westbow because I believe the Holy spirit was calling me to it. In addition, being the self-publishing subsidiary of Thomas Nelson meant that my book would be in their sites. It was God’s message and He would have Thomas Nelson get it if He meant it to be. Email me if you need more info.
Its always possible.
What tells me this is not so, though, is that peace is taken away throughout the world. At the very least, the first strike would have to be south. Also, the bear is also told to gorge on flesh – and the very fact Iran is represented as a bear means Iran will be rushing around everywhere at roughly the same time. And the bear is told only once to gorge – not three times.
And the size of Iranian forces could easily be split into thirds and each third could defeat each of the three paths.
All Glory to God
This is a very important piece you have written Mark. I have also received from the Lord that the 2nd Seal war (World War 3) approaches.
Fear is a favourite weapon of the enemy. Fear is the opposite of Faith. Fear makes one look to his own resources while Faith makes us look to God’s resources. WW3 will bring fear into the world like never before. We must encourage the Lord’s sheep with the prophetic ministry because if everyone knows what’s coming then fear will be more easily defeated.
This war (WW3) will be devastating…the destruction of life and property will be on a scale never seen before. Some may even come to question God because of the sheer scale of death, loss and misery. The enemy will use the fear generated from this war to reshape the world and bring about the beast system. This is because-after this war- men will accept any solution, they think, will help ensure that this kind of war never happens again. In doing so, they will fall right into enemy’s hands but all these things must happen for the promise of God’s Kingdom to come.This is the knowledge we must encourage one another with as we enter a perilous time. Our Lord will always be with us.
Could this be a reason for Iran to charge Saudi Arabia? Joel posted retweeted this on Twitter…
Yes, it is being used as another reason for Iran’s saber rattling. Remember the Hajj stampede where hundreds of Iranian pilgrims were killed? That was another one. Iran will keep using these Saudi actions as excuses for the eventual invasion.