Sunday, December 27, 2009

Are Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 Imminent?

27 December 2009: Readers should be aware of Eschatology Today's four-part series entitled "The Prophetic Road to Revelation (hereafter TPRR for short)." I have added a new direct-link feature in the upper right-hand column to make access to the 5-part series that much easier.

In preparation of going forward into the year 2010 AD it became very apparent that while I've referenced the prophecy of Isaiah 17 on many items and comments within this blog, the overall significance of the prophecy has not been given the full exegesis in the TPRR series that it should have been given. In fact, I barely mentioned Isaiah 17 in TPRR Part III, but merely posted a link to the online NIV translation. I am now going to rectify that oversight.

The Hal Lindsey "War Imminent" video from May 2009 embedded above provides very a similar if not the same context as the TPRR series provides, yet Hal makes mention of a specific item that has become the focus of my own recent research into Isaiah 17. Hal speaks to the numbers of casualties in both Israel and Syria in the event of an all-out WMD war between them. I believe this is precisely one of the key prophetic insights of Isaiah 17.

First, elemental to the necessary rectification, I believe Isaiah 17 should be consided as an integral part of the Psalm 83 prophecy, if not the lead element in the cause, conduct and course of the warfare described by the prophet Asaph in the Psalm. The first three verses give us this overarching context and link three key combatant nations of Syria, Jordan and Israel into this prophetic event.

The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks which lie down, and no one will make them afraid. The fortress also will cease from Ephraim, the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria (Aram); they will be as the glory of the children of Israel,” says the LORD of hosts.

Everyone is aware of the primary destruction of the city of Damascus which has been the traditional focus of this prophecy. However, it is clearly seen that the cities of Aroer are directly involved in the warfare; they are abandoned by their populations, forsaken, and in which animals exist alone without human care. The (map link) "cities of Aroer" named here by Isaiah are specifically identified in Joshua 13:24-28. This is the part of Israel which has been given to the tribe of Gad. This land lies in what is today northwestern Jordan

"Moses also had given an inheritance to the tribe of Gad, to the children of Gad according to their families. Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the Ammonites as far as Aroer, which is before Rabbah, and from Heshbon to Ramath Mizpah and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the border of Debir, and in the valley Beth Haram, Beth Nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, with the Jordan as its border, as far as the edge of the Sea of Chinnereth, on the other side of the Jordan eastward. This is the inheritance of the children of Gad according to their families, the cities and their villages."

Keep Joshua 13 handy as it reflects very nicely the full territorial extent of the land which will become Israel proper once Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 have been completely fulfilled in the near-term future. Pay close attention to verses 1 through 7, and notice all of Lebanon is included in the full scope of the land Israel will possess.

The next sentence we read in Isaiah 17 begins with the statement "The fortress also will cease from Ephraim." Locate Ephraim on this map. Save this map as a .jpg image to your hard drive and compare it with this map and this map. The first thing that one should notice is that Ephraim comprises the heart of the territories of the West Bank, now under the control of the terrorist Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, and is desired to be controlled by his rivals in HAMAS, with Israeli outposts and settlements existing throughout the territory. Seeing these maps should bring a keen new insight as to the specific meaning regarding the "fortress ceasing from Ephraim." This land is destined by God-given ordinance to belong only to Israel, and should there be, as is the current agenda of the West at this point, the establishment of a Palestinian state on this land, it will be a very short-lived state at that.

The next three verses of Isaiah 17 (4 through 6) reveal the initial damage done to Israel as this war commences:
In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob (Israel) will wane, and the fatness of his flesh grow lean. It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain, and reaps the heads with his arm; it shall be as he who gathers heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it, Like the shaking of an olive tree, Two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, Four or five in its most fruitful branches,” says the LORD God of Israel.
Although Israel will be overwhelmingly victorious in this war, she will suffer significant casualties. The Valley of Raphaim is specifically mentioned. This is a valley which lies west of Jerusalem, in the hills of Judea and progressing southwestward toward the coastal plain adjacent to the Valley of Elah, the site of the Israelite encampment when David slew Goliath. This region is the primary approach for Israel into the city of Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and Ashdod to the west.

These wartime events will bring about a common theme found in much of the Bible’s “end of the age” prophecies. The common theme, beginning in verses 7 and 8, is that through these events Israel, which is represented by the gleaning grapes and olives of the uppermost bough and outmost fruitful branches, will at that time again look upon the "Qadowsh Yisra’el," the Holy One of Israel. This the same theme as found in the “end of the age” message from Paul in Romans 11; these are at a minimum some of the men of Israel who will become the 144,000 global evangelists of Daniel’s 70th Week. They will have absolutely no regard for and completely forsake all the things of this world and will then clearly see the Deliverer of Zion and serve God only. Israel will have its blindness removed and the root which supports all of us as the grafted in branch are themselves grafted back in to the olive tree.

At verse 9 through 11 we once again see the overwhelming demise of Israel’s enemies, consistent with the theme of Psalm 83, these enemies have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide; their “strong cities” shall offer no refuge and there will be widespread waste and desolation. Such is the fate of the descendants of Ishmael who turned their back on the true God who is the only source of salvation and embraced Islam and its false god instead. The harvest they shall reap from this devotion to a false religion and a false god will yield them nothing but a heap of grief and incurable sorrows.

Finally, the prophecy of Isaiah 17 culminates with verses 12 through 14 which clearly illustrate the global nature of this war and its effects on many nations, meaning the whole world. Again, the parallel to the warfare and results of Psalm 83 are unmistakable. These prophecies are a God-breathed foretelling of the same event. The cry of “Woe!” leaps out from the opening of verse 12 and goes out to the nations of the world who make a tumult like the rushing of flood waters as they rush in against Israel only to be rebuked by God which is expressed in language very similar to that given by Asaph in Psalm 83. They are driven back like chaff before a Divine wind which is likened to irresistible force of an off-the-scale tornado.

