Posted in Christians, middle east, orthodox, persecution

Sunday Martyr Moment: "Christians" in the Middle East

On Sundays I used to post an essay called Sunday Martyr Moment. I did so because I want to remember the martyrs who went before us in the faith.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs- According to this summary from Christian Book Summaries,

Writing in the mid-1500s, John Foxe was living in the midst of intense religious persecution at the hands of the dominant Roman Catholic Church. In graphic detail, he offers accounts of Christians being martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ, describing how God gave them extraordinary courage and stamina to endure unthinkable torture.

From the same link, the book’s purpose was fourfold:

  • Showcase the courage of true believers who have willingly taken a stand for Jesus Christ throughout the ages, even if it meant death,
  • Demonstrate the grace of God in the lives of those martyred for their faith,
  • Expose the ruthlessness of religious and political leaders as they sought to suppress those with differing beliefs,
  • Celebrate the courage of those who risked their lives to translate the Bible into the common language of the people.

Text from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs


In the last posting, last February 2014, I looked at the ten primitive persecutions. Foxe developed his chronicle in chapters from the first martyr, Stephen, in chapter 1: “History of Christian Martyrs to the First General Persecutions Under Nero” and in February we got to the end of chapter 2: “The Ten Primitive Persecutions“. That brought us up to 303AD.


Last February was the last Martyr Moment I’d published. I’d wanted to cover only the first ten primitive persecutions, because once you get into the 300s AD, Catholic martyrs are mixed in and it becomes too hard to separate fact from mystical Catholic fiction, at least it was for me.

The first ten persecutions covers well the tribulations the early Christians went through. I listened to a recent sermon from John MacArthur. On Sunday nights he is going through the book of Acts. The sermon is called “Persecuted for Truth’s Sake” and it covers Acts 4:1-12. (There is no transcript yet, but there will be). He mentioned the persecutions, the first ten, and generalized some of the more heinous acts. It is always worthwhile to remember what the early Christians did, they were bold in proclaiming Christ to a hostile system, which at that early time was the Jews. I recommend the sermon.

I bring up the persecutions and martyrdoms now for another reason. We skip ahead to 2014, and the Middle East. In 2014, we are living in apostate times and most people attend an apostate church. “Christians” all too undiscerningly accept any person who says they are “Christian”. Most of the church today is one big undiscerning, deluded club.

We hear repeatedly that Christians are being killed in the Middle East for their faith. We read articles about the Christian martyrs in Syria, Iraq, and other places. We read about ISIS, the terrorist group, which is actually a government successfully holding large swathes of land, insisting at point of a knife for all to convert or die. Many “Christians” refuse, and are killed.

What I am going to say is not popular, but we need to be discerning for two very important reasons.

First, most of the people killed in ISIS-controlled territory who say they are Christian, are not.

The largest non-Muslim group in the Middle East are Coptic Christians. By some accounts, between 4 and 8 million Egyptians are Copts. Some estimates say 10 million.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians are set to vote for a new leader on Monday to succeed Pope Shenuda III,
who died in March leaving behind a community anxious about its status under an Islamist-led government.
The candidates for leading the Coptic Church, (from L) Father Bakhomius of Virgin Mary in Wadi Natroun,
Father Rafael from St Marina Monastery, Father Seraphim of Virgin Mary, Bishop Raphael of Central Cairo, and Bishop Tawdros of Beheria in Giza Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany Source

Copts are part of the Eastern Orthodox Church (AKA Oriental Orthodox). Copts believe that liturgical ritual and faith plus works saves you. Of Orthodox churches, according to this excerpt from GotQuestions, says that

in doctrine, they have much more in common with Roman Catholics than they do with Protestant Christians.

Sadly, the doctrine of justification by faith is virtually absent from the history and theology of the Orthodox Church. Rather, Orthodoxy emphasizes theosis (literally, “divinization”), the gradual process by which Christians become more and more like Christ. What many in the Orthodox tradition fail to understand is that “divinization” is the progressive result of salvation, not a requirement for salvation itself. Other Orthodox distinctives that are in conflict with the Bible include:

The equal authority of church tradition and Scripture
Discouragement of individuals interpreting the Bible apart from tradition
The perpetual virginity of Mary
Prayer for the dead
Baptism of infants without reference to individual responsibility and faith
The possibility of receiving salvation after death
The possibility of losing salvation

Coptic Monks circa 1900, Wikipedia

Here is another article regarding Coptic “Christians” specifically-
“What is Coptic Christianity, and what do Coptic Christians believe?”

Well if the Copts adhere to a doctrine that is not saving, what about the other people who are called Christian in the Middle East? The second largest group claiming to be Christian are Lebanese Maronites, and they simply are Catholic. The other name for them is the Maronite Catholic Church.

