The Last Generation?
Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) protested at Heathrow Airport in London holding a banner asking ‘Are we the last generation?’ Extinction Rebellion is an extreme environmental group that has taken direct action to bring parts of London to a standstill in April as they demand that the government takes decisive action to save the world from environmental disaster.
Their publicity says we are the last generation that can save the world from ‘catastrophic climate breakdown which will cause food collapse, destroy communities, and kill millions’. They demand that the government takes decisive action to save the world from environmental disaster. If you want to buy medicines at low prices (more details here) then you need to think about the environment. They also call for revolutionary change to replace the present economic system with an anti-capitalist regime, run by a ‘citizen’s assembly’.
Extinction Rebellion are not alone in demanding radical change. There are many voices on the media and in the education system telling people that humanity is on course for an environmental catastrophe and must change its ways now. David Attenborough and a number of scientists spelt this out in a BBC programme on climate change on 18 April. This is a summary of the message of this programme:
Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity in thousands of years. We are already seeing its impact in the great storms, floods and heatwaves of recent days and the rise in the sea level. Most of the reason for this is human activity, mainly burning fossil fuels to power our industrial and transport system. We are also burning down forests around the world. This is adding excess carbon to the atmosphere, which causes a heat blanket to trap more heat on the surface and increase the overall temperature. Scientists are in no doubt that at the current rate of warming we risk a devastating future. If we have not taken action within the next ten years we could face irreversible damage to the natural world, and the collapse of our societies.
If the planet continues to warm there will be more intense and frequent heat waves, drying out the soil, causing drought and water scarcity, wild fires breaking out. The warming ocean will bring more frequent storms and floods. Food production will be hit and many parts of the world will lose access to clean drinking water. The extinction of species will cause the collapse of the world’s ecosystems. Melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland will cause rising sea levels which pose a risk to areas of the world where over 600 million people live. All these factors put together could cause the end of civilisation.
Climate change activists say the main change required is to stop burning carbon (CO2), so called greenhouse gases. These are coal, oil and gas, used to power much of the electricity production in the world and transportation (cars, planes, ships). Theresa May has committed the UK to reduce CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. While there was some measure of agreement,She took this message to the G20 summit urging world leaders to follow Britain’s lead in order to save the planet. Donald Trump, who is a sceptic on global warming refused to sign up to a statement on climate change. Meanwhile India and China continue to build coal fire power stations and China has constructed thousands of miles of motorway to cope with its growing production of cars.
According to climate change protestors cutting emissions to zero by 2050 is too little too late. Extinction Rebellion says it has to happen by 2025. Philip Hammond from the UK treasury said the cost of these measures will be in the trillions of pounds. It is also doubtful that alternatives like wind and solar farms can ever produce enough power to replace CO2 emitting power sources. Nuclear power as an alternative is also hugely expensive and has its own greater dangers to the environment. Electric cars will not be able to replace the current petrol based system and themselves require parts which add to the pollution problem.
There are those who question the need to do this, including US President Trump, who dismisses climate change as just changing weather, and pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Change agreement. Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, wrote to the Royal Society arguing there is “no scientific proof” that mankind is causing global climate change and believes that it “has a much better correlation with changes in solar activity than CO2 levels.” The website Watts up with that? https:// wattsupwiththat.com questions climate change claims of ice melting and sea levels rising and says climate alarmists are endangering society by cutting back on means essential to keep the economy going.
There is also the view that there is an ulterior motive behind all this to make people so fearful of the consequences of climate change that they will accept the need for some kind of world government through the UN. The UN’s Agenda 21 programme has been interpreted as saying this is needed in order for action to be taken globally by 2030 by ‘organisations of the UN system’ to ‘tackle the degradation of the environment’. To make this work there would need to be a global organisation with authority over national governments, something which is obviously missing now. Some have also said there needs to be a big reduction in the earth’s population.
In an article entitled ‘The unhindered march towards Globalism’ Brett Gillette has written: ‘48% of millennials view climate change as the top threat to humanity. People clamour for global solutions to the “climate change crisis.” These solutions typically involve massive tax hikes, loss of national sovereignty, and a massive transfer of wealth and power to new global institutions. This crisis is how the globalists hope to get nations (and the United States in particular) to cede power to them. As former U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon said, “Climate change does not respect borders. It does not respect who you are – rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call ‘global challenges,’ which require global solidarity.” Brett Gillette sees this globalist plan as the way the antichrist government of Revelation 13 will come in the cause of ‘global solidarity’ with the promise that it can solve the world’s problems caused by climate change.
This may well be true. At the same time we cannot deny that there is a real problem concerning the environment and a number of facts on the ground do line up with the global warming theory. There are two things we have to consider on this subject.
- We are already seeing a real problem with the environment which threatens the future of the world.
- The dangers of environmental destruction line up with Bible prophecies concerning the last generation before the return of Jesus Christ.
Current problems with the environment.
David Attenborough says we are already seeing the impact of climate change. In recent times we have seen both extreme heat and cold, with droughts, and an increase in storms and floods. As trees are burned down, desert conditions are advancing in tropical regions. The permafrost in Arctic regions is melting releasing harmful methane gases into the atmosphere which also increase warming of the planet. The last four years have seen the hottest temperatures recorded in history.
