Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Global SITREP D6-15: Russian Military Presence in Syria Confirmed

FINAL UPDATE 13 October 2015: It has been about a full month since Russian troops and aircraft were inserted into Syria and commenced combat operations against all enemies of the Al-Assad regime. Following this final update any new developments will be reported in a new SITREP. 

Russian naval infantry (marines) are firmly ensconced in the Syrian city of Hama. As noted in the 15 September entry below, this city is specifically mentioned, as is the eastern Mediterranean Sea, in the prophecy of Jeremiah 49:23. Russian officers and troops have taken over the former Syrian 4th Division HQ located in the Equestrian Club of southeast Hama. The Russian tri-color flag flies from atop the building. The Al-Nawair Hotel in Hama is now also barracks for Russian marines, approximately 1,050 of them.

The Russian troops can now look forward to IEDs, VBIEDs and suicide bombers hitting them where they live and the routes they drive on with their supplies for forward operating bases inland. Al Qaeda has promised this will happen. No Russian soldier can tell a Syrian ally from an Al Qaeda enemy anymore than an American soldier could tell an Iraqi from an Al Qaeda enemy. They will operate in the midst of Russian soldiers. They will likely pose as Syrian soldiers with Syrian soldier ID cards. Then boom. Russia has entered a quagmire from which the Putin government will have no option but withdraw its troops, or what's left of them. 

Sunni Muslims throughout Russia, of which there are many millions, now have a new enemy. Russia's 9/11, or worse, is probably nothing more than a matter of time. Could it be that the Russia/Magog which leads the Ezekiel 38/39 attempt to invade and conquer Israel will do so after its current secular government has been overthrown by an Islamic jihadist insurrection? Putin has no idea what his actions in an Islamic country will bring in due time to Russia; its certainly more than he has bargained for with his Syrian and Iranian allies.

15 September 2015: I believe it would serve us well to look closely at the passage below from Jeremiah 49. Verse 23 is referring directly to that swath of territory in northwestern Syria adjacent to the Eastern Mediterranean seacoast, from the Turkish border to the Lebanese border, and which is currently known as the Governorates of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Latakia and Tartus. Hamath is the modern-day the city of Hama, and Arpad is located in the present day city of Tell Rifaat in Aleppo.
Jeremiah 49:23-27

 Against Damascus.
“Hamath and Arpad are shamed,
For they have heard bad news.
They are fainthearted;
There is trouble on the sea;
It cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus has grown feeble;
She turns to flee,
And fear has seized her.
Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.
25 Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,
And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.
27 “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.”

Also, Amos 1:1-5 may have relevance to these same events that will culminate with Jeremiah 49:26-27, which as can be clearly discerned, has a direct relationship with the prophecy of Isaiah 17.

Russian Naval Infantry T-90 MBT

14 September 2015: Numerous sources are confirming that Russia's ongoing deployment of its military forces into Syria has now taken on a very offensive combat profile. A squad of seven T-90 main battle tanks have  rolled off Russian amphibious landing ships along with about a battalion of naval infantry (i.e. Russian marines) to take up positions to defend the Basel al-Assad Air Base adjacent to the coastal town of Jableh, south of Latakia. Additionally, Russia has deployed three dozen BTR-82A armored infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled and towed artillery and a battery of Pantsyr S1 (NATO: SA-22 'Greyhound' 4x33mm guns and 57E6 surface-to-air missiles) short-range air defense system vehicles.

It now appears this urgent Russian military deployment is a combat rescue mission in order to save the bacon of the Al-Assad government as jihadist rebel forces are within mortar range of the air base, and were nearing a position of separating the two coastal governorates of Latakia and Tartus from each other and thereby splitting the Alawite homeland in half. Russia's military has taken full control of the Basel Al-Assad Air Base and placed it off limits to all others except for Russian combat forces. A major battle looms between Russian naval infantry forces and the anti-Assad jihadists.

9 September 2015: Students of Bible prophecy are either entertaining a question about, or outright prematurely declaring that the Russian intervention in Syria's civil war is the lead-in to the Ezekiel 38/39 prophecy coming to fulfillment. The fact of the matter is that Russia will say publicly that its troops are in the country to deliver weapons and provide assistance to an ally. But that just pure propaganda.

We must not make an eschatological error mistake here. The only reason Russia is moving military forces into Syria is for a two-fold reason. A) To preempt a pro-Western government from taking hold when the regime of Bashar al-Assad falls, and B) to preempt the formation of a pro-Israel client state arising in southern Syria. 

