Archive for the ‘Eschatology’ Category

from The Jewish Press:

Tuesday’s meeting in St. Petersburg between the two former feuding foes Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan “drew considerable attention,” government-run news agency TASS reported, noting that the Russian-Turkish rapprochement is coming while Russia has been expanding its relations with Iran and Ankara and Tehran have also been bridging the gaps between them, born by almost four decades of a volatile Islamic Republic on Turkey’s border. In fact, right after the failed coup last month, Erdogan announced, “We are determined to cooperate with Iran and Russia to address regional problems side by side and to step up our efforts considerably to restore peace and stability to the region.”

Should Israel be concerned? Apparently, the Russian news organ is eager to spread a message of calm regarding the new developments in the northern part of the region. And so an unsigned article this week polled experts who were skeptical regarding a developing strategic triangle of those three powers. According to the TASS experts, the most that will come out of the current statements are tactical political interaction and an upturn in economic cooperation. But even if it were true, and Russia, Turkey and Iran were to forge a strategic alliance, TASS continues its calming message, it would be for the best, because “these three countries can play a positive role, for instance, in overcoming the Syrian crisis.”

It isn’t clear who is panicking more at the moment—Jerusalem or Washington—over the possibility that Turkey, a NATO member, would switch sides and coalesce with Russia and Iran. Clearly, the US has a whole lot more to lose from such an emerging outcome. US Middle East policy traditionally relied on the “three-legged stool” comprised of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. As long as those three major local powers were in the Western camp, Soviet manipulations elsewhere could be mitigated. When Iran was lost under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, the US attempted for the longest time to substitute Iraq for the missing stool leg, but the Iraqi regime never provided the stability the US enjoyed with the Shah. This is why the US is so determined to keep Turkey in the Western camp, because without a Western-allied Turkey, the US presence in the region would be severely downgraded.

Hence the need for the TASS calming story. It interviewed senior research fellow Vladimir Sazhin, of the Oriental Studies Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences, who reassured the Western readers “there will be no trilateral union, of course. It should be ruled out for many reasons. At best one can expect some tactical alliance. This is so because Iran, Turkey and Russia have certain problems in their relations with the West and with the United States.” That’s code for Turkey would be punished severely, economically and otherwise, if it ever jumped ship.

Sazhin continued, “If one takes a look at the economic interests they share, it should be remembered that Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan … are countries that produce and export hydrocarbons. They have a great deal to discuss in view of the current strained situation on the world market. As for Turkey, its role in delivering hydrocarbons to the West may be significant. But I don’t think that this triangle will be of strategic importance.”

Sazhin sees no fundamentally new geopolitical aspects in sight. “It’s about getting back to where we had been all the time. Arabs constitute an overwhelming majority of the population in the Middle East. Non-Arab countries are few – Israel, Turkey and Iran. They had very close relations up to [the emergence of] the Islamic revolution in Iran.”

“In Iran, with its 80-million population, Turks and Azerbaijanis, who are ethnically very close to Turkey, constitute an estimated 18 to 25 million,” Sazhin said. “Bilateral relations existed not only at the Tehran-Ankara level. There were very strong people-to-people bonds. Plus the long-standing economic ties. But in politics post-revolution Iran and NATO member Turkey have drifted apart, of course.”

Research fellow Irina Zvyagelskaya, of the Arab and Islamic Research Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Oriental Studies Institute told TASS, “I don’t believe in the emergence of new political triangles. I don’t think some strategic changes will follow overnight to bring about changes to the configuration of alliances. A number of steps we’ve seen our friends and partners and those we are not on very friendly terms with us take are tactical. They stem from the current situation.”

Zvyagelskaya believes that to a large extent this is true of Turkey. “It is to be remembered that Erdogan’s wish to have closer relations is a result of certain internal political events, on the one hand, and soaring tensions in his country’s relations with the United States and the European Union, on the other. These steps by Erdogan are purely pragmatic and we should treat them accordingly. As far as I understand, nobody has any illusions on that score.”

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Meanwhile in the U.S. Joel Osteen keeps “preaching” on how Christians can have their BEST Life now!

from The Gatestone Institute:

Throughout September, as more Christians were slaughtered and persecuted for their religion — not just by the Islamic State but by “everyday” Muslims from all around the world — increasing numbers of people and organizations called for action. Meanwhile, those best placed to respond — chief among them U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis — did nothing.

“Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference.

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

As one report put it: “Human rights activists see it. Foreign leaders see it. And more than 80 members of the U.S. Congress see it. Together, they are pressuring the leader of the free world [President Obama] to declare there is a Christian genocide going on in the Middle East.”

In response, the White House said it was preparing to release a statement accusing the Islamic State of committing genocide against religious minorities, naming and recognizing various groups, such as the Yazidis, as victims. However, Christians are apparently not going to be included as victims, as Obama officials argue that Christians “do not appear to meet the high bar set out in the genocide treaty.”

Meanwhile, Father Behnam Benoka, an Iraqi priest, explained in a detailed letter to Pope Francis the horrors Mideast Christians are experiencing. To his joy, the pope called the Middle Eastern priest and told him that “I will never leave you.” As Benoka put it, “He called me. He told me certainly, sure I am with you, I will don’t forget you… I will make all possible to help you.”

However, later in September, when Pope Francis stood before the world at the United Nations, his energy was, once again, spent on defending the environment. In his entire speech, which lasted nearly 50 minutes, only once did Francis make reference to persecuted Christians — and even then they did not receive special attention but, in the same breath, their sufferings were merged in the same sentence with the supposedly equal sufferings of “members of the majority religion,” that is, Sunni Muslims (the only group not to be attacked by the Islamic State, a Sunni organization):

I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement.

Yet, as the following roundup from September shows, “members of the majority religion” –Sunnis — are not being slaughtered, beheaded, and raped for their faith; are not having their mosques bombed and burned; are not being jailed or killed for apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytization.

Savagery and Slaughter

Uganda: Three Muslim men beat and raped a 19-year-old Christian woman. The young student was returning home from St. Mary’s Teachers College in Bukedea when she was ambushed by three masked men. “I tried to scream, but one blocked my mouth and another slapped me as they forcefully dragged me off the footpath,” said the victim. “I heard one of them telling the others that I should be killed because my parents deserted Islam. But another said, ‘But we are not sure whether this girl is a Christian.'” Instead of killing her, they raped and beat her so severely that she is still receiving hospital treatment for her injuries.

United States: Freddy Akoa, a 49-year-old Christian healthcare worker in Portland, Maine, was savagely beaten to death in his own home by three Muslims. Found next to Akoa’s body was his blood-splattered Bible. The slain had cuts and bruises all over his body and a fatal head trauma. Internally, he suffered 22 rib fractures and a lacerated liver. The police affidavit stated that Akoa “had been beaten and kicked in the head, and bashed in the head with a piece of furniture in an assault that continued relentlessly for hours.” Akoa was apparently throwing a party before or during the attack. The three assailants were all Muslim refugees of Somali origin. In recent times, both in America and Europe, several “refugees” have turned out to be Islamic terrorists, some with direct ties to ISIS. (A faction of Al Shabaab, Somalia’s premiere jihadi organization, recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.)

Syria: A Christian from the Qaryatain village in the province of Homs was executed by the Islamic State for refusing to obey the dhimmi [second-class, “tolerated”] conditions imposed on Christian villagers. ISIS also killed a Christian priest, chopped his body into pieces, and sent the pieces back to his family in a box. Earlier ISIS had kidnapped the priest and demanded a ransom of $120,000 from his family, which finally managed to raise the ransom money after two months. But after paying it, ISIS reneged on their word and brutally killed the Catholic priest anyway.

Pakistan: The Muslim family of a woman who converted to Christianity and married a Christianmurdered her husband and wounded the young woman. Aleem Masih, 28, married Nadia, 23, last year after she put her faith in Christ. The couple then fled their village as the woman’s family sought “to avenge the shame their daughter had brought upon them by recanting Islam and marrying a Christian,” said a lawyer involved in the case. Eventually Nadia’s father, Muhammad Din Meo, and his henchmen managed to abduct the couple and took them to a nearby farm. “The Muslim men first brutally tortured the couple with fists and kicks and then thrice shot Aleem Masih — one bullet hit him in his ankle, the second in the ribs while the third targeted his face,” the attorney said. “Nadia was shot in the abdomen.” The Muslim relatives left believing they had killed the couple. “The attackers returned to their village and publicly proclaimed that they had avenged their humiliation and restored the pride of the Muslims by killing the couple in cold blood.” Police, however, found Nadia still breathing when they arrived at the farm. “She was shifted to the General Hospital in Lahore, where she is fighting for her life after a major operation in which two bullets were removed from her abdomen.” A large number of Muslims were gathered at the hospital when the critically wounded woman arrived. “The mob, some of them armed with weapons, was shouting furious anti-Christian slogans…. They were also praising Azhar for restoring the pride of the Muslim Ummah [community] and saying that he had earned his place in paradise for killing an infidel.”

Philippines: Islamic terrorists from the jihadi group Abu Sayyaf were suspected in the bombingof a passenger bus in the predominantly Christian city of Zamboanga on September 18 that killed a 14-year-old girl and wounded 33 others. Intelligence sources had warned that Abu Sayyaf would be targeting cities and communities with heavy Christian populations. Only 20% of Zamboanga is Muslim, and the rest almost entirely Christian (mostly Catholic).

