Sunday, February 24, 2019

Global SITREP A8-19: Temple Mount

Sheikh Abdelazim Salhab
24 February 2019: Last night Israeli police arrested the man pictured above, the head of the Jerusalem Waqf, because on Friday, 22 February, he ordered the breaking of the locked chain in place since 2003 at the Gate of Mercy. This gate, known in Hebrew as the Sha'ar HaRachamim, is known in Christianity as the Golden Gate and provides direct access to the Temple Mount. 

The door known as bab al-Rahma opened (i24 image)

The Friday order to break in allowed Muslims to swarm inside the long-closed interior compound through double doors known as Bab al-Rahma (southern door) and bab al-Taubah (northern door). Also arrested was Sheikh Salhab's deputy, HAMAS' Sheikh Najih Bakirat, who is also leads the Academy of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Islamic media are referring to these arrests as "abductions." In this action the Jordanian Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Abdul Nasser Abu Al-Basal, declared Israeli forces  to be "playing with fire." Later this morning the two Waqf officials were released from police custody with an order banning them from Temple Mount for one week.

In this action the Islamic Waqf is seeking to usurp Israeli sovereignty by igniting a full-fledged religious war over control of the Temple Mount. It is not Israel that plays with fire, but Islam itself. Eschatology Today made this clear nearly ten years ago when we quoted Zechariah 12:2-3 in the post titled: America, Listen to the Lord thy God and Leave Jerusalem Alone!!! 

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of [a]drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."
The Jerusalem Post yesterday also published an article under the headline:
WAQF: TEMPLE MOUNT SITE WILL REMAIN OPEN DESPITE ISRAELI CRACKDOWN. The article has a nice photo of the interior view. Also worth checking out is the GotQuestions website's article on this subject. It contains important details worthy of our contemplation: What is the significance of the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem?  This article may answer questions some of us may have on this subject.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Global SITREP A7-19; Tekiah Gedolah

17 February 2019: The embedded video above is an example of the sound of the last trump (I Corinthians 15:52) which signals our harpazo to be with Christ. There are four types of shofar soundings blown by the Baal Tekiah (shofar musician). The first is the tekiah, the second is the shevarim, the third is the teruah, and the fourth is the tekiah gedolah. The tekiah gedolah is seen and heard in the video above. It is the longest duration ceremonail sound blown on a shofar.

The words "last trump" in the Greek that Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:52 are ἔσχατος σάλπιγξ - "eschatos salpigx" (pronounced: sal-peeks). I believe the last trump is the sounding of the shorfar known as tekiah gedolah. Tekiah gedolah is the shorfar sounding which occurs at the conclusion of a Jewish Yom Kippur. (Day of Atonement) observance, and which later this year will occur on 9 October. Am I saying that the Harpazo will occur on 9 October, 2019? 

In order to fully preempt any misunderstanding, NO, that is not what is being stated here. Eschatology Today is simply pointing out that a human sounding of the shofar tekiah gedolah will next be heard on that date. The eschatos salpigx/last trump that we are eagerly anticipating is the trump of God (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). That final trump of God announces our departure and the arrival of the time of Israel's salvation in the blood of the Lamb of God during the Lord's judgments of the 70th Week.

Some brethren may ask, "But why not the shofar soundings during the Feast of Trumpets?" The Eschatology Today studied response is because those are teruah soundings of the shofar (Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1) and are soundings in preparation for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). But there's more to it than that.

The Day of Atonement is followed five days later by the Feast of Tabernacles (Festival of Booths, Feast of Ingathering, Sukkot), the seventh and final feast commanded by God to be observed by Israel. In ancient times Israel celebrated this feast by living in temporary shelters near the Temple in Jerusalem. Those temporary shelters are past as prologue types, much as the place (many mansions) that Jesus has prepared for His bride to abide in before returning with Him in the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom on the earth.