It is at this point I would direct the reader to the prophecy of Zechariah 9, verses 1-8, which paints a prophetic picture of how these coming events will unfold and the scope of the Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 war; how it involves the rest of Syria, north to Hamath, all of Lebanon, and the terrorist stronghold of Gaza. This series of prophetic verses begin as does Isaiah 17 with a burden against Damascus and the land of Hadrach. The mention of Hadrach, the Hebrew Chadrak, meaning Lebanon, occurs only once in the Bible, right here in Zechariah 9:1. Again, the reference above to Judges 13 should be considered as intimate reference material to these coming conquests of Israel’s enemies.
So, what we see here in Zechariah 9 is that the burden (oracle) against Damascus is directly linked to a burden (oracle) against, all of Lebanon. Lebanon, as we all know, is the domain of the terrorist group Hezbollah, and a client state of both Syria and Iran. These verses also single out Tyre and Sidon, making the direct connection to Lebanon a cinch. Lebanon’s fate is spelled out in verse 4 as her sovereignty is lost, her commerce via sea power is destroyed and the land consumed by fire. In verse 5 the prophecy moves south to Gaza, the stronghold of the terrorist HAMAS, which are a virtual duplicate of Hezbollah, or as some hold the view that Gaza is “Hezbollah South.” Both Hezbollah and HAMAS are proxies of Iran and Syria.
Also, please note that HAMAS is not only in Gaza, but has the distinction of being the armed wing of the Islamic terrorist group known as the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimuun) or MB. The MB are present here in the United States under the disguise of front organizations such as CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America, and the now defunct HLF (Holy Land Foundation), among other closely related Islamic organizations.
In Zechariah 9:7 we see the Palestinians of Gaza, referred to as living in Ekron (southern Judah) and along the coast (Gaza), and their being “torn up by the roots” from these lands. The survivors of the onslaught will worship the God of Israel. This is consistent with the concluding verses found in Psalm 83:16-18:

“Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, That they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth. “

The final result is seen in Zechariah 8:9 where all of these lands, from Lebanon through to Gaza in the south, become the sovereign territory of Israel, never again to be the home of an oppressor of Israel. Additionally, there is no mistake in realizing that Israel will recognize these verses as a call to recognize Jesus the Messiah as we see in Zechariah 9:9. The overwhelming victories given to Israel, and harken back to what we saw above in Isaiah 17:7-8. This and the verses which follow speak to a conquering Messiah in the region and to the ends of the whole earth. This is a clear prophetic picture that we see in all “end times” prophecy – the coming Millennial Kingdom of Christ.

And, without going into much detail because it has been covered so well by other expositors, parallels of these same prophetic images are seen in Jeremiah 49.

As an end note to this article, I would remind the reader that while this war against the “inner ring" Arab Muslim states appears to be imminent, and I truly believe all of these prophecies are pointing to the same unprecedented scale of warfare in the Middle East, we are to be ever mindful of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ regarding wars and rumors of wars, that they must take place. And when they do they will come like a flood, meaning they will occur in a very rapid and powerful sequence of geo-political paradigm shifts which are brought about primarily through warfare, for it is warfare which is the central theme of all things connected to “end times” prophecy.

Maranatha, Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Can't The Syrians and Their Arab Brothers Take a Strong Hint?

17 December 2009: A headline which circulated exactly one week ago hyped the fact that Syria would strike Israel if Iran was attacked. Oh really? This is news? This surprises some folks? It shouldn't have because it's fairly old news.

This was news four years and nine months ago, on 16 Februrary 2005 to be precise, when Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari and Iranian Vice-President Mohammed Reza Aref announced the establishment of their mutual defense pact to the world. The government of the State of Israel has known about and placed this as a consideration in their planning to put a halt to Iranian nuclear weapons ambitions since that time.

One might even even surmise that Israel demonstrated the folly of this mutual defense pact to the Syrian generals when a 12-man IDF special forces unit infiltrated the joint Syrian-Iranian-North Korean plutonium reactor site at Al-Kibar, Syria during August 2007. These Israeli special operators took soil samples and photographs right under the noses of their enemies. They were never detected. That direct, on-site collected intelligence was then analyzed back in Israel and in early September the Israeli Air Force flew in to raze the facility to the ground, all the while electronically supressing the cream of Syria's Russian-made air defense systems to the point of utter uselessness. The Israeli commando's then made battle damage assessment reports back to their headquarters and were exflitrated out of Syria in the same manner in which they had come in - by helicopter. In a matter of minutes Israel turned the nuclear plant at Al Kibar into a "ruinous heap." The lessons for the Syrian General Command should have been thunderous as they were shocking. Probably scared the pants off the Iranian Ayatollah and his sock puppet as well. The fools have been begging the Russians for more advanced air defense systems ever since.

Perhaps the Israeli jets should have also dropped psychological operations leaflets quoting Isaiah 17 in Arabic on the Syrians as well. It would have constituted sage advice and a humanitarian act at the same time - despite the fact that the text is only a little over 3,000 years old. For when Israel strikes Iranian nuclear weapons sites the Syrian threat of a "commensurate response" upon Israel will result in the annihilation of Damascus. It's probably not a bad idea for the Israeli's to drop similar leaflets on the Lebanese, Hezbollah, the Jordanians, the Saudis, the PA in the West Bank, HAMAS in Gaza and the Egyptians. Those leaflets should have an Arabic language translation of Psalm 83 written by the Divinely inspired psalmist and prophet Asaph. Either way, the sons of Ishmael will shortly be in for a world of unprecedented hurt should they heed their own poorly conceived conspiratorial advice and crafty plans about wiping Israel off the map.

Friday, December 4, 2009

When Will The Third Temple Be Built?

04 December 2009: The Third Temple is coming to Jerusalem. However I have my doubts whether its construction will have anything to do with the reports being circulated regarding a long deceased rabbi by the name of Vilna Gaon or the alleged imminent destruction of the newly reconstrcuted Hurva (Ruins) Synagogue in Jerusalem.

We all know that the Third Temple will be where the Jews reinstate the daily worship and daily sacrifice which the Antichrist will put a stop to. It will be within the Temple, in that part known as the Holy Place, where an image that will be made to speak will be stood up.

These things have occured in the past as a template for the future, during the reign of the prototype antichrist, Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This event is the Abomination of Desolation.

Our Lord and Savior told us so:
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place...
Matthew 24:15a

The precise location inside the Temple that Jesus is referencing from Daniel can be seen in the image below. (From Chuck Missler's KHouse website)

I also believe that God's Word tells us when the Third Temple will be built during these last days. This is yet another specific template of a future prophetic event found in the Old Testament.The timing reference is related to the timing and conditions that were required for the building of Solomon's Temple on the Lord's specific instructions:

1 Kings 5:1-5, verses 3 and 4 especially.

1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David.
2 Then Solomon sent to Hiram, saying:
3 You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet.
4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.
5 And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to my father David, saying, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.”
After the enemies are defeated and wars on Israel's every side are won, then we'll see the condition set for the rebuilding of this prophetically important structure. After Isaiah 17, Psalm 83 are fulfilled I do expect the Temple to be constructed very quickly thereafter.

