Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The "Morton Salt Scenario" (When It Rains, It Pours)

UPDATED 1 February 2013:  The "Morton Salt Scenario" meaning "When It Rains, It Pours." No, I am not referring to the achievement trophy "When it Rains, It Pours" in the Call of Duty video game. I am referring to the situation that is taking shape to the south and to the north of Israel over the past several days. In Bible prophecy terms "When It Rains, It Pours" is just my way of illustrating the final sentence of Daniel 9:26:

"The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined."
In this case the "Morton Salt Scenario" involves the continuously deteriorating political situation in Egypt, and in southern Syria where warnings and virtual guarantees of military action were transformed overnight into multiple preparatory sorties and an F-16I Sufa airstrike against a weapons of mass destruction depot, most of which was located in an underground bunker. The WMD depot was located about 6 miles northwest of downtown Damascus in the suburb of Qudssaya. It was guarded according to Middle Eastern sources by a large contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps troops. Intelligence indications were that this WMD was about to be transferred via overland vehicular convoy to Hezbollah/IRGC forces in Lebanon for use against Israel. Once rolling on the Beirut Road the convoy would have reached the border crossing into Lebanon in perhaps 20 minutes. Bashar al-Assad's regime has confirmed the airstrikes occurred and has indicated retaliation will occur at a time of its choosing, just as it did in September 2007. The IAF strike made sure the Syrian WMD did not leave the storage facility and effected an unprecedented reduction-in-force in the number of Iranian troops deployed to Syria without seeking the Ayatollah's permission.
Using high resolution Google maps I located the weapons depot along the Beirut Road in the northern part of the Syrian city Qudssaya. This was a high-precision airstrike because there are 7 or 8 story apartment buildings and two-story family homes within a football field's length of the depot. A very urban area for sure and this is in keeping with Hezbollah's locating its military facilities in heavily populated towns and villages in Lebanon. Again, a retaliatory strike against Israel by Hezbollah and/or Syria, as highly inadvisable as that would be, is not out of the question and may well lead to the literal fulfillment of Isaiah 17.

The pre-strike downtown area of Qudssaya, Syria
In Egypt, 58-year old Colonel General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, installed as the Commander-In-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces by President Mohamed Morsi last year, issued a warning yesterday that political unrest was placing Egypt on the verge of collapse according to a France24 report. General al-Sisi, known to be a political independent in Egypt, posted his warning on the Egyptian Army's Facebook page: "The continuation of the struggle of the different political forces ... over the management of state affairs could lead to the collapse of the state." General al-Sisi, formerly the head of Egyptian military intelligence and a former student of the U.S. Army War College, also promised that the army would remain the "solid and cohesive block" upon which Egypt rests.

"When It Rains, It Pours" appears to be an understatement given the multiple Bible prophecies potentially involved this "Morton Salt Scenario." Eyes wide open.

One final note regarding the Syrian operation. The IAF attack on the WMD depot in Qudssaya, Syria very closely parallels the prophetic particulars of the complete destruction of Damascus per Isaiah 17:14a.

Then behold, at eventide, trouble!
And before the morning, he is no more.

The IAF operation began in the evening of the previous day and concluded with the strike and destruction of the target just before dawn.  If nothing else we may very well have just become eye-witnesses to a prophetic template or precursor for the literal fulfillment of Isaiah 17, at least as far as the time of day is concerned in the prophetic narrative.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed" by Bill Salus

28 January 2013: Bill Salus' newest book "Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed– How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower" has been published and is available just about everywhere. If you never purchased Bill's first book (published in 2008), "Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East,"  then your opportunity to purchase it in a greatly expanded and updated version has arrived with this new book. There are a total of 8 new chapters and 10 new appendices and you can receive a signed copy from Bill Salus for less than $22.00 shipping included, just follow the above embedded link. I just ordered my copy, so join me and order your own as this peerless book is certain to be a topic of discussion on Eschatology Today in the very near future.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lamb & Lion Ministries: Bible Prophecy Insights

21 January 2013: Below you will find Episode 1 through 3 of Lamb & Lion Ministries series Bible Prophecy Insights hosted by L&L's Web Minister Nathan Jones. These are awesome video presentations and are an invitation for you to learn more about Bible prophecy in these 'last days', and are a very highly recommended resource for those you'd like to introduce to Jesus Christ through 21st century means.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Isaiah 11 - Psalm 83 - Ezekiel 39 Connection

18 January 2013: In the past 4 going on 5 years now Psalm 83 has been the subject of much discussion, in particular since the 2008 publication of Isralestine by our cherished brother-in-Christ, author and lecturer Bill Salus, and in the steady stream of articles and essays on new insights that have been continuous since then.

