Archive for the ‘Ezekiel 38’ Category

Ezekiel 38:13:

Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”

From Bloomberg:

Egypt’s decision last month to stop selling natural gas to Israel could be a harbinger of increasingly confrontational Egyptian-Israeli relations, an indication of a worsening Egyptian economy, or both.

In any case, the end of the arrangement, which provided 40 percent of Israel’s supply, suggests the need for more Israeli creative thinking and assertive diplomacy — not with Egypt but, counterintuitively, with Turkey and Lebanon.

The Egyptian move would have raised greater concerns just a few years ago than it does today among Israelis, who import 70 percent of natural gas and all of their oil. Then, Israel saw no alternative to a near-complete dependence on other countries to meet its energy needs.

Discoveries of large underwater gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, however, have changed Israel’s energy prospects almost overnight. In 2009, a consortium of U.S. and Israeli companies discovered the Tamar field about 50 miles off the Israeli coast, with an estimated 8.3 trillion cubic feet of gas. A year later, a similar consortium discovered Leviathan, a huge field nearby estimated to hold 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Strategic Game-Changers

These finds, and the prospect of more in adjacent waters, could be strategic game-changers for Israel. A 2010 U.S. Geological Survey study estimated that the Levant Basin off the coast of Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Gaza Strip could hold about 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil, 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 5 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. If true, Israel could meet its own electricity needs in the future and possibly become a net exporter to a gas-thirsty region. This would bring economic and political benefits as well as regional clout at a time when Israel’s regional standing is more uncertain than it has been for decades.

But, because nothing is simple in the Middle East, there is also a real threat that these gas discoveries could serve as a spur for conflict rather than economic growth. The Tamar and Leviathan discoveries are generally accepted to fall within Israel’s exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean, although Lebanon originally insisted that Leviathan crosses into its waters. Exploration continues, and it could be only a matter of time before a field is discovered straddling contested boundaries.

Imagine a scenario in which a new field is found in Israeli waters but bleeds into the 330-square-mile disputed area where Israel and Lebanon’s claimed economic zones overlap. It could also run into Cypriot territorial waters. Suddenly, the world could face a situation in which Turkey insists that the field not be developed until the problem of a divided Cyprus is resolved, while Hezbollah threatens to take military action against what it sees as an Israeli effort to commandeer Lebanese national resources. (In December 2010, Hezbollah stated that it wouldn’t allow Israel to “plunder Lebanon’s maritime assets.”) The U.S. would be pulled in two directions — one by its NATO ally Turkey, the other by Israel.

It is just this scenario that dozens of students considered in a recent competition I supervised for Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The students, looking for ways to resolve this problem, came up with two broadly different approaches.

Politics Before Economics

The first is the politics-before-economics pathway, which posits that the regional conflicts need to be resolved before the gas can be developed. This model assumes that companies are unlikely to make multibillion-dollar investments in a situation of acute political uncertainty. Depending on the location of the drilling, the extraction operations could face threats ranging from Hezbollah rockets to Turkish naval incursions. The complicated nature of gas extraction, which requires capital- intensive infrastructure such as pipelines or liquefied natural gas facilities, means that there would be plentiful targets for sabotage. (The Arish-Ashkelon pipeline, carrying gas from Egypt to Israel, was attacked 10 times last year.)

Moreover, the economics of the investment would need to make sense solely in the context of Israel’s domestic-energy market — and perhaps Jordan’s — because exports northward and beyond to Europe wouldn’t be feasible so long as Lebanon and Turkey objected to Israel’s plans.

The optimist in all of us might say that the prospects of plentiful, economical gas should be enough to push conflicts to resolution. Israel and Lebanon, currently in a state of frozen war, should be able to resolve their differences, agree on maritime (and land) borders, and negotiate a mechanism for the shared exploitation and commercialization of the gas. After all, Lebanon, which is 99 percent dependent on imports for its gas, could be a huge beneficiary of this peace.

One might also hope that the lure of energy riches would bring about an equally historic resolution of the Cyprus conflict, under which the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus come to agreement on the terms of their coexistence. Such progress on Cyprus could provide a boost to the Israeli-Turkish relations, which have been on a negative trajectory since the Gaza flotilla incident in May 2010. If sufficient, gas developed in the eastern Mediterranean could flow through Turkey, and on to Europe, helping lessen Turkey’s dependence on Russian gas and bolstering its ambitions to become an energy corridor.