It will be through the reinstatement of Hebrew Temple worship in the Temple in Jerusalem that God will pour out His Spirit on all Israel in fulfillment of Romans 11 and a host of other Bible prophecies. And the scales will be removed from their eyes and they will look upon Him whom they pierced.

And the Bride is in Heaven with Messiah.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

School to Prepare for the Rebuilt Temple

Preparing for Service in the Rebuilt Temple

( Jews in the town of Mitzpe Yericho are taking practical steps to prepare for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, by preparing descendents of Cohanim (priests) and Levites for service. At the Mitzpe Yericho school, Temple priest hopefuls learn exactly how to conduct the daily Temple service and offer the required sacrifices.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bill Salus (Isralestine), John Brown (Zion Oil and Gas) with Jonathan Bernis on Jewish Voice TV

Watch Bill Salus on Jewish Voice television with Jonathan Bernis. Bill discusses with Jonathan Bernis the origins of the Middle East conflict. Jonathan asks Bill to tell the viewers about the Psalm 83 War. Also Bill tells Jonathan why the nations sharing common borders with Israel today are not listed in the Ezekiel 38 and 39 Russian – Iranian Magog invasion. John Brown of Zion Oil is also on this program.

Bill Salus on Jewish Voice TV

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Turkey Has Left the West and Joined the Magog Axis

18 October 2009: This week bore witness to what Bible eschatologists and Christian watchmen have been warning about for years : the inevitable and unequivocal defection of Turkey from the NATO military alliance in favor of the military alliance identified by the ancient national names of Ezekiel 38-39 and best known as the Gog-Magog Alliance. With ever increasing rapidity Bible prophecy is being fulfilled. The Bride of Christ has taken full notice while the secular institutions which surround all of us in the West and in Israel officially remain blissfully ignorant if not wilfully unconscious.

Turkey not only unceremoniously bounced Israel out of a longstanding annual airborne 'Anatolian Eagle" military exercises, but it cemented a new military alliance with Israel's arch-enemy and continuing state-of-war belligerent in Syria. This new military alliance enjoins the Turks and Syrians to another new military alliance between Turkey and Iran against the Kurds of northern Iraq and along Turkey and Iran's common border south of Armenia. Last February the new Turkish and Iranian strategic alliance was highlighted in the MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2248. Again, none of this is news to the Bride of Christ. We've been warning about it for years.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Armenian-Turkish Accord is a Major Signal of the Gog Military Alliance Fulfillment

Ancient Armenia

11 October 2009: In the news this weekend is the historical geo-poltical and prophetically significant accord establishing the required protocols for full diplomatic relations between the ancient Armenian and Turkish peoples. The significance of this accord underlies the eschatological position of Eschatology Today that Armenia is without question one of the nations identified as belonging to the Gog military confederation to become existent in the 'last days" per the Spirit-inspired prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39.

Armenia (see map above) is one of the nations named by Ezekiel which many eschatologists have thus far erroneously applied in an interpretation of Ezekiel 38:6 as being modern eastern Turkey. Armenia is, in Biblical fact, a nation descended from and identified as both Gomer and Togarmah!

"Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you."

In historical point-of-fact, the Armenian nation predates by a few thousand years the establishment of a Turkish state in Asia Minor. It is in ancient Armenia, historically centered around Lake Van, that Noah's ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat after The Flood. The Armenian's have for millennia held the belief that they are the direct descendants of Noah's son Japheth through his son Gomer through one of his descendants known by the name of Haik. Haik (pronounced "high,") is name the Armenians use to identify their own nationality). Haik was the son of a man named Togarmah. Also in ancient times Armenia was known as Urartu (Arartu) by the peoples of this northern Middle Eastern regions, and as the Kingdom of Ararat in the Old Testament. The Kingdom of Ararat was named in Jeremiah 51:27 along with the ancient nations of Minniy (a part of Armenia) and Ashkenaz (a nation in the same region also descended from Japheth).

The Armenia of the 21st century is a country overwhelmingly populated (98.7% according to the CIA World Factbook) by "Christians" (Armenian Apostolic and other Christian denominations) and is a full member of the Russian-led military alliance known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) discussed in the Eschatology Today entry of one week ago. Ratification of the normalization of relations treaty, pending Armenian withdrawal of its troops from the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in overwhelmingly Muslim Azerbaijan; the status of roughly 600,000 Armenian and Azerbaijani refugees, as well as the issue of Ottoman Turkish responsibility for the genocide of over 1 million Armenians at the end of WWI will be the final step in this very prophetic development prefacing the literal fulfillment of Ezekiel's war of Gog/Magog and the ultimately full restoration of Israel to the land given it in the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant of the Lord, as described in Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 15:18-21.

We are truly a blessed generation to be witnessing the literal fulfillment of Bible Prophecy. We are the generation of whom our Messiah spoke in Matthew 24. Despite all the seemingly apparent odds against and the seemingly impossible conditions to be overcome - as our Lord said, "these things must take place."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Full text of Netanyahu's U.N. Speech

September 29, 2009: Here is the text of the speech delivered to the United nations General Assembly by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu five days ago. I know this has been posted by others and there are numerous video links available. However, I believe this speech will prove to have enormous historical value, even if only for the relative short-term. I have highlighted portions of the text which I believe reveal the underlying resolve of this Israeli leader to do what is necessary to prevent another holocaust of the Jews from occurring at the hands of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Iran or the Arab nations. For this reason alone I decided this transcript must be a part of the Eschatology Today account of these "last days" prior to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland. I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events. Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth.

Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments.

Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews.

Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie? And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie?

One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie? Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency? A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state. What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations!

Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong. History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries.

In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times. Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated.

The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization. It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death. The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day.

Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially. It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances – by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after a horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind.

That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction, and the most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism? Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks.

We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one. In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare.

You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent. Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II.

During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas. We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave.

Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way. Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth! What a perversion of justice!Delegates of the United Nations, will you accept this farce? Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why. When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense.

What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists? We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen, all of Israel wants peace. Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace.

We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state.

The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it. We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city - in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem. We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland.

