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.

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.”

Posted in albania, gog magog, israel, middle east unrest, prophecy

Israel: A Nation waiting to exhale

Israel is God’s chosen nation. He created a people from Abraham to be His people, to bear His spiritual fruit, and to be His everlasting trophy. That is His history with them.

Israel’s history with God is less holy and less even-keeled. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him. They clung to Him. They left Him. They were punished by Him.

And so on.

One of the ways God punished His people was to use another nation to overrun the Israelites, or to defeat them in war, or just to harass them endlessly. This excerpt from the short essay “God’s providential use of other nations” explains,

The Use of Righteous Nations

The Lord can use a righteous nation to overthrow a wicked one. This certainly was the case in Israel’s early history when God led his people into Canaan and commanded them to destroy the tribes of that land (Deuteronomy 20:16-17). The ultimate potential redemption of humanity was at the root of this moral surgery. The failure of the nation to carry out completely the instructions was a source of severe hardship in the years that followed.

The Use of Wicked Nations

Jehovah may use an evil nation to chastise a relatively better one. There is no question but that the nations of Assyria and Babylon were far worse than both Israel and Judah, yet the Lord employed both of these pagan powers to punish his people who gradually (and sometimes more than gradually) were drifting into apostasy.

The essay goes on to use the verse from Acts in which Paul explains, perhaps, God’s thinking on why He does this,

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, (Acts 17:26-27).”

Here is a biblical example of how God used a nation. For example, Judges 10:6-8,

“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and

Baal statue 1200BC, Wikipedia

the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.”

The long and unsettled history of Israel has made them weary today. They want peace. They want security. They want peace and safety. But it is not to be, yet.

“While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Even today, with Israel’s military prowess tested and proven again and again, enemies all around Israel either harass them constantly or are in a war-like state of their own. (Below, Jerusalem at night)

Just a few of the headlines showing Middle East boiling point-
Syria PM survives assassination car-bombing
Claims of Hezbollah getting chemicals
And now some Albanian Islamists are joining the Syrian war. “In recent months, the “Albanian world,” which consists of five contiguous states (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro), has been increasingly interested in what is happening in Syria and the controversy over whether Albanians should go fight there.”

This is interesting because in the future Gog-Magog war, described in Ezekiel 38-39, a coalition of nations surprise attacks Israel. Part of the coalition will be Russia and the Baltic states, of which Albania region is a part. I wrote about the Chechen connection to Gog-Magog when the Boston bombers were revealed to be Chechen.
Iraq getting more murderous, unrest permeates
They pulled the license of the news organization Al Jazeera and closed the border with Jordan.
Egypt pulling out of talks, protesting Israel’s nukes

All around Israel, tiny Israel, monster nations are at war, either with themselves, with each other or with Israel.

Israel is a nation that is still holding its breath. Peace and safety hasn’t come yet. It is not on the horizon, either. Prophecy says there will be another war, and this one Israel would lose. If it wasn’t for their holy God, that is. God uses nations once again in His providential manner to make His point-

“And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.” (Ezekiel 39:21-24). Below, what Armageddon might look like…

Israel is waiting to exhale. Hold on a while longer His people! Turn from your heathen ways and cling to your Holy God. His promises never fail. Your weariness will lead you to making deathly decisions, such as accepting the antichrist as savior, (Dan 9:27) and eventually, the armies of the world will encamp around you to fight the very LORD Himself at Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14-16; Zechariah 14:2). But He is trustworthy and will save a remnant, (hiding out at Bozrah/Petra, Isaiah 63:1) and will ensure peace for all in the Millennium Kingdom. (Zechariah 14:11). This is what’s coming for you, O Israel!

The Glory of the Lord Fills the Temple!

“Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” (Ezekiel 43:1-5).

Peace will flow like a river!

“Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.” (Ezekiel 47:6b-9)

Posted in end of days. prophecy, end time, jesus, middle east unrest, syria

"It’s all a big plot, I tell ya": Syria accuses world

Today Syria’s President Assad accused the external world of a conspiracy to disrupt his government. The report states, “Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed a wave of protests on “conspirators” who are trying to destroy the country, giving his first address to the nation Wednesday since the demonstrations erupted nearly two weeks ago.”

