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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It lasts a little under an hour.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in al-qaeda, mali, rapture, wars and rumors of wars

Is Mali France’s Gaza? America’s Afghanistan?

I wrote yesterday about a concerning situation in Mali, whereupon it seems that Al Qaeda/fundamentalist Islam is taking advantage of a local insurrection to install a base of operations there. France, Mali’s former Colonial Overlord, began a military campaign to stop this.

It is not going so well for France. Not well at all. al-Qaeda carved out their own statelet in Mali and is digging in, literally.

“On Friday, France deployed 550 troops and launched air strikes against the Islamists in northern Mali, starting battle in what is currently the biggest territory in the world held by al-Qaida and its allies.”


“Deep inside caves, in remote desert bases, in the escarpments and cliff faces of northern Mali, Islamic extremist fighters have been burrowing into the earth, erecting a formidable set of defenses to protect what has essentially become al-Qaida’s new country. They have used the bulldozers, earth movers and Caterpillar machines left behind by fleeing construction crews to dig what residents and local officials describe as an elaborate network of tunnels, trenches, shafts and ramparts. In just one case, inside a cave large enough to drive trucks into, they have stored up to 100 drums of gasoline, guaranteeing their fuel supply in the face of a foreign intervention, according to experts.”

France is home to 4million Muslims, who are not too happy about France’s military incursion. Neither is al-Qaeda. They vowed to retaliate. Mali Islamists threaten to retaliate ‘at the heart of France’

Meanwhile the largest Jewish newspaper in America is stating the obvious:

Mali is France’s Gaza

“France is now going to war in Mali because it says “we cannot have a terrorist state at the door of Europe,” but when Israel launches a defensive operation to protect its citizens from missile attacks from terrorists in Gaza, all the French newspapers and television commentators scream about Israeli aggression. The distance between Bamako and Paris: 6266km. The distance between Gaza and Israel: 1km.”

Israel is dealing with an election coming up on January 22, to elect a Parliament. Israeli liberals on both sides of the pond are shocked that a conservative young Israeli leading his party seems to be surging in the polls to become, if pollsters are right, the second or third largest party in the Knesset. Joel Rosenberg analyzed the situation, saying that The New Yorker argues that this is because–

“…the Israeli electorate is moving sharply to the right because they are exhausted by the conflict with the Arabs; disillusioned with the peace process; increasingly convinced the Palestinians will never make peace; anxious about the instability and anti-Israeli hostility in surrounding nations like Syria, Egypt and Jordan; worried about the Iranian nuclear threat; and convinced that the Israeli left has no fresh ideas and no dynamic leaders”

…and while the New Yorker is liberal and biased, that analysis does make sense.

France had said that the incursion into Mali to root out al-Qaeda would be a short one. Like, Afghanistan short?

While Europe falls apart and America becomes irrelevant, Islam advances. The fundamentalist Muslims have taken more ground. Nation rises against nation and kingdom against kingdom. The ungodly rise up and the Godly are smashed down. That is all as it is prophesied to be. Sin must run its course.

What we can pray for is peace to come to these areas. That leaders be elected who are Godly. That Christians in the line of fire in these nations in civil war be protected by the Holy God of Israel. Or whatever comes to your mind to pray for. Be stalwart and do not fear. This is not our home, but we can share the Good News of Jesus with as many as we can so as many as possible can go home with us when we are called up in the rapture.

Posted in adam smith, apology, buycott, chick-fil-a, jesus, rachel, wars and rumors of wars

Adam Smith, Chick-Fil-A drive thru guy who berated drive-thru employee, apologizes. Sort of.

Updated to include identity of and comments from law-breaker who defaced Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Torrance, California. See below.

When Jesus said in Matthew 24:6 that one of the signs of His soon coming would be wars and rumors of wars, automatically we think of military wars. And indeed it means that. Military war is not only what He meant, in my opinion. He didn’t use the word strateuo: “to make war” (from stratos, “an encamped army”). He used the word polemos which means war but it also means battle, strife, quarrels.

The word ‘polemos’ that He used in English is ‘polemic.’ A polemic is “a contentious argument that is intended to establish the truth of a specific belief and the falsity of the contrary belief. Polemics are mostly seen in arguments about very controversial topics.” Polemics address important issues in religion, philosophy, politics, or science. The word is derived from the Greek meaning “warlike, hostile” which comes from polemos, “war”. (Wiki)

What we have in the Chick-Fil-A controversy is a very open war- a culture war with polemical battle lines drawn on one side and the other. This week America was engaged in a national convulsion in polemics, AKA culture war, strife, battle, and quarrel. Christians brought biblical light to a Godly value (heterosexual marriage) and focused it in such a way as to shine it directly into the eyes of those who are yet in darkness. My own opinion is that this is also what Jesus meant when He said ‘you will see wars and rumors of wars.’