2018 saw extreme heat and drought affect large parts of the world. 2019 has already seen unusual weather. Violent storms caused the most devastating floods in memory in Mozambique, while the Mid-west of USA has been hit by months of torrential rain causing flooding and a disaster for farmers in one of the world’s most important food producing areas. Drought has forced Australia to import wheat, instead of exporting it as usual and caused a massive rice crop failure in the Philippines. Hardly any rain has fallen in North Korea so far in 2019. Chennai, India’s sixth largest city with a population of around 9 million, has run out of water as the four lakes that supply the city have gone completely dry. 50% of India is now affected by lack of water and according to a government report 21 Indian cities will run out of groundwater by next year including the capital, New Delhi.
All over the world, crops are being devastated by floods, drought, hotter and colder than expected temperatures, and many are desperately hoping for a return to normal weather patterns. Even during the good years, the world has struggled to feed everyone. Now a UN backed report has announced that the world will run out of food and water at the present rate.
Human pollution of the environment is contributing to the loss of species of animals, fish, plants and insects worldwide. At the present rate a million species, about 50% of the world’s species, could be extinct by 2050. Fish in particular are being wiped out by overfishing and pollution of the oceans by plastic and radioactive waste from Fukushima. The world’s rivers are awash with dangerous levels of antibiotics and pollutants, which have serious consequences for people’s health as bacteria develop resistance to the life-saving medicines. The highest concentrations were found in rivers in Africa and Asia, with Bangladesh and Kenya preforming the worst. The pollutants in some Kenyan rivers were so high that no fish could survive.
There are many more examples we could find of the destructive effect of human activity on the only planet we can live on.
The environment and Bible prophecy.
At creation God gave the human race the responsibility to look after the earth He had created. ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1.26-28. The ‘dominion’ mandate here means looking after the earth and its creatures for good under God’s command, not exploiting and destroying it.
According to the Genesis account the earth and its environment suffered degradation as a result of the fall of mankind (Genesis 3) and the flood (Genesis 6-9). The Bible’s prophecies also imply that in the last days there will be an unprecedented crisis affecting the earth and its environment. In Romans 8.19-22 Paul describes the creation as being ‘subjected to futility’ and ‘bondage to corruption’ as ‘the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now’.
The bondage of corruption speaks of the present decay of the earth, which will reach its final stage in ‘groans and labours with birth pangs.’ The image of labour pains of a woman in childbirth is used in scripture to describe the crisis of the last days scenario (Isaiah 13.8, Jeremiah 30.6, 1 Thessalonians 5.3). After the labour pains Paul says ‘the creation itself will be delivered … into the glorious liberty of the children of God.’
This deliverance will come with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. Before that time the Bible does indicate there will be a crisis affecting the environment. Jesus spoke of famines and earthquakes increasing
as a sign of His coming (Matthew 24). Revelation 6.6 speaks of scarcity on earth, when a day’s wages will only buy a pitiful amount of food, not enough to live on. In Isaiah 24.5-6 we read of a polluted earth bringing great heat, causing many to die: ‘The earth is also defiled (Hebrew word ‘chanef’ can also be translated ‘polluted’) under its inhabitants … Therefore the curse has devoured the earth and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men are left.’
Revelation 8.7-11 describes trees being burned up, waters becoming bitter and polluted, fish dying in the sea. Revelation 16 speaks of a time when ‘men are scorched with great heat’, when the river dries up and there is a ‘great earthquake such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since there were men on the earth’. Revelation 16.8,12,18.
Jesus spoke of the last days’ crisis when men’s hearts would fail them for fear of what is coming: ‘On the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ Luke 21.25-6. Jesus refers to the sea and the waves roaring bringing ‘distress of nations with perplexity’ on the earth. Scientists say that a warming sea with sea levels rising will bring storms and floods surging onto coastal areas, devastating areas where millions live and there are many great world cities like London, New York, Shanghai, Mumbai. The Greek phrase for ‘with perplexity’ is ‘aporia’ which means ‘with no way out’, in other words a crisis with no solution.
There are other things happening, which are beyond human control
to influence, like the increase in earthquakes and volcanoes (another sign of the last days). The magnetic north pole is shifting at an accelerating pace, and this could potentially cause “trillions of dollars” in damage. The Earth’s magnetic field is a colossal force field which surrounds our planet and makes life possible. It protects us from solar storms which could potentially hit our planet and completely fry our power grid. As this magnetic field gets weaker solar flares have the potential to be cataclysmic and cause enough solar radiation to reach our planet that none of us will survive.
In this case the only one who can save us is the one who made our planet and the universe, God in the person of Jesus Christ. Environmental protests and commitments by nations like the UK to stop using fossil fuels by 2050 will make little or no difference to the situation (especially while nations like China go ahead with massive burning of carbon). The environmental problem is one of many crises coming on the earth in the last generation and is a sign of the soon coming of Jesus. At His return He will use His divine power to put right the mess the human race has made of the world He gave us to look after.
In that day ‘the earth shall become the ‘kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah and He shall reign for ever and ever.’ Revelation 11.15. Jesus will rule over this planet for 1000 years (Revelation 20) and renew it so it will again become the beautiful and fruitful place God intended it to be in the first place. Then ‘They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ Isaiah 11.9.
Persia in Prophecy.
On June 19 Iran shot down a US drone flying over the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow entrance to the Persian Gulf through which tankers carry 30% of the world’s oil. US President Trump ordered a counter attack on Iran, but cancelled it after it had been set in motion, with just ten minutes to go. Iran has threatened a military response to any attack from the US, so the world was about ten minutes away from a possible war in the Middle East, which could have dragged in the USA, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Russia.