Russian combat boots on the ground in Syria will ensure that Russia has a role to play in what follows the inevitable Ba'athist regime's collapse. One need to look back at history no further than the Russian seizure of Sakhalin Island from Japan at the end of World War II to understand why Russian troops are only now putting their footprint deep into Syrian soil, both on the Mediterranean coastline and in the Damascus region. They have come to claim as much of the of the spoils of this war as they can. What the Russians fail to understand is that the Lord has different plans for this land.

7 September 2015:  The are now very solid indications that limited military assistance is being provided by Russia to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. These indications confirm that a limited Russian military deployment into Syria of between 700 and 1,000 military personnel. These Russian troops are in an active if not augmentative supporting role with Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered army just as contingents under IRGC-QF command also in Syria are supporting the al-Assad regime against the Islamic State.

The projected number of Russian military personnel potentially to be deployed is based upon reports of pre-fabricated housing units having been airlifted by An-124 Ruslan (NATO: Condor - image below) into the strategically located Mezze Air Base and to the Bassel al-Assad Air Base south of Latakia within the past two days. This could indicate Russian airborne brigade with its headquarters and mobile air traffic control center might have orders to execute a near-term split deployment into these two locations within Syria. The Latakia force to defend al-Assad's ancestral home turf, and the other to defend Damascus against the forces of the Islamic State.

 An-124 Ruslan (NATO: Condor) strategic airlifter

Today the highly respected FortunasCorner.com website republished an article from Saturday with the headline "Exposing Russia’s Secret Army in Syria" which is chock full of the best kind of intelligence data there is - HUMINT (HUman INTelligence). Some of this human intelligence is coming from well-to-do Syrian refugees who have fled the country by aircraft into Turkey. They report seeing Russian military officers out of uniform in Damascus, as well as Russian troops in uniform jointly manning Syrian checkpoints with Syrian troops. They report these Russian military officers are regularly seen with Iranian and Syrian officers in Damascus. According to this report it does appear that the Russian troop deployment is limited to within the thin slice of Syria that remains under government and Iranian/Hezbollah control along the coast and south along the Lebanese border to Damascus.

MiG-31 Foxhound
2 September 2015:  In mid-August there was the reported arrival of six (6) Russian MiG-31 (NATO Name: Foxhound) interceptor aircraft at Mezze Air Base (Damascus International Airport). The most reliable open source for this is a Janes.com report of 16 August 2015 authored by Garrett Jennings. These are six or a total of 8 aircraft that were to be delivered to the Syrian Air Force under a 2007 contract between the Syrian and Russian governments. Russian pilots for these aircraft were never a part of the contract sale, so it is highly doubtful that Russian pilots have been deployed to Damascus to fly these aircraft. 

The MiG-31, with its Zaslon-A (NATO Name 'Flash Dance') fire control radar slaved to R-33 'Amos' or R-37 'Arrow' missiles, is a true air-to-air interceptor platform and could pose a potential long-range threat to US or other NATO allied aircraft imposing a no-fly zone over a portion of Syrian sovereign airspace. However, the 1980's era MiG-31 aircraft would be of little utility in a ground attack role against Islamic State or other anti-regime Islamist rebel forces, none of whom have any combat aircraft with which to threaten Syria's Ba'athist regime. Therefore, the only conceivable role for the six MiG-31s would be as an interceptor of US/NATO or Israel Air Force aircraft in Syrian airspace.

The most important question that remains to be answered: Will the recently deployed Russian interceptor aircraft will go 'wheels up' to provide combat air cover for overland Iranian arms convoy shipments for Hezbollah in Lebanon which have routinely come under attack by the Israel Air Force in the past couple of years? Will Russia and Israel have a military clash in the skies over Damascus?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Global SITREP D8-15: Is This the End of Israel's "Pricking Brier"?

                                                                                                                                   Image attribution: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty

11 October 2015:  In today's edition of YNet.com's Alex Fishman's Israel Opinion column you can see a prime example of how a secular Jew properly puts blame for Arab muslim violence against Israel where it belongs, as well as improperly putting blame for Islamic violence where it does not belong - at the feet of fellow Jews, which he refers to rather antiseptically as "Religious Zionism." 

Mr. Fishman's hand-wringing and galloping, unbridled fear lies not with the next injury to a fellow Jewish citizen of Israel, but with some unknown Arab muslim member of the Knesset - who pledges not one iota of loyalty to the State of Israel, but to islam because that is what is absolutely required of all muslims in the submission to the false god "allah" as dictated by the qur'an and their imams - that the Arab MK might be hit in the head by a rock thrown by a fellow muslim or a baton wielded by an Israeli policeman.

Americans must pay attention here, because a Republican candidate for President of the United States, Dr. Ben Carson, is absolutely correct in what he says about muslim's and the U.S. Constitution - i.e., not one of them can submit to the U.S. Constitution because to do so is diametrically opposed to the quranic dictate of submission (islam) to only "allah" and his will as expressed by the sayings of Muhammed and the sayings of his seventh century followers.

