Posted in jesus, Mosul, prophecy, woe

Mosul Dam at risk of catastrophic failure

Introduction & Background


A news headline caught my eye last week. It is from the UK Telegraph, and consists of a dire warning from US officials regarding the Mosul Dam.

US warns of ‘tsunami wave’ across Iraq if the Mosul Dam collapses

Iraq’s Mosul Dam faces “unprecedented” risk of a “catastrophic failure” that would unleash a wave of water which could flatten cities and kill hundreds of thousands within hours, the US has said. The American government issued an unusually stark warning of the horrors that face Iraq if the dam gives way, describing a “tsunami-like wave” that would crush nearly a third of the country.

Iraq’s power grid could be entirely knocked out and parts of major cities would be underwater for weeks like areas of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the US said. The Iraqi government would be unable to direct an evacuation because Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) still controls much of the territory near the dam and so people need to prepare to evacuate on their own, the US said.

The 2014 article from the BBC recounts the reasons why the dam is so unstable-

Instrument of war
However, since its completion in the 1980s, the dam has required regular maintenance involving injections of cement on areas of leakage. The US government has invested more than $30m (£17.9m) on monitoring and repairs, working together with Iraqi teams. The black flags of jihadist group Islamic State flew over the Mosul dam for 10 days before it was recaptured by Kurdish and Iraqi ground forces. In 2007, the then commanding general of US forces in Iraq, David Petraeus, and the then US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, warned Iraq’s PM Nouri Maliki that the structure was highly dangerous because it was built on unstable soil foundation. 

“A catastrophic failure of Mosul dam would result in flooding along the Tigris river all the way to Baghdad,” [200 miles away] they said in a letter. “Assuming a worst-case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave 20 metres (65.5ft) deep at the city of Mosul,” it said.

So the dam itself is faulty and now that the terror group ISIS has captured so much land in the surrounding area fears are they will use the dam as an instrument of war. The situation has not improved much since ISIS took over surrounding area and even had taken over the dam briefly in 2014, because, as this CNS News article from yesterday states,

The situation worsened when ISIS terrorists overran the dam and held it for several weeks in 2014. Since then, efforts to reinforce the dam’s foundations have not been adequate, partly because ISIS still controls the factory that produces concrete for the dam. (source)

Catastrophic Effects of Dam Busting

This situation brings to mind two items, First is Dam Busters and the Geneva Convention, and second is the Great Tribulation.

Familiar to many people are the battles of WWII. We all know the names of battles such as The battle of the Bulge, Bombing of Berlin, The London Blitz, and D-Day. Less familiar is Operation Chastise.

According to Wikipedia,

Prior to World War II, the British Air Ministry had identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley, and especially its dams, as important strategic targets: in addition to providing hydro-electric power and pure water for steel-making, they also supplied drinking water and water for the canal transport system. The methods used to attack the dams had been carefully worked out. Calculations indicated that repeated air strikes with large bombs could be effective, but required a degree of accuracy which Bomber Command had been unable to attain in the face of enemy defences.

The Möhne dam the day following the attacks.
16–17 May 1943. Wikipedia

The movie “The Dam Busters” is the story of one scientist who developed a special bomb that could skip over water, avoid the torpedo nets, and then sink against the bottom of the dam in order to explode it at a sensitive point. The concept is of an earthquake bomb. Once the bomb was developed, the Operation was a success but there was heavy loss of Allied life due to the pilots having to fly so low to drop the bombs. The Operation was successful for the British both in its short-term and its long-term effects. But at what cost?

Flying Officer Frank “Jerry” Fray wrote of the experience of seeing the Valley after the dam breach-

When I was about 150 miles from the Möhne Dam, I could see the industrial haze over the Ruhr area and what appeared to be a cloud to the east. On flying closer, I saw that what had seemed to be cloud was the sun shining on the floodwaters. I looked down into the deep valley which had seemed so peaceful three days before [on an earlier reconnaissance mission] but now it was a wide torrent. The whole valley of the river was inundated with only patches of high ground and the tops of trees and church steeples showing above the flood. I was overcome by the immensity of it.

This is the same level of damage the opening articles were mentioning if the Mosul Dam in Iraq collapsed.

The destruction was so cataclysmic that it prompted a new resolution to the Geneva Convention. In 1977, Article 56 of the Protocol I amendment to the Geneva Conventions, outlawed attacks on dams “if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.”

ISIS, Infrastructure, and the Great Tribulation

Recently, people have been making date predictions about the start of the Great Tribulation. Some have said it will begin in March 2016, which is now. FYI, it is not going on now. The Tribulation has not begun. We know this because the church has not been removed from the earth yet, which will happen prior to the beginning of the Tribulation wrath being poured out.