Egypt: The mother of a Coptic priest was robbed and killed in Fekria city in Minya.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

United States: On Sunday, September 13, 40-year-old Rasheed Abdul Aziz was arrested forthreatening the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard, Texas. The Muslim-American had a gun and was dressed for combat — complete with camouflage helmet, camouflage pants, tactical vest and boots — when he entered the church around 1 p.m. According to Pastor John Johnson, Aziz said that Allah had told him to “slay infidels” and that “people are going to die today.” The pastor added, “I believe that his intent was when he came to our church was to actually kill somebody.”

Tanzania: During the course of one week, six Christian churches were burned down. On September 23, three churches were set ablaze: The Living Waters International Church, Buyekera Pentecostal Assemblies of God, and Evangelical Assemblies of God Tanzania Church. Three days later, on September 26, another three churches were also set ablaze: The Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kitundu Roman Catholic Church, and Katoro Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church. According to a local source, “The people woke up on 27th Sep to find their sanctuaries burnt down… The scenarios are the same; unknown people broke in, piled things onto the altar, poured petrol over it and set it alight. They fled before anyone could respond and so remain unknown.” The east African nation is mostly comprised of Christians and Muslims, though the ratio is disputed.

Bethlehem: Muslims set fire to the St. Charbel Monastery. Sobhy Makhoul, the chancellor of the Maronite Patriarchate in Jerusalem, said, “It was an act of arson, not a fire caused by an electrical problem [as local authorities had claimed], an act of sectarian vandalism by radical Muslims.” The fire caused no casualties or injuries — fortunately the building was unoccupied and under renovation — but the damage is evident, and the local Christian community evidently feared further violence. The Maronite leader added that, “The attack is… anti-Christian, like many other incidents across the Middle East. Extremist groups operate in the area, including some Hamas cells.”

Iraq: A report that discusses how one Christian is slaughtered every five minutes in Iraq, adds that, “Islamic State Militants in Iraq are using Christian churches as torture chambers where they force Christians to either convert to Islam or die.”

Syria: Within days of capturing the city of Qaryatain, the Islamic State destroyed an ancient Catholic monastery and threw away the remains of a revered saint. The Sunni terror group then gave an ultimatum to the Christians in Qaryatain to either pay jizya (extortion money), convert to Islam, or leave.

Yemen: A day after a Catholic church in Aden was vandalized, another group of unidentified assailants set the Christian building “in flames,” in the words of a witness. Of the 22 churches that operated in Aden before 1967, when the city was a British colony, only a few remain open, used rarely by foreign workers and African refugees. The now-torched St. Joseph Church was one of those few.

Indonesia: On Sunday, September 27, the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor held its 100th open-air service since 2008, when local Muslims had begun complaining that the church existed. Even though the church was fully registered, the authorities obligingly closed it. In December 2010, the Indonesian Supreme Court ordered the church to be reopened, but the mayor of Bogor refused to comply and kept it sealed off. Since then, the congregation has been holding Sunday services at the homes of members, and occasionally on the street, to the usual jeers and attacks by Muslim mobs.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom
(Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Proselytization)

Uganda: A 36-year-old mother of eight requested prayer after area Muslims forced her to return to Islam, or lose her children and be killed. Although Madina remained Christian after her husband abandoned her a decade ago for her apostasy from Islam, she returned to Islam in September: “The relatives of my husband threatened to kill me and take away the children if I refused to go back to Islam. They said, ‘We are not going to lose our children to Christianity. We better kill you and get back the children.’… I have nowhere to go with my children, so I have decided to return to Islam to save the children and myself. I know Issa [Jesus] will remember me one day.”

United Kingdom: A Pakistani man, his wife, and their six children are suffering “an appalling ordeal at the hands of neighbours who regard them as blasphemers.” Their “crime” is converting to Christianity— more than 20 years ago. Despite being “prisoners in their own home after being attacked in the street, having their car windscreens repeatedly smashed and eggs thrown at their windows” the Christian family said that both police and the Anglican church have failed to provide any meaningful support and are “reluctant to treat the problem as a religious hate crime.” Nissar Hussain, the father, said, “Our lives have been sabotaged and this shouldn’t happen in the United Kingdom. We live in a free democratic society and what they are doing to us is abhorrent.”

Turkey: Since August 27, as many as 15 churches received death threats for “denying Allah.” Even so, “Threats are not anything new for the Protestant community who live in this country and want to raise their children here,” said church leaders. As former Muslims, many of the congregation, apostates from Islam, were threatened with beheading. The messages accuse the Christians of having “chosen the path that denies Allah” and “dragged others into believing as you do… As heretics you have increased your number with ignorant followers.” One of the messages depicted the Islamic State flag along with the words: “Perverted infidels, the time that we will strike your necks is soon. May Allah receive the glory and the praise.”

Pakistan: Police arrested a Christian brick kiln worker, Pervaiz Masih, in the Kasur District of Punjab province, after a Muslim business rival falsely accused him of insulting the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Pervaiz, a father of four, including a seven-month-old boy, fled his home after Muhammad Kahlid filed a report, which said that he had made derogatory remarks about Muhammad during a dispute. Police detained four of Pervaiz’s relatives; then officers dragged his wife into the streets and ripped off her clothing as they tried to get information about her husband’s whereabouts. Police also beat local Christians and raided Christian homes for information in Pervaiz’s town. Pervaiz eventually handed himself over to police in order that his relatives be released.

Ethiopia: A group of 15 young Christians were attacked and arrested for engaging in evangelism in eastern Ethiopia. Separately, six Christian leaders were found guilty of inciting public disturbance, destroying public trust in government officials, and spreading hatred. The six men, members of a church administrative committee, had written a letter to their national church leadership on March 11 describing the persecution they endured as Christians living in the Muslim-majority Silte zone. They complained of discrimination in employment opportunities, unfair dismissal from jobs, harsh job performance feedback, burned church buildings, physical attacks and death threats. The letter was leaked to local media and widely disseminated, prompting their arrest and conviction.


Germany: According to a report, “Many Christian refugees from Syria, Iraq or Kurdistan are being intimidated and attacked by Muslim refugees. In several refugee centers set up by the local authorities, Sharia law is being imposed and Christians — which are a minority — are the victims of bullying.” Gottfried Martens, pastor of a south Berlin church, said that “very religious Muslims are spreading the following idea throughout the refugee centers: Sharia law rules wherever we are.” Martens expressed especial concern for Muslims who convert to Christianity — apostates who, according to Islamic law, can be killed: “There is a 100% chance that these people will be attacked.”

Lebanon: Christians are being overrun by Muslim refugees from Syria and Iraq, and are in danger of losing their place in their country, said Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil: “What is happening in Lebanon is an attempt to replace the people with [Muslim] Syrians and Palestinians.” Because Lebanon’s Christian population is, and has historically been, a minority, Bassil said their rights are being threatened because “some are attempting to impose Muslims over Christians” (a situation also occurring in the U.S.) In an earlier interview, Bassil said that the Mideast Christian community as a whole has been eroded “in large chunks”: “In Iraq, it happened over 20 years, and we saw that 90 percent of the Christians have left Iraq. In Syria, we don’t have actual numbers because of the chaos. We cannot tell. We know that there has been a lot of internal and external immigration and displacement…. But definitely churches have been destroyed and people have left already.”

United Kingdom: An Iranian, Noureden Mallaky-Soodmand, 41, was supposed to have beendeported to Iran after he was arrested for hurling threats and brandishing knives on the streets of London. However, he was not deported, apparently because the Iranian Embassy was closed. He was, instead, re-housed 250 miles away in Stockton-on-Tees. Earlier, on April 2, holding a curved knife, he had run amok, screaming: “I’m a Muslim and I’ll chop your f***ing head, mother f***ers…. I’m Isis and my people will cut off your balls, Christians…. I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you all. I’m going to chop your head off and f*** you up.”

Egyptian Dhimmitude

Muslim attacks on Christians erupted in two separate villages in Samalout, north of the Minya governorate. One attack apparently took place in “revenge” for the construction of a small church. In one village, five Copts were injured; In another village, Muslims packed into a number of cars attacked a Christian wedding ceremony. Three Copts were injured; throughout the area, young Christian girls were sexually harassed.

Separately, a group of Muslims in the village of al-Oula, near Alexandria, attacked Christian homes and a church on September 20, after police attempted to return land stolen by a Muslim to its rightful Christian owner. When the police arrived to implement the order, they were attacked and fled. “After the security forces fled,” said a church leader, “a large crowd surrounded [the] church and hurled stones at it. Then they attacked four homes owned by Christians.” At least two Christians were seriously injured, one had his spine fractured. “The El Houty family [Muslim family that stole Christian land] used microphones in the local mosque and in nearby villages to call out for the Muslims from everywhere around the village saying that the police have come to take the lands and give it to the Christians.”

A Coptic Christian female student, Mariam, who was discriminated against, made headlines in major Egyptian media and created a scandal. Known as “Student Zero,” she was described by former teachers as a “brilliant student,” planning on becoming a doctor. She had scored 97% in her first two years and was expecting similar results in her final year — only to find that she had failed: her final grade was zero. She insisted on seeing the results for herself but was denied. When the issue made headlines, the results were shown to her. She and others — including handwriting experts — said that the handwriting on the test shown to her was not hers.