As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity. But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachability of mankind" is for once proven wrong. I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All these things be fulfilled… Part I and Part II

21 September 2009: So said the Lord Jesus Christ in His Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew 24:34 (in the Greek language): “Amen lego hymin, houtos genea ou me parerchomai an heos pas tauta ginomai.” An English transliteration of what our Lord said was, “Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass whatsoever until each and all [of] these things be fulfilled.”

This was the final qualification and timing element to all of the signs which Christ told His disciples when the signs would occur indicating His coming again at the full end of the age. The key phrases stand out in this sentence are this generation … each and all these things be fulfilled.

The absolute truth of this statement, aside from the fact that it was uttered by our Lord God incarnate, is reinforced in the prophetic truth of what our Lord had said just moments before to the Scribes and the Pharisees. In Matthew 23:1-35 Jesus lays out in detail how all of the offenses committed over many years and the innocent blood spilled from the murder of Abel to their murder of Zacharias will come upon them in the following explicit way: “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.”

The generation of which Jesus spoke was living in the period from 66 to 136 AD when the Jews' three wars against the Roman Empire occurred, and with each war came more disaster, Diaspora and death upon the Jews, exactly as Jesus had foretold. The first Jewish-Roman war was also known as the Great Revolt which began in 66 AD, saw the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the city and the sanctuary at the hands of three Roman legions as prophesied by Daniel and culminated in the fall of Masada in 73 AD. The second Roman Jewish war was also known as the Kitos war and occurred throughout the Roman Empire between 115-117 AD. The third and final war is known as the Bar Kokhba Revolt from circa 132 to 136 AD. The sum total of years between 66 and 136 AD, consistent with Jesus declaration of “this generation,” was precisely 70 years in duration.

Psalm 90:10a defines for us the maximum duration of a generation:

The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years…”

A generation is 70 years nominally, or 80 if there is strength.

Jesus also spoke in the Olivet Discourse about how one of the key signs would be the reemergence of the state of Israel, and for which He used the metaphor of a blossoming fig tree. In a recent poll by Lamb and Lion Ministries’ Christ in Prophecy Journal, the re-emergence of the State of Israel is the overwhelming factor (nearly 70% of respondents) identified as the “most important modern prophetic development.” Indeed, this is without question the truth of the matter.

In the Lord’s prophecy about the reemergence of Israel we have a sign and a starting date with which our Lord defined to the disciples the generation which would witness each and all of the signs He foretold would be fulfilled. The question I have prayerfully pondered and raised up to the Lord is whether our generation is one of 70 years, or if we have strength to last the maximum of 80 years. By sheer reckoning of the actual calendar and the prophetic timeline yet to be fulfilled, we may well be an 80-year generation. This number of years respective to our calendar is arrived at by adding eighty years to 1948 and summing to the year 2028. We now live in the nineteenth year prior to the expiration of this 80-year generation as will now be examined.

Now that Israel has begun the year 5770 and we conclude the year 2009 AD, a look back at the time since the rebirth of Israel is probably in order. There is no doubt that we are in the season of His return, the leaves of the fig tree are in full bloom.

The first twenty years of Israel’s rebirth began in late 1947 with the initial battles of Israel’s War of Independence. In May 1948, Israel was officially reborn into the modern community of the nations of the earth. The conclusion of those twenty years in 1967 saw Israel re-capture by military conquest the whole of Jerusalem. Israel controlled its holiest ground against all odds and the combined military might of many Arab countries for the first time in 1,897 years. So of the maximum possible eighty years, just sixty remained of this generation circa 1968 AD.

The next forty years were marked by a series of wars and rumors of wars, exactly as this year marks itself with the similar rumors of imminent if not existential war involving the State of Israel and its inner and outer ring of enemies. This forty-year period saw the nearly-nuclear Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Lebanon War of 1980, the Osirak Iraq preemptive nuclear strike of 1981, the continual state of Arab-Islamic terrorism, the Intifada of 2000, the Hezbollah War of 2006, and the incessant rocket and mortar attacks from HAMAS in 2008. Of the final sixty years of the eighty years just twenty remained as we entered 2009 AD.

The final 20 years began with the Israel-HAMAS War also known as Operation Cast Lead. This war resolved nothing except to all but guarantee another larger war in the south of Israel. This year also began with an American administration coming into power which clearly does not have the interests or blessing of Israel existent within its agenda. This year began with the election of Israeli conservative Bibi Netanyahu as the Prime Minister, and the spectre of the necessity of a pre-emptive strike against the nuclear weapons ambitions of the theocratic dictatorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the potential for another war against Hezbollah and Syria. The next wars will be wars that almost certainly include the previously unthinkable use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.

Part II:

The coming war which will resolve once and for all the Israel-Arab conflict of the past 60+ years is, as you no doubt have guessed by now, is described in part by the prophet Isaiah in the 17th chapter of the book which bears his name, and in the prophetic words of Asaph in Psalm 83. It is Psalm 83 that I've spent some time now digging into thanks to Bill Salus' book "Isralestine." Here are some things which I believe my Biblical data mining research may have brought to the surface. I lift this research up for your peer review.

Asaph begins his Pslam by noting that the identified enemies of Israel which comprise the modern-day "inner ring" Arab-Islamic countries which are arrayed in a new moon crescent from Lebanon to Egypt are populated by ancient tribes and peoples who are not only roaring enemies of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, but hate Him. The word used by Asaph for "head" at the end of verse 2 is ro'sh. Rosh. This is the same ro'sh used by Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39. Coincidence? I think not. Russia has been the principle ally and military supplier of these "inner ring" Arab-Islamic states for the past 60 years - and according to Ezekiel will be the leader of the "outer ring" nations who come against Israel after the Psalm 83 war. The word which precedes ro'sh in verse 2 is nasa' meaning to lift up, bear, carry, support or sustain. How appropriate to see this word right next to ro'sh in this prophetic Psalm.

In verse 3 these enemies are said to have consulted (ya'ats) against the Lord's hidden ones (tsaphan), from which the meaning can be taken that these "inner ring" enemies counsel, purpose, devise,or plan with one another with respect to the Lord's hidden treasures. Does anyone not think Israel's enemies plot against Israel and have the newly discovered and vast reserves of natural gas and other deeply hidden treasures eyed as a spoil with which to compensate themselves after a successful military campaign designed to wipe Israel off the map? Is this not also the stated intent of the Gog/Magog "outer ring" military confederation? Talk about a unity of purpose!

