Tuesday, January 28, 2014

All These Things Be Fulfilled - Part III - The End

The Third (70th Week) Temple standing upon 
Mount Moriah, Jerusalem in the very near future.

28 January 2014: It won't be long until a real-world fact very close to as what the image above depicts comes into existence. How the 3rd Temple comes to exist is the subject of the many pre-70th Week prophecies you can read about in these Eschatology Today pages as well as in the many linked websites and blogs found along the right margin of this blog's main page. However, the focus of this article is the third and final installment of the original 2009 "All these thing fulfilled... Part I and Part II." 

In Part III we will recapture the some key points from Parts I & II in concert with key items of Jesus' prophetic discourse to His disciples on the Mount of Olives circa the year 33 AD (Matthew 24). As a statement of eschatological belief, I convicted by the Spirit that from this point in time, January 2014, and going forward through the next 17 months or so the world literally will witness several of these major prophetic events coming to pass before our eyes and this disbelieving world will find itself landed squarely on the doorstep of the angel Gabriel's prophetic 70th Week, specifically, Daniel 9:27, as given us through the full "70 Weeks Prophecy" of Daniel 9:24-27.

The first point I would like to bring attention to in Jesus' Olivet Discourse is His prophecy in verse 2 regarding the destruction of the 2nd Temple. Let's consider that this prophecy stands like a proverbial book end on the left side of the prophecy. Our Lord then works his way through the several pre-70th Week signs:

1) Deception of many men falsely claiming to be anointed ones (false messiahs).
2) Wars and rumors of other wars that must take place (i.e. the prophetic wars of Isaiah 17, Jeremiah 49, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38/39 that must take place), but the end is not yet .
3) Wars on a global scale followed by global famines, infectious plagues and earthquakes around the globe.
Our Lord then wraps this up neatly for us by referring to these signs as "All these are the beginning of sorrows" in verse 8. These the pre-70th Week "birthpangs" are heralding the coming of His Kingdom, and we are very familiar with them because we are currently living in them.  

Then a instantaneous transition occurs. I believe this transition has two sides or parts to it and occurs in instant of the Harpazo when the Father will have sent His Son to collect all of us, the Bride of Christ. In the Harpazo the bride will be physically caught up, snatched away from this earth and instantaneously changed into new spiritual bodies and met by the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to remain with Him ever more. This is the side of the transition that you want to be on because the other side of this transition is from the present world to the advent of the 70th Week. The Tribulation has arrived.

In this side of the transition that just occurred, back on the earth, terrible things now occur with respect to those who were left behind, who were Christian in name only; those of "Churchianity who were not truly redeemed and were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. They suffer the consequences of their lack of decision to be covered by the redemptive Blood of the Lamb. At Matthew 24:9 Jesus tells us these people will be hated in all nations, persecuted and killed for "My name's sake."  

Facing an onslaught of universal hatred some will completely lose whatever basis of faith they had. Hatred of and betrayal of those who do repent (as seen in verse 13) in the aftermath of the Harpazo will become rampant. So, the time for a decision for Jesus Christ if you have not already done so is right here, right now, because in one instant, no one knows exactly when except for God the Father, this transition will occur without any further warning. 

Again, the 70th Week, the tribulation has arrived and is just getting started, as in verse 14 Jesus makes a crystal clear reference to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will be going around the globe preaching "this Gospel of the Kingdom." The Bride of Christ has been Harpazoed into the the many mansions of His Father; the places He has prepared for the past nearly 2000 years for His Bride. On earth the fulfillment on Ezekiel 39:29 has occurred after the battle of Gog/Magog, and the redemption of Israel has begun wit the Lord pouring out His Spirit and the fulfillment of Paul's prophecy in Romans 11:22-27 has taken place.

Then, in verse 15, Jesus gives us the right side book end of this prophecy. He jumps forward 42 months into the 70th Week and to the point where the Abomination of Desolation, the man-made image of the Antichrist, the beast, the son of perdition, is standing within the Holy Place inside the 3rd Temple. These proverbial book ends capture a sequence of events that date back to their prophetic beginning. 

The sequence was of the destruction of the 2nd Temple, the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem and the end of Israel with a global dispersion. This process, as noted in Part I of this article, took precisely 70 years, a Biblical generation (Psalms 90:10) to complete.  On our calendar these events began in 66 AD with the first Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire and came to a final conclusion in 136 AD with the end of the third and final Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire.

In the initial Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire, also known as the "Great Revolt" and the one in which Jesus appears to have prophesied expressly in the Olivet Discourse, extended from late 66 AD to early 74 AD. This war was literally begun and ended at the fortress redoubt of Masada over a period of period of precisely 7 years. And those 7 years had a hiatus, definable first and second halves which had been brought about by first civil war among the Jews in Jerusalem, and, secondly, by a Roman civil war for control of the Empire. The result is well known world history, which can be read about here, and here, for those history buffs (like myself) who are so inclined.

As a related aside concerning the fulfilled prophecy of Daniel 9:26b "the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary," these links will prove beyond any doubt that two of the four key Roman Army legions (V Macedonica; XV Apollinaris and X Fretensis; XII Fulminata) which besieged and sacked Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD arrived direct from Europe via seaports on the Mediterranean coast of Roman Phoenicia (modern-day Lebanon) and Samaria (modern-day Israel). The latter two had been garrisoned in Greco-Roman Aram-Damascus under Procurator Agrippa II and the 10-city Greco-Roman Decapolis.

So, the duration of these events, the revolts of 7 and 70 years respectively,  appear to be significant numbers of years when it comes to Bible prophecy, enough to make the Preterists hold to their eschatological position as they do. But all is not quite that tidy and neat, as we shall see. There are other critical factors which must be accounted for.