Pakistani Dhimmitude

A Christian family was almost burned alive during a “land grab” attempt of their home by Muslims. Because Boota Masih, 38, and his wife and family refused to abandon their home and property to some Muslims, they were violently beaten. The Muslims next sprayed petrol over the house to set fire to it, and locked Boota and his family in a room. The Masihs managed to escape by breaking through a window. Despite the presence of eyewitnesses, the local police were reluctant to register a formal complaint, and instead, according to the lawyers, arrested Masih on spurious charges.

Most degrading jobs continue to be reserved for Christians and other minorities. The latest example comes from the announcement of vacancies from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology Lahore. In the list, all jobs are open to all applicants — except for “sanitary worker” positions, such as toilet cleaners: only non-Muslim applicants are eligible. According to labor lawyers, “this is a form of direct oppression, racism and bigotry against the nation’s religious minorities,” primarily Christians, Hindus, and non-Sunni Muslims.

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians is expanding. “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some — by no means all — of the instances of persecution that surface each month.

It documents what the mainstream media often fails to report.

It posits that such persecution is not random but systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities and locations.

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Everyone in the U.S. have their eyes glued to the tragedy in Oregon. Where it would seem a Muslim convert executed nine Christians! That event is a very loud signal to Christians in the U.S. to WAKE UP! God is telling them, the clock is ticking down and your redemption is drawing near! ARE YOU READY?

Many Christians of today believe that their exit from this world will be via a cushy ride up in the rapture. How many of us are prepared to have our faith tested in the most extreme way imaginable?

I truly believe that God at the moment that those people were asked if they were a Christian, instilled in them a supernatural faith via the Holy Spirit just as the Christians who were thrown to the Lions in the Roman Coliseum! To be a witness and message to Christians today to WAKE UP! PREPARE YOURSELF!

Now on the happenings in the Middle East:

Pieces of a puzzle would seem to be coming together, as the U.S. winds down its role in the Middle East, Russia is expanding it’s role. It was already allied with Iran, and has assisted Iran with not only military weapons and expertise but also assisted Iran in its international political goals as they dovetailed with Russia’s.

Then Russia put military forces in Syria, and now it is getting access to put military forces in Iraq. And China is sending forces to assist Russia in Syria!

Anyone see the picture that is beginning to unfold?:  Israel’s last battle in the Last Days

Many may wonder where the U.S. fits into all of this, if the U.S. may be drawn into a conflict with Russia in the Middle East?

The west may not need to be dealt with Militarily. All international trade in Oil is carried out in U.S. Dollars.During WWII Roosevelt paid a visit to Saudi Arabia, and its first king Ibn Saud. Roosevelt convinced Ibn Saud not to supply Germany and its Axis Allies with oil and instead supply the U.S. and its allies with oil for the war, and in exchange the U.S. would militarily protect Saudi Arabia. And since then the U.S. has been the protector of Middle Eastern Oil producers. This extended to all Middle Eastern oil being traded internationally in U.S. Dollars. This gave the U.S. the position of being the worlds Financial center and allowed the U.S. to print money at will as there was always an international demand for dollars. With the U.S. seeming to exit the Middle East and Russia & possibly China taking over, this could mean the end of the arrangement of Middle Eastern oil being traded in U.S. Dollars. Iran for years has wanted to set up an alterntive international oil exchange in Tehran, and oil traded in a basket of international currencies instead of the dollar.

This has a serious and fundamental impact to the U.S. If the U.S. dollar is no longer used in International trade, it means the U.S. will lose its place as the leader of the global financial system, it would also mean that the U.S. could no longer run huge budget deficits, it means the U.S. government could no longer shovel money into the U.S. Economy to keep it on life support. It would mean an economic contraction in the U.S. like none of us have ever experienced! And the impact to our military would be huge! It would mean that we could no longer afford to field a large military! We would be taken out of the picture in the Middle East!

If you can remember back in History Great Britain was the greatest world power up to WWII. But when WWII began its economy collapsed, as it was heavily indebted and therefore did not have the ability to field a large enough military to defeat Germany, and in stepped the U.S. the rising power, it became the bank to all the countries fighting Germany. If a major war broke out in the Middle East today, The U.S. would be in the same position as Great Britain prior to WWII, we are broke! Who would rescue us?

It is time to awaken from your slumber Christians! God’s Clock is ticking down to midnight, fill your lamps with oil! And be ready for the coming darkness!

From Debka:

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has expanded radically in two directions.DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, Sept. 30. Baghdad has moreover offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has five additional participants: China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah.

The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26 (as DEBKAfile exclusively reported at the time). This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.

Thursday night, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, made this comment on the Syrian crisis at a UN Security Council session in New York: “The world cannot afford to stand by and look on with folded arms, but must also not arbitrarily interfere (in the crisis).”

A no less significant development occurred at about the same time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking to the US PBS NewsHour, said he would welcome a deployment of Russian troops to Iraq to fight ISIS forces in his country too. As an added incentive, he noted that this would also give Moscow the chance to deal with the 2,500 Chechen Muslims whom, he said, are fighting with ISIS in Iraq.

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that Al-Abadi’s words came against the backdrop of two events closely related to Russia’s expanding role in the war arena:

1.  A joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi war room has been working since last week out of the Iraqi Defense Ministry and military staff headquarters in Baghdad to coordinate the passage of Russian and Iranian airlifts to Syria and also Russian air raids. This command center is also organizing the transfer of Iranian and pro-Iranian Shiite forces into Syria.

2.  Baghdad and Moscow have just concluded a deal for the Russian air force to start using the Al Taqaddum Air Base at Habbaniyah, 74 km west of Baghdad, both as a way station for the Russian air corridor to Syria and as a launching-pad for bombing missions against ISIS forces and infrastructure in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

Russia has thus gained a military enclave in Iraq, just as it has in Syria, where it has taken over a base outside Latakia on the western coast of Syria. At the same time, the Habbaniyah air base also serves US forces operating in Iraq, which number an estimated 5,000.

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from Herescope:

Gog against God: An Exposition and Study of Ezekiel 38-39

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

For, lo, thine enemies [O God] make a tumult:
and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
They have taken crafty counsel against thy people [Israel],
and consulted against thy hidden ones.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off
from being a nation;
that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

—Emphasis added, Psalm 83:2-4, KJV.

The planet is in crises—political, military, economical, ecological, societal, spiritual, and more. According to news reports, crises seem to be popping-up all over the planet, especially in the volatile Middle East where, despite multiple attempts of western governments to bring peace to that region, the conflict between Israel, the Palestinian State and militant Islam defies solution. ISIS (Islamic State of Iran and Syria) now wages war to establish an Islamic Caliphate, and Iraq continues its quest, with the approval of western nations, to develop nuclear weaponry. If successful, Iran’s possession of this weaponry will further destabilize that volatile region of the world.[1]

Russia and Iran
With Iran closing in on becoming a nuclear power, the question becomes whether for the sake of national survival Israel will tolerate an enemy nation like Iran possessing a weapon to blast Jerusalem and its environs into extinction. If Israel decides to attack Iran’s developing nuclear installations, there is no telling how interested and surrounding  nations or Islamic terrorist groups will react (i.e., Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, ISIS, etc.). In an attempt to protect its economic interests in that area of the world, will Russia in alliance with Shiite Arab nations it supports, lead an invasion of the Holy Land?

Based upon Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea, his continuing agitation in eastern Ukraine, and the Kremlin’s support of the militant Islamic Shiite Resistance Alliance (i.e., Assad’s Syria, Iran and Hezbollah in Palestine), one observer thinks Russia’s real geo-political agenda is southward and involves establishing its hegemony in the Middle East.[2]With its economy in shambles for reason of western economic sanctions against her, Russia has her eye upon the Middle East’s wealth. To get cash for his strapped economy, Putin recently sold Iran sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles that could make Iran invulnerable to an air attack by Israel or other nations.[3] Despite the U.S. State Department’s lame protest, and B.B. Netanyahu’s warning that the sale “could further undermine the stability of the Middle East,” the deal between Russia and Iran was signed.[4] So as Iran develops a nuclear bomb, it awaits delivery of a defensive weapons system that will make its nuclear development facilities invulnerable to attack by air.

Map of Mideast conflict areas

Crazy Diplomacy
For many years economic sanctions have been levied against Iran by western nations. Though suffering from these sanctions, Iran continued to export and support terrorism in the Middle East. In 2010, Putin withdrew his offer to sell Iran the S-300 missiles. Now five years later, western nations, following the lead of the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry, have brokered a treaty with Iran, an agreement which lifts economic sanctions and pours billions of dollars into Iran’s economy. Because of Iran’s sudden new found wealth, Russia, economic woes outstanding, seized the opportunity to reinitiate the deal with Iran to purchase the sophisticated air-defense missile system by which to defend itself against any air attack Israel might launch. The treaty also allows Iran to obtain nuclear weaponry in the future. And for all this, there’s talk of giving John Kerry a Nobel Peace Prize! Is this not crazy diplomacy? Yet all of this appears to be coming down as the biblical prophets predicted 1000s of years ago.

Millennia ago, ancient Hebrew prophets predicted the geo-political alignment of nations that can be observed today. In the “latter days”Ezekiel saw that to Israel’s north, east and south, perennial enemies would unite to invade the Jewish state, plunder her wealth and attempt to drive her re-gathered people from the land.

