Posted in end time, gaza, hamas, ISIS, jerusalem, peace

Quick update on Gaza/Isis

Life in Israel today:

Warning sirens have sounded over 4,000 times in Israel over 45 days of fighting with the Gaza Strip.

Israelis take cover as siren sounds warning
of incoming rockets near the Gaza border. Photo by Reuters. Source

Joel C. Rosenberg writes of the war in Gaza against Israel. (Biography source). This is yesterday’s update.

War with Gaza Day #46, by Joel C. Rosenberg
(Jerusalem, Israel) — The last 48 hours have seen a dramatic surge of violence here in Israel, and horrific atrocities throughout the epicenter. At the moment it is 2:15 in the morning here, the beginning of Day #46.

Here is the latest:

–Hamas and its allies have fired more than 320 rockets at Israel since Tuesday night when it broke its 11th ceasefire agreement.
–This represents one of the largest surges of violence in the past 46 days.
–Why such a ferocious barrage by Hamas? Because the Shin Bet and IDF just scored an enormous intelligence and operational coup — IDF airstrikes killed three very senior Hamas military commanders.

There is much more at the link.

Bomb Fired From Gaza Kills Israeli Child, Netanyahu Vows Tough Response

In new violence, a 4-year-old Israeli boy was killed by Palestinian rocket fire, while four Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed a tough response to the killing. In all, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 68 people on the Israeli side have died.


A four-year-old Israeli boy was killed by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon. The boy, named late Friday as Daniel Tragerman, was at home with his parents and siblings at Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Region, close to the border with Gaza, when the attack took place.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! (Psalm 122:6)

Why Should we pray for the peace of Jerusalem?

God tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in Psalm 122:6-9: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.” From this passage, we see that praying for peace and good to come to God’s holy city benefits those who pray. God promised blessings on those who bless Israel and curses on those who curse her (Genesis 12:3), and since Jerusalem is depicted as the center of Jewish life, it follows that those who pray for her peace and security will be granted peace themselves.

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is most appropriate for a city whose name literally means “peaceful” and which is the residence of the God of peace. The phrase “peace be upon Israel” is found also at the end of Psalm 125:5 and 128:6, indicating that it was a common farewell blessing. Further, Jerusalem will be the scene of Christ’s return (Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:4), and at that time He will establish permanent peace with its walls. All Christians should be eagerly awaiting His return and praying for the time when the Prince of Peace will reign in Jerusalem.

Jesus also said that we should be peacemakers, which would include praying for peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). And we are commanded to do our best to live at peace with others. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). So, God wants us to seek peace among all people, and that would include praying for peace in Jerusalem, especially because of its special place in His heart.

America is not escaping the terrorists’ notice. While Hamas is busy fighting Israel in Gaza, ISIS has made threats against the US on our soil. Joel Rosenberg again

  • Increasingly, U.S. officials see ISIS preparing to attack Americans directly in the homeland.
  • “ISIS today represents a direct and growing threat to the United States,” reports National Journal.

To conclude, a biblical perspective by Joel Rosenberg,

At the same time, let’s maintain a Biblical perspective on all that’s happening. Bible prophecy warns us that such terrible things are going to happen in the last days before the return of Christ. Indeed, they are signs that the return of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom is getting closer. Therefore, as we study the Scriptures, let us not lose heart. Rather, let us be motivated to love our neighbors, and love our enemies, and care for the persecuted church in the Middle East and around the world. We may not have the power on our own to stop such evil. But we can help our brothers and sisters to stand firm in the Lord, and be to brave in sharing the Gospel and to show compassion to the helpless, and to be true lights in the darkness.

Posted in fordo, hamas, israel, jordan, north korea, syria, wars and rumors of wars

Updated–Was Iran’s nuclear facility sabotaged in a devastating blast?

This has not been confirmed yet and it may never be, but it seems that the incident may indeed have happened. I waited to publish anything about it because it lacked independent confirmation, and World Net Daily isn’t the best of sole sources.

**Update**Joel Rosenberg wrote today that there finally IS confirmation: “Not a single major media outlet in Iran, Israel, the U.S. or elsewhere reported on the story at the time, much less confirmed it. Iranian officials flat out denied there had been any explosions. This led to concern that Kahlili’s report was unreliable and that this was all mere rumor. Now, however, Israeli security and intelligence officials are indicating that there was, in fact, such an explosion.”

