Sermon delivered December 1, 2001 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Terrorism and Time

This morning I would like to speak with you about terrorism. Have you been watching the news in the last three months? Since September 11 the world has changed. I want to bring out seven points about terrorism.

First of all, Point number one. Terrorism is not new. Terrorism started in heaven. There was war in heaven. Terrorism existed from the beginning, and I think the devil has the patent on terrorism.

Come to the book of Genesis 6 in your Bible. I want you to notice verse 4. Genesis 6:4. There were terrorists in Noah s day. This text says, The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. Now, several translations that I looked up and on the computer as well, indicated that these were the violent ones. These were giants of strength. They were extremists, they were terrorists, they were the big bullies. And they terrorized the land.

Jesus predicted that this type of terrorism would also exist in the last days.

Which brings us to point number two. Terrorism will exist at the end of time. Notice Jesus' prediction in Matthew 24 in your Bible. Matthew 24:37. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man." Now look over in Luke. Jesus says in Luke 21 that major extreme terror will exist in the last days and will immediately be followed by the second coming of Jesus Christ. Luke 21:26. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time What time? When you see heavenly bodies being shaken, when your hearts are in terror because of the events that are happening on this world, then at that time "...they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." So, immediately after the terror you will see the coming of the Son of Man.

Now some of the terror originates from great catastrophes of the last days just prior to Jesus coming. Luke 21:26 indicates two sources of this terror, of this trouble: 1. Terror upon the earth, 2. the terror that you see in the heavens, in the skies. So, when the world that we live in is so dangerous that the world event strike terror in your heart and at the same time you see something up in the heavens, you hear something coming, something in the skies, some great danger coming upon us from outer space, then you are to lift up your heads because your Redeemer draws nigh.

That's pretty plain. What did Jesus see that would strike terror into the hearts of the people that was coming in the skies? Did He see asteroids? Did He see some sky-quake like we have an earthquake? Did the planets move out of their places? I don't know what He saw. He didn't describe it in detail. Something big, something very threatening, something making men's and women's hearts full of terror.

So, number three, I would like to postulate We live in a day of Terror. I don't think I have to substantiate that very much do I? You all watch the news. You know that since September eleven no body would doubt that statement. But did you notice how unprepared we were prior to September eleven? Everything was kind of peaceful. You could just go to the airport, you could park your car right in front of the terminal. There were hardly any restrictions. We were at peace and safety. And the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 While people were saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly. According the New Living Translation (NLT), When people are saying, "All is well, everything is peaceful and secure" then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman's birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape. Disaster will fall upon them. Apparently, maybe even from the skies. That has certainly happened. Terrorism has struck America very hard. America is not an island. We find extreme terrorism in the Sudan by some of the Muslim extremists who are exterminating Christians there by the thousands. Troubles between these two groups of Muslim extremists and Christians exists all over the world. Our churches are being bull-dozed by the hundreds. Christian churches knocked to the ground. Turkishmania is one example of what happened to the Seventh-day Adventist church there. And the southern Philippines have been plagued by violent Muslim terrorists. Evil terrorist walk into our churches and shoot people with their machine guns right in their pews. They kill them all, and they go out and celebrate. September 12 this year in central Nigeria there were five hundred people killed in just one week.

You could take Foxe's Book of Martyrs and you could add a lot of chapters to it that are happening today. So the point is that we live in an age of terror.

The problem here in the United States is that we thought we were an island. We thought that we were immune to all this, "this isn't going to happen here." Now terrorism is actually taking root in the United States of America.. We are vulnerable. Anthrax and bombs and threats of terror are becoming a daily trend in our lives. According to the U.S. News summary: "Many Muslims are jubilant that the world trade towers were destroyed." (Not all of the Muslims) "and it appears that some Islamic forces are targeting our whole way of life. Our freedoms are disappearing. Religious extremism, religious fundamentalism is the worst kind of religion."

And Islam is growing. Let me make a statement here. Do we hate the Islamic people? No, we don't. Did God create them? Yes He did, just like He created you and like He created me. We do not hate these people. What we hate is terrorism. What we hate are the extremists. So make that very clear, we love these people. We should pray for these people. But we have a problem with the terrorists. Many of these terrorists that are bombing Christians, that are killing Christians, happen to be Muslim extremists. Did you know that one out of every five people today is a Muslim. It s the fastest growing religion in the world today. Over 1.3 billion people in the world are bowing toward Mecca five times a day. It s one of the five pillars of Islam. In the former Soviet Union, did you know that over half of the babies that are being born are being born to Muslims. Here in America there are more Muslims than Methodists, or Jews, or Episcopalians. They are the seventh largest denomination in America today. And they are gaining fast.

I have been asked by many people, "Well, if Muslim extremists are doing all these terrible things in the last days, why do they hate America?" I suppose one reason would be our relationship with Israel. Another question pops up: "If a lot of terrorism in the last days emanates from Muslim extremists, then where is all this predicted in the bible? It's not in the Bible. It should be in the bible. It should be in the Spirit of Prophecy."

