Monday, June 23, 2014

Global SITREP C11-14: Is the Middle East Boiling Over?

IDF tank crewmen with their Merkava MBT on the Golan near the Tel Hazaka-Quneitra crossing load ammunition yesterday, 22 June 2014. (AP Photo by Oded Balilty)

23 June 2014: In response to the deliberate targeting and murder of a 12-year old boy by Syrian government forces on the Israeli Golan, IDF retaliatory strikes destroyed nine high-value Syrian targets about 15 hours ago as of this posting. The boy was accompanying his father, an Israeli defense ministry contractor looking after the border fence, when the Syrian's fired a Russian-made Kornet anti-tank rocket at them. They boy was killed; the father survived that attack. Israel scored direct hits on the Syrian 90th BDE command center in Quneitra and three subordinate battalions in the same sector. 

Further to the east, on the Jordanian-Iraqi border, the AQ ISIS terrorists have attacked and possibly have seized the main Route 10 border crossing . This report follows the ISIS capture of the last major Iraqi town of Ar-Rutba in Iraq's western Anbar province.  ISIS also recently took control of the Syria-Iraq border crossings at Al-Qa'im on Route 12 in the north and Al-Waleed on Route 11 in the south, ISIS now controls all border crossings between Syria and Iraq and is in a position to attempt to take take control of  the Jordan-Iraq border crossing. Jordanian reinforcements are reportedly enroute to the Tarbil Crossing on Route 10.

Just learned that on 19 June ISIS launched an ambush against Iranian troops at the ancient border town of Qasr-e Shirin in Kermanshah Province, Iran.  The government of Iran officially acknowledged the attack two days later on 21 June, but claimed the attackers were a Kurdish militia instead of ISIS. While Iran was not forthcoming in acknowledging any casualties, it is known that at least two Iranian officers, and possibly more, were killed in the ambush. Saudi Arabia has belatedly warned Iran to not intervene in the Iraqi civil war; the ambush of Iranian troops occurred on the same day as they entered Iraq in large numbers to support the crumbling regime of Nouri al-Maliki.

24 June 2014: The Baiji Petroleum Refinery fell under the complete control of ISIS forces today. ISIS offered free passage to Erbil for all 460 remaining Iraqi soldiers as long as they would lay down their weapons.  ISIS will reportedly now hand over the Baiji Refinery to local Sunni tribesmen. ISIS also poses an imminent threat to the Haditha Dam, a major hydroelectric asset still under government control, and to which the Iraqi government has dispatched 2000 soldiers tasked with its defense.

25 June 2014: The Al Qaeda branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, a/k/a The Nusra Front, pledged its loyalty to ISIS today during a meeting at the Syria-Iraq border town Albu Kamal.  The international aspect of Al Qaeda is reflected in the fact that Jabhat al-Nusra was represented at the meeting by an Egyptian jihadist and the ISIS by a Chechen commander. There is now a unified Sunni jihadist now in control of a large swath of Syrian and Iraqi territory plus virtual all of the border posts between the two countries. The oath of loyalty makes the name 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' a defacto reality.

26 June 2014: The answer to the question posed by the title of this SITREP is a resounding - Yes! The Middle East has boiled over into a virtual free-for-all of international conflict stretching from the Mediterranean coast to the Persian Gulf and from Turkey to the Saudi Desert. Eight nations (alphabetically: Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United States) are now directly involved in the fighting between Sunni and Shi'a armies. The Sunni armies count among their number hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign fighters from nations all over the planet. On the Shi'a side there is also the Iranian controlled Hezbollah which effectively includes the government of Lebanon. Indirect participation of Russia can also be assumed through its shipment of arms and other war materiel into the region and in support of the Shi'a forces.

 ISIS (a/k/a DAASH) controlled territory in Syria and Iraq as of Monday, 23 June 2014 in red color. Yellow-colored areas are known additional areas of combat operations.

27 June 2014: Add Egypt to the list of the eight nations to become directly involved in the war. A contingent of Egyptian special forces are being deployed to bolster Saudi Arabian special operations forces moving to defend the border with Iraq if necessary. Saudi reconnaissance aircraft discovered an ISIS column moving towards at the Arar border crossing at Highway 80 in the Al-Judaida region.