Despite all of this it is no understatement to say that there will always be something new to bring to our attention regarding the ongoing Psalm 83 war between Israel and its Muslim Arab neighbors. And it will likely be proven true at some future point that even after this prophecy comes to complete fulfillment new Scripture references to it will be identified that had escaped notice previously.

Well, it was to my surprise and sheer delight that in researching additional information on Jewish Messianic expectations that I found myself reading one of the most important prophetic chapters in the Bible in this regard, Isaiah 11. It is this chapter that the Jewish traditions regarding the first of the two messiahs they hold very high and imminent expectations for, Moshiach ben Yossef (Joseph, and also referred to as Moshiach ben Ephraim), appears. To the Jews, Moshiach ben Yossef is a precursor to the arrival of Moshiach ben David.

Without getting too far off focus in the discrepancies between Jewish and Christian eschatology and the teaching of the Holy Spirit regarding the latter, the essential point I want to make here is that the text of Isaiah 11:10-16 not only ties the appearance of this Moshiach ben Joseph/Moshiach ben Ephraim to the Messianic age, but also and as expected, to the regathering of Israel "from the four corners of the earth;" as well as to the unified nature of the prophesied re-establishment of the Israeli state to be inclusive of the tribes of Judah and Joseph/Ephraim, as is also prophesied by the parable of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:15-23, but it also ties these things directly to the elimination of the threat posed to the newly regathered Israel, as foretold in Asaph's Psalm 83, by the "Philistines" (Palestinians) and "the people of the East" identified as "Edom, Moab and the people of Ammon" (Jordan). Moreover the elimination of the military threat Israel faces ultimately extends in verse 15 to "the Sea of Egypt" and drying up of "the River" (that is, the Euphrates River in northern Iraq and Syria).

Here is the text of Isaiah 11:10-15, with emphasis given to verse 14 for its direct relevance to Psalm 83.

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.”

It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time
To recover the remnant of His people who are left,
From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea.

He will set up a banner for the nations,
And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.

Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart,
And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.

But they 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.

The Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt;
With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River,
And strike it in the seven streams,
And make men cross over dry-shod.

There will be a highway for the remnant of His people
Who will be left from Assyria,
As it was for Israel
In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt."
As has been discussed previously on Eschatology Today, one of the results of the Psalm 83 near-future final military engagement will be not only the defeat of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, thus making the global objective of "a Palestinian state" a Biblical non-starter, but also the total military defeat and territorial conquest of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is also made clear in verse 14. This is prophetic concurrence and reinforcement for the text of Ezekiel 39:11-16 regarding the future burial of Gog of Magog and his militarily allied forces. 

Ezekiel 39:11

"It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog."

I suppose it should, but I cannot let it pass without saying that I literally had goosebumps and forearm hairs standing on end as I flipped back and forth among these prophetic passages. And on this note I can only close this blog item by citing the Gospel of Luke where it is written, "For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known." Amen and Maranatha.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Daniel 9:27: "Gabar Bĕriyth Rab"

11 January 2013: This will be a companion exegetic article to Ezekiel 37:10 "Meh'ode Gadowl Chayil" posted here on 1 January 2013. I awoke with a start at 3 AM this morning with the burning thought that Israel is to be confirmed within the "gabar bĕriyth rab" or "covenant among many" found in Daniel 9:27 at the very beginning of the 70th Week. I now believe the NATO alliance resolves the eschatological issue of what ultimately becomes of the Israel Defense Forces following the near-future decisive victory in fulfillment of Psalm 83, to the almost unfathomable security condition that is prophesied to exist prior to Ezekiel 38/39, and, ultimately to the advent of the 70th Week as presented in the concluding paragraph post of that article.

According to the God-breathed prophecies the angel Gabriel gave to the prophet Daniel, there would be only four prophetically important world empires to exist between that time and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth: the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian and the Roman. Of these the last, the Roman, would not end, but would re-emerge in the last days as ten ethnically diverse kingdoms giving their authority to the Antichrist, a man who rises to achieve supreme authority over all of them, and thereafter through dark schemes, deception and military conquest over the global community of nations.

