Posted in ISIS, jordan, kuwait, middle east, prophecy

ISIS takes 3 more towns. Kuwait recalls Ambassador, Jordan nervous, Kerry on scene

I’ve been following the progress of the Al Qaeda splinter group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) for two weeks now. Their progress in gobbling territory has been impressively swift. Without doubt, the Iraqi army (and the US) were caught off guard. Also without doubt, the firepower ISIS possesses and the fervent intent and knowledge with which they use it has resulted in being able to out-maneuver the Iraqi army at most points.

ISIS plans to take Baghdad, they plan to take as much territory as they can, and institute an Islamic State. A caliphate. As a matter of fact, they released a map of their intent. I’ve searched as to the origin of the map and have 75% confidence that it is real. (Only 75% because I haven’t been able to corroborate it through a recognized news media. Despite their name, Weasel Zippers does a good job at presenting alternative news).

Source

I thought the commentary at the source made sense:

It reminds me of old pictures of the Nazi creep from World War II. Hitler said what he planned to do, just nobody really listened or believed he actually meant it. Seizing what they have so far has given them billions in assets and a functioning oilfield that can sustain a state.

The map includes northern Africa and Egypt, places the bible says will form an alliance to attack Israel in the last of the last days.(Ezekiel 38-39). It also includes all of the areas surrounding Israel, places where the bible says Psalm 83 will take place. And it also includes places east of Iran, which is east of the Euphrates. The Euphrates River (also called The Great River in scripture) historically been seen as the easternmost border of the Middle East and after that, Asia. Notably, the Euphrates is the easternmost portion of the land God promised to give Israel. Beyond the Great River, it is typically considered the ‘East’ and from whence the Kings of the East will march at the end of the Tribulation. (Revelation 16:12).

The ISIS map looks like it could be an area of one of the ten kingdoms the bible says the world will be split into. I’m not saying it will be, just that this is one of the ways it might happen. At the very least, ISIS continues to have success in their jihadist military aims.

Washington Post reports today,
ISIS fighters control much of Iraq’s western border after seizing three more towns

Al-Qaeda-inspired rebels captured three more towns in the western Iraqi province of Anbar on Sunday, expanding their onslaught against crumbling Iraqi security forces deeper into the heart of the Middle East. The latest conquests give the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) unchecked control of hundreds of miles of territory spanning the Iraqi-Syrian border, erasing the line drawn between the two countries by colonial powers.

I wrote on Friday that borders are going to be erased and/or re-drawn. I wrote that this is a common thing that has regularly occurred throughout history, and always happens when there’s war. I also said that for the ten kingdoms to come about as prophesied in the Tribulation, much re-drawing is going to take place. It seems like it has already.

ISIS militants seize 4 Iraqi towns in just 2 days

The militants of the Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS, also known as ISIL, managed to capture three new towns and two border crossings on Sunday, according to eyewitnesses, officials, and security sources.Army troops withdrew from Rawah, Anah and Rutba this morning and ISIS moved quickly to completely control these towns,” an unnamed military intelligence official told Reuters after the three had fallen. The militants captured the three towns in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, Reuters reported. Later in the day, militants seized two border crossings – one with Jordan and one with Syria, Iraqi officials told AP.

Of course the unstable situation has caused concern in the region. Our Secretary of State Kerry has arrived in Baghdad to work with leaders there.

John Kerry holds talks in Iraq as more cities fall to ISIS militants

As radical Sunni militants snatch city after city in their march toward Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on Monday during the country’s tensest time since the U.S. withdrawal of troops in 2011.

And Kuwait has made a move:

Kuwait withdraws envoy from Iraq due to security situation

DUBAI: Kuwait has withdrawn its ambassador from Iraq due to the security situation there, a Kuwaiti official told Reuters Monday. “We told our ambassador and diplomatic team (to leave) more than a week ago … This is because of the security situation in Iraq. When we feel the situation has become stable and normal again they will go back,” said Khaled Al-Jarallah, Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry Undersecretary.

And Jordan has made a move. They sent extra security to the border as I related in the news piece last Sunday, June 15, “Jordan braces for ISIS“. Since then however, ISIS has taken over the province next to Jordan, Anbar; and took a checkpoint just over the border with Iraq. So today the King of Jordan reassures his people

‘Jordan border safe despite militants’ gains in Iraq’

“Although the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has controlled Rutba which is located 60km (37mi) northeast to the border with Jordan, this does not pose a threat to the Kingdom, officials and experts said on Sunday. Army troops [of Iraq] withdrew from Rawa, Ana and Rutba on Sunday morning and ISIL moved quickly to completely control these towns, Reuters reported Sunday. A top government source told The Jordan Times that “our border with Iraq is under full control”, saying that the latest developments are not threatening to national security. The two countries have a 180km (111mi) shared border.

Can ISIS accomplish what they seemingly want to do? Well, they have accomplished quite a bit in the last two weeks. They pulled off a 450M bank heist, and they have obtained an oil field. They have the personnel, money, and arms to do accomplish much. They also have the zealous will. As to a zealous will, see this next item. It is a screen shot of a tweet from an ISIS supporter I follow on Twitter:

I did not care to watch the video. The outcome is made plain enough by the words in the tweet. The words, however made me cry. With this uprising in the Middle East (yet another uprising), people who have lived their entire lives in despair being apart from our Holy God, give their lives to a cause that one nanosecond after death they discover was all worthless. Their entire lives have been worthless, and they will know that their entire eternal future will be in flames.