This is not rhetoric nor is it a ploy. I had presented a case yesterday that explored what the Islamic states are really saying when they accuse external forces of meddling in their affairs. I’d written:

“Sudan stated, “The message came as part of the joint consultations between Khartoum and Tehran on global and regional issues of common concern…Hashemi highlighted the importance for the two countries to pay attention to external plots targeting their common interests”. [emphasis mine]. You’ve seen that phrase “external plot” come up in the news the last two weeks: “Bahrain Monarch Says ‘Foreign Plot’ Failed”. The Sudanese President’s statement about external plots was from Dec 2010, and the Bahraini King’s statement about external plots was from this week. Muslims around the global ‘belt’ are tightening ties, drawing together as inexorably as iron shavings to a magnet. And it has happened before our very eyes! Ahmadinejad has done a good job of fomenting perspective that when the nations see us they see us through enemy eyes, and when they see each other they see like-minded allies suffering from external plots. They are internal, we are external.”

To get the full context read here and here.

Today Syrian News agency Sana reports “President al-Assad receives calls from King of Bahrain, Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, Iraqi President, supporting Syria in face of conspiracy
“President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received phone calls from King of Bahrain Hamad bin Issa al- Khalifa, the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, President Jalal al-Talabani of Iraq , Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. King of Bahrain, Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, Iraq’s President expressed their countries’ standing by Syria in the face of conspiracy to which it is exposed, targeting its security and stability. They underlined confidence in Syria’s capability, as leadership and people, to foil that conspiracy.”

I want to emphasize that they really believe this. The current unrest in the middle east that began in January with Lebanon’s government falling (Whatever happened to Lebanon, anyway?) and continues in Yemen, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and now Syria is something that is prophesied. The entire focus in the last days of the Tribulation (which is NOT YET upon us) will be on Israel and all her neighbors.

“A prophecy: The word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares:“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

You see that at the end ALL nations will be gathered against Israel. The inexorable slide toward that moment has begun. A series of battles and wars will occur, (Mt 24:6-7; Rev 6:3). By the time the tribulation begins, the whole world will be in war. Prior to that or immediately after the rapture, Psalm 83 battle will ignite the conflagration in the Middle East like at no other time in the world nor shall ever be. Israel’s neighbors conspire to attack. A confederation including Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria attack the apple of God’s eye (Zech 2:8;) Israel. Israel is successful in wiping them out, even to the point where Israel reclaims land that was originally given to her by God (Genesis 15:18, Obadiah 1:17-18). For the rest of the tribulation we don’t hear much from any of these nations again. Israel is seen to have an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:10).

In Isaiah 5:30, the analogy of the restless and wicked multitudes as the sea is used: “And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.”  Barnes notes explains, “The prophet speaks of the vast multitude that was coming up and roaring like the tumultuous “ocean.” And again, the analogy is used in Isaiah 17:12 “Oh, the raging of many nations–they rage like the raging sea!”

One of the prophesies Jesus told us of in the Olivet Discourse, was that, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” (Luke 21:25.) In my opinion, this is what we are seeing a precursor of now, with the continual revolutions rolling over from nation to nation the Middle East.

In the practical, what we’re seeing today is the coalescing of these nations from individual states battling here and there, into a lock-step united front of a massive Muslim coalition with eyes looking upon a common enemy: Israel. The old Arabic proverb applies here, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Finally they will come together on an issue: and it’s not peace at the diplomacy table, it will be in attacking Israel. They all hate Israel but until now they have been preoccupied with their own business to adhere to a united front.

If Sudan and Bahrain and Syria and Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran are all saying that outside plots are upsetting the peace of the Middle East and causing these revolutions, how long do think it will be until they decide that those outside plots are from Israel (little satan) and US (Big Satan)? It looks like not long.

Posted in christianity, islam, mahdi, middle east unrest, netanyahu

Follow up to Netanhyahu’s Middle East speech: Justice, Muslim style, cometh?

This is an update to the previous post. Please read the previous post to understand the full impact of this post, and then you will understand better exactly where we are on the prophetic timeline…

In the last post, I read the headline about how Iran has been going around strengthening ties on the basis of common interests “and justice.” Initially it seemed like a throwaway part of the quote (“Tehran is ready to increase ties with African countries and particularly Islamic ones in all fields and on the basis of justice.”) but the world justice kept nagging at me for these last few minutes so I looked it up. And here is the root as to the driving force behind Iran’s world tour of strengthening ties. Justice is a key word for all Muslims. Any Muslim reading that will understand what Iran has in mind. According to the “Religion of Islam” website,

“Justice is an obligation of Islam and injustice is forbidden. The centrality of justice to the Quranic value system is displayed by the following verse: “We sent Our Messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Measure in order to establish justice among the people…” (Quran 57:25)

“Islam’s approach to justice is comprehensive and all-embracing. Any path that leads to justice is deemed to be in harmony with Islamic Law. God has demanded justice and, although He has not prescribed a specific route, has provided general guidelines, on how to achieve it. He has neither prescribed a fixed means by which it can be obtained, nor has He declared invalid any particular means or methods that can lead to justice. Therefore, all means, procedures, and methods that facilitate, refine, and advance the cause of justice, and do not violate the Islamic Law are valid.” Quote from Qaradawi, Yusuf, ‘Madkhal li-Darasah al-Sharia al-Islamiyya,’)”