This potential outcome of sweetness and light should motivate American and other diplomats who may find themselves involved in mediating crises in the Levant. But optimism should be tempered by reality. One need only look to the Caspian Sea — where five bordering states have failed to agree on boundaries for years — to see how waiting to resolve territorial disputes can stall development of natural resources.

Agreeing to Disagree

Fortunately — as the students I worked with pointed out — there is an alternative to waiting for a complete resolution of longstanding conflicts. This less-obvious route involves more limited bargains, which don’t demand final resolution of complex territorial and political disputes.

Israel and Lebanon — as well as Cyprus and Turkey, if necessary — might agree to disagree. They might choose a limited accord in which each side states that it does not relinquish any of its claims or withdraw any of its grievances, but agrees to start developing the gas and oil fields following agreed-upon guidelines, pending final resolution of the big political issues.

Historical examples suggest this model is viable. In 1979, Malaysia and Thailand agreed to a joint development arrangement to exploit the resources of their continental shelf, setting aside “the question of delimitation of the Gulf of Thailand for a period of fifty years.” More recently, the 2003 Timor Sea Treaty between East Timor and Australia pushed off the settlement of boundaries for 50 years in order to open the door for resource development under agreed terms.

Even in the Middle East, there have been some precedents, if less-successful ones. In 1971, Iran and the United Arab Emirate of Sharjah, feuding over control of the island of Abu Musa, agreed to a joint resource-development plan, but stated that that pact shouldn’t be interpreted to suggest that either “Iran nor Sharjah will give up its claim to Abu Musa nor recognize the other’s claim.”

These precedents suggest a less ambitious approach to developing eastern Mediterranean gas is worth exploring if more comprehensive peace efforts prove impossible at the time. Too often, politics trumps economics in the Middle East. Let this time be an exception.

(Meghan L. O’Sullivan, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and former deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

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Shades of Ezekiel 38!

Ezekiel 38:10-13:

Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:  You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?”

from Business Insider:

The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the  summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through  neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic,  according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General  Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on  Iran.

Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic  Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran.

“Iran is our neighbor,” Rogozin said. “If Iran is involved in any military  action, it’s a direct threat to our security.” Rogozin now is the deputy Russian  prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia’s defense sector.

Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn’t  believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses  and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary.

The implication of preparing to move Russian troops not only is to protect  its own vital regional interests but possibly to assist Iran in the event of  such an attack. Sources add that a Russian military buildup in the region could  result in the Russian military potentially engaging Israeli forces, U.S. forces,  or both.

Informed sources say that the Russians have warned of “unpredictable  consequences” in the event Iran is attacked, with some Russians saying that the  Russian military will take part in the possible war because it would threaten  its vital interests in the region.

The influential Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has quoted a Russian  military source as saying that the situation forming around Syria and Iran  “causes Russia to expedite the course of improvement of its military  groups in the South Caucasus, the Caspian, Mediterranean and Black Sea  regions.”

This latest information comes from a series of reports and leaks from  official Russian spokesmen and government news agencies who say that an Israeli  attack is all but certain by the summer.

Because of the impact on Russian vital interests in the region, sources say  that Russian preparations for such an attack began two years ago when Russian  Military Base 102 in Gyumri, Armenia, was modernized. It is said to occupy a  major geopolitical position in the region.

Families of Russian servicemen from the Russian base at Gyumri in Armenia  close to the borders of Georgia and Turkey already have been evacuated, Russian  sources say.

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from Palestinian Media Watch:

A Palestinian university lecturer taught during a recent Palestinian Authority TV program on religion that Moses, a Muslim, brought “the Muslims of the Children of Israel out of Egypt.” He refers to the subsequent Israeli conquest of the Land of Israel as the “first Palestinian liberation… of Palestine.” This conquest, he taught, was led not by Joshua, as the Bible tells, but by Saul (Talut) who is also said to have slayed Goliath.