Now for the relevant application. I’ll boil the culture war down to two people, Adam Smith and Rachel.

Distribution of Chick-Fil-A restaurants
in the US. Wiki commons

The background to this war is that in an interview with the Baptist Press, Chick-Fil-A chain restaurant owner Dan Cathy responded to a question about the company’s support for traditional marriage, saying:

“Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families – some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that … We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” Source

His mild and gentle but clear statement caused a firestorm of protest. The usual protests came from the homosexual segment of the population, but this time the politicians and Mayors of major cities, particularly Boston and Chicago, stated that they would do everything in their power to stop Chick-Fil-A from operating as a company in their city.

The usual argument in culture is one thing, but the US is founded on principles of freedom of speech and religion, and this not-so-veiled attack on those principles ignited a peaceful protest by the conservative segment of the population. They decided to go and buy Chick-Fil-A food as a sign of support. On August 1, 2012, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day happened. Boy, did people turn out for this!


South Carolina
Even in GASP! Boston!

Boston, Burlington Mall

My Christian brother in Norway tweeted, “Why is everyone from america talking about this chick-fil a or something??” I told him that the national convulsion we’re experiencing here is simply the latest iteration of an age-old battle. This week it burst into open warfare in such vitriolic proportions that the culture war spilled overseas to the notice of other nations.

You might ask, the homosexual agenda has been visible for a long time, this isn’t the first time it has burst open in America. Remember Stonewall? How about all those Pride Days, Gay Parades, and legislative rallies and protests for homosexual marriage?” Yes, that is true, that is part of the culture war. It’s been one-sided so far. But this week was the first time in my memory that the initiative was taken by Christians, in a well-planned and organized push-back.

People who are not in Christ are in satan. There is no in-between. Satan deludes the unsaved into thinking that there aren’t that many Christians. They think we are kooks, living exclusively in the south, and that we have no power. Christians are no-account in an unsaved person’s life, because they simply don’t see us. We are invisible to them because satan has blinded them to the Light of Jesus that is in us. I cannot stress this enough.

I can say these things because I wasn’t saved until I was 43 years old. Until then I was a New England liberal elite who thought Christians numbered in the dozens, maybe hundreds, living Deliverance style in the woods of Mississippi. Or maybe all in one subdivision. They were easy to avoid and had no impact to my life. When I did get saved and moved to the south I was shocked, shocked I tell you, at the sheer number of Christians. Before, they were invisible to me. And that is because satan has blinded their minds.

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

I have four points I’d like to finish with.

On Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, Adam Smith, an executive at an Arizona company named Vante, sat for a looooong time in the drive-thru. He was there to buy some water and to tell the employee serving him that she worked for a horrible company that denies homosexuals their rights. He said he felt good, purposeful and jazzed to be doing it. We know all this because he filmed his encounter and posted it on Youtube. The next day his company fired him.

A day or so after that, Smith posted an 8-minute video apologizing for his actions and stated he wasn’t just saying this because he was fired and he has a lot of time on his hands to reflect on his actions. His video is below. You can watch for yourself. First I’ll post some of his comments and embed them in the context of the (culture) wars and polemical arguments bursting out all over.

“You should know I never planned to say the things I said that day…and how I said them. I planned to peacefully participate in the Youtube post where Jackson Pearce asked people to order a large water as a sign of support for the gay community. But when I got to your window, after seeing all of the people in and outside the restaurant, that came to support Chick-Fil-A, I lost it. I just lost it. I couldn’t believe the number of people that came out to support a corporation…”

1. What he really means there is he couldn’t believe how many people came out to support a corporation that openly embraces a Christian value. Because, of course, liberals and homosexuals and the unsaved come out in force and in numbers all the time to support or oppose corporations. Look at the Occupy Wall Street protests. They oppose Bank of America or other banks. Last time I looked, those were corporations.

2. I can just see how sitting in that long line for all that time roiled Mr Smith. He got madder, madder and madder. Satan opposes God. When someone is deeply reprobate, they will be angry when confronted with truth. Smith had buckets of time in line to watch truth in action. Romans 1 says that all have seen God because He has revealed His invisible qualities to us through the creation. In this case the truth hit him on the nose and he couldn’t help but see the numbers of people who support corporations with Godly values. Those who deliberately suppress this truth descend on a path that gets darker and darker. Confronted with truth, they get angry. They will become the things they claim to hate!

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” (Romans 1:28-30).

Smith could not believe the number of people who love God and who support Godly principles. Smith was confronted with visible, tangible proof of the fact that God exists in many people and he shrank like a vampire from holy water, screaming ‘noooo noooo nooo’. OK maybe not literally, but pretty close, seeing his own words above! “I just lost it.” So he lashed out:

“For me, the main goal of supporting the gay community outweighed any collateral damage that Rachel became. … I just literally saw Rachel as collateral damage.”