Before that happened four tankers were attacked, along with oil installations and an airport in Saudi Arabia. Tensions in the area caused Israel to carry out a large military exercise on its northern border to prepare for an attack from Iran’s allies in Lebanon, Hezbollah and Iranian forces stationed in Syria. Israel also hit Iranian bases in Syria.
Russia warned the US not to attack Iran. An Iranian counter attack could bring devastation to the area. Iran and its proxies have thousands of missiles aimed at targets across the Middle East (Israel in particular). It is believed to have the possibility to launch an EMP attack on America which would cripple its electric grid. An attack on Iran could cripple its Busheir nuclear plant, bringing devastating radiation to the western side of Iran and the whole Gulf area.
The crisis began with the US pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and imposing sanctions on Iran which threaten to bankrupt the country as it loses its ability to sell its oil which it relies on for 40% of its economy. Now that the US has re-imposed sanctions, Iran intends to enrich uranium up to 20%, a key threshold from which analysts say it could produce weapons- grade uranium relatively quickly. Israel sees this as a threat to its existence, convinced that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb and use it to attack Israel. Iran has indeed issued threats to destroy Israel. It has forces stationed in Syria to the north of Israel and supplied around 150,000 missiles to its proxy, Hezbollah, in Lebanon. In the past Israel has said it would carry out a pre- emptive attack to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities if it makes progress towards making a bomb.
Students of Bible prophecy are taking note, as prophecies of the end times indicate Iran / Persia’s involvement as part of the alliance that comes against Israel in the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38.1-5). This needs to be taken seriously since past prophecies about Persia have happened exactly as the Bible said they would. Before we look at the present situation, let us look at what the Bible has to say about the past.
Modern Iran is situated in the area known in the Bible as Persia and Elam. Jeremiah prophesied that Elam, which is the western part of modern Iran, would be conquered and then rise to power again (Jeremiah 49:34-39). True to that prophecy, Babylon conquered Elam in 596 BC. Then the Persian King Cyrus (Kourosh in Persian), along with the Elamites and the Medes conquered Babylon in 539 BC, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that Babylon would fall to forces from Elam and Media (Isaiah 21:2). This happened during the time of Daniel (Daniel 5) who later resided “in the province of Elam” in Persia (Daniel 8:2).
The book of Daniel speaks of Persia in prophecy. In Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 there are two prophecies which relate to four empires the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans. These would have power over the Jewish people following the fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish captivity in Babylon. The second kingdom, the Medo-Persian empire conquered the first kingdom, Babylon. At the height of its power the Persian Empire would be the largest the world had seen to that time, stretching from the Indus River to Greece.
When the Persians took Babylon they found themselves in control of the large number of Jews, after the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and took them captive to Babylon seventy years earlier. One of the most interesting prophecies about Persia is found in Isaiah 44.23-45.13, which tells us what the Persians would do with the Jewish people. This prophecy was written by Isaiah around 150 years before its fulfilment at a time when neither Babylon nor Persia were significant powers or had any involvement with Israel.
The prophecy mentions Cyrus by name, and describes how the Persians captured Babylon. They diverted the River Euphrates which ran through Babylon and marched into the city on the dried up river through its defensive doors. Isaiah prophesied ‘I will dry up your rivers’ (Isaiah 44.27) and ‘I will open before him the double doors so that the gates will not be shut (45.1).’ Isaiah also prophesies that Cyrus would have a role in the restoration of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple. ‘The Lord says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”’ Isaiah 44.28.
The restoration came about when King Cyrus gave the edict for the Jews to return from Babylon and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. 2 Chronicles 36.22-23 and Ezra 1.1-4 tell how he made this proclamation: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!”’ 2 Chronicles 36.22-23 (see also Ezra 1.1-4)
This was also a fulfilment of the prophecy of Jeremiah that after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, the Jews would return to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 25,29.10-14). Daniel, the prophet God raised up during the days of the captivity in Babylon, recognised that the 70 year period Jeremiah had prophesied was completed and prayed for the restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of Jerusalem in Daniel 9. He then witnessed the Persian capture of Babylon which paved the way for this to happen (Daniel 5-6).
According to Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews Book 11 Chapter 1), when Cyrus made his grand entrance into Babylon after his general had conquered it, the elderly Daniel greeted him with an old scroll containing a message from God, written 150 years earlier (Isaiah 44:27- 45:12). This addressed him by his name, Cyrus, describing his tactics to capture Babylon, and was written at a time when neither Babylon nor Persia were major powers. Cyrus believed this as reflected in Ezra 1:2-4.
The Persian Empire fell to the Greeks under Alexander the Great in 330BC, exactly as Daniel prophesied it would. After conquering Persia, Alexander’s empire divided into four parts (Daniel 11.1-4). Some of the details in these prophecies are so specific that sceptics have concluded that they must have been written after the event. However we believe they were written by Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel before they happened and are testimony to the accuracy of biblical prophecy. God knows the end from the beginning and is able to reveal to His prophets what will happen in history long before it happens.
Cyrus was an example of a favourable attitude towards the Jewish people in Persia. The Book of Esther records the opposite influence in Persia which came through the wicked Haman. He planned the genocide of the Jews, which was prevented when God intervened to save His people through Esther and Mordechai. Interestingly Haman was not a Persian, but an Agagite, descended from the enemies of the Jews, and an alien influence in the Persian Empire. He rose to power under King Ahasuerus, and made his wicked plan to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire. But ended up being hanged on the gallows which he had erected to hang Mordechai the Jew on.