As for the rest, most are from some kind of Orthodox church, whether it’s Russian, or Greek, or Armenian etc.

There was an Assyrian Evangelical Church of Tehran but it was forcibly closed between 2010 and 2012. There is a Presbyterian church in Iran, but it is small, and it is unknown as to whether it is still going. It was (I believe) affiliated with PC USA which is a denomination gone apostate, anyway.

I am NOT saying there are no Christians in the Middle East. I AM saying that we do not automatically accept every single person claiming to be Christian as Christian, especially when they are from obviously apostate churches such as the Catholic or Orthodox. We must be discerning. We stand for a pure doctrine and proclaim ‘this same Jesus’ who left us and will return. We don’t abandon that mindfulness and steadfast adherence to purity in the church when we’re pressured by the natural response of grief over deaths and persecution of any minority.

The second reason to be cautious is not only to display a measured and mature response in discernment, but that if indeed most of the people calling themselves Christians are not, then it is worse when they are killed. True martyrs make the boldest statement of all when they are killed for the name of Jesus- in truth. Then they go to heaven. False Christians who are killed for their faith make a weak statement by their death, for they stand on sand and proclaim hot air, and when they die, they go to hell. We cannot celebrate their survival as wholly as we would like, because they proclaim a false Gospel and a different Jesus, which spreads when they flee persecution. We do grieve their death because they are eternally damned.

It’s sad when a true Christian is killed for the faith but their death glorifies God. It is bad when any lost person dies, because their soul is damned in hell under eternal torment forever. But when a false Christian is killed ‘for the faith,’ that is the worst, because the person goes to hell but on earth the Spirit had been blasphemed and Jesus had been denied by their false Gospel. Their death brings glory to satan’s gospel. Therefore, it’s the worst.

Knowing the facts about ‘Christianity’ in the Middle East helps us pray more pointedly and mindfully. In the heat of the emotional moment, please don’t abandon discernment in trade for running to stand under a too-large umbrella of faiths that are no faith at all. We love the people of the Middle East, Muslim or Orthodox, because they are both hanging by a gossamer thread over the pit of hell, and in such a harsh environment they could die at any moment. But now you know how to discern and now you know in which direction to pray for them.

Posted in barack obama, God, ISIL, ISIS, middle east, prophecy

Does submitting to governing authorities mean ones like ISIS or Obama?

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)

That can’t mean submit to … Obama, could it? I can’t stand Obama [Nero, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Muammar Gaddafi, Herod, Pharaoh, Nimrod, Saddam Hussein, Mao Tse-Tung, Genghis Khan, Stalin, Nebuchadnezzar, Vlad Tepes…]

Why yes. Yes it does.

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:2)

The events taking place with ISIS in the old Assyria region of Nineveh/Mosul, Babylon/Baghdad are truly horrific.

Babylon is home to the deepest, longest lasting origin of evil on earth. (Genesis 11:4, Revelation 17:18), Babylon was first in evil religion and it will be the last. The angel of the Prince of the kingdom of Persia was strong enough to prevent the angel dispatched from God in reaching earth to bring the message to Daniel. (Daniel 10:13). That’s a strong, evil angel.

Nineveh was so evil God threatened to wipe it out, and eventually He did, so thoroughly that the city wasn’t even discovered until the mid-1800s! This area of the world is so evil that Revelation 9:14-15 says there are four evil angels bound in the Euphrates River who will be released during the Tribulation. When they are, they will immediately kill a third of mankind!

That ISIS is spawned from that area of the world is no surprise. That they are so vicious is also no surprise. Every man has that evil in him, the potential for it exists in all of us. While not all of us are as bad as we can be, the evil in us does run deep and some leaders are deeply evil. They are NOT an anomaly.

In addition, the area between Iran-Iraq-Syria (Assyria) has always had an evil government. Cain built a city (Genesis 4:17) and Nimrod was first dictator in the world, in addition, he founded Babylon, the very symbol for deceit, evil, and rebellion. (Genesis 10:8-10). The very first man-made government mentioned in the bible had a dictator and a false religion! In that same spot that there is still such evil happening!

From that perspective, the evil in the governments of the land of Assyria should not surprise us. Compared to ISIS, which is not just a terror group but a government, maybe old Saddam Hussein is looking kind of good right now! (in comparison)

So what good can some from submitting to such evil? Did God really mean to submit to governments like that? Who kill children and suspend the rule of law and torture and oppress?


God makes good come out of it.

Like this:

In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.

And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with 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 19:19-25)

In the Millennium kingdom, God will BLESS them! They will convert and worship the one True God! There is no higher good than that! What good can possibly come from ISIS terrorists chopping off heads? That area of the world will be personally blessed by the LORD!