Mr. Fishman does not express any comprehension whatsoever about islamic violence, a/k/a jihad, being waged against Israel. He has no clue that the incitement to violence comes from one origin and one origin only - the sermons of the local imams in the mosques of Israel. He does not understand that the knives have come out of the kitchen because the qur'an says so and the imams preach it every day. Why else are explosives and firebombs kept in the al-aqsa mosque? It is an armory for achieving the will of their false god; all islamic mosques have this same purpose. They are the 'beach head' for the expansion of islam by the sword. This is the "organized leadership" that Mr. Fishman is utterly blind to.

And this non-sense about Israeli officials, who are and act as nothing more or less than the politicians that they are, tip-toeing in expressing their desire for "quiet" - this is what the secular Israeli wants; it's music to his ears. It's also music to the islamists ears as well!

Mr. Fishman wrote in his opening paragraph that "Israel (meaning the Israeli government led by Bibi Netanyahu) should crack down on its own provocateurs, emanating from the Islamic Movement, the Knesset's Arab faction, or Religious Zionism."  Lumping religious Jews in with Israel's implacable enemies - do you see this obscenity coming from Fishman's keyboard? Ignorance defined. 

These religious Zionists have since the destruction of the Temple been praying for Israel's restoration to the land of Israel. Fulfillment of the prophetic word of God, no? Now they pray for the rebuilding of the Temple and restoration of the daily sacrifice and oblations. This is also prophetic, no? Yes! Again, this is prophecy yet to be fulfilled, and we know it will be. We can only pray that Alex Fishman will be one of those Jews to recognize and accept Israel's one and only Messiah; that he may be one of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists soon to spread out across the globe preaching the Gospel of Jesus which will bring millions to God during the 70th Week.

7 October 2015: Israel faces a great many threats at the present time, but the most pressing of them all is the lack of internal security and the safety of its citizens as they go about their daily lives. It is beyond unacceptable, and a possible cause of a government collapse, when the people of Israel find themselves being stoned, assaulted by would-be executioners and hangmen on a daily basis in their own God-given homeland. Who can count the number of Israeli citizens murdered in cold blood over the years by Arab Muslims living in their midst? Eitan and Naama Henkin were the most recent murder victims, but they won't be the last. Against this backdrop of wanton violence against Israelis it is incomprehensible to hear of a high Israeli government official blaming the Israeli citizens themselves for the murderous intent of the "Palestinian" terrorists. According to Israeli media, this is precisely what defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon did recently when he blamed the Jewish Home Party, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett in particular, for the current violence. Apparently Mr. Ya'alon has not been to a mosque recently to hear the imams sermon calling on all Muslims to the most extreme acts of violence against Jews wherever they are, whoever they are - man, woman, child, that is irrelevant - if they are Jews kill them. Sure his intelligence apparatus has informed him better than this, no?

So, how does all of this square with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's recent eloquent speech and dramatic moments of silence at the UN? He pointed a long finger at the entire world whose silence in the face of holocausts and pogroms against the Jews, yet when Bibi's people are murdered, assaulted, stoned, stabbed and fire-bombed, blown up on buses and risk their very lives just to travel across town or to a nearby settlement to visit friends or relatives, it is Bibi Netanyahu who cannot find the words to call for the kind of action necessary to stop the Arab Muslim onslaught dead in its tracks. 

Bibi Netanyahu has the power to stop this insanity in the time it would take him to fly back to New York City. Will he, even in the face of Arab Muslim MKs who will shortly defy the government as their Muslim ideology explicitly requires of them? It is certain that they will not act for Israel, they will act for Islam. Perhaps it will be their action at the Temple Mount this weekend that spurs Netanyahu to act for Israel? However, I never thought it would be such a laborious decision on Netanyahu's part even though that decision will lead to nationwide violence. He stands against the tide of Islamist fervor for jihad against Israel, and for Israel it will be that Netanyahu must ultimately act decisively. Prophecy proves it.

We know from the many inspired prophecies of all the great, ancient Jewish prophets, particularly Asaph, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Nehemiah, that the time is rapidly approaching when an Israeli leader will rise up and act, whether or not this leader is Bibi Netanyahu is irrelevant. This leader will have the archangel Michael lending his hand in the process. Wait and see if these two fairly specific verses below are not fulfilled in very short order exactly as they are written.

Isaiah 11:14

"But they  (Israel) shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west;
Together they shall plunder the people of the East;
They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab;
And the people of Ammon shall obey them."