Israeli minister welcomes report of huge blast at Iran nuclear plant
Israel’s Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter on Sunday welcomed a report that Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility had been rocked by a huge explosion. The report was published Friday on the website, under the sensational headline: “Sabotage! Key Iranian nuclear facility hit?” It claimed that a blast deep within Fordo last Monday “destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground,” citing information from former intelligence officer Hamidreza Zakeri, who it said used to work with the Islamic regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security.

The article claimed the blast “shook facilities within a radius of three miles,” that Iranian security forces had “enforced a no-traffic radius of 15 miles,” that the Tehran-Qom highway was shut down for several hours after the blast, and that, “as of Wednesday afternoon, rescue workers had failed to reach the trapped personnel.” It said US officials were aware of the reported blast. There was no independent confirmation of the claims. Nonetheless, Israel’s biggest-selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth led its Sunday paper with the report on the alleged blast, which it said might be “the most significant incidence of sabotage in the Iranian nuclear program to date.”

Asked about the story, Dichter said, “Any explosion in Iran that doesn’t hurt people but hurts its assets is welcome.”

Iran had been close to making a nuclear bomb. For a while in Israel it looked as though the nation was going to initiate a strike on Iran in order to stop their progress toward it. Attaining a bomb is a red line the nation’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they will not allow Iran to cross:

The Israeli people are both encouraged and weary. They are encouraged that their economy, though slowing, is still ahead of many other nations in the first world. They are encouraged that their recent discoveries of gas, oil, and gold will enable them to become self-sufficient and even an exporter. They have enjoyed relative military success with the installation and protection of Iron Dome and David’s Sling. They have enjoyed relative stability with Netanyahu, the longest serving PM in their history.

However, they are weary of the real threats to their existence. Iran’s plans to make a nuclear bomb- and use it, wearies them. Lebanon’s constant willingness to aid any and all who want to transfer arms through their country is a problem. The Gaza Strip is a conduit for the same from the south. Syria’s chemical weapons are a huge problem. Even if Assad uses chemical weapons solely inside Syria, remember, the distances are not great in the Middle East. Damascus is only 47 miles from Israel’s Golan Heights. Residents of Israel living even at the center of the nation are still not far from any potential leak-over from the warring and bloody nation of Syria. Even Turkey has asked NATO for permission to receive Patriot missiles and to set them up at their border with Syria, just in case a missile accidentally or on purpose comes their way. Those missiles are now set and operational. Syria’s conflagration spilling over to Israel is a very real possibility.

To that end, Israel made another red line promise today–

Israel vows Syria strike at any sign of chemical arms transfer
Any sign of Syria’s grip on its suspected chemical weapons slipping as it battles an armed uprising could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel’s vice premier said on Sunday. Silvan Shalom confirmed a media report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had last week convened security chiefs to discuss the civil war in nearby Syria and the state of the country’s chemical arsenal. The meeting, held on Wednesday, had not been publicly announced and was seen as especially unusual as it came while votes were still being counted from Israel’s national election the day before, which Netanyahu’s party list won narrowly.

Joel Rosenberg was interviewed a few days ago as the votes from Israel’s election were being tallied. he has context and background for what it all means. He discussed-

* the fascinating outcome of the Israeli elections, what the results were, what they mean, and what they say about the trendlines in Israeli society

* the rise of Yair Lapid and his new secular Yesh Atid (“There is a future”) political party in Israel, now the nation’s second biggest party.

* the “complicated” relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu and the nuances of U.S.-Israeli relations

* the interesting trend of Netanyahu’s interest in the Bible, including why he recently started a Bible study in the Prime Minister’s residence

* the deep secularization of the Israeli society, and the serious lack of interest in the Word of God among most Israelis (I noted Amos 8:11, “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord. ‘when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.”)

* the latest status of the Iranian nuclear threat and whether Netanyahu is more or less likely to order a preemptive military strike in 2013.

It lasts a little under an hour.

In a little- reported fact, Jordan’s King Abdullah was left red-faced at a top-notch economic summit when he tried to put forward the notion that Hamas was softening on its stance toward Israel. Abdullah said that the organization has softened its policy toward Israel and would be more realistic if coming to the peace negotiations table. Abdullah was left red-faced when Hamas immediately refuted that notion and said that their only goal was resisting Israel, forever.