3. In other words the war in the reprobate to win at all costs no matter who gets hurt in the process is clearly unveiled. This is because in suppressing the truth, they are filled with all manner of unrighteousness as described above. Their unreasoning, satanic hatred of all things Godly will darken them to the point that they rise up in violence. This is a war. When presented with the truth become so blinded with rage they lash out and as in any war, there is ‘collateral damage.’

Like this:

Huffington Post reports, Homosexual “Manny Castro has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the “Tastes Like Hate” message painted on the side of a Chick-fil-A restaurant Friday morning in Torrance, Calif.” Castro claims that he, as a homosexual man has few rights and that the people at Chick-Fil-A were trying to take away what few rights he has left. “When Castro saw news photos of thousands of Americans lined up around the block to buy a sandwich in support of the company on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” his heart sank even more.” Castro says Americans eating chicken sandwiches to support their preferred restaurant is the “same thing” as when 40 years ago Christians protested whites marrying blacks. Therefore, he reasoned, his defacement of local property is “not that much of a crime.”

You notice that it was when Castro “saw” the photos of lines upon lines of people at Chick-Fil-A that the polemical issue really affected him. “His heart sank.” It was when he was confronted with the truth that he was angered into negative action, that is.

They will never see the irony in that a hate filled heart will, under cover of darkness plot an evil plan, buy paint, gather together in unrighteousness, and in their foolish battle, they break the law in order to claim that others hate. Breaking the law is the most hateful incivility in the highest degree. But their reprobate minds just lose it and in the ensuing war, there is collateral damage. In this case, an innocent restaurant manager who had then to deal with the aftermath of reprobate hate plastered on his building.

Smith goes on to say that the reaction against him subsequent to his video posting and then his firing was discouraging. He has received threats against himself, his family and his co-workers. This is unfortunate and is not a Christian value. People who do those things, no matter what side of the culture war they say they are on, are reprobate with a foolish heart and a darkened mind.

However Smith also says that on the other hand it is encouraging. Because, he says, “If people can get this passionate about a guy being rude to a girl in the drive-thru, how much more passion can we have for our fellow human beings have whose basic rights are being threatened by a corporation like Chick-Fil-A?”

4. So you can see that he is not really sorry. His heart is still darkened. He recognized the light inside of Rachel the woman he berated, but he wants to harness that light for satan’s purposes.

This “war” will continue and even deepen. The lines are drawn so clearly now.

The chasm between the Light-filled Christian and the Dark-Hearted Reprobate will shrink, and shrink and shrink, until one day Christians will be raptured and we will study war no more! The Dark-Hearted Reprobate will have no one left to battle with…so he will turn against the next guy whose heart is even darker than his. Because their war is really against God. They will continue, because Romans 1:32 closes out with:

Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

May God have mercy upon them…but His wrath is building.

Original video of Smith going through drive-thru on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. It is a little over 2 minutes.:

Adam Smith’s apologetic video, it is about 8 minutes

Posted in end time, gog magog, prophecy, wars and rumors of wars

CFR says "Time is now to attack Iran"

There is some interesting news coming out these days. Heavily prophetic. In the last 6 months the European Union and other European nations have gone from defending an economic position of “this is manageable” to “here are our plans for when the euro/EU collapses.” The continual economic and currency pressure on the ‘eurozone’ nations is cracking it up and by now the cracks are wide enough to be visible. They’re not hairline fractures anymore, they are chasms. The UK, never a fan of the geo-political EU or the idea of a strongly centralized European currency, is openly making drastic contingency plans for the what they believe is its eventual failure.

UK to close borders if Euro collapses, other contingency plans revealed
“BRITAIN’S borders will be closed to continental Europeans if the euro collapses, it was revealed yesterday. The emergency measure would block hordes of French, German and Dutch nationals who would be desperate to withdraw cash here with credit cards if banks in their own countries dry up. It is feared a run on British banks could also result in them being unable to service UK businesses.”

That’s pretty drastic. It paints a picture of hordes of people storming banks, chaotic borders with armed guards, and riots. If this is the picture the powers that be firmly feel would happen, hence, their making plans around it, then we must pay attention.

We are concerned at this point in prophetic time with large geo-political and large-scale economic shifts. This is because the verses which are set in the Tribulation show us that the world is governed by ten kings (soon to be 8) whose top king is the antichrist. It seems that the world is governed by ten large kingdoms with sole people at the head. (Revelation 13:1; Daniel 7:16-24). Revelation 13 also shows us that the entire globe’s money system and consumer economics is also controlled by one person: the antichrist. (more here).