While some of this is retelling of Islamic tradition, some of it is a distortion of even the Quran for political purposes. The Quran refers to the “Children of Israel” in their land in many chapters (e.g., Sura 5), but it never refers to them or anyone else as “Palestinians.” Likewise the Quran never refers to Israel’s conquest as a “Palestinian” conquest. The lecturer on PA TV, however, deviates from Islamic tradition, and calls the nation of Israel’s conquest of the Land of Israel “the first Palestinian liberation through armed struggle to liberate Palestine.”

This is another example, among many documented by Palestinian Media Watch, of PA historical revision for political purposes, in this case, rewriting even their own Islamic traditions.

The following is the interview with Dr. Omar Ja’ara, lecturer at Al-Najah University in Nablus and specialist in Israeli affairs, on PA TV religion program:

“We must make clear to the world that David in the Hebrew Bible is not connected to David in the Quran, Solomon in the Hebrew Bible is not connected to Solomon in the Quran, and neither is Saul or Joshua son of Nun [of the Bible].

We have a great leader, Saul, [in the Quran] who defeated the nation of giants and killed Goliath. This is a great Muslim victory. The Muslims of the Children of Israel went out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses, and unfortunately, many researchers deny the Exodus of those oppressed people who were liberated by a great leader, like Moses the Muslim, the believing leader, the great Muslim,
who was succeeded by Saul, the leader of these Muslims in liberating Palestine.

This was the first Palestinian liberation through armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the nation of giants led by Goliath. This is our logic and this is our culture.”[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 15, 2012]

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from Now The End Begins:

Sitting on a gold mine

The bible says that in the end of time, a multi-nation force will gather against Israel. Ezekiel 38 says that these nations include Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Libya and others. The reason why they come against Israel is to plunder their wealth, to “take a spoil” as you can see in the verses below. Now it has been discovered that Israel is sitting on top of 123,000,000,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas which translates to about 20,000,000,000 barrels of oil. That’s a lot of spoil in anyone’s book. The prophet Ezekiel is right on the money…

Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” Ezekiel 38

From Fox News: There is another revolution in the Mideast, presently underway, that is not being televised. It centers on the all-important area of energy production, and it might be called, “the Battle for Leviathan.”

This presents a very tempting target for the the enemies of Israel to come and try to take it.

At issue is the recent discovery of huge untapped natural gas fields in the Levant Basin, the section of the eastern Mediterranean Sea that abuts Israel to the East, and Cyprus to the North.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that this underwater area holds 123 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. In simpler terms: That’s equal to 20 billion barrels of oil, more than twenty times what the United States maintains in its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Through “exclusive economic zones” finalized under prevailing laws of the sea, Israel and Cyprus have laid internationally recognized claims to these fields, which analysts suggest could be worth $130 billion to the Israeli economy.

This is why in February, Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister ever to visit Cyprus, and why the two nations have inked a number of unprecedented pacts with each other.

Led by Texas-based Noble Energy, the Israelis have already identified two gas fields south of Cyprus, code-named “Leviathan” and “Tamar,” that offer a combined 24 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. Talks are underway between Jerusalem and Nicosia to build underwater pipelines, refineries, air bases, and other critical infrastructure to facilitate — and protect — these ventures.

If successful, they could serve not only to make the Jewish state energy-independent but allow it to become an energy exporter.

This, in turn, would give Jerusalem increased clout over energy-hungry states like India and China. The latter, in particular, has repeatedly voted on the U.N. Security Council to protect Iran; but Beijing may be persuaded to abandon that stance if Israel becomes a significant supplier of Chinese gas imports.

Turkey, which has historically clashed with Cyprus and has feuded with Jerusalem in recent years, has deployed warships to protect what it sees as its interests in the underwater gas fields; and Lebanon, backed by the terrorist group Hezbollah, has warned that the U.S. and Israel will not be permitted to “plunder” natural resources that Beirut, too, claims as its own.

Finally, both Iran and Russia – which has surged over the last decade to become the world’s leading exporter of natural gas – have also taken note of the potential geopolitical shifts that these gas discoveries could bring about. It is, in short, a situation rife with both economic promise and the potential for military peril.

“Iran, of course, as Israel’s implacable foe, will do all it can do to thwart any activity that allows Israel to become more secure, more prosperous, or remain viable as a sovereign state,” John Sitilides, a State Department advisor and lobbyist based in Washington, said.