The military belligerence of many nations is not abating but increasing. Iran vowed that any attack on Syria is an attack on Iran. China and Japan are still boxing circles in their initial foray in the China Sea, with Japan boosting military presence where the two nations are disputing over islands. North Korea is ready for their next nuclear test with NK’s leader vowing strong action if anyone interferes with it. Turkey warns against Israel-Cyprus gas deal.

The number of headlines where militaristic leaders are “vowing strong action” or threatening retaliations is growing by the day. Jesus said that the end time would be characterized by wars and rumors of wars. (Matthew 24:6).

Anyone knows that when you make enough threats and lay enough ammunition down, at some point it will ignite. We know from prophecy, that it will (Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, Isaiah 19, Ezekiel 38-39, Matthew 24:6).

During this present time of threats and potentialities, rather than worry or crumble under the weight of uncertainty as to when it will all blow up, and whether we will be here on earth for the first part of it, we can simply pray for strength. In his interview, Rosenberg said that this is a time of purification of the church. We surely are being purified as the dross rises to the top and the Refiner removes it. We can let our worries bubble up to the top and allow Jesus to remove them, leaving us more holy and pure than before. Look at this last time on earth as an opportunity to submit more deeply to Jesus and allow Him to purify us. It will be a glory for Him to do this and a better trophy of grace for His name.

Posted in cease fire, gaza, hamas, israel

Updated- it is effect now. Hamas, Israel agree to cease fire

NBC News reports, “Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire, the Egyptian foreign minister said Wednesday in a press conference, after eight days of fighting that have killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis. The cease-fire is set to start at 9 p.m. Cairo time, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced alongside U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

Right now it is 8PM in Cairo.

PM of Israel tweeted: ‏@IsraeliPM “PM #Netanyahu spoke with Pres Obama; accepted his recommendation to give Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire a chance”.

I think Israel probably achieved its objectives and thus had less to lose by agreeing to a cease fire. Where this will go in the next days is anybody’s guess. We know from the bible that this isn’t over. Keep praying.


The cease fire is in effect officially as of now. However alerts are still going off in southern Israeli towns and after the cease fire deadline passed a rocket did explode. Pray that it was the last one.

Posted in gaza, hamas, IDF, jerusalem, jesus, prophecy, rocket

Hamas fires rocket at Jerusalem again, lands at Bethlehem

Joel C. Rosenberg tweeted this morning, ‏@JoelCRosenberg, “Air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem. All clear now. Missile hit near Bethlehem. No casualties reported. Keep praying. #PillarOfDefense”

“Michael Lawrence, @IsraelSpeaker, reacted this way, “This afternoon’s long-range Hamas missile fell near Bethlehem, holy town for the Christian world. Why is this allowed?”

I didn’t think my spiritual pain could worsen when I’d read the other day that Hamas launched a rocket at Jerusalem but it did when I’d read that the little town of Bethlehem was hit. I admit I began to cry. I honestly don’t know why it hit me so hard.

There are many protests and clashes going on in Bethlehem right now, too. Jerusalem Post reports-

W. Bank: Palestinians protest, clash with IDF troops
“More anti-Israel protests erupted in the West Bank Tuesday as Palestinians took to the streets and clashed with IDF troops. The worst clashes took place in Bethlehem and Hebron, where IDF soldiers used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse stone-throwers.”

As we approach the season of our Holy Savior’s birth in that tiny village, we always envision this kind of peaceful scene–


Phillips Brooks wrote the lyrics to O Little Town of Bethlehem. He described his horse­back jour­ney from Je­ru­sa­lem to Beth­le­hem, where he as­sist­ed with the mid­night ser­vice on Christ­mas Eve, 1865:

“I re­mem­ber stand­ing in the old church in Beth­le­hem, close to the spot where Je­sus was born, when the whole church was ring­ing hour after hour with splen­did hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voic­es I knew well, tell­ing each other of the Won­der­ful Night of the Sav­ior’s birth.”

And we never envision this kind of violent scene-

Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli security forces 
Friday in a West Bank village near Bethlehem. source

On Twitter, a Stephanie Bond wrote “Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee riot!” And she posted this photo —

Embedded image permalink

As for the present clashes between Israel and Gaza, there are rumors flying around that change every minute. There is a cease-fire about to be announced. There is no cease fire. Israel does not want a cease-fire. Gaza does not want a cease fire. They are under pressure to accept a cease fire…and on and on it goes. Credible news outlets like CNN, Reuters, JPost and others on Twitter tweet all the above and sometimes at the same time. All I can say for sure is that things are changing by the minute.