Now, moving on to the modern era beginning in 1948, the process has reversed with the restoration of Israel (per Ezekiel 37) in 1948 and the recapture of Jerusalem in 1967. These events have maintained through the  battles or mini wars of the ongoing Psalm 83 war (1973 and 2006) with the final battles yet to be joined, but entirely and glaringly imminent. The Psalm 83 war begun in late 1947/early 1948 is now in its 66th or 67th year. So what remains in the reversal of this prophetic process are the conditions permitting the building of the 3rd Jewish Temple... the 70th Week Temple... the tribulation Temple... the Abomination of Desolation Temple.

If the first, deconstructive part of this prophetic sequence occurred over a period of a literal 70 years, a single generation (as Jesus also noted), then why not consider that the restorative part of the prophetic sequence will also occur in precisely 70 literal years, or from 1948 AD to 2018 AD?  This seems logical, even possible given a quick glance considering where things are to day. However, that would be akin to engaging in what is known in these modern times as 'newspaper exegesis.'  There are other key factor involved which allow for more time for all of the pre-70th Week prophecies to achieve independent fulfillment.

No pun intended, but chief among those key factors is the prophecy of Ezekiel 38/39 in conjunction with the literalness of Psalm 90:10 which provides two definitions in terms of years or durations of a single generation: 70 as normal, or 80 of strength.

We must be cognizant that the prophetic Word which came to Ezekiel contains two timelines of prophetic significance. 7 years of burning, and 7 months of burying. In the text it appears as though the burning begins first and then the burying commences. The 7 years of burning the Magog Confederation's weaponry as a form of reciprocal plundering and pillaging is the critical eschatological factor to be considered as the text states this burning occurs over a literal and Biblical (360 days each year) 7-year period of time per Ezekiel 39:9.

Let me be perfectly clear about this conclusion: nothing is 100% certain or dogmatic or date-setting about the time-line interpretation I am presenting here, excepting only that "Eretz-Israel" was declared into its modern existence in a single day just as prophesied by Isaiah 66:8 and Psalm 90:10 defines the number of years in a generation. The Word of God is Supreme. And these two points must be addressed.

The first point is the date which starts the Lord's prophetic time-line with respect to Israel and the last days prophecies. That date was May 14, 1948 AD.  In the declaration of "Eretz Israel" David Ben-Gurion made no mention of borders of "the land," and no mention of the Lord God and His Abrahamic Covenant in their right to re-establish "Eretz-Israel" was made either. The declaration of "Eretz-Israel" was based upon a declared "natural and historic" right based on "the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly" upon which Ben-Gurion and those gathered with him in assembly in Tel Aviv simply declared the existence of the "State of Israel." They signed the very secular Proclamation and placed their "trust in the Almighty" on the 5th day of Iyar, 5708 - 14th May, 1948. Nevertheless, the prophecy of Isaiah 66:8 was precisely fulfilled at that moment, and the prophetic process of the redemption of Israel began.

The second point is that a normal generation per Psalm 90:10 was given a duration of 70 years. If one were to count forward 70 years in time the count would end in mid-2018 AD. However, if we are in a generation of strength, or 80 years per the same Psalm 90:10, that would count forward to 2028 AD.

Getting back to Ezekiel 38:9, I agree with all of my fellow students of the Lord's Word who say that Israel will have to complete this burning of the Magog Confederation's weapons prior to the middle of the 70th Week. Accordingly, IF the 70th Week should commence circa mid-2018, then the middle of the 70th Week would be circa mid-2021 AD plus and additional 6 months (to account for the full 42 months of the first halve of the 70th Week, thereby placing the time further forward to almost 2022 AD.  2022 minus 7 years is 2015, and for me that is just cutting everything a little too close. In fact, it does not work at all.

Therefore, consistent with my belief that this final generation is a Psalm 90:10 generation of strength of 80 years duration, my conclusion is that we must in sound hermeneutic exegesis push these times forward by most if not all of those additional 10 years. I realize folks are most urgently desiring the Lord's return, and pray daily for the Harpazo to occur without delay. However, in so doing in consideration of those additional ten years we allow for the literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39 and the burning of the weaponry for a full 7 years as well as all of the other preceding prophetic wars (Jeremiah 49:34-39, Isaiah 17, Psalm 83 and associated prophecies) to transpire, each in their own time, and from which Ezekiel also declares that Israel will have recovered from, and be living in peace, safety and fearing no enemy when the Gog/Magog launches its attack. And, most importantly, we do nothing with respect to the timing of the Harpazo of the Bride of Christ. The Father will send His Son at a time we do not expect, Even so, Marana'tha!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Global SITREP B7:14: Al Qaeda in Syria Suddenly an Israeli Strategic Concern

 Al Qaeda foot soldiers looting ammunition after
the capture of Syria's Taftanaz Air Base in January 2013
(photo credit: AP Photo)

26 January 2014: This SITREP is adjunct and supplemental to the information contained in Global SITREP B11-13: Psalm 83 and AQ in IraqThe sheer numbers of Sunni jihadist foot soldiers, their combat capabilities and the objectives of Al Qaeda commanded forces in Syria has become a major and sudden strategic concern for Israel, to the effect of compromising the neutrality of Israel in the Syrian civil war. This change of status was made clear in a briefing to the Associated Press by an anonymous "senior Israeli intelligence official" on Friday, 24 January. This briefing has been reported in both Israeli and British media in the past 24 hours.

The IDF intelligence official numbered the Al Qaeda jihadist forces in Syria at 30,000. This figure amounts to a real number increase of well over 25,000 combatants from previous Western intelligence estimates. The IDF intelligence official made no bones about what is already well known about the future objective of these Islamic jihadists: after the military defeat in Syria of Assad's forces, the IRGC and Hezbollah forces these jihadists will immediately embark upon a war with Israel. 