Ezekiel 28:24

“And there shall no longer be a pricking brier or a painful thorn for the house of Israel from among all who are around them, who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.” 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Global SITREP D7-15: About the Psalm 83 Prophecy

UPDATE 6 October 2015:  SITREP D7-15 has been about the external aspects of the Psalm 83 and directly related prophecies being driven by events related to violence around Jerusalem's Temple Mount and Jewish desires for sovereignty and full access, plus the overall sequence of prophetic events and how they are coming upon the world "as a flood." Now we see the internal aspects of Psalm 83 being driven by the rampant and ancient hatred of Arab Muslims against the very existence of Israel. This will be the subject of the following SITREP D8-15.

25 September 2015: As was reported yesterday by Israeli media, the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan is at risk of collapse because of the strife occurring on Mount Moriah, site of Islam's Dome of the Rock and future home of Israel's 3rd Temple, which this blog refers to as the 70th Week Temple. 

The strife which has been occurring for some time can legitimately be referred to as kinetic Islamic jihad against the presence of infidels. The jihadists have taken to arming themselves with more than rocks to hurl as projectiles at non-Muslim infidels on the mount, but explosives and firebombs are being utilized and stored within the Al Aqsa Mosque for the waging of jihad. This is obviously known and condoned by the Islamic authority, the Waqf, which is under the jurisdiction of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Israeli government's (PM Netanyahu and Security Cabinet) response to this escalating jihad on the mount has been to authorize a .22 caliber 'open fire' order for Israeli security forces to immediately halt any threat to human life by the jihadists actions. 

The high-end result of Israel's new rules of engagement for its security forces on Mount Moriah has been a total freeze in the 24-year long peace treaty status quo between Jordan and Israel as ordered by the Jordanian monarch, Abdullah II, who has openly declared the Temple Mount to be a "Muslim's Only" religious site. All lines of communication between Abdullah II and PM Netanyahu have now ceased, and a direct threat of Jordanian abrogation of the 1994 Peace treaty suddenly exists as Jordan is threatening to break diplomatic relations by expelling the Israeli Ambassador.

The clearly spoken threat made by Abdullah II is that "grave consequences for the entire region" will result from what it says are Israel's attempts at "Judaizing" the Temple Mount. These are unambiguous words threatening war, the war we know from Bible prophecy as the Psalm 83 War.  Our watchful eyes are wide open.

21 September 2015 (Edited to include New Information): Eschatology Today has noticed of late the emergent travail within the bride of Christ regarding the fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 83. My intent has been to stay clear of the fracas, but that is no longer a viable position to maintain.

In a nutshell, and because I do not wish to belabor the issue here, Bill Salus sent out a report yesterday which clearly illustrates the travail. Bill is at a point of brotherly loggerheads on this issue with Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum whose opinion, according to Salus, holds the view that Psalm 83 was fulfilled in 1948. The Salus counter-point is that the primary instigator are the modern-day Edomites whose tents (i.e. war refugee status) did not come into existence until after the combat of 1948-49 was concluded with the armistice of 1950. 

In the past week I have researched this issue and have found nothing to indicate Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum holds the view that's been assigned to him. To the contrary I have found that Fruchtenbaum has long held to the same interpretation as I do; that Psalm 83 has been a prophecy in the process of fulfillment since 1948, and it primarily involves two front line Arab Muslim nations: Lebanon and Jordan. His work "The Arab States in Prophecy, Part 2" clearly makes this point of view.  So, now I am at a complete loss to understand why there is any disagreement between Salus and Fruchtenbaum, they are on the same page and much of Salus' work in his 2008 book Isralestine came from reading what Fruchtenbaum had penned previously.

To re-cap the Psalm 83 War from 1948 to the Present and the expected outcome in the near future:

As readers of Eschatology Today will probably recall, I have addressed the Psalm 83 fulfillment issue since 2009 within the context of the "Prophetic Dominoes" paradigm, which itself is 100% based upon the study of the sequence of warfare of prophecy within the word of God. More importantly still  than this Bible-based paradigm is the fact, as also readily understood by Eschatology Today readers, that the word of God tells us directly and precisely when Asaph's Psalm 83 prophecy will have come to its fulfillment:  Isaiah 11:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:24-26

For the past 67 years Psalm 83 has remained and continues to be a Holy Spirit-inspired prophecy in the process of fulfillment!

As prophetically declared by Isaiah: Does Israel have sovereignty over Gaza and are those terrorists vanquished? Are the ancient lands of Edom and Moab in modern-day Jordan now the sovereign territory of Israel; do the people of Amman obey the government of Israel in Jerusalem? 

As prophetically declared by Ezekiel: Does there still exist today a "pricking brier" of despising enemies all around Israel; does Israel dwell safely and securely and build houses at their leisure wherever they choose to build them? 