“And so we might see Iran, operating through proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in the Palestinian Authority’s Gaza Strip, [act] to deny Israel and Cyprus the ability to get that natural gas to market,” he added.

While the U.S. generally sees Israeli energy independence as a desirable development for American security interests, the Obama administration has urged that Cyprus and Turkey initiate a “de-escalation of rhetoric and tension” to arrive at a resolution of the differing claims to the gas fields.

At a briefing last September, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called for the two countries, perhaps with the assistance of the United Nations, to develop “some sort of mediation on a revenue-sharing agreement for natural gas developed off of Cyprus.”

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I had an email recently from someone who asked me how I thought current events played into the eventual emergence of the Anti-Christ.

This was my response:

I think with the condition of the world economy and the precarious financial and economic condition of the U.S. that a war with Iran could be the trigger to tip the world into an unprecedented depression.

I do not think the current geopolitical arrangement in the Middle East is set up for Ezekiel 38 and then the coming of the Anti-Christ.

I think what has to happen is that the western created and supported Arab countries have to fall to revolution and that includes Saudi Arabia. They are sort of a bulwark against, believe it or not Radical Islamist expansion throughout the Middle East. We are seeing the beginnings of the spread of radicalism in the guise of the Arab Spring, which I think after an ill-fated war with Iran, this may accelerate.

I think the war with Iran will cause oil to spike to such a level that it will be too much of a shock to an already shaky world economy and when oil goes through the roof it will be like a domino effect. The U.S. and Europe will be especially hard hit, with unprecedented financial collapses and the U.S. will be forced to roll back its commitment to supporting the pro-western Arab oil-producing states. And it may be an active policy move by none other than a President Obama. (See the article I sent out titled: “The Obama Domino Doctrine: Pro-Iran/Anti-Saudi Arabia”) or a President who shares his sentiments.

Without western support, countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, The UAE, Kuwait, Dubai etc. would quickly fall to revolution, as they have very unpopular Sunni Muslim minorities that control the government and wealth. With the help of the U.S. they have been able to suppress any Shia Muslim revolutionary tendencies, but without western support they would quickly collapse. I think when you see all of the Arab and Muslim states having fallen to an “Arab Spring”, then things, prophetically will begin to ramp up quickly, you will see a pact emerge to destroy Israel (Ezekiel 38) and then after that disastrous war where they will be utterly defeated, which will cause more devastation to an already devastated world economy adding misery upon misery to people, the world will CRY out for a “world government” and that will be led by the Man of Sin, the anti-Christ.

When he emerges because of the world economic hardships and the unprecedented devastation across the Middle East there will be such a push for a final resolution of the “Palestinian ” problem that everyone will be united in calling for a globally united solution, and Israel will not be able to resist, then its: start your 1266 day clock.

We already see the foundations being laid for a World Government, first there were the political foundation stones being set through the United Nations and international binding treaties. Then we had a sort of global pop-culture emerge that united the world around American pop-culture.

Then came the internet that linked the world technologically into what they call today: “The global internet community”. Entertainment, news, business, consumer shopping, employment etc are converging around the internet.

Then came the perceived need to unite the world around ecological issue such as the global Warming swindle.

Now we have pseudo-religious unity, first through the ecumenical movement in apostate Christian churches, then the allowing in of pagan beliefs and practices into apostate Christians churches, and then even further in-roads of atheistic humanistic teachings into what were considered fundamentalist Christian churches by Rick Warren’s purpose driven ideologies! And the final straw is the uniting of Christianity with false religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam through “Chrislam”.

And with economic and debt crisis engulfing the western world, you see increasing calls for global governance of countries economies and finances to prevent the financial abuse and manipulation we have seen in the last decade from happening again.

With all of this coalescing and converging now, how strong do you think the calls will be when the world economy is devastated as never before, and there is unprecedented destruction and death across the Middle East?

So the world has set itself up and readied itself for a world government and the Anti-Christ!

But on a silver lining note, by then we will all have hopefully been taken away: Thessalonians 4:17 (ESV) “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

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from Got Questions:

Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the church is a continuation of Israel (replacement/covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism/premillennialism).

Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are “spiritualized” or “allegorized” into promises of God’s blessing for the church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years?