Well, point number four I would like to speak with you about Muslim terrorism in the Bible. It is in the bible. Actually they are mentioned in the Bible. A friend of Mine, J. W. Henson did some research for me, and found in an old book over a hundred years old, written by Uriah Smith called, Daniel and Revelation. There's a whole chapter in there on Islam and prophecy. I want you to come to Revelation 9. We're going to go through this chapter in a minor way. You can study this more deeply at home. This has to do with the fifth and sixth trumpets, the first and second of the woes.

Let me give your a very short history lesson. Recall the fall of the Roman empire. That created a power vacuum. Into that power vacuum stepped two major forces: One was the Roman church, which split into Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. The other was Mohammedanism, or Islam. And Satan, eventually working through this power, was this star falling from heaven to the earth in Revelation 9:1. Young Mohammed led the forces that he had. He had the key to the abyss, these vast stretches of Arabian desert. From these remote places these eastern hordes came forth and attacked and took over the vacuum that was replaced by the Roman empire. They came like swarms of locusts. In verse seven, on their heads were, basically, turbans with ornaments of gold glittering on them. In verse eight they had long uncut hair like a woman, tied back and their beards were uncut. Their teeth were as ferocious as a lion. They were terrorists. Their first real king was Ottoman, who took over power on July 27, 1299. The five months of Revelation 9:10 were actually five months of thirty days each, a hundred fifty days, each day was a day in Bible prophecy, so this was a hundred fifty years of domination. And precisely to the day on July 27, 1449, The Greek emperor, Constantine, who was the emperor in Constantinople, submitted to Mohammed. You can look this up in your encyclopedia. Finally their chief city, Constantinople, fell to the Muslims when that great leader, Mohammed II, marched into the city.

Verse eleven, they are called destroyers. You might as well say, terrorists. That's what these extremists were doing, and how did they conquer Constantinople? Well, there was a brand new invention. History records that that invention is called, gunpowder. Muslims had foundries and these people cast cannons and fired huge cannon balls at the walls of Constantinople which were impregnable for hundreds of years. And the city fell, and Mohammed II marched in with his forces. As they fired at those walls, the belching fire of their cannons as described in Revelation 9:17 says that ...out of their (horses') mouths came fire, and smoke and sulfur. What are the chief ingredients of gun powder? Charcoal, saltpeter and sulfur. What ingredients came out of their gun barrels? Smoke, fire and sulfur. Precisely what comes out of a gunbarrel plus the bullet itself. So, here it is described in the Bible.

And then the sixth woe fell. Look at Revelation 9:13. The Islamic hordes took control for an hour and day and a month and a year. Well, in Bible prophecy a day equals a year, one entire year would be three hundred sixty days, thirty days to the month

One year = 360 days, or   360 prophetic years
One month = 30 days, or         30 prophetic years
One day =                        1 prophetic year
One hour = 1/24 th of a year or 15 prophetic days

So you have a total or three hundred ninety one years and fifteen days. So, what happened at the end of this period. This is very interesting. You wold expect something great to take place to the Islamic power. From July 27, 1449 until August 11, 1840 is the exact day some momentous event did take place. You may not believe this, but on that very day the Sultan of Islam was served his papers by the government steamboat and the prophecy actually does picture the Islamic nation. And their terrorist still wreak havoc to this day as predicted in the Bible. That is amazing to me.

The remainder of Revelation 9 speaks of the continuing worship of demons, their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality, and their thievery. Now, I realize this chapter could have a second fulfillment in Bible prophecy, but certainly the primary fulfillment does speak of the Islamic power. Now, I am not against the Muslim people. I think I need to make that very clear. God created them. We need to pray for these people. We need to be doing something for these people. And God is doing something for these people.

What have we been doing over in Afghanistan? We have been bombing them with some of the biggest bombs that we have. And, now what are we dropping on Afghanistan? Are you aware that specially equipped radio airplanes are hovering over Afghanistan right now broadcasting short-wave media from the air straight down to Afghanistan. The problem is that they don't have any radios. So we are dropping radios paid for by the United States government, short-wave radios onto Afghanistan by the hundreds of thousands. These radios are falling from the sky, airdropped. And that is none other than the providence of God. Do you know what we are doing? We just received permission from the United Arab Emirate to have unrestricted broadcasting at a site just south of Afghanistan with Adventist World Radio. And the radios are falling from the sky. What a miracle. We are doing something for these people. God is doing something. Can you see how it's all coming together? I think we are living in the last days.

God loves these people. And so should we. But, we need to be ready for the future time of trouble. And a lot of that trouble apparently will be brought upon the world by Muslim extremists. Not by the Muslims in general. They're peace-loving people.

Anthrax is now a household word. People have anthrax scares all over the place. Fear is contagious, even though anthrax is not. What are people afraid of now? Atomic bombs. They are afraid of biological warfare. And these are legitimate threats. Surely we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. People are living in fear today. I believe Jesus' prophecy is taking place. everything in the world seems to be in agitation. We're living in the toenails of time.