When these prophetic specifics have become reality as the aftermath of full-scale warfare between Israel and the enemies which currently surround her, then and only then can it be stated with absolute certitude that Psalm 83 has come to its ultimate fulfillment. Until then several dominoes must fall in their sequence; this is what we are witnessing in the run-up to Isaiah 17, and ultimately after Psalm 83 the specific conditions which will exist for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39 to occur.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Global SITREP D6-15 Part II: Russian Military Engaged in Syrian Combat Operations.

UPDATE 02 October 2015: In a very recent interview with PBS in New York City, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq offered an invitation to the Russian Federation to send its troops and aircraft to his country if it would be willing to join the anti-Islamic State coalition (led by the United States). 

In this interview conducted on Wednesday, 30 September, PM al-Abadi also revealed that intelligence sharing between Iraq, Iran and Russia regarding air and ground combat operations against the Islamic State  has been ongoing for at least the past 3 months. This means the Baghdad coordination center manned by a Russian three-star general, and Iranian general and an Iraqi general has been receiving intelligence information provided by the United States far longer than the coordination center has been known to exist. Is this how Russia knew precisely where to hit the US-backed rebels in Syria over the past two days in preparation for the expected land offensive by Iranian, Syrian and Russian marines? Are American combat forces in Iraq now at greater risk due to loose Iraqi lips? Stand-by.

30 September 2015: As expected and in the immediate aftermath of the Putin-Obama mini-summit at the UN headquarters in New York City, Vladimir Putin and his rubber-stamp Federation Council (upper legislative house of the Federal Assembly) have made President of the United States of America Barack Hussein Obama and his entire corps of mainstream media lap dogs look like rank amateurs.  Within hours after Putin declared that Russia had no plans to deploy large numbers of combat troops into Syria, the exact opposite is now the fact as approved by the Federation Council.

Students of Bible prophecy should know that on the prophetic timeline following Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49:23-27 there is no further mention of what we know as Syria in the prophetic texts, neither in the Psalm 83-related texts or Ezekiel 38/39. I believe we are now about to witness in real-time the reason for this omission. Unrestrained warfare will soon commence to consume and obliterate this land. Refugee problem? Humanitarian crisis? We have not seen anything yet.

In Russian strikes conducted today by Su-25 (NATO: Frogfoot) aircraft, who hit targets near Homs, Hama and Latakia governorates. While Russia claims they struck Islamic State targets, it is well known by Western observers that there are no Islamic State forces anywhere within a radius of 40 miles from these locations. Therefore, what the Russians aircraft struck were anti-Assad rebel forces other than Islamic State, possibly Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, or possibly other rebels supported by the US-led coalition. Map below.

In another bit of news, it is also being reported by Western military observers that there is severe disagreement, if not outright resentment, between loyal al-Assad officers of the Syrian Army and the Iranian officers of the IRGC who are in positions of command. Several Syrian officers have been put before firing squads for objecting too strenuously against the Iranians.  A house divided cannot stand.

29 September 2015: Despite the recent Netanyahu-Putin mini-summit in Moscow, yesterday in New York the Russian Federation president made public his "worry" concerning Israel's retaliatory strikes against enemy fighting positions and command posts on the Syrian side of the Golan. This "worry" may belie a secret mutual defense agreement among the Syrian, Iranian/Hezbollah and Russian forces. At some point Russian forces may find themselves obligated or otherwise ordered to militarily respond to an Israeli preemptive or retaliatory strike against one or more of Putin's allies, such as Sunday's attack on the Syrian 90th Brigade command post which fired upon Israel under Iranian orders. The clear and present danger noted below just became a little more clear and dangerous.

21 September 2015: PM Netanyahu and a dozen of his IDF staff officers were in Moscow this morning to meet with Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin in order to negate the possibility of a military engagement between Israeli and Russian combat forces in or over Syrian territory. 

Putin made it very clear that the objective of Russian forces deployed into Syria is the defense of the Bashar al-Assad regime against all of its enemies. This is a clear and present danger for Israel. I will state here what virtually all mainstream media are reluctant to put into print. 

Syria's list of enemies includes the State of Israel. Since 1973 the two nations have remained in a state of war against each other, which amounts to a total of 67 years and counting to be precise. 

It is also being reported that Vladimir Putin told Bibi Netanyahu that Russian military forces deployed in Syria will act in a responsible manner. This is no where near reassuring as it was without question Russian military forces taking part in the invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory which shot down the civilian Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 fourteen months ago during its flight from Amsterdam, Holland to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Russia and its Iranian ally both have considerable military forces in Syria; they are of one accord in the utilization of those forces. This presents a clear and present danger to the State of Israel, and Bibi Netanyahu can be under to illusion of reassurance coming from the leader of the Russian Federation.

