Posted in damascus, end time, prophecy, syria

USA Today news article: "Some see biblical visions of doom in Syria trouble"

USA Today remarks in an interesting article, that there is a run on prophecy books. People who see events unfolding in the Middle East with Syria, Iran, Israel, and Egypt are wanting to know more. This is good.

Joel C. Rosenberg was asked to speak at the Kansas House of Representatives chamber yesterday and he preached today on Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 in Topeka. He posted “A few pictures from the event inside the Kansas State Capitol discussing Syria & Damascus Countdown.”

“So grateful for the questions people asked during the Q&A.”

Some quotes I like from the USA Today article:

“The situation in Syria as it relates to scripture could be something that we’re witnessing, but we should be cautious. What prophecy really is about is the faithfulness of God’s word.” (Pastor Gary Cristofaro of the First Assembly of God in Melbourne, FL)

Always, always remember that prophecy is a way to see God as sovereign. He declares the end from the beginning . When a prophecy is fulfilled we shout for joy because He is faithful to His word and He is showing Himself as King of events, people, heaven, earth, and the angels. In studying the end time prophecies, we become comforted because of this. We also become fervent in urgency to witness to the lost because we know time is short (either through death or end of days events).

“Interpreting events doesn’t lead to an understanding of what’s going on. I believe it actually clouds the understanding,” said Tom Lombardo, a San Franscico-based author and researcher of end time beliefs.

Some people might not like me saying this and I may take heat for it, but I’ve stopped listening to Pastor JD Farag of Calvary Chapel Kaneohe. His weekly prophecy updates have been a blessing but I have noticed a sad trend. When I found his teachings several years ago he used to explain the prophecies from the bible. He’d take a passage and show from the bible what it meant. Slowly over time during his prophecy updates, he now focuses more on the news than on the bible. That balance has been tipped.

Last Sunday’s message was noteworthy in a negative way, unfortunately. He said that due to events occurring in Syria and Egypt and the Middle East, he had read and read and read the news, it all became a blur and he had read it for hours. I thought, “he should be spending that much time on reading the bible, not the news.” Then he said that he was putting off their regular study in Samuel so as to spend time bringing the flock up to speed. See? The congregation collects to worship God through the hearing of the word, not the news.

I think that Pastor JD is a tremendous pastor, sensitive, studious, mindful of Jesus and the Great Commission. I only mention this because we can get so wrapped up in the news that we forget the word. I have been guilty of this myself. But the more that I see events happening that seem to be hurrying us to the end, the more I back away from the news and stick with the bible. If God-ordained troubles are going to be unleashed on the world soon, and I personally believe that they are, then I want to be sure to be as strong as possible spiritually so as not to be deceived. Be mindful of the balance between the news and the word. Because, as the man said above, “Interpreting events doesn’t lead to an understanding of what’s going on. I believe it actually clouds the understanding,” Only the bible brings clarity.

I liked this tip on how to maintain a balance from Pastor Gary Cristofaro of the First Assembly of God in Melbourne FL again,

“We try to find balance by immersing ourselves in prophecy rather than being affected by it.”

Because when we immerse ourselves in prophecy of the bible we are immersing ourselves in the bible. Far from being an also-ran sphere of study, prophecy is mentioned in every New Testament book except Philemon. All the NT authors make reference in one way or another to prophecies, some new at that time, some reminding us of the prophecies of old. Either way, immersing yourself in prophecy is a good thing and hardly can be avoided if you read the bible at all!

Read the next quote: This is a good sign, actually.

Christian bookstores such as Family Christian Ministries in West Melbourne report that book sales of prophecy-themed works by charismatic minister Perry Stone, Pastor John Hagee and novelists such as Joel Rosenberg have increased in recent weeks since tension in Syria and Egypt escalated.

But just like anything, WHO you turn to for illumination is just as important as realizing prophetic implications of current events and praising God as a result. Perry Stone and John Hagee are not too solid as biblical scholars. Joel Rosenberg has been careful and he sticks with bible verses and not speculations.

People’s instinct is always to turn to the bible for understanding when large events happen. In 2008 when Obama was elected, there was a collective shudder that ran throughout fundamentalist Christendom, and for good reason. Back then, there was a run on books and studies on the antichrist. People ran to the bible and to prophecy books. When the Japan quake happened in 2011 (magnitude 9.0 which rocked the earth off its axis) people again ran to the bible. On my blog, any essay dealing with God and earthquakes got enormous hits. People want to make sense of the world and intuitively understand that sometimes it’s just the world but sometimes there is a spiritual overlay and anomalous events drive them to the bible. Earthquakes do that.