I love this prophecy so much. It brings tears to my eyes every time. They are the only three nations mentioned for such blessings. I also love the verse because it says, Assyria, Egypt and Israel will be blessed and the verse explains why. Egypt is His people, they hosted & protected His Son. (Hosea 11:1)

Assyria, the area ISIS is brutalizing, …Gill’s Exposition says of the prophecy regarding Assyria,

“Assyria the work of my hands; not as creatures only, but new creatures, having the good work of grace wrought in their hearts, of which God is the author; and therefore are called his workmanship, Ephesians 2:10 and who must be blessed, because, by this work of grace upon them, they appear to be the chosen of God, and precious, to be his children, and dear unto him, whom he will not forsake, and who are formed for himself, and for heaven, and happiness:”

The ISIS peoples, will be His children? Yes!

We have the advantage of knowing this great work of God is ahead, no matter how many dams are booby trapped, no matter how many heads are chopped off, no matter how many children are killed. God has a purpose, and we know what it is.

What a blessing to know the future. What a blessing to know their future redemption. What a blessing to know His holiness, even in wrath, then He will save.

It’s terrible what is happening now in and around Iraq, but the worse things get the better things will be later, because God will show Himself holy and righteous and merciful to Egypt, Israel and Assyria.

Patriarch (a parallel position to Pope)
Anton II of Georgia

Let’s say that there are Christians in the Middle East. Many of the people who are called “Christians” are not- they are Eastern Orthodox. EO is a mirror of Catholicism, so if they adhere to the doctrines of EO they are not real Christians.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say there are some, because there probably are.

Let’s say that they decide for their own self, that though the bible says to subject themselves to ruling authorities, they say, “ISIS is killing children. That’s heinous. I will not pay jizya taxes which will support that government, in any way. I will wait for a better government and I will pay taxes then.”

But, that is the short view. God has the long view. He said to store up treasures in heaven. As a citizen of heaven, I want to invest in heaven. In the essay above I’d shared the Isaiah 19 passage, in which God says He will bless Assyria, Egypt, and Israel.

In subjecting myself to the ruling authorities on earth (as long as I’m not denying Christ and converting to Islam), I am investing in His blessed government that is to come. I am trusting the LORD to fulfill His promise to bring peace in Assyria, conversion in Assyrian hearts, and the Good ruling authority- Jesus.

The short view is selfish and myopic. Who am I to say, rebel against this government because they’re bad? They’re ALL bad! There is none Good except Jesus! But in following the bible and subjecting myself to ruling governments, whether they be Queen Elizabeth or ISIS, or Saddam Hussein or George Washington, I am simply waiting for the REAL government to come, investing in it, and storing up treasure. No, I don’t want my taxes to go toward the bad things that are happening in the US nor in Iraq, but God will take care of the leaders who deal falsely. My taxes, my submission, my Christian participation, is an investment as a shareholder of the great government to come.

The long view. It’s important.


Further reading

What is the significance of the Babylonian Empire in biblical history?”

What And Where Is Babylon Today?

Islamic State threat ‘beyond anything we’ve seen’: Pentagon

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).


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 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 end of days, end time, gog and magog, middle east, prophecy, south sudan

South Sudan erupts in ethnic violence and inches toward civil war; US involved

Over the last week a hot war has broken out in South Sudan. I’ve stayed away from political and war stories the last few days due to the holiday but it is important to bring this news to you now.

Sudan is one of the regions mentioned as being a future participant in the Gog-Magog war. (Cush, Ezekiel 38:5). And, anything happening in the so-called ‘epicenter’ is worthy of note. As Joel C. Rosenberg’s Facebook page states, he “tracks geopolitical and spiritual events and trends in Israel and throughout the Middle East”. We call this region the epicenter because all historical-to-prophetic events important to God arise from this region, especially Israel.

The Washington Post reported on December 23, “The world’s newest country is already on the brink of civil war. Here’s how it happened.”
It was considered one of the world’s great successes when, on July 9, 2011, South Sudan became an independent nation. After many unhappy years as a region of Sudan, the new country declared its independence with crucial support from the outside world, particularly the United States.”

“Now, less than two and a half years later, South Sudan appears to be on the verge of a potential civil war. Since an alleged coup attempt Dec. 15 (it probably wasn’t really a coup), fighting between rebels and government forces has killed at least 500, injured four U.S. troops and left entire cities disputed. As of this writing, the South Sudan army says it’s preparing to attack rebel groups who’ve taken control of oil-producing regions. How did this happen?

The report goes on to enumerate four reasons, and explains them in easy to understand terms.

The BBC reports this morning, “South Sudan crisis: Kenya and Ethiopia leaders in Juba for talks
The leaders of two of South Sudan’s neighbours, Kenya and Ethiopia, have arrived in the capital, Juba, in an attempt to halt fighting there. Thousands of people are feared dead in violence that began 11 days ago and has raised fears of a civil war. President Salva Kiir was seen going into talks with Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday.”

