Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Next Middle East War?

Iran vows to hit Israel's atomic sites if attacked: report
Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:11am EDT

By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that Iran would strike Israel's nuclear facilities if the Jewish state attacked it, state television reported.

"If the Zionist Regime (Israel) attacks Iran, we will surely strike its nuclear facilities with our missile capabilities," Mohammad Ali Jafari, Guards commander-in-chief, told Iran's Arabic language al-Alam television.

The Revolutionary Guards are the ideologically driven wing of Iran's military with air, sea and land capabilities, and a separate command structure to regular units.

Iranian leaders often dismiss talk of a possible strike by Israel, saying it is not in a position to threaten Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter. They say Iran would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests and Israel.

"We are not responsible for this regime and other enemies' foolishness ... If they strike Iran, our answer will be firm and precise," state television quoted Jafari as saying.

The United States, Israel and their Western allies fear that Iran is enriching uranium with the aim of producing nuclear weapons and have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row.

Iran says it is pursuing only a nuclear power generation program.

Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, has repeatedly described Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its existence. Iran refuses to recognize Israel.


Jafari said Israel was entirely within the reach of Iran.

"Our missile capability puts all of the Zionist regime (Israel) within Iran's reach to attack," Jafari said. "The Zionist regime is too small to threaten Iran."

Military experts say Iran rarely reveals enough detail about its new military equipment to determine its military capabilities.

Israel has so far quietly acceded to Washington's strategy of talking to Tehran about curtailing its sensitive nuclear work.

Israel believes that a multi-level missile shield underwritten by the United States would protect the country against possible missile attacks.

Jafari said such a shield could only protect Israel "in a limited way."

"But they will have no answer when Iran bombards them (and) sends a great number of its missiles," he added.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in May Iran had tested a missile that defense analysts say could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf. Washington said the test was a "step in the wrong direction" to remove concerns over its nuclear work.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, conduit for about 40 percent of globally traded oil, if it is attacked. The U.S. military says it will prevent any such action.

Military experts say Iranian missiles often draw on technology from China, North Korea and other countries.

Israel has three German-made submarines that are widely assumed to carry nuclear missiles.

One of the submarines sailed from the Mediterranean, via the Suez Canal, to Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat in early July, seen as a signal to Iran of the long reach of its arsenal.

Jafari said Iran "was not scared" of Israel's military capabilities. "It is part of the psychological war that the West has launched against Iran," he said.

Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, was re-elected in a disputed June 12 presidential vote that stirred the largest display of internal unrest in the country since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Jon Boyle)

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So where exactly are Israels' nuclear facilities? Well, they are located at Dimona, which can be found southeast of the city of Beersheba in southern Israel, or west of the southern end of the Dead Sea. Should believers find this important to the prophetic future of Israel? Since I and many others feel that the prophecy of Isaiah 17 concerning the destruction of Damascus is the next major prophetic event that will occur in the Middle East, it's logical to wonder if these two events might be related.

A close examination of the prophecy of Isaiah 17 reveals that the apparent nuclear destruction of Damascus seems to be a result of something that happens somewhere else.

The cities of Aroer [are] forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make [them] afraid. Isaiah 17:2 KJV

There are three different Aroers mentioned in the Bible, but of them, only one seems to be geographically related to these events. Why? Because one is to be found outside of Israel in Jordan, another has yet to be found, and the remaining ancient city of Aroer, referred to in 1 Samuel 30:28, was located southeast of the city of Beersheva and west of the southern end of the Dead Sea, approximately where you find the nuclear facility of Dimona today.

What will happen if and when Israel attacks the nuclear ambitions of Iran? Well, according to Iran, they will attack Dimona in response. Where does Damascus fit in? Simply it is very questionable that Iran can respond directly from their own territory with rockets accurate enough, or with enough range to hit Dimona. There are, however, numerous Iranian rockets in Syria armed and aimed at Israel. Would Iran launch their response from Syria? Most experts have no doubt that Syria would do exactly what Iran tells them to do, considering the extent to which Syria is indebted to them. Are we seeing the clues to the beginning of the next Middle East War in the news today? Could it happen in the very near future?