The Yom Kippur War, 1973

“A Cup of Trembling”
Since the Balfour Declaration (1917) and the United Nations’ approval of Resolution 181 on 29 November 1947, Israel’s right to exist as a nation has been recognized by most nations in the international community. Yet correspondingly and as reflected in the 1947 UN vote, the Arab world and its allies implacably refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Israeli state. The contest over Israeli sovereignty appears increasingly unsolvable, especially in the aftermath of three major wars (the War for Independence, 1948-1949; the Six-Day War, 1967; and the Yom Kippur War, 1975) and ongoing terrorist bombings, assassinations and attacks inspired by the terrorist organizations like Hamas, whose recent missile attacks (Summer of 2014) provoked Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Militant and radical Islam’s goal (to “wipe Israel off the map”), especially with the potential of ISIS establishing an Islamic Caliphate to Israel’s north and west, seems realistic. What is at stake in this conflict as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, is Israel’s national survival.

In short, Israel’s neighborhood is not friendly and that nation has few, if any, real allies in the world. Yet this is the situation that the prophet Zechariah predicted would develop. “Behold,” the Lord said,“I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about” (Emphasis added, Zechariah 12:2). The current situation surrounding the Holy Land—and let’s not be confused on this point—is of Jehovah’s making! I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling,” He decreed. (Compare Daniel 9:24-27.) Jerusalem and her environs are the epicenter for the fulfillment of biblical prophecy!

Aerial view of the Temple Mount

Ezekiel: the Prescient Prophet
Ezekiel chapters 38-39, detail a grand alliance of nations that “in the last days” will invade Israel. The leader of the invasion will hail “from the remotest parts of the north” (Ezekiel 39:2; 38:15, NASB). Though diverse in many other respects, one objective unites the invading confederation—to control the Middle East by extinguishing the nation thought to be the obstacle to peace and prosperity; the people the Lord calls “My people” and the territory the Lord calls “My land” (i.e., Israel, Ezekiel 36:5; 38:14, 16). If God’s ancient promises remain true in our modern word—and they do—then in their continuing war against God, nations will remain perpetually bent upon destroying the Lord’s people and controlling their land. Their objective: to nullify the promises of God to Israel and shame the name of the Lord. Therefore, as Holy Scripture bears witness, the ultimate contest in the Middle East is between God and the nations who hate Him and His people. In this international contest nothing less than the glory and honor of God are at stake!

The strife in the Middle East is playing out before our very eyes because God, through Ezekiel and other of the Hebrew prophets, decreed it—“desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26). As we look at the relevance of Ezekiel’s description of the invasion of the end, chapters 38-39 of that prophecy should be allowed to speak for themselves without setting preconditions, without allowing interpretive bias or a theological system (i.e., replacement theology which proposes that the church has completely replaced Israel in the plan of God, contra Romans 11:1 ff.) to become a paradigm for interpreting them.

One commentator, perhaps of a “post” or “a” millennial bent of mind, skeptically states that “little sense” emerges “from the chapters as a whole.”[5] Another scholar calls the chapters (Ezekiel 38 and 39), which vividly describe the devastation of the invading armies, “cartoon-strip scenarios.”[6] He compares the account of the invasion’s aftermath—human corpses ravaged by “scavenging birds and animals”—to “some wild cartoon.”[7] I disagree. I think that without imposing ecclesiastical, eschatological or interpretive bias against them, the sense of the chapters ought to speak for itself.

So to understand Ezekiel’s prophecy about the invasion of the end, we will ask the chapters the following questions: First, where will the invasion take place? Second, when, broadly speaking, will the invasion take place? Third, who will invade the Holy Land? Fourth, why will the invaders invade? Fifth, what will happen to the invaders? And sixth, what’s the big deal? We begin with question one.

1. Where will the invasion take place?
In order to understand where the invasion will take place, the importance of one geographical place in the world must be understood. Though “the earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24:1), there is a particular place in our chaotic world where God chose to commence, continue and complete His redemptive plan, a plan which includes the incarnation, death-atonement for sin, burial, resurrection and return of Jesus Christ. In telescopic fashion, we narrow the focus of God’s redemptive plan for earth by centering first on the land and its people.

A Land
God chose Abraham’s descendants and the Holy Land to be the people through whom and the place from where He would initiate bestowal of spiritual blessing upon the world. Like the Normandy Invasion by the Allies on June 6, 1944, the people and the land God chose would serve as a beachhead and conduit for God to launch His redemptive plan for the world. To that effect, God made a covenant with Abraham. It reads:

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country [ancient Babylon, modern Iraq], and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
(Emphases added, Genesis 12:1-3, KJV)

The land the Lord chose for Abraham and his descendants to settle and possess was ancient Canaan known today as Israel and Palestine (Genesis 13:15, 17; 15:7). The Lord decreed that through Abraham’s descendants, through Isaac the son of promise (Genesis 17:16-22; Galatians 4:21-31), and from that location He would historically commence, continue and complete the revelation of Himself to the world. With this intent, the Lord would choose a particular place to dwell with Abraham and Isaac’s descendants. The telescoping narrows….

A Place
After the Exodus and before ancient Israel’s conquest of Canaan, the Lord instructed Israel through the prophet Moses: “But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come” (Emphasis added, Deuteronomy 12:5). What place in the land would the Lord separate unto Himself? It would be a specific mount within the territory belonging to the family of Abraham’s great-great grandson, the grandson of Isaac, and the son of Jacob—Judah.

A City
As many state histories will attest, in the process of choosing a state capital was often politicized and contested. But with the city that would be the capital of ancient Israel there would be no contest for the Lord chose Jerusalem to be the hub of Israel. As the historian recorded the Lord’s statement about His choice: “Since the day that I brought My people from the land of Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel… but I have chosen Jerusalem that My name might be there” (2 Chronicles 6:5). The Lord said also through the Prophet Ezekiel: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center  of the nations, with lands around her’” (Ezekiel 5:5).  The people chose other idolatrous locations like Dan to the north and Bethel to the south, but Jerusalem was the location the Lord chose that His name would be honored there. But God also narrowed His choice to a particular place where He in the city would choose to dwell, a neighborhood so to speak.

A Mount
Ancient pagans believed the gods dwelt in the mountains. So to worship their gods, they built high places on them. But the one Lord separated Himself from such superstitious and idolatrous beliefs by selecting one mount in Israel where He would come to dwell with His people—Mount Zion. The Psalms indicate that of all the tribes of Israel, the Lord“chose the tribe of Judah” (Psalm 78:68); that of all the mountains in the land, “The Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation” (Psalm 132:13). In Judah and on Mount Zion a Temple would be built to honor and worship Yahweh, the one true God. SIDEBAR: To the point of God’s choice, we might note the fraudulent mimicry of Mormonism which relocates Zion to be either Independence, Missouri, or Salt Lake City, Utah, and builds temples (the cult’s high places) all over the world.

A Temple
That His name might be honored, the Lord God allowed Solomon to build a Temple to remind the nation of His choice of and presence with Israel. After the king built the Temple on Mount Zion and after the dedicatory ceremony, prayer and bringing the Ark of the Covenant to it (1 Kings 8:1-66), the “LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice” (Emphasis added, 2 Chronicles 7:12). Though Solomon built it, the Lord confirmed to the king that the Temple he had built would house His glorious presence (1 Kings 8:27).

Israel at the center.
Follow a line straight north on this map.

A Center
Illustrating the telescoping focus upon the place where the Lord chose and will chose again to dwell (i.e., the World, Canaan, Judah, Jerusalem, Mount Zion, and the Temple), there’s an old rabbinical saying which goes like this:

The world is like an eye. The white of the eye is everywhere else. The iris is Israel. The pupil is Jerusalem. But, ah, the gleam in the center of the pupil, that is the Temple Mount—that is Mount Moriah.[8]

For reason of the sovereign God establishing the beachhead for His redemptive work in this geographical place, He informs Gog that he will be invading a land that is “the navel” or “the center” (spiritual, not geographical, ed. comment) of the world (Ezekiel 38:12, KJV, NASB). The Lord had chosen this location and these ethnic people to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6). Through them He would channel His spiritual blessing to the world which involved not only the great salvation events of Jewish history, but also the incarnation, atoning death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This great salvation will be completed when in fulfillment of the messianic promises, the Lord Jesus Christ returns in glory to the Mount of Olives, to reign from Jerusalem thereby establishing His kingdom over the whole earth (See Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:4; Micah 4:1-6.).[9]

God’s Presence: In the Past
In the Temple’s Holy of Holies, on the Ark of the Covenant, beneath the figures of the Cherubim, and evidencing that He was present with the nation, the Lord’s glory came to dwell. At the time of Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, “the cloud filled the house of the Lord… the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10-12). Only after Israel’s wanton idolatry, immorality and apostasy did the Lord ominously withdraw His glorious presence from the Temple, the land, and His people (Ezekiel 8:1-18; 10:4, 18). After that departure, five centuries passed before the Lord’s glory returned, though temporarily, in the person of Jesus Christ (“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:14; See Matthew 17:1-8).

