With a July 20 deadline looming to reach an agreement on the Iranian nuclear enrichment program, high-ranking officials from the US, the UK, Russia, China, Germany and Iran have gathered in Vienna, Austria to seek a solution. For years, Iran has insisted their nuclear ambitions are only for peaceful purposes, yet they have consistently refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to inspect facilities. Furthermore, Iran is controlled by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who routinely speaks of the destruction of Israel and the US (“little Satan” and “great Satan,” respectively). He is driven by a theology that suggests Allah has called him specifically to bring about chaos and the return of the Mahdi (Twelfth Imam). It is impossible to negotiate with a country whose leadership believes it is their duty to destroy infidels, and whose holy book seems to allow lying and deceit when it serves that ambition!
Another reality is that Iran supplies the majority of weapons and ammunition to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the terrorist organization serves as a willing proxy for Iran and their interests in the region. Thus, Iran has set up the perfect scenario: draw the world’s attention to the action in Gaza, divide the focus of those engaged in nuclear talks, and hope for either a favorable agreement or a delay, which is as good as a win for Iran (allowing them to continue their nuclear program without suffering further consequences).
Keep your eyes on the Iranian nuclear negotiations. A key player is Russia, Iran’s partner in development and building of Iranian nuclear facilities. With the lack of leadership in the US, Russia has assumed a much greater global leadership position, and may have enough “pull” to eventually further Iran’s ambition of nuclear weapons. It is certainly too early to tell, but Vladimir Putin certainly exhibits some characteristics of Gog, the leader of the Northern Coalition prophesied in Ezekiel 38 to invade Israel in the last days. And Russia’s key partner in that invasion is Iran!
Meanwhile, Israel’s back is pushed against the wall. Though Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip continue to rain rockets on Israel, a ground assault by Israel into Gaza to arrest terrorist commandos and destroy facilities is sure to be met with international condemnation. The challenges are enormous and the weight carried by Israeli leaders is heavy. They realize that the world is leaving them to stand alone, yet they are determined to protect their people.
In light of that, according to one Israeli journalist, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken more clearly than ever about Palestinian sovereignty, the American approach to Israeli security, and his thoughts about the issues in the Middle East. As Israel becomes more and more isolated, Netanyahu becomes more and more adamant in his determination to defend his homeland. I encourage you to read Netanyahu Finally Speaks His Mind for more insight.
Believers, the Bible tells us that no one knows the day or the hour that Jesus comes to rapture His people, but Jesus taught His disciples how to recognize the season! Friends, for the first time in history we are seeing all the signs of Matthew 24 and Luke 21 happen before our very eyes! The season is upon us, and we must be ready as a bride awaits the bridegroom! (Matthew 25:1-13)