There is no Allah to receive the unsaved Muslim into heaven. There is only the echo of laughter from an evil satan to accompany the suicide bomber on his journey to hell. Evil laughter … and flames.

In 2009 as the uprising in Tehran occurred, a bystander to a protest was shot. This Islamic Philosophy student’s death was the most widely watched live death in human history, and it became a rallying point for the protest. Her name was Neda Soltan, and her last words were, “I’m burning, I’m burning!”

As we watch the scenes in the Middle East unfold, and study scripture as to the Lord’s plan for history, we always remember the exercise is not merely academic. Each time an uprising occurs, people die. Each time people die, they go to one of two places. Muslims who appeal to Allah go to hell, discovering there is no Allah, and they are in torment forever from their earthly mistake.

Others who die, if they have appealed to God for forgiveness of their sins, will go to heaven. Heaven is a glorious place, full of beauty and majesty and perfection. The greatest thing about heaven is that it will be the place Jesus is, and we will see Him face to face. We will worship Him among brethren who are perfect as we are perfect, and our worship will be perfect. What a day that will be, when Jesus receives His bride and all the exaltation that is due Him!

Please continue to pray for the Muslims who are staking their eternity on a false god who does not exist. And pray for the few true Christians still dwelling in the area, persecution in that section of the world has always been brutal. Pray that they die a death pleasing to the Lord, honoring Him in courage through their last breath. Unlike Neda’s last words, or unlike the terrible shock the suicide bomber experienced, a Christian dying under persecution sees and experiences only glory ahead–

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”(Revelation 2:10)

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:54-60)

Posted in gog magog, ISIS, Kurds, prophecy, syria

How much ground has ISIS won in Syria? This picture puts it in perspective

Fox News reporter Doug Luzader (@DougLuzader , @foxandfriends) asked the following question this morning, and answered it with the photo

How much ground has #ISIS won in Syria/Iraq? This pic puts it in perspective.

Who is ISIS? What do they want? How did this happen? I’d striven to show in a previous article (Has the Assyrian Empire just revived?) that the chaos in that region of the world has been in open rebellion since Genesis 10. The world’s first tyrant, Nimrod, built Babylon (Baghdad) and Nineveh (Mosul) and many other cities and led the world’s first global religious rebellion. We see by today’s news that nothing has changed.

Though we can overlay the veneer of civilization upon the region, it is still an evil place. Though we can militarily quell rebellions there for a time, such efforts are just a sham. Babylon is host to the greatest evil the world ever has known or will ever know. In the times ahead it is prophesied to get worse. Here are some facts.

ISIS stands for ISIS stands for The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Who is ISIS?

ISIS used to be al-qaeda in Iraq

The NY Times reported yesterday,

Having occupied crucial sections of Syria over the past year and more recently seizing vast areas of Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria controls territory greater than many countries and now rivals Al Qaeda as the world’s most powerful jihadist group.

Islam is divided into two main groups, or sects: Shia and Sunni. Sunnis comprise by far the larger portion of Muslims in the world, approximately 80%. Shias are the more conservative, severe bunch, and comprise about 20% of all Islam. In Iraq however, those percentages are reversed. Iraq’s Muslim population is mostly Shia, and in that nation, Sunnis are the fewer.

In Iraq, Sunnis have felt marginalized and sympathy for the cause has been running high. Hatred between the two sects in Iraq is always a bloody undercurrent. The democratically elected Maliki promised better relations and when that didn’t happen, Sunni ire rose.

In Islam, Sunnis and Shias differ in their belief on who is the true descendant of Muhammad. There was a conflict over who was to succeed Muhammad after his death. The conflict was never resolved, and out of that conflict came the Sunni and the Shia sects. Another split between the two branches of Islam is their end time belief on how or what to do to incite the return of the last Mahdi, the twelfth Imam who will bring justice to the world through Sharia Law globally.

The Jewish Virtual Library explains the origin of the caliphate:

In the end, however, Muhammad’s father-in-law, Abu Bakr, was named the khalifa or “Successor” of Muhammad. A new religion and a new circumstance had formed a new, untried political formation: the caliphate. The Patriarchal Caliphs  The earliest caliphs were relatives and followers of Muhammad himself. Under these four caliphs, the political, social, and religious institutions of Islam would be solidified, including the definitive edition of the Qur’an. The world of Islam would expand far beyond the borders of the Arabian peninsula during their tenure—east into the Persian empire, north into Byzantine territory, and west across the face of northern Africa.& Because of their foundational status and the fact that they were direct followers of Muhammad, these first four caliphs are called the patriarchs or patriarchal caliphs of Islam. For many Muslims, this was the golden age of Islamic government when a true Islamic polity was in existence; from some Muslims, such as Shi’ite Muslims, this was the only period when there was legitimate Islamic government. In this view, the founding of the Umayyad dynasty ushered in more than a millennium of illegitimate government.

