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!

The Hook in the Jaw Continues to be Set as Oil Prices Continue to Drop

Based on what we see in the world today, it appears more and more likely that oil and gas may well be the hook in the jaw described by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38:4), and action in the Middle East will indeed be expected.  A careful read of that chapter tells us that Russia, in a quest to plunder and take spoil, will lead a coalition of nations in an invasion from the north.  Until recently, Israel had nothing in which to plunder.  Now, however, they possess some of the largest oil and gas fields in the world.

Historically, Russia has been a major supplier of oil to Europe and other places, but now Israel is encroaching on that gig as well.  Just days ago, Israel, Italy, Cyprus and Greece signed an agreement to develop a pipeline that will connect those parts of Europe to Israel’s oil supply.  In other words, at least parts of Europe plan to buy gas from Israel in the near future. 

Meanwhile, once oil-rich Iran is struggling mightily as oil prices plummet, their economy continues to tank under US sanctions, and riots are becoming commonplace in the streets of Iranian cities.  Motivation for an invasion of Israel is ramping up in their schemes as well.

Not to be outdone in the “woe-is-me” category, Turkey’s economy is spiraling downward as well, while President Erdogan flounders in attempts to figure out how to revive the old Ottoman Empire so that he would be declared the sultan.  

Thus, the primary triumvirate (Russia, Iran and Turkey) of Ezekiel 38 invaders seems to be definitely drawn by the motivation to advance on Israel.  We don’t know when, but each day seems to ripen the situation, bringing it closer and closer to fruition.

As believers, we have the assurance of knowing how it all ends!  Again, a careful read of Ezekiel 38 makes it clear that God Himself will take care of business on Israel’s behalf, so we need not be afraid of what is to come.  Moreover, the New Testament promises us that we will be spared from the wrath that is to come (1 Thessalonians 1).  So, rest in the peace of knowing God’s divine protection, but act in the reality of knowing we have work to do while still on this planet! 

What is God’s intention for you today?  Whatever it is, do it!

Rockets Rain Down on Israel

Image result for gaza november 2018

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!