Now again two years later in 2013 with the Syria issue, people are feeling uncertain, hopeless, questioning, or just plain afraid. This is perfect time for us who have the answers to share them!! The Gospel is powerful to save and for the heart that wants answers, who are clamoring for understanding of prophecies, now is a ripe time to share and proclaim!

Maybe this is the last essay I’ll ever write, if we are raptured in the next moments of time. Maybe we will still be here five years from now and we will look back on this heightened period of biblical portent with wistfulness that the Lord still hasn’t come. I don’t know. But I do believe the time is dwindling quickly. I believe equally that every day is a good day for salvation.

Posted in damascus, gas, Isaiah, prophecy, syria

Update on the situation in Syria

Here is a quick update on the situation in Syria. It seems that it is becoming more tenuous by the day. Below, an explanation of what the bible says about the future of Damascus

August 21

UK Telegraph photo

Al Jazeera reported, “Hundreds reported killed in Syria gas attack
“Opposition groups say hundreds killed when government forces fired rockets with chemical warheads into Damascus suburbs.’

August 22

The next day, “Aid group tallies 355 dead after Syria’s alleged chemical attack; government blames rebels
“Syrian state media accused rebels of using chemical arms against government troops in clashes Saturday near Damascus, while an international aid group said it has tallied 355 deaths from the purported chemical weapons attack earlier this week. Doctors Without Borders said three hospitals it supports in the eastern Damascus region reported receiving roughly 3,600 patients with “neurotoxic symptoms” over less than three hours on Wednesday morning, when the attack in the eastern Ghouta area took place. Of those, 355 died, said the Paris-based group. Death tolls have varied over the alleged attack, with Syrian anti-government activists reporting between 136 and 1,300 being killed.”

The Havana Times reported, “Syrian Activist on Ghouta Attack: “I Haven’t Seen Such Death in My Whole Life”
“The alleged attack occurred just days after U.N. inspectors arrived in the country to investigate previous attacks. We’re joined from Syria by Razan Zaitouneh, a lawyer and human rights activist who works with the Human Rights Violation Documentation Center. “We couldn’t believe our eyes,” Zaitouneh says of witnessing the attack’s aftermath. “I haven’t seen such death in my whole life.”

U.N. chemical weapons experts visit a hospital where wounded people
affected by an apparent gas attack are being treated, in the southwestern
Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya, August 26, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Abo Alnour Alhaji

August 23-25

Syria to let UN inspect ‘gas attack’ site
“United Nations inspectors are to be granted access to the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus, Syrian state TV has said, with the UN saying that the Syrian government has also agreed to observe a ceasefire during the visit. It followed an agreement between the Syrian foreign minister and the head of a UN delegation to the country on Sunday. The agreement “is effective immediately and it will allow UN delegation to investigate allegations of using chemical weapons on August 22 in Damascus suburbs”, the state TV reported.”

August 26

Bashar Al Assad

Fearing a U.S. strike, Syria warns of global “chaos”
“A senior Syrian official said Monday that his country will defend itself against any international attack and will not be an easy target as the U.S. and other countries ramp up rhetoric in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack last week on a rebel-held neighborhood of the Syrian capital. In an interview with The Associated Press in Damascus, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said airstrikes or other action against Syria would also trigger “chaos” and threaten worldwide peace and security.”

August 26

Kerry Says Chemical Arms Attack in Syria Is ‘Undeniable’

US Secretary of State Kerry said today:

Secretary of State John Kerry

“Well, for the last several days, President Obama and his entire national security team have been reviewing the situation in Syria. And today, I want to provide an update on our efforts as we consider our response to the use of chemical weapons. What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and — despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured — it is undeniable.”

What does the bible say about Syria in the end times?

Syria is one of the nations that has been mentioned in the bible consistently since the beginning. The city of Damascus was first mentioned in Genesis 14:15. Abraham’s servant Eliezar was from Damascus (Genesis 15:2). It is an ancient city and an ancient nation.

However, despite the 6000 years of history we can trace back to Damascus and the nation of Syria itself, there is one stark piece of prophecy which we can safely say has not come to pass within all that history yet: Isaiah 17:1 says that Damascus will be destroyed. Never has that ancient city been uninhabited. The prophecy says that the city will be razed and made into rubble, so that no one lives there. This has never happened to Damascus:

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. (Isaiah 17:1)

The prophecy of Isaiah speaks of a partial fulfillment in the next verses (vv. 2-3) when the Assyrians conquered Damascus in 732BC. However the city was never razed as verse 1 indicates. That is still to come.