There is oil in S. Sudan…

Fears are intensifying that South Sudan is on the verge of full civil war, and that the country’s estimated 250,000 b/d of oil production could be put at risk as a result. Hundreds of oil workers are flying out of South Sudan as former vice president Riak Machar claims his rebel forces have seized control of the oil-rich Unity state, which can produce some 45,000 b/d of oil.” (source)

The United States was hit while trying to evacuate personnel:

Gunfire hit three US military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that on Saturday became a battle ground between the country’s military and renegade troops, officials said. Four US service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a UN helicopter the day before.” (source)

CBS reports that U.N. Investigators Find Mass Graves In South Sudan but then later the UN denied there was a mass grave of 75 bodies and revised the death toll downward to 34 with 75 missing. The fog of war… And how many people have to die and be buried together before they call it a ‘mass grave’?

The US is sending troops to South Sudan in anticipation they may be needed to respond to the violence, as well as the UN “increase in peacekeepers in a bid to rein in South Sudan’s ethnic violence.”

Here is a chart of the modern names of the ancient nations named in Ezekiel’s prophecy of a future regional war: (Ezekiel 37-38).

So that is the unfortunate news. More strife in the Middle East, more deaths and eternal destinies cemented forever. More inching toward the moment when it will all break out as Ezekiel and the other prophets have said. Prophecy is sure, so it will happen, perhaps on our watch or perhaps on another generation’s. I feel it will be us who sees the final eruptions begin even as we are whisked homeward by the call of our Savior.

Posted in middle east, rare, snow

Snow in Middle East: Move over Jerusalem, Cairo, Amman, Damascus and Alkan Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam got snow too

I had reported to you about the massive snowstorm in the Middle East last week. It affected Egypt and Israel and nearby environs As I noted int he title, and photos are included below in the “Picture Postcards” news link. The false photo of the Sphinx notwithstanding, there were legitimate scenes of snow on palm trees in Cairo, where reportedly it hadn’t snowed in over 100 years. In Jerusalem, snow was heavy and many motorists were stranded, and power went out for large sections of the nation. Snow in Cairo is rare, extremely so.

I had also reported a snowstorm in Australia. It’s their summer in Oz, and snow, even in the mountains, is rare. This snowstorm was very rare because the snow was very heavy, and accumulated.

Here is a video of a three-mile traffic jam in Viet Nam, where snow is also, shall we say, rare. How rare? According to WikiAnswers, But only on top of their highest mountain (10318ft Fansipan Peak), and only on a few days each year. Furthermore, accumulations are typically not very heavy.

Yahoo reported,

Snow falls in Viet Nam
Snow has fallen in Northern Vietnam for the first time in many years. The snow caused a five-hour traffic jam as people drove into the mountainous provinces of Lao Cai and Ha Giang to see the wintry flurries. The weather system responsible for the snow has also brought some unusual weather to other parts of the region. This is normally the dry season, but torrential rain has been lashing Laos, Vietnam and southeast China.

This article says “Tourtists flock to see rare snow
“Officials of the Nui Xe Forest Management Station in the town’s Hoang Lien National Park say the snowfall has led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight. While it has been known for long that it snows in Sa Pa, this is not a common occurrence.

(Photo: VNS/VOV)

 Sa Pa is 4921 feet above sea level.

(Photo: VNS/VOV)

They have received 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) The record low for Sa Pa is 28 degrees F but the average low is 46F.


Further reading

Dec 16, 2013: Jerusalem still paralyzed after snowstorm

Dec 15, 2013: Snowfall In Cairo: First time In More Than 100 Years
Cairo isn’t looking like its normal self lately. That’s because Cairo has been completely transformed into a majestic-looking winter wonderland. That’s right, a storm in the Middle East gave the gift of snow this holiday marking it the first snowfall in over 100 years.”

Dec 13, 2013: Rare Snow dazzles Cairo
Cairo suburbs got snow for the first time in recent memory on Friday morning. Some estimate that it has been as long as 112 years since Egypt’s capital has seen snow. While the precise timeframe is unclear, many residents of the area captured the unusual meteorological event by posting photos of the dusting on Twitter.

Dec 16th 2013: Picture postcards
“The Middle East from Israel to Saudi Arabia saw a flurry of snow last week as bad weather moved across the region. Here is a selection of 13 photographs, including Palestinian children building snowmen and Syrian refugees suffering from the cold.

The snow really happened, the photos, of the Sphinx and the Pyramids, were faked.

Cairo Snow: Sphinx snow photo actually a fake
Cairo snow: Is this viral picture of snow on the pyramids ANOTHER fake?

Posted in earthquake, israel, middle east, syria, tokyo tornado

News Roundup: Syria, Suez Canal attack, Tokyo tornado, Israel’s isolation, fallen culture, passive-aggressive granny

There is a lot going on in the world. Here is a news round up for you.