Then Asaph sets about the task of naming these enemies. This aspect has been well covered, there are the "inner ring" enemies noted elsewhere and above. I would only note here that the mention of Asshur appears to be in reference to its providing assistance to these "inner ring' enemies in the form of political or military support.

Immediately after this naming of the "inner ring' enemies we come to the "do unto" (`asah) meaning of something for the Lord to accomplish against these enemies. First among them is the historical reference to the Midianites (Midyan), the Arabians -the Arabs, who come against Israel as Sisera, meaning in battle array, and as Jabin at the brook of Kishon (Qiyshown), which is central Israel via the West Bank.

It is interesting to note here that this location was also the site where Elijah had his confrontation with the false god Baal. It would appear that Asaph is prophetically invoking what was recorded in 1 Kings 18:17-40 where judgment is visited against a false god ("allah") and a false prophet (Muhammed) in the manner of an irresistible force. It's as if All of Islam comes against Yisra'el and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and is subsequently consumed in totality by the flaming pyre of an animal sacrifice. I cannot help but come away from these verses thinking that Asaph is prophetically telling us that history will once again repeat itself and that the defeat of the newest false god of the Arabs ("allah") will begin with the battle that erupts here. Yes, it appear to me that the defeat inflicted here upon the Arabs and their false god/false religion is as total as the destruction that was inflicted upon Israel's enemies at Endor; and they were left as nothing more than "dung for the ground."

Asaph then discusses the leadership of this Arab confederation. First among them is Oreb, which is synonymous with a rock east of the Jordan River, in what today is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Zeeb appears to be a reference to Israel making prey of these enemies as wolves take prey in the evening hours. Zebah is a reference to a failed invasion of Israel where the invaders found themselves deprived of any defensive protection and were massacred like helpless animals. Zalumunna invokes the same prophetic image where the invaders of Israel find no place to hid or take refuge in the face of the Israeli counter-attack.

Then in verse 15 two words come up which have modern equivalents in the inventory of the Israel Defense Forces. These enemies are to be persectued (radaph), meaning put to flight, by a tempest (ca'ar) and terrified by a storm (cuwphah). The modern equivalents of these words are Sa'ar, the Israeli Navy's extremely capable corvette missile ship, and the Sufa, the Israeli Air Force's deadly F-16I extended-range strike aircraft. Either of the modern weapons platforms can reach anywhere and rain death upon the territories of the "inner ring" enemies and beyond. This is the sense I get in reading verses 13 and 14 where these enemies are rolled back as "stubble before the wind," and "as flame (lehabah) sets the hills on fire." I note here that the word lehabah not only means flame, but also the tip of a weapon, a point, or the head of a spear. Terminology like this can mean only one thing - an overwhelming military force brought to bear upon an enemy which cannot defend itself on the battlefield, has nowhere to run and hide, whose destruction is complete and total.

Some Additional Thoughts on "Debunking the European Antichrist" by Rodrigo Silva

Update 22 September 2009: For the obvious reasons Ray Gano at has re-published Rodrigo Silva's "Debuking the Eurpoean Antichrist" article which first appeared back in January of this year. Not only did Rogrigo Silva's article utterly fail to refute Dr. David Reagan's (.pdf link) "Will the Antichrist be a Muslim?" article, but his erroneous ideas have also been thoroughly refuted by Nathan Jones, Bill Salus and Don Koenig. In the same vein, Jacob Prasch also exposed the similarly "shallow, wobbly and hollow foundation" of Joel Richarson's "The Islamic Antichrist." Within this blog and in addition to this rebuttal of Silva's article I have posted others which are similarly themed: Assyria Destroyed, Philistia Destroyed, Legion Ten Fretensis Fulfills Bible Prophecy, and "Debunking the Islamic Antichrist."

In reviewing once again the "tortuous logic" propagated by the likes of Shoebat, Richardson and Silva, an item which I had at first overlooked in Silva's article jumped out at me. This item is in the beginning of the article where Silva accuses Dr. Reagan of dogmatism, insufficiently examined premises, and arrogance. And what was the object of Silva's unwarranted scorn of his brother in Christ? I'll quote Dr. Reagan verbatim, the last sentence of which I hightlight as it is key and absolutely correct per the Gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded by Matthew:
"Shoebat and Richardson argue that the Roman legions that carried out the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD were composed primarily of Arabs, mainly Syrians and Turks. They therefore conclude that the Antichrist will arise from the Syrians or Turks and will be a Muslim. This is really grasping at straws in the wind! It doesn’t matter whether or not the legions were composed of Australian Aborigines, it was the Roman government that decided to destroy Jerusalem, it was the Roman government that gave the orders, and it was Roman generals who carried out the destruction. Rome was the rod of God’s judgment and it is from the Roman people that the Antichrist will arise."
Rodrigo, these are not arrogant words. On the contrary, Dr Reagan has restated what our Lord Jesus Christ stated in His condemnation of the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23. I noted this specific item in my latest article "All these things be fulfilled..." which I repeat for emphasis in support of Dr. Reagan and to reprove, refute and exhort Rodrigo Silva, et. al, regarding Rome and Daniel's identification of the Antichrist's origin in Chapter 9, verse 26:
The absolute truth of this statement, aside from the fact that it was uttered by our Lord God incarnate, is reinforced in the prophetic truth of what our Lord had said just moments before to the Scribes and the Pharisees. In Matthew 23:1-35 Jesus lays out in detail how all of the offenses committed over many years and the innocent blood spilled from the murder of Abel to their murder of Zacharias will come upon them [Israel] in the following explicit way: “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon [tautÄ“ genea] this generation.” (Matthew 23:36)

The generation of which Jesus spoke was living in the period from 66 to 136 AD when the Jews' three wars against the Roman Empire occurred, and with each war came more disaster, Diaspora and death upon the Jews, exactly as Jesus had foretold. The first Jewish-Roman war was also known as the Great Revolt which began in 66 AD, saw the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the city and the sanctuary at the hands of three Roman legions as prophesied by Daniel and culminated in the fall of Masada in 73 AD. The second Roman Jewish war was also known as the Kitos war and occurred throughout the Roman Empire between 115-117 AD. The third and final war is known as the Bar Kokhba Revolt from circa 132 to 136 AD. The sum total of years between 66 and 136 AD, consistent with Jesus declaration of “this generation,” was precisely 70 years in duration.
There is no question that the Roman Empire was indeed was "rod of God's judgment upon Israel." This rod of judgement was used by the Lord on three distinct occasions between 66 and 136 AD, the sum total of which amounted to 70 literal years, or according to Psalm 90:10, a generation without strength. It is with great dismay that I must note the error of my bretheren in being ignorant of these explicitly prophetic words of our Messiah.