The only thing that does not change is Christ’s love for His people- all people, for now. The IDF soldiers, the Muslim rock throwers and the Christians in the little town of Bethlehem. This is the time of Grace. Soon it will be the time of wrath, where there is no grace.

Micah 5:2 spoke of Bethlehem where the savior would be born. We associate the swaddling babe with that city and rightly so. But the same Micah reminds us just a few verses later that Jesus

“in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey.” (Micah 5:15)

The day of grace will end.

Acts 17:30-31 reminds us of that fact-

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

In Revelation 6 we read that the souls of the slain cry for vengeance upon the earth.

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” ” (Revelation 6:9-10)

MacArthur explains this thirst for vengeance, and it is not what it seems–

“These prayers are not personal vendettas, they’re not thirst for personal revenge. Their holy desire is for the end of iniquity. Their holy desire is for the destruction of Satan. Their holy desire is for the devastation of Antichrist and the false prophet and all who followed him. Iniquity has reached its height in the slaughter, how long until You avenge our blood on…then this phrase, “Those who dwell on the earth?” … Now as we look at Revelation chapter 6 tonight, we are going to come face to face with God’s vengeance. The time of grace is really coming to its end.”

For all those who think that the grace will continue to those who dwell on the earth forever, you’re wrong. I do not know how long our Holy Savior will patiently endure the attacks at Jerusalem and on the people of the apple of His eye. Appeal to Him now while grace is still here. (Isaiah 55:6). Be His recipient of it now!

Here, the Vienna Boys Choir sings O Little Town of Bethlehem. It is grace, grace, grace Who came to us wrapped in flesh to save the world and those who dwell in it. I cry today because they bomb it and throw stones at it and spit on it. How long, O Lord? The Lord uses Zechariah to remind them and us that His patience will not remain forever–

“For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:8-13)

Such glorious promises! But Zechariah ends the verse with this:

“Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”

And what a day that will be!! A day of wrath and not of grace. Therefore “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15b)

They begin singing at 1:33.

Posted in gaza, hamas, israel, prophecy

Israel gives Hamas ultimatum: ‘You have 36 hours’

Israel gives Hamas ultimatum
Unless the rocket fire at Israel ceases within 36 hours, the IDF will expand Operation Pillar of Cloud.
“On the sixth day of Operation Pillar of Cloud, the question exercising Israel’s political and military leadership is whether to launch a ground attack and substantially expand the operation, or to strive for a cease-fire. While the intense rocket fire on Israel’s southern settlements continues and the Israel Air Force continues to operate in the Gaza Strip, there are talks on a cease-fire arrangement between Israel and Hamas with Egyptian mediation. Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) reports this morning that the gaps between the demands of Hamas and the terms Israel wants are very wide. Jerusalem has therefore given Hamas an ultimatum that unless a cease-fire is reached within 36 hours, Operation Pillar of Cloud will be expanded.”

Russia Today reports, “Israel’s Finance Minister told IDF radio the time left before Israel escalates its attacks can be measured in “hours, not days.”

Posted in end of days, hamas, israel, jerusalem, prophecy, rocket

O, Jerusalem!

When Hamas shot a rocket toward Jerusalem, landing in it suburb, it shocked a great many people, not the least were the Israelis themselves.

It was a shocking event for two reasons. First, because this was a new kind of rocket and also because Israel didn’t think Hamas had the range to reach that far into Israel. In the past, all the rockets launched from Gaza were aimed at the southern portion of the nation and were of short range. No rocket had ever been launched at Jerusalem since 1970. Earlier in the day, Hamas launched several rockets toward the city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest, and most industrial city. No rocket had ever been launched at Tel Aviv since 1990. While the Tel Aviv population was recovering from their shock at the rocket barrage, then the attack toward Jerusalem happened.

The rocket launched at Jerusalem shocked Israelis and Christians alike secondly because of the symbolism. Jerusalem is God’s city, his very bosom. Whether the Muslims care to acknowledge that verbally or not is irrelevant. Their cries to “Destroy Jerusalem!” are evidence that it is that city and that city alone which provokes their ire. Unconsciously they know that it is holy, and because they are not holy, they want to destroy it in any way they can.

When the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in different nations throughout the Arab Spring of 2011, soon afterwards they began to verbalize their intent to destroy Israel, and especially Jerusalem. Why Jerusalem? Jerusalem is not a financial center. It is not a manufacturing center. It is not a military base. It is not even the largest city in Israel. Compared to other cities in the Middle East, it is almost a backwater. If it is not a plum military target, manufacturing target, or financial target, why do they want to destroy Jerusalem, then?