For the conditions to come to pass as we know they will, a massive shift in financial, political, and economic thought and infrastructure must first come to pass. We see these indicators now.

The bible’s chapters in Ezekiel 38-39 also show an evil confederacy led by Iran and Russia and Turkey attacking Israel by surprise in the last days. This prophecy has not come to pass yet in all of history so we know that it is yet future. As we see the news headlines day after day of the growing storm in the Middle East, particularly Syria and Iran, we can surmise that perhaps this prophecy is near future.

The Strait of Hormuz is key route for world’s oil
“The Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has threatened to block if the West applies sanctions on its oil exports, is a strategically important waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s oil transits.The strait links the Gulf, bordered by petroleum-rich states like Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with Oman.Iran’s Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned Tuesday: ”If sanctions are adopted against Iranian oil, not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz.”Several Western states are considering oil sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, accusing it of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.The narrow Strait of Hormuz has a maximum width of some 50 kilometers (30 miles) and a maximum depth of 60 metres (200 feet).”

When even the Council on Foreign Relations starts touting an Iran preventive attack, you know that things in that prophetic region are definitely nearing fulfillment. (If you happen to go to the link, you’ll notice the CFR article has a dateline of “January/February 2012”. Seeing 2012 as a real date seems strange…)

CFR: Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option
“Opponents of military action against Iran assume a U.S. military strike would be far more dangerous than simply letting Tehran build a bomb. Not so, argues this former Pentagon defense planner. With a carefully designed strike, Washington could mitigate the costs—or at least bring them down to a bearable level—and spare the region and the world from an unacceptable threat.”

The interest in Iran, of course, is two fold but it should be three fold. The world’s interest in Iran is in its nuclear programme, which by all accounts is nearing completion. They will VERY shortly have the bomb. Secondly, the world is concerned with Iran’s increasing belligerence. It seems the closer they get to finishing their nuke-making the more brazen they become. They began war games in the Strait of Hormuz this week and threatened to shut the strait down. This would be a bad thing as 30% of the world oil is exported by there on tankers. Just making the threat threw global oil markets into a tizzy. During the war games the Iranian Navy allegedly warned off a foreign helicopter and are trying to provoke US ships. The US Fifth Fleet is stationed in nearby Bahrain.

The third interest that the world should have in Iran but doesn’t is that Iran is propelled, guided, and in all ways spiritually motivated. The government and the Revolutionary Guard believes firmly in Shia end time Islam, which states that they are prophetically important in Islam and that they must begin cleaning out the world of Americans, Jews, and all infidels. Their staunch belief that Israel must not exist informs their every waking thought and action.

The Manila Bulletin explains, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the ideological army of the Iranian regime, controls naval operations in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.” Don’t underestimate the will of Iran’s ‘ideological army.’ The ideological arm of the government is the arm that believes all Jews must die. Unfortunately, the world does not believe that they are as focused and intentional as they are. But we see from the chapters in Ezekiel, the Gog-Magog battle, that they are indeed.

As Iran begins the tactical stage of the games, “The war games, which started on Saturday, are said to differ from previous ones in terms of the vastness of the area of action and the military equipment and tactics that are being employed. It has been announced that submarines of the Ghadir class and other classes, warships, missile-firing destroyers, coast-to-sea missile systems, drones, and electronic warfare equipment will be tested during the exercises.”

Don’t underestimate the military of Iran. Though not as large as North Korea’s or as sophisticated as the US’s, remember they recently did just spoof a US drone, causing it to happily land in Iran instead of Afghanistan, and are busily scouring its secrets even now, with the Russians and the Chinese. They are not as weak or as backward as the US government would like us to believe.

In the upcoming Ezekiel prophetic battle, God supernaturally intervenes to protect Israel. Otherwise they would have been obliterated by Iran and Russia. Mercifully, the Lord once again will put His hand around His nation and all the world sees that it is by no other means that Israel was saved. Because of this, which of course Israel sees too, they clamor for a return to a covenant relationship with Him. This is why the temple is rebuilt. It is thought that the fallout of this battle jolts the world into finally confirming a peace treaty with Israel, something we know will happen (Daniel 9:27). Of course, the chronology could be otherwise but the way things are looking now, especially with Syria’s continual genocide of her people and the world’s growing impatience with it, this interpretation seems likely. (Isaiah 17)

I don’t know if any nation in the world will attack Iran prior to the rapture, or at all, there is nothing listed specifically for this as there are about prophesies about Damascus’s destruction and Iran’s attack on Israel. The prophecies do state that the birth pangs will include wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7)

Also because the world sees God protect Israel and thus Israel returns to (old) covenant with God, resuming sacrifices etc, the new covenant people cannot and will not be here. The two covenants don’t mix. Therefore it is thought that by the end of the Gog-Magog battle (and it is called a battle because it happens quickly) that that event is the latest that the Church will still be in the world. We could be called out and up by the Lord at any time, but the common interpretation is that Ezekiel 38-39 is the latest. Keep looking up.