Recent rocket attacks from these same Sunni jihadists against Israel would suggest that their war aims are far more advanced than they are being given credit for. Question: What is the difference between AQ Sunni jihadists in Lebanon, Syria or Iraq? Answer: There is none. 

Therefore, I make the assessment that it is merely a matter of time before the chemical weapons used against Bashar al-Assad's forces on several occasions last year are fired against Israeli civilian targets in order to provoke a very serious and game-changing response from Israel. This, in all actuality, is Al Qaeda's ultimate strategic objective, and it was the unspoken benchmark basis for the IDF intelligence officer's briefing to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. 

Just a half year ago when Al Qaeda jihadists used its crude chemical weapons in Syria, like the example in the image above clearly shows, Bashar al-Assad took the blame for it in the UN and world media as accused by the Obama Administration in August 2013. The Obama Administration was threatening war against Bashar al-Assad, because, pursuant to their pro-rebel agenda, the Al Qaeda jihadists (i.e. the Syrian rebels) did not possess such chemical weapons. Hopefully, now we now better. I would guarantee that Israel does for sure. And what we have here is yet another potential spark for the fulfillment of Isaiah 17.

Addendum 31 January 2014:  The above image appeared in yesterday's edition of the Turkish Hurriet Daily News which published an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. This image was uploaded to an Al Qaeda website on 7 January 2014, and shows an Al Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) convoy of at least sixteen new Toyota Hilux twin-cab pick-up trucks mustered for a photo-op in Anbar Province, Iraq, the scene of recent Al Qaeda combat victories in Falluja and Ramadi against the Iraqi Army. 

The Toyota Hilux (similar to the Toyota Tacoma sold in the US) vehicles are virtually indestructible, easily out-perform Humvees and other assorted light utility combat vehicles and are the overwhelming jihadist/insurgent favorite for rapid transit of their fighting forces for well over a decade now. This convoy, at least as much as can be seen in this image, is the equivalent of a 112-man high-mobility cavalry troop or infantry company. One vehicle appears to have a large caliber anti-aircraft cannon, possibly a ZU-23-2 "Sergei," mounted to its cargo bed.

This Hurriet Daily News reported that a column similar to this one approached the Çobanbey, Kilis, Turkey border post between Syria and Turkey and engaged a Turkish Army unit on Tuesday, 28 January. The Turkish unit is deployed at Çobanbey to defend the large rail yard located less than 100 feet from the actual border. The Al Qaeda forces initiated the attack but were repulsed according to Hurriet, and broke contact after losing three vehicles. This is the first instance of Al Qaeda (ISIL) engaging Turkish military forces from Syrian soil.

Al Qaeda has now engaged in significant combat with Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish forces.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Global SITREP B6-14: An Eye On Kurdistan

24 January 2014: This is a good time to look through the periscope and see what's going on around on the periphery of the Middle East battlegrounds. One rather expansive tract of territory to place an eye on is that of "Kurdistan."

What we know as Kurdistan looms large right now. The Kurds, all 30 million of them, live in contiguous territory within southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria, northern Iraq and northwestern Iran and constitutes the world's largest ethnic group without its own internationally recognized homeland.

Since the end of the 1991 Gulf War the Kurds in northern Iraq, a/k/a "Iraqi Kurdistan," have maintained and improved on an autonomous political entity known as the Kurdistan Regional Government. This government essentially functions as if it were a separate country, but it remains an integral part of Iraq. In Iran and Turkey the Kurds have long been a festering insurgency for those two governments, especially with respect to Turkey. 

In Syria it's not much different, except that the over two million Kurds living there take on all sides in the ongoing civil war should they encroach upon "Syrian Kurdistan."  Following the rejection of a Syrian Kurdish request to join the Syrian civil war negotiations in Switzerland the Kurds on Tuesday of this week made known their extreme displeasure at being rejected as peace parlay participants and promptly declared the formation of their own provincial government for "Syrian Kurdistan." The image at the top is from one of the Kurds flag-festooned rallies this past week in northern Syria.

In the map image, the part of Syria is actually slightly out of date as the Kurdish militia has taken a lot more territory for itself with all lands from Ras-al-Ain on the Turkish border, south along the Khabir River to the city of Al Hassakah and then on to the Iraqi border being under their military control. 

The most interesting thing to note with respect to the above map is how much this territory resembles that of ancient Assyria prior to the conquest of Aram, Damascus and the northern kingdom of Israel. With 30 million people longing for a homeland of their own I have come to consider that the prophecy of Isaiah 19:23-25 might very well apply to Kurdistan (Assyria) during the Millennium of the Lord's reign finally getting their homeland as the inheritors of the northern part of ancient Assyria.

"In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”"
The prophetic "In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria - a blessing in the midst of the land..." tells me that the map of the Middle East will be radically different than it looks today. Gone from the current map are the countries of Lebanon, Aram (Damascus) Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. In their geographic place are just three countries serving the Lord of hosts: "Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Global SITREP B5-14: The Lord's Fierce Anger Upon Iran

22 January 2014 (Prologue): The prophecy of Jeremiah 49:34-39 has been discussed on this blog on numerous occasions over the past couple of years. This time however a closer look at the text might be a beneficial exercise. Even though there are only six verses to this prophecy, it also contains a substantially larger amount information for the reader to absorb than the text by itself reveals. The both the plain text and the imagery within this prophecy are astounding in my view. As always, I believe this is a prophecy that is about to commence in its fulfillment in three distinct phases: an imminent start, a middle phase during the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39, and the final verse during the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Verse 34: "The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah..."

This leading verse simply informs the reader that Jeremiah is the presenter to us of: 

a) the prophetic word that has been given to him by "the Lord of hosts" 
b) the subject of the prophecy, and 
c) when this prophecy was given to Jeremiah. 