Something that had been feared for a while happening in the Strait of Hormuz has in fact happened in the Suez Canal. Both locations feature an important shipping area which are constricted to extremely narrow boundaries due to landmass.

At the Strait of Hormuz, on the north coast is Iran, and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Oman. At its narrowest, the strait is 21 nautical miles. Yet is an extremely important shipping area, and not incidentally, inside the Strait where the Persian Gulf opens a bit, is Bahrain, where the US docks the Firth Fleet.

It would be very easy to disrupt the world by either mining or terrorizing shipping in the Strait. Wikipedia says “It is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. About 20% of the world’s petroleum, and about 35% of the petroleum traded by sea, passes through the strait making it a highly important strategic location for international trade.”

If anyone got it into their head to do so (and I’m talking to you, Iran) to stop oil traffic, gas prices would spike to the point where no one would be able to afford it. The Marketplace reports, Blocking the Strait of Hormuz would affect gas prices immediately.

This same scenario exists in the Suez Canal. Wikipedia again, “The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows ship transport between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa.”

The Suez Canal is about 675 feet wide as of 2010. Seeing that the Suezmax width of a ship passing through is 164 feet, it stands to reason that anyone standing on the shoreline could easily reach a ship with any kind of artillery. And this weekend, that is just what someone did.

Egypt arrests three who machine-gunned ship in Suez Canal

AP archive photo of Suez Canal

“Egypt has arrested three people who opened machine gun fire on a ship passing through the Suez Canal, an army source said on Sunday, playing down what the waterway’s chief described as a terrorist attack. …During Saturday’s unsuccessful attack, the Panamanian-registered container ship COSCO ASIA came under fire in a northern section of the Suez Canal, a major global trade artery which is secured by the Egyptian armed forces.  “There was an attempt to disrupt security in an area called el-Qantara as they fired at a ship in an attempt to halt (traffic on) the waterway,” said the army source.”

My best advice is with the extreme brinksmanship and military threats igniting in the Middle East these days, to make sure your car is gassed up, not to let it go below half tank.


The situation in Syria and the Obama’s reaction to it has been nothing short of embarrassing. Kurt Schlichter tweeted, “It’s like we gave control of foreign policy to a pony-tailed gender studies seminar TA.” Exactly.

Syria crisis: Obama turns decision on military action over to Congress
“Pulling back from the brink, a lonely President Barack Obama indicated last night that he would not order military strikes over Syria until he has received authorisation from the United States Congress – putting an unexpected brake on what had seemed like impending action.”

The French Government says it has evidence that the Syrian President’s regime (Bashar al Assad) perpetrated the attack, and will present that evidence to French lawmakers. Yet the rebels say that perpetrated the attack, in an oops moment when they ‘mishandled’ the weapons. Yeah. And the link goes to an Iranian paper. If you remember, Iran is propping up the Assad government so it is in their best interest to thrown suspicion on the people trying to bring down their puppet. The fog of war

Lebanon’s terrorist organization, Hezbollah is mobilizing ahead of potential US strike. The Arab League is pushing for intervention, and behind the scenes, Israel is too.

It must be said that gassing and killing thousands of your own citizens cannot go unpunished. Yet, there are indications that the rebels may be the ones behind the attack, doing this to incite the West into the fray. And if it was President Assad, then coming to the aid of the opposing forces means that we side with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda. None of these are palatable options.

And if we did strike Syria, could Syria strike back? This CNN analysis goes through the potential scenarios.

How vulnerable would Israel be if the West strikes Syria? Watching the Us uncertainty, Israel says,

‘We Can Only Rely on God and Our Troops’
“As Israeli leaders continue to react to American prevarication on Syria, one former IDF commander has summed up the general mood. “We have no one to rely upon except for God and our veteran troops,” said former IDF General Uzi Dayan, attacking US President Barack Obama’s decision to postpone action on Syria until an official approval from Congress. Dayan’s comments were featured on his Facebook page on Sunday, opening with a statement saying that the Israeli government should “continue with its sensible policies” of refraining from a Syrian intervention unless the conflict were to spill in Israel’s direction.”

The closing circle of Israel’s loneliness is becoming ever more apparent. And can Israel rely on God as long as Israel is out of right relationship with Him? He will not allow Israel to be obliterated (Zechariah 12:9) but He will allow punishment to rain upon Israel. Ezekiel 39:24-25 has the story-

“And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.”

Yet the LORD will rescue Israel and blessedly, “The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward.” (Ezekiel 29:22)

But that has not happened yet. Israel has a few things to go through until that day.



Freak tornado ploughs through Tokyo suburb

“Several dozen people were injured when a tornado ripped through parts of eastern Japan on Monday, tearing off roofs and uprooting trees. Footage shot by public broadcaster NHK shows a number of homes destroyed, upturned cars, schools with shattered windows and a warehouse that had been lifted from its foundations and hurled into other buildings in Koshigaya, north of Tokyo.”