The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. Biblically speaking, the church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two are never to be confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the day of Pentecost and will continue until it is taken to heaven at the rapture (Ephesians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). The church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings are valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God’s program during these past 2000 years of dispersion.

After the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), God will restore Israel as the primary focus of His plan. The first event at this time is the tribulation (Revelation chapters 6-19). The world will be judged for rejecting Christ, while Israel is prepared through the trials of the great tribulation for the second coming of the Messiah. Then, when Christ does return to the earth, at the end of the tribulation, Israel will be ready to receive Him. The remnant of Israel which survives the tribulation will be saved, and the Lord will establish His kingdom on this earth with Jerusalem as its capital. With Christ reigning as King, Israel will be the leading nation, and representatives from all nations will come to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King—Jesus Christ. The church will return with Christ and will reign with Him for a literal thousand years (Revelation 20:1-5).

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a premillennial/dispensational understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Even so, the strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1-7, where it says six times that Christ’s kingdom will last 1000 years. After the tribulation the Lord will return and establish His kingdom with the nation of Israel, Christ will reign over the whole earth, and Israel will be the leader of the nations. The church will reign with Him for a literal thousand years. The church has not replaced Israel in God’s plan. While God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role as the nation He has chosen (Romans 11).

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from Now The End Begins:

Joint US-Israel drill called off by Netanyahu, to Washington’s surprise

Debkafile’s sources disclose exclusively that, contrary to recent reports published in Washington, Jerusalem – and this site too – it was Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, not the Obama administration, who decided to call off the biggest ever joint US-Israeli military exercise Austere Challenge 12 scheduled for April 2012.

Washington was taken aback by the decision. It was perceived as a mark of Israel’s disapproval for the administration’s apparent hesitancy in going through with the only tough sanctions with any chance of working against Iran’s nuclear weapon program: penalizing its central bank and blocking payments for its petroleum exports.

This was the first time Israel had ever postponed a joint military exercise; it generated a seismic moment in relations between the US and Israel at a time when Iran has never been so close to producing a nuclear weapon.

This week, Netanyahu further orchestrated a series of uncharacteristically critical statements by senior ministers: Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon called the Obama administration “hesitant” (Jan. 15), after which Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged the Americans to “move from words to deeds” (Jan 16). The underlying message was that the Israeli government felt free to attack Iran’s nuclear sites on its own if necessary and at a time of its choosing. Debkafile’s sources report that Netanyahu decided on this extreme course after careful consideration when he judged the Obama administration’s resolve to preempt a nuclear Iran to be flagging, as indicated by four omissions:

1. Washington has taken no action against Iran’s capture of the RQ-170 stealth drone on Dec. 4 more than a month after the event, and not even pressed President Obama’s demand of Dec. 12 for the drone’s return. Tehran, for its part, continues to make hay from the event: This week, our Iranian sources report, the Islamic Republic circulated a new computer game called “Down the RQ-170.” Players assemble the drone from the components shown on their screens and then launch it for attacks on America.

2. Silence from Washington also greeted the start of 20-percent grade uranium enrichment at the underground Fordo facility near Qom when it was announced Jan. 9. Last November, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned in two US TV interviews (Nov. 17 and 22) that as soon as the Fordo facility went on stream, Iran would start whisking the rest of its nuclear facilities into underground bunkers, out of reach and sight of US and Israeli surveillance.

Barak made it clear at the time that Israel could not live with this development; therefore, the Netanyahu government believes Israel’s credibility is now at stake.

3. Exactly three weeks ago, on Jan. 3 Lt. Gen. Ataollah Salehi, Iran’s Army chief, announced that the aircraft carrier USS Stennis and other “enemy ships” would henceforth be barred from entering the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz . Yet since then, no US carrier has put this threat to the test by attempting a crossing. Tehran has been left to crow.

4. Even after approving sanctions on Iran’s central bank and energy industry, the White House announced they would be introduced in stages in the course of the year. According to Israeli’s calculus, another six months free of stiff penalties will give Iran respite for bringing its nuclear weapon program to a dangerous and irreversible level. source – DEBKA

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Hints of the Future when the Anti-Christ system makes a peace treaty with Israel and then violates that treaty and turns on Israel.

What we see in this article is the  U.S.& European led NATO organization, originally a trans Atlantic military organization meant to protect Western Europe from a Russian and Warsaw Pact invasion expanding its activities and influence into other areas of the world.