Posted in end time, last days, wars and rumors of wars

Wars and Rumors of Wars

In Matthew 24, Jesus answers the disciples’ question about the signs of the end of the age and the signs of Jesus coming, and asked when will all these things happen. Three questions, from verse 1-3 and from verse 4-8 Jesus began His answer.

“And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”

Then in verse 9 He deepened the answer and referred to tribulation and perilous times by specifically mentioning certain events. He then speaks of the Abomination of Desolation. Some scholars use the break at verse 8 to interpret that Jesus meant that the birth pangs would encompass the entire time between Jesus’ ascension and second coming, and verse 9 onward being the Tribulation, and others interpret those first 4 verses as included in only the Tribulation period of 7 years along with the rest of the Discourse. I take the former view.

Here: “The Bible predicts a downward spiral of catastrophes, human sin, and religious apostasy before Christ returns. Paul writes, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. . . . evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13). The world will continue to reject God, His Word, and His people. … The erosion of peace and increase of turmoil that precedes the Rapture will reach epic proportions when untold numbers of people disappear from earth.”

I believe the world has been in pangs since Jesus ascended, though like contractions are wont to do, start off mild and unnoticeable, increasing terribly as the birth nears. Then the water breaks, and I believe the rapture is that event we can liken to water breaking. When the water breaks, things really get serious in the labor pains and birthing process. The birth is near once the water breaks. What is being birthed? The Kingdom of Jesus Christ that will last 1000 years. (Revelation 20:2-7; Luke 1:32-33′ Ezekiel 43:7).

Jesus said one thing to look out for is wars and rumors of wars. It was the second thing He said to look for, after false Christs. War rhetoric has always been with us on earth, we are a warlike and rebellious people. The Middle East since Israel’s re-birth has especially been rife with wars and rumors of wars. But never to the degree that the epicenter has seen today. Seven or more nations are on war alert, live drills with live missiles are taking place. Rockets are being moved. War Ministers are readying troops. Ambassadors are being recalled. Warships are moving into place. The following headlines are from the past two days. They are extraordinary. In my opinion, they exemplify “wars and rumors of wars” to a high degree.

I believe that final, final pieces are being readied for the last days prophesies to be fulfilled quickly. If that is the case, then the rapture is even sooner.

Iranian forces go on war alert
Iran moving missiles to secret sites, Western officials tell British paper; earlier, Tehran residents reported to stockpile goods, fearing imminent strike
“Growing panic in Iran? The commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards has ordered his forces to raise their operational readiness ahead of a possible war or strike on the country’s nuclear facilities, the Telegraph reported late Monday.”

“The British newspaper quoted Western intelligence sources as saying that Iran is repositioning ballistic missiles, explosives and troops into defensive positions, in order to offer a quick response in the case of an attack by Israel or the United States.”

Iran’s downing of US drone rattles Washington
“U.S. military officials have expressed concern over news reports that Iran recently downed a U.S. spy drone that had violated the country’s airspace.On Sunday, an unidentified Iranian military source said that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic had downed a U.S. drone along the country’s eastern border, the Fars News Agency reported.“An advanced RQ-170 unmanned American spy plane was shot down by Iran’s armed forces. It suffered minor damage and is now in possession of Iran’s armed forces,” the source said, according to Fox News.The official also stated that Iran would give a crushing response to any violation of its airspace, saying the response “will not be limited to the country’s borders.”

US officials say Pakistan leaving liaison centers
“Pakistan is pulling its troops out of at least two of the three centers meant to coordinate military activity across the Afghan border in apparent retaliation for NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, U.S. military officials said.”

Pakistan recalls ambassadors for consultations after NATO attack
“Pakistan recalls ambassadors for consultations after NATO attack Islamabad has recalled a number of its ambassadors for urgent consultations in the wake of NATO’s killing of 25 Pakistani soldiers, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The envoys will be instructed on new foreign policy which has been reviewed in the light of last month’s attack, Itar-Tass reports. Ambassadors in the US, the EU countries, Russia, India, Afghanistan and other states were called back, the ministry said, adding that they will be familiarized with the new foreign policy doctrine. Earlier, Islamabad warned it would review its ties with the US and its allies.”

Rare attacks on Afghan Shiites kill 60, suicide bomber strikes Kabul mosque
“A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers who packed a Kabul mosque Tuesday to mark a holy day, killing at least 56 people, and a second bombing in another city killed four more Shiites. They were the first major sectarian assaults since the fall of the Taliban a decade ago. … Religiously motivated attacks on Shiites are rare in Afghanistan although they are common in neighboring Pakistan.”