“‘To render justice’, in the words of Sarkhasi, a noted classical Islamic jurist, ‘ranks as the most noble of acts of devotion next to belief in God. It is the greatest of all the duties entrusted to the prophets…and it is the strongest justification for man’s stewardship of earth…”

We can see the prophetic indicators on overdrive, as the Muslim nations ready themselves for bringing about justice in the world. This comes as no surprise after the revealing of the video produced by the Clerics at top levels of Iraninan government stating explicitly that the 12th Imam is so near

Iranian Video Says Mahdi is ‘Near’
“New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about to appear. CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place — and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times. While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.”

Joel C. Rosenberg responded to the news of the video with this comment: “It’s a grave development for Israel and the US because it reinforces the notion that the Iranian regime believes chaos and carnage in the epicenter are essential to the Mahdi’s coming.”

Meahwhile, since I began this post, Syria’s Cabinet has resigned and the nation teeters…

Posted in end time, middle east unrest, prophecy

Unrest in the Middle East: ripped from the pages of the bible (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Please go here for update as of 2-21-11, as events are moving so fast. Link also includes map.

There has been unrest, regime change, or heavy protesting taking place in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and Lebanon over the last several weeks. Arutz Sheva reports, “With no fewer than five major areas of unrest/revolutions/regime changes going on in the Arab world, Arab satellite television, one of the mainstays of information dissemination in the Middle East, has been playing a major role in communicating news – or attempting, if not to suppress it, then at least to spin it.”

Part of that suppression is Egypt’s decision to shut off internet today in the wake of intensifying protests against the government. The people have been protesting President Hosni Mubarek, Egypt’s President for nearly thirty years. As this Dallas Morning News editorial aptly titled ‘Why we should care about Egypt protests‘ states, “American foreign policy in the Middle East, for the past four decades, has relied heavily on keeping certain dictatorships firmly in power — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan. We call most of them monarchies, but their rulers are not in power because of any kind of free and fair election. They survive because the U.S. government does everything in its power to keep them there. Despite all of our talk about democracy, it would be America’s (and Israel’s ) worst nightmare if the government of Hosni Mubarak were to suddenly fall from power and be replaced by a democratically elected government that truly represents the will of the Egyptian masses. Because the Egyptian masses are not predictable and could easily be swayed by the populist promises of Islamist parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Every single Middle Eastern country with a democratic form of government has experimented with the extremes — even Israel. Eventually, voters learn to moderate their leadership, but it takes time. And when you’re talking about the Middle East’s most populist country with an extremely high poverty rate, it really could take Egyptians a long time to figure out what, exactly they want. In the meantime, Egypt risks lurching back and forth, and an elected Islamist government could well decide, for example, that it’s No. 1 priority is to support its Hamas brothers in neighboring Gaza.”

Unrest and collapsing peace talks in the Middle East are constant and troublesome, but revolutions and prophetic alliances being cemented before our eyes is quite another thing entirely. Tunisia, Algeria, and Sudan are northern tier African countries prophesied to ally with Turkey-Iran-Russia in the Gog-Magog battle Ezekiel describes in chapters 38 and 39. Joel C. Rosenberg discussed a growing concern of the tightening ties between Russia, Iran and Sudan, here.

As we know, last week Lebanon’s government fell because of a governmental coup by the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Hezbollah is backed by Iran and Syria. Tunisia and Algeria are protesting economic hardships and the obvious graft and corruption of wealthy officials in the face of devastating poverty. Additionally, the Israel peace talks are widely acknowledged to have failed this month.

In a short article titled “Winds of Arab revolt reach Yemen” it was stated “Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Yemeni capital yesterday to demand the end of the three-decade rule of its President in the latest sign of rebellion sweeping the Arab world.”

It seems that unrest, even revolutions, are catching. Yet Jesus told us in Matthew 24:7 that in the Tribulation nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The word for nation in this context is “ethnos”, or ‘race’. This means that civil war will be a norm in addition to country vs. country kinds of war. It is interesting to note that Yemen and Egypt’s leaders have been in power for about thirty years, Tunisia’s President has been in power for for 22, Yemen’s president for 21 years.

There is a reason all these middle eastern nations are in the news just now. They are prominent in the last days and in the Tribulation. They are biblically prophesied to have a role in God’s continuing plan of redemption and judgment. That they are nearly at the point of fulfilling that role now speaks to how close we are to the rapture.