It is God’s eternal city. It is a city where God Himself has put His name. (2 Kings 21:4). This is significant. There is nothing holier in the universe than the name of God. He says of Himself, “I am the LORD, that is my Name” (Isaiah 42:8). He has concern for His holy name. (Ezekiel 36:21). His name is a strong tower, (Proverbs 18:10). In His name and no other is salvation (Acts 4:12). So when God sets His name, it means something!

For those reasons, the ungodly hate Jerusalem, because it de facto means they hate God. They seek to destroy Him, and since He is not present on earth now (they sought to destroy Jesus when He was here!) they try to do the next best thing- attack the Jews, the Christians, and the holy city where God chose to place His Name.

God’s enemies have always sought to destroy His name, ever since Genesis when satan slyly and craftily deceived Adam and Eve. In the Tribulation they continue attack God, but more pointedly, openly, and vastly. And they go after Jerusalem viciously. (Luke 21:20). What sparks this attack is that Satan is thrown out of heaven, barred from re-entry in Revelation 12:9, and as a result his fury is such that as the bible tells us in Revelation 12:13, 17, he goes after the Jews and the Christians. Satan’s open hatred of God culminates at the end of days in his finally leaving off attacking the Jews (who had fled to Petra and are being supernaturally protected by God) and having killed most of the Christians, prevailed against them, (Revelation 13:7, Dan 7:25), he assembles the armies of Armageddon to make war against the Lamb Himself. (Rev. 17:14)

Satan has always gone after God’s people. Genesis 3 opens with satan’s hatred of God, taken out on His children, and the story of sin ends with it.

Back to today, it should not be surprising to us in the spiritual realms that Jerusalem is attacked with missiles, it is prophesied. God’s word never fails, and we know that we know this will happen.

But it is surprising. Even though we know it will happen, when it does, we still have to absorb all the impacts emotionally, personally, and mentally. We are only human, after all. Knowing it will happen is different from seeing it happen. The illusory protective seal we thought had surrounded Jerusalem, simply because it hadn’t been attacked in 40 years (a generation) was pierced in a moment when the first rocket fell. Now our minds have to deal with a new reality.

It takes a moment to adjust.

What will aid our adjustment more smoothly and more rapidly to this new, dire world we live in, of which doom is deepening by the day, is prayer and praise.

Pray to the Lord for all your needs. Pray for your fleshly provision such as food and clothes and a home, of course. Also, pray for spiritual strength, wisdom, love, patience, insight into His word. Being bathed in prayer and washed in God’s Word will help as our hearts and minds re-align to what is coming upon the world. We need HIM to establish peace within us, and to equip us as soldiers in withstanding the worldly pressures. He is squeezing the world after all, and we are in the world. We’re squeezed too. The difference is when we are squeezed, we have an opportunity to grow and shine brighter as trophies of His glory.

Even those Christians who are unaware of end times events feel the spiritual burden. They know at an intuitive, spiritual level that when Jerusalem was attacked it brought in a new era of worsening geo-political situations. They may not know the details of why it is bad, but they know it is bad. Unfortunately, these Christians are least equipped to withstand the spiritual pressure. Perhaps having been for a lifetime unfamiliar with the Word or having never developed a habit of turning to the Lord in troubling times, they flail about like a fish with no air. Remind them that the air they need is His word and His ways. The world is dying. It has been dying since Genesis 3:7 when Adam and Eve listened to the devil and ate the fruit. Jesus is the cure, but Jesus only resuscitates those who repent. For those who refuse His name and who reject holiness, they will die.

This end of the end times, and soon to be Tribulation, are the death throes of the world. All unrighteousness that dwells within it is speeding up. The long, 6000-year decline of the world and all that is within it is beginning its death rattle, the cancer finally having spread to the essential organs.

If you work in the medical profession, you know how hard it is to watch death come to those whom you have worked hard to save. It is especially hard to watch a child die of a dread disease like cancer or leukemia. When the person’s time is up, it happens fast. We know that death will come, but it is still hard to watch. Compassion is deep in the face of the unavoidable.

In this present age, Christians are all nurses, pleading with people to go to the hospital of the cross to have fixed what ails them. Jesus can heal their spiritual death throes, but many refuse. They have a blinded mind and cannot think straight.