In looking at history’s great empires,especially through a biblical lens, we often focus on the Persians, Assyrians, the Egyptians, Medes, Greeks, and Romans. But we often forget the Ottomans. The Muslim Ottoman Empire was in existence from 1299 to 1923 and held vast territories.

Map of the Abbasid Caliphate at its greatest extent, 750-1258.

You notice the red line of demarcation extends across the northern tier of Africa. These lands are part of the coming embroilment in the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog war.

For now, though, Africa is included as a high priority for the US Military in identifying where the next threats are coming from. Just last year,

Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, a trained sniper and martial arts master who for the past year has overseen a U.S. special operations task force in Africa, had a message for his troops before heading off to retirement.  “An evil” has descended on Africa, Bristol said. “It is on us to stomp it out.”  For all the talk of the U.S. military’s pivot to the Pacific, it is Africa and the growing threat posed by Islamic militant groups there that now has the attention of the special operations community. “Africa is not the next ridgeline,” Bristol said in an interview before Wednesday’s ceremony. “It is where the enemy is going now.”

The ISIS group wants a caliphate again, a life where “the political, social, and religious institutions of Islam would be solidified, including the definitive edition of the Qur’an”.

The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was the beginning of the death knell for the Ottomans, (and caliphates in general) which would see its final demise in 1923. The outcome of the war saw the Turks lose large territories, including those with large Muslim populations such as the Crimean Peninsula to the Christian Russian Empire. You might remember recent news of war in Crimea. President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, abruptly annexed the peninsula. Always remember the history of the Baltics has Islam at its root, and that the Gog Magog battle includes Russia and the Baltics (among others).

At some point, all the nations in these current lands, from the norther tier of Africa, all the way to Turkey and Iran, unite against their perceived common enemy, Israel, and attacks her.

After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. (Ezekiel 38:8-9)

Anyway, in 1924 the Turkish National Assembly decided they wanted a secular state, and dissolved the Caliphate. And it has been dissolved ever since. But not forgotten.

ISIS controls hundreds of square miles where state authority has evaporated. It ignores international borders and has a presence all the way from Syria’s Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad. CNN
You might remember former CNN and Fox News reporter Glenn Beck warning the citizenry that extremists were trying to rebuild the caliphate. He bucked the trend and reported on this during the times when the politically correct mantra was “Islam is a peaceful religion.”

Here is an excerpt from today at Beck’s website, The Blaze:

Three years ago, Glenn Beck was relentlessly mocked for saying that Islamists in the Middle East are trying to rebuild the caliphate — the government implemented after the death of the prophet Muhammad that derives its authority from and governs by Shariah law. The idea was called “looney tunes” by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in 2011, while others in the media said Beck was having “delusional ravings.” What did Beck say on Monday, now that the concept is being seriously discussed by CNN and a senior adviser to the Department of Homeland Security said the return of the caliphate is “inevitable”

ISIS has been a boon to the regions’ Kurds.

there’s somewhere between 80,000 and 240,000 Kurdish peshmerga (militias) who don’t answer to Baghdad. They’re well equipped and trained, and represent a serious military threat to ISIS.

Joel Rosenberg has a good article today explaining the prophetic implications of today’s news, and also reminds us of another ethnic group involved in this religious war: the Kurds.

With prophetic implications, the Kurds, known as the Medes in the Bible, seize oil-rich region of Iraq. What does it mean?

Could recent developments in Iraq have prophetic implications? Actually, the answer may be yes — especially with regards to the Kurdish people who live in northern Iraq. Let me explain.  As we’ve been seeing in recent weeks, the Radical jihadist forces of the “Islamic State of Iraq & al-Sham” (ISIS) are on the move towards Baghdad. They are leaving a trail of bloodshed and carnage in their wake.  The objective of the ISIS leaders is to topple the Iraqi government, seize control of all of Iraq, establish a jihadist state under Sharia law, and use Iraq to begin a regional — and eventually global — Islamic caliphate, or kingdom.  Now, the Kurdish leaders have taken advantage of the chaos of this moment to seize control of the oil-rich region of Kirkuk for themselves.

Haaretz also has an article today about the Kurds, titled, “Kurdish independence: A dream fraught with danger

Now, following the seizing of Mosul and other cities by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Kurdish Peshmerga, the fighting force of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was quick to take military positions in and around the hotly contested city of Kirkuk as Iraqi forces fled. Although without the religious significance of Jerusalem, the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk has had a lasting significance for Iraqi Kurds. It is said that the Kurdish attachment to Kirkuk is comparable to the Jewish longing for Jerusalem.

So with all that in mind, please remember that God is the author of all this current history, just as He has been of the history of when Nimrod began his religious wars in Baghdad Babylon. These lands have been and will be in constant turmoil until the day Jesus returns and establishes… not a caliphate under allah, praise the Lord, but a perfectly just society where Jesus Himself rules and reigns. He is the true bringer of peace.

Posted in end time, ISIS, jordan, prophecy

Jordan braces for ISIS

From the Jordan Times today:

Jordan strengthens security along Iraqi border as ISIL makes gains

AMMAN — The Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) have strengthened their presence along the Iraqi border on Sunday as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) reportedly inched towards Jordanian territory.

Sources said Sunday that the terror organisation has opened a clandestine branch in Jordan to prepare for its expansion into the region.