Update 28 June 2014: A barrage of rocket and mortar artillery fire coming out of HAMAS-ruled Gaza last evening was aimed at Israeli targets in Ashkelon to the north and the Eshkol Regional Council area (see image above) to the east of Gaza. The barrage resulted in no reported injuries or damage in Israel. Details can be read in this INN report. Israel responded to this latest series of attacks prior to dawn this morning by cutting the IAF loose against four select HAMAS military targets in Gaza, all of which were destroyed. Details are in this Times of Israel report.  In the Nahal 'Iron (Wadi Ara) area (not far from Haifa) clashes between Israeli-Arabs waving PLO flags and the IDF searching for a trio of kidnapped Israeli youth resulted in injuries to both the Arabs and IDF troops. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was correct in saying that all those Arabs who support the actions of terrorists "should be treated as terrorists in every respect." That means bullets instead of tear gas. Soon enough, Avigdor, soon enough. It is inevitable.

Global SITREP C12-14 will pick up where this leaves off.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Global SITREP C10-14: Current Events and A Critical Moment Dead Ahead

16 June 2014: As strange as it may seem to some, the sectarian inter-Islamic war pitting Sunni Muslims against Shi'a Muslims has a particularly strong potential to become a catalyst for the fulfillment of last days Bible prophecy, and thus the destruction of Islam itself.  While we, the Bride of Christ, are forthrightly focused on our own eschatological issues and are watching events as instructed by our Lord, it is also important to realize that Islamic eschatology, particularly that of Shi'a Islam in the Islamic Republic of Iran can play a key role in precipitating the events that are about to occur.

I suspect the government of Israel is keenly aware of the threat they face. I am writing this to inform you of the specifics of that threat. Even though it now appears that the Iranian government is focused on maintaining Hezbollah in Lebanon, and in supporting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and most recently in now deploying their elite Qods Force and Basij militia to prop up the Shi'a puppet regime in Iraq, the fact of the matter is that the greater threat is the one that Iran now poses to Israel.

The Iranian regime, from the get-go in 1979, has been driven by their Shi'a eschatological beliefs. In fact, Shi'a eschatological beliefs constitute the driving force of Iranian foreign policy as well as their pursuit of nuclear weapons. While many anxiously await news of an Israeli preemptive strike against the Iranian nuclear program, the specter of a possible imminent Iranian surprise attack designed to wipe out Israel is just as likely in the very near term, primarily because it is driven by the fervently held eschatological beliefs of the current Iranian Ayatollah and his Council of Experts and the mullahs running the day-to-day affairs of the regime.

Iranian Shi'a eschatology holds that the al-Mahdi, also known as "Imam Zaman," will appear during battles in Iraq. According to Shi'a beliefs those battles, potentially self-fulfilling as they could be made to be, are said to occur imminently in the southern Iraqi cities of Karbala and An-Najaf. The Ayatollah believes, and has publicly announced, that he, personally, is the one eschatologically known to the Shi'a believers as "Seyed Khorasani," and it is his personal mission to facilitate the arrival of the (for our purposes fictional) al-Mahdi. In order to fulfill this express purpose he must take specific actions that will change the face of the Middle East. The primary and most important change that must take place prior to the appearance of the (for our purposes fictional) al-Mahdi during battles in Iraq is the destruction of Israel.

One need not think too hard to consider the immediate Israeli reaction to seeing Iranian missiles being readied for launch, or those of Hezbollah, or of Syria or HAMAS in Gaza for that matter. I think we are all well aware of the potential for several prophecies to come into their fulfillment due to Iranian military actions driven by their eschatology. Jeremiah 49:34-39, Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 come immediately to mind for starters. I think we all can see the makings of "a perfect storm" being generated by such events and that they could very easily occur without any warning at all. Just like Noah's flood.

The critical moment in all this lies directly ahead of us. We know that time is short, and we know that at any moment, like a thief in the night, we could hear the shout of the Lord descending from Heaven like the voice of an archangel and the trump of God commanding us to "Come up hither!"


18 June 2014: This is the massive Baiji Oil Refinery complex located a little over 110 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq. ISIS began assaulting the sprawling refinery last night. Reports coming out of Iraq are inconclusive about exactly what is the current situation today. Some say that following a night-time shelling Sunni ISIS forces entered the complex extending their direct control over nearly seventy-five percent of the refinery. Other less credible sources (Iranian) say Shi'a government forces have repulsed the assault. What is absolutely certain is that the refinery is shut down, no production of fuel is coming from it. A British company evacuated foreign oil workers just prior to the start of the assault. The sad news is that gasoline prices will spike for foreign consumers even though the Baiji gasoline product is not sold in the US but is solely for domestic Iraqi production. Any excuse is good enough for oil companies to take more dollars from our wallets at American gas pumps.