In the adventure non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer Into Thin Air, several groups of mountain climbers were attempting to make the Everest summit in the fateful season of 1996. One climber made the top…but he stayed up too long. On his way down, it began to grow dark and he was trying to make the base camp. He ran out of canned air. Radioing his mates at Camp, they pleaded with him to take an oxygen tank stashed nearby for that very purpose. He found the canister and even held it in his hands, but he was convinced that it was empty. That all of them were empty. They weren’t, but prolonged exposure to thin air made his brain unable to think straight. He died soon after, holding his wasted salvation in his hands.

The lost are like that. Salvation is within their reach, but they do not take the breath of life Jesus is willing to extend. They die on the mountain, not one inch closer to God than when they were in the valley.

Things in the Middle East could die down, of course. I hope they do. But it is equally likely that they won’t. Even if war does not break out today, it will probably break out tomorrow, or next week. The attack on Jerusalem, even though the rocked failed to reach the city center, pierced a bubble and now there is no going back. It is like the dogs of war have been unleashed in the rabid minds of the furiously debased and the thought to wipe Jerusalem from the map will only grow. They will circle now, eager to take what is God’s. But God will stop them.

And the LORD will inherit Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:12; also Zechariah 1:17)

“In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed saying ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:24-25)

Posted in gaza, hamas, isaiah 19, israel, prophecy

UPDATED–Israel’s retaliation for Gaza rockets is to assassinate Hamas leader. Brink of war, and Isaiah 19 prophecy

Joel Rosenberg is in Israel. He just wrote:

“Urgent prayer request: Hamas violence escalating rapidly….raining rockets on Israel…IDF calling up reserves, preparing to invade Gaza….latest details.

“The situation here is rapidly going from bad to worse. It is nearly midnight here, and the battle between Hamas and Israel has been intensifying hour by hour throughout the day. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror organizations — all backed by Iran — are firing rockets, missiles and mortars at innocent civilians in Israel, along the southern border. Each act is a war crime. The Iranian-backed terrorists are also firing from behind innocent civilians in Gaza, often from hospitals, mosques and schools. Thus, each act is actually two war crimes. In just the past several hours, the terrorists have fired more 50 times at Israel. That’s more than 100 war crimes. Since Saturday, they have fired at Israeli civilians more than 200 times. That’s more than 400 war crimes. Yet the world is paying very little attention and doing little to stop the terrorist attacks. Israel, therefore, is moving swiftly to defend herself.”
A poignant Tweet: Avital Chizhik ‏@avitalrachel wrote–

“In a bomb shelter in Netivot, after 55 rockets fired in the past few hours alone. Not that anyone cares #Hamas #rockets”

Her photo:
Embedded image permalink

What a difference 8 hours makes. this morning I was looking at the earthquakes and the US mess. As I got home from work I see that in the meantime, the Middle East went to hell. Literally.

I’d written on Sunday that Israel was getting hit from the north and south, and being squeezed in the middle from east to west. This refers to the shelling by Syria into northern Israel, the shelling into southern Israel by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority’s push to upgrade the Palestinian Authority in the UN to Observer State. The exchange with Syria at the Golan Heights was the first in 40 years, and the shelling in the south is becoming interminably horrific for the residents there, who can hardly live normal lives. The push by PA Abbas at the UN would also be a stick in the eye for Israel. So, how much can they take?

It appears that the line has been crossed. Today, Israel hit Hamas where it hurts, making a rocket strike in Gaza that was targeted to and killed their leader Ahmed Jabari, the head of its military wing. Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence service confirmed it had carried out the attack, saying it had killed Jabari because of his ‘decade-long terrorist activity’

Hamas said that this event would “open the gates of hell.”

Here is the Israel Defense Force video of the assassination:

There might be a ground war as a result of this, with Israel saying they are prepared to go into Gaza with forces, if need be. “Israeli media are reporting that the IDF is sending emergency call-up notices to reservists. IDF General Yoav Mordechai told Channel 2 news ground troops may be sent into Gaza: “There are preparations, and if we are required to, the option of a entry by ground is available.”

Predictably, even though Hamas has been shelling Israeli civilians and children for weeks, “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi to call an emergency meeting of the League’s Council to denounce “dangerous Israeli escalation and brutal aggression on our people in the Gaza Strip”.”

This latest escalation of the parties, which brings them to the brink of war, is called on the Israeli side, “Operation Pillar of Cloud.” You will remember from the Old Testament that a pillar of cloud led the Israelites in the desert by day. At night it was a pillar of fire.