After the Persian Empire fell it was ruled by different powers, the Seleucids, the Parthians, the Sassanians, the Romans, the Byzantines, and finally, in AD 636, the Muslims. In 1501, the state of Iran was founded, with Shi’ite Islam as its dominant religion. The majority of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, is Sunni Muslim. The Sunni / Shiite split in Islam has been described as a 1400 year old civil war within Islam. This is one of the reasons for the conflicts in the region today, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and the hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In the post war period Iran was ruled by the Shah. Its form of Islam was quite moderate and the country moved in the direction of a modern pro western state, which prospered due to its oil wealth. The Shah was friendly to Israel and made Iran the only Islamic country in the region to have good relations with Israel, even supplying oil to Israel. Most of the Iranian people also had a tolerant attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people who had lived in Iran for centuries. However the Shah made many enemies during the 1970s, causing him to be opposed by both Islamists and Communists. This lead to the revolution in 1979 which brought to power Islamists led by Ayatollah Khomeini, who took control of Iran and founded the Islamic Republic of Iran. This caused a complete change to Iran as it became a radical Islamic regime, enforcing Islamic law on the people. Iran became deeply hostile to the West and to Israel and is now the most hostile nation to Israel in the region and the greatest threat to its security.
There is an interesting biblical parallel in this situation. The Shah, like Cyrus, was helpful in the restoration of Israel and took Iran / Persia in a friendly direction to Israel and the Jews. Khomeini like Haman took Iran in the opposite direction, seeking the destruction of Israel. As Haman was an alien influence coming into Persia, so the Islamic Revolution under Khomeini has brought in an alien influence into Iran. It has replaced the relatively tolerant form of Islam which preceded it with the repressive, violent form of Islam now in power. Like Haman, the Islamic Revolution is under God’s judgement and is leading Iran to ruin. In this we see the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants (the Jewish people) in Genesis 12.1-3, ‘I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.’
So what of the present situation in Iran?
The Trump Administration has left the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and tightened sanctions against it. These new sanctions aim at preventing anyone in the world from buying Iranian oil. This threatens to collapse Iran’s already shaky economy, as oil exports make up 40 percent of its budget. As reported at the beginning of this article, there is a dangerous build up of tension in the region as Iran faces off against America and the Gulf Arab states.
Within Iran, the regime is facing growing social unrest. The value of the Iranian currency, the rial, has plummeted to around 130,000 rials to the dollar, making it effectively worthless. The people are facing a similar situation to Venezuela with chronic inflation and shortages of essentials. The country has been hit by a series of disasters. There was a major earthquake in 2017, which destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. The bird flu epidemic in 2018 wiped out 30-50 million chickens, the source of much of the country’s food. Years of drought were followed by the floods of 2019. This is the worst disaster ever experienced in Iran and has devastated towns and villages across the country, destroying pipe lines, roads, bridges and air ports and bringing crop failure to much of its agricultural land.
The Iranian people are angry that money which should be used to meet their needs is going to support terror networks like Hezbollah in Lebanon and the war in Syria, while their own country is going to rack and ruin. There is growing unrest across the country and the regime relies on its Revolutionary Guards to suppress the opposition. A courageous member of the parliament spoke out condemning the Islamic regime for presiding over a country where ‘the currency has become worthless, where the cost of living is impossible for so many people, where the black market and corruption cry out’. She complained of unemployment, poverty, prostitution, drug addiction, lack of civil liberties, arrest of opposition activists, widespread violence and pollution. She said the mullahs, the clerics who have power in the regime, ‘care less about poverty and corruption, about the youth leaving Islam or about embezzlement of public funds, than they care about the length of women’s hair or about women riding bicycles.’
Concerning youth leaving Islam, the main achievement of the Islamic regime has been to make large numbers of Iranians leave Islam in disgust at what the mullahs have done to the country. Some are turning to Christianity which, despite the severe persecution of Christians, is growing in Iran more than any other Islamic country in the Middle East. Many more are just fleeing the country seeking a better life in western countries like Britain. We meet many Iranians in our evangelism in London. I have yet to meet one who has a good word to say about the Islamic regime and many are open to receive copies of the New Testament in Farsi and want to know more about Jesus.
The best hope is that the suffering people of Iran manage to throw off the yoke of Islamic tyranny, but Bible prophecy indicates that the regime will survive long enough to play its part in the last days events which include an attack on Israel. Because of the dire conditions at home the regime may be willing to provoke a conflict with America and Israel in order to rally support from the people in defence of the nation.
Some of the extreme Muslims believe that the current crisis is preparing the way for the coming of the Mahdi, their hoped for end time saviour. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech to the UN on 26 September 2012, warning of some kind of apocalyptic event coming which would bring an end to the United States and Israel, whom he described as “the uncivilised Zionists.” He said the world would soon see ‘new global management’ by the Twelfth Imam, also known as the “Mahdi,” and his deputy, Isa (the Islamic Jesus, who is ‘another Jesus’ – in no way the real Lord Jesus Christ).