The city of Damascus is slowly being ruined because of this two-year-old conflict in Syria. The prophecy seems to indicate that the final disposition of Damascus will be complete obliteration, desertion, and uninhabited.

If the US and other nations attack Syria, perhaps the president of Syria, Bashar al Assad will indeed unleash global chaos. Perhaps that time is now, if these unfulfilled prophecies we have been waiting so long to see will come to fruition soon. Not that we hope for people to die and go to their doom, but we do want to see the Lord come in justice and establish peace upon the earth. O, Lord, come quickly.

Meanwhile, keep watching events, but more importantly, keep reading your bible. That is the only barometer of truth.

Posted in damascus, earthquakes, explosion, nuke

Did Israel use a nuke at Damascus (likely not). And other news

Here are a few things I thought were interesting. First, the USGS list of earthquakes over the last 7 days. I know the disclaimer at the top of their page says they are going to stop updating the page at some point, but I keep using it until they do, because it is easier to read, has larger print, and has the major quakes in red so you can spot them easier. The new page has none of that. I noticed a cluster of smaller quakes in unusual places, occurring close in time. I list them here


The Australian reports ‘Lost continent’ found off Africa
“SCIENTISTS believe they’ve discovered the remains of a lost continent on the floor of the Indian Ocean off Africa. The research team from Norway, South Africa, Germany and the UK identified the ancient “microcontinent” after analysing beach sands from the island of Mauritius. They believe Mauritius was split from the larger island of Madagascar, 900 kilometres to the west, by volcanic eruptions between 61 and 84 million years ago. The beach sands were deposited by subsequent eruptions within the last nine million years. But the analysis found a smattering of zircon grains up to 2 billion years old, suggesting the recent volcanoes had spewed out fragments of an ancient continental crust.”

OK, this has the geological world pretty excited. They love anything that they believe supports an old earth construct. The earth is not billions of years old, despite what scientists and Jack Kelley say.

It seems likely that at some point however, the continents were joined, and during the flood the massive geological upheaval separated them. (source). That event was tremendously stressful to the earth. Remember the 9.0 quake at Japan two years ago. A short amount of shaking during that earthquake moved the earth’s axis and shortened the day! What did the Flood do to the lands? Peter says that the earth at that time was deluged with water and perished. (2 Peter 3:6). And as Gill’s Exposition says, ‘whatever alteration there might be in its form and position.’ Not that the earth passed away, but everything on it and in it died. One can only wonder at God’s power. Therefore though the earth is not billions of years old, it is interesting to wonder about a lost continent or two!

A few days ago, Israel carried out two strikes in Damascus. Foreign Policy magazine reports,
“Top news: The Syrian government charged Sunday that an overnight airstrike that targeted what is believed to be a military research center in Damascus was carried out by Israel, a development that marks the most significant international military action in the ongoing Syrian conflict and raises the specter that the conflict will spread beyond Syrian borders.”

The enemies of Israel are claiming that the massive explosion at Damascus the other night was in fact a nuclear blast. In viewing the video posted of the explosion from different angels, they say that the cloud that arise from the massive fireball looked like a mushroom cloud. The explosion happened at night and Israel is mum on the entire operation, so due to the fog of war it will likely be impossible to nail down whether a nuclear missile, a nuclear-type missile, or simply a powerful rocket destroyed the facility atop the Damascus mountain.

However that doesn’t matter a bit. Whether or not Israel used a low-level nuke (and I think that they did not) the enemies of Israel will simply claim that they did and run with it. This will provide them grounds to call for a retaliation, and also obscure the fact that there is evidence that the rebels used sarin gas (a deadly poison).

John McTernan wonders if WWIII has broken out, and though sometimes he gets a bit over-excited, I admit I wondered the same thing myself when I saw that blast. You can view the Youtube eyewitness video of the massive explosion, here, and/or search Youtube for other angles to view. When I saw how large that explosion was, like McTernan, I wondered, “Is this it?”

I was reading Zechariah last night, tears coming to my eyes at the sweep and scope of the LORD’S work upon the earth. We often settle into reading the same chapters which point to last days prophecy- Matthew 24, Revelation, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38 & 39, and Isaiah 17 and 19. But the bible holds so much more, of course. Obadiah is interesting, if difficult. Zechariah enhances Revelation, being an almost parallel. Ezekiel 40-48 gloriously describe the Millennium kingdom. The last third of Isaiah points to Israel’s restoration. And so on. Don’t be afraid to branch out in reading Old Testament passages from the major and minor prophets. The Lord is great to behold, no matter what passage you read and no matter how much or how little one understands it at the time. Continual reading opens the passageways of understanding. And don’t forget Peter, Paul, Jude and other NT writers had stuff to say about the last days, too. So don’t get stuck in a rut, read, read, read- widely and often!

