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!

Iran Sanctions…and Christians Visit UAE and Saudi Arabia

On a day filled with news about the latest phase of sanctions reimposed on Iran, the more encouraging news is out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, on August 7, President Trump signed an Executive Order, vowing to reimpose sanctions on Iran.  (State Department report, including the actual Executive Order can be found here.)  The first phase occurred at that point, with the second round hitting Iran with economic force today.

Around the same time Trump was signing that document, a group of Evangelical Christians were making plans to visit the UAE, to discuss issues critical to peace in the region, freedom of worship for Christians, and understanding the needs of Sunni Arab citizens in the region.

The group of about a dozen evangelicals, led by Joel Rosenberg, made history last week when the Crown Princes of both the UAE and Saudi Arabia welcomed the entourage to their respective palaces.  From all accounts the visits accomplished everything hoped for…and more!

Perhaps most amazing was both nations were willing to “go public” with the events, even amidst the extreme displeasure of the Iranian regime, who severely criticized and rebuked the leadership of both nations.  (Read Joel Rosenberg’s report, along with links to international reports, here.)

Friends, there is a new thing happening in the Middle East.  A new day has dawned, and though I would not say Arab countries are yet our greatest ally, the stage continues to be set for a major confrontation known as the War of Gog and Magog.  Bible students, study carefully and you will find that Israel will not be attacked by the likes of Egypt, Saudi Arabia or any other Gulf Coast state, but rather by a coalition led by Russia and joined by Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Libya.

Indeed, the pieces on the chessboard are taking their rightful place and the Chess Master…our Lord Jesus Christ…is about to checkmate Israel’s enemies!  Though God certainly doesn’t need media outlets to prove His Word is true, He is using even Arab media to confirm what He said through the prophets long ago!

Pray for our Christian leaders to lead us in righteousness, and pray for the eyes of Arab leaders to be open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  After all, it is not about who’s side you take in earthly matters, but in who’s side you take in heavenly matters.  Our Captain of Heavens Armies calls us to His side!

PS: If you are a US citizen, please vote tomorrow!  We are in a battle to protect religious freedom and other Biblical values.  Let’s all follow our Captain in that regard as well!

Syrian Borders with Israel and Jordan Open Again After 4 Years

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Israeli and UN soldiers at the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria

For the first time in 4 years, the border crossings between Syria and Israel (Quneitra crossing), and Syria and Jordan (Nasir crossing), are open.  Both are used primarily by UN peacekeeping forces.

Until earlier this year, that region of Syria was controlled by the Assad regime as he pushed rebels all the way to the border.  Russia intervened and is now patrolling the area.  The border openings, however, are being touted as “victories” by the Assad regime, and Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem claimed on Monday “We are now reaping the fruits of the beginnings of victory.”

Meanwhile, from a Biblical perspective, one has to wonder if opening the gates with Russian forces patrolling the border plays into the prophetic future Ezekiel 38-39 describes as the War of Gog and Magog…an invasion of Israel from the north, led by Russia.  Practically speaking, though open, the border will still be guarded.  However, the more permissive Israel and the UN are toward Russia’s presence on an open border, the easier it will be for the Russian leader to storm in from the north just as Scripture says he will!

Certainly, the Lord could change the circumstances and delay the onset of the northern invasion.  However, short of that, one more prop has appeared on the stage of end time events.

Look up, my friends!  Our redemption draws near!

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

Update from the Syrian Border: Russia is Now Controlling the Border with Israel

Hi friends!  Early this morning (Phoenix time), Amir Tsarfati shared a live update from the Syrian border and it was absolutely fascinating in light of Bible prophecy.  If you missed it, I highly encourage you to watch it.  As stated many times, the stage is being set for an invasion from the north (per Ezekiel 38-39), and it has never been more imminent than now!

Check it out!