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!

Signs of the Times: Russia Sets Sights on Libya and Sudan

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These days, lots of talk swirls about the stage being set for the Ezekiel 38 prophecy of a northern invasion of Israel by a coalition led by Russia. A careful study of Ezekiel 38:1-6 identifies the ancient names of people groups who will fall under the command of Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (modern-day Russian territories). Among those submitting to Gog’s command are:

  • Persia (modern-day Iran)
  • Gomer and Beth-Togarmah (modern-day Turkey and perhaps neighboring areas)
  • Ethiopia, also called Cush (modern-day Sudan and perhaps Ethiopia)
  • Put (modern-day Libya and perhaps Algeria)

Much has been made of the growing alliance between Russia, Iran and Turkey. In fact, leaders of those three countries have met at least 3 times in the past several months, and are planning another meeting together in Russia within the next few weeks. In the context of Ezekiel 38, most Bible believers agree the stage is being set for the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy.

But what about Ethiopia (Cush) and Put, the other two regions Ezekiel envisioned in the northern invasion? Some have argued the stage is NOT set for the Ezekiel 38 prophecy because those players are not yet in the game. But aren’t they? Check out these headlines (and read an article or two) and you will find that Libya and Sudan are very much in the game!

Indeed, the Gog-like Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is positioning Russia as a key player in Libya. With a weak Russian economy, it is believed Putin is angling for billions in reconstruction contracts, a share of North Africa’s abundant oil reserves and a naval base on the Mediterranean Sea.

There is most certainly Russian activity in Libya, Algeria and Sudan. Thus, arguments that the entire coalition is yet to take shape are becoming less and less accurate as Russia works for their own best interests in both Libya and Sudan.

More evidence that we are living in the last days. With Russia, Turkey and Iran literally on Israel’s border, and with increasing cooperation with Libya and Sudan, the coalition is intact. Given that, how long before the northern invaders come to capture spoil and take plunder in the land of Israel? (Ezekiel 38:12)

Days are short. Are you ready for the Lord’s return?

Israel: Living Prophecy

We talk about Bible prophecy all the time, particularly the seemingly at-our-doorstep prophecies of Isaiah 17:1 (fall of Damascus) and Ezekiel 38 (War of Gog and Magog). But did you know Israel is living out Bible prophecy every single day, right before our eyes?

It’s true! Since Israel’s rebirth in 1948, Bible prophecy has played out daily. Let’s take a look at how that has happened:

Dear friends, the prophets of past millennia clearly reported events that we see happening in the world today. Isn’t that incredible! Because of that, we can know the Bible is credible, relevant and 100% accurate.

In 2019 (and beyond!), I pray you will stand firm on God’s Word. Prophecy validates it and you can trust it!

Blessings, friends!

PS: If you haven’t heard, the Proximity: Awaiting His Return Conference is happening today in Southern California. (Featuring Amir Tsarfati, Pastor Jack Hibbs, Pastor Barry Stagner and Jan Markell) See yesterday’s post for more info.

The Bible: More Relevant than Yesterday’s News!

AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici
Iranian President Rouhani, Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Putin during an April, 2018 press conference (Photo credit: AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

An actual headline just yesterday: Russia, Turkey Agree to Coordinate on Syria after US Pullout.

This development needs no commentary. Just read the article linked above, then read Ezekiel 38 and decide for yourself! Surely, the Bible is more relevant than yesterday’s news!

FYI…Ancient names listed in verses 1-6 of Ezekiel 38 specifically include modern-day Russia, Turkey and Iran (as well as Libya and Sudan who have their own prophetic developments). Never in the history of the world has end time Bible prophecy been so apparent!

Are you rapture ready?