With the recent movement of Israeli warships and submarines through the Suez Canal on their way to the Persian Gulf one can only wonder. That combined with the reports from the region concerning military exercises and apparent preparations for an operation, it would seem to be inevitable.

Just a few more reasons we need to be watching and praying.

PS. More breaking headlines, late Sunday, 7/26/2009


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Days of Mourning:Update

If you follow my blog you know I'm only good for one per week, so this may come as a surprise to find another after only three days. Not to worry, I didn't write it; it's from another web site I visit, but it is so good I wanted to share it with you. If you've heard me speak, or have read my book "The Doomsday Oracle", you are aware of what God has prophesied about the future of Israel and how I feel it relates to the current geopolitical situation in the middle east. I have examined the prophecy of Isaiah 17 in depth and conjectured it may be instigated by an Israeli attack on the nuclear ambitions of Iran. Speculation to be sure, but plausible. The following article relates to that possibility and I felt you might find it interesting reading, especially as we have entered the days of mourning leading up to Tisha Be-Av.

Why the "Epicenter" Could Shake the World Sooner Than You Think

By Jan Markell

There is a lot of speculation these days about Israel's recent missile class warships sailing through the Suez Canal. This was just shortly after an Israeli submarine was spotted, capable of launching a nuclear missile strike in preparation for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

All of this was confirmed by Israeli officials, and it was a clear signal that Israel is able to put its strike force within range of Iran on short notice.

Additionally, Israel has strengthened ties with Arab nations that also fear a nuclear-armed Iran. In particular, relations with Egypt have grown increasingly strong this year over the "shared mutual distrust of Iran." Israeli naval vessels would likely pass through the Suez Canal for an Iranian strike.

These exercises are a message to Iran that Israel is serious about defending herself. It is believed that Israel's missile-equipped submarines, and its fleet of advanced aircraft, could be used to strike at in excess of a dozen nuclear-related targets more than 800 miles from Israel.

Is this just saber rattling with little substance? No. Israel knows it must strike Iran's nuclear plants before Iran is capable of seriously launching nukes at Israel's main cities in retaliation. If Israel strikes now, Iran is not yet capable of retaliating with her own nukes. Yes, she would retaliate in other ways, but they wouldn't decimate Israel. The region could be spared devastation if Israel acted in the next few weeks to a few months. If Israel waits a year or more, Iran will have the nuclear capability to send the region -- and world oil supply -- into utter chaos.

The Jews ignored the warnings of the 1930s to get out of Europe. They could not comprehend that a mad man had come on the scene who was serious about exterminating all of European Jewry. The Pharaohs and Hamans of Bible times weren't enough of a signal that such evil abounds then and now. The "new Hitler," Achmadinejad, is far more dangerous than the old Hitler. He did not have technology and nucleaer weapons.

In 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, Israel was caught by surprise. Israel kept delaying the deployment of troops. Not until the morning of Yom Kippur (October 6), about six hours before the Arab offensive, were Israeli officials convinced that war was imminent, and a mobilization of the reserves ordered. By then it was almost too late. But Israeli action, even though delayed, was so stunning that the Soviet Union threatened direct military intervention. Again, the world could have been plunged into a global disaster all because Israel waited too long.

Israel's victory in this war cost 2,400 lives and an estimated $5 billion of which more than $1 billion was airlifted by the U.S. during a time in the war when Israel's outcome looked bleak. There actually could have been a military escalation between superpowers in 1973, all because Israel did not heed the proper warnings before October 1973.

She will not make these mistakes again! It's kill or be killed now.

Any kind of military strike in the Middle East will affect you directly. You need to take these issues seriously and be in prayer. The Middle East is called the "epicenter" for a reason. It is the center of the earth geographically, politically, and religiously.

It does not help to have America's president tell Jewish leaders, as he did last week, that they must engage in self-reflection. Obama says there is a narrow window of opportunity for advancing the peace process and that he plans to speak openly and honestly with Israel just as he did with the Arab nations in Cairo. But in Cairo, he primarily praised Islam, his own Islamic heritage, and bad-mouthed America. Obama ignored the rejectionism of the Arab world against Israel and the ongoing wars and waves of Arab terror directed against the Jewish state since the day of its creation. He also compared the Palestinians to the U.S. civil rights movement.