The illustration (click to enlarge) above shows the expansion of Rome over time, from its early days as a republic to its largest extent as an empire, perhaps just a decade or so from when we believe John was given The Revelation of Jesus Christ on Patmos. Within these lands and their territories and former colonies across the globe we can almost certainly find the "Beast Empire" of the 70th Week.

Living Eschatology is the Living Word of God

Immediately prior to the 70th Week there is prophetic reference to such an alliance in Ezekiel 38:13 as "the merchants of Tarshish" in association with the kingdoms of the Arabian peninsula, Sheba and Dedan. Evidence of this alliance is extant today, particularly in media reports of the close cooperation between NATO and the kingdoms of the Arabian Peninsula such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait.

The modern beginnings of this alliance began with the events of 1991 and Operation Desert Storm. They continue today with the recent events in Libya (2011) and now Syria (2011-12), and have been equally evident in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq 2003-2010) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan 2001-2013) where the NATO military presence is particularly robust. We can therefore reasonably expect the modern "Roman Empire" to continue its growth and expansion as Bible prophecy has flawlessly forecast for the past 2,645 years (Daniel 2:1 to Present Day).

In the several hundred years that immediately preceded the literal fulfillment of Daniel 9:26 and Matthew 24:2, many military alliances, battles and wars occurred over a vast area which prophetically facilitated and then culminated in that single event on Tishba B'Av 70 AD. Few of those events were of sufficient importance to warrant mention within the Biblical text, excepting only the prophetic narrative of Daniel 10:10 through Daniel 11:45. Rome, specifically the Roman Legions which executed the sack of Jerusalem and the razing of the Temple, (V Macedonica, X Fretensis, XII Fulminata and XV Apollinaris), were a unified force operating under the supreme authority of just one man, but they were named for the regions where they had been formed, had been fought in conquest for Rome, or for the supreme deity worshiped by the Roman Emperor.

Roman Legions sack the Temple, Tisha B'Av 70 AD

There is no prophetic text in the Bible describing a repeat of a military campaign of this type. Instead there is the peaceful sounding "gabar bĕriyth rab" or "covenant among many" of Daniel 9:27 that will be confirmed.  I believe this points to Israel's admission into the NATO alliance and its unwitting (for the most part) acceptance of the man who will be the Antichrist. I believe this was prophesied to occur by Jesus Christ at the Temple, and was recorded in John 5:43: "I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive."  

In these last days Israel wants nothing more than to be accepted as an equal by these modern Roman nations, yet they are the same Roman nations where for nearly 20 centuries since their forefathers forced exile from the land they had been relentlessly persecuted, chased, evicted, forcibly converted, and ultimately murdered on an industrial scale. To these Roman nations Israel wishes to return in military and political alliance just a generation after God had taken them out and returned them to their own land as promised. 

In these last days Israel's military forces reciprocally and routinely war game with and play host to in the land of Israel the modern equivalent of Rome's legions. Soon this covenant, this alliance, pact, peace treaty or whatever we would call it, will come to pass and it will be the doorway to the abomination of desolation and the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). And some people say that history does not repeat itself. Well, history will repeat itself, but this last time it is for the glory of God and the establishment of His kingdom upon this Earth.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Esfahan UCF in Iran: Is There Something Going On?

Iranian technicians at the Uranium Conversion Facilities (UCF) in Isfahan. Credit: AFP.

5 January 2013: This past Wednesday, January 2nd, a small blurb was posted at 8:50 in the morning by the BBC Persian Service TV journalist Kasra Naji reporting that an edict had been issued by Iranian authorities for the evacuation of all 1.5 million residents of Esfahan, Iran. The report said the evacuation was ordered due to emergency levels of pollution in the city.  This tiny blurb was the root cause of a viral reaction on the web, from Jerusalem (The Jerusalem Post) to Washington, D.C. (The Washington Free Beacon and The Washington Times). 

The nature of the viral pandemic of Internet reports is due to the fact that Esfahan is host to a Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) owned and operated by the apocalyptic-minded regime of Iran. The Esfahan UCF is located to the southeast of the city. Very recent reports from the UCF are anything but confidence building regarding safety protocols within a plant whose primary function is converting raw yellowcake uranium into highly toxic uranium hexaflouride or UF6. UF6 is further refined in thousands of Iranian government centrifuges to produce the fissile cores of nuclear weapons.

