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NILE RIVER - A SIGN

     Reading the Bible is like reading tomorrow's newspaper today.  The news is rapidly catching up with the Bible.  As we approach the return of Jesus Christ, we will see more and more events on our evening news that are a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.  The Bible clearly predicts that at the same time Jesus would come at His Second Coming, the mighty river Nile would dry up.  Prophecies, like this one, made 2,700 years ago are coming to pass before our very eyes.

     Time Magazine reports that the water level in the reservoir above Aswan, known as Lake Nasser will have dropped 82 ft. (equivalent to an eight story building) by mid-summer of 1988 slashing power output by 55%.  The Nile River has been irrigating the deserts of Egypt since the dawn of history.  Is there any reason for Egyptian farmers to believe that it will not do so forever?  Yet, these statistics are real trouble for Egypt.  Almost all of Egypt's population lives on the three or four percent of Egypt's desert that is watered by the Nile.  The amount of usable water is now 20% of what it was ten years ago.

     Time Magazine (March 28, 1988, p 79) reports, "Living virtually without rain in a country that is 97% desert, Egyptians depend upon the world's longest river for irrigation, electric power, drinking water, and transportation.  Now, after a decade of drought that has left parts of central Africa on the brink of starvation, the Nile is running perilously low.  For the first time since the Aswan High Dam was finished in 1970, serious shortages of hydroelectric power threaten Egypt."

     Time Magazine (March 28, 1988, p 79) also reports, "irrigation water that once flooded more than 250,000 acres of rice fields, or 25% of Egypt's production, has been cut off."  Time also states that if the water level dips much lower, Aswan's powerful electric turbines must be shut down.  Eighty percent of the Nile's water originates in the Ethiopian high lands.  If the prolonged drought, now in its seventh year, continues much longer, Egypt could be seriously affected.

     Isaiah, the prophet, writing under God's direction 2,700 years ago tells of these events as though it were written today.  "And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river (Nile) shall be wasted and dried up (Isaiah 19:5)."  "And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defense shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither (Isaiah 19:6)."

     Ethiopia and Kenya far away are going to turn the rivers that feed the Nile in order to keep all the water they can for themselves, thus compounding the problems of Egypt.  The Nile is 4,150 miles long so as you can see "turning the rivers far away" takes on real significance.

     Fishing and agriculture will take great losses as described by Isaiah.  "The paper reads by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more."  "The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.  Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.  And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish.  (Isaiah 19:7-10)."

     How do we know what Isaiah is talking about now?  The answer is that Isaiah Chapter 19 is completely and entirely about the return of Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.  Isaiah 19:1 talks of "His presence" which is without a doubt the return of Christ.  "The burden of Egypt.  Behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it."

     The Bible speaks of the "Day of the Lord".  The "Day of the Lord" is a reference to a 1,000-year period of "peace on earth, good will toward men".  Technically, it refers just to the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ.  But when examining the many passages where it occurs, it is clear that the Day of the Lord includes all of the events of the seven year tribulation period that precede the 1,000 years in addition to the 1,000-year rule of Christ.

     The phrase that day or the day or the great day occurs more than seventy five times in the Old Testament.  It is equivalent to the day of the Lord.  This phrase occurs six times in Isaiah 19, vs 16,18,19,21,23, and 24.  In the context this phrase is referring to the day in Isaiah 19:1 when the Lord rides into Egypt on a swift cloud--the Second Coming.

     Notice Zechariah 10:10,11.  "I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.  And He (Christ) shall pass through the sea with affliction, and smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river (Nile) shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away."

     Notice Isaiah 11:15.  "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river (Nile) and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod."  These verses are talking about the Second Coming.

     "And the Egyptians will I give over into the land of a cruel lord (Antichrist); and a fierce king (Antichrist) shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 19:4)."  According to Daniel 11:42,43 the Antichrist will rule over Egypt for the last three and one half years of the tribulation as well as ruling over the Western nations.  That is the bad news for Egypt, but the good news is "for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them (Isaiah 19:20)."  Many Egyptians will come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour during the tribulation period.

     We believers will be raptured out (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) seven years before the Second Coming.  The Nile River drying up is a Second Coming sign.  This is something that will be fulfilled in the tribulation after the rapture.  Since we can see it happening now, we must conclude that we are very close to the rapture.

     Since Israel became a nation in 1948 a whole multitude of things have been happening to point to the Lord's coming.  "And when these things begin to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28)."

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