Meanwhile, lawmakers scheduled a meeting Monday to discuss the developments in Iraq and their potential impact on the Kingdom.

According to military sources, the JAF nearly “doubled” its forces along the country’s 180-kilometre shared border with Iraq early Sunday amid a reported withdrawal of Iraqi forces from nearby border towns in western Iraq.

Although military sources reported no “unusual movement” along the Iraq border, one source familiar with the situation stressed that border guards “remain on high alert” as ISIL continues to make gains in nearby western Iraq.

According to media reports, Iraqi government forces withdrew from several towns and villages in western Anbar province in the face of an ongoing military offensive by the hard-line Islamic State.

In a statement quoting an Iraqi military source, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported that Iraqi forces had withdrawn from the western towns of Saklawisat in Ramadi and the village of Al Jisser near Fallujah, key towns in Anbar province that have been at the heart of fighting between the Iraqi military and jihadist forces since late December 2013.

Ramadi and Fallujah lie some 400km from the Jordanian-Iraqi border.

Despite the “precautionary” military build-up, security sources say the situation remains “calm” along the western Iraqi border, in contrast to the country’s shared border with Syria, which has seen several clashes between the armed forces and suspected Islamist militants over the past two weeks.

Lawmakers plan meeting

Government Spokesman Mohammad Momani could not be reached for comment on the border build-up.

However, MPs on Sunday expressed worries towards the ongoing instability in Iraq, amid expectations that the Kingdom would receive another wave of refugees from the neighbouring country.

The MPs filed this request during the Lower House’s session on Sunday, calling on Speaker Atef Tarawneh to schedule a “special” meeting with the government to discuss the ramifications of the ongoing fighting in Iraq on Jordan.

“The situation in Iraq and in particular on our eastern border with this country is a source of concern for everyone,” MP Bassam Manaseer said. The suggestion was supported by three major blocs: Mubadara, Islamic Centrist Party and Watan.

Branch for ISIL in Jordan

Meanwhile, Islamist sources claim that the Islamic State is preparing for “expansion into Jordan” as it continues to push westward through Iraq.

According to jihadist sources close to ISIL, the former Al Qaeda affiliate opened on Friday an “unofficial” office and branch in Jordan to usher what sources claim as expansion of the Islamic “caliphate”.

Despite having a low-profile presence in Jordan over the past six months, with over 800 Jordanian nationals reportedly serving under the ranks of ISIL, the movement has allegedly been reluctant to open an official branch in Jordan due to its ongoing rivalry with Al Qaeda, which retains larger popularity and support among hard-line Islamists in the country.

Senior members of Jordan’s hard-line Salafist movement, which keep strong ties with both Al Qaeda and the Baghdad-based ISIL, had previously mediated “understandings” with the Islamic State to forego expansion into the country in a bid to prevent ongoing jihadist civil war in Syria to spill over into the country.

In the wake of ISIL’s rapid gains in northern and western Iraq last week Jordanian jihadist sources fear that the previous pacts “are no longer being honoured”.

“The Islamic State seems to have reached a stage that it believes it no longer must act with cooperation or even informing its partners or the Islamic ummah,” said a leader of the Jordanian Salafist movement, who declined to be named due to security concerns.

“The last thing we want to see is bloodshed, and the entrance of the Islamic State into Jordan may unleash this.”

On Thursday, Saudi Arabian news network Al Arabiya published a map allegedly posted by ISIL depicting its planned so-called Islamic caliphate, which featured Jordan falling under the movement’s banner.

Al Qaeda has long differed with ISIL over its approach to establishing an Islamic state in the region.

The Pakistani-based Al Qaeda leadership, headed by Ayman Zawahiri, has called for cooperation with local populations in bringing about an Islamic caliphate, while ISIL leaders insist that an Islamic state should be imposed by force.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

1,212 Syrian refugees cross the borders in four days

 Who were the Assyrians in the Bible?

Jordan’s End Time role

Obadiah’s future prophecy regarding Jordan


Posted in gay pride, homosexuality, iraq, ISIS, israel, jesus, judgment

Tel Aviv, Sodom’s new headquarters; part 2 ISIS and prophecy

In both the introduction, Do the events of today in Iraq have prophetic import? and in Part 1, “Has the Assyrian Empire just revived? ISIS, Baghdad, and the Middle East in prophecy part 1,” I discussed the terrible unfolding events of the near-collapse of Iraq as the terror militant group ISIS drives forward to capture huge swathes of Iraq, Syria and part of Turkey. I’d said that though we don’t know for certain if these are directly prophetic events, but that such sudden moves in bible lands are always worth watching and worth praying over.

Over 800,000 Iraqis are fleeing the incoming army of rabidly ferocious ISIS soldiers. The refugee situation in the area is horrific, with millions of displaced Syrians already in ever-growing refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, and even Italy. Where are these Iraqi refugees going to go?

They are fleeing because the ISIS group is known for violence, bloodshed, and brutality. The UK newspapers are reporting streets lined with heads, as beheading of even surrendering opposition takes place. Targeting of civilians is common. God, being holy and just, is not pleased with such sin.

I made the comment that the lands the ISIS insurgent group has re-taken are lands that match the heart of the old nation of Assyria, the once most feared empire on earth. Things don’t change, I’d written, because the enmity between them and God was put there in the Garden after the Fall (Genesis 3:15). It will remain until Jesus returns.