In this instance into Israel, where it will have prophetic implications.

from ynet news:

NATO forces are scheduled to participate, for the first time, in a home front drill that will be held in Israel next October.

In recent years, the IDF took part in several exercises held by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization abroad, but has never hosted its members in Israel.

The drill, dubbed “Turning Point 6,” will simulate a massive earthquake leading to wide-scale destruction and large amounts of casualties.

NATO Search and rescue units, as well as supporting units will arrive in Israel to take part in the drill, which will also include Israel’s emergency services, the Police, Magen David Adom, fire services, as well as local authorities, governmental ministries, and representatives from the political echelon.

Two weeks ago, Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero in Brussels to discuss the details of the joint exercise.

During his visit, Vilnai also met with other senior members of the organization and officials from the European Union in order to discuss future cooperation between Israel and Europe on emergency and crisis management issues.

“We have a big interest in deepening and widening our ties with the Union and with NATO,” said Vilnai, adding that “both Europe and Israel can benefit from steady cooperation on preparedness and response to emergencies and crises.”

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Ezekiel 38:4-6:

I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.  

from abc news:

Russia is facing a heightened risk of being drawn into conflicts at its borders that have the potential of turning nuclear, the nation’s top military officer said Thursday.

Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, cautioned over NATO’s expansion eastward and warned that the risks of Russia being pulled into local conflicts have “risen sharply.” 

Makarov added, according to Russian news agencies, that “under certain conditions local and regional conflicts may develop into a full-scale war involving nuclear weapons.”

A steady decline in Russia’s conventional forces has prompted the Kremlin to rely increasingly on its nuclear deterrent.

The nation’s military doctrine says it may use nuclear weapons to counter a nuclear attack on Russia or an ally, or a large-scale conventional attack that threatens Russia’s existence.

Russia sees NATO’s expansion to include former Soviet republics and ex-members of the Soviet bloc in eastern and central Europe as a key threat to Russia’s security.

Makarov specifically referred to NATO’s plans to offer membership to Georgia and Ukraine as potentially threatening Russia’s security. Russia routed Georgian forces in a brief August 2008 war over a separatist province of South Ossetia. Moscow later recognized South Ossettia and another breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia as independent states and increased its military presence there.

Makarov warned that the planned pullout of NATO forces from Afghanistan could trigger conflicts in neighboring ex-Soviet Central Asian nations that could “grow into a large-scale war.”

In its military doctrine, Russia has also described U.S. missile defense plans as another major security challenge, saying it could threaten its nuclear forces and undermine their deterrence potential.

Moscow has agreed to consider NATO’s proposal last fall to cooperate on the missile shield, but the talks have been deadlocked over how the system should operate. Russia has insisted that the system should be run jointly, which NATO has rejected.

Makarov also said Russia is struggling to get enough recruits for the 1-million military, as the number of draftees has shrunk dramatically because of demographical changes.

He said that the military is aiming to gradually increase the number of contract soldiers and eventually form an all-volunteer army. He didn’t mention a specific time frame.

The statement marked a sharp change of course for the top military brass who previously insisted that Russia needs to maintain the highly unpopular draft because an all-volunteer military would be too costly.

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from Olive Tree Ministries:

Note: This article is from my current bi-monthly print newsletter, Understanding the Times. I try to keep print newsletter and e-newsletter separate but I have had so many e-mails requesting this be published electronically that I am doing so here.  I have also borrowed thoughts from ministry friend Bill Salus, whose eye on the Middle East is one of the best. His Web site is www.prophecydepot.net. If you would like to sign up for my print newsletter, do so here. It is free for one year and only available in the U.S. due to printing and postage costs.  

As Salus and I both note, the whole of the Arab world uprising, euphemistically called the “Arab Spring” by the media, is in a torment of revolt, rage, terror, and chaos. Peace is not on the horizon and democracy is even further away. The supposed democracy-lovers overthrowing evil rulers are thugs and terrorists themselves. When it comes to Islamic-rooted revolutions, there really aren’t any “good guys.” 

The only organized groups in the Arab world are the rabid Muslim groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. They will unite even with perceived enemies if it can lead to the overthrow of Israel.  They are at least honest brokers of death, whereas the ‘moderates’ hide their real intentions with duplicity and ‘diplomatic’ lies. 