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." 2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)

UPDATED 11 February 2009: Bill Salus has a new entry directly related to this subject on his PROPHECY DEPOT blog. The entry is titled "IS THE EUROPEAN ANTICHRIST A SATANIC MYTH?" A comment I submitted to Bill's entry is also included in the comments below.

2 February 2009 (UPDATED with additional data 9 February): I was reading the above named article by Rodrigo Silva at and came away with some items on what I think are inadvertant admissions that count against the argument he is attempting to make, interpretive or historical errors, and one clear faux pas.

By no means is this an all-inclusive review of Silva's article, but just items I'm going to present as insights which may initiate further thought and analysis on this topic.

Silva wrote:
"Now, the fact that the Roman legions that destroyed the city and the Temple (mainly legion X Fretensis) comprised of Syrian soldiers lead us to identify the people of the Antichrist as Syrians, therefore the Antichrist must be a Syrian."

Rodrigo Silva has done those supporting the traditional Antichrist exegesis a superb favor by citing as "fact that the Roman legions destroyed the city and the Temple." This is a key admission. Silva confirms the longstanding view which indentified Legio X Fretensis (LXF hereater) as one of the primary Roman legions involved in the destruction of the city and the sanctuary, and supports a literal fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy concerning the origin of the future Antichrist in declaration of "the prince of the people who will come"

However, Rodrigo Silva's most blatant error is found in his description of the legionaires of LXF as "Syrians." This error is non-exegetical because there are no detailed Biblical texts to interpret regarding the Roman citizen-soldiers in LXF. Secular historical records and sources, such as that of the non-Biblical Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, are all that exist to research the subject.

The sum my research of these sources is as follows.

Gaius Octavius Thurinus was born in Rome, the Roman Republic, on 23 September 63 BC. In September 45 BC, Octavius was adopted by his great-uncle Julius Caesar and immediately took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. It was just six months later, in March of 44 BC, that Julius Caesar was assassinated by the Roman senatorial mob. It was during 41-40 BC between the age of 22 and 23-years old that Gaius Octavianus founded the LXF in the region of Calabria and Sicily, Italy. It is this region from which the name Fretensis, meaning 'of the sea straits' was derived according to the great German historian Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903). In 31 BC, after Gaius Octavianus defeated the forces of Marc Antony at the Battle of Actium, the final battle of a Roman civil war, he became Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar.

After Actium LXF was sent to Cremona in northern Italy where many of the Calabrian and Sicilian legionaire veterans were pensioned and discharged. Legio X was then re-staffed by nortern Italians from the colony in Venice. Legio X was then re-deployed into the Balkans and then to its new base at Cyrrhus in extreme northern part ofthe Roman province of Syria.

Cyrrhus had been founded as a Greek colony by Seleucus (Seleucus I Nicator) circa 300 BC, a couple of decades after having receiving his portion of Alexander the Great's empire, exactly as prophecied by Daniel in chapter 11, verses 2-4. Seleucus was one of Alexander's principal Macedonian generals and may have even been his cousin. Cyrrhus is a Macedonian name and had been populated by Macedonians, Greeks and eventually Romans for over 300 years by the time LXF arrived there in garrison.

Cyrrhus was selected as LXF's base of operations for this very reason - it was a distinctly Macedonian/Greek (i.e. European) colony as were many others in the area (i.e. Antioch, Seleucia, Laodicea and Apamea) which were almost exclusively populated by ethnic Greeks, Macedonians and Romans. LXF stayed encamped in Cyrrhus until it was redeployed to Judea which had been an administrative part of the Roman province of Syria since 6 AD. Thus was the core of LXF manned and commanded by European stock, the "people of the prince who is to come."

Silva wrote:
"In fact, the opposite is true. In his work, "The Wars of the Jews," book 6 chapter 4, Josephus who most likely was an eyewitness to these events says that the Roman government DID NOT want the Temple to be destroyed. The Roman soldiers did it out of disobedience to the Roman government simply because they hated the Jews."

No, the opposite is not true by any means. Firstly, there's no 'most likely' about it, Flavius Josephus was present at the siege, taking and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. In one instance in the run-up to the taking of Jerusalem, Josephus was a direct participant in beseeching his fellow Jews to stand down in their rebellion against Rome. Josephus wasn't able to witness the entirety of that epic struggle with the same battlespace awareness of our modern warfighting observation capabilites within electronic command and control. However, he was able to view specific events at specific locations, and as any good historian was able to seamlessly blend his experiences with the eyewitness accounts of others in different parts of the city over the entire duration of the siege, capture and destruction. I would argue that Flavius Josephus makes this abundantly clear in his narrative.

Secondly, the Roman soldiers hated the Jewish defenders for a couple of reasons. One reason, as Josephus reported, was that the rebellious Jews had routed a small garrisoning contengent of LXF in Jerusalem. This is the same LXF contingent which just 30 years earlier had been in direct contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, had been the enforcers of what little taxation they could extract from Judea and the basis for the Lord's comment to "render unto Caesar (Tiberius) what is Caesar's, and unto God what is His," had whipped and ridiculed a captive Jesus with a crown of thorns, crucified him, and finally, gambled for His garment. All of this was done by the Roman soldiers of the LXF. During all of this activity there is not one mention in God's Word that these Roman soldiers were "Syrians" or "Arabs". They were Roman soldiers, period.

According to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish revolt against Rome began in 66 AD in Caesarea and quickly spread to Jerusalem. The son of the Temple Kohen Ha-Gadol (i.e. the high priest), a man named Eleazar ben Simon, led the rebellious Jewish troops in their driving of the LXF Jerusalem garrison out of the city. This eviction of Roman power from Jerusalem continued in a northward progression and led to the complete annihilation of the newly arrived Roman 12th Legion Fulminata (LXIIF) under the command of Gaius Cestus Gallus by the same Jewish force under Eleazar ben Simon's command at the Battle of Beth Horon. The defeat of LXF, and the annihilation of LXIIF, was a tremendous blow to the pride and prestige of the Roman Empire, and resonated badly all the way to Rome itself, even into Caesar Nero's private chambers. The Romans were uniformly determined to make a strong, violent example of the Jews in their upcoming retribuition campaign; the retaking of Judea would be an example for all other restless provinces to seriously consider prior to embarking on similar acts of folly - particularly those in Egypt who would have been Rome's target had not the Jews rebelled first, humiliated the LXF, destoyed LXIIF and had re-taken not only Jerusalem but virtually all of Judea.