The remaining 5 verses contain all of the prophetic data, and within these five verses I discern a distinct sequence of events.

Verse 35: "Behold, I will break the bow (qesheth) of Elam, the foremost of their might."

This verse informs that Elam's (Iran's) foremost military might, it's offensive military might, is suddenly and inexplicably broken. This event is singular unto itself. The plain text metaphor qesheth (battle bow or archer) given here informs us that the choice part or best of the military might of Iran that God will break is an offensive weapon system that launches projectiles at the enemy.

Even without nuclear warheads, Iran possesses an incredible number of rocket and missile platforms that as with all modern military forces provide coverage from short to long ranges and in multiple types for engaging land, sea and airborne targets. These rocket and missile systems are the qesheth that Jeremiah speaks of. There is no reason given for the breaking of these weapons systems, it's just that the Lord of hosts has declared it will happen.

As in ancient times when Persian/Median armies launched massive barrages of arrows at their enemies, so too the Iranian military of today relies very heavily on their modern day equivalent. Iranian warfighting doctrine dictates mass barrage-style launches. Iran can be seen exercising this capability every couple of months or so, and in some instances photoshopping the images to convey ridiculous numbers of rockets being launched.

 Nevertheless, the question is, how will God break such a qesheth as this? I would speculate, aside from a supernatural act by God, this will occur by the same electronic warfare means as Israel has thus far kept all enemy missile systems from firing at their F15-I Ra'am and F-16I Sufa strike aircraft for the past seven years over Lebanon, Syria and the Sudan. Israel not only can put an enemy into an electronic black hole, but the evidence is that the IDF can actually take control of an enemy's weapons systems. Israel's airborne Suter electronic warfare system, or whatever the more mature version might have as its nomenclature today,  the system really is so advanced, that I suspect it is even beyond the very real capability of the rumored non-nuclear EMP capability.

Verse 36: "Against Elam (Iran) I will bring the four winds, from the four quarters of heaven, and scatter them toward all those winds; there shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go."

Four winds from every direction of the globe scatter outcasts from Elam to every nation of the globe. These are Iranian refugees escaping the tyranny of the regime and the Basij thugs who enforce that tyranny. God provides them this escape so that they may return in the future to this ancient* people to this ancient* land as He promises in verse 39. (those 'latter days' are almost certainly during the Millennium Kingdom of Christ.) So, to recap, the major offensive weapons capability of Iran is suddenly broken or non-functional in the previous verse.

This clearly, as we shall see in the subsequent verse, causes dismay, confusion and a window of opportunity is created whereby those who desperately want to escape (such as Christians and anti-regime Iranians) do so, and the depart the country in every direction of the compass. To my tactical way of thinking, it appears as though not only are Iran's primary weapons down for the count, but is regime's ability to control its population and its borders. Few people are aware that in Iran the rapidly expanding Born Again segment of the population are fervently and devoutly praying for the Jeremiah 49:34-39 prophecy to come to a soon fulfillment irregardless of the consequences for Iran stated in those prophecies. The biggest reason they pray for this prophecy to come to fulfillment is that the scattering of many Iranian people will free them to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ elsewhere in the world!

NOTE* The very word Elam has a dual meaning. It can mean a long time, as an eternity, or it can refer to an ancient region of political power northeast, east and southeast of the lower Tigris River. This is where the ancient country and eventual empire of Elam began.  It is no accident that this region is the location of the nearly operational Arak heavy water plutonium reactor, also known as IR40 (Iran 40MegaWatt reactor), and the under-construction 360MW Darkhovin heavy water plutonium reactor, and the operational 1000MW Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Verse 37: "For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger," says the Lord; "And I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them."

The sudden and sequential over-taking events continue with verse 37. In this verse it appears as though the regime itself is being subdued by a sword, an opposing armed force, perhaps even an insurrection, which brings disaster upon them. How fitting for a Jewish holocaust denying regime to itself be subjected to a Divinely ordained holocaust from which there is no escape unless it is into the saving embrace of the Lamb of God. 

In any event, the consuming of this important region of modern-day Iran by the ravages of war would create far reaching effects, not the least of which would be the downgrading of Iranian military capability and the loss of Iran's primary industrial and oil and natural gas producing sector, the overwhelming majority of which lie within the heart of ancient Elam.

Iranian industry, oil, natgas production and reserves (top) 
in the region of ancient Elam(bottom).

Verse 38:  "I will set My throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes,’ says the Lord."

Verse 38 completes the previous causation of this prophetic destruction by the sword of war.  But here there is a very important distinction in the sequence of events of this prophecy. This is the last of the sequence of events. To recap again, the foremost of Iran's military might was destroyed first, this was followed by a mass exodus of many Iranians to all points on the globe, which was followed by the continued dismay of the regime and war being thrust upon them. Then, after all of this does God set His throne in Elam. 

I was awoken this morning with the thought that the meaning of this verse is much more than meets the eye at first glance. The throne of God on the Earth, in Elam? Surely the Lord Jesus Christ will sit upon His throne in the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, and God the Father sits upon His throne in Heaven, so the meaning of this is clearly well beyond the plain text of the verse. It must be figurative.

How does the Bible describe the throne of God? The Bible has many descriptions, yet the most poignant is that as Paul noted the description of which are as "inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." The throne of God in Heaven is where perpetual and eternal worship of the Almighty takes place. Nevertheless, we might need look no further than the narrative of Ezekiel 1:4- 28 or of John of Patmos in Revelation 4:1-11 where John was taken in the Spirit to that most Holy of all places. John's visual descriptions are of brilliant emerald, jasper and carnelian, lightning flashes and peals of thunder. Ezekiel's much earlier vision was of a great cloud of fire engulfing itself, brightness and radiance the color of amber, the throne having the appearance of a sapphire. 