This brings me to point number five: Time is running out. We have sinned badly here in America. I think God is just about to stop His cosmic stop-watch which has been running now for six thousand years on this experiment of sin. He's about to pull the plug because here in America we have gotten a lot of sin into our country. You know, we kill babies and we call it abortion. We call homosexuality another life-style. We will not buy a movie, we will not go to a movie, unless it is x-rated and the more swear words and the more sex it has in it, the better. We flock as Americans to the theater to see Harry Potter. we want to watch him cast his spells, to engage in his witchcraft, to practice his divination and sorcery and to interpret his omens, and what do we call it? We should call it "spiritualism." What do we call it? Entertainment. There's something wrong with us here in America. By the way, Harry Potter is described in Deuteronomy 18:9-13. You can read it some time.

Doing these things that are detestable to God, and yet we watch them and go and pay money to enjoy the entertainment. If you take your children to see such things you're whetting their taste for the devil. And no wonder God is allowing judgments to come upon the United States of America. I don't think we need a Sunday law to correct all this. God forbid. But we do need to get back to God. An intensity is taking possession of every earthly element. And I thinks the signs tell me that Jesus is at the door. Jesus' coming is near. We're about ready to go home. How many of you believe in the second coming of Jesus? It's coming soon! Look at all those Adventists out there. That's what an Adventist is.

We have sinned big in America. And now we are cloning human embryos so that we can dissect them. What is next? I don't understand it. The New Age teaching of the divinity of man is growing. They teach that within each of us lies a divine spark. All we have to do is fan it. We're akin to the gods. What this means to me is that God is going to step in and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, you've gone far enough. Closing time is here. I'm going to come. I'm going to send Jesus." And I think already that God could be withdrawing His Holy Spirit from this world. No wonder we face all this terrorism. Our sins have reached to the skies. Time may be much shorter than we realize.

Ezekiel 7:23,24. ...the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of violence. I will come .... and put an end to the pride of the mighty, and their sanctuaries will be desecrated. Bad, evil people are going to come and desecrate our sanctuaries of money, our sanctuaries of power. Maybe that's what the World Trade Towers represented, and they are gone. The Bible predicts that. I think the problem is our love of money here in America. We love our oil and our gasoline. We want chap prices at the pump, so we parley with these terrorist nations. That's what we are doing. And now we are paying the price. Let's look at Ezekiel 7:25. When terror comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. Calamity upon calamity will come. Rumor upon rumor. And Jesus tells us what these rumor will be in Matthew 24:4-6. Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming ,"I am the Christ." and will deceive many. You will hear of rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Wars will come in the last days. "We're fighting a war," President Bush said, "like not other. And every war brings terrorism."

Point number six: Terrorism will come to an end. Praise the Lord for that. Ezekiel 32:23. The reward of terrorist: Their graves are in the depths of the pit and her army lies around her grave. All who had spread terror in the land of the living are slain, fallen by the sword. Right now in Afghanistan, terrorists are hiding in caves. I want you to know that all terrorists will some day hide in caves. They will call for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them, to shield them, not from the bombs of the United States warplanes, but to shield them from the brightness of the coming of Lord. They will be destroyed by His brightness. Revelation speaks about that. They will call for the rocks and the mountains to fall. They hide in caves. "Fall on us. Hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne." They will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

Point number seven: Some day we're going to be in heaven. And terror will be unknown there. No more. It'll all be over. Isaiah 54:14 says, In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you. ; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. In fact, it will be burned up in Hell. The devil, the chief terrorist will be devoured by the flames, along with every other terrorist. And we will live in peace. Isaiah 33:17 says here, Your eyes will see the king in His beauty and view a land that stretches afar. In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror. That's the only place it will be: in our memory, and even that will fade away.

I will tell you that the only haven from terror, the only haven from divorce, the only haven from cancer, or sickness, the only have from unemployment, or stock market jitters, or whatever the problem is, is a vigorous daily relationship with Jesus Christ. That's our peace. That's our safety, and I urge you, I beg of you, I ask you do you have that relationship with Christ? If you do, you ca go through cancer peacefully. You can go through terrorism with peace in your heart. The men whose hearts are failing them for terror are not the people who have a daily relationship with Jesus. If you have Jesus in your heart you have the peace that passes understanding. Have that relationship. Seek Jesus in your heart. have that saving connection with Christ. He came to this world, He died on the old rugged cross two thousand years ago. He is your Savior today. he can be your Savior if you accept Him. Freely, His grace will cover your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus came upon a midnight clear. He's again going to come at midnight, the darkest point of the history of the world. He's going to take His people home. Let's be ready. Last time He came we were sleeping. This time let's be awake.

Bulletin

Hymn of Praise: #119, Angels From the Realms of Glory
Scripture: Matthew 24:21,22
Hymn of Response: #130, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

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