The Western Wall

God’s Presence: In the Present (The Times of the Gentiles)
But until He returns, Jesus predicted that “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”(Luke 21:24). Currently on Mount Zion where for a time Yahweh chose to dwell amidst Israel, reside two Islamic Mosques—the Mosque of Omar at the center of the mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque a short distance to the south.[10] The mosques are a real and symbolic reminder of the judgment Jesus announced, that beginning with the Roman conquest of 70 AD, Jerusalem would remain “trodden down… until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The end of this great interim of Gentile ascendancy will be signaled by Gog’s grand alliance invading Israel and the Lord’s intervention on behalf His threatened people. The end of the era of Gentile domination will commence when Gentile Gog and his allies are defeated and their remains buried in “the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea” (Ezekiel 39:11, KJV; The Valley of the Travelers, ESV).[11] As the divine judgments of the Babylonian Captivity (BC 586) and  Roman invasion (70 AD) signaled the beginning of “the times of the Gentiles,” so the divine judgment of Gog and his Gentile allies will signal the beginning of the end of Gentile ascendancy in the world. From the way the nations are lining up over the Middle East, this could happen at any time. Meanwhile, during this era (“the times of the Gentiles”), God’s worldwide presence will continue to be resident in the true Church. For reason of the Holy Spirit baptizing all believers into union with Christ and each other, the church is the temple of God (See 1 Corinthians 12:13.). As the Apostle Paul asked the Corinthians in the hope of deterring their canal attitudes and self-indulgence, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16; Compare 2 Corinthians 6:16.).

God’s Presence: In the Future
But to vindicate His name on earth for having chosen Abraham’s descendants as His people, Israel as His Land, Jerusalem as His city, and Mt. Zion as His mount, the Lord has ordered that a future Temple will be built to house His glory and honor His name in Israel and among the nations (Ezekiel 40-48). “I will set my glory among the nations,”the Lord announced to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 39:21; Compare 43:2, 4, 5; 44:4.). Then as the Prophet Micah describes,

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
—Micah 4:1-2, KJV (Compare Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 8:3.)

In the last or latter days, the Temple of the Lord will be rebuilt, and after having been profaned by the Anti-Christ “whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth,” the personal glory of the Lord, after a hiatus of two and one-half millennia, will return to dwell there (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Ezekiel 43:5, “Behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.”). By filling the future temple with His glory the Lord’s name will be exonerated in Israel and vindicated before the nations. The way it will be will be the way it should have been.

The current conflict in the Middle East is deeply rooted in the past because there in that place heaven met earth, and there will earth will meet heaven again. The land of Israel and Jerusalem represent “the king” in the international chess game going on for controlling that part of the world, which in the grander picture indicates the long war being fought by unbelieving Gentile nations against the Lord and His Anointed (Psalm 2:1-4). This land the Lord calls “My land” (Isaiah 14:25; Jeremiah 2:7; 16:18; Ezekiel 35:14; 36:5; 38:16*; Joel 1:6; 4:2), and the end time invasion and war will be over the territorial rights to it. In the unfolding of the events of Bible prophecy including Ezekiel 38-39, this land is the ground zero. To whom does the land belong, to God or to Gog?  The current dispute over Israel serves to magnify that the land belongs to God and the people to whom He gave it, something which “the rulers… powers…  forces of this darkness”absolutely defy and oppose (Ephesians 6:12). This then raises the second question.

Israel viewed by satellite

2. When will the invasion take place?
In “the last days”
A marker exists as to when the invasion will take place; that time frame is, “in the latter years [Hebrew, be’achariyth ha’shaneim]… the last days [Hebrew,be’aharit ha’yamim]” (Ezekiel 38:8, 16, KJV). Though sharing some similarities with the New Testament’s designation of “the last days” (i.e., the period of time between Jesus’ incarnation and Second Coming, Hebrews 1:2 and Acts 2:17), Ezekiel’s concept of latter-years/last-days relates distinctly to Israel’s future. Indicating the particular relevance of the last or latter days to Israel, the angel Michael told the prophet Daniel, “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days [Hebrew,be’aharit ha’yamim]” (Emphasis added, Daniel 10:14). So taking our cue from Michael’s statement, we may understand that the invasion will take place at the time when both the national history of Israel and the times of the Gentiles are drawing to a close.

The time of it is future because the Apostle John envisioned the invasion of Gog and Magog as yet future from him (Revelation 20:8).[12]Commentator Peter C. Craigie confirms: “Certainly in New Testament times, the chapters [Ezekiel 38-39] were interpreted in an apocalyptic fashion (see e.g. Rev. 20:8), indicating that it was believed that their substance referred to a still distant future.”[13] Stuart concurs that Gog’s armies “constitute an eschatological army at the end of human history, ready to fight a special battle different from those that have characterized every era in the past.”[14] But there are other features in the text that mark when the invasion will take place.

Aliyah: Jews returning to their homeland

After the Diaspora and Re-gathering of the Jews
The invasion of the end will take place after a Jewish Diaspora (this refers to the God’s judgment upon the Jews by using foreign enemies to drive them from their homeland into locations throughout the world) and then after a re-gathering of the Jews to their homeland, the Holy Land. As the Lord summarized His judgment on Israel to Ezekiel, “I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land” (Ezekiel 39:28). So after His people had been exiled from and re-gathered to His land, the Lord informs Prince Gog that, “After many days you [Gog] will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations… [who] were brought out from the nations”; and that the leader would come “against the people who are gathered from the nations” (Ezekiel 38:8, 12; Compare Ezekiel 39:27-28). So as to the time of the invasion, Charles Feinberg (1909-1995), a converted Jew and Hebrew scholar, commented that if interpreted literally, the chapters (Ezekiel 38-39) tell of “a coming northern confederacy of nations about the Black and Caspian seas with Persia [i.e., Iran, ed.] and North Africa, who will invade the promised land after Israel’s restoration to it.”[15]

Now some readers will ask, “What exile and restoration is Ezekiel prophesying of?” After all, the Jews have experienced more that one restoration to their land in history. It can be deduced that the exile/restoration could not have been that of the Babylonian Captivity because when Ezekiel wrote his prophecy the Jews already were exiles in Babylon (Ezekiel 1:1-3). Neither does the exile/restoration led by Ezra and Nehemiah fit Ezekiel’s prediction for several reasons. First, the invasion would take place near the end of Israel’s national history,“in the last days” (Ezekiel 38:16; Daniel 10:14). Second, from his apocalyptic perspective the Apostle John marks Gog/Magog to be yet future (Revelation 20:8).[16] Though not determinative of the timing, “Rabbinic tradition places Gog after the days of the Messiah.”[17] Andthird, if it is argued that the invasion by the Romans in 70 AD fits the invasion Ezekiel predicted, then it must be asked, “Where was the divine intervention and devastating defeat of the invaders by the Lord as Ezekiel portrays will be the case? (Ezekiel 38:18-22; 39:3-20) In 70 AD and as predicted by Jesus, only invasion of and devastation by the Romans occurred (Matthew 24-25). There was no divine deliverance. As Dr. Harry Rimmer (1890-1952) noted, “While it is the custom for certain schools of interpretation to seek to ascribe all prophecies to some past historical fulfillment, such a technique of over-simplification will not serve here.”[18]

Without divine intervention, the vast majority Jews were exiled from their homeland (marking the beginning of “the times of the Gentiles”) by the Romans in 70 AD. Among the nations most Jews remained for 1,900 years. Then after the Holocaust and World War II, as portrayed in the movie Exodus, they began and continue to immigrate back to Israel. Because of ongoing persecution elsewhere in the world, even more Jews are making their way back the Land. Because of rising persecution in France and other European countries, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is encouraging Jews to return to Israel. So as described by Ezekiel and other prophets (Ezekiel 38:17), Gog’s invasion belongs to a time frame in the modern era after Israel’s exile from (70 AD) and re-gathering to the Promised Land (circa 1948-Present), a national restoration approximate to the end of history as we and the world know it. As noticed by the modern return of the Jews to the Holy Land after their first century dispersion and Russia’s assertiveness in that region, the general time frame for Gog’s invasion of Israel, as predicted by Ezekiel, has been set. We’re on the prophetic clock ticking toward it. Though the general time of Gog’s invasion of Israel is indicated by the prophet (i.e., in the last or latter days of Israel’s history), the precise time of Gog’s invasion is difficult to establish.

Aliyah, circa 2007

Before Jesus’ Parousia and Kingdom
Generally it can be noted that according to the Old Testament prophets, Jesus and the Apostles, God’s historical and prophetic calendar involves two ages in three phases: this present evil age (the time we’re living in), the end of the age or the Day of the Lord (the time this planet seems to be approaching), and age to come (the Kingdom of God). (See Matthew 12:32; 13:39; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.) Together, they predicted the events that would characterize the end of this age—spiritual apostasy, escalating moral corruption, wars, pestilences, natural disasters, Anti-Christ’s coming, the tribulation, the translation of the church, etc. Though evident for centuries, Jesus said that during this present age (i.e.,“the times of the Gentiles”) these crises would like “birth pangs”escalate in both frequency and intensity as time progressed (Matthew 24:8; Luke 21:12-24). Gog’s invasion will be part of the cluster of events announcing “the end of the age” and Jesus’ coming to establish His Messianic Kingdom on earth (Matthew 24:3; Revelation 20:1-10). Gog’s invasion of Israel will in my view, put the world on notice that the end of the age has arrived and God is transitioning this planet to establish His rule. In short, Russia’s invasion is an ominous prelude to the Day of the Lord, the time during which, as Jesus predicted, God will end of “the times of the Gentiles” by judging this earth to prepare it for establishing His Kingdom (Matthew 24:3-31; Revelation 6:1-19:21). This brings us to the next question.