Now, to borrow a phrase from New Orleans-based chef extraordinaire Emeril Lagasse, it's time to kick this up a notch or two.  BAM!

The carnage that is occurring in Syria and Iraq in this war, but especially in Iraq, can only be described as mind-numbing barbarism. However, true to the so-called main stream (lame stream, actually) media's political correctness, there is an on-going, deliberate, editorially-directed from on high spin involved in the refusal to truthfully report the near routine day-to-day carnage of Islamic violence in these countries. Heaven forbid the cold hard truth about Islamic jihad be reported to John and Jane Q. Public in America. So, the  official lies are flowing as fast and furious as they can be issued in order to present this war as antiseptically as possible. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let slip in a recent interview on a national news program interview that the elite in our government are tightly controlling what is being reported in print or in video. The "religion of peace". Not.

Secondly. We must pray for our Marines and other armed forces personnel who are deploying into the war zone. Pray hard in fact. If you think the Al Qaeda assault on our consulate and CIA not-so-safe-and secure house in Benghazi, Libya was bad on the anniversary of 9/11, wait until the US Embassy Baghdad is subjected to a similar onslaught, lies and hindquarters cover-ups. Our President has a demonstrated and proven history of abandoning anyone and everyone he sends into harms way. And sending our Marines into Baghdad and not evacuating State Department employees is for exactly the opposite purpose of making it appear that Obama is not weak. These things are being done for the purpose of creating a body count that will make Benghazi pale in comparison. A few hundred American defense contractors got out of Balad AFB in Iraq by the skin of their teeth in the past few days. Obama was busy playing golf and making sure the US Air Force was stood down and unable to provide air cover for our contractors escape. Send in the Marines?

This and more is what you are not being told by a lapdog media as well as a feckless Congress who quite unambiguously do not know the first thing about impeaching a US President guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. God bless America. Please.

NEWSFLASH: The State of Iraq is Dead says former DIRCIA General Michael Hayden

19 June 2014: The former DIRCIA General Michael Hayden was on the Steve Malzberg syndicated radio program when he informed the host and his listeners, "The state of Iraq as we know it is gone, and it's not going to be reconstituted.  It's certainly not going to be reconstituted by [Prime Minister] Nouri al-Maliki.''   Those who read Bible prophecy probably saw this coming because 3,000 years ago the singing prophet Asaph referred to it as Assur in Psalm 83, even though the contemporaneous ancient state of Babylonia lay to its immediate south. So, Asaph was inspired by the Holy Spirit to include Assur in his prophecy but not Babylonia. There's a very good reason for that as the world will soon find out. 

 Weapons of Mass Destruction

Update 20 June 2014:  Before this entry becomes too long and bulky I will make this final (no pun intended) bullet-laden update with a view towards illustrating the key prophetic elements addressed either directly or peripherally by the current events in the inter-Islamic war between Sunni and Shi'a.