In the bible it is equally clear that He uses nations to render judgment for sin. In the past He especially used Assyria as ‘His rod’ to punish Israel for their sins.

He used Isaiah and Micah and Hosea to warn, and “Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer” (2 Kings 17:13). Israel did not repent and the invasion came to pass.

Isaiah gave one of the warnings:

Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations.” (Isaiah 10:5-7)

Here is the result: Israel did NOT repent,

Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land and went up to Samaria and besieged it three years. 6In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (2 Kings 17:5-6)

Wikipedia gives an overview: “The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian monarchs, Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) and Shalmaneser V. The later Assyrian rulers Sargon II and his son and successor, Sennacherib, were responsible for finishing the twenty-year demise of Israel’s northern ten-tribe kingdom, although they did not overtake the Southern Kingdom.”

In that case God used Assyria as His rod to punish Israel for their disobedience and preserved a remnant for Himself (the Southern Kingdom).

What was Israel doing that ignited God’s ire so much? 2 Kings 17 records one warning:

“they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel, …

And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, 

So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. …

And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. …

the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.

God doesn’t change, His expectations for His people do not change. He expects His people Israel and His Bride the Church to be holy, to seek after Him and Him alone. Does one believe that God will overlook this, going on in Tel Aviv, Israel this very day?

Gay Pride flag flies in US embassy in Tel Aviv Israel
Welcome to Sodom’s New Headquarters
The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has hoisted the gay pride flag over the embassy building in Tel Aviv. Todd Starnes grabbed the pic from the embassy’s Facebook page.”

The UK Independent reports backlash!
“The US embassy in Tel Aviv faced a backlash of criticism after it raised the rainbow flag next to the American flag above its office for the first time in history earlier this week. On Tuesday, Daniel Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel, made the announcement that the rainbow flag had been raised during Tel Aviv’s Pride Week, which runs until 14 June. “For the first time in history,” Mr Shapiro wrote on the embassy’s Facebook page, “the US Embassy in Tel Aviv has raised the Pride flag together with our American flag. We are proud to join with the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and its residents in celebrating LGBT Pride Week.” … But Mr Shapiro’s announcement was met with a barrage of angry comments from users claiming it did not represent the views held by American citizens, with many demanding the flag be taken down immediately.

The Jerusalem Post reports that as Tel Aviv “celebrates” Gay Pride week, Tel Aviv is the world’s “best gay city.”
People of all ages, races, nationalities and sexual identities, many scantily clad and adorned in rainbow flags, crammed into the vibrant park-space in central Tel Aviv to listen to local musical performances, visit stalls of organizers and activists, hear an introduction from Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai, and show off the best of LGBTQ culture. It is no surprise that this event was so heavily attended; the only state in the Middle East that does not outlaw homosexuality, Israel, and specifically Tel Aviv, is host to a large and vibrant LGBTQ activist community. … The parade ended in a massive beach party at Charles Clore Park, after which attendees dispersed to explore the best that “the world’s best gay city” had to offer. “

Source

Twitter comment regarding the above photo: “100,000+ #LGBT people have gathered in #Israel for gay pride parade. Imagine that anywhere else in the Middle East.

I submit to you the point of this essay: that the beheading violence from the ISIS soldiers in Mosul Iraq is just as violent and abhorrent to God as the kissing queers on the Israeli beach. Does one think that our Holy God who was outraged at the sodomy at Sodom and Gomorrah would not also be angry at the sodomy at the new Sodom, Tel Aviv? He is.

He will bring judgment to Israel, and punish them severely. This is coming. It is prophesied.

Revelation 11:8 makes reference to Jerusalem being metaphorical Sodom!

and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.

He will punish.

“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:2)

For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zechariah 14:2)

but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.” (Revelation 11:2)

Does America, that bastion of homosexual ‘equality’, think it will escape the judgment of Holy God? Our sins are so many. Sodom didn’t escape. Gomorrah didn’t escape. Admah didn’t. Zeboiim didn’t. Jerusalem won’t. This news from earlier today

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi walked away from a U.S. detention camp in 2009, the future leader of ISIS issued some chilling final words to reservists from Long Island. “See you in New York.”

Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca, didn’t take these words from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a threat. Al-Baghdadi knew that many of his captors were from New York, reservists with the 306 Military Police Battalion, a unit based on Long Island that includes numerous numerous members of the NYPD and the FDNY. King had not imagined that in less that five years he would be seeing news reports that al-Baghdadi was the leader of ISIS, the ultra-extremist army that was sweeping through Iraq toward Baghdad. … King says “He was a bad dude, but he wasn’t the worst of the worst.” That is the face that King was so surprised to see this week as the man who had become the absolute worst of the worst, so bad that even al Qaeda had disowned him. The whole world was stunned as al-Baghdadi now told his enemies “I’ll see you in Baghdad.”