17 September 2015: Looks like the folks at DEBKAfile have begun to read this blog. They've also included some commentary indicating they now fully understand  the tactical urgent reason for the Russian military intervention as reported here in SITREP D6-15 on 14 September. This is a good thing. What remains to be seen is if Israel's political leadership will call out Russia's political leadership for the egregious lies given to them regarding ongoing Russian combat operations.  

The ingredients for a military miscalculation in the virtual free-for-all warfare going on in Syria increases with each new day. As Russia's military operations expand outwards into central Syria they will eventually make hot contact with Kurdish YPG rebels fighting against al-Assad's army who have US Special Forces embedded with them as "non-combatant advisors." The entire mess in Syria could turn wicked ugly very quickly.
UPDATED 16 SEPTEMBER 2015: The image above was taken by a Syrian photo journalist near Latakia, Syria is proof positive that the Russian Federation intends to engage in full-scale combat operations against any and all jihadist armies fighting to overthrow the Ba'athist government of Bashar al-Assad. In this image is seen one of the Russian army's jam-resistant R-166-0.5 command and control HF/VHF/UHF communication vehicles.  Thus far the reported eight of these vehicles in Syria constitute a battalion-level signals unit to provide continuous voice and data command and control signals to an entire brigade combat team from line-of-sight to distances of well over a thousand miles. This means well over a thousand Russian combat troops will likely be deployed into northwestern coastal Syria in the coming days, with larger numbers to follow by both air and sea.

And here below is a recent satellite image (click on the image for full details) of the Russian forward operating base (FOB) being stood up at the former Bassel al-Assad International Airport adjacent to the coastal town of Jableh, just south of the port at Latakia. This well-annotated image makes it absolutely clear that Russian military forces intend to remain in Syria for a very long time indeed.

Russian fighter aircraft and attack helicopters will be stationed here, and twice daily flights of war materiel direct from Russia on An-124 Condor strategic lift aircraft have occurred continuously over the past few weeks. The improvements being made to this as yet unnamed FOB appear to have commenced not-so-coincidentally around the time of the signing of the JCPOA agreement with Iran. This newly acquired Russian base in Syria is proof positive that the Obama Administration has been played the willing fool once again by Russia and Iran; that its foreign policy with respect to Russia, Iran and Syria has attained an unbelievably higher level of incompetence than its unilateral withdrawal from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom had previously evidenced. 

These are the type of things that make what was all but inconceivable a couple of weeks ago a virtual reality now and into the near-term future. However, that said and with an eye to the literal prophetic word of the Lord, Ezekiel tells us that Gog of Magog "will come out of his land in the utmost north (tsaphown yĕrekah)" which is much farther distant than northern Syria. In fact, within the Ezekiel 38/39 prophecy there is no mention of Syria whatsoever, nor is any other country currently located on Israel's present borders or future border. This is rather anomalous considering the many nations of this confederation that constitute a rather detailed or itemized list. This leads me to conclude in analysis of current events that this Russian military presence in Syria is not long-term and limited in scope for one or more unforeseen reasons, but which may well be directly related to the events foretold in Jeremiah 49:23-27, and which constitute a prophetic direct link to Isaiah 17.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Daniel's 70th Week and the Harpazo

UPDATE 01 September 2015: It's always a very disturbing thing to see such rampant deviation from the doctrine to be found within the Word of God coming from people who self-identify as believing Christians. It is everywhere one casts his or her gaze these days. It is beyond me to understand why such people will go to other men or women for religious doctrine instead of to Living Word of God, and the Holy Spirit which the Lord sent to be among us, to instruct, convict and assist us. But, you know what, all of this apostasy is yet another 'sign of the times', a sign of the great apostasy that is as much a part of last days eschatology as the battle of Gog/Magog or the 70th Week itself. These things are all synonymous indications and warning of precisely what time we live in.  

28 August 2015:  It's time once again for an update regarding the Harpazo of the bride of Christ due to the fact that there is now an in-progress effort by some false teachers who are going to try to convince as many of you as is possible of a couple of things. One thing is that everything you know about the 'end times' is wrong, and the other is that Harpazo will not occur prior to the 70th Week, but during it. 

I will not name these false teachers because it may well be that their names might not be written in the Book of Life, so why should I name them in this space? (Matthew 7:21) They also wish to make a large sum of cash money TO COME DIRECTLY FROM YOU for their effort to instruct their unbiblical nonsense, so you will learn of their names soon enough. These are not Christian brethren that constantly argue against us in our belief as led by the Holy Spirit. They are clearly identified as last days 'Laodiceans' in Revelation 3:15-19.

These false teachers will attempt to instruct that the bride of Christ will be subject to the wrath of God during the 70th Week; that the cataclysmic effects upon the whole earth as the Lord Jesus Christ opens the seven seals will also befall the bride of Christ as much as it will those who would believe the lie of Satan and his beast and false prophet.