Setting a specific date for the start of this worst event to ever happen on the face of the earth (Matthew 24:21) is forbidden by scripture, (Matthew 24:36, Acts 1:7), but people do it anyway. Sigh. One reason we are not to date set is that continual date setting with failure to fulfill destroys the confidence in weak Christians. That is sad. It also tarnishes the study of prophecy in general, and prophecy is extremely important.

What I find troublesome is the people who make fun of this date setting. Christian mockers mocking the event’s non-event. The Great Tribulation is no laughing matter. Jesus warned that it will be the WORST time on earth, ever. This means worse than the Flood of Genesis when every person on earth save 8 drowned. Every animal died (except on the ark). The Great Tribulation will be worse. It will be blood and anger and horror and demons abounding. It will be destruction and war and hate and brutality. It is not something to be taken lightly and certainly not to be made fun of.

One reason I mention prophecy quite often is because I want people to understand that the way things are will end. We are living on borrowed time, nationally speaking. What we see in our countries will exist no more. Infrastructure will crumble. Bridges, dams, walls, towers, will come down. Governments will l dissolve and reform to form a global tyranny. People will kill for no reason, or just because. The world’s most vulnerable – widows, children, poor, pets/animals – will be at most risk. People will simply not care one bit for their neighbor. People will be killed for a sip of water, or because they wore blue that day or they didn’t walk fast enough. The Great Tribulation literally will be hell on earth.

The dams in WWII that were busted caused so much havoc and death that the World decided not to use them as targets ever again. When the dams were busted in WWII 1,600 civilians were killed.

Here, the breach in the Mohne Dam’s massive wall gives way to a scene
of utter devastation as millions of gallons of water flooded into the valley
Image: Schalber, cc-sa-3.0 DE)

Prophecy authenticates the speaker, so this means ultimately God’s word is authenticated as He speaks and His prophecies come true. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). Prophecy is supposed to quicken us and enliven us as we are ever-aware that this is not our world. We are not citizens of earth. We are citizens of heaven.

During the time of the Tribulation, do we think for one moment that some terror group won’t hesitate to destroy any dam? Any bridge? ISIS already destroys for the sake of destroying. What do we think will happen when the Restrainer has left the earth and allows man his full range of sinful impulses?

The devastation upon earth during the Tribulation will be uncountable. If the Mosul Dam is teetering on the brink of failure now, just imagine the horror of that and other catastrophic failures during the time of greatest woes ever occurring on the earth. Don’t take the Tribulation lightly and certainly, please, don’t mock even those who set dates about it. It is the second heaviest subject in the Bible, permanent wrath in hell being the worst. The Tribulation will be hell on earth and hell will have to enlarge its mouth for it to accept the many thousands at a time to enter it as will happen during the Tribulation.

Pray for souls to be saved now, during the age of grace. Be a living witness of the cause of Christ, warning of the wrath to come, in all due gravity and urgent pleading. If the Mosul Dam fails it will be like a mosquito bite compared to the devastation daily occurring during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

Posted in babylon, glory, ISIS, jesus, jonah, Mosul, Nineveh, prophecy

"Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum," Prophecy and Mosul/Nineveh

God said ‘Jonah, arise and preach to Nineveh.’ (Jonah 1:1-2)

Jonah outside Nineveh’s gate. Rembrandt

We know the rest of the story. Initially Jonah refused, and ran in the other direction. He boarded a ship and sailed away. God sent a storm and overboard Jonah went. As Jonah contemplated his options on the way down to the bottom of the sea, he relented and acknowledged the sovereignty of God. He accepted the call to preach repentance to Nineveh. God had appointed a big fish and the fish swallowed Jonah and then spit him up back to where he began. Hoisting his toga, Jonah set off for Nineveh, heeding God’s call.

It was ‘an exceedingly great city’ some three days’ travel in breadth. Some historians calculate that as many as 250,000 lived in Nineveh. For several decades it was the largest city in the world. When Jonah preached, all the Ninevites repented, from the king on down to the lowliest peasant. All of them. It surely was a great move of God and a great shower of grace upon the many people of Nineveh.

Nineveh’s Adad gate exterior entrance. Wiki CC

God’s move was so powerful and so amazing that even till this day Eastern Orthodox churches of the Middle East commemorate the three days Jonah spent inside the fish during the “Fast of Nineveh”. There are streets named after Jonah in the Middle East and monuments to him. There are even several places claiming to be his tomb. He is known to Muslims as Nabi Yunus, and Prophet Jonah is mentioned in the Q’uran. Therefore we see that God’s move was SO GREAT that the vestigial memory of it rests in the hearts and minds of even the most blinded and spiritually distant from God.

Unfortunately, the Ninevites’ repentant attitude was not permanent and Prophet Nahum records Nineveh’s end. One hundred years later, they had gone back to their ways. Nahum says that it was a city full of blood, lies, and plunder. God said He would make an utter desolation of the city and He did.