Eschatlogy Today stands in the expectation that the harpazo of the bride of Christ to occur at any instant, and thinks it interesting that the tekiah gedolah is the human-version of the trump of God sound to announce our departure from this earth. We believe that final trump of God will be heard throughout all Creation.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Global SITREP A6-19: Israel's Northern Front Offensive - Part III

IDF Merkava MBT and Armor on the Goaln
Update 1 March 2019: Iran continues its build-up in Syria unimpeded for many weeks now. A large number of watchers in Israel expect a major IAF strike on Iranian targets to occur within the next 72 hours.

12 February 2019: As best as can be gleaned from OSINT, yesterday IDF Merkava MBTs opened fire on Iranian forces in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan demarcation line. The tank and self-propelled howitzer fire was directed at the Iranian forces wearing Syrian uniforms who were observed setting up a forward HQ in an abandoned hosptial and establishing a pair of garrison obervation posts nearby. The Syrian's say the hospital was destroyed; iranian forces were killed in the attack.

As stated before, the Israel-Iran war has been fully in the open; there is no ambiguity on Israel's part as it has openly attacked and will continue attacking Iranian targets in Syria. The Syrians reportedly have sent considerable reinforcements to the Golan region, both regular army and reserve units. 


Putin, al-Assad and Nasrallah

9 February 2019: Israeli media is today rife with reports on comments made by the Russian Ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, praising the Iranian-led narco-terrorists of Hezbollah. But that's not the half of it. For some time now the neo-communist Zasypkin has been all over Hezbollah's semi-official and official media channels spouting Soviet-era rhetoric about "imperialist America" and an ongoing "American rampage" in the Middle East. His claims that Russian military adventures against the Ukraine (2014-2019), Georgia (2008) and now in Syria (2015-2019) are the Russian repsonse to the ongoing American rampage, and that it may ultimately result in nuclear war.

That nonsensical Soviet-era rhetorical lie is actually a bodyguard for the truth hiding behind it. That truth is that Russia expects to win a large stake in the Lebanese offshore natural gas field contracts that will result as expected stability in Syria takes hold amid its reconstruction. Russia expects that Syrian stability will equate to Lebanese stability. With the Iranian-led Hezbollah now clearly in charge of and running the show in Lebanon, it is little wonder Ambassador Zasypkin is praising the holder of the keys to Lebanon's government, and therefore its potentially very lucrative offshore gas field contracts. To this end Ambassador Zasypkin announced in mid-January that a Russia-Lebanon military agreement would soon be signed with a stabilized Lebanese government led by Hezbollah. This will take place in the very near term.

Students of Bible prophecy should be able to clearly see the glaring problem with all of this, and the certain failure of its becoming a reality. No matter who spins this or in what direction it is spun, what the prophetic Word of God says will be the fact of the matter. Here also is yet another example of the coming epic financial loss that Russia will suffer and blame Israel for, and eventually leading to the 'hooks in jaw' spoils issue found within Ezekiel 38/39. Eschatology Today merely wishes for its readers to fully understand the bedrock truth that is behind the current and future reports appearing in the Israeli media. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Global SITREP A5-19: Southeastern Syria

U.S.-led CJTF-OIR base at Al-Tanf
UPDATE 22 February 2019: As my comments in the past couple days initmated, the decision has been made to maintain the presence of US military forces in Syria. The number of troops to remain is technologically irrelevant. Even a highly mobile handful of soldiers equipped with our battlefield technology can rain havoc upon far larger enemy forces - as has been demonstrated several times in Dier-Ez-Zor and the approaches to the small garrison at Al-Tanf in the past year. Far larger numbers of dead Russian contractors, Iranian proxy troops, Syrian and Lebanese Hezbollah troops who participated in these foolhardy engagements do attest to this fact.

This real-world reality task some recent predictive writings by various Christian authors to task. They have suggested that the withdrawal of US troops form Syria would cause Russia, Turkey and Iran - the three primary antagonists in the Ezekiel 38/39 prophecy - to see an opportunity to be seized upon to attack and despoil the State of Israel. Thus, these writers claim Ezekiel 38/39 is an imminent fulfillment. Eschatology Today is here to declare that such pronouncements are excessively premature and just plain wrong by unqualified armchair generals. In sum, it is dangerous writing and false teaching.