  • The carnage of this war will continue and almost certainly increase by orders of magnitude as weapons of mass destruction become employed by both sides seeking a decisive victory over their foes. The enemies in this war are very heavily influenced by demonic forces unseen by the human eye but whose evil presence is all but palpable by those who've physically been in that region. The devastating PTSD that our brave soldiers come home with is a direct result of the evil presence resident in the Euphrates. So, be ever mindful that there are four fallen angels which have been bound in the Euphrates River since time immemorial as we know from Revelation 9:13-21 and Jude 1:6 who will remain there until the appointed hour on the day, month and year during the 70th Week upon their release to kill 2 Billion humans beings with the plagues of unrestrained weapons of mass destruction warfare. 
  • The prophecy of Psalm 83 is the key element in understanding the sequence of prophetic wars that must take place prior to the advent of the 70th Week. Without a solid understanding of this very specific prophecy one cannot fully comprehend the coming series of of "birth pangs" which will primarily shape and make extant the political, religious and militarily divided world that will exist on day one of the rapidly approaching 70th Week. Psalm 83 omits any mention the nations known since ancient times as Aram (Syria) or Persia (Iran) but who are today key players in the continuing Arab Islamic war against Israel. Psalm 83 mentions only one location, Assur, as a participant among the 9 other specifically identified enemies that will come against Israel from present-day and geographically bordering locations in Lebanon, Jordan, the so-called West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai. The ancient land of Assur is currently the land in modern-day northeastern Syria and northern Iraq that has come into possession of the Sunni Islamists. The lack of any mention of Iran (Persia/Elam) in Psalm 83 also bodes badly for their Shi'a brethren in Lebanon and Alawi cousins in Syria, and the reason for that is the next bullet item.
  • The prophecy of Jeremiah 49:34-39 clearly indicates that part of present-day Iran where the bulk of that nations nuclear weapons program currently resides as well as its ethnically Arab (non-Persian) population. The text of this prophecy is completely unambiguous regarding what will occur here. Ancient Elam also encompassed the southeastern part of present-day Iraq which is home to the overwhelming majority of the country's Shi'a Muslim population. This prophecy makes clear that great catastrophe will cause these populations to flee to all points of the globe and that the Lord will pursue against the Iranian regime with a sword (war) wielded from all directions of the compass in bringing tactical dismay and disaster against them.
  • The prophecy of Isaiah 17 is also directly related to the ongoing Sunni-Shi'a war,  as is the also unfulfilled prophetic text found in Joshua 13. As clearly indicated in both of these prophetic texts, while they speak to the present-day nations of Lebanon and Syria, the territory east of the Jordan River in the northeastern corner of the present-day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is also clearly referenced as is the present-day inheritor of them all: Israel.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Global SITREP C9-14: ISIS Takes Mosul, Baiji and Tikrit in Iraq

UPDATE 13 June 2014: Exactly as forecast on Eschatology Today on 11 June, Iranian forces have intervened in Iraq in an attempt to bring to a quick halt the march of Sunni Al Qaeda- ISIS jihadists on the Shi'a strongholds in eastern Iraq. The Wall Street Journal reported in today's edition that two battalions of Iran's IRGC Qods Force along with the IRGC commander, General Qassem Suleimani. General Suleimani has apparently taken operational control of Iraqi defenses around Baghdad. The presence of Iranian Shi'a troops fighting alongside Iraqi Shi'a troops against Sunni Iraqi's on Iraqi soil will undoubtedly have the effect of throwing high-octane gasoline on an already raging inferno. This war has now entered a completely new paradigm far beyond anything seen previously on the Syrian Sunni versus Shi'a front lines. More barrel bombs and even chemical warfare are almost certain to be central to the coming escalation.

 12 June 2014: Al Qaeda's ISIS is now at a full gallop in what it calls "Operation Entering the Gates."  The "Gates" they intend to enter are those of Baghdad. As detailed below they have acquired as spoils of war in direct confrontation with the Iraqi Army more than enough resources to accomplish their mission. The Iraqi Army, armed with US-made M1A1 Main Battle Tanks, MRAP armored personnel carriers plus fixed and rotary-wing combat aircraft was summarily routed and brushed aside after just four days of contact with massed and well coordinated ISIS forces.

On the battlefield west of Mosul, a feint against the main Iraqi line was followed by a blitz on the Iraqi rear to the east of Mosul which tore open the Iraqi defenses and sent what remained of the defenders fleeing for their very lives. The ISIS field commander for this operation is the very stealthy jihadist known by the nom de guerre "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," but whose real name is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri. He may well prove to be the next Osama bin Laden of Islamic jihadism.

ISIS forces have not stopped their advance, but actually increased their pace of combat operations and are streaming southward towards Baghdad in two primary columns, and driving a thoroughly defeated Iraqi army before them. The Baghdad government of President Nouri al-Maliki now has nowhere else to turn but to his patrons in Tehran as the Obama Administration has effectively thrown his former Iraqi allies under the bus in favor of the AQ ISIS jihadists. Is this the price to be paid in Obama's neck-breaking gambit to achieve a suicidal nuclear deal with Tehran? Sure seems that way.

11 June 2014: Within 24 hours of taking Mosul the forces of ISIS have now taken Baiji (pop. 200,000) and Tikrit (pop. 260,000 and famous as the home of the late dictator Saddam Hussein) in Saladin Province. In Baiji these Sunni jihadists have taken control of Iraq's largest oil refinery and the heavily industrialized heartland of Iraq. The large power plant in Baiji is an electrical lifeline to Baghdad. Saladin Province is the very heart of ancient Assur. In addition, Al Qaeda's ISIS also took possession of more than $425 Million dollars of cold, hard cash from the Central Bank in Mosul, not to mention an entire division's worth of armored vehicles and munitions of every description.