At the outset of this “Arab Spring,” many inside the liberal media applauded the widespread Arab protests. They hypothesized that the protesters were merely the by-product of a regional youth bulge tired of tyrannical rule. They credited Internet social network sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for giving the activists a glimpse of freedom. 

Bill Salus writes, “Barely digesting the unsettling events of the ‘Arab Spring,’ the media’s attention has now been drawn back to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the genuine possibility of a Mideast winter war. Presently, Israeli borders are fortified rather than redrawn, Arab arsenals are replenished rather than dismantled, and the prospect for the ‘Mother of all Mideast Wars’ is extremely high.” 

Salus continues, “Interestingly, there is evidence that the majority of Middle East and North African countries plagued by the current Muslim unrest are involved in end-time Israeli war prophecies. You can read about these forthcoming battles in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39. Psalm 83 identifies an inner circle confederacy of Arab populations sharing common borders with Israel. Their mandate is to wipe Israel off the map, and their motive is the reclamation of Palestine. Ezekiel 38-39 describes an outer ring confederacy destined to invade Israel in the last days. Ezekiel presents a separate set of invaders than those described in Psalm 83. Additionally, they are driven by a different motive, which is the promise of plunder and great spoil (Ezekiel 38:1-13).” 

White House correspondent Bill Koenig writes in his weekly e-newsletter, Koenig’s Eye-View from the White House, There is great concern that Israel’s enemies in the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran are cooperating and will rapidly close in on Israel. The United States’ involvement in the Middle East has been the backing of the lesser of two evils in country after country. The United States’ backing of dictators in the Middle East has led many in the Middle East to not trust the U.S.” 

As for our actions in Libya, Koenig writes, “The evidence is overwhelming that the U.S. President is downplaying or maybe even misrepresenting his use of American military and diplomatic support ofLibyan rebels who are terrorists, supporters of terrorists, and radical Islamists.”   

As I implied above, there are no “righteous freedom fighters” involved anywhere. There are only agenda-driven radicals on both sides of the region’s many conflicts. Evil is maneuvering for power, throwing out both brutal and benign regimes. While most uprisings are contained at present, you still need to see this as a concerted, orchestrated effort to eventually turn all guns on Israel. Enemies will become friends, for in the Middle East, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That sentiment has never gone out of style. 

Strings are being pulled in places of power such as Europe and Washington. Money, greed, and power are potent forces with which to contend. Men like George Soros play a role but even he is but a puppet of more powerful men.  The most visible puppet is U.S. President Barack Obama who set America at odds with Israel last May. He also set America at odds with God by revealing himself to be the most anti-Israel president in U.S. history. His demand that Israel retreat to indefensible 1967 borders revealed both his ignorance and arrogance. 

But the world’s strongest delusion is that if just the tiny nation of Israel could be eradicated, this pulsating world would break into global peace and prosperity. Global debt could be contained. The stormy waters would instantly become calm. The rioting of disgruntled societies would cease. The world could become one.   

That is also driving the chaos. Be it a perceived environmental crisis or an actual economic crisis, globalism is the answer. Thus all these Middle East nations must overthrow leaders, kings, dictators, premiers, and generals, and then focus like a laser on Israel as the single enemy. They do not want Israel in the one-world system. She is the mouse that roars and the nation that embarrasses them in war after war. 

That a nation the size of New Jersey could have such a global impact is actually known to Christians, but it is interpreted entirely differently by the unbelieving world. Even the religious Left aligns with the Israel-haters. True believers are being called to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) more than ever. 

Spring is a season of new beginnings. Unfortunately, until the Lord returns to the heart of Jerusalem for His reign on Earth, there are no good beginnings ahead for that region of the world. Only conflict lies ahead and likely a war so horrendous that the stability of the entire world will be affected. Yet try to tell this to people you care about and you will be met with a glazed-eye stare. They have no clue nor do they want one. Be glad that you do.  

You read about it first not here, but in the Bible. The writing is on the wall and it doesn’t take the Prophet Daniel to interpret it. You simply cannot understand the times without a Bible. 

To better understand these issues, visit our Web site categories of Islam & the Arabs, Israel, and “Palestine?”  


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