“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22).

“And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”(Exodus 14:24-25).

Maybe not as predictably, but certainly prophetically, the Egyptians sided with Hamas.

There is a prophecy in Isaiah that is yet unfulfilled. I am not talking about the unfulfilled prediction that Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1). I am talking Isaiah 19 and Egypt.

The opening of Isaiah 19 begins like this, with another reference to a cloud!

“An oracle concerning Egypt.  Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom; and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers; and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord God of hosts.” (Isaiah 19:204)

The harsh master is probably the antichrist. But we cannot say for sure.

Joel Rosenberg wrote a piece called “What does the bible say about the future of Egypt?” He produced this video at the tail end of the revolution which ousted Hosni Mubarek at the end of the Arab Spring.

Is this the time for Isaiah 19 to come true, with the beginning of fulfillment in seeing a ground war between Gaza, Egypt and Israel?  Possibly. Probably, actually.

Please keep praying and keep aware of events. Keep reading your bible. It has so much to say about these times. For example, of all the names the Israelis could have used, the Pillar of Cloud is one that not only figures into their history past but is part of Isaiah 19 and history future. We will watch to see if that future history has arrived.

Posted in hamas, jordan, prophecy, psalm 83

Looking at Psalm 83’s nearness, remember Obadiah’s prophecy of Jordan destroyed

A lot of nations are mentioned by name in the end time schedule of events. Egypt (Mizraim), Russia (Magog, Rosh), Turkey (Gomer, beth-Togarmah), Iran (Persia, Elam), Ethiopia & Libya (Cush & Phut), Lebanon (Canaan which included No. Israel) and of course, Israel. Here is a look at ancient and modern names in the bible, or here in list form. The map below enlarges if you click on it.

But what of Jordan (Moab, Amman, Edom)? Is Jordan, with which Israel shares a border and a brother, mentioned?(Gen 25:23) Yes. Obadiah is all about Jordan and its doom. But first, the news. There are two things happening this week which fit into prophecy. Overlaying both pieces of news is this fact to be kept in mind: Only Egypt and Jordan currently have a peace treaty with Israel. And with the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendancy lately, winning the elections, they have said in December that they will not honor the peace treaty currently in force:

“Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will not recognize Israel under any circumstances and might put the peace treaty with the Jewish state up to a referendum, the movement’s second in command told the Al-Hayat newspaper in an interview that was published Sunday. The announcement comes days before the final round in the first parliamentary elections in post-uprising Egypt. The Islamist movement has emerged as the biggest winner in polls, capturing nearly half of the seats so far.”

So that is not good news for Israel. Worse, is this. Here is some important news. As Syria devolves, Hamas leadership (Hamas terrorist organization sworn to destroy Israel) in Syria has been making frequent visits to Jordan. Jordan’s King Abdullah has always liked to characterize Jordan as being reasonable and stable. They hold a peace treaty with Israel. They have sworn not to ally with terrorists and booted Hamas out 12 years ago. And yet…there’s this from three days ago:

“Jordanian government spokesman Rakan al-Majali confirmed Friday that Jordan is expecting a visit from Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Qatari Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamas al-Thani, the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported.”

Is this visit in advance of a decision to make an entire shift in Hamas’ seat of leadership from Damascus to Jordan? The article goes on to say

“Al-Majali added that Jordan welcomes its guests as fellow brothers from Qatar and Hamas. He noted that the visit will be followed by a discussion on Jordan’s ties with Hamas and the interests of the Jordanian and Palestinian people. The spokesman also addressed Israeli reports suggesting that Qatar was pressuring Amman to take in Hamas in exchange for financial incentives…” but the official denied it, of course. Several Hamas senior officials recently left Damascus in the wake of the Assad regime’s violent crackdown. Some conjectured that the movement will seek refuge in Jordan which expelled it 12 years ago.”

It seems that Jordan is friendly with Hamas again. On Dec 6 the WSJ reported “Hamas ordered the departure of nearly all its staff at its Damascus headquarters by next week following pressure from Turkey and Qatar, two regional allies trying to isolate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid an eight-month crackdown on antiregime protests, according to a Hamas official. … Hamas will establish new headquarters in Cairo and Qatar to replace its operations in Syria, the official added. At the same time, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss upgrading its presence in the kingdom.”

Since Dec 6 and with the confirmation of the highest Hamas official meeting with highest Jordanian officials three days ago, it seemed to lend credence to the reports that Hamas is changing venues back to its old home of Jordan.