Exhibit A: Arctic political map from an article by Steven Lee Myers in the New York Times,
8/29/15, “U.S. Is Playing Catch-Up With Russia in Scramble for the Arctic.”

3. Who will invade the Holy Land?
His name is “Prince Gog,” and he is the ideological, demagogic and perennial antagonist against Yahweh and His chosen people. So in“latter days” he will instigate a full scale invasion of the Holy Land. Gog will assault “the land” from “the remote parts of the north”; from“the remote parts of the north”; and from “the remotest parts of the north” (Ezekiel 38:6, 15; 39:2). Literally, the word remotest (Hebrew,yarekah) refers “to the backside or farthest part of anything.”[19] With Jerusalem serving as the geographical orientation point, the “center of the world” (Ezekiel 38:12), “The remotest parts, particularly the distant north, are conceived of as those away from God [geographically as well as spiritually, ed.].”[20] Thus, there should be no confusion regarding the direction from which the invasion originates, or doubt about its godless agenda to confiscate the land and obliterate its occupants. So whereas Ezekiel deals earlier in his prophecy with the Lord’s judgment of the nations near the time of the Babylonian Captivity (Ezekiel 25:1-32:32), in these chapters he covers the judgment of nations who became Israel’s enemy after the nations last days restoration. But just who is Gog and his confederates who will invade Holy Land in the last of days?

Gog can mean “mountain.” In ancient times mountains were symbols of power and often believed to be dwelling places of gods. So Gog can be understood as a powerful political and spiritual ruler who according to Genesis, was the second son of Japheth whose descendants (i.e., the Indo-Europeans) settled in the vicinity of and to the north and west of the Black and Caspian Seas (modern day Ukraine and Russia).[21] We know from the text that not only will Prince Gog rule over his namesake Magog, but also over three additional ethnic/national groups who will take part in the invasion: Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:2: 39:1).[22] Also, Gog will be allied with Togarmah (the preface Beth means “house of”) who like Gog hails from the “remote parts of the north” (Ezekiel 38:6—perhaps Siberia); with Gomer from the nearer north (the region of Ukraine); with Ethiopia and Put from the south (the region of Egypt and Africa); and with Persia from the east (the region of Iran and Iraq). (See Ezekiel 38:5-6.) Establishing precise geographical equivalence between ancient nations and modern ones is difficult because of the ancient flux of tribal migrations and national boundaries.[23] Nevertheless, the names are well attested by historians (Josephus, Hesiod). So this is the geographical lineup of the grand alliance of nations that under Gog’s leadership will invade restored Israel in the “latter days.”


Is “Rosh” Russia?
Consistent with the proper names that follow (i.e., Meshech and Tubal), the Hebrew dictionary classifies Rosh (Hebrew, rosh) as a proper name (NASB, ASV, NKJV), and not an adjective (i.e., “chief” prince of Magog, KJV, NIV, NRSV).[24] Thus, Ezekiel presents Gog to be the head of Magog, a confederation of northern states or tribal groups including Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Regardless of the geo-politics involved, a leader named “Prince Gog” or “Gog the Prince” will lead a confederation of armies to invade Israel after Jews from all over the world have been re-gathered to Palestine (Ezekiel 36:24; 37:21; 38:12; 39:27-28). Prince Gog will hail from “the remotest parts of the north” (Ezekiel 39:2) and the invasion will take place in “the last days” (Ezekiel 38:16).

Though the invasion will originate from the territory of Russia, it is unlikely that Rosh means Russia.[25] (See footnote 23.) Also, one expert and popular author’s identification of Gog to be Turkey is too narrowly focused.[26] The exegetical, geographical and historical data in Ezekiel suggests the invasion will involve a grand alliance of nations led by a geo-political leader who will descend upon Israel from “the remotest parts of the north [not near north like Turkey, ed.].” In this regard, Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea (near north form Israel) and recent military excursions in the Arctic (far north from Israel) to establish Russia’s preeminence in those northern regions ought to be noted. As warming temperatures may perhaps make the Arctic region more hospitable and accessible for energy exploration and extraction, Russia has already planted a titanium flag at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean claiming a vast part of the area (about the size of South Africa) for purpose of controlling its “territorial waters, transit routes and especially its natural resources… in a rivalry some already call a new Cold War.”[27] We can note that a nation can get no further north than the north pole!

4. Why will Gog invade?
Though the immediate reason for invasion of Israel is economic (Ezekiel 38:13), the ultimate reason is that Israel and the nations will recognize Yahweh as God! (You or They “will know that I am the Lord.”) In the ancient as in the modern world, the Lord (Yahweh) was/is not well known. So repeatedly (upwards of 80 times) in chapters 6-39 of Ezekiel’s prophecy, the statement, “you” (referring to Israel) or “they” (referring to the Gentile nations) “will know that I am the Lord” (To Israel—Ezekiel 37:13; 39:22, 28; To the Gentiles—Ezekiel 36:23; 37:28; 38:16, 23; 39:7). Throughout the last 4,000 years of human history, both Israel and her Gentile enemy-nations share something in common: They did/do not know the Lord! So the prophecy of Ezekiel is about the nations coming to know the Lord: Israel will come to know the Lord for reason of His protection of them, and the Gentiles will come to know the Lord for reason of His devastation of them.

The Credibility of God and His Word
From among the international community of nations in the ancient world, God chose Israel with whom to have a special relationship (Deuteronomy 7:6). Out of Israel the Lord promised Messiah would come to not only bless Israel, but also the nations (Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 42:1; 49:6). But as evidenced by their continual strategizing against the Lord, His Messiah and Chosen people, the Gentile nations do not want that blessing. The nations have and are continuing to plot together “Against the Lord and His Anointed.” They say, “Let us tear their fetters apart / and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:1-3). The nations and secular Jews also, do not want God’s rule on earth. Further, these same nations who plot against Yahweh’s rule also “make shrewd plans against [the Lord’s] people, and conspire together against[the Lord’s] treasured ones [i.e., Israel] (Psalm 83:3).

The victims of a 1905 pogrom in Yekaterinoslav

As the historical persecutions, pogroms and holocausts directed against the Jewish people attest, the conspiracy is no secret. The continual byline among the nations continues to be, “Come, and let us wipe them [Israel] out as a nation, that the name of Israel [and Israel’s God] be remembered no more” (Psalm 83:4). Gog’s future invasion of Israel must be understood against the backdrop of the nations’ perennial hatred for the Lord and His people.

In this final invasion, nothing less than God’s credibility is at stake; first to Israel regarding the ancient promises He made to that people, and then before the Gentiles who have despised God’s covenanting with Israel and her consequent prominence in world history. To attack God, they go after the people God pledges loyalty to. If unbelieving nations are able to destroy the inheritors of God’s promises in the Bible (e.g., Israel and the Church), then they imagine they will have discredited Lord and shamed His Word. This is the perennial conspiracy of the Gentiles Psalm 2 describes where the Psalmist asks, “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising [imagining, contemplating, ed.] a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1). In modern history, Hitler’s gas chambers, continuing anti-Semitism, militant Islam’s agenda to destroy Israel, and ISIS’ targeting of Jews and Christians for death by beheading gruesomely illustrate the residual hatred in the world for Yahweh.

Among Jewish Apostates
In her apostasy, Israel profaned the Lord’s name when in unbelief the nation forsook worshipping the one true God to pursue “the detestable things” of the occult and the licentious worship at idolatrous “high places” scattered throughout the land Israel (1 Kings 11:4-8). The name of the Lord was not sanctified in Israel and consequently neither among the nations (Ezekiel 36:23). Even in the Temple the Jews abominated the name of the Lord (Ezekiel 8:5-18). It has been pointed out that in the migration of Jews back to their homeland there was “a certain class” of them “who were Jews in name and lineage only. That… were impregnated with higher criticism and in some cases literally atheistic, and they despised Moses and the Law.”[28] So in light of His people’s idolatry, ancient and modern, the Lord has said, “My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore” (Ezekiel 39:7a). And again, “The house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day [the day of Gog’s defeat] onward” (Ezekiel 39:22).

To validate His covenant with Israel, the Lord punished His people by activating enemy nations to invade and occupy the Land—the Assyrians (733 B.C.), Babylonians (599-597, 587-586 B.C.), Greeks (322 B.C.), Romans (B.C. 63-A.D. 70), Muslims (636 A.D.), Crusaders (1097, 1191), Mongols (1260, 1300), Turks (1516) and Britain (1917)—forcing Jews to disperse over the world. All of this caused Israel to become a laughing stock among the nations. As the Lord said to Israel through Ezekiel,“Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you of ill repute, full of turmoil” (Ezekiel 22:5; See Psalm 79:4; 80:6; Daniel 9:16). But God will vindicate Himself and end the mockery. But how will God bring this about?

A map of ISIS influence and control, 9/4/15

Before Gentile Scoffers
He will do so by vindicating Israel’s chosen status in the eyes of the nations by waging a final battle against them sometime “in the latter years” of Israel’s earthly history (Ezekiel 38:8; Daniel 10:14). God will cause the nations under Prince Gog to invade the Land of His people, the Holy Land. “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws,”says the Lord, “and I will bring you out” (Ezekiel 38:4; See 39:2). God will hook Gog in the jaws and steer him and his confederates (i.e., Turkey, Syria, Iran, Libya and Ethiopia) to invade His Land, Israel.