Posted in damascus, middle east, prophecy

"Looks like it just got real in Damascus"

The title for this blog entry came from Mark Hemingway, Senior writer at The Weekly Standard, who tweeted this out about an hour ago. Watch about 20 seconds in

BBC Reports,
“Syrian state TV says Israeli rockets have hit a military research centre on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Huge explosions have been heard in the Mount Qassioun area of the city. Earlier, Israeli officials speaking on condition of anonymity said that on Friday Israeli aircraft had attacked a shipment of missiles in Syria. The missiles were believed to be destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Heavy explosions shook Damascus overnight. Amateur video footage posted online showed a huge ball of fire rising into the night sky above the city.”

A Damascus resident speaks to Al Jazeera via Skype about a rocket attack in the Syrian capital, that she described as a “big and huge explosion” that caused “everything” to shake.

Damascus is destined to be destroyed completely (Isaiah 17:1). Syria is a proxy state for Iran. Iran will not take kindly to interruptions of their supply line of rockets to terrorists in Damascus and Beirut.

Remember, Psalm 83 is commonly interpreted as a ‘parked’ prayer in advance of a war where its participants have never entered into a coalition in all of past history. That is why bible scholars believe it is a future war. The Psalm describes Israel’s near neighbors Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas, Jordan, and Gaza attacking Israel but Israel will be victorious. Many believe it is that victory, with assumed land expansion and a relaxed guard Ezekiel describes, which prompts Israel’s further neighbors to ally in the God Magog battle of Ezekiel 38-39 (Russia, Baltic States, Turkey, Armenia, Egypt, northern tier of Africa…). In that war, Israel was about to lose but God personally shows Himself holy and saves His nation.

Whatever the specific timing of the above-mentioned upcoming wars, the situation in Damascus is devolving rapidly. Keep praying.

Posted in damascus, iran, israel, north korea, tribulation

Syria conflict: Many dead in huge Damascus bombing

BBC News reported yesterday,
“A huge car bomb in the Syrian capital Damascus has sent smoke billowing across the capital’s skyline.

“Syrian media and pan-Arab satellite station al-Jazeera have spoken of deaths and injuries resulting from the blast, which state media have blamed on “terrorists”. Ambulances rushed to the scene near headquarters of the ruling Baath party. The violence comes as Russia and the Arab League say they want to broker direct government-opposition talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the violence as “a road to nowhere”.

“The opposition Syrian National Coalition is holding a two-day meeting in Egypt to discuss a framework for a possible solution to the Syrian war. Some 70,000 people have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, the UN says.”

Other estimates have the casualties over the two-year civil war period as high as 90,000.

This photo from Syrian State Media Sana of the bombing shows a tragic story.

When Jesus said in Matthew 24:6 that as a sign of the end there would “be wars and rumors of wars,” that was a statement meant for the Tribulation. The discourse Jesus gave in Matthew 24 was regarding the 7-year Tribulation AKA Time of Jacob’s Trouble. The Tribulation as prophesied in Revelation 6-20 has not begun.

However, it is interesting to note the severity of the current situation both in the Middle East and in the Asian spheres (North Korea vs. South Korea, & China vs. Japan). It is even more interesting to note this in light of the fact that those two regions are specifically mentioned as being participants in the global end time Tribulation wars. (Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38-39, Rev 16:12, etc)

In Israel, war has taken on a heightened priority. Iran is nearing the red line in which there would be no turning back if they get close enough to developing a nuclear bomb. The red line refers to the moment of no return that Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel would not let Iran cross, when he spoke to the UN in September 2012. He said at that time that Iran would be close to finishing a bomb in the spring.

Israel-watcher Joel C. Rosenberg has more.

Netanyahu warns: IAEA centrifuge report shows Iran nearing nuclear “red line.”
“Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant, a UN nuclear report said on Thursday,” according to Reuters and the Jerusalem Post. “In response, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Iran is closer today than ever before to obtaining the necessary enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb. … Netanyahu termed the report “very grave,” and said it proved that Iran is moving swiftly toward the red line he set out at the UN in September. He said during that address that Iran must be stopped before it crosses that line, something he said at the time could happen as early as the spring.”