Reportedly, 66 people have been injured, as the news is still coming in. I wrote when the volcanic geyser broke through the ground at the end of a runway at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, that just because man has built a city does not mean it is then and forever immune to disasters. And here another example of this come today, with the tornado in Tokyo.

Here is a map showing worldwide distribution of tornadoes. Japan does have recurring tornadoes annually, but usually they are weak and short lasting.

Source, NOAA

There was a 6.5 earthquake this weekend in Indonesia. A 6.1 quake in Papua New Guinea. A damaging quake in China, though the magnitude was not so high (5.8) there was a lot of damage and three deaths.

Here is a Youtube with an Iranian scientist explaining that Tehran is smack dab in the middle of an active seismic zone and is at risk for a major quake.

In searching for confirmation that Guatemala’s volcano Fuego had erupted, I came across this news article from August 19, 2013 which I had missed. Japan’s Sakurajima erupted.

“Residents in a southern Japanese city were busy washing ash off the streets Monday after a nearby volcano spewed a record-high smoke plume into the sky. Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, experienced one of its most powerful eruptions in decades Sunday, sending an ash plume as high as three miles into the air. Visibility in the city of Kagoshima, where the volcano sits, deteriorated quickly as ash spread into populated portions of the city of 600,000 residents, according to the English-language NHK World website. NHK World said a pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving current of gas and rock, was observed along a one-kilometer (0.6-mile) swath on the southeast flank of the mountain.”

Volcano Fuego in Guatemala did indeed erupt today. This scientific article reports,

“A phase of increased lava flow activity occurred this morning at Fuego volcano, Guatemala, generating a series of pyroclastic flows that descended several ravines on different, but mostly the southwestern side of the volcano. An ash plume rising as a by-product of the pyroclastic flows was reported to about 12,000 ft (3.6 km) altitude.”

Impressive looking. I hope everyone was safe.



It’s inevitable. Once the tapeworm of homosexuality is loosed from its bowel constraint, it will loose all other immoralities which had heretofore been relegated to the darkest of closets. (We have Doug Wills to thank for the vivid picture.) Here is proof: a call in opinion section of the Washington Post to legalize sex between teachers and students. I am not making this up.

This week we mourned the loss of innocence among America’s youth who viewed the lewd performance of formerly sweet Miley Cyrus and mourned more when America’s youth didn’t seem to know or understand what was so lewd about Miley Cyrus’s performance.

We have scandals at mega-churches, and lewdness at a school bus stop. I’m heartbroken over the lewdness to children. I’ve said many time I can’t wait for children to be in the Millennium kingdom so they can run and be free and safe and loved.

The 50 Shades of Gray (soft porn) movie has been cast . Gay marriages have been recognized by the IRS. As if the IRS needed any further reasons for us to dislike them. One town clerk in Pennsylvania has been handing out marriage licenses to seeking gay couples, despite the fact that gay marriage is illegal in PA. Now a court must decide if “the clerk has singlehandedly added Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that formally sanction same-sex marriages or whether he has been acting illegally and must be stopped.” How about firing the guy? He violated his oath, for goodness sakes. Meanwhile, The Atlantic offers a guide to gay wedded bliss.

In Asia, though, it seems that social media commentary has been squelched, so many on the peninsula wont’ even know of the cultural items happening nor can comment on them if they did.

SE Asia Governments Appear to Squelch Social Media Commentary 
“Warnings from authorities and new regulations in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam may have some users of social media thinking twice about what they post or even click “Like” on the popular Facebook site.  Thailand has 15 million Facebook users, more than one-fifth of the country’s population. And an estimated 40 percent of Vietnamese are now on the internet, with the surge in smartphones. Social media sites such as Facebook and Zing Me each have an estimated 12 million users in Vietnam.    Amid the surge in commentary on social media, governments in the region, according to Shawn Crispin, Southeast Asia representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, are seeking to emulate China’s success with controlling online discourse.”



Here are 9 pictures of wonderfully vibrant paintings of artist, by finger
“When artist Iris Scott was finishing a painting one time, she saw a spot that needed to be touched up with yellow, but all her brushes were wet with different blues. She didn’t feel like cleaning any of them, so she just did the adjustment with her finger…and she discovered a new passion. Now, wearing latex gloves, she works exclusively with her fingers. Here are several of her vibrant paintings…”


Here is short and nice article about the Commemoration of Dorcas, Lydia, and Phoebe: Faithful Women

Mrs. Reformation is a blog entry about a book review on the wife of Martin Luther, Katherine Luther, who was a pretty neat person, too.

