West Suburban Illinois Bible Students

Chicago's Official Source For Bible Truth

Is Terrorism The New Normal?
The Rise of Anarchy and International Terrorism

An ancient Jewish scripture found in Joel 3:10 prophetically proclaims, "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. " No better scripture could be used to describe our unique time in history. For most of human history there have been local conflicts and regional wars, but since the days of the French and American Revolutions anarchy and terrorism (once referred to as nihilism - Latin for "nothing-ism") have become more common. Following World War 1, the great powers began to lose their grip over the territories they had once conquered as the local populace began to insist upon their personal freedoms and right to self- determination. This quickly led to the emergence of guerrilla warfare, anarchistic and terrorist movements.

For many years the word terrorism was often connected to events linked to the Middle East; groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization, and others. A small band of dedicated zealots would commandeer a plane, kidnap innocent people for publicity purposes, or blow up buildings. But these groups were small and disorganized. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 numerous terrorist and anarchist movements sprang up almost overnight. Throughout the globe the formerly weak were now saying they were strong, and they often showed it by being able to instill fear in the heart of larger international powers. One of the most memorable events which has been linked to terrorism was the attack on the New York World Trade Center towers on September 11th, 2001. Now, we cannot go a day without hearing the results of violent acts of fledgling terrorist groups, often motivated by their religious ideology.

With men's hearts failing them for fear of the things taking place throughout the earth (Luke 21:26) many have given up ever hoping that things will get better. Many anticipate that terrorism and anarchy will spread throughout Europe and eventually even reach North America. Modern terrorist groups such as ISIS even claim to have sleepers in many western nations, just waiting for the instructions to proceed with their plans. Whether or not these claims are true those who have an interest in the Bible and God's plans for humanity are fully aware that such movements will continue to grow in number, strength and efficiency. The full context of Joel 3 pinpoints the rise of terrorism and anarchy, but also shows the blessed results on the other side of this trouble:

"Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, "I am strong!" Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, Lord! "Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow - so great is their wickedness!" Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble."

Why is God allowing such trouble? Because, as is indicated in other scriptures, God has decided that the nations are incapable of governing themselves, and with the return of his son, Jesus Christ, all nations must be torn down to make way for a heavenly, theocratic (that is, 'God-ruled') government in which righteousness, justice, peace, health and prosperity are established. The scripture in Joel 3 continues:

"Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. "In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord's house and will water the valley of acacias."

Scripture is abundant with descriptions of the unprecedented time of trouble in our day, which is to be swiftly followed by God's divine government. Revelation 21:1-7 outlines it beautifully when it declares, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

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