Israel’s judgment will be severe, as it will be for all those on earth enduring the punishment of wrath from a Holy God. Sin must be dealt with. One can wait and have the angry God deal with you regarding your sin, or you can deal with it now, during the Age of Grace.

and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

What IS The Gospel? From Bible.org,
In a day of depressing headlines and uncertainty all around us, good news is very welcome. What better news could there be than as the old hymn says: “The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives?” When Christians refer to the “Gospel” they are referring to the “good news” that Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sin so that we might become the children of God through faith alone in Christ alone. In short, “the Gospel” is the sum total of the saving truth as God has communicated it to lost humanity as it is revealed in the person of His Son and in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. If you aren’t sure whether or not you are God’s child, you might want to read God’s Plan of Salvation.

Be saved today! Be saved from his wrath and the coming judgment. Meet Jesus as friend, father, Groom.

Saved, Saved:

Posted in beheading, ISIS, prophecy

Has the Assyrian Empire just revived? ISIS, Baghdad, and the Middle East in prophecy part 1 (Updated)

Introduction here
Part 2 here

Update here from UK Daily Mail
How Isis have rampaged towards the capital: A blow by blow account of how Islamist militants outnumbered 20-to-1 by the army cut through huge swathes of Iraq 

Update 2 how & why maps shoft, and conditions that lead to global war: (The New World Disorder)

“The map of Middle East drawn up after the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 is uncoiling, dissolving into a region-wide Sunni-Shia civil war. The Western response, driven by understandable war-weariness, has largely been to stand and watch. Even pictures of gassed children heaving and choking in Syria’s makeshift hospitals, was not enough re-awaken a sense of the old responsibility that America and the West took upon itself after 1945 to underwrite the institutions and ideals of global democracy.”

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There is currently so much going on now in the Middle East it staggers the mind. I wrote this earlier on Twitter,

So hard to concentrate today, with all that God is doing in the world & in the Middle East. I’m in awe of Him & want to just worship all day

and this next one isn’t a scripture verse but is instead a conceptual paraphrase-

The Lord stretcheth out His arm and He smites nations. The Lord stretcheth His arm and He gathers His bride. The Lord stretcheth out His arm

I was following the news of the ISIS-led takeover of northern Iraq, part of Syria and Southern Turkey. I was reading about the brutalities the ISIS group is perpetrating. I read of the battle for Baghdad. It seemed biblically prophetic to me, this great and dramatic and sudden movement of peoples in the exact prophetic center of God’s plan for future history. But how?

I read Daniel 11, which I believe has some bearing. I re-read Ezekiel 38-39, Jeremiah 49 and Psalm 83, familiar territory for me, as well as Isaiah 17 and 19. But it was when I saw the UK Daily Mail map of ISIS-controlled territory that it hit me.

The territory ISIS is alleged to control is in the same territory as the heart of ancient Assyria.

Assyria.

The Man from Assyria (Antichrist).

Assyria the brutal, dominating, hateful regime- then and now.

So I went back and read prophecies relating to Assyria, Isaiah 10 and Micah 5. I listened to several good men preach on the relevant passages. I prayed.

I do not know if the events happening this week in the ME are directly related to unfulfilled biblical prophecy or not. Only the LORD knows that. And I say “directly” related because at the root level, all history is related to prophecy. God is the author of history and His pronouncements, prophetic and otherwise, will come to pass. Jesus is working and the Father is always working. (John 5:17).

Studying prophecies related to Assyria are also very difficult because they are spread between and among many of the prophets, not just Isaiah and Micah but also Nahum and others. Some of the passages have a near future fulfillment at the time it was written, and did indeed come to pass. Other passages have a far-fulfillment and have not yet come to pass. Rightly dividing the two is beyond me, at least, unless I studied them for 5 years or so. And rightly dividing the passages means I won’t do injustice to them by making claims.

However it’s important to study the history of the Middle East so that when I make my conclusion you will see the main point: there has been trouble there since 2500 BC when Assyria was founded, the King of Iran (not Iraq) Chedorlaomer, was involved in one of the first wars recorded in bible history, the one which captures Abram’s nephew Lot. Genesis 14 records the kings involved in this lengthy war, including the King of Shinar and the King of Ellasar (in Iraq) the area where we are discussing today. When God is obviously working in the world, it is right and good to read and ponder His magnificent works from scripture- what He has done in the region and what He says He will do.

So anyone who says they have a solution in bringing peace and security to the region (future antichrist included) is dead wrong. The enmity that began in Genesis 3 between God and the serpent against God’s people is ancient. God and God alone will bring peace, when His Son returns.

This week in Iraq, summed up by the UK Guardian:
Iraq faces the abyss after its military melts away
Redrawing of regional map looms large as violence and sectarian confrontation return to Iraq
This week has seen Sunni insurgents once more face off with Shia militias, a major city looted as an army stands by, and the two shrines whose destruction sparked the sectarian war again endangered. This, though, is a crisis like no other for Iraq, eclipsing even the blood-soaked and hopeless war years that pitched sects against each other and whittled out towns and cities. There is no occupying army to hold the country together this time. After the stunning capitulation at the hands of Sunni insurgents this week, there is barely a military left at all.