I will use the word of God, as given to the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (link embedded in the text for context), to preemptively destroy everything these false teachers have to say to us and to the as yet unsaved masses.  The Harpazo of the bride of Christ will occur prior to the 70th Week, and Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to tell us why this IS the fact of the matter:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."
Let me repeat: We, the bride of the LORD Jesus Christ, God incarnate, are beloved by Him, He gave Himself for us, and He washes us and cleanses us by the power of His word, so that He will soon present us to Himself as a glorious bride, without so much as a single spot or wrinkle, completely holy and without blemish! 

Does this sound even remotely like the bride of Christ will be subject to the wrath of God loosed upon the world during the 70th Week? Is any of the bride of Christ to be subject to death, disfigurement, disease, dismemberment, tortured, raped, pillaged, bloodied and bruised? Of course not! So as you come to see the assault from the false teaching of disreputable men, stop them in their tracks and refute them with His word that washes us and makes us glorious for Him to present us to Himself.

29 September 2013: It has been suggested by a couple of those Christians who do not believe there can be any pre-70th Week wars because God would not allow them prior to the Harpazo/Rapture because that would be tantamount to judgment befalling the Bride of Christ. It is those Christians then that the key question of this addendum is addressed: How do you reconcile the current and ongoing wholesale extermination of Christians in the Middle East by Islamic Jihadists? The rampant martyrdom of our brethren across the whole of the Middle East and and Southwest Asia, excepting only the State of Israel, has reached epic if not Biblical proportions. Therefore and within your own eschatological view, how do you deal with this most uncomfortable truth?

UPDATED and REVISED 23 September 2013: Following some fairly intensive study I feel there's a need to update this post with some additional information which is directly relevant to where I left off with the 19 July update. As stated in the second-to-last paragraph, I believe there is a direct prologue correlation of the coming Harpazo of the Bride of Christ with the Harpazo of Enoch prior to the Flood.

However, that is not the most appropriate prologue to cite according to what I believe God has informed us of in Genesis 6 and 7.  Noah, his sons, their wives and the building of the ark itself as an avenue of escape from the judgment of the Flood is an exceptionally poignant and prophetic prologue.  The enigmatic verses of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-6, which many pre-70th Week dispensationalists do an eschatological tap dance around, is resolved fully and to the literal letter of Paul's inspired declaration on the subject.

Make no mistake, I am definitively of the pre-70th Week dispensational view, however it is entirely due to what God says in His Living Word of Genesis 5, 6 and 7 that I no longer can accept that there will be any gap of time between the Harpazo and Day 1 of the 70th Week.

This is really so simple I feel I should head-slap myself as NCIS' Jethro Gibbs would head-slap Tony DiNozzo for some unprofessional silliness simply because I did not see this sooner. 

Genesis 5:32 and 6:10 tell us Noah was 500 years old and to him were born after his 500th year three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Genesis 6:3 and 6:13 and 6:17 provide the details that the Lord's judgment was announced in advance and would come upon the earth in exactly 120 years time from Noah's 500th year on the earth. Noah and sons were found to be pure in the generations from Adam; that is to say their DNA was pure and uncorrupted by any fallen angelic corruption, and so they were excepted from the wrath to come, to be saved from the coming judgment of destruction upon the earth. 

Then Noah receives his precise instructions from the Lord on how he is to construct the ark and he does exactly as commanded. Clearly to be assumed from the text here is that Noah's sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, were all born and raised to a working age during the 20 years following Noah's receiving this instruction from God. Therefore, since Shem, Ham and Japheth are not known to us to have been triplets, at the minimum their ages would have been 20, 19 and 18, respectively, when the laborious task of constructing the ark was begun in earnest.

Then at Genesis 7:1, 6 and 11 come the very interesting details. Here the Lord informs us that the construction of ark was completed. Noah and his family are told to enter into the ark and the Flood commences on that same day. 

This day is specified in Genesis 7:6 to have occurred when Noah was 600-years old -- and Genesis 7:11 gets very specific that this occurred on the 17th day of the 2nd month of that 600th year. No reason is given for this specificity, but my sense in literally interpreting this is that it somehow relates directly to the future Harpazo (end of the Age of Grace - start of the 70th Week) occurring within the exact same template of a certain specified or appointed day and hour known only by God the Father. 

This, obviously, brings us to the point wherein I am sure some of my fellow dispensationalists will object to what has been written here thus far. They will say, "Ah, but you have violated the the inviolable, you have violated the "Doctrine of Imminence. This cannot happen." Really?  What is the "Doctrine of Imminence?" Is the "Doctrine of Imminence" given to us in the plain text of His Word, is it demonstratively inspired of the Holy Spirit, or is it something that has been interpretively inferred by fallible men based upon what the Lord has said, both in text and in-person? Obviously, this doctrine has been interpretively inferred in relatively recently times by men, and therefore it suffers from a weakness that must be defended.

