What’s the Latest in the Middle East? (Part 1)

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Current headlines seem to confirm day-by-day what the prophets of old predicted over 2,500 years ago. As those prophetic signs continue to flash like neon in today’s dark world, it becomes more and more difficult to deny the soon return of our Lord Jesus. We’ll discover why as we view some current events through the lens of Scripture.

Let’s start with the latest activity in and around Syria.  As you know, Israel rarely confirms or denies its military operations, yet in a very rare admission, Israeli officials recently confirmed hundreds of attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, including a heavy strike on weapons storehouses near the Damascus airport last Friday.  Over months of satellite surveillance and “on the ground” intel, the IDF observed daily flights from Tehran to Damascus.  Though the planes often appeared to be commercial jetliners, they were actually carrying arms from Iran.  In typical Israeli style, Iranian troops were allowed to fully fill weapon storehouses before the IDF took care of business!  One strike, lots of collateral!

Such was last Friday’s attack on military targets near the Damascus airport.  Initial reports from the Syrian government media were that Israeli missiles were all shot down.  Yet, here are before-and-after satellite images of one of the primary targets:

Furthermore, out of embarrassment, the Syrian media reported that civilian aircraft, not Iranian transport aircraft, were hit.  But the damage is clear.  It is believed key military personnel fighting for Iran also lost their lives in the strike.

Despite genocide and use of chemical weapons by its own leaders, Syria immediately filed complaints with the UN Security Council, claiming Israel is getting away with attacks.

Meanwhile, a war of words took place between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Donald Trump.  Erdogan’s desire to annihilate the Kurds in Syria is obvious and President Trump vowed to impose harsh economic sanctions on Turkey if they attack the Kurds.  Because Turkey’s economy is already tanking, Erdogan was forced to back down.  Discussions are now underway to create a security zone in Syria.

In other news, Israel announced they will soon wrap up Operation Northern Shield, the initiative to find and destroy Hezbollah terror tunnels from Lebanon into Israel.  The IDF located a sixth tunnel last week and believe it is the last Hezbollah attack tunnel dug into Israeli territory.  Early on in the operation, Hezbollah denied the existence of tunnels from Lebanon to Israel.  However, when the IDF pumped cement through the tunnels, it flowed out inside Lebanon!

Additionally, a power struggle is ensuing within the ranks of Hezbollah.  The tunnel scheme has not only been embarrassingly uncovered, but totally destroyed. It is also believed the key Hezbollah leader is hospitalized due to a severe illness.

Funded by Iran, the tunnels were meant to be a means of infiltration, kidnapping and massacre of innocent Israeli citizens.  Despite being in violation of international law, Hezbollah has been met with virtually no resistance beyond Israel.

So much more is happening in the Middle East, so we’ll examine more headlines tomorrow.  However, let’s get to the point of all this.  God revealed future events to Old Testament prophets who recorded their visions of what would take place in end times.  Today, we are watching 2,500-year old prophecies play out right before our very eyes.  For example, the prophet Isaiah predicted the fall of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), and based on the current state of things in Syria, we wonder how much longer Damascus can stand. 

God gave Ezekiel a vision of a great invasion of Israel from the north.  A coalition, led by Russia, and including Iran and Turkey, will form in order to fulfill the prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog.  Ezekiel 38 describes it, and we are seeing it

What is one to do? 

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

~Luke 21:28

Look up, my friends, look up!  Our redemption draws near!

See you tomorrow!

Developing: President Trump in the Middle East, Additional Israeli Airstrikes in Syria

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President and Mrs Trump visit American troops in Iraq

In the midst of Christmas week, action continues in the Middle East. Not only did Israel launch additional airstrikes on Iranian positions in Syria, President and Mrs Trump made a surprise visit to troops in Iraq.

Overnight Israeli strikes targeted advanced GPS-guided missile shipments from Iran, as well as senior Hezbollah members en route to Iran. Known shipments of advanced weaponry have been transported to Syria from Iran via a Fars Air Qeshm Boeing 747.

Israel has vowed not to allow Iranian advanced weapons to reach the hands of Hezbollah. Thus, several precise Israeli air strikes have been launched over the past few days.