Remember the line “redrawing of regional map.” Now to the history-

Iraq is the ancient biblical land of Shinar, Mesopotamia, the Chaldeans. The Tigris and the Euphrates run through it. Baghdad is the home to former Babylon (50 miles to its south). Mosul is home to the former Nineveh which is across the river banks. Nineveh was the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

The Neo-Assyrian Empire lasted from 934 BC and ended in 609 BC. During this period, Assyria assumed a position as the most powerful state on earth, successfully eclipsing Babylonia, Egypt, Urartu/Armenia and Elam (Iran) for dominance of the Near East, Asia Minor, Caucasus, North Africa and east Mediterranean, though not until the reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III in the 8th century BC did it become a vast empire. Wikipedia

In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria. (2 Kings 15:29)

At the height of its power, the Assyrian Empire stretched from Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea to Persia (Iran), and from the Caucasus Mountains (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) to the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.” (Wikipedia)

Indeed, some call the bible ‘a tale of two cities’, Jerusalem and Babylon (Baghdad). As ISIS moves closer to Baghdad, many are on the edge of their seats wondering of the Iraqi army will melt away and hand over the city, or if they will dig in for a siege. In the Tribulation, Babylon is prophesied to be revived, (Revelation 18:10) so one wonders with raised eyebrows when heavy fighting erupts suddenly around this ancient biblical and prophetic city. Wonders and watches.

m putting this information up so you can see how ancient these strife is and how long there has been conflict in the area of Iraq. In looking at a map today, the borders are actually fairly new. In the ancient times I mentioned above, Assyria simply was the main empire and covered most of the Middle East. Borders were not necessary- they had the whole thing.

The heart of the Assyrian Empire eerily mimics the ground the ISIS coalition has grabbed today: northern Iraq, northeast Syria and southeastern Turkey. Like this:

UK Daily Mail map

In bible times, the Assyrian Empire was well known for its cruelty.

ASSYRIA’S CRUELTY AND ARROGANCE:
“The Assyrians were noted for their brutality, and their kings were often depicted as gloating over the gruesome punishments inflicted on conquered peoples. They conducted their wars with shocking ferocity, uprooting whole populations and deporting them to other parts of the empire.” 

“When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads until you have crushed them completely; then bind the prisoners tightly,” Sura Chapter 47.
The world today is indeed shocked at reports of ISIS’ gruesome sweep into northern Iraq.

UK Daily Mail reads, “‘They lined the streets with the decapitated heads of police and soldiers’ Iraqi refugee reveals the horrors of the jihadi takeover as Baghdad vows to fight back.

A precursor to the beheadings of the saints in the Tribulation? (Revelation 20:4)

The Washington Post reports today:
Death was everywhere in the sacked the city of Mosul, a strategically vital oil hub and Iraq’s largest northern city. One reporter said an Iraqi woman in Mosul claimed to have seen a “row of decapitated soldiers and policemen” on the street. Other reports spoke of “mass beheadings,” though The Washington Post was not able to confirm the tales.  But the United Nations Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, said the summary executions “may run into the hundreds” and that she was “extremely alarmed.” The stories, the videos, the acts of unfathomable brutality have become a defining aspect of ISIS, which controls a nation-size tract of land and has now pushed Iraq to the precipice of dissolution. Its adherents kill with such abandon that even the leader of al-Qaeda has disavowed them.

The Guardian reports of the ISIS determination to re-write the borders. First, this is important because the end of the end times includes a re-written globe containing a ten-nation federation. Therefore, it stands to reason that ancient borders re-emerge as we head toward the last times.

Isis has made no bones about its intent to rewrite them. It already controls much of the border between Iraq and Syria and aims for the same control between Syria and Lebanon. And as great cities fell this week with little more than a gentle push, the jihadists seem on their way to their goal.

Indeed, here is a MEMRI transcript posted on June 2 of ISIS soldiers singing about their goals- wipe out the borders, humiliate the Jewish rabbis, and crush the cross and the lineage of the people of the cross. This enmity between the lineages is ancient, and God-given.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring
~Genesis 3:15

Oh soldiers of Truth, let’s go.
Repeat the tune of endurance.
A light has illuminated Shaam [the Levant],
so rally all the soldiers.
The Islamic state has been established,
so wipe out all the borders.
Break the crosses and destroy the lineage of the grandsons of monkeys.
The state of monotheism will remain in spite of the lies of the hateful people.

Here is the link to the clip itself if you’d like to hear it sung in Arabic.
ISIS Video Calls to “Break the Crosses and Destroy the Lineage of the Grandsons of Monkeys”

The part of Isaiah where it points to future prophecy is here, Isaiah 10:24,

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.

And again, this part of Micah seems to be pointing to future prophecy (MacArthur, S. Lewis Johnson)

And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. 5This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. 6They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory. (Micah 5:4-6)

Both Micah and the Isaiah lived during the time when Assyria was a great threat to Israel and all the peoples around. As usual though, their prophecies seem to speak on two levels of fulfillment. First, as a warning to Israel at that time but, more importantly for us, these prophecies also look forward in time to the final coming of The Assyrian (Asshur) as Israel’s deceitful enemy and false Messiah. It is predicted that The Assyrian will invade and occupy Israel. He will finally be destroyed in the end by the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, at the Second Coming.