So the question being asked today is, was this tiny news blurb actually newsworthy? Was there any basis of  fact behind it? Well, it was published by the BBC, it went viral and has not since been retracted or corrected. In fact, the blurb originator took to Twitter yesterday to insist it was based on the fact that there are emergency levels of "pollution" in Esfahan. So, being the professionally-trained OSINT (Open Source INTelligence) collector that I am, I took to the web and began searching international weather reports for Esfahan. I did not see any adverse air quality reports for the city this week, but I did see a prevailing 5 MPH breeze passing through the UCF and towards the city of Esfahan.

This collected knowledge encouraged much deeper data mining. I'll let you dear reader be the judge of whether or not I found a vein of valuable intelligence ore or not.

First, some brief established facts. We know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ruled by apocalyptic Shi'a Twelver regime that has its bloody hands all over its own people, all over the people of Lebanon, all over the Syrian people in that nation's ongoing civil war, as well as in destabilization efforts, acts of war or casus belli in numerous Sunni-majority countries of the Arabian Peninsula. We also know that Iran is engaged in ongoing warfare against the State of Israel which has been oscillating between full-scale combat operations in various places and low intensity conflict, not to mention continuing provocations and outright military aggression in the Strait of Hormuz against most of the nations of the world except for Russia and Red China.

We further know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not engaged in these endeavors unopposed by the West (i.e. the US, UK, NATO and Israel for example). We know that cyberwarfare attacks have been plaguing Iranian nuclear weapons related activities for some years now in what is known as "Operation Olympic Games," or as I like to call it, "OOG." OOG has been going not-stop in hitting Iran with particularly nasty but quite successful cyberwar weapons having real cool names like Stuxnet, Duku, Flame, Gauss and "The Bug."

So, here's why the Esfahan news blurb and viral reaction this week are important; why they count as important intelligence Indications and Warnings (I&W) of things to come.

The apocalyptic regime in Iran issued a real-world edict for 1.5 million people to get up and move out of an Iranian city. These are people who, for the most part, despise the regime and distrust anything it says. The Iranian people are aware of multiple assassinations of nuclear scientists, massive explosions and mass fatalities that have occurred at IRGC-run nuclear and missile production facilities all over the country for many, many months now. Is there a single report of millions of ordinary Iranian people in the streets protesting these attacks upon the Ayatollah's regime? Well, not counting the government-paid Basij thugs, no, not one Iranian citizen is out on any street protesting.  As one might expect, no one has left their homes in Esfahan to protest or otherwise.

Should any of us be so naive as to think that the Western-oriented bulk of the Iranian people do not have access to the internet or are otherwise unaware of the leaking radiation "rumors" at the Esfahan UCF?  One high-ranking regime official confirmed this as a real-world fact yesterday through a news report issued by the regime-owned Fars News Agency. In another report Gholamreza Massoumi, the chief of the Iranian Medical Emergency Agency, confirmed to Mehr News Agency, (owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization), that several technical staff at Esfahan UCF were admitted to an Esfahan hospital under emergency conditions exhibiting symptoms and receiving treatments for radioactive exposure this past November due to "accidents" at the facility. This report was further corroborated by a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report within days of the accidents.

"Massoumi referred to “accidents” at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF), where yellowcake is converted into highly toxic uranium hexafluoride, saying: “People who have been in the region, for example -- Isfahan UCF -- have had some accidents for which they have been treated.”"
Then I came across a data-mining surprise. In the paragraph below the above quote there is a reference to the aforementioned BBC Persian TV Service journalist, Mr. Kasra Naji, whose media blurb on Wednesday sparked this current round of focus on Esfahan and its UCF. Kasra Naji reported in November 2012 that an "informed source" of his stated that "inhalation of hexafluoride gas had caused respiratory problems for some of the personnel at the Isfahan facility." And all Mr. Kaji can report on this week from Esfahan is the "rubbish" about air pollution in Esfahan? Forgive me from not falling off my turnip truck. The release of hexaflouride gas can be carried by prevailing winds when it is released from its containment vessels. Winds earlier this week departed from the normal northwesterly direction and came in towards the city from the southeasterly direction.