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime MinisterIf Iran attacks Israel it will be gone the next day”
“United Arab Emirates’ PM downplays concerns about nuclear Iran, tells CNN he believes Israel will destroy Iran if attacked. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) discounted on Tuesday the West’s concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran.

Sectarian bloodshed worsens in Syria amid uprising
“Dozens of bodies were dumped in the streets of a Syrian city at the heart of the country’s nearly 9-month-old uprising, a grim sign that sectarian bloodshed is escalating as the country descends further toward civil war.”

China’s Hu urges navy to prepare for combat
“Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urged the navy to prepare for military combat, amid growing regional tensions over maritime disputes and a US campaign to assert itself as a Pacific power.”

As Matthew Henry said in his commentary on the Matthew 24:6 verse, “Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. “

Make sure your heart is at peace with the Savior.

Posted in end time, north korea, prophecy, wars and rumors of wars

Will the church be on earth during wars? Will we experience wartime hardship?

We know that the first judgments in the Tribulation (the Church is gone) are the Seals. The Second Seal is the Red Horse and its rider takes peace from the earth. But the warnings of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse also remind us that one of the birth pang signs is also war, and not just between nations but kingdoms against kingdoms. Will we, the Church experience the effects of war? Will war occur on our soil prior to the Rapture?

We have experienced war since the moment Jesus ascended, as part of the prophesied birth pangs. In one sense, the Church is already experiencing wartime hardship. Any Christian in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, or much of Africa is living in a time when war touches their lives directly. But with the ramping up of the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, with the US and China being dragged in as powerful allies, it is a timely question. There was a mystery missile shot just 35 miles from the western shores of the US this month, which also spooked many. In our secret heart of hearts, we have visions of mushroom clouds over LA, NY, Kansas… Or Sydney or London. Will wartime hardship touch the Christians in other places and locations? Let’s take a look.

Matthew 24:6: “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.”
Mark 13:8a: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
Luke 21:11– “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”

In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus spoke of what will happen in direct response to the Disciples’ questions about the end of the age and the signs indicating it. In the first verse of His answer in Mt 24:2 He told of something that will happen in a few years hence, though the Disciples were not aware of the timing. The Temple was going to be destroyed in 70AD. Then He spoke of signs of the end of the age in verses 4-8. Verse 9 begins a shift to the time of the Tribulation. Jesus says: “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” The rest of the Discourse relates only to the Jews and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble as they term it, or as we term it, The Tribulation.

We know that the first judgments in the Tribulation (the Church is gone) are the Seals. The Second Seal is the Red Horse and its rider takes peace from the earth. But the warnings of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse also remind us that one of the birth pang signs is also war, and not just against nations but kingdoms against kingdoms.

The number of military conflicts have risen dramatically as the end nears. In one of John MacArthur’s sermons on this subject (the end days) he cited statistics at the Encyclopedia of Wars, and I placed those numbers into a spreadsheet and turned it into a graph showing the number of military conflicts over the last 3000 years. No one on the planet since Jesus uttered His warning sign has been immune from wars, conflicts, battles, and uprisings. You can view that post by clicking here. The graph is below:

Though numbers of wars have been rising and rumors of wars are constant nowadays, I believe that the difference between our living through military conflicts now and those in the Tribulation will be markedly different. Why? The bible tells us. The verse in Revelation states: “When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.” (Rev 6:4)

Please notice several things about that Tribulation verse. First, peace is taken from the earth. There is no peace, anywhere! Imagine living in a constant state of conflict. Even in your home, you feel no peace. Riots, wars, conflict, fights, any flavor of the opposite of peace you want to think of, will be the state of things, all the time. Now, even in the end time prior to the Tribulation, we can find peace. Rumors of wars are unsettling, but they are not the scale and breadth that they will be as soon as we leave and the Seal is opened.

Sword is the Lord’s metaphor for war, or actually, judgment. The root word in the verse in Rev 6:4 is megas, meaning exceeding, great, large; and machaira, meaning figuratively, war, judicial punishment — sword. So, second, the verse takes careful note of the size of the sword. The Lord gave unto men a sword in other verses throughout the bible, as in Ezekiel 21:14; Ez 32:20; Jer 50:36; etc. Look up sword in the bible, and then look up large sword (or great sword, mighty sword). The sword of war is never described in any of the verses I could find, as mighty, (except in one verse in Isaiah 27:1, The Deliverance of Israel, which is the Lord’s own sword.) In other words, the wars and rumors of wars now are normal business, but the Tribulation wars will be devastating.

See what happens in the Fourth Seal: When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” The verse tells us a quarter of the earth’s population dies, partly from results of war (sword).