The problem is that this kind of Christian writing is without question blatant newspaper exegesis. Moreover, this kind of eschatological Christian writing actually ignores what the Lord told Ezekiel would happen and had him write it down in detail. Russia, Turkey and Iran have not and will not regard the departure of US troops as an open door opportunity to strike Israel for the purpose of plundering her. 

Much to the contrary what God told Ezekiel is that He would put hooks in the jaws of Gog of Magog and pull him and all his forces to their destruction on the mountains of Israel (Judea and Samaria). So, what these writers are saying and what God has said are in direct opposition to one another. Readers who are wise in the Holy Spirit will automatically believe what God has said will take place and ignore the nonsense being written.

And, dear brethren, do not for a minute forget that in the real-world the State of Israel has been and will continue to be for the foreseeable future a very powerful, nuclear-armed nation. Unless Russia, Turkey and Iran are suicidal nations, they will not be coming down on Israel before other prophetic events have taken place. And it goes without saying that on the Spiritual level Israel has the angelic forces of Michael the Archangel watching over her people. 

09 February 2019: This is a special SITREP on the U.S.-led CJTF-OIR base at Al-Tanf (image above) in the tri-border junction region of Syria, Iraq and Jordan. This is not news for regular visitors to Eschatology Today as it has been covered in previous SITREPs. It remains to be seen what the ultimate fate of this base will be given the announced U.S. "complete military withdrawal" from Syria while still confronting aggressive Iranian expansionism into Syria, not to mention Iraq.

As seen in the clickable image below, Al-Tanf is an extremely strategic location and therefore its immense value cannot be ignored. Al-Tanf commands the southernmost of the two logistics land-corridors through Iraq and Syria essential to Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and continuity into Lebanon. This is the so-called Tehran-Damascus-Beirut highway. It is also known as Route 1 between Baghdad and Damascus, but which also runs in a straight line east to west across the Jordanian panhandle as Highway 10 to the northwestern Jordanian population centers and capital at Amman. U.S. forces have on multiple occasions attacked with devastating effect that Syrian or iranian forces that have attempted to penetrate the 34-mile (55km) buffer zone around al-Tanf.

Iranian land-corridors to the west

It's essential nature to iran is based upon the Shi'a Twelvers eschatologically-mandated landwar confrontation with Israel. Jordan also faces a very significant threat from the purely military aspect an western military abandonment of Al-Tanf would create. Imagine the nightmarish crisis that Iran-controlled Shi'a militias numbering in the tens of thousands from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan would present to Jordan (and Israel) when presented with a "back-door" entry into western Jordan. 

Iranian control of this region would present an intolerable situation to both Jordan and Israel, a situation that would demand a coordinated large-scale military action at some point in the future - if al-Tanf were to be abandoned by the U.S. We'll revisit this when the expected crisis unfolds. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Global SITREP A4-19: Israel's Northern Front Offensive - Part II

Updated 7 February 2019: The importance Eschatology Today placed upon the OSINT reporting in yesterday's update on the S-300 battery going operational at Masyaf has been confirmed via a just updated report published this morning in Israel by i24News: "Operational Advancement of S-300 Mean a Dangerous Junction Ahead in Syria." As stated in the i24News assessment, the use of the S-300 against IAF aircraft striking Iranian military targets, which Israel will strike again as determined necessary, can easily pull the Syrian regime into full-scale war against Israel. We know this potential war as the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49:23-27, and it could ignite, as noted previously, at any moment within the new few weeks. 

Question: Was the shoot down last September of the Russian IL-22 "Coot" ELINT aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea by wildly-firing Syrian air defense batteries a possible fulfillment of Jeremiah 49:23? Is the still impending battle of Idlib, where skirmishes all along the front lines are a near daily occurrence, the "bad news" Hama (Hamath) and Idlib (Arpad) are to hear? Make no mistake, these are the events which Jeremiah's prophecy declares as preceding the destruction of Damascus by an all-consuming fire. Keep watching brothers and sisters.