Is there something occurring in Esfahan, Iran of late? To the untrained eye, absolutely not. To the professionally-trained OSINT data miner, absolutely yes. And it may yet be related to prophecy in the near future.  I have reported, you decide.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ezekiel 37:10 "Meh'ode Gadowl Chayil"

29 December 2012:  Ezekiel 37 is a now fulfilled prophecy about the restoration of modern Israel. In modern times Ezekiel's ancient prophetic vision of a valley filled with dead, dry bones which received new flesh upon them and a spirit that God breathed upon from the four winds of the earth came to fulfillment just two years after the Holocaust in the death camps and ovens of Nazi controlled Europe. The tenth verse of Ezekiel 37 tells us these bones then stood up as "mehode gadowl chayil" - "an exceedingly great army."  This army is "the whole house of Israel," and it is known to us as Tzva Hahagana LeYisra'el, literally The Army of Defense for Israel, the IDF.

We will take a look at the eschatological future of the IDF, what the Word of God does and, surprisingly enough, does not have to say about it. However, no discussion about the future of the IDF can be complete without at least a brief look at its origins, exactly as Ezekiel foretold that this exceedingly great army would suddenly arise in the land of Israel and that valley of dry bones. An executive summary on origin of the IDF and its Psalm 83 adversaries can be found in Eschatology Today's original 5-part series from 2009: The Prophetic Road to Revelation (Part II)

As we all see from the history of the Psalm 83 military engagements fought thus far, the IDF has emerged victorious at a high cost in each one of them. The concluding battles on the southern, central and northern fronts will be the same, and according to the related Isaiah 17 text, even more so. However, as with most things prophetic, the IDF does not operate in a vacuum, particularly in these few years prior to the 70th Week. The difference has been the spiritual realm activity manifest on Earth by Israel's prince, the archangel Michael. In these days prior to the Lord pouring out His Spirit upon the whole house of Israel the archangel Michael has been busy and he's going to become busier.

It is the final prophetic word of Gabriel  to Daniel found in chapter 12 verses1-3 which tie all of this together and informs us of the archangel Michael's role:

“At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever."

Going 'Back to the Future' with the angel Gabriel

The direct interaction between the prophet Daniel and the angel Gabriel occurs over several chapters. Chapters 10-12 repeat and refine the visions given to Daniel in chapter 7, as well as 8 and 9. Daniel  chapters 8 through 12 in themselves are a more detailed look at the last days. These details Daniel tells us about came from Gabriel beginning in 550 BC (Daniel 8:1) and are a focused prophetic look at the period of human history beginning one-hundred ninety six years into the future, or 334 BC, when the Macedonian-Greek army under Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont (the Dardanelles Strait) between Greece and the Persian Empire fulfilling the prophecy of the "Ram and the Goat" and concluding with the empire of the fourth beast, the Antichrist and the verses of Daniel 12 quoted above still in our future.

What is amazing in all of this is that there's not so much as a single mention of an Israeli army, the IDF, in the last days events and battles described. Nothing. The closest approach to describing the period of time we are living in right now is found in Daniel 9 where Daniel, fully understanding the word of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah and the visions given to him thus far by Gabriel, is in the midst of extremely fervent imprecatory prayer and supplications to the Lord in loudly confessing all of the sins of the whole of Israel from the Exodus out of Egypt to the present day. We can know that the concluding period within this prayer is the present day because the Israel that Daniel is referring to is not the one taken captive in Babylon, but rather mirrors the Israel that Aspah prophesied about in Psalm 83.

Daniel 9:16 (emphasis added)

“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us." 

The very next sentence in Daniel's prayer refers directly to the currently non-existent Temple in Jerusalem, and it is followed with a plea that is also in agreement with that of Asaph in the very first words of Psalm 83. I think it to be more than obvious that the IDF has been raised up as declared in Ezekiel 37:10 to be the Lord's instrument in accomplishing His purposes in answering the Spirit-led prayers of Asaph, Daniel and all of ancient Israel's prophets. These ultimate last day purposes of the Lord commence with the fulfillment Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 28:24-26 and they are purposes which precede the arrival of the 70th Week as foretold by Gabriel.

What is not evident in Scripture is that following the overwhelming victory of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 28 when Israel is subsequently dwelling in the land safely and securely that anything like the IDF and its nuclear weaponry exists to defend Israel during the 70th Week. It may exist in its present form up until the Antichrist's confirmation of a "covenant among many," but during the 70th Week there is no reference in Scripture that points to the continued existence of the IDF. At that time God is working His will directly and through the activities of the Two Witness and 144,000 Jewish evangelists.