LXF was permitted the 'honor' when it came time after the siege to storm the city. It's position of encampment on the Mount of Olives laid the Temple before them as a shining strategic target they were determined to achieve. Once the fortress of Antonia was breeched and the city taken there was an ensuing rampage of the LXF and individual Roman soldiers identified by name in Josephus' account. The Temple was razed exactly as Jesus had predicted it would be 30 years earlier, and all arguments related to this not being the desire of General Titus are rendered moot.

Silva wrote
"Then did Caesar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting, with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire... And now, since Caesar was no way able to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers...And thus was the holy house burnt down, without Caesar's approbation... It is pretty clear that Titus and Caesar as the rulers of the Roman government did not want to Temple to be destroyed and actually gave the order to stop the fire so the Temple would not be destroyed."

Rodrigo Silva has made here a silly faux pas in that he has promoted General Titus Flavuius Vespasianus to Caesar, a postition held his father, Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, who was in Rome at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple. Titus would not become Emperor of Rome until 79 AD upon the death of his father. What Rodrigo Silva does not realize in his reading of Josephus is that Josephus was actually quoting General Titus, who would become Caesar at a point some 9 full years into the future, in 79 AD, and upon the death of his father Caesar Vespasian Augustus. The obvious conclusion is that Josephus, or others unknown, wrote or edited this account of the Jerusalem siege and Temple destruction at a point no earlier than 79 AD when General Titus Flavius Vespasianus succeeded to the Roman throne after the death of his father and became Caesar himself. Thus the references to words spoken by "Caesar" in Josephus account were actually words spoken by Titus, but attributed to him with the honorific titile of "Caesar."

Silva wrote:
"How could Paul having been born in Tarsus in Asia Minor be a Roman? The answer is simple. When the Roman Empire conquered a region, it established Roman law and required that from that time on, some privileged ones and those who served for a number of years be considered Roman citizens."

Incorrect. Saul of Tarsus (later Paul the Apostle) was born to his father, an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, in the city of Tarsus, Roman province of Cilicia. Paul the Apostle did not directly make the claim of Roman citizenship, but it is recorded that he made this citizenship claim by the author of Acts 21 and 22. In this the Acts author states that the Roman Tribune informed Paul that he had paid a great sum to obtain his Roman citzenship (*), to which Paul replied that he was a natural born Roman citizen. This very strongly implies that Paul's citizenship was (a) due to his father's having purchased it, or (b) that the family has previously rendered outstanding service to Rome and were awarded their citizenship, or (c) the family was actually a part of the Herodian family descended from Antipater (Herod the Great's father).

(*) This is also important. Only Roman citizens served in the Legions of Rome. The Auxilia formations were not Roman citizens. This detail goes a long way in refuting the claims of those who maintain a nationality of "Syrian" or "Arab" for the soldiers of the LXF. Had any "Syrians" or "Arabs" been members of the LXF they would also of necessity had to have purchased their Roman citizenships as did the Tribune who questioned Paul. Therefore they would be, by definition, Romans.

NOTE: Cyrrhus' ruins lie 14 km northwest near modern-day Kilis, Turkey which is on the present-day Syrian border.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Collecting and Connecting the Nuclear Dots

While most of us do not believe this to be new news, the report constitutes a significant and curious admission coming from the socialist Obama administration. However, what I find to be a more significant revelation in this report is the tacit admission that the Obama administration's policy of engagement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear weapons program is an abject failure. Again, not new news for most of us, but interesting nonetheless.

And to those who've paid attention to the Northeast Intelligence Network's investigation of the faux Russian rescue of the covert cargo smuggling MV Arctic Sea, there is another tidbit of interest to note within this INN report:

"In what may be a related matter, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly flew to Russia on Tuesday on a secret mission, apparently over Russian arms deals with Iran and Syria."

Hmmm. Interesting, no? I certainly think it is when one considers that PM Netanyahu and his security cabinet were briefed during an afternoon visit to Mossad HQ by Meir Dagan and his intelligence officers on Monday. Bottom line: within hours of the Mossad briefing Netanyahu is on a plane to Moscow for a secret meeting with Vladimir Putin. Add to this the fact that one month ago, in early August, PM Netanyahu visited the Dimona nuclear research facility along with Dan Meridor, the cabinet minister in charge of overseeing intelligence and nuclear research issues.

And what is the nexus of all these things? The nuclear weapons program of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia's supporting role. What might happen within the next 30 days or sooner should not be "news" to anyone, especially if you're collecting and connecting the continuing series of dots like these.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Perplexities Involving Iran and Israel in These Last Days

6 September 2009: "... and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity..." Here we have one of the most often overlooked descriptives provided by Jesus in his authoritative discourse on what will happen or be existent in these last days. In these few words tucked into the middle of Luke 21:25 the Lord provides us with a geopolitical and military snap shot depicting that the nations in existence in the period of time immediately preceeding His return will be in a state of synochē and aporia, which translate as being in distress or anguish and not knowing what to do or in doubt about what to do. I believe the Lord then, in His following two words, told us exactly where on planet earth the epicenter of this distress, anguish and perplexity of the nations would be extant. Jesus said "thalassa" meaning "the sea" or more precisely the Mediterranean, Red, Dead, Galilee and other seas of the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf. Does this not precisely describe the geopolitical and military situation in the Middle East today, from Libya to Iran and from Turkey to the Horn of Africa? Embedded smack dab in the middle of this international maelstrom is the State of Israel.

And on top all of this, I cannot help but to apply the prophecy of Isaiah 22, and particularly to verses 5 and 6 wherein the prophet speaks directly to the nations of Elam and Judah, or as we know them today, to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the State of Israel, the last days and the coming of the Lord. Certainly to the secular world at large, but also to the Jews and the Islamists, these are days of trouble. Israel is surrounded by enemies whose conspiratorial desire is to destroy her as a nation so that the name Israel be remembered no more. These "inner ring" enemies of Israel are clearly listed in Psalm 83, yet among them we find no mention or reference to Iran.