The second of two expect Iranian rocket launches (read: ICBM tests) has failed.
Sounds like the Lord's breaking of the Iranian bow is in-progress. The current plan is for US forces to be withdrawn from Syria by the end of April.

The US announced today that our military forces are prepared to protect US facilities and personnel in Venezuela if the need arises. Venezuela immediaely rolled out its Russian-made S-300VM air defense system. Massive amounts of life-saving humanitarian supplies (50 metric tons from the U.S. alone) are now building up at the border crossing of Cucuta, Colombia at the request of Interim President Guaido. Supporting Interim President Guaido is important as that will be the most expedient method of getting Hezbollah out of Venezuela. Mass defections of the Venezuelan military to the Guaido forces are increasing by the hour. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

6 February 2019: OSINT reports indicate that Iranian military entrenchment continues with large IRGC and Syrian government cargo aircraft flying continually in a Damascus-Tehran-Damascus circuit. These flights are monitored extensively by OSINT reporting as well as US/Israeli military aircraft as noted below.

The Syrian S-300 battery that arrived from Russia and deployed to Masyaf northwest of Damascus in October 2018 is nearing an operational capability according to satellite imagery acquired by the Israeli company ImageSat International (ISI). The latest ISI image (Times of Israel clickable image below) released yesterday reveals that three out of the four missile canisters of this battery are now standing upright in pre-launch position. The 4th canister tube launcher remains covered by camouflage netting.

In other OSINT news, the U.S. Army has purchased for immediate use an upgraded version of Israel's Rafael/IAI-built Iron Dome Air Defense System. The new block variant has an increased range of intercept from 45 miles to 155 miles. Testing of the upgraded system was done in the United States. Cost: $400 million. For immediate deployment and potential use against Iranian tactical missiles.

There is an increased yet secretive Russian transfer of armored vehicles, howitzers, ammunition and supplies into the Russian-occupied Donbas region of southern Ukraine. 

4 February 2019: OSINT this morning is reporting several US and Israeli intelligence collection aircraft are active over the eastern Mediterranean Sea opposite the Lebanese and Syrian coastlines. The intel collector aircraft involved are two USAF RC-135 Rivet Joint and two IAF G550 SIGINT Nachshon Shavit. There is also IAF activity over Mt. Hermon and a pair of RAF (UK) Tornado GR4 aircraft out of Cyprus.. Inbound large cargo aircraft from Tehran to Damascus are the object of the ongoing intelligence collection. Action of this type has been known in recent time to precede IAF strikes in southern Syria. We'll soon see if the bellicose threats from Tehran and Damascus have been a bluff or not.

A day ago CJTF-OIR aircraft attacked and destroyed a Syrian Army artillery piece and wounded two soldiers in the region just west of Abu Kamal. The artillery piece was identified as firing upon CJTF-OIR ground forces.

Russia recently completed the contruction of 18 hardend shelters for its strike aircraft based at Khmeimim Air Base. The Russians are not planning any soon withdrawal of their forces from Syria; they have a 50-year deal with the Syrian government.

29 January 2019: All indications are that Israel's airborne offensive targeting Iranian bases and supply depots in Syria have caused extensive and severe damage to the three primary enemies, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, and their warfighting infrastructure. If the rhetoric coming from these three enemies in just the past week is to be believed, and there's no reason not to believe them, then the flood of prophetic pre-70th Week fulfillment discussed on Eschatology Today for the past several years may well be just a matter of a few weeks away, if not sooner.

Of interest is the news that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has emerged from a period of virtual invisibility which led to rampant rumors of his death or medical incapacitation. Nasrallah's re-appearance was perhaps forced by the overwhelming success Israel has achieved in its two most recent strikes on Iranian bases in around Damascus, Syria; the preemptive destruction of war materiel destined for delivery to Hezbollah, as well as the destruction of strategic tunnels (Operation Northern Shield) which had been of critical import to their war plans for the coming hostilities. With a matter of just six weeks Israel significantly has altered the battlefield to its great tactical and strategic advantage.