His "engagement" and benign relationship with corrupt and despotic Arab regimes contrasts starkly with the tough talk conveyed to Israel at a time in history when once again, without God's intervention, Israel is facing extinction if she doesn't act and act quickly. She knows America is no longer her trusted friend. And no, God would not allow her extinction.

It's time Obama tell the Arab/Muslim world -- and not Israel -- to engage in self-reflection! It's time he tell them that the world's economy, already in a free fall, could spin out of control if there is a war in the Middle East sparked by Iran's thirst for nuclear weapons as soon as possible! It's time he tell them to dismantle all suicide bombers whose target is innocent Israelis (and other victims such as those in Jakarta last week). It's time Obama leave Israel alone, quit telling her to dismantle settlements, and quit trying to divide Jerusalem.

Obama's policy can be summarized as "Israelis should give and Palestinians should take." It amounts to appeasing the Arabs, humiliating Israel and, in the process, undermining the security of the Jewish state, the entire Middle East, and the rest of the world. Right when Israel needs every friend she can get (although the Bible says just the opposite will be the case), when Iranian nukes are being designed to fly down smokestacks in Tel Aviv and Haifa, America's president is lecturing and scolding Israel and telling her to "engage in self-reflection"? I suggest President Obama exercise some of his own self-reflection! (Also see Ezekiel 38:22, 23 for more of God's miraculous intervention when no nations come to Israel's defense.)

American Jews who voted overwhelmingly to elect Obama should not remain silent. They are entitled to press him to adhere to his commitment and treat the Jewish state in an even-handed manner. Together with other friends of Israel, they should discourage Obama from offering Israel as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of Arab appeasement. In urging Obama not to abandon Israel, they would also be promoting the U.S. national interest. History cannot point to a single instance in which appeasement of jihadists or tyrants has ever borne fruit.

Yet appeasement seems to be Obama's middle name. John Lennon would be happy were he still alive. The world's superpower, America, just loves to give peace a chance in all the wrong places.

Keep your eyes on the epicenter. It could literally explode in the coming weeks or months. Israel must act quickly no matter what the cost.

Contact Jan Markell at

So if Israel were to attack Iran the result would be? You would have to read my book to find out, but if you haven't I will give you a clue: If you look at the maps in the back of your Bible for one about the time of David's rule, you may find one that shows Aroer southeast of Beersheva. Superimpose that map on one from today and you will find Aroer is now Dimona, Israels' only nuclear research facility. Makes you wonder now doesn't it?

Keep watching.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Powerful Witness

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 KJV

This passage of scripture has become known as the "Great Commission". It is here that Jesus tells not only His disciples, but all who choose to believe that our responsibility is to be a witness for Him in the world in which we live. I'm sure I am not alone in finding it difficult or intimidating at times to speak out to others about what I believe, and sharing Christ with someone else. It is at times like these that I pray for power to do what I know I should, and for help from the Holy Spirit to say the right thing. There is coming soon, however, a time when two individuals will appear on the scene who won't have a problem speaking out the message of God; and these men are referred to as the "Two Witnesses of Revelation". I want to spend just a little time looking closer at these two individuals to see what they can teach us about witnessing today.

And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. Revelation 11:3-6 KJV

So talk about having some power here, these two guys are going to be a serious witness for Christ when they appear. There are several things about these two witnesses I want to mention in the hope they might not only help us understand their role in the tribulation period, but inspire us as well to be better witnesses right now as we appear to be approaching the beginning of that seven year period of time we know as the Tribulation.

Many people have spent a great deal of time trying to identify just who these two men might be, so it might surprise you to hear me say that I really don't believe it matters a whole lot just who they are. I suppose my initial reaction was that if God wanted us to know who they were, He would have told us. I think it's entirely possible that God chose not to tell us in the hope we would understand that in His opinion, anyone can be a witness for Him without having to be a famous, well known person. These two witnesses may well be just two ordinary men chosen by God to fulfill this role at the particular time He appoints.