What is provided here is based upon the God-breathed narrative about the Flood of Noah, and this includes the prophetic template or foreshadowing that the very elect of God were saved from certain destruction via Divine judgment of a kind that had never before occurred on the earth. Also included here is the direct albeit figurative reference from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel that the end of the present age will come "the end thereof shall be with a flood" (Daniel 9:26c) and the very specific reference given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24:36-39 (emphasis added):
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
Need any more be stated?

13 July 2011: This time we're back into the "meat and 'taters" of eschatological study. I say "meat and 'taters" because this is some truly heavy fare that will require significant Berean study, commentary, and probably some editing in the process. I am not really teaching anything with this post, but rather I'm as much learning in this process as are those who are reading this for the first time.

To begin with, a verse from Daniel that we should all be quite familiar with. It is this verse which I believe is indicative of both the revealing of the Antichrist and the commencement of Daniel's 70th Week and the imminent Harpazo of the Bride of Christ which meany teach is a signless event.

"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering." (Daniel 9:27a NKJV)

How does this verse relate to Paul's exhorations to the Thessalonians who were very concerned that Daniel's 70th Week had commenced.

"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)

If 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 is definitively referring to the Harpazo of the Bride of Christ, then clearly that event is not signless event with spiritual apostasy and the revealing of the Antichrist being definitive temporal signs that the Harpazo must occur after the restrainer is moved out of the way. As Paul strenuously exhorts - let no one deceive us in any way about this.

So, if I understand this correctly, and I think I've done my homework here, what Paul is teaching to the Thessalonians, and to all Christians up to the present time, is that the apostasy (falling away) precedes the revealing of the Antichrist and the revealing of the Antichrist precedes the Harpazo.

Here is where I, as a pretribulationist believer, found that I must assume in reading these verses that Paul had taught the Thessalonians about a pretribulation Harpazo. Indeed the assumption is correct because Paul so states in the very next verse (2 Thessalonians 2:5) that he had previously taught the Thessalonians exactly that.

However, in spite of the teaching they had received the Thessalonians thought they were living in the tribulation, during Daniel's 70th Week. They were extremely concerned that they had missed the Harpazo which in turn made Paul's correction to them in these verses absolutely necessary; he had to prove to them in no uncertain terms that the Harpazo had not occurred and thus gave them specific signs with with to prove his teaching and alleviate their fears.

UPDATE 19 July 2011: I believe the restrainer is the Bride of Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit.

In my study I realized that knowledge of who the restrainer is has been the fact of the matter since the Day of Pentecost (read: Paul in Romans 5:5). The restrainers role will end on the Day of Harpazo. This finite period of time is also referred to as the Dispensation of Grace, and is referred to by Paul in Romans 11:25 as "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."

As for Daniel's 70th Week, we all know those literal 7 years have two 42-month long halves. It is the second half which is a Great Tribulation like nothing ever experienced on the earth in the past or ever again in the future. The near annihilation of all life on the earth if those future days are not cut short by the direct intervention of God.

Those months are foretold in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 26:19-21 (Isaiah refers to this period as "the indignation" and also prophecy's the Harpazo will "hide" us in certain chambers until this period of time is past. Those chambers (literally "dwellings") were revealed to us by the Lord Himself in John 14:1-3. Zephaniah also speaks to our being "hid" in "the day of the LORD's anger (i.e. the day of the LORD's wrath). The same is said in Psalm 27:5.

As a template for the Harpazo of the Bride of Christ, I think the Harpazo of Enoch prior to Noah's Flood serves us very well. Genesis 5 tells us that Enoch lived 365 years and was Harpazoed straight to God. It is interesting to note here that by counting the years between Enoch's harpazo and day one of Noah's Flood we can see that he was caught up 531 years prior to the flood. Now while that's a serious amount of years prior to the end of that dispensation, it's all relative because people prior to the flood were on the average living for just under a millennium of years (circa 9 centuries give or take a decade or two). Now Psalm 90:10 tells us we live (on average) for 70 years or 80 years with strength.

The point is the Bride of Christ will be Harpazoed as was Enoch, prior to the wrath of God being poured out. And since Daniel's 70th Week is not relative to the Bride of Christ, but to Israel, we're gone prior to the commencement of those 7 years, and which our Lord said would be inclusive of the lifespan of the generation alive at that time. Given that the prophetic re-birth of Israel (Ezekiel 37) occurred 65 years ago, I would tend to think we're on the tail end of the timelime that's left prior to Daniel's 70th Week commencing.