Monday, December 30, 2019

Global SITREP D10-19: IRAN

PMU Kata'ib Hezbollah Vehicle-mounted
Katyusha rocket launcher.
UPDATED 30 December 2019"We must also use this opportunity to remind Iran's leaders that any attacks by them, or their proxies of any identity, that harm Americans, our allies, or our interests will be answered with a decisivie US response,"  This was the statement made by US SECSTATE Mike Pompeo on Friday, 13DEC19.

Following weeks of smaller yet consistent attacks on US-led CJTF-OIR forces based in Iraq, the Kata'ib Hezbollah (an Iranian PMU proxy militia of Shi's Iraqis) launched a much larger attack on the joint US-Iraqi CJTF-OIR K1 base northwest of Mosul. This weekend's attack involved a volley of two to three dozen Katyusha artillery rockets. The image above is the actual launch vehicle captured after the attack. In the attack one US civilian contractor was killed and several US Army soldiers were wounded. The Iranian enemy and it's PMU proxy forces should have heeded the SECSTATE'S explicit warning.

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle
Within 24-hours of the K1 attack the US response occurred against five Kata'ib Hezbollah rocket, command and control (C2) and munitions depot bases. Three of the bases were located near Al-Qaim in the western Anbar Province of Iraq, and the other two were in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria. A group of USAF F-15E 'Strike Eagles' obliterated those Kata'ib Hezbollah bases, killing more than two-dozen militiamen, and wounding forty others. The dead included three IRGC-QF rocket artillery officers who almost certainly planned the K1 Katyusha attack.

SECSTATE Pompeo and SECDEF Esper both briefed President Trump last night in Mar-A-Lago, Florida on the strike and the U.S. military planning should additional enemy strikes occur. Reports this morning from Iraq indicate that a mobilization of IRGC-QF-led PMU forces in Iraq and Syria is underway. With just two days left in 2019, this SITREP will likely continue into 2020 as "Global SITREP A1-20: IRAN - PART II." 

08 December 2019: This morning PM Netanyahu began his Cabinet meeting by discussing the threat posed by Iran. The Arutz Sheva (INN) report is linked here. The official Government of Israel report is here

To recap, the PM said that this past week's discussions with both US and Russian leaders (Trump, SECSTATE Pompeo and Putin) the topic of the Iranian threat was the central issue addressed. He also reiterated that Israel, with or without the consent of others powers (i.e. the EU) "Israel will not allow Iran - at any stage - to develop nuclear weapons." This position is 100 percent in agreement with President Trump's policy. 

PM Netanyahu also addressed the renewed rocket fire into Israel yesterday, and for which the IAF pummeled multiple locations inside Gaza. Netanyahu said the previous retaliatory bombing and artillery attacks into Gaza against HAMAS and the PIJ (Operation Black Belt) "were just for starters. I have instructed the Defense Minister and the IDF to prepare accordingly." 

The U.S. this past week launched an immediate and deadly counter-fire operation against the Iranian'led PMU forces which attacked Balad Air Base in Iraq with rockets. Those rocket launchers no logner exist.  

02 December 2019: The Shi'a Twelver regime in Iran appears to be ready to commence with mass public executions, many of them by hanging. Those to be executed number in the hundreds to a thousand or more. Independent word smuggled out of Iran puts the number of protestors taken prisoner by the regime all over the country at 12,000. 

The NCRI and MEK opposition groups are claiming to be a significant factor in this uprising against the Ayatollah and his totalitarian theocracy. On the 15 November 2019 the regime enacted gasoline price increase with the instantaneous response from the people being rioting in over 187 cities across the country. A map posted within SITREP D8-19:The Quickening illustrated the nationwide nature of these protests. The protests became a full-scale anti-regime uprising when regime forces began shooting protestors in the streets, some by head shot sniper fire.

Yesterday PM Netanyahu and President Trump spoke by telephone specifically about the unrest in Iran. There appears to be agreement that the Iranian attack on Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities in September was an attempt by the regime to draw attention away from the severe difficulties in the country caused by the ongoing collapse of the JCPOA, US withdrawal from it and the dire economic situation the re-imposing of sanctions have caused. 

At 02:50 EST this morning, the Prime Ministers Office released this video. It is a very strong indication of the discussion that took place between President Trump and PM Netanyahu. Mention of Iran's race to breakout a nuclear weapons capability highlights the principle concern; the warning to "stop now" is an imperative.

To be continued...

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Global SITREP E1-19: Conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

TOP Image: Greek and Internationally recognized East Med EEZs
Bottom Image: Turkish unilaterally imposed East Med EEZs
UPDATE 28 December 2019: As noted in the last paragraph of theoriginal 3 December posting, there are significant issues to be addressed and they grow more critical day by day. 