The city was so obliterated by 400BC the city of Nineveh itself had passed into history. Even the very name was forgotten. The city was buried so well it was never re-discovered until 1842.

In 1842, French Consul General at Mosul, Paul-Émile Botta began to search the vast mounds that lay along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon II, which was largely explored for sculptures and other precious relics. Wikipedia

Today’s Nineveh overlaps Mosul. Mosul is in Iraq, or what used to be Iraq, now that the ISIS group has taken over and established “The Islamic State”. You might know that the goal of the Caliphate is to have 100% of all residents in it compliant to Allah. If someone is not a Muslim, they must pay jizya, a religious tax to the dhimmi (community). Or convert. Or die.

Nineveh’s Mashki gate from the west. Wiki CC

The leaders of ISIS issued an ultimatum recently to that very effect. Before the war in Iraq in 2003, there were about 65,000 Christians living there. That is according to official records. However, spiritually, most of those are not Christians, because they adhere to an Eastern Orthodox religion, which is false. Personally I cannot say that the numbers were so large, but we do know that at out of 65,000 claiming Christianity, least some are true Christians.

Remember, Iraq is also home to Baghdad, AKA Babylon, the first city which Nimrod built and future history’s (almost) the last city; a city which will be the prophetic focus of the Tribulation. It has been said that the bible could be subtitled “A Tale of Two Cities: Jerusalem and Babylon.” What I’m saying is, the area has a long, loooong spiritual history. Moreover, and future history will dwindle down to events in this exact region.

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq about half the Christians left. After ISIS came, 10,000 more left. Suffice to say that life for a true Christian in this war-torn, spiritually hostile ground zero place would be hard. And this week, it just got harder.

Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum

Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul after Islamist militants threatened to kill them unless they converted to Islam or paid a “protection tax”. A statement issued by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) was read out at the city’s mosques. It called on Christians to comply by midday on Saturday or face death if they did not leave the northern city. Isis has control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and said last month it was creating an Islamic caliphate. The ultimatum cited a historic contract known as “dhimma,” under which non-Muslims in Islamic societies who refuse to convert are offered protection if they pay a fee, called a “jizya”. “We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the Isis statement said.

This is very similar to the upcoming ultimatum that the antichrist will issue. The antichrist will locate headquarters in Babylon. At the Tribulation, the antichrist will force all to worship him by accepting a mark on their hand or forehead. Or be excluded from the economy and unable to buy or sell, and then to be beheaded. (Revelation 13:16-17).

In addition to the hostility against perceived Christians, the ISIS people also took a sledgehammer to “Jonah’s tomb” in Mosul.

Shocking moment ISIS militants take sledgehammers to Mosul tomb of Prophet Jonah

Donning balaclavas and black coats, they swung sledgehammers into the tombs, causing pieces of dust and stone to fly through the air. One of the devastated tombstones belonged to the Prophet Jonah (Younis in Arabic) and was revered by Muslims and Christians alike, according to Iraqi authorities. Speaking of the latest attack, Ninevah official Zuhair Al-Chalabi, told ‘The elements of ISIS [have] controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis in Mosul since they invaded the city.’  

It should be noted that there are also alleged burial sites for Jonah in Hebron, Lebanon, and Galilee in addition to Mosul.

We should:

1. Pray for the true Christians in the Middle East. As Joel Rosenberg calls it, it is “the epicenter” because geologically the epicenter is the point on the earth above the center of the earthquake. It aptly describes Israel, Jerusalem, and the countries surrounding her. Geographically, God considers Israel the center of the world. (Ezekiel 5:5) as Rosenberg explains here. Spiritually, it all comes down to God and His people, and history’s last events will be located in Jerusalem and surrounding environs.

From this moment forward, whenever you are reading this, life will only be harder for Christians there. Jews also. Every day will be harder than the day before it.

2. Pray for the rapture. (2 Timothy 4:8). It is spiritually all right to pray for a time of deliverance, in so doing, acknowledging your citizenship (heaven), identifying yourself with the promises of Jesus, and wanting to be where there is no more pain.

3. Be strong in the word. Persevere, and in so doing, being the Light of Hope within us. Let it shine, your patience, calm, and hope will be a balm to those around you.

4. Study scripture and memorize it. Even in America, the time is coming and might already be here when we will need to rely on memory for scripture- as possessing a bible may soon be not-possible. The noose is tightening daily. Apostasy is rising and as John MacArthur said, “Cultural Christianity is dying at warp speed.” I’ll do another blog post later today about that. Therefore we should be aware of what is happening in the world and in our nations, and in that way we can be responsible to our duties as Christians on behalf of the glory of God.

5. Always shine the glory back to Him, He is the originator of the world, the sustainer of the world, and the King, Lord, and Judge of the world, He deserves all glory and acknowledgement in all we say and do. At the very moment that attitude is becoming more rare, is when we need to display it the most.


Further reading:

Topical Bible: Nineveh