Nobody does guilt trips like Grandma


Posted in arab spring, middle east, ottomans, prophecy, turkey

What’s going on in Turkey and how does it figure into prophecy?

Can you believe the Arab Spring in Syria has been going on since January 2011 (or Dec 2010 depending on which source). For two and a half years, the Arab world has experienced unrest like it never has before. Dictators, Parliaments or Presidents fell in rapid succession. The civil war in Syria is taking a tens of thousands of lives and going on its third year. And now Turkey seems to be the latest victim of the unrest that now characterizes the region. The BBC reports on the latest nation’s uprising,

“[T]housands of anti-government protesters have rallied again in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Earlier, Mr Erdogan vowed to press ahead with a controversial proposal to redevelop a park in Istanbul. A local protest against the plan turned into political unrest in Istanbul, Ankara and across Turkey. The original sit-in at Gezi Park last Friday mushroomed after police cracked down on activists defending the green space near Taksim Square from developers. For days, demonstrators in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities have called for the three-term prime minister to quit.”

Turkey? The one nation that had seemed calm in the face of constant teargas, bullets, and fists in the air? Yes. And it was inevitable.

Recep Erdogan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003. Initially he brought stability and a westernization to this country. He was part of the negotiations to enter the European Union. He was allied with Israel. He brought inflation under control. He ended internal conflict amongst factions. He stabilized the party and thus, Parliament. The west loved him.

However as time went on, “On his second and third terms in office, despite the improvements brought about as a result of the first term, the government mostly gave up on the European Union backed democratization process and became increasingly authoritarian on press freedom, [more journalists are in jail in Turkey than in China!] restrictive on Kurdish minority rights and dismissive and authoritative on formerly dominant political powers in Ankara. Democratic initiative on Kurdish minority rights, led by Erdoğan, stalled.” (source).

After all, Erdogan “once called democracy a train from which you get off once you reach the station.”

Like Hitler did?


Of late, the nation’s ranking for press freedom slipped. Erdogan began censoring internet access, he broke ties with Israel, and most recently, severely tightened restrictions on use and sale of alcohol due to religious reasons.

Erdogan is Sunni Muslim, remember.

In February 2013, Erdoğan called Zionism a “crime against humanity“, comparing it to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and fascism.


And in June of 2013 for the first time in ten years in Turkey, an uprising occurred. “June 2013 saw protests against the perceived authoritarianism of Erdogan and his policies, starting from a small sit-in in Istanbul in defense of a city park. After the police’s intense reaction with tear gas, the protests grew each day for the next seven days. Faced by the largest mass protest in a decade, Erdogan made this controversial remark in a televised speech: “The police were there yesterday, they are there today, and they will be there tomorrow. Taksim Square cannot be allowed to be a place where marginal groups can freely roam”. (source)

Of these uprisings, The Economist explains in an article interestingly titled, Democrat or sultan? and he is illustrated as a sultan on a rug holding a modern teargas mask, “The protests are a sign of rising dissatisfaction with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s most important leader since Ataturk. The rioting spread like wildfire across the country. Over 4,000 people have been hurt and over 900 were arrested; three have died.”

Unlike the previously mentioned Arab Spring and the protests in Egypt, for example, the protests in Taksim Square in Istanbul have not been FOR Islamism in Turkey, they have been protests against Erdogan’s (perceived) increasing Islamization of the nation. (source, source). Or, at least against his continued authoritarian constriction of previously enjoyed freedoms.

In a truly democratic nation, there is tolerance for dissent. What the world witnessed this past week was extreme intolerance and further, that the go-to position from its nation’s duly elected leader is violence and heavy-handedness.

There is much debate among the world political watchdogs as to whether this is an Arab Spring for Turkey or not. Some say it the exact opposite- a Turkish Autumn, if you will. (source, source). Others


say it is the first crack that will lead to a return of the Caliphate. But let’s look at what prophecy says.

“The Arab Spring is the media term for the revolutionary wave of nonviolent and violent demonstrations, violent and nonviolent protests, riots, and civil wars in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010. To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara.”

This Arab Spring occurred within a region known as the 10/40 window. The Joshua Project describes the importance of the 10/40 Window this way-

“The 10/40 Window has several important considerations: first, the historical and Biblical significance; second, the least evangelized countries; third, the unreached people groups and cities; fourth, the dominance of three religious blocs; fifth, the preponderance of the poor; sixth, the strongholds of Satan within the 10/40 Window.”

Here is the 10/40 window on a map:

The 10/40 Window is a term coined by Christian missionary strategist Luis Bush in 1990 to refer those regions of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, a general area that in 1990 was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet.” Wikipedia list of 10/40 nations is below.

What is interesting is that many of these nations participated in the Arab Spring, and are further predicted in prophecy to be part of the major wars of the coming Tribulation times (Psalm 83, Isaiah 19, Isaiah 17, Revelation 16:12, Obadiah 1:15-18, Ezekiel 38-39, etc). One huge exception to this is that Russia is not in the 10/40 window, but is a major player in Ezekiel 38-39’s Gog Magog war.