The Jewish website, ‘Breaking Israel News’ reacted to this situation by quoting the ‘Yalkut Shimoni’, a prophetic work written in the 13th century. They say this predicts the present situation and is preparing the way for the Jewish Messiah to come and bring redemption to Israel. It says: “The year that Melech HaMoshiach (Messiah the King) will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other. The King of Persia (Iran) will provoke the King of Arabia (Saudi Arabia), and the King of Arabia will go to Edom (the West) to take counsel, but the King of Persia will in turn, destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panicked. They will fall on their faces, and they will experience pains like birth pangs. Israel too will be outraged and in a state of panic and ask, where do we go? But say unto them, ‘My children, do not fear, the time of your redemption has come. And in the last redemption will be different from the first which was followed by further bondage and pain. After this last redemption, you will not again experience any further pain or subjugation.’”
Amongst Jews who study these writings there is an increased expectation of the coming of the Messiah to bring deliverance to Israel. The Yalkut Shimoni is interesting, and does bear some resemblance to biblical prophecies about Persia and the end of days. But it is not the word of God so we do not take it as inspired, although it is interesting.
The word of God does indicate that at some point this situation will explode into a major end time event, the War of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38-9. Ezekiel 38:5 specifically mentions Persia as an ally of Magog / Russia, and other nations including Turkey (Togarmah). This army will come against Israel, at a time after Israel has been regathered from ‘many peoples’ and the desolate land of Israel has become fertile again (in other words the present restoration of Israel). It is interesting that the prophecy indicates that ‘Sheba and Dedan’ will be opposed to this invasion (Ezekiel 38.13). Sheba and Dedan are in the area of the Arabian Peninsula. This ties in with Saudi Arabia’s present alignment against Iran.
The outcome of this end-times invasion is predicted. Iran, allied with Russia, will think their invasion of Israel is a sure victory, but God supernaturally intervenes, and Gog’s coalition is utterly destroyed. “On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals” (Ezekiel 39:4–5). There will be some kind of devastation falling on the countries involved in this attack as indicated by the verse, ‘I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’ Ezekiel 39.6. This could include some disaster coming on Iran. In protecting Israel, God will send a strong message to the world: “I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel” (verse 7).
Bill Salus, in a book ‘Nuclear Showdown in Iran’, Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam, says that Jeremiah 49 also speaks of a future event affecting Elam (Iran) and the entire Middle East region. ‘The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, The foremost of their might. Against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and scatter them toward all those winds; … I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger,’ says the Lord; ‘And I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them. I will set My throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes,’ says the Lord. ‘But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,’ says the Lord.”
He suggests that Elam, which is the western part of Iran, bordering modern Iraq, will be the site of a catastrophe involving Iran’s nuclear site at Bushehr, which will devastate the entire area and make it uninhabitable. If this is the case, then the recovery of Elam / Persia will come in the Messianic kingdom after the return of Jesus and will be open to the redeemed from among the Persian people. We have a fuller article by Bill Salus on this subject available on request.
According to the Bible these things will happen in the last days before the second coming of Jesus the Messiah. It is not clear exactly when the Gog and Magog war will come in the end time sequence of events. It is possible it comes just before or just after the Rapture of the church and the beginning of the Great Tribulation period, the final seven years before the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. Others put it at the end of the tribulation, the same event as the last battle, Armageddon.
Whatever view is correct, these events taking place in the Middle East now are
a sign of the soon coming of Jesus the Messiah. He is the unique Saviour, who came the first time to die for the sins of all people, and will come a second time to judge the world in righteousness. To be ready for this we must believe the Gospel, that Christ / Messiah died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day, to give eternal life and salvation to all who repent and believe the Gospel.
At His Second Coming the Lord Jesus will bring peace and justice to the whole world. He will not come in association with the Mahdi, as the Muslims believe, nor as a great man solving the problems of the world, as the Orthodox Jews believe. He will come as the unique Saviour, King of kings and Lord of lords, Son of God and Son of Man, Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, with all the power of God at His disposal to sort out the mess humans have made of the world He gave us to look after and to bring in the Messianic kingdom. Then ‘the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ / Messiah and He shall reign for ever and ever.’ Revelation 11.15
In that day there will be no more war. ‘Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top
of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2.2-4).’
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. … Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20.1-6
Progressive Teaching Methods
Progressive teaching methods have fuelled the rise in poor discipline, according to an article in the Daily Telegraph (13/5/19). The Government has appointed a ‘bad behaviour tsar’, Tom Bennett, to head up a taskforce into bad behaviour at schools. He said that for several decades the issue has been “swept under the carpet” and that progressivism – the dominant ideology in education which became popular in the 1960s and 70s – has led to low level disruption going unchallenged.
“There was a massive assumption that children would behave if you simply planned lessons correctly, if you allowed them to do lots of independent work, project work, group work and so on, and that these teaching methods would create great behaviour. Progressivism rests on the idea that children want to behave and they want to learn, the teacher needs to step back and allow the child to explore their natural curiosity, which will motivate them and keep them engaged,” Mr Bennett said. But this relies on an “overly optimistic view” of human nature that “fails to consider the difficulties some children face”, he said. Daily Telegraph 13 May.
Having worked in schools mainly in London during the 1970s and 80s I know what Mr Bennett is talking about. He is right to connect the failure of
the ideology behind ‘child centred methods’ with an ‘overly optimistic view of human nature’.
One of the fathers of progressive education was the US educationalist John Dewey. Dewey argued that education should not simply involve making students learn facts that they would soon forget. He taught that education should be a journey of experiences, building upon each other to help students create and understand new experiences. A humanist and atheist, he opposed the teaching of Christianity and the Bible in schools. His philosophy was defined as Instrumentalism:
• Instrumentalism believes that truth is an instrument used by human beings to solve their problems.