Ultimately, I interpret the verses in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 to say though there will be conflict both prior to the Trib and afterwards, the conflict in the Tribulation will be horrendous while the conflicts in the end of the age will be manageable. Will the US experience a nuclear holocaust, or even en electro-magnetic pulse wiping out all electronics? Maybe, I can’t predict the future, but I believe the church all over the world will experience normal conflict prior to leaving, but not horrendous hardship from nukes and direct attacks. That would be judgment, and we are not to be judged.

That is not to say that the normal course of war is anything to take lightly. It’s terrible. Ask any war widow. Ask anyone who lives in the line of fire, whose home is blown up and who has lost their nation, being a refugee. But the terrible times of the wars depicted in the Tribulation will be so much worse.

When Jesus said that there will be nations rising against nations, and kingdoms against kingdoms, it sounds quaint and old-timey to hear the word “kingdom.” Monarchies seem outdated and bygone. But there are kingdoms in the world today, many with ruling and active kings (or queens). UK’s full name is really The Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The full name of other nations reveal many kingdoms. Others on the earth today include the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Kingdom of Denmark. Kingdom of Bahrain. Kingdom of Belgium. Kingdom of Bhutan.  Kingdom of Cambodia. Kingdom of Lesotho. Kingdom of Morocco. Kingdom of the Netherlands. Kingdom of Norway. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Kingdom of Spain. Kingdom of Swaziland. Kingdom of Sweden. Kingdom of Thailand. Kingdom of Tonga.

Kingdom of Tonga

Isn’t it strange to think that in the Tribulation, no where will be peaceful, including the far-off, remote and tiny place of Tonga. How many travel posters tout places like Tonga as the quintessential peaceful place, perfect to escape to? Pictures sch as the one above are emblematic of peace and tranquility. But when Jesus tells John that “peace will be taken from the earth”, that means that nowhere on earth will you find peace. Nowhere. At all.

As for the current conflict in the China Sea, time will tell how that may or may not blossom into a hot conflict narrow in scope or worldwide in impact. We won’t have long to wait. The joint US-SKorean military exercises are due to begin on Sunday and NKorea has vowed retaliation of we do. Here are a series of recent news headlines illustrating the progression of the conflict that has evolved over the last four days:

Boston Globe: South Korea’s Defense Minister Resigns
South Korea’s defense minister resigned Thursday, two days after an artillery attack by North Korea killed four people on small island near their disputed frontier.  The move came as President Lee Myung-bak vowed to send more troops to the island and as residents tried to salvage belongings from its blackened wreckage. Pyongyang warned of additional attacks if provoked.

Korean Times: NK fired fuel-air shells on Yeonpyeong
North Korea used a new type of artillery shell capable of penetrating concrete walls and causing fires in Tuesday’s deadly shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea, military investigators said Thursday.  The “special shell” similar to a thermobaric weapon, known as a fuel-air bomb, is believed to have been deployed since 1985, they said. A team of investigators has recovered some 20 duds that landed on the island for analysis.

BBC News: N Korea warns war drills take region to ‘brink of war’
North Korea has warned that impending joint military exercises by the South and the US are pushing the region to “the brink of war”.  A group of naval ships, led by a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, is heading to the Yellow Sea to take part in the drills, due to begin on Sunday.  At least four South Koreans died on Tuesday when the North shelled the Southern island of Yeonpyeong.

Korea’s Yonhap News: N. Korea says it is ‘ready to annihilate’ S. Korea’s stronghold North Korea said Friday it is “ready to annihilate” South Korea’s stronghold if its sovereignty is violated even a bit, raising already high tension after the two countries exchanged artillery barrages earlier this week, Yonhap reported. “We will show a firm and merciless example to whichever provoker encroaches on our dignity and sovereignty,” the North’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Japan Broadcasting Corporation: Japan increasing air patrols
Japan currently deploys five EP3 aircraft at its Iwakuni Base in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan.  The aircraft routinely patrol the skies over Japan and surrounding areas, monitoring North Korea’s military activities, such as a ballistic missile launches.  The Defense Ministry appears to be increasing the number of EP3 flights to be on the alert for further possible military actions by the North.

UK Independent: Expats recalled as North Korea prepares for war
A mass exodus of North Korean workers from the Far East of Russia is under way, according to reports coming out of the region. As the two Koreas edged towards the brink of war this week, it appears that the workers in Russia have been called back to aid potential military operations.

China’s Xinhua News: Chinese FM discusses Korean Peninsula issue with Russian, Japanese counterparts on phone
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Saturday discussed the latest situation on the Korean Peninsula in phone calls with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Japanese foreign minister Seiji Maehara. He said all parties should work together to help cool the situation as soon as possible and effectively ensure no repeat of such conflict. Meanwhile, the Chinese minister expressed the hope that concerned parties would take a reasonable and pragmatic approach to actively create favorable conditions for resuming the six-party talks.