Turkey is interesting not only because of her past part in history and her future part in history (more on these below) but her present condition as a perhaps-secretly Muslim nation with a Democratic overlay. Soon, I believe, this overlay will be ripped off as the nation’s true position will be revealed.

Turkey’s past is important to bible history and future prophecy. For example,

–Turkey was home to all seven of the churches Jesus had John write to in the book of Revelation.

–Turkey was home to half the Roman Empire. The eastern capital of the Roman Empire was Istanbul (renamed Constantinople in 330AD). Many scholars believe that because the Roman Empire was split into two halves, or two legs, that this is the reason for the imagery in Daniel 2 of the statue that represented kingdoms to come. (Daniel 2:32-35). This means that in all likelihood when the Roman Empire is revived it will carry with it the ancient eastern half, Turkey. (Daniel 2:40-41)

–Turkey was the home to the Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1922. The Ottoman Caliphate was abolished on 3 March 1924 when the Empire collapsed and the Caliphate’s authority and properties were transferred to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. But Revelation speaks mysteriously of another empire, the seventh king who is also and eighth but belongs to the seventh (Revelation 17:9-11). In some way, it seems, the Ottoman Empire may be included, represented, or seen in the seven mountains and kings. (More here).

–Finally, the past Caliphate of Turkey is not to be overlooked.

“For the last 400 years of its existence, the Caliphate was claimed by the Turkish Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Though the Ottomans actively used the title only sporadically, from 1517 onwards the Ottoman Sultan came to be viewed as the de facto leader and representative of the Islamic world. From Constantinople (now Istanbul), the Ottomans ruled over an empire that, at its peak, covered Anatolia, most of the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus, and extended deep into Eastern Europe.” (source)

There are many calls to revive the Caliphate, even to this very week.

PA Arabs Fete ‘New Mahdi,” Establishment of Calpihate
“Thousands of PA Arabs participated in a mass rally in Ramallah earlier this week calling for the establishment of the Muslim Caliphate – the worldwide Islamist government that will “bring the coming of the Mahdi.” the Muslim messiah. The Caliphate is essentially a union of Muslim countries under the spiritual and political leadership of a single individual, the Caliph. It has been an Islamic concept since the days of Muhammad, when it was established by several of his disciples.

The last official Caliph was Abdülmecid II, who lost the office in the aftermath of the defeat of Ottoman Turkey in World War I. The best-known Caliph in the West was Suleiman the Great, an early Ottoman sultan who, in the 16th century, conquered most of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, even conquering parts of Europe, until he was stopped at “the Gates of Vienna.” With many Muslim states politically and religiously divided, and dependent on the West for support, radical Islamists have been pushing for the reestablishment of the Caliphate – this time to be led by the all-powerful Mahdi, who will unite all Muslims and establish Islam as the dominant religion in the world, ruling for several years before the “Day of Judgment”. Although the identity of the Mahdi is a secret, many Islamists believe that he is alive now…”

That Turkey is now folded into the world troubles is not a surprise. Turkey figures prominently in past and future history. Keep your eyes on Turkey, as as well as all developments in the Middle East, even as you also keep looking up. (Luke 21:28)

Posted in damascus, middle east, prophecy

"Looks like it just got real in Damascus"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in end time, middle east, psalm 83, syria

Red line crossed: chemical weapons used in Syria, Israel intelligence confirms

In other significant news:

Israeli sources: Chemical weapons used in Syria
“Chemical weapons were used on civilians in Syria on Tuesday, Israel security sources confirmed. These sources did not, however, know whether it was Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime or the opposition forces fighting to topple him that used the weapons of mass destruction, after each party accused the other.”

Syria attacked Lebanon the Monday, this was confirmed by Turkey.

This comes as a time when Obama is making his very first Presidential visit to Israel. The wheels are up on Air Force One and Obama will be in Israel by tomorrow. He plans to try and restart the moribund peace talks, and the scuttlebutt is that Obama will try and pressure Israel’s government to accept dividing the land.

What an amazing time we live in. Isaiah 17:1 says that Damascus will be destroyed, Joel 3:2 says the Land will be divided. Psalm 83 says that a conflagration among the near neighbors of Israel (including Lebanon) will erupt in the last days. The three news pieces I quoted match these future events closely. Is the rapture even closer? I like to think every day will be THE day. One day, that will be true.

Though times are tough and life is uncertain, it is amazing to be alive now at this time to see so vividly the work of the Lord in the world. He will bring His plan to pass, and we are witnessing it right before our eyes. It gives us all the more reason to praise Him. It is all the more reason to believe.

I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. (John 13:19)

And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-20)