Without immediate direct military intervention from the Shi'a Islamic Republic of Iran (which I believe is imminent) it's puppet regime in Baghdad and what is left of Iraq are living on borrowed time. The hasty, ill-advised and premature departure of American and Coalition forces in Iraq (ordered by Commander-In-Chief Barack Hussein Obama), the last of which departed just two and one-half years ago, have made this stunning victory by Al Qaeda's ISIS possible and made a extremely wasteful mockery of the objectives America and its allies fought for in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
10 June 2014: Directly above at the top of this continuing post is a graphic image published on this date by DEBKAfile. This image gets to the heart once again of what I have been discussing for some time now about the modern-day Assur as spoken of by the prophet Asaph in Psalm 83 verse 8. This map is showing us at this late hour the actual territory (shaded as Islamic green) of the tenth nation mentioned in the Psalm 83 enemy confederation and which is directly linked to Jordan (i.e. "the children of Lot").  

As essential background data I urge you to re-visit these previous Eschatology Today posts, and which also contain links to other posts on this blog dealing with the same subject.

Psalm 83 Verse 8: Assur - Syria or Iraq?

Global SITREP B11-13: Psalm 83 and AQ in Iraq

For illustrative and comparative purposes consider the above green shaded part of the image with the two lighter pink shaded areas of the image below.  Even though these two images are on different scales, they do effectively illustrate us how the terrorist non-state known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, occupies the exact same territory today as did Assur circa 1000 BC when Asaph was inspired to compose Psalm 83.

 Again, we watch current events which have every probability of becoming literally fulfilled prophecy before our witnessing eyes, and in this case what we are talking about is a prophecy which is simultaneously 3,000 years old but also as current as today's news.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Global SITREP C8-14: NATO Exercise Sabre Strike 2014

10 June 2014:  In just the two months since the Russian military invasion and conquest commenced against its former ally Ukraine (Crimea, March 2014), the leadership in Moscow led by Vladimir Putin has totally ignored all of the established international agreements governing relations between itself and its neighbors, especially Ukraine.  It should come as no surprise then to even the casual observer that Russia views the start of the annual NATO defensive field exercise known as "Sabre Strike" in the Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) as "a demonstration of hostile intention."  Funny how Moscow did not have this kind of a visceral reaction to Sabre Strike 2013, or Sabre Strike 2012, or any of the previous years it has been conducted in these same Baltic states. Moscow's reaction belies their true militarily aggressive intent not only against Ukraine, but also these same neighboring Baltic and Nordic countries as well as the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus region.

The annual Sabre Strike is a brigade-level, computer-assisted, multi-mission vignette or situational type of exercise which occurs in defined training areas (as seen in the image above) that are located in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Sabre Strike exercise involves just under 5,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen from ten different NATO countries. Those troops primarily hail from Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. This is Denmark and Canada's first year of exercise participation. Exercise sabre Strike poses no imminent threat to the Russian Federation, but it clearly demonstrates NATO's robust and increasing ability to defend itself from aggressive Russian expansionism and designs of reconquest. Get over it Vlad, the hegemonic dictatorship of the Soviet Union died decades ago, and your desire to resurrect it will likely result in the death of Russia. It's prophetic.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Global SITREP C7-14: Intel Brief for June 2014

5 June 2014: The current situation on planet Earth is pretty much the same as it was the last time a global war was in the making.  Ours is a polarized world as the above image depicts, with the world powers moving their chessmen within the various theaters of kinetic conflict. This is completely consistent with the prophetic view expressed in the Bible prior to the 70th Week, and nothing that has not already been discussed on Eschatology Today in recent years. However, an Intel Brief for June 2014 to update everyone on global maneuverings is called for at this time.

In Ukraine low intensity conflict rules the day and the night in the eastern part of the country between the government in Kiev and Russian-speaking so-called "separatists" led by Russian special forces and military intelligence commanders taking their orders from Vladimir Putin in Moscow. So far and overall, absent the direct involvement of the bulk of Russia's main air and land forces, Kiev's military forces are inflicting tremendous damage and casualties on their "separatist" adversaries in engagements of various sizes and durations. However, Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine, as is the nature of special operations forces, are very stealthy and continue unabated, but at some point heavy forces will be necessary to forestall total defeat.