I’d said at the beginning of this blog essay, God stretcheth out His arm… today and the future, in judgment. He stretches out His arm in blessing, too! He has a plan for the Assyrians:

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)

Part 2: Israel

Posted in daniel, ISIS, jeremiah, middle east, middle east unrest, prophecy

Do the events of today in Iraq have prophetic import? Introduction to ISIS and prophecy

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

The suddenness with which the ISIS coalition has burst into the world stage is certainly startling. The swiftness with which the ISIS organization has made sweeping gains in Iraq is also startling. Any time there is dramatic movement in the Middle East, God’s prophetic lands, it is wise to keep watch and also refer to prophecy.

Here are some resources for you to learn more about ancient Iraq. The resources are biblical and historical. Please stay away from conspiracy theorists and prophecy theorists who incorrectly meld blood moon theories and personal dreams and visions with bible prophecy that they rip from context and incorrectly interpret. It brings disrepute onto prophecy as a study topic to tweet, ‘like,’ blog, video, and otherwise promote such incorrect and unbiblical information.

Please also have a heart for the people there. The refugee situation from Syria is terrible, millions have been displaced. I read today that there are more Syrian children in Lebanon than there are Lebanese children. And more millions are fleeing Iraq- where will they go? Where can they be absorbed? Turkey and Jordan are filled to the brim with Syrians already. Most importantly, remember that these fleeing Iraqis don’t know Jesus.

In 1903 W. Eugene Sallee gave a talk about the importance of missions to the Chinese. He demonstrated the need:

In his hand he held his watch. Looking at it constantly for one minute, and then looking at the audience, he said, “A million a month in China go down to their Christless graves, and every time the minute hand makes its circuit around the face of your watch, one thousand, three hundred and eighty-eight souls in China have gone into Eternity.”

How many Iraqis go to a Christless eternity every minute in the war-torn path of the rabid ISIS soldiers?

Here is a map of the lands in the news today. They are ALL in bible prophecy in the end times.

Babylon was 50 miles south of current day Baghdad, on the map above between and ‘a’ in Baghdad and the ‘a’ in Euphrates, at the bend in the river.

Ancient names for Iraq are Babylon, Shinar, Chaldea, and Mesopotamia. Smith’s bible dictionary entry for Shinar states:

Shinar- (country of two rivers), the ancient name of the great alluvial tract through which the Tigris and Euphrates pass before reaching the sea –the tract known in later times as Chaldaea or Babylonia. It was a plain country, where brick had to be used for stone and slime for mortar. (Genesis 11:3) Among the cities were Babel (Babylon), Erech or Orech (Orchoe), Calneh or Calno (probably Niffer), and Accad, the site of which is unknown. It may be suspected that Shinar was the name by which the Hebrews originally knew the lower Mesopotamian country where they so long dwelt, and which Abraham brought with him from “Ur of the Chaldees.”

Here is a short study of the Biblical History of the Land of Shinar from Keyway Bible Study.

Joel C. Rosenberg is a political Middle East expert AND a bible prophecy expert. He has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books about the various countries in the prophetic lands, which he calls ‘the epicenter’ because “current rumblings in the Middle East will change your future.”

When the Syrian War broke out Rosenberg put together study notes from Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 because he had been asked so many times whether the civil war in and around Damascus was potentially part of prophecy coming to fulfillment. While he cautions that we can’t know for sure when the prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the end of the end times will come to pass, (including Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Jeremiah 49, 50, 51, Ezekiel 38-39, Psalm 83, etc) he explains what these prophecies are in an easy-to-read, bullet point set of study notes that he graciously put online. The link below opens in .pdf. It is helpful to read it, very helpful.

NOTES ON THE FUTURE OF DAMASCUS ACCORDING TO BIBLE PROPHECY
Joel C. Rosenberg, updated September 2013

[I]t has been estimated that there are 135 prophecies in this first part of Daniel chapter 11 which have come to pass exactly as Daniel wrote them in history. ~S. Lewis Johnson
Daniel 11 may also be a good chapter to read in light of current geo-shifting events in the Middle East.

Here is a link to an exegesis of Daniel 11:1-45 (which is the whole chapter). At the link there is a transcript and another link to the audio of the sermon. I recommend listening while reading along. The sermon is titled “The Willful King“. It is about the fourth and final world kingdom led by the antichrist. From Babylon, Iraq.

In Jeremiah 50:23 God called Babylon “The hammer of the whole earth …” Yet God is the hammer that will finally bring Babylon down – to judgment. Is the beginning of that prophesied end time judgment happening in Iraq today? Time will tell. Sadly, many there need to repent before it comes. Please pray. Meanwhile I agree with what Joel C. Rosenberg said of prophecy:

That said, my goal is to help make people aware of what the Bible says about the future of various countries and cities, help them understand Bible prophecy, answer their questions, and encourage them to seriously consider whether they want to follow Christ or not. And for Christians, I want to encourage them to know the power of God’s Word, and encourage them to obey Jesus when He commanded us to love our neighbors and love our enemiessaid Joel C. Rosenberg

S. Lewis Johnson ended his exposition of Daniel 11 this way:

The prophecy ends on the note of the sovereignty of God and the sovereign victory of God through the second coming of the Messiah who will establishes kingdom at that time. Let me close with a word of prayer.

[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these unfoldings of the prophetic word and we pray that Thou will give us enlightenment, enable us Lord also to recognize the trends and signs of the things that are happening in our society today, and Lord we pray that in our own personal life, we may be driven to a closer and deeper walk with Thee and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ whom to know is life eternal.”