Several weeks ago, North Korea released a video that seemed to show an American city, likely New York, in flames due to a NK nuke. They have released another video, this time, depicting Obama on fire from flames in a nuclear blast. It is a crude response to the world condemnation for North Korea’s latest nuclear test. It does, however, remind us that our most potent enemy perhaps is North Korea.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Iran’s boast that claimed they were already nuclear. In that piece I said that in my opinion nuclear exchanges will take place during the Tribulation, and showed how several verses from the bible seemed to show us either death from a nuclear war and cleanup from a nuclear war. In the same piece I’d linked to above, Joel Rosenberg write about Iran, NK, Israel, US and nukes, stating,

“This is particularly troublesome in the light of the fact North Korea recently conducted another nuclear warhead test. Guess who was present at the test? The head of Iran’s nuclear program. Did Pyongyang just help Iran test an A-bomb? As I’ve written on my blog, there is growing evidence that Iran and North Korea are working hand in glove in developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Netanyahu warns that the North Korea nuclear bomb test proves that economic sanctions are not enough to stop Iran. …”

As I drove to work today, the car ahead of me was decorated at the back bumper with stickers. One said, “If you’ve seen one nuclear war, you’ve seen them all.”

That sentiment, as darkly humorous as it is, will soon be all too true.

Posted in damascus, middle east

Assad: I can win the war if I destroy Damascus

Al Arabiya news reported

Assad: I can win the war if I destroy Damascus
“What happened in the last meeting between international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as reported yesterday by Asharq al-Awsat newspaper is worth noting. The first told the second, “You cannot remain in power. Apart from the opposition’s ability to win, the price would be the destruction of Damascus.” To this Assad replied, “I can win the war if I destroy Damascus.” This, in fact, is Assad’s plan: destroying Damascus, Syria, and the region. He had tried that in Iraq before and in Gaza and is still doing it in Lebanon.

“We are dealing with a real criminal [Assad] who had intentionally killed tens of thousands, not because they were party to the conflict, but rather because he believes that killing and destruction are tools of control.” ~Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Damascus will be destroyed —

“Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. 2 The cities of Aroer are deserted they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid. 3 The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 17:1-3)

We do not know how it will be destroyed, or who destroys it, or when. But on the day it is destroyed, and the areas around the city, Israel will be brought low, too–

“And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean. 5 And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. 6 Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten— two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, declares the Lord God of Israel.” (Isaiah 17:4-6).

Stay tuned.

Posted in chemical, damascus, syria

Mysterious ‘Site 911’ in Israel Raises Eyebrows

Israel National news reported last week

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex, oddly named “Site 911,” at an Israeli Air Force base near Tel Aviv. “Expected to take more than two years to build, at a cost of up to $100 million, the facility is to have classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3, a laboratory, shock-resistant doors, protection from nonionizing radiation and very tight security. Clearances will be required for all construction workers, guards will be at the fence and barriers will separate it from the rest of the base,” The Washington Post reported. Security concerns at the site are so great that non-Israeli employees hired by the builder can come only from “the U.S., Canada, Western Europe countries, Poland, Moldavia, Thailand, Philippines, Venezuela, Romania and China,” according to a Corps notice.

“The employment of Palestinians is also forbidden,” it says.

“According to security regulations, the site “shall have one gate only for both entering and exiting” and “no exit or entrance to the site shall be allowed during work hours except for supply trucks.” Guards will be Israeli citizens with experience in the Israeli air force. Also, “the collection of information of any type whatsoever related to base activities is prohibited.”

More at link. Israel is becoming more security conscious every day. Their reliance on their military is a good thing, otherwise I’m sure that as a nation they would have been obliterated by now. And, after all, it is God who allowed their successes so far.

However, there is such a thing as over-reliance. Today at the opening of the Cabinet meeting, Israel Prime Minister Netanhyau said, “Therefore, we must – and are capable of – standing against this. We will also withstand the international pressure, were it not for which, we would not have reached this point. Today, this is what is required from leadership in Israel – to have no illusions, to stand up for the vital interests of the State of Israel and to rebuff the pressure to bring Gaza into every home in Israel. This is what we are doing and will continue to do.”

However, their continued run of success will only make them ever more reliant on their military and further from remembering that God is behind it. As a matter of fact the Israel Defense Force tweeted, “Our job is to minimize the need for a miracle, even in Hanukkah. We must always be ready.”

The Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 will change that attitude. If not for God, Israel would be obliterated. I encourage you to read those two chapters, they are short but powerful in describing how God plans to show His holy face to all nations as personally He saves Israel from the surprise enemy attach that comes against them

In addition, today I read in Israel National News,

Report: Israeli Special Forces Tracks Chemical Weapons in Syria
IDF Special Forces are operating inside Syria to track chemical weapons, the London Sunday Times reported.