• Since problems change, then so must truth.
• Since problems change, truth changes, and therefore there can be no eternal reality.
Denying that there is any unchanging eternal reality means denying the God of the Bible who says ‘I the Lord change not.’ It also means denying that there are absolute God given commandments which do not change and which apply to all generations in all situations. You end up with the relativistic view of truth and morality which says ‘you have your truth and I have my truth and they are all equally true or untrue.’
From my experience of sharing the Gospel, especially with young people who have grown up with the present educational system, the biggest objection to the Gospel is this idea of relative truth. According to this view there is no absolute truth and God’s commandments given in the Bible have to be changed to fit in with present day life, especially in the area of sex and sexuality. We have to give way to the idea that all roads lead to God (or no roads lead to God, because there is no God). We must abandon the biblical concept that there is one way to God, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Lord who said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by Me.’ John 14.6.
‘Progressive’ educational thinking fits in with a humanist / Marxist view that bad behaviour is not the result of something wrong in human nature (in other words sin), but something wrong in the environment and social system. Therefore you improve behaviour by putting children in the right environment and letting them develop their own values and life style. They should be free to discover themselves and their own values without these being imposed on them from outside.
The Bible does not give us an ‘optimistic view of human nature,’ and it does not encourage us to discover our own reality and morality. It tells us that the heart of man is desperately corrupt and that we should accept God’s order and commandments. Progressive educational views generally deny the biblical view of God as the ultimate authority and human beings as sinners in need of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore all morality is relative and what is right and wrong can be decided by every person.
Back in the 1960s to 1970s the process began to remove God and the Bible from schools and replace Christianity with moral relativism and religious diversity. The same has happened under the influence of Dewey’s progressive education in the USA. Progressives used the advent of multi-racialism and multi- culturalism in society to replace the traditional Christian influence in schools with the idea that all religions are equal and that there are many ways to God (or none at all).
The humanist / atheist influence also used the teaching of evolution to undermine faith in God and the Bible. Concerning our origins evolution is taught as the only explanation for how we come to be here and a proven fact (which it is not) and any form of creationism is outlawed. Evolution dominates all science lessons and affects the teaching of other subjects. It tells children that all life is the accidental product of chance with no Creator and ultimately no meaning. It also means that the account of Creation in the Bible is untrue and takes away any reason for humans to keep commandments given by God or to believe the Gospel.
We also have sex education lessons which undermine biblical teaching
on sexuality and morality, promote homosexuality and, more recently, transgender ideas. All this is corrupting the young and is a factor contributing to the breakdown of discipline and order. Children as young as five are to be indoctrinated with the idea that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality and the completely false idea that gender is fluid and they can change gender if they want to. This denies biblical teaching:
- In the beginning God made them male and female Genesis 5.2. Gender distinction between male and female is built into God’s created order and is fundamental to human society.
- God’s order in society is based on one man married to one woman, caring for their children and bringing them up in ‘the fear and admonition of the Lord’. Genesis 2.24, Matthew 19.4-6, Ephesians 5.22-6.4.
- Homosexual practice is contrary to God’s law and order in creation. Leviticus 18.22, Romans 1.24-27.
The result of all this is a breakdown of discipline and order as ‘everyone does what is right in his own eyes.’ Judges 21.25. By contrast the Bible is full of admonitions to discipline children in the ways of the Lord. Proverbs 3.11, 5.12, 13.18, 22.15, Ephesians 6.1-4, Hebrews 12.5- 11. The child centred approach brings with it the removal of sanctions to deal with bad behaviour and the denial of the idea that we are all sinners who need to repent and believe the Gospel. Those children who are not motivated to learn, generally end up learning very little, they misbehave, disrupt lessons and make it difficult for the children who do want to learn, while the teacher has little or no power to discipline them.
This does not bring freedom but oppression and bad habits becoming ingrained in the children, which continue into adulthood. In Isaiah we read about the prophet’s denunciation of a decadent society which sounds very like our own: “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, every one by another and every one by his neighbour; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honourable.” Isaiah 3.5.
Jesus spoke about ‘lawlessness’ (Greek is anomia, or against the nomos / law of God) as a sign of the last days (Matthew 24.12). 2 Thessalonians 2 speaks of the spirit of lawlessness and the removal of the restraining influence on sin which makes way for the coming of the ‘lawless one’ who is also described as the Man of Sin or the antichrist. Paul wrote about children being ‘disobedient to parents’ and being ‘without self control’ as a sign of the last days in 2 Timothy 3. Disobedience to parents could be extended to disobedience to all in authority.
We are now seeing the fruit of all this in the breakdown of order in our schools and in society. We see a rise in knife crime and drug taking. We have boys identifying as girls and girls as boys in transgender changes which damage them physically and psychologically. We also see a rise in mental illness among children, which is not surprising since some of the things they are being taught are insane. The only answer to all of this is the Gospel and the teaching of the Bible.
In the early 1970s I was teaching at a large comprehensive boys’ school
in south London. I was quite a new Christian, having been involved in the left-wing ideas myself in the 60s until I became a Christian in 1970. Many of the staff were radical leftists spreading their ideas in the school. I ended up teaching mainly Religious Education (which I actually had no qualification to teach, having a degree in English). It was shortly before multi faith teaching became the standard in schools and I managed to teach the Bible and Christianity in most of my lessons.