On the front lines in the outskirts of Tripoli there are Turkish soldiers (supporting the GNA) in urban combat against Russian mercenaries of the ChVK Wagner Group (supporting the LNA). The Russians are the spearhead of the LNA offensive. 

The fighting has escalated in Tripoli and Misrata with the news that new deployments of Turkish Army troops, Turkomen militia from northwestern Syria, and ships of the Turkish Navy are enroute to join the battle. There they will oppose the Haftar-led LNA that has been buttressed by more Russian mercenaries, counter-drone technology, Egyptian armor and UAE UCAV aircraft. The Turkish military deployments are in response to the slow but steady advance of LNA forces westward. 

20 December 2019: Egyptian Navy has conducted exercises in the Mediterranean Sea that include submarine-launched Harpoon cruise missiles. The exercises simulate naval warfare against the Turkish Navy.

Egypt has also deployed T-72 tanks to Haftar's LNA Army for their offensive to liberate Tripoli and Sirte from GNA militias. The LNA has given a 72-hour ultimatum for the militias to withdraw from both cities. 

8 December 2019: On the sidelines of the NATO Summit in London last week, direct talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek President Kyriakos Mitsotakis failed to find a resolution to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea exclusive economic zone (EEZ) crisis. No great surprise here, as the Greeks have noted to the international community, there isn't a neighboring country on any Turkish border that is not in a bilateral conflict with Turkey. 

By way of publication in the Turkish Government's Official Gazette and ratification by the Turkish Parliament, the Istanbul Accord, a maritime exclusive economic zone agreement between Turkey and Libya's internationally recognized GNA government in Tripoli, Libya went into effect yesterday to divide the Eastern Mediterranean Sea between them. Erdogan also announced yesterday that accord has been delivered to the United Nations by Turkey.

Greece, which views the Accord as a violation of its sovereign rights and having no legal standing in international law, expelled the Libyan GNA Ambassador Mohamed Menfi. Ambassador Menfi has until Monday to depart from Greece. 

For his part, Greek President Mitsotakis said the Turkish move in denying Greek sovereignty over its many islands has placed Turkey in "unprecedented diplomatic isolation." Greece has announced it will use military force to immediately halt any Turkish oil or gas drilling in the sea southeast of Crete. The application of a European Union sanctions regime against Turkey is also imminent.

3 December 2019: Last week Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, Libya signed a military pact that essentially divides the whole Eastern Mediterranean Sea between them. Eschatology Today will refer to this pact as the 'Istanbul Accord.' 

As if the Middle East didn't need another point of conflict that could spark a war between two supposed NATO allies (Greece and Turkey), the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a single stroke of their pen annexed a massive swath of the Greek economic zone. For their part the Greeks describe the Istanbul Accord as being "ridiculous." 

The Turkish action is noted in the Eschatology Today map above (click to enlarge). It is in the stripped fluorescent yellow portion. This map is based upon initial reports of the Istanbul Accord as none has as yet been published by Turkey or the GNA. The Turks claim their maritime border now extends from southwestern Turkey all the way across the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Libyan coast line of Derna (Darnah) and Tobruk (i.e. all of the Libyan coast to the Egyptian border).

The Istanbul Accord pretends as if the Greek island of Crete and hundreds of other Greek islands going back into antiquity simply no longer exist. Greek citizens inhabit all of those sovereign Greek islands. Eschatology Today would liken Erdogan's Istanbul Accord to that of Adolf Hitler's 1938 military annexation (invasion) of the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland. 

The Istanbul Accord also involves Israel and Cyprus who are, as we've discussed here before, in a military alliance with Greece. The Turkish move directly threatens the proposed gas and oil pipelines between Israel and Cyprus to the Greek mainland and European Union Markets. This move also occurred just prior to the NATO Summit of this week, and alliance fallout is likely to be severe against Turkey, not to mention European Union anger at what the Turks have done. Current levels of EU sanctions against Turkey stand a very good change of becoming far more harsh. Turkey's status within NATO is also in peril. 

Additionally, the Istanbul Accord tosses a wrench into the Berlin peace talks scheduled for January 2020 between the two governments in the Libyan Civil War. Most international recognition is with the GNA Tripoli government led by Fayez Sarraj, while an assortment of other nations, including Russia, Egypt and the UAE are militarily supporting the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) in Benghazi under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's leadership (whom we've also discussed previously). There are approximately 1,500 Russian Wagner Group mercenaries that have intervened in the war to fight alongside Haftar's LNA. Armed UAE drones also routinely bomb the Tripoli airport. The Istanbul Accord is likely to cost the GNA in Tripoli dearly in terms of international recognition.