Speaking of the appointed time, lately I have become aware that a great many people believe that these two witnesses appear at the beginning of the seven year tribulation period, and witness for 1260 days until the mid-point three and one half years into it. However I believe that the greater weight of evidence supports the position they appear at the mid-point of the tribulation when the anti-christ proclaims himself to be God, and then witness during the last three and one half years which is called the Great Tribulation. In his book "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", John F. Walvoord says this;

From the fact, however, that the two witnesses pour out divine judgments upon the earth and need divine protection lest they be killed, it implies that they are in the latter half of the seven years when awful persecution will afflict the people of God, as this protection would not be necessary in the first three and one half years. The punishments and judgments the witnesses inflict on the world also seem to fit better in the great tribulation period.
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ", (Chapter 11, The Two Winesses)

This position is agreed to by pastor Ray Stedman in his book "God's Final Word", where he says this;

These two witnesses are allowed to witness for 1,260 days, i.e., 42 months, or 3-1/2 years -- half of the seven-year period. If the 42 months that the nations trample down the holy city is the first half of that period, as I think it is, then the change to 1,260 days as a time-designation here probably indicates that the witness of these two men is during the last half of the week, or throughout the great tribulation. The Lord Jesus told us that there is coming a time of trouble "such as has never been on earth before," (Matthew 24:21). Even the Nazi Holocaust cannot compare to it. That will be the last 3-1/2 year period of this seven-year section. So, as these two witnesses come onto the stage, we are at the beginning of the great tribulation.
"God's Final Word", (Chapter 17, The Last Warning)

Finally, in his book "Things To Come", J. Dwight Pentecost tells us;

On the other hand, in Revelation 11:2 the "forty and two months" undoubtedly refers to the second half of the Tribulation, and the period of the testimony of the two witnesses seems to be synchronous with this.
"Things To Come", (Chapter 18, pp. 309)

So is it important to understand when these two witnesses are called to serve God in this way? I think so, especially if you look at what is happening during the last part of the tribulation. The anti-christ has just proclaimed himself to be God, and embarks on a campaign to kill all of the Jews he can find. So God produces two witnesses that not only contradict what the anti-christ has to say, they are protected by God and given powers to prove their authenticity. After all, don't you think there will be many during this period of time who will wonder why the anti-christ can't kill these two if he really is God? Timing is everything.

Something else I noticed about these two is the way that they are dressed. Notice they will be clothed in "sackcloth"? This is of course, what the prophets in the Old Testament wore when they appeared to warn of God's coming judgment, but since this is the twenty first century, I think these two are going to stand out like a sore thumb dressed like this. Of course, that isn't all. These two have the power to defend themselves by fire shooting out of their mouths. (Hey, not even Hollywood could come up with that.) Do you think CNN will notice two guys with that ability? Then of course they can stop it from raining, turn water to blood, and bring plagues "as often as they will". You have to believe that after these two show up, the majority of the world is going to watch the news every night just to see what these guys are up to. How frustrating is this going to be to the anti-christ as he tries to advance his program and these two witnesses call him out daily for what he is. Wow.

Finally, after they are finished doing all that God has for them, He will allow them to be killed. This is not, however, the end of their testimony for the Bible tells us that after three and a half days of public display, God will breathe life back into them and they will stand back up in front of all who are watching. Revelation tells us that "great fear" falls upon those who saw them. No kidding? There is just no way I can imagine what will go through the minds of those who see this happen. Then we are told a voice from heaven says come up here, and off they go in the clouds.

What do I get from this story about these two witnesses? One, God has an appointed time that He wants to use them. Doesn't the Great Commission tell us as believers our time is now? Two, by the way they are dressed it's obvious they want to stand out and be noticed. As believers, shouldn't we? Three, they are bold because they know they have power from God to do their witnessing. As believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, don't we have the power not to be afraid? Finally, four, they are faithful until death, knowing God has the power to raise them up. If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our saviour, don't we have the very same promise?