Keep your eyes on Damascus. Isaiah 17:1 prophesies her total destruction, and many Bible scholars believe that could clear the way for a northern invasion by the Gog and Magog coalition (Ezekiel 38-39). Our time is short.

Meanwhile, while Israel was taking care of business in Syria, Air Force One was delivering our First Family to Iraq. In an unannounced visit to American troops, the President and Mrs Trump spent 3 hours visiting soldiers in Iraq. They are currently headed to another undisclosed location to wish America’s best warm Christmas and New Year’s wishes.

Pray for our President as he travels, and as he attempts to lead our nation in the midst of very difficult circumstances. Pray, also, for all Senators, Congressmen, agencies, the Supreme Court and all who govern us. Our country needs prayer more than ever.

Pray, also, for wisdom for the Israeli military leadership as they deal with very real threats to Israel’s safety and sovereignty. Likewise, pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet as they now prepare for elections in April. May the Lord appoint those “for such a time as this.”

Blessings, my friends!

PS: We’re in the middle of a short series on the power of Jesus’ presence. If you missed this morning’s post, check it out. Then, stick with us the next couple days!

Israel Air Force Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria

Israel has taken action once again on Iranian military sites in Syria.  Targets at al-Kiswah (south of Damascus) were hit overnight on Thursday, taking out weapon storage warehouses and a base.  

According to Syrian media outlet, SANA, the Syrian army fired its air defense weapons, hitting an Israeli aircraft and shooting down several missiles.  However, it is believed all Israeli aircraft returned safely home and most, if not all, targets were destroyed.  Officials will examine satellite surveillance to confirm.

As things shake again in the Middle East, be reminded that things are happening exactly according to Bible prophecy.  We are watching it happen right before our very eyes, and we can be sure that we are living in the last days.  Are you ready for the coming of our Bridegroom?  Let’s be found ready and prepared, as a bride awaiting the Bridegroom!  Be steadfast, my Christian friends!

Rockets Rain Down on Israel

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IDF airstrike inside Gaza (Times of Israel photo)

Since Sunday night’s IDF special ops raid into the Gaza Strip, activity has ramped up in and around Gaza.  A top Hamas commander and several other terrorists were killed as a result of that mission, though it came at a cost.  Israeli sources have now confirmed that an IDF special ops officer was killed in that mission into the Strip on Sunday night, and another soldier was wounded.

Since then, Hamas has rained down at least 300 rockets on Israeli cities (perhaps the largest one day total ever), and the IDF has targeted over 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites (backed by Iran) in the Gaza Strip.  Air raid sirens have gone off almost continually in cities throughout southern Israel and the Gaza Envelope (areas surrounding the Gaza Strip).  You will find a timeline and several videos here.

Meanwhile, other interesting things relative to the region are happening elsewhere.  During an official state visit to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  It was the first meeting between Netanyahu and Putin since the Russian-made S-200 missile system (operated by Syrians, in Syria) shot down a Russian plane.  Israel was ultimately blamed for the incident.   Though no details of the meetings were reported, it is probable that Iranian influence in Syria and the region (including their backing of Hamas in Gaza) was a focal point in those conversations.

It is currently in the best interest of both Russia and Israel to cooperate at least to some degree militarily, in terms of not getting in each other’s way.  However, as we see events around the world, particularly in the Middle East, confirm Bible prophecy day-after-day, we know the stage is being set for end time events.  We see evidence suggesting the imminent destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), setting of the stage for the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39), and the rise of the Antichrist out of Europe (Daniel 2, 7).

In fact, one cannot help but think the spirit of lawlessness, described in 2 Thessalonians 2, is already at work.  As I look at what’s happening in our world…and even America and evil things for which so many stand…I am reminded that our time is short.  What we see are signs of the tribulation,yet our rapture occurs before that terrible time of hell on earth.

As we see these things, we must be alert,  be about our Father’s business (as Jesus was in Luke 2:41-51), be watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33:1-6, Isaiah 62:6-7), sound the alarm (Joel 2:1, Jeremiah 4:5-6), and be ambassadors of Christ while still on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:20).

How are we doing?

PS: For a timely commentary on why Gaza is such a problem, check back later today.  Blessings!