The issue of why Iran is omitted from Asaph's Psalm 83 prophecy has many Christians perplexed to the point that it has become a key issue many are continually asking eschatologists to address these days. We have discussed this issue previously within various entries on Eschatology Today, as have many others on their websites. Yet, the issue remains. Once again it is my distrinct pleasure to direct your attention to Israelestine author Bill Salus blog, Prophecy Depot, to read his latest article entitled "When Israel Dwells Securely Iran Intends to Invade" as it relates to Israel and Iran and the timing involved in the coming last days conflict between them.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Resumption of the Hezbollah-Israel War and Psalm 83

28 August 2009: The image above was taken at a funeral held for Hezbollah fighters killed in action during the summer 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war. I harbor little if any doubt that there will be a lot more of these images taken in the very near future.

In the same vein as we have been discussing in the August 14 Eschatology Today entry, and in detail within Parts I and II of my four-part "The Prophetic Road to Revelation" series, concerning the inevitability of a resumption of that war without further warning, the only relative question about this coming war will be whether or not it morphs into the final Arab-Israeli 'war of extermination' which the prophetic psalmist Asaph vividly describes in Psalm 83. Also as discussed in other entries here, there is no better work on the subject of Psalm 83 than that found in author Bill Salus' peerless Bible prophecy book, Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East.

Bill has a new must-read article up on his Prophecy Depot blog entitled "Could the coming Israel-Hezbollah conflict catalyze Psalm 83?" Here is an excerpted lead-in to the article:
Many eschatologists, those who study end time events, are warning that three world changing Israeli war prophecies are about to occur. Isaiah 17:1, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39, usually listed in that order, describe prophetic events that could dramatically shift the balance of Mideast wealth and power into Israel’s favor.

Current unprecedented security threats facing Israel’s national existence not only support the eschatologist's beliefs, but have also forced many world leaders to push peace in the Middle East to the top of their agenda. They want Iran to refrain from developing a nuclear weapon, Israel to freeze settlement expansion in Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank, and the Arab League to normalize relations with Israel and finally recognize its right to exist.

The international community continues to prescribe “Land for Peace” as the way to resolve the age old Arab-Israeli conflict; however the Bible predicts peace will come through military means rather than politically brokered real estate efforts.

Presuming the eschatologists are right, how soon might the world see the final fulfillment of these Middle East centered bible prophecies? Could it be that the present military preparations being made for another war between Israel and the Hezbollah could escalate and subsequently become the catalyst for the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1 and ultimately Psalm 83?
Please go pay Bill's blog a visit and read his article in full.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Panels Institute Survey: 64% Percent of All Israel Want the Temple to be Rebuilt

Survey: 64% want Temple rebuilt
Almost two thirds of Israelis, including half of seculars would like to see Temple rebuilt, believe it is important to commemorate Tisha B'Av

31 July 2009: YNet reported in yesterdays edition that a survey conducted by the Panel Institute for Ynet and the Gesher organization reveals that almost two-thirds of all Israel want to see the rebuilding of the Temple on the mount in Jerusalem. Incredibly, the survey also revealed that 47% of secular Israeli's also want the Temple rebuilt. What this survey should reveal to believing Christians is that the Jewish people who will actually do the rebuilding are desirous of beginning the project.

As all prophecy students of the Holy Bible know, there is no doubt, no question whatsoever, that the Temple will be rebuilt. It will happen, al-Aqsa mosque or no al-Aqsa mosque. The prophetic Word of God clearly declares that the Temple will be standing in the 'last days.' Period. Hopefully the commencement of the rebuilding of the Temple will serve a significant "wake up call" for the world's secular and skeptics. This is also a magnificent witnessing tool for all believing Christians.

Pay a visit to the Temple Institute to learn more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Part V: Ezekiel 38/39 as a Transitional Event to the 70th Week

Updated 12 June 2016: The image above of a blood-red moon rising behind Smolny Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia is an Associated Press photograph taken in the early morning of 19 May 2009 by Dmitry Lovetsky. This image certainly appears to bode ill for Russia, and increasingly reminds many eschatology students of the imagery evoked within the text of Revelation 6:12.

Indeed, as an epilogue to Eschatology Today's four-part series 'The Prophetic Road to Revelation" this imagery is an appropriate visual harbinger for the events we know to be imminent. In both chapters of Ezekiel's prophetic description of the War of Gog/Magog we clearly can see the destruction which will soon be visited upon the hordes of the Gog/Magog alliance. The specific nations identified are Russia, former-Soviet Republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia, Iran, Libya and the Sudan. The total population of these nations is a little more than 330 million people. So when the Lord declares in verse 2 of chapter 39 to "leave but the sixth part of thee" and in verse 6 declares He will send fire on the Magog horde homelands, the inference is to the destruction of several hundred million people, leaving only the sixth part, or a few tens of millions of people as survivors.

In verse 10 of the same chapter we read of the people of Israel going forth to "spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them." My question here would be to ask how much spoil and robbing of the burnt up and thoroughly annihilated hordes of Gog/Magog can there be aside from using the weapons as fuel for the subsequent seven years, and does this not speak more appropriately to Israel taking yet more spoil (recall the inferred spoils taken as a result of the preceding Psalm 83 war) from the nations of the Gog/Magog confederation?

And also in chapter 39 verses 21, 23 and 27 speak to the effect this destruction has upon the nations of the world. In our age of live image televised satellite coverage the nations of the whole world will see the punishment inflicted upon the Gog/Magog nations, that the nations will know it was the hand of God that was laid upon them.

And finally, in verse 29 ("Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."), we see what I believe is a grammatical past-tense confirmation that the promised saving of all Israel by the Old Testament prophets and by the Apostle Paul (see Romans 11) will have been accomplished no later than the conclusion of the War of Gog/Magog, thereby and according to Dispensationalists, such as myself, the Harpazo (the Rapture) of the Bride of Christ will have occurred and the Church age will have passed into history, and planet Earth will have arrived on the doorstep of Gabriel's prophecy to Daniel regarding Israel's 70th Week, also known as the 7-year Tribulation or the "time of Jacob's trouble", which concludes with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His millennial Kingdom.

Ezekiel 38/39 is therefore understood as being a transitional event; a final military conflict which uniquely delineates our world of pre-70th Week prophetic fulfillment from the 70th Week's prophetic fulfillment which culminates in the second coming of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.