The Lord will do so to magnify Himself in the eyes of the world. Several times in these chapters this purpose the Lord personally addresses the reason for the invasion:

  • It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog. (Ezekiel 38:16)
  • I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 38:23; 39:13)
  • And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.(Ezekiel 39:7b)
  • And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. (Ezekiel 39:21)

Can there be any doubt about God’s purpose of hooking and dragging that confederacy of nations to invade Israel? It’s to magnify Himself and make His glory seen and known by the nations of the world. And at the sight of the confederate invasion, surrounding Arab countries will not idly stand by as spectators. They too (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq—the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, or ISIS?—and Iran will broker agreements with Gog/Russia to protect their regional interests and plunder the Promised Land (Ezekiel 38:13). In the full scale invasion by Gentile nations from Israel’s north, east, south and southwest, nothing less than the honor and reputation of Yahweh is at stake in this modern world! This raises the fifth question.

Desert Storm Gulf War 1991

5. What will happen to the invaders?
Ezekiel describes an invasion of Israel/Palestine unlike any that happened before in the history of that small geographical area of the world. As God describes the overwhelming force of the invasion, He says that Gog and his armies, like a swarm of locusts or a dust storm,“will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land”(Ezekiel 38:16; See 38:9.). As far as can be seen by the naked eye, enemy troops and their armaments will cover the land. With overwhelming force and from every direction, from the north, the east, the south (and perhaps, though unspecified in the text, by an amphibious assault from the Mediterranean Sea), the Holy Land will be assaulted. For the Jewish nation, there will be no way of escape. There will be nowhere to run and no place to hide from the swarming enemy. (Compare Matthew 24:15-22.)

But as illustrated by the angel of the Lord’s defeat of 185,000 Assyrians in the days of Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 35:36), those invaders will be devastatingly defeated (Read Ezekiel 39:3-6.). Forseven years the inhabitants of the cities will warm themselves over fires burning with the “shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears” remaining from the mass of invading armies (Ezekiel 39:9). “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them [Gog’s invading horde] in order to cleanse the land” (Emphasis added, Ezekiel 39:12). Such a futuristic battle employing primitive weapons such as bows and arrows, shields and spears, horses and wagons is thought by critics to be too primitive an understanding of modern warfare and combat. But it can be noted that a high altitude nuclear explosion (HANE) would disrupt the earth’s electro magnetic pulse (EMP) which is essential for the functioning of modern weaponry.[29]Thus Ezekiel’s description might not be so archaic after all. This brings us to the final question.

Kuwait oil well fires, 1991

6. Who instigates the invasion?
All of this will happen in accord with God’s providential working. In the international game of national self-interest and residual hatred of God’s people, the Lord is the Master and the nations are His pawns. Through His prophet the Lord speaks to Gog:

  • Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you. . . . After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the 1nations, and they are living securely, all of them.
    —Emphasis added, Ezekiel 38:3-6, 8
  • Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
    —Emphasis added, Ezekiel 39:2
  • “Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,” declares the Lord God. “That is the day of which I have spoken.”
    —Emphasis added, Ezekiel 39:8

So we have it. The reason for the grand alliance’s invasion of God’s land is because He orders it. God transforms self-interest on the part of the nations into an obsession to control His land and destroy Israel. As one commentator states by quoting another: “There is no inconsistence here: ‘a divine purpose overrules, while it makes use of, the base human motive’.”[30] As the Psalmist declared, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee” (Psalm 76:10, KJV).

A Scud missile directed at Israel

In that war torn and volatile region of the world 2,500 years ago, Ezekiel prophesied and described the last battle of Israel in the last days. Coveting the resources and wealth of the Middle East, a grand alliance of nations, led by Gog who hails from “the remote parts of the north,” will invade the Holy Land. There God will devastatingly defeat that enemy confederacy. For the final time the Lord will intercede for Israel that He might be glorified among His people and the rest of the nations of the world. The Gentiles will be served notice that the times of their ascendancy is over.

That the leader of the invading grand alliance hails from “the remote[not near, ed.] parts of the north” leaves Russia as the best modern candidate to be identified as Prince Gog, the leader of this end-of-days invasion. Russia alone occupies the geographical region that is remotest north. Of Russia Winston Churchill (1874-1965) once remarked:

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.[31]

God will use her national interest to drag Russia from the remotest north into a war with Israel in the latter days. The Lord will “turn[Gog/Russia, ed.] about and put hooks into your [their] jaws” and like a fish on a line, haul the confederacy of nations into a final conflict over control of the Middle East. Portending just such an invasion, Russia under Vladimir Putin’s leadership has already invaded and annexed Crimea (spring of 2014). Of the Crimean seizure an observer has written: “It was instead the opening gambit in a new style of global competition—one that, in the Middle East, Russia and its clients are winning and the United States, despite huge natural advantages, is losing.”[32] Putin’s continuing agitation in eastern Ukraine may also indicate that his agenda involves moving further south.

 Recently Russia, after international monetary sanctions were lifted by the brokered nuclear arms treaty between the U.S. and Iran and approved by the United Nations, saw the green light the treaty offered and sold Iran highly advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles, a deal that Putin reneged out of five years ago. This highly advanced weapon-system will make Iran invulnerable to an air attack by Israel or other nations. With the potential to develop a nuclear weapon given by the treaty in the future, Iran will develop a bomb. (For all we know, Iran may already have a nuclear weapon.) And when that bomb is developed, who knows whether that Shiite state will preemptively strike Israel to introduce the apocalypse that will instigate the return of the 12th Imam and the instituting of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate?

Add to this deadly international self-interest stirring the cauldron in that part of the world, ISIS is arising (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). These barbarians, even as they behead Christians and Jews and destroy their historic religious sites thousands of years old, desire to establish an Islamic Caliphate governed by Sharia law. The Caliphate is believed to be a precursor to the kingdom of the Mahdi or 12th Imam. “While his [al-Mahdi’s] reign is often understood as being an inward or spiritual one, it has also been interpreted as being outward and temporal, a new universal Caliphate.”[33] By exploding a nuclear bomb in the region, ISIS in conjunction with extremist factions within Iran may attempt to induce the coming of the messianic Mahdi to establish a grand world-wide Caliphate. Who knows? Anything can happen. The kingdoms of this world will ever be in competition with the Kingdom of God until Jesus the Messiah establishes His at the end of the age after He comes again.

To this point, it should be noted that, contradicting the propaganda being put out by the West that the war is being won, it is in fact being lost. ISIS is not going away. Several months ago it was reported that,

The war against ISIS is taking a dangerous, perhaps inevitable turn. The terror organization has been keen to expand to southern Syria and the Syrian capital of Damascus. Now it says it has recruited three Syrian rebel groups operating in the south of the country in an area bordering the Israeli occupied Golan Heights—that have switched their loyalties to ISIS.[34]

All this writer is attempting to do is not interpret prophecy by current events, but rather draw attention to the fact that the entire region surrounding Israel—to the north (remotest), the east and the south—seems to be readying itself for the latter days conflagration Ezekiel predicted two-and-one-half millennia ago. The alignment of nations against and the antagonism of nations toward Israel are set. Are we living in the days which the prophet predicted? More and more, it’s beginning to look like it. The insular bubble of those who deny it could burst at any moment causing chaos in that part of world, if not the whole world. Where might the stock market go then?

But we who believe Holy Scripture and the accuracy of the biblical prophets rest in the faith that in this whole international mess, God is at work. He is preparing Gentile adversaries of His chosen people to invade the Holy Land and bring final defeat upon them ending their domination over the Jews. Of the intent of His intervention, the Lord states:

I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself,
and make Myself known in the sight of many nations;
and they will know that I am the Lord.
—Ezekiel 38:23 


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from Truth Revolt:

A Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that President Obama, angered at Israeli plans to strike Iran nuclear facilities in 2014, threatened to shoot down Israeli planes before they could reach their targets.

The paper, Al Jarida, cites only anonymous sources and just a handful of other publications have followed the story. But according to israelnationalnews.com, the Arabic newspaper quoted “well-placed” sources as saying Benjamin Netanyahu and two top aides “had decided to carry out air strikes against Iran’s nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders.”

“The Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back,” the website said.

The Al Jarida story says that an Israeli minister with “good ties” to the Obama administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, who passed the word to Obama. The president then threatened to shoot down any planes in order to stop the Israeli attack.

The Ma’an News, a Palestinian news agency, did pick up the Al Jarida story, translating the piece. Their article says: “Netanyahu had to abort the operation and since then relations between Israel and the United States have been declining, according to the sources quoted in the report.”

Several websites were dubious about the Al Jarida. JewishPress.com wrote that “the report seems unbelievable, but the newspaper has an interesting track record.”

Al-Jarida is considered to be a relatively liberal publication whose editor Mohammed al-Sager previously won the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists ‘for courageous reporting on political and human rights issues in the face of government threats of censorship and prosecution.’

He also is a former Kuwaiti parliament member and chairman of the legislature.

And that website concludes by saying the veracity of the story may not be the most important facet. “The report may be fantasy, but the fact that Al Jarida dared to report it says a lot about perceptions of the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama.”

The story was starting to pick up pace on Sunday, with Netanyahu already on his way to Washington, D.C., to deliver a much anticipated speech to Congress.