I continue to assess that the probability of a full-scale Russian military invasion grows with every "separatist" set back or defeat in combat; a war of attrition is not in Russia's interest by any measure. Countries on the periphery of Ukraine have used this low intensity period to strengthen their forward deployed and reserve battalions and brigades and place them in a near-war posture. This is true with NATO in the West, especially in Poland; Finland and Sweden in the North and with other nations to the South, such as in the not fully resolved Russian war of aggression against the Republic of Georgia.

In Georgia the new government is actively preparing for another Russian invasion. However, unlike their experience against Russian armored forces in 2008, the next war here will cause Russia's military forces to be bled profusely. Georgia has used the past 6 years to create the most combat hardened force in the Caucasian region, a force that if unleashed today would be more than capable of dislodging the twenty percent of its territory still occupied by the Russian army (South Ossetia and Abkhazia). What is not widely known is that Georgia's entire army has been rotated through and thoroughly trained in the past five years on the battlefields of Afghanistan alongside and in support of American forces. In short, the Republic of Georgia has a new army, an all-volunteer, top-notch and very battle-hardened professional army that can robustly defend its territory or strike the Russian bear a severe blow in his hind quarters should he suddenly move towards Israel. With the exception of the Polish army, Georgia now fields an army larger and more capable then most of the larger members of NATO. Keep an eye on Ukraine, but know that Russia has a much bigger potential problem with its expansion ambitions to the south. In 2015 this Georgian army will be fully integrated into the NATO Rapid Reaction Force of 25,000 troops.

In East Asia there are great rumblings among he military forces of the "kings of the East." Mainland China is actively provoking the Vietnamese with naval skirmishes in the South China Sea of late - several Vietnamese commercial fishing vessels have been sunk after being rammed by Chinese warships escorting a sea-going oil platform, and Chinese PLA armored units have run up onto the border with northern Vietnam. Chinese and Japanese air and naval forces have been squaring off against each other in the maritime area just north of Taiwan. In Thailand martial law was followed by a military coup d'etat which makes another southeast Asian nation less than stable in a region poised for war. And then there is North Korea with the prospect of a dual nuclear weapons test (with Iranian participation) and more launches of long-range, nuclear-capable missiles.

In Central Asia, from Pakistan to all the former-Soviet republics further north to the Uighur part of western China, Islamic jihadism is spreading like a wild fire and is the greatest threat to the entire region. Continued upheaval here is a given conclusion; war and the misery it brings on a far greater scale is inevitable.

In Africa, from Nigeria to the Horn of Africa, north to Egypt and Libya we find the northern half of the continent a place where war, rampant terrorism and insurrection reign supreme and where southern African nations (OAS armies) have joined their military forces with the expeditionary forces from NATO and the US in combat operations against Islamist militias such as Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM). Yes, the king of the South is flexing his muscles as well.

And last, but never the least, there's the Middle East powder keg. From the Eastern Mediterranean littoral to the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, and on down to Yemen, ongoing combat operations and maneuverings also perpetually rule the day and the night. Most concerning is the the Syria war which is now right up against Israel's northern frontier as it is up against Jordan's northern frontier. Iraq is a basket case and full-scale war between Sunni and Shi'a rages there in everything but name. Then there's the Iranian nuclear program, which is about to have yet another North Korean-hosted test as mentioned above. This program continues as the Obama Administration pretends to be negotiating a deal with an Ayatollah who just recently reiterated for the umpteenth time his plan to destroy the "great satan" America and then the "little satan" Israel.

Notice how the globe with the chessmen in the image above looks more like a traditional anti-ship mine than it does a chessboard. Any one of these regional conflicts has the potential to set the world on fire with the war that our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied about in the Olivet Discourse that would sweep the world like the flood of Noah's day. How many millions of lives were snuffed out in that flood? Unknown, but the coming flood of fire will take an exponentially larger number of souls.

Now is the time to double-down on your witness to those who have yet to receive the Grace of God through Christ our Lord. I believe all these things point to the very imminent yet completely unknown day and hour when the Harpazo will take us in less than a nanosecond leaving many of the unsaved we know and love behind to endure even more unspeakable horrors in the wrath of the 70th Week.

Even so, Marana'tha Lord!