Why is this kind of detail important? It may not be to many readers, but it is to Eschatology Today as it is a real-time record and historical account of the prophetic events that are upon this world.

As stated previously on this blog, the prophetic pre-70th Week wars will come to pass as a flood comes to the unsuspecting village in the valley below. The vast majority of the world today is not concerned with the Lord's prophetic word; this world denies His word and ridicules those who profess it. Think back to the days of early 70 AD as several Roman legions began to invade the land. The Roman legions marched their conquering way in battle after battle, skirmish after skirmish towards Jerusalem, eventually surrounding and laying a siege to the city and its Holy Mount which the Lord's presence had departed at the crucifixion of Jesus Messiah. Is there any written account of that day circa 33 AD in which the writer exclaimed the literal fulfillment of Daniel 9:26? Is there any citing the passing of thirty-seven years between the first two lines of that verse? No, there isn't. The closest writings are the Gospels and the Book of Acts which were written decades after-the-fact. 

So it is today with the majority of those alive on planet earth in utter disbelief of the ongoing process of eschatological fulfillment. There are even those calling themselves 'Christians' who profess denial of these facts known to us and which are progressing forward on a daily basis, just as the Roman legions progressed upon Jerusalem two-thousand years ago. Echatology Today is currently proclaiming that we are nearing the culmination of time in the coming flood of fulfillment. The time remaining is so very, very short. And in a still unknown nanosecond we shall be taken. Hopefully the Lord will allow this and other blogs to remain for the benfit of those to be redeemed during the 70th Week. 

"The end of it shall be with a flood,

And till the end of the war desolations are determined."

Russia's role in these coming events is on everyone's mind these days. Some believe that Ezekiel 38/39 will be launched from Syria. Eschatology Today has never accepted this faulty theory, and will offer some recent OSINT in support of this position. 

But first, there is a Biblical reason why Gog of Magog will not launch his attempt to conquer and loot Israel from Syria, and it is found in Isaiah 17:1-3. This passage of Scripture directly links the ruination of Damascus, the abandonment of human habitation of the "cities of Aroer," with the end of the miv·tsär' (hold, fenced-in, fortress) of Ephraim (so-called 'Palestinian territory" of the northern West Bank/Judea and Samaria), the kingdom (sovereign government) in Damascus and the remnant of `Aram (Syria). The exsum exegesis of this, as we've discussed previously, is that Syria as we know it today will have ceased to exist. Put another way, Russia's military forces in Syria are, by hook or by crook, going back to Russia prior to Ezekiel 38/39. Additionally, Russian forces in Syria at present are by no means even close to being adequate to fulfill what is prophesied in Ezekiel 38/39.

Now for the real-world OSINT. Russia is in deep, deep economic trouble. This is on the surface a real-world high-probability cause for Gog of Magog to one day soon seek the conquest and looting of the coming 'greater Israel.' Russia has been spending huge sums of currency on modernizing its own military hardware, its military ongoing adventurism, plus the military hardware of Bashar al-Assad in Syria (and elsewhere, like Venezuela) and for which it has not been paid-in-full. But this is all a veneer beneath which lies a Russian economy in an utterly pitiful state. Few in the Russian population believe their current leader can solve Russian problems at home. There are tens of millions of Russians living daily in horrible conditions while the ruling elite of the country bask in luxury. Russia, it could be said, it a Venezuela waiting to happen.

In exsum, Russia today is in many cases in economic worse shape than it was when the Soviet Union collapsed, and no one in Russia has any idea how to put this humpty-dumpty back together again. Eschatology Today believes that Russia, one way or another, will withdraw its meager forces out of Syria and then God will take over to complete the impending collapse as we see in the Ezekiel 38/39 prophecy.

To be continued...