I hope this helps us all as born again believers to be faithful to witness even more as we see the day approaching.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Israel and the Rapture

It has often been said that in order to know what time it is on God's clock, you only need to look at Israel. The reason for that is simply because the coming Tribulation, the period of time lasting seven years and also known as "The Time of Jacob's Trouble or Daniel's Seventieth Week, is when God decides to deal with Israel after the Rapture of the Church. Unfortunately, many believers have little or no understanding about the relationship between the Church Age and the Tribulation. There is an unfortunate school of thought called "Replacement Theology" which proposes that the Church has replaced Israel as God's chosen people, and that God is finished with Israel. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and yet many people believe this to be the case.

The following is an article written by Jack Kelley, of In it he does a wonderful job explaining the difference between the Church and Israel, and how they are related. As we look forward to the rapture of the Church, it becomes clear that we can see God preparing to deal with Israel as He has said He will. Knowing that the Church must be raptured before God can do that is what gives watchers a sense of anticipation in the days in which we find ourselves today.

The Great Pause

While Pentecost was the official beginning of the Age of Grace, it didn’t signal the end of the Age of Law, as so many in the Church wrongly assume. It was only a Great Pause while the Lord pursued His Church, something He intended to do all along, but had only divulged in a general way in the past.

Speaking to His Messiah, the Lord said, “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

When you understand the Great Pause, lots of other things fall into place. We’ve already discussed the re-birth of the Nation and the re-built Temple. Israel had to be re-born and will have to become a covenant people again in order to complete their final 7 years. This is what makes their re-birth such a powerful sign that the Great Pause is about to end. The only reason for Israel to exist again is to complete the 7 years remaining in the Age of Law. It also explains the return to animal sacrifice during this time. This is the way things were before the Great Pause began, and the way they’ll have to be after it ends. Although people have always been saved by faith, during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.

Understanding the Great Pause also helps us see why the Rapture of the Church has to precede the final 7 years. The purpose of the Great Pause is so the Lord can take from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. The Greek word translated “take” in Acts 15:14 is lambano. A look at the primary meanings of lambano reveals that the intent of the word is to describe one who takes something for the purpose of carrying it away. Once the church is complete the Lord will carry us away before turning again to Israel. This is consistent with Paul’s statement in Romans 11:25 that Israel has experienced a partial blindness until the full number of Gentiles has come in. The phrase “come in” means to arrive at one’s destination, as when a ship has “come in”. According to John 14:2-3 our destination is Heaven. Once the church has been carried away to its destination in Heaven the blinders will fall from Israel’s eyes, the Great Pause will come to an end, and Israel will complete its final seven years.

The Rapture has to happen before Daniel’s 70th Week can begin, because the 70th Week is all about Israel. It’s their final opportunity to be reconciled to God through the Messiah and prepare for the Kingdom He promised them so long ago. 2500 years before the fact, Zechariah prophesied that this would take place near the end of the 70th Week.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech. 12:10)

Paul confirmed this and said it would happen after the rapture.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27)

And the Great Pause explains why post rapture salvation will be like it was in Old Testament times. The only difference is post rapture believers will be looking back to the cross whereas Old Testament believers looked forward to it. Speaking of the time when taking the mark of the beast will be required of everyone on Earth, the Lord said, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12) Again, people have always been saved by faith, but during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.

It also explains why the 144,000 servants of God have to be sealed before undertaking their mission. (Rev. 7:3) If the church was still here they would be sealed just the way we are. But during the Age of Law believers were not, nor will they be, sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their inheritance as we are (Ephes. 1:13-14). The 144,000 is the only group in the post rapture world that is described as being sealed. By the way, some scholars believe this means only the 144,000 will be supernaturally protected from the demonic locusts spoken of in Rev. 9.
I Can See Clearly Now

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. No other system of theology explains God’s overarching plan as succinctly as dispensationalism. None gives us such a clear understanding of the connection between events before Pentecost and those after the Rapture. No other one helps us see the “why” behind the “what” described in the Bible. None other so vividly demonstrates the absolutely unique nature of the church, while maintaining the integrity of God’s promises to Israel. And best of all it does so in a manner consistent with the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of His Word. 06-27-09

I pray this article has helped you understand better why many of us are so excited about what we see in the news every day. Our hope is coming, and coming very soon.

Keep watching.