Here is the second item I’d wanted to share:

Israel building a wall against Jordan
“Israel is carrying out a policy of “good fences make good neighbors” and will build a security fence along the Jordanian border, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday. “When the security barrier along the Egyptian border is finished, one will be built along the border with Jordan,” the Prime Minister said at the weekly Cabinet meeting. The border on the south will stretch 240 kilometers (nearly 150 miles) and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2012, at a cost of $360 million.”

You see the geo-physical problem with Egypt’s effective abandonment of the peace treaty with Israel, and the border of Jordan, where Egyptian extremists are said to be smuggling arms to Jordan…and the recent softening of relations between King Adullah and Hamas…

In his Gog Magog FAQ Joel Rosenberg asked “Bernard Lewis—the renowned Middle East scholar and author of numerous important books about the region including The Crisis of Islam—to assess the potential impact of Hamas coming to power in the post-Arafat environment. “The Hamas-Palestinian government may pose more of a danger to Jordan than to Israel,” he said.14 Lewis is right. Some 70 percent of Jordanian citizens are Palestinians, and Hamas would love to radicalize them and use them to help overthrow the king and unify Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza into one jihadist state poised at Israel’s throat.”

Hamas and Jordan are definitely not a good mix. Whether it is the radicalization of Jordanian Palestinians by Hamas’s influence or some other measure, we know that at some point Jordan becomes rabid with hate, or at least weak enough to be unable to withstand hatred of Israel, and pitches in to the Psalm 83 confederacy that attacks Israel in the last days.

Now, the prophecy about Jordan says something startling. Jordan’s life as a nation will be completely wiped out. Obadiah is the shortest book in the OT and it’s entirely about “The Coming Judgment on Edom”. That judgment has not occurred yet, so it is still future. Remember, Jacob and Esau were twin brothers of Rebekah and Isaac and the older was prophesied to serve the younger. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of red stew, and further, was tricked out of his blessing by Jacob at Rebekah’s insistence. For this, Esau has always hated Jacob. And Jordan (Idumea, Ammon, Moab, Edom) has always treated Israel harshly. They will be judged for it, and more, the LORD will use Jordan mightily in the process for His plan and glory.

First, Ob 1:18 says “The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble;They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,”

That is pretty startling. None will survive? What does that mean? I should tell you that a thorough and clear interpretation of Obadiah’s prophesies has eluded the most diligent and brilliant difficult scholars, therefore I will not even come close.

In my studies I take the plain meaning when it is clear that no other meaning should be taken (the writer is not using a metaphor or it’s not a parable).

Gill’s Exposition seems to say this too: ‘and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; that is, the Israelites shall fall upon the Edomites, who will be no more able to withstand them than stubble can stand before devouring flames of fire, and shall utterly waste and destroy them: and there shall not be any remaining of the house or Esau; … the Edomites shall be all consumed, and the Israelites shall inherit their land:’

But Clarke’s Commentary differs: “There shall not be any remaining – As a people and a nation they shall be totally destroyed. This is the meaning; it does not signify that every individual shall be destroyed.”

In any case, the land of Jordan will be destroyed as a nation, and the land will become Israel’s. It is in Jordan, in the area of Bozrah and likely the city of Petra, the remnant shall be protected. They are protected because Jordan is the one nation the antichrist is not able to conquer!

“He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.” (Daniel 11:41).

Amazing isn’t it?!

So in Matthew 24:16 when Jesus warns the people to flee when they see the antichrist coming, He tells them to flee to the the mountains. The only way to do that is east to Jericho (15 miles, 6.5 hours’ walk) and then south down the King’s Highway to the mountainous area at the south end of the Dead Sea to Petra, approximately 125 miles.

In Psalm 83 Jordan is mentioned as an enemy of Israel conspiring toward her obliteration. The list below is from an article last Feb 2011 by Bill Salus, titled “Jordan soon to sever ties with Israel.” It is a good article.

Here is the Psalm 83 verse, “For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them;They have helped the children of Lot. Selah” (Ps 83:5-8).

You notice that all of Jordan from north to south, Ammon, Moab and Edom are mentioned. Perhaps it is this battle, yet to occur, that destroys Jordan as Obadiah prophesied.

Time till tell. Meanwhile, whenever Jordan is in the news in a way that casts it as an enemy or potential enemy of Israel, perk up, our Redemption draws nigh!