Hankyoreh (Korea’s Independent Newspaper): Joint drills will be far from NLL, military reports
Joint South Korea-U.S. drills with the USS George Washington in the West Sea will be held from Sunday to Wednesday. North Korea has promised retaliation if both countries hold the drills in the West Sea. South Korea and the United States have stated that the drills are routine and defensive in nature, but with the drills being held in the middle of the West Sea for the first time, they strongly take on the character of a show of force against North Korea.

Stock Analyst: SKorea may elevate NKorea to main enemy status
Meanwhile, an unidentified South Korean official told Yonhap Saturday Seoul was mulling over whether to designate North Korea as its “main enemy” when the Defense Ministry publishes its next biannual defense white paper. The South now considers North Korea “an immediate and direct threat” to its national security.

The world holds its breath as it teeters on the brink of war.

Posted in end time, FBI, militia, north korea, prophecy, wars and rumors of wars

Peace among rumors of wars

The disciples asked Jesus about the end of times in Matthew 24:3, “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus gave a lengthy and specific answer. One of the signs He told the disciples to look for were “wars and rumors of wars.” The rumors of wars is often overlooked in light of the upcoming fact of the wars of Isaiah 17:1, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38-39, and the war at Armageddon in Rev. 16:14, plus other wars that have not been described specifically but will occur as per Rev. 6:4.

The news today is sobering. On one side of the Atlantic, we read that The “Special Relationship” between US and UK is over, MP’s say. Also on that side of the Atlantic, we read that even as tanks roll into Gaza, “Israel will have to end Hamas regime.” On the other side of the world, a South Korean ship was sunk in the Yellow Sea with all hands on board. North Korea is suspected. At home, massive FBI – DHS raids were carried out in three states, militias are the suspected targets, as reported here, and here, and other places. In this report, the raids were against militia groups with Christian ties, specifically with end time orientation and philosophy.

Note that none of the prophesied wars have occurred yet. However, Jesus said in the same breath, ‘wars and rumors of wars.’ Wars are something we can wrap our minds around. There are concrete terms that we associate with wars. ‘Win,’ ‘lose,’ ‘enemy,’ ‘advance’, ‘retreat,’ ‘victory’, ‘defeat.’ We can understand what is required and take action. However, with rumors, there is nothing concrete. Truth could be anything and anything could be a lie. Nothing is certain. Rumors are quicksand. And rumors of wars are the worst kind of rumors because they keep a population on such edge and anxiety. Looking at the news today from east to west, north to south, we never quite can predict where or when the next blow will come. That is the nature of rumors.

Gary Alan Fine is a premier academic who has made a career of studying the social impact of rumor and legend. In his book “Rumor Mills,” Fine says that a rumor’s “major ideological function is to bridge over the cognitive gaps tearing the tissue of normative beliefs and standards.” In other words, as belief systems are shaken, people knit the few facts available into tales that satisfy the gaps in their understanding, an understanding that is being shaken ever more vigorously, and as it is shaken more vigorously, the tales increase to cover the gaps. The end time is certainly a time when belief systems are being shaken. People who believed whole-heartedly in the concepts of money, tenure, career, home, capitalism,  retirement, and security are concepts that no longer have the same meaning as they did even two years ago.

Rumors put you on edge. The search for truth often proves fruitless. Anxiety grows. Rumors draw energy away from our culture, life, society. The promote a general unbalancing. This is what rumors do and rumors of war are the worst. However, Jesus, being perfect, and intentional with every word He speaks, said in the same sentence as the promise of wars and rumors of wars, “but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Mt 24:6 NIV)

Jesus knows the effect that a time of prolonged rumor has upon a psyche, and He admonishes us not to be afraid! Do not be a slave to fears. There is nothing more tarnishing to a Christian testimony than a life of hand-wringing. Nothing is more detrimental to the Light of the Holy Spirit inside us than giving in to the fear that rumors of war brings.

UK and US may go their separate ways. North Korea may have sunk a South Korean ship. Israel may occupy Gaza. FBI may have busted up American militia groups. These are all potentialities. Look past the rumors of what MAY happen, to the certainty of what will happen. The Lord will come rapture us away. The Holy Spirit will draw multitudes to salvation during the Tribulation. God will re-create the earth. Of all people, Christians should exhibit the peace that passes all understanding. Others may fear and cry. Others may let rumors permeate their soul and dim their light. This time, above all times, should be the time when we heed the Lord’s admonishment and fear not! We can look past the time of uncertainty toward the time of certainty – when Jesus rules. We have the blessed Hope. Be bright with hope for others who are in the dark. Rumors come and go. They float up into a nation’s consciousness, and they they dissolve just as ephemerally. Jesus is solid. He never fades. And that’s a fact!