The prophetic implications are obvious and numerous, touching on the fulfillment of Scripture from Daniel through Ezekiel. The issues between Turkey and Russia alone stand out profoundly so that clearly major changes will have to occur for the Magog Confederation to materialize as many interpret Ezekiel 38/39 indicating Turkey being part of that confederation (also discussed in-depth previously on Eschatology Today).

Friday, December 27, 2019

Global SITREP E2-19: The Harpazo Part II

"Come up hither!"
Update 25 December 2019: As a reminder, the prophetic times we consider on Eschatology Today are of two distinct calendars. Mixing the two is erroneous and very confusing. In explanation, let's just say that prior to the Harpazo, in our current Romans 11:25 "times of the gentiles" time, time is counted on the 365-day Gregorian calendar. In the post-Harpazo world the Bible is clear (Revelation 11:1-3) that the 360-day Hebrew calendar will be in effect, hence the 2,520 days comprising the 70th week of years, or the two 1,260 days halves (times, time and half a time) delinating the Thlipsis (Tribulation and ministry of the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem at the 3rd Temple) from the Megas Thlipsis (Great Tribulation). 

The difference between the Gregorian and the Hebrew calendar with respect to Psalm 90:10 (i.e. form 70 to 80 years) is 350 to 400 days, or about a full Gregorian calendar year. Since no man can know the day or the hour, doing such mathematical calculations is essentially fruitless - we are already deep within the season. The tangible, physical thing that Eschatology Today watches for, prior to being caught up, is a sudden and drastic change in the current status of the Temple Mount. As can be seen in the linked Scripture above, and as discussed here previously, the 3rd Temple will be standing and in operation on day one of the Two Witnesses ministry. Maybe we'll see this, maybe we won't, time is that short.

25 December 2019: The last time this topic of The Harpazo (Laqach or Rapture if you prefer the Hebrew or Latin versions of the word) appeared here over two and a half years ago, it was because of what the late Jack Kelley had written on the subject. I have been feeling a pull to revisit this yet again, feeling that time is very, very short and quickening all the time. 

Well, yesterday, and to be perfectly honest, it was made clear that the Lord got tired of my procrastinating and He put it all right in my face. Got my full attention, He did! So, if you will look once again at that linked post, it'll help in understanding what I now understand are absolute facts concerning the day that only the Lord knows and we know as the "blessed hope." 

I now believe, although I don't know exactly which one, that the LORD God will send His Son for us and the Harpazo will occur on a Pentecost Sunday in either 2020 or 2021. I had requested others to do some personal Berean research, and maybe that was a little to much to ask, so absent that here's what I've come to understand by Berean study and using our late brother Jack Kelley's well-researched article, on "The Feast of Pentecost" as a Spirit-led guide. 

The first Harpazo, which is how the first harvest of grain is taken, suddenly by a sickle, the "first fruits" was that of Henowk (Enoch in modern English parlance, and whose name means "teaching"). It occurred on a day the Lord set aside as a feast day, the very same day tradition holds that Henowk/Enoch was born and was taken by God. It's the same day on which the bride of Christ was born, and God only knows, when He will send His Son to take his bride. This day throughout thousands of years is the same day, be it called Shavuot or Pentecost. Have we just re-learned something from Henowk/Enoch? I believe I have.

This day was also known in advance, which is why its name in Greek equates to "count 50" and in counting 50 days, or more correctly, counting seven Sabbaths (49 days) and the next day, the 50th day is the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the gathered apostles in Jerusalem (and others as well) to give birth to what was originally known as "the Way." Going back a bit in Israel's history, it's also the day Moses delivered "the Law" as given by God, and the nation of Israel was born. 

Can anyone see where I'm going with this (?) and which I hope is not confusing anyone either! In dispensationalism, God stopped dealing with Israel on the same day as He began dealing with the bride of Christ, the day the Holy Spirit was poured out on those apostles and the first Christians. It's a day the Lord set apart long ago, and we know how the Lord keeps His appointments. 

I'll say something more - all of this is the absolute ultimate in prophetic fulfillment, from Moses giving the Law sent down by God to Israel, to the Lord sending down the Holy Spirit to establish His bride. The end of this dispensation sees this Divine process reversed, the bride of Christ is taken, as Henowk/Enoch was taken on Pentecost, and Israel receives the Spirit on earth as God pours it out upon, at a minimum, 144,000 of them (see Ezekiel 39:29 and Romans 11:25-27).