I am left with the very strong conviction that verse 38 is completely figurative in nature. It is illustrative of something that has the appearance of the Lord's throne, something that destroys the Iranian ayatollah and his regime of false clerics. That, I believe, is a nuclear holocaust which they had intended upon bring to the rest of the world in the pursuit of hastening their non-existent al-mahdi figure. I would include this verse as being fulfilled with the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38:18-22 when God will destroy the nations which came against Israel. This includes Iran according to Ezekiel 38:22, "And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."

Verse 39: "‘But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,’ says the Lord.”

The prophecy is completed with this verse, and I believe the fulfillment for this verse occurs during the Millennial Kingdom of Christ on the Earth.

Addendum: To those who would erroneously interpret that Jeremiah's prophecy was fulfilled thousands of years ago, I would recommend that they seriously reconsider some key points before blurting out their ignorance on this topic. 

1. Jeremiah lived and prophesied during a critical period of Judah's history. As noted above in Jeremiah 49:34 this prophecy was given in the beginning of the reign of Judah's king Zedekiah. Zedekiah's reign began in 597 BC. No earthly events of the type and in the place prophesied by Jeremiah have ever occurred since 597 BC and forward to the present. Therefore, and without question, Jeremiah 49:34-39 constitutes an unfulfilled prophecy regarding the modern, latter-days country of Iran.

2. In Isaiah's own latter-days prophecy (see: Isaiah 11:11-12) which mirrors the prophecy of Ezekiel 37 concerning the re-assembling of "the outcasts of Israel" gathered together with the "dispersed of Judah," the prophet Isaiah names several nations from which the Jewish people of the Roman exile of circa 66-73 AD would return to the land of Israel:

"From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea"

Clearly, the use of Elam and the other national names of antiquity for latter days prophetic fulfillments is a common theme for many of the inspired prophets of God, and should not constitute a problem in any exegesis, including this one.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

SPECIAL REPORT: Dateline Jerusalem: Will Israel Strike Iran?

18 January 2014: While our dear friend and brother-in-Christ Bill Salus was in Israel during November 2013 he visited with Chris Mitchell, bureau chief for CBN News. Chris interviewed Bill for his CBN TV news program Jerusalem: Dateline, and Bill interviewed Chris for Prophecy Update Radio. 
You are invited to listen to their fascinating radio interview. Chris Mitchell has recently published a timely book called Dateline Jerusalem, An Eyewitness Account of Prophecies Unfolding in the Middle East. Click HERE to read more about Chris Mitchell’s book at Amazon.com.
Bill asked Chris, “Will Israel strike Iran’s nuclear program?” Click HERE to listen to the 30-minute MP3 audio presentation to discover Chris Mitchell’s qualified answer to this question and many more.

The 4 minute 37 second video presentation:

CBN News: Does Psalm 83 Predict an Imminent War?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Global SITREP B4-13: Israel and the Death of Pan-Arabism by Caroline Glick

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets Father Gabriel Nadaf, August 5, 2013.  
Photo: Moshe Milner/GPO

14 January 2014: Caroline Glick authors many intriguing and thought provoking articles in the Israeli media, but none have stood out to me like the one which was published in the Jerusalem Post four days ago on Friday, 10 January does.  Glick's article is aimed at readers in the secular world and provides them with a clearly defined look at the paradigm shift that has occurred in the Middle East. it is this paradigm shift which this Eschatology Today blog as always pointed out in terms of current events in light of Biblical prophecy. Yes, Caroline Glick's article has at its core the real-world basics of the paradigm shift which are the driving forces and catalysts of the Bible's imminent pre-70th Week prophetic fulfillments.

Here is Caroline Glick's article on the Jerusalem Post's website: Column One: Israel and the death of pan-Arabism.  Please read this article; before the day is over I will be illustrating the direct linkage to Bible prophecy instead of just pointing folks to the previous blog items posted here.

Let's begin with Psalm 83. How does the inspired seer Asaph present the enemies of Israel? Are they one unified force? No, they are not. That would be a pan-Arab enemy. Instead, the Psalm 83 enemies are multiple ethnic groups that surround Israel on three sides, north, east and south with certain groups linked with other certain groups. So, from this perspective Caroline Glick's central theme on the death of pan-Arabism, also known as Arab nationalism, folds nicely into the prophetic image given to us in Psalm 83 regarding the enemies of Israel; they are distinct each in their own nationality, but united through their common Islamic fundamentalism in their hatred of God and of causing the cessation of Israel's existence.

This, secondly and in turn, is the driving force behind the Arab-Christian realization, led by the Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf of Nazareth, that their reality, their future, lie in a complete integration into Israeli society. In other words, the future of Arab Christianity in Israel depends on a full grafting in and commonality with the State of Israel, and the primary means to this is via military service in Israel's "exceedingly great army" of formerly "dry bones" to quote Ezekiel 37:10.  To put this another way, these Christian Arabs in Israel are the new blood within Israel; they are the newest members of the Christian Zionist movement, and they are executing God's will in a way that we in the West and elsewhere in planet earth simply cannot. We can offer prayers and send donations of every kind; they send their sons to shed their blood or their very lives for the State of Israel, and they do this by the tens of thousands.

The next point is that of the so-called negotiations. Glick understands and reiterates the point made here on this blog, that point being PM Netanyahu and his Cabinet must just say no, or "nuts," to the demands of foreign powers, namely the US and the EU, to the "peace plans" they demand be imposed upon Israel. The imposition of those plans replies upon a Palestinian Authority which will soon find itself washed away by the fundamentalist forces of Islam. Islam has a rapidly approaching God-ordained and Divinely-timed appointment with its fate, the same fate that befell the ancient false god Ba'al and the followers thereof. This has been a consistent theme on Eschatology Today from the very beginning of this blog.