“IDF Special Forces are operating inside Syria to track chemical weapons, the London Sunday Times reported. The Israeli government has not commented on the report. The report from London comes hours after Syrian opposition forces released a video showing that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons in the commercial center of Aleppo. The newspaper stated that the IDF operations across the border are part of new secret operations to locate non-conventional weapons and to sabotage them to prevent their use.”

“We have known for years the exact location of Syria’s stockpile of chemical and biological weapons,” an Israeli source told The London Times. He noted that satellites and unmanned drones have helped locate the weapons. However, “In the past week we have received signs that munitions have been moved to new location,” according to the source. The IDF ordered the maneuvers after rejecting the idea of an aerial or ground assault to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons, most of them bought from Russia.”

“One of the objections to a frontal attack was the chance that the chemicals might be released and cause a catastrophe to local villages and cities. If evidence mounts that Assad already has used chemical weapons, the United States and Israel might coordinate to carry out a ground invasion, according to the London newspaper.”

The IDF is really amazing, isn’t it?! Well, the proof of chemical weapon use they were looking for appears to have been confirmed

William Hague confirms ‘evidence’ of Syrian chemical weapons
“…[Foreign Secretary William] Speaking to the BBC at a security conference in the Gulf on Saturday morning, Hague was asked whether he had seen proof that Syria was preparing such weapons. “We have seen some evidence of that,” he said. “We and the US, as I said in parliament this week, have seen some evidence of that and that is why we have issued strong warnings about it. We have done so directly to the Syrian regime.” Pressed on what kind of evidence he had seen, Mr Hague replied: “We absolutely cannot be specific about that because clearly those are intelligence sources that these things come from. “But we have seen enough evidence to know that they need a warning and they have received that warning.”

World, what will you do? You know, the current dictator of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad’s father reportedly used hydrogen cyanide against his enemies in an uprising in 1982 when he was retreating from Damascus. In that event, 20,000 people died.

Right now US Secretary of State Clinton, Russia’s Putin, and a UN envoy are holding talks about the situation. They are saying that a free Syria cannot include Assad and that there needs to be a political transition. And look how well that turned out for Egypt. Mushy words like “political transition” in the face of a potential harsh reality of chemical death just don’t jibe. However, “Clinton stressed that the U.S. would continue to insist that Assad’s departure be a key part of that transition.” And indeed, there are signs that the Assad regime is in its final phase. How will they make him go? How may he decide to go? What may Damascus look like after he is gone? We will see.

Posted in damascus, isaiah 17, prophecy

Isaiah 17:1 fulfillment coming near?

This is worrisome… Israel National News reports,

Report: New Activity at Syrian Chemical Weapon Sites
There are signs of new activity at Syrian chemical weapons sites, Western intelligence officials said, according to The New York Times.

“There are signs of new activity at Syrian chemical weapons sites, Western intelligence officials said, according to The New York Times. The report, published Saturday, quoted a U.S. intelligence official as saying the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is “doing some things that suggest they intend to use the weapons. “It’s not just moving stuff around,” he explained. “These are a different kind of activities.”

“It is possible Syrian Army forces are preparing to use the weapons in a last-ditch effort to save the government, officials told the paper. However, it is also possible they are simply warning to Western nations about the implications of providing assistance to rebel forces, they added.”

“Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he will not allow an existential risk to the Jewish State. This past summer, Netanyahu said during an interview on the U.S.-based television program “Fox News Sunday” that it is essential to prevent Syrian weapons from falling into the wrong hands.”

“One major concern is the possibility that part of the Syrian arsenal may be transferred to Lebanon. “Could you imagine Hizbullah – the people are conducting with Iran all these terror attacks around the world – could you imagine them having chemical weapons?” he asked the interviewer.”

“It would be like Al Qaeda having chemical weapons,” he continued. “It’s something that is not acceptable to us, not acceptable to the United States and to any peaceable country in the world. “So I think that this is something we’ll have to act to stop if the need arises,” he said. “And the need might arise if there’s a regime collapse, but not a regime change.”


A little-known fact is that Syria’s chemical and bio-weapons are highly sophisticated. Dr. Jill Dekker is a consultant to the NATO Defense Establishment in bio-warfare and counter terrorism. Dr. Dekker is also a member of the board of advisers of the Intelligence Summit. She gave an interview to the New English Review in December 2007. I wrote about that in 2010, here. In Dr. Dekker’s interview, she said,

“In 2007 Syria promised bio-weapon retaliation against Israel should Israel strike Iran. In the New English Review, consultant to the NATO Defense Establishment in bio-warfare and counter terrorism expert Dr. Jill Dekker said that “Contrary to how the US State Department and other agencies tend to downplay the sophistication of the Syrian biological and nuclear programs, they are very advanced. Syria has always had the most advanced chemical weapons program in the Middle East.” At that time, Dr. Dekker said that Syria had shifted in their philosophy of  using bio-weapons from special weapons to conventional arsenal, and they have the will to do it. Why? Realizing they have no practical opportunity to reach parity with Israel or the US on conventional weapons, they decided to pursue bio-weaponry and were at that time fixing conventional missiles with a highly virulent anthrax germ with the help of Russian scientists. Ominously for the world, the US nor the UN were particularly reactive to the Syrians’ re-definition of bio-weaponry as conventional and offensive. Ominously for prophecy, the Syrians run their biological programs out of the Syrian Scientific Research Council (SSRC) in Damascus.”