My best memory of this time was the lesson when I wrote the 10 Commandments up on the board. I gave an explanation about them and told the boys to write them down in their books. I then explained how God gave us these commandments for our good, but the problem is that we don’t keep them and that is why there are so many bad things happening in the world. I explained the Gospel and how Jesus Christ gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins by dying for us and rising again from the dead. I told them how I had become a Christian by believing this and how God had changed my life. I invited anyone who wanted to stay behind after the lesson and talk about this further. Four boys stayed behind and accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. Out of this we started a lunchtime Christian Union, which at one point had about 30-40 boys attending.
Not long after this the humanists and Marxists in the school insisted that religious teaching must be multi-faith and opposed the teaching of biblical Christianity. This has now become the situation throughout the educational system. It would be good if the clock could be turned back and ‘progressive education’ replaced with Christian education, but the control of the education system is firmly in the hands of progressive forces who will not tolerate any change to Christian ones.
Things have now reached such a stage of wickedness that they are forcing anti God and anti-family teaching on children. Warning of offences to come, Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18.6. All this means that our society is certainly heading for God’s judgement.
This is yet another sign of the soon coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ to change the government of the world and bring it under His righteous law and control.
According to the second letter of Peter, one of the features of the last days of this age will be a denial of the teaching of the Bible about Creation, the Flood and the Second Coming. Peter writes: ‘Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they wilfully forget that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished being flooded with water.’ 2 Peter 3.3-6.
The phrase ‘All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’ ties in with ‘uniformitarianism’, the idea that all that exists is the result of a continuous ongoing evolutionary process over a vast period of time (claimed to be about 14 billion years) beginning with the Big Bang and leading to the universe, the solar system, the earth and its life forms which exist today.
This conflicts with the biblical teaching of creation: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1.1). God created the heavens (universe) and the earth with its sun and moon, dry land and sea, able to support all life forms in a short period of time. All living things, plants, animals, human beings, were created fully formed and able to reproduce ‘after their own kind.’ The original creation was ‘very good’ – without any sin, sickness, disaster or death.
According to Genesis two catastrophes took place changing the earth from the ‘very good’ creation of Genesis 1 to the world with its sin and death and decay that we know today: the Fall in Genesis 3 and the Flood in Genesis 6. The world today, including sadly much of the professing church, reduces the early chapters of Genesis to the realm of myth. However there has been a movement to reclaim Genesis as history amongst Bible believing Christians. A number of organisations have sprung up, like Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International giving scientific reasons why God in creation gives the best explanation as to why and how we are here. We recommend the DVD ‘Is Genesis History?’ in which a dozen scientists and scholars come together to provide a positive argument for Biblical Creation and the Flood. Available from us for £20 including postage.
These also ask questions from evolutionists, for example:
1. If the universe came out of the Big Bang, what existed before it? Nothing? But nothing cannot explode and something cannot come out of nothing. A vacuum? If so where did the vacuum come from? What caused this explosion? How can an explosion form the universe with its stars and planets revolving around them and our earth, which has exactly the right conditions for sustaining life – atmosphere, soil, water, the right temperature etc? Explosions produce disorder and chaos.
2. How did life come out of non life? The biggest missing link in Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ is a plausible explanation for the origin of life. It was originally thought that a very simple life form could arise spontaneously and then over millions of years evolve into more complex life forms. We now know that even the simplest living cell contains millions of pieces of information, without which it cannot live. Richard Dawkins has admitted that every cell, either of a plant or animal contains in its nucleus ‘a digitally coded database larger in information than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica put together.’ What are the odds of chance creating a 30 volume Encyclopaedia? That is of course only one cell. Scientists are still working on calculating how many cells there are in the human body, but the general estimate is somewhere between 30-40 trillion cells, all working in unbelievably complex relationships with each other. Even if we concede that such a complex life form could come out of non life, it would have to sustain itself and be able to reproduce itself in order to survive as a species. Unless it could do this straight away, it would simply cease to exist after a short time.
3. Irreducible complexity. Darwin acknowledged that the human eye
is so complex that it could not have come about by the chance process of evolution Some scientists are recognising that the ‘irreducible complexity’ of all living things means that there must have been a designer to bring them into being in the first place. Without all of the complex organs in the human body interacting, life is impossible. For example the heart is a very complex unit that has to keep beating as long as we live. But unless it interacts with the brain, lungs, blood stream, veins and arteries of the body the heart is useless. How could all these complex factors have come together to produce a functioning body by the chance process of evolution? Add to this the reproductive system, without which no species can continue to exist. This requires the male and female, which belong to the same species but have different body parts, required to produce the next generation. When you look at the complexity of this process you realise again that the possibility of it coming into existence by chance is zero. And without it existing and functioning from the beginning no species has any prospect of sustaining its existence. The mathematical odds against life beginning and developing by chance (even with unlimited time) are so astronomical as to render it impossible.
Genesis gives a reason to explain all this. God who is eternal created the heavens and the earth, the entire universe and our unique earth in the midst of it. He created all living things with ‘its seed within in itself’ (Genesis 1.11), able to ‘be fruitful and multiply’. This means they are able to reproduce themselves and sustain their existence with all that God provided for them on earth. The highest form of life is the human race, created in the image of God, with the ability to love, to communicate, to reason, to create and to know God.
Genesis also tells us the reason for what has gone wrong with the world and shows how the original ‘very good’ creation of Genesis 1 has been changed by events which followed it. The first of these is the Fall of man described in Genesis 3 and the second is the Flood described in Genesis 6-9. In this article we will look at the Fall and its consequences and in our next edition, we will look at the Flood.