Addendum: So how would the Sunni and Shi'a Islam unite as foretold in the Psalm 83 prophecy when at present they are so involved in unrelenting blood lust and wanton murder of each other, particularly in Syria and Lebanon of late?  The answer is to be seen in their recent history. In Iraq Sunni and Shi'a united in alliance extremely rapidly against US and Coalition forces. They've done the same in Afghanistan. They did so also against Qadaffy in Libya previously. When these two sects of Islam are not killing all those they see as infidels they will kill each other with relish. It is as primitive and tribal of an affair today as it has been since 632 AD.

And this was specifically foretold by the angel of the Lord to Hagar concerning Ishmael and his descenants in Genesis 16:10-12

Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” And the Angel of the Lord said to her:
Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
He shall be a wild-ass man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
Then in  Genesis 25:12-18 the names the individual descendant tribes that Ishmael was the father of are listed and where they would dwell is also accounted for. This is particularly of interest to us with respect to the Psalm 83 prophecy, that is, to east of Egypt and northward to Assyria. This defines the geographic area of the nations named that are around Israel. And I believe we need look no further than some currently unforeseen event that results in the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 as the catalyst to unite Islam and propel it to its fate as described in the Psalm 83 prophecy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Global SITREP B2-14: A Nuclear Iran - Part II

11 January 2014: This blog entry will serve as the new year continuation of Global SITREPs B7-13 and B6-13. We begin with an item I just took note of in my daily morning intel brief which I believe, as raw OSINT intelligence collection is concerned, is an absolute gem that must be shared. 

The Reuters report that Ha'aretz published in its Diplomacy-Defense section Thursday evening informs anyone paying attention that there continue to be Jewish immigrants to Israel from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Native-born speakers of the primary Iranian language known as Farsi are a key objective of IDF recruiters to the extent that one out of every five Jewish Iranian immigrants of military service age find themselves serving in the IDFs legendary intelligence branch known as Unit 8200. Unit 8200 is Israel's version of America's NSACSS or the UK's GCHQ. 

Soldiers of Unit 8200. Photo credit: Moti Milrod

The Reuters report detailed how the recruitment of these native Farsi-speakers has increased since the announcement of an interim accord between the E3/EU+3 group and Iran. It also cited the IDFs own publication, Bamahane, as reporting that dozens of Iranian Jews discretely immigrate to Israel every year from among the approximately 25,000 still living in Iran. 

According to the Unit 8200 training academy's commanding officer, his new Iran-born Farsi-speaking troops make it possible to know everything knowable about the Iranian IRGC and regular military forces "from combat doctrines to weaponry to operational routines to slang terms and codes." During an extensive seven-month training program the comprehension of technical terms is merged with Farsi songs and Persian folklore, thereby vastly improving the quality of the intelligence product ultimately provided to the IDFs senior leadership and, obviously, PM Netanyahu and his Cabinet. 

Make no mistake, Unit 8200 is truly the tip of the IDFs spear. It is where the IDFs warfighting doctrine against the Ayatollah's military machine in Iran and Lebanon will have been born and its victory in the upcoming battles achieved.

Russian-Iranian Sanctions Demolition Deal worth $18 Billion Yearly

Moving on to another matter, the just announced Russia-Iran economic negotiation will cripple the only leverage the West, and Israel by extension, has had thus far over the Iranian nuclear program - the economic sanctions regime.  The economic sanctions regime was the vehicle by which the West's oft-touted on-the-table military option was supposedly held at bay, along with that of Israel's own unilateral military option. With the expected successful conclusion of the Russia-Iran $1.5 Billion per month "Oil For Goods" agreement Obama, Catherine Ashton of the EU, the Brits, Germans and French have nothing to hold in the left hand and an empty arrow quiver in their right hand.

Game. Set. Match. The carrot and stick routine is busted.

One can only wonder what the West (Obama) is saying to Israel (Netanyahu) now aside from the obvious refrain made famous in classic television comedy by the late Jackie Gleason's lovable oaf character 'Ralph Kramden,' "Homina homina homina..." But this is no laughing matter. What option is left for Israel? What deal can the E3/EU+3 possibly hope to achieve with leverage that quite simply no longer exists? Need I state the obvious?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

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

Update 09 January 2014: In the past 48 hours Iraqi government sent a relatively light force of combined security and military units on a mission to enter and recapture Fallujah from Al Qaeda's forces. These Iraqi government forces were easily repulsed by the several thousand members of the Al Qaeda ISIS brigade holding Falluja.

It has been revealed that Iraqi government heavy-handedness against local tribesmen involved in a protest of their grievances against the pro-Shi'a government in Baghdad was the cause of a revolt by the citizens of Falluja on 30th of December. Al Qaeda seized upon this situation to turn it into a full-fledged reconquest of the city previously taken by US military forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom and handed over rebuilt to the government in Baghdad just two years ago. The Al Qaeda forces were buttressed by several hundred of their own which had been freed from Iraqi government prisons at Abu Ghraib and Al-Taji in major military-style jailbreak operations during the summer of 2012. Senior Al Qaeda leaders and hundreds of combat-hardened fighters were released in the twin operations.

The loss of the main junction of Highways 10, 11 and 12 west of Baghdad now not only threatens the stability of the current Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki, but it also represents a significant strategic blow to Iran. Those highways are a direct link from Baghdad and the International Airport to Syria and Damascus, and they had been an important overland pipeline for Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps troop support to Bashar al-Assad in Syria.  Now the Islamic Republic of Iran is offering Iraq the use of those troops to retake this strategic corridor. One can just image the reaction of the local Sunni tribes and family clans in Anbar province to the notion of Iranian troops being used against them by their own government. We'll keep an eye on this for sure.