“Isaiah 17:1 states that Damascus will be destroyed. It will be a heap of ruins and will cease from being a city. That prophecy has not been fulfilled yet because Damascus, being the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, has never been abandoned nor destroyed.”

The prophecy does not state how Damascus will be destroyed. The prophecy only says it will be razed to the ground. It doesn’t say who destroys Damascus. It could happen by nuke accidentally unleashed by terrorists, by God’s direct hand, by Israel, or by some other nation, (Turkey??) or in a way we can’t foresee. However it happens, it happens fast. (Isaiah 17:14).

Please keep the Syrians in your prayers. They have a devastating and bitter road ahead. God loves them, too. So many are rebelling against Him, judgment will come. Damascus is a city of 2 million, with an additional 2 million in suburbs. They will all die. And with chemical weapons being moved about, the ongoing revolution in Damascus, and the prophesied wars and rumors of wars everywhere, as stated in Matthew 24, life is hard and mean, getting worse by the day. Their death will be eternal and agonizing. Have compassion for the deluded Muslims who live there and beg God for mercy on their souls.

Posted in damascus, gaza, isaiah 17, israel, prophecy, rockets, syria

Israel getting hit from the north & south, and squeezed from east to west

Israel, O Israel… we cry for you!

“They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me.” (Hosea 7:14)

“But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.” (Hosea 8:3)

The situation in the Middle East is deteriorating quickly. The tensions have permeated all the nations around. This weekend in the south,

In the south, Gaza terror factions pound Israel with around 70 rockets
“Over 100 rockets, mortar shells hit South in past 24 hours, Israeli officials weigh “dramatic response”; PMO refuses to comment on reports of Egyptian mediated ceasefire.”
“Israel won’t hesitate to launch a large-scale IDF operation against Gaza-based terror factions if necessary, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Sunday, after southern Israel was pounded by some 100 rockets over the past 24 hours.”

Joel Rosenberg landed in Israel this weekend and reports from the ground,

Rockets fired from Gaza
“It’s been a challenging 24 hours here since arriving in Israel. Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 80 rockets and mortars at civilians living in southern Israel. The IDF has fired back. There are injuries on both sides of the border. Terrorists also fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep, wounding four Israeli soldiers. The Iron Dome has been fired to shoot down rockets. Israeli forces are on high alert in the south. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed. Tensions are running high as Israelis wonder if Hamas and Iran are trying to draw Israel into a war in Gaza. “The IDF is striking and will continue to strike Gaza,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “Terrorist organizations are suffering grave setbacks at the hands of the IDF. The world must understand that Israel will not sit idly.”

Keep in mind Isaiah 19, another prophecy that has not been fulfilled yet. Egypt will become a bitter enemy of Israel. Below, map of Gaza.

Gaza is home to Hamas. Since 2007, Hamas has been in de facto control of the Gaza Strip after seizing power from Fatah gunmen in a series of bloody clashes. Psalm 83 says that Hamas (Philistia) will be one of the groups which attack Israel in a prophesied war that hasn’t occurred yet. With tensions riding so high, we must understand the times.

“He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:2-3)

Israel drawn into Syria fighting for first time
Israel was drawn into the fighting in neighboring Syria for the first time Sunday, firing warning shots across the border after an errant mortar shell landed near an Israeli military installation in the Golan Heights. While Israel appeared eager to calm the situation, its response was a potent reminder of how easily the Syrian civil war — already spilling across borders with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan — could explode into a wider regional conflagration. Tensions are also higher than normal in the north. Several days ago, three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone near the Golan Heights. Today, Syrian forces have fired three mortar shells at Israelis on the Golan Heights. One actually crossed into Israel, a 120mm shell. Within the past hour, the IDF has fired back at Syria for the first time since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.”

Isaiah 17 is another prophecy for the times, that Damascus will be destroyed. When the shelling from Syria into Israel began today , an Israeli Defense Force rabbi tweeted Isaiah 17.