“I’m going on a crucial and historic mission,” Netanyahu said before his departure from Ben-Gurtion Airport, accompanied by his wife, according to YnetNews.com.

“I feel I am the representative of all Israel, even those who disagree with me. I feel a deep concern for the fate of Israel. I will do everything to guarantee our future.”

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Ezekiel 11:16-17

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, etc. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye ( Israel ) have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”

from Yahoo News:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed in an attack outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue.

Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,” Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead.

Two police officers were also wounded in Sunday’s attack in Copenhagen, one of two fatal shootings in the normally peaceful Danish capital on the weekend.

In the first attack on Saturday, a 55-year-old man was killed at a panel discussion about Islam and free speech attended by a Swedish cartoonist behind controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

“Extremist Islamic terrorism has struck Europe again… Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews,” Netanyahu said in the statement.

The Israeli prime minister said his government was to adopt a $45 million (39.5 million euro) plan “to encourage the absorption of immigrants from France, Belgium and Ukraine”.

“To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms,” Netanyahu said.

He had made a similar call after three days of bloodshed in Paris that started with the January 7 attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo where 12 people were gunned down, followed the next day by the shooting death of a policewoman just outside the city.

On January 9, the gunman who killed the policewoman took hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris. He killed four Jewish hostages before police shot him dead when they raided the store.

The bodies of the four were later flown to Israel where they were buried.

Officials in Copenhagen described the weekend attacks as an act of terror and said the man believed to be behind the shootings was shot dead after opening fire on police at a rail station.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent condolences to Danish counterpart Martin Lidegaard over the attacks, telling him Israel “appreciates Denmark’s cooperation in maintaining the security of Israelis and Jews in Denmark.”

The foreign ministry quoted Lieberman as telling Lidegaard that Israel was “ready for any cooperation required on this issue”.

The Palestinians also condemned the attack “in the strongest terms,” with PLO official Saeb Erakat calling the Copenhagen attacks “absolutely unjustifiable.”

“Terrorism knows no religion or nationality, and our opposition to such violence must be firmly united. We stand in solidarity with the Danish people,” Erakat said in a statement.

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from Got Questions:

Gaining in popularity today is the teaching that a series of blood-red moons in the next two years will be a portent of Jesus’ second coming and a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Astronomical charts show four lunar eclipses will occur from 2014 to 2015. Because a full lunar eclipse often makes the moon look red or orange, it is sometimes referred to as a “blood moon” or “blood-red moon.” Some teachers of prophecy say that this tetrad of blood moons will fulfill end-times prophecies in Joel and Revelation.

What has interested prophecy teachers is not just the number of lunar eclipses in the next two years but the timing of the eclipses. In both 2014 and 2015, a full lunar eclipse will occur on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles). In addition to the two lunar eclipses of 2015, two solar eclipses will also occur. Similar lunar eclipses in back-to-back years have happened seven times since the time of Christ. Some of those have occurred in years of significance for the Jewish people, such as 1948 (when Israel was granted statehood) and 1967 (when the Six-Day War was fought).

References to a moon like “blood” are found in two passages of the Bible. Joel 2:30–31 says, “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” In Revelation 6:12, John describes one of the seal judgments of the Tribulation: “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Other passages refer to the moon being “darkened” (Matthew 24:29; Joel 2:10).

A tetrad of lunar eclipses—and the timing of those eclipses in the Jewish calendar—is fairly unusual, but not unprecedented. So the fact of the eclipses, while interesting, is no proof that Jesus will return by 2015. Furthermore, John’s and Joel’s descriptions of the signs of the Day of the Lord could refer to solar and lunar eclipses, but there are other possible explanations for those phenomena, such as changes in the atmosphere (mentioned in Revelation 6:12).

The blood-red moon theory is just that—a theory. Even as a theory, it comes close to doing what the Bible warns against: setting dates for the coming of the Lord. “About that day or hour no one knows” (Mark 13:32).

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from Got Questions:

Every time there is a conflict in or around Israel, many see it as a sign of the quickly approaching end times. The problem with this is that we may eventually tire of the conflict in Israel, so much so that we will not recognize when true, prophetically significant events occur. Conflict in Israel is not necessarily a sign of the end times.

Conflict in Israel has been a reality whenever Israel has existed as a nation. Whether it was the Egyptians, Amalekites, Midianites, Moabites, Ammonites, Amorites, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, or Romans, the nation of Israel has always been persecuted by its neighbors. Why is this? According to the Bible, it is because God has a special plan for the nation of Israel, and Satan wants to defeat that plan. Satanically influenced hatred of Israel—and especially Israel’s God—is the reason Israel’s neighbors have always wanted to see Israel destroyed. Whether it is Sennacherib, king of Assyria; Haman, official of Persia; Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany; or Rouhani, President of Iran, attempts to completely destroy Israel will always fail. The persecutors of Israel will come and go, but the persecution will remain until the second coming of Christ. As a result, conflict in Israel is not a reliable indicator of the soon arrival of the end times.

However, the Bible does say there will be terrible conflict in Israel during the end times. That is why the time period is known as the Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, and the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Here is what the Bible says about Israel in the end times:

There will be a mass return of Jews to the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:1-14).

The Antichrist will make a 7-year covenant of “peace” with Israel (Isaiah 28:18; Daniel 9:27).

The temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1).

The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel, and worldwide persecution of Israel will result (Daniel 9:27; 12:1, 11; Zechariah 11:16; Matthew 24:15, 21; Revelation 12:13). Israel will be invaded (Ezekiel chapters 38-39).

Israel will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). Israel will be regenerated, restored, and regathered (Jeremiah 33:8; Ezekiel 11:17; Romans 11:26).

There is much turmoil in Israel today. Israel is persecuted, surrounded by enemies—Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, etc. But this hatred and persecution of Israel is only a hint of what will happen in the end times (Matthew 24:15-21). The latest round of persecution began when Israel was reconstituted as a nation in 1948. Many Bible prophecy scholars believed the six-day Arab-Israeli war in 1967 was the “beginning of the end.” Could what is taking place in Israel today indicate that the end is near? Yes. Does it necessarily mean the end is near? No. Jesus Himself said it best, “Watch out that no one deceives you. . . . You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matthew 24:4-6).

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The final piece of the puzzle for a global Socialist Order has just been put into place with this pronouncement from the Pope of the false church in Rome.

from the Huffington Post:

Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the “economy of exclusion” that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who are meeting in Rome this week.

Latin America’s first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity.

On Friday, Francis called for the United Nations to promote a “worldwide ethical mobilization” of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”

Francis had a similar message to the World Economic Forum in January and in h is apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” That document, which denounced trickle-down economic theories as unproven and naive, provoked criticism in the U.S. that he was Marxist.

Francis has denied he’s Marxist, and spent years in Argentina battling Marxist excesses of liberation theology. But he has said from the outset that he wants a church that “is poor and for the poor” and ministers to the most marginal of society.

On Friday, he urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure “dignified” labor for all.

“Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustices and resisting the economy of exclusion, the throwaway culture and the culture of death which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted,” he said.

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from Debka:

Saudi Arabia became the first Middle East nation to publicly exhibit its nuclear-capable missiles. The long-range, liquid propellant DF-3 ballistic missile (NATO designated CSS-2), purchased from China 27 years ago, was displayed for the first time at a Saudi military parade Tuesday, April 29, in the eastern military town of Hafar Al-Batin, at the junction of the Saudi-Kuwaiti-Iraqi borders.

The DF-3 has a range of 2,650 km and carries a payload of 2,150 kg. It is equipped with a single nuclear warhead with a 1-3 MT yield.

Watched by a wide array of Saudi defense and military dignitaries, headed by Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz, the parade marked the end of the large-scale “Abdullah’s Sword” military war game.

Conspicuous on the saluting stand was the Pakistani Chief of Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif alongside eminent visitors, including King Hamad of Bahrain and Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report the event was deliberately loaded with highly-significant messages, the foremost of which was that the Middle East is in the throes of a nuclear arms race in the wake of the Iranian program.

1. The oil kingdom was saying loud and clear that it has obtained nuclear missiles and is ready to use them in the event of an armed conflict with Iran.

2.  The message for Washington was that Riyadh adheres to its adamant objections to the comprehensive accord for resolving the Iranian nuclear question which is racing toward its finale with the six world powers led by the US. The Saudis share Israel’s conviction that this pact – far from dismantling Iran’s nuclear capacity – will seal the Islamic Republic’s elevation to the status of pre-nuclear power. The result will be a Middle East war in which the Saudis will take part.

3.  The participation of the nuclear DF-3 missiles in the “Abdullah’s Sword” exercise signified Riyadh’s estimate that the coming conflict will see the use of nuclear weapons.

4.  By showing off their ageing Chinese missiles, the Saudis intimated that they had acquired the more advanced generation of this weapon, which they are keeping under wraps.  DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that in recent visits to Beijing, high-ranking Saudi officials negotiated the purchase of Dong-Feng 21 (DF-21), whose range is shorter, 1,700 km, but more precise and effective in view of its terminal radar guidance system. The West has no information about when the new Chinese missiles were delivered to Saudi Arabia.

5.  The presence of the top Pakistani soldier at the parade of military and nuclear hardware was meant as corroboration of Islamabad’s active role as the source of the Saudi nuclear arsenal.

6.   The Saudis no longer rely on the American nuclear umbrella. They are developing their own nuclear strike force with the help of China and Pakistan.

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