4 January 2014: The Shi'a led government of Iraq and its premier 7th and 1st army divisions have been handed an utterly crushing military defeat at the hands of the Sunni-led Al-Qaeda forces (ISIS) in Iraq's expansive and westernmost Anbar Province.  Yesterday the combined jihadists forces of ISIS/ISIL raised Al-Qaeda's black flag over the city of Falluja on the Euphrates River, approximately 20 miles from Baghdad International Airport and the city of Baghdad itself.

Further to the west these same Sunni jihadist forces are literally on the verge of capturing the city of Ramadi. Remnants of both the 7th and 1st armies were last seen retreating in complete disarray towards Baghdad, leaving vast amounts of heavy weapons abandoned in their wake. At this point virtually nothing except the 300-some odd miles of open desert expanse stands between these Sunni jihadist forces and Damascus, Syria. Only an air bridge now connects Iran with its Syrian and Hezbollah allies.

The Sunni-Shi'a War is now synonymous with the three formerly distinct civil wars going on in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, or literally, from Baghdad to Beirut. There is no question that more intense land warfare will engulf the region. This is the net result of the incompetent policy of the rapidly imploding Obama Administration known as "Operation New Dawn" in 2010.

30 December 2013: As noted in the 24 December portion of this article, more than half of Iraq's territory is today Al-Qaeda's (i.e. Sunni Jihadist Islam) playground, as Iraq's 7th Division commanding general learned the hard way and the Iraqi Defense Minister nearly did a week ago. Sunni Iraqis have zero love for the Shi'a-led government in Baghdad, so they view the Al-Qaeda insurgents either with indifference or as a buffer between themselves and the Shi'a. 

Lessons were recently learned despite the Iraqi military's rampant ineptitude, logistical incompetence and combat ineffectiveness. Accordingly, Iraq has requested and will receive from the US inventory at some point in 2014 or 2015, due to the aforementioned incompetent logistics, a total of 10 each ScanEagle and 48 each RQ-11 Raven UAV drones with which they hope to keep an eye on the movements of insurgent AQ fighters. Last week Iraq received 75 brand new AGM-114 Hellfire missiles which have been adapted to the Iraqi Air Force's 5-year old militarized Hawker-Beechcraft King Air-350ER twin-turbo prop attack aircraft. The Iraqi King Air-350ERs did successfully strike four different AQ camps on the Syrian-Iraqi border with the Hellfire missiles in recent days. How much damage was done to those camps is the subject of some debate.

The US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is to provide the current government of Iraq with $4 billion in hardware and other war materiel in contract sales announced in July of this year. Half of that figure is for a total of 40 Avenger truck-mounted anti-air systems which fire Stinger missiles (nearly 700 Stinger missiles are part of the sale) and 3 Hawk anti-air missile batteries with over 200 Hawk missiles. This begs the question: Has Al-Qaeda recently acquired an air force in Iraq or are the air forces of friendly governments in neighboring Syria and Iran now posing a significant threat to Iraq? 

The other materiel going to Iraq in this sale includes: 50 General-Dynamics Nuclear, Chemical and Biological (NBC) weapon detection vehicles based on the Stryker combat vehicle platform along with a 5-year maintenance contract that will include additional maintenance services for M88A1 and M88A2 Hercules armored and main battle tank recovery vehicles, M113 Personnel Carriers, assorted Howitzers and general purpose Humvees. Iraq will also begin taking delivery of F-16 strike aircraft in late 2014-early 2015 according to the current schedule.

Again, this begs a question: Is this the type of American military inventory that the Shiite-led, Iran-friendly current government of Iraq needs to kill off Al-Qaeda. Of course this assumes the current government of Iraq survives the threat Al-Qaeda poses in over-running Iraqi government forces.  Nevertheless, and whatever the case may be in the near future, it sure seems to me that this type of heavy hardware would be far better suited for utility in the Psalm 83 scenario, particularly as detailed in verse 8.

24 December 2013: In the news from the still very active battlegrounds of Iraq is a powerful reminder in support of my interpretation on the identity of those named in verse 8 of Psalm 83: "Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot," and how they will constitute the ideological, political and military strength (Heb: H2220 zĕrowa`) provided to the modern-day Jordanians (Ammonites and Moabites) in the ultimate fulfillment of this prophetic psalm. This region of modern-day Iraq seen in all of the salmon-colored and striped-shaded areas of the map above was the central and original homeland of ancient Assur circa the psalmist Asaph's time 3000 years ago. Today it is a region of Iraq that is fully controlled by the Islamic jihadists of Al Qaeda, or as they refer to themselves, ISIS or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (Syria)." 

Here we have the ignominious net result of President Barack Obama's incompetent, hasty and ill-advised order for the total disengagement of US combat forces in 2010 through "Operation New Dawn" prior to a truly stable Iraq being realized in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These Sunni jihadist forces also comprise the preeminent armed opposition fighting the Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Assad to the west in Syria. Note that when US and Coalition forces were engaged with these Sunni jihadists they were referred to as "insurgents."  Now this same force of Sunni jihadists fighting in both Iraq and in Syria are referred to merely as "rebels" and have received considerable assistance from the United States during Barack Obama's tenure as president - be they engaged against the regime of Muammar Khadafi in the Libyan civil war of 2011 or the current Syrian civil war of 2013. Obviously, the Obama Administration's "Operation New Dawn" was an abject failure as far as military operations go, ceding a country the size of England and Wales combined to the enemy.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, in its western city of Ar Rutbah, the gateway to Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia from central Iraq, and the last Iraqi hub of the now defunct Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline (image above), Gen. Ahmed al-Kurwi, the commanding general of Iraq's newly-minted 7th Division, his staff and several senior Iraqi Army officers were ambushed by a trio of ISIS bombers in the midst of an inspection tour following what they had believed was a successful operation against ISIS.  More details can be found here at "The Long War Journal.Org" daily blog. Nearly at the same time AQ attempted an ambush assassination of Iraqi Defense Minister Saadun al-Dukaimi's convoy between Falluja and Ramadi. Al-Dukaimi escaped the attempt on his life but his security escorts were not so fortunate. We will be watching as this situation continues to develop with the final group of the Psalm 83 confederacy now firmly identified. I also have the expectation that the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 17 will cause a major divergence in the course of the ongoing Sunni-Shi'a inter-Islamic war; a divergence that would unite for the Psalm 83 purpose of destroying Israel the inner-ring nations of the Arab League with the Shi'a-Hezbollah of Lebanon. "Wars and rumors of wars" continue apace; these things "must take place."