Damascus destroyed is on everyone’s mind. Jerusalem Post reports on the situation,

IDF fires warning shot into Syria after shelling
IDF targets Syria for first time since Yom Kippur War.
“The IDF fired a warning shot, in the form of a guided missile, at the Syrian military on Sunday after a Syrian shell exploded in the Golan Heights for the second time in recent days. Israel has not fired at Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. “In the midst of Syrian infighting, a mortar shell fired by the Syrian army struck near an [IDF] outpost at Tel Hazeka,” IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said. The shell failed to cause injuries or damages, but was one of a series of shells that landed in Israeli territory.”

Below, a photo of and a map of the Golan Heights, border with Syria. Geographically, the Heights are incredibly important to Israel. I wrote about that on November 5th at length here

Wikipedia source

Always watch the superlatives. ‘Highest’…’biggest’…most’… “First time” comes into play here. Any event that is happening for the first time, or the first time in a long time (in this case, 40 years) is worthy of examining closely. It is a big deal that Israel fired back.

Now for the squeeze from east to west…

Palestinian president rejects US pressure to drop UN initiative despite call from Obama
“A spokesman for the Palestinian president says the Palestinians will proceed with asking the U.N. General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state, despite a personal call from President Barack Obama to abandon the bid.”

Joel Rosenberg said in his warning piece I’d linked to above,

“Please pray for peace and security to be restored on both borders. Pray for Israeli leaders to have wisdom to know how best to respond. Pray for the innocent civilians — Jews and Arabs — on both sides of the border that are caught in the crossfire. I’ll keep you posted as best I can.'”

Joel the Prophet of the Old Testament said,

“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land,” (Joel 3:2).

God will judge all nations because they messed with the Land. Israel has been divided and divided and divided and will be divided again. Judgment for that will be severe.

The scriptures which are closely related to the very active things going on in and around Israel today are Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Joel 3, and of course Zechariah 12:3-

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people

Posted in damascus, syria

Syrian Rebels Claim to Take Over Chemical Weapons

Israel National News reported overnight, A statement published by the Syrian rebels says that they have taken over a military base and found missiles with non-conventional warheads.

“The Supreme Military Council of the Syrian rebels released on a statement on Tuesday which said that the rebel forces took control of an army missile base in Damascus, in which ten ready-to-launch missiles were found. Some of the missiles, according to the statement, were converted to carry non-conventional warheads.”

“During the successful operation, the operatives of the Free Syrian Army found a large number of rockets ready for launching, with enormous destructive capability, and they were very surprised to find missiles that were converted to carry non-conventional warheads and which can be equipped with chemical or biological warheads,” said the statement which was translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi.”

“The Supreme Military Council of the rebels went on to claim that it had confirmed the report by examining photographic documentation of the scene.”

—more at link—

If this is true, it portents an ominous next phase. Prophecy students know that one of the most compelling, clear, and unfulfilled prophecies is that  “Damascus will be destroyed, it will become a ruinous heap.” (Isaiah 17:1.)

This is a clear prophecy because it apparently has no ‘double fulfillment’ than from which non-prophecy students and the secular world can argue to cloud the issue. Damascus is one of the world’s oldest cities, if not THE oldest, and it has never been razed or destroyed in 5000 years. Therefore when it is destroyed, it will be a clear sign to the world that biblical prophecy is unfolding before our eyes. Not to mention being a tragedy of unimaginable proportions, seeing that millions of people live in the Syrian city.

The first thing this means is that Assad’s assurances that he wasn’t using chemical weapons nor readying them to use on his own people is a false statement.

Secondly, will Israel allow this situation to go unaddressed? If  Israel addresses it, how will they do so? A diplomatic attempt, a covert attempt, a blasting strike such as will fulfill the prophecy? However if you read the prophecy, it does not say who or how the city becomes a ruinous heap and ceases from being a city. It is in the passive tense, no matter what translation you read it in.

So is it that the rebels mishandle the weapons and they go off more or less accidentally? Will it be that the Syrian Assad supporters of the regime set them off? We do not know, and the waiting is agonizing.

On the one hand, we want prophecy to continue quickly because each fulfillment brings us closer to our blessed hope and a world released from the curse and Jesus openly worshiped by all, as he should be. On the other hand, to get there, billions will die, and no one is eager for that.

Jesus has it all under control, and He has since the foundation of the world. Our trust is in him, no matter the external circumstances. We know and understand prophecy will come to pass in His timing. While we celebrate prophecies like the babe Christ’s birth, we mourn prophecies that will mean the destruction of millions of people, yet we trust in Him always. Our part is to be a light-filled witness, and to pray.