According to Genesis 1-2 the first humans, Adam and Eve, lived in a perfect world without anything wrong and with no death. ‘Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good.’ We now live in an imperfect world marred by sin and death, in which disease, ignorance, hatred, wars and oppression are part of human condition. What has gone wrong?
Genesis 3 gives the answer. The first humans disobeyed the one commandment which God had given, not to eat of the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil … for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2.16-17. The serpent (who was being indwelt by Satan) tempted Eve to disobey God. First he questions the Word of God, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3.1. When she foolishly tries to discuss the matter with him, he contradicts what God has said: “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3.4-5. Adam followed her and the result was the opposite of the one they had been promised. Sin and death entered the human race and that fellowship between God and humanity was broken.
The first question in the Bible is Satan asking ‘Has God said?’ Down through the ages he continues to question God’s word and tempt people to disobey God and end up in captivity to his deception and follow him to eternal doom in hell. The second question in the Bible comes from God: ‘Then the Lord God called to Adam and his wife and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ Genesis 3.9. God continues to ask the same question to the lost human race, saying ‘Where are you? Come to Me and find salvation.’
God then pronounces judgement on the serpent, the woman and the man. The earth would no longer be the ‘very good’ creation of Genesis 1 but there would be ‘thorns and thistles’ making cultivation hard work for the man and the woman would suffer in childbirth. Most significantly death would enter into all living things: ‘In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3.19.
Into this sad situation God gives the hope of the Redeemer. As He pronounces judgement on the serpent He says, ‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” This is the first Messianic prophecy in the Bible, foretelling the ‘seed’ of the woman (one born supernaturally to a woman) who will ‘bruise the head of the serpent’ (i.e. Satan). A crushing blow to the head is fatal, but a blow to the heel is painful but not fatal. In other words a fatal blow will be delivered to Satan and the one who delivers this blow will suffer in the process, but not fatally.
It is interesting that Jewish interpretations of this scripture support the idea that it is about the Messiah. Rachmiel Frydland writes, ‘The Aramaic paraphrase of the Hebrew Scriptures, Targum Jonathan, relates this prophecy to the Messiah explaining: ‘But they will be healed in the footsteps in the days of King Messiah’ … One of the greatest Jewish commentators, 13th century Rabbi David Kimchi, gave support
to this scripture as a prophecy about Messiah’s redemption of mankind. He recognised that salvation is by the hand of the conquering Messiah ‘who would wound Satan, the head, the king and prince of the house of the wicked.’ ‘What the Rabbis know about the Messiah’ page 7-8.
Isaiah prophesied more about how this would happen in his prophecy of the Suffering Servant Messiah, who would be ‘wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities’ as the Lord laid on Him ‘the iniquity of us all.’ He would do this by being put to death: ‘For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.’ He would be buried and then rise from the dead and bring a message to justify those who believe in Him: ‘When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labour of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.’ Isaiah 53.4-11,
The New Testament describes the fulfilment of this in the message of the Gospel: ‘Christ / Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.’ 1 Corinthians 15.3-4. This is the answer to the problem of sin and death which Adam’s transgression brought into the world. ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.’ 1 Corinthians 15.22.
Paul expands on this argument saying ‘Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned Therefore, as through one man’s offence judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous … so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Romans 5.12-20.
The New Testament is clear that sin is the problem of the human race, that death is the result of sin and that One who is without sin died in our place so that we can be forgiven. He rose again from the dead so that we can have eternal life. The only one who could do this is Jesus the Messiah and Saviour of the world.
If evolution is true then this teaching cannot be true. There were actually millions of years of death and ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ before humans ever appeared on the scene. There is no connection between sin and death and no responsibility of humans for the present less than perfect world we live in. Therefore the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus has no meaning at all. Moreover there is no reason why anyone should be resurrected from the dead. Death is just the end of life. Nothing comes after it.
Those in the church who try to reconcile evolution with the Bible seem to have missed this point, but the atheists have not. Richard Bozarth, an American atheist wrote: ‘But if death preceded man and was not a result of Adam’s sin, then sin is a fiction. If sin is a fiction, then we have no need of a Saviour. Evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason for Jesus’ earthly life. If Jesus was not the Redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.’
If evolution is true he is correct in saying this. It does destroy the very meaning of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord, thus making the New Testament untrue. But if evolution is not true and the Genesis account of Creation is true we have good reason to believe the Gospel that Christ died for our sins, and rose from the dead so we can find forgiveness and reconciliation to God in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
Also if evolution is true, then God has no authority over the human race. If God did not create the heavens and the earth, and everything that exists is just the result of a random chance process then there is no reason why we should accept commandments given by God. In Romans 1 Paul shows that denial of God as Creator inevitably leads to idolatry and unclean living as the human race casts aside ‘the Maker’s instructions’: ‘Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.’ Romans 1.24-31.
Evolution is taught in our schools and universities, in museums, on TV and in the media, and constantly held up as an indisputable scientific fact. So we should not be surprised that the fruits are seen in rejection of God, His commandments, the Lord Jesus and the Gospel message. All of this is prophesied in the end time scriptures and is the fulfilment of the words of 2 Peter 3 with which we began this article. ‘In the last days scoffers will come.’
Meanwhile we affirm that there are very good reasons to believe the word of God: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ ‘Christ / Messiah died for our sins, He was buried and rose again the third day.’ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and have eternal life.