Memo to Bibi: NUTS! is the Word

Update: 09 January 2014: It was just announced that 85-year old Ariel Sharon has died.

02 January 2014: Dear Bibi, when you find yourself in the situation as the image above depicts, and  the American Secretary of State John Kerry suggests to you that Israel must surrender to your enemies virtually all of Judea, Samaria as well as the eastern half of Jerusalem, please, please remember to reply to him: EHGOH'ZEEM! 

If he should ask you what that word means in English, tell him, "Mr. Secretary, it is the same response U.S. Army Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe gave to the German Wehrmacht Lieutenant General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge."

As a response, we already know it's "pretty tough to beat" and is as American as apple pie. Surely Mr. Kerry and his boss will understand you most unambiguously.

I fear that should you fail to respond in such a manner and surrender even more of what God has given Israel, you will end up in the same situation as former PM Ariel Sharon found himself eight years ago after he surrendered Gaza to the enemy.

Never Again.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Global SITREP A1-14: Psalm 83 and AQ against Israel

7 January 2013: As a follow-up to SITREP B11-13: Psalm 83 and AQ in Iraq, it is only natural that attention be turned to the core of that prophecy as it relates to Israel and the threat posed to it by the numerous jihadist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda that are already making their presence felt throughout Judea and Samaria.  

The affiliation of jihadist groups I am referring to here have nothing to do with HAMAS or any of the older, more well-known Palestinian terrorist groups such as Fatah or the PFLP-GC or even the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) which are tied at the hip to Alawite-controlled Damascus and the Shi'a mullahs of Iran.  This affiliation goes directly to Al Qaeda who are currently enjoying a great resurgence and success in Syria and especially in Iraq. Their so-called "emirate" stretches from Aleppo in Syria to Falluja, which lies just about 20-some odd miles west of Baghdad International Airport. 

As reported by Bill Gertz in his "Inside the Ring" column on 25 December, the recently retired Deputy Director of the CIA, Michael Morrell, reported to CBS News that the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups known as Al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are the two most effective insurgent Sunni Islamist groups in that conflict and that he fears the jihadists groups linked to Al Qaeda will eventually take power in Syria. His fears are not unfounded. Indeed, it is known in US intelligence circles that Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda's No. 1, has his man sitting at the top of the Ahrar al-Sham leadership. It not should go without saying that the former Deputy Director of the CIA fears this despite knowing all too well that the opposing Shi'a forces of  Hezbollah and the IRGC are operating against them in Syria and from next door in Lebanon. This is important and must be taken into account in any assessment of the unfolding situation in the Levant and in Iraq, as well as the potential for it to spread into Jordan and the threat it will ultimately pose to Israel in the very near-term.

But what threat does Al Qaeda pose to Israel beyond that of the aforementioned longstanding terrorist groups? Well, one has to take into account the origin of Al Qaeda as founded by Osama bin Laden, and exactly who his mentor and inspirational teacher was. That man was Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, a Palestinian, who is known as the "father of the  global jihad." Azzam was born in 1941 just outside of Jenin in northern Samaria. At the age of 26 Abdullah Azzam was teaching and preaching jihadist Islam at the local mosque in the village of Silat al-Harithiya until the IDF conquest of June 1967. And the rest is history as this man was the inspiration for the creation of Al Qaeda, the "base" of Islamic jihadism in the world.

Besides being Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri's mentor and inspirational sage, Abdullah Azzam is the name-sake of the Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza-based Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB) terrorist sub-units which I believe are becoming a major terrorist concern for Israel as well as for the Palestinian Authority who they view as weak and ineffectual in the cause of the jihad. I believe it is the Al Qaeda-linked AAB which has been a key but largely unheralded player in the recent surge of terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria. The AAB's sub-units are engaged in current combat operations in Lebanon against Hezbollah, the IRGC and the Iranian Embassy itself. They are operating with the aforementioned Al Qaeda terrorist groups in Syria against a coalition of Bashar al-Assad's government forces, Hezbollah and the IRGC. They are making their presence felt also in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; they will lash out at PA security forces as quickly as they will Israelis. The AAB are truly the rabid dogs of Islamic jihadism.

Now that I've given the current Middle East wars in both micro and macroscopic views, it's time to tie this in with Psalm 83. Asaph names for us all of the peoples and regions of Israel's enemies, the ancient hatred that has manifested since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. The one enemy group which is active in all of these places is Al Qaeda and their various affiliates. And what does Asaph tell us of these enemies? He says in verse two that they, above all else, are the enemies of YHWH God; that they hate YHWH God. And who is the god of Islam? And who is it that wages war against Him and His chosen people? The jihadists of Islam whose modern-day father was born in Jenin, Samaria. Therefore, I submit that Islamic jihad is the final manifestation, the final ideological basis of consulting and conspiracy of agenda to destroy the State of Israel and the chosen of God. And according to Asaph it will be the undoing and perishing of Islam that will be accomplished. The jihadists of Islam will come to know that their god is a false god, that YHWH is the One true God, or they will be swept from the field of battle and from existence, "like chaff before the wind."

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