I also believe Jack Kelley was at least partially correct in that the Harpazo is probably not a date-specific event, but a number specific event (the number of the last human to be redeemed in Christ). However, where I differ is that given the history of the day we know as both Shavuot/Pentecost, it could also be on that day that God has known from the beginning that both the full number of gentiles is the same day the Henowk/Enoch was taken up - Pentecost.

These studies continue as I do believe there is more to learn. One item is the question of "why 50 days?" It's kind of specific, as can be seen in hindsight in the direct relationship between Passover and Atonement in the Blood of Christ and Shavuot/Pentecost. It was all predetermined by the Lord.Lo and behold His command is found in Leviticus 23:15-17

"And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LordYou shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord."

Finally there's II Kings 2:7, the "fifty men of the sons of the prophets" of Jericho. Why 50? Why not 40 or 60? And again in II Kings 2:16 they are "fifty strong men." Somebody counted out fifty strong men who crossed the Jordan River and searched three days for Elijah who had been Laqach (Harpazoed) by the Lord. 

Again, this number 50 is tied to the second Harpazo of a living human being, Elijah. I now also believe fully that the Lord's Two Witnesses in the first half of Israel's 70th Week will be Henowk/Enoch and Elijah. 


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Magoi and the Birth of Jesus Messiah

The Eschatology Today tradition continues to bring this post forward once again on this Christmas Day.

25 December 2019 (Original Posting date 6 January 2010): The above image is an artistic rendering of the three Magoi (Magi). In fact, there had to have been quite an entourage who accompanied the Magoi, primarily because of the basic fact that no one makes a 1,000+ mile round trip journey across the desert east of the Jordan River, that between the Parthian Empire and Roman-occupied Israel west of the Jordan River without the supplies of a life-sustaining caravan and significant numbers of mounted cavalry for protection. The actual number of gentile visitors from the east was probably closer to 300 than just 3. It's also a minor miracle that the illegitimate Roman puppet King Herod did not think the appearance of this caravan from the east wasn't the advance guard of a Parthian invasion.

The importance of the whole story about the Magoi (Matthew 2:1-12) is quite likely unknown by most Christians. That's because we've not spent much time learning about it, even though it is Scripture, Old Testament (Numbers 24:14-25; Micah 5:2-5; Isaiah 60:2-6) and very specific prophetic Scripture at that.

Oh, we all know and have visualized one way or another the "We Three Kings" Christmas carol, and have seen Nativity scene imagery like the above for the sum of our lives, but that's not the half of it. There's more... so much more to the story.

The more I think about it, the more I am astounded by the fact that the gentile Magoi who came out of the Parthian (Persian) Empire and made this tremendous journey did so after fervently holding to the prophet Daniel's detailed prophecy (given by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:24-26) concerning the coming of the Messiah for over 600 years, and waited generation after generation for a very specific sign in the skies, and all the while knowing the precise number of days until the Messiah's birth because of the details given in the prophecy. They knew how to count Hebrew years, and exactly how many days each year had. They knew precisely when to look for the star.

And then once that sign appeared and the number of days had elapsed they rounded up the multiple parts of a large caravan and the water and provisions for the entire group's survival, plus the gifts for the object of their 500+ year devotion for what had to be a round trip of something well in excess of 1,900 miles across barren desert, mountains, marshes, rivers and wadis.... I stand here approximately two millennia and two decades later in complete awe just thinking about it.

The caravan was quite probably a round trip from Seleucia to Jerusalem and back, on foot and by beast of burden, of GENTILE believers coming from the Magoi's descendants of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Empire, the Seleucid Empire to the Parthian Empire of the Roman Era.

That these GENTILES, these Magoi, had clung to and fervently believed in the exquisitely detailed God-breathed prophecy of Daniel concerning the coming birth of the Messiah for hundreds and hundreds of years, through all of the events, wars, and tumults that had occurred in this crossroads region of the known world, is without question the greatest account of the prophetic Word of God causing belief in the God of Israel among gentiles in history prior to the crucifixion, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Having been in those same Middle Eastern deserts, such a specifically purposeful journey undertaken 2,000 years ago is mind-boggling to this author. These gentiles from the regions and lands of Israel's captivity knew the details of, believed in, and all the while eagerly awaited the birth of the Messiah. And the Jews, for the most part, due to their disobedience and the spiritual blindness and deafness placed upon them by the Covenant of Moab, besides the Covenant of Horeb, (Deuteronomy 29) knew nothing of His coming; that He would literally be the God of their fathers born in the flesh of a man.

And here we are, knowing in detail that the days of time which are left until the advent of Daniel's 70th Week are all but palpable... just stand in awe and in praise of God. My brothers and sisters, just stand in awe and praise to be a living part of all this.