This message is so well written, and expresses my feelings completely.
Joel C. Rosenberg
(Jerusalem, Israel, July 19, 2012) — Please pray for Michael Ben Ari. He’s a member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) who this week was given the gift of a Hebrew New Testament study Bible by the Israeli Bible Society but chose to rip it to shreds and throw it into the garbage and do so in front of the press. It was a reprehensible act and a childish temper tantrum and the controversy over what he did and why he did it has made headlines here in Israel and around the world. The good news is several leading Israeli officials condemned Ben Ari’s action and called for him to apologize. Personally, I’d like to see Prime Minister Netanyahu make a strong statement condemning Ben Ari’s action, as well. I’m not aware that the PM has yet done so.
At the end of this column, I post some of my thoughts about why I believe this controversy is important.
But first, here are the latest details: “MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), a member of the Israeli parliament tore up a copy of the New Testament and threw it in the trash, an act that was apparently caught on camera,” reported Ynet News. “Ben Ari and several other Knesset members received by mail on Monday a copy of the New Testament, sent by the Bible Society in Israel, an organization that distributes religious books. In the letter sent with the book, director of the Christian organization Victor Kalisher wrote that the new edition ‘sheds light on the Holy Scriptures and helps understand them….We hope the book will help you and illuminate your way.’….However, while most MK’s chose to ignore the book or return it to its sender, the rightist lawmaker chose to term the book a ‘provocation,’ tore it up into shreds and then threw it out. ‘This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during [other] instances,’ Ben Ari said adding that ‘Sending the book to MK’s is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it represents belongs in the garbage can of history.’”
“The religious and ultra-Orthodox Knesset members should honor those who want to read the book, Kalisher said,” noted the Times of Israel, “adding ‘it could help them expand their own knowledge.’ Kalisher also denied the notion of missionary activity, saying his organization studied and spread the holy scriptures, providing people with knowledge and study tools. There was no intention to ‘hurt the feelings of Knesset members,’ he said. ‘It’s a Jewish book, written by Jews. To better understand Judaism you need to study the New Testament.’
MK Ben Ari’s deplorable behavior was denounced by other Knesset members, including the Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to their credit, also called on MK Ben Ari to apologize for his behavior. I agree with the ADL and am encouraged by their statement, which I’ve posted on the blog.
That said, I would encourage all of the Members of the Israeli Knesset to ready and carefully study this Hebrew edition of the New Testament and to proactively study the life of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth. Indeed, my prayer is that all Israelis would read and study the New Testament and decide this question: Is Yeshua the Jewish Messiah foretold by the Hebrew prophets, or not? This is the most important question in all of human history, and the most important and urgent of questions that must be answered by each and every Jew and Gentile. Indeed, our eternal destiny depends on how we answer this question and what actions we take based on our answer. Thus, I’m grateful this controversy has been sparked. May it lead many to decide to obtain a copy of this Hebrew New Testament and study carefully it for themselves.
[To read these stories in full -- and/or to read excerpts from IMPLOSION, and/or to find links to the latest news and analysis of events and trends in the U.S., Israel, Russia, and the Middle East -- please go to: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/.%5D
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NEW EVIDENCE SHOWS IRAN ENRICHING URANIUM TO 27% PURITY, UP FROM 20%: Nuclear talks in Baghdad go nowhere; next round in Moscow
by Joel Rosenberg
Posted: May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized
“The U.N. atomic agency has found evidence at an underground bunker in Iran that could mean the country has moved closer to producing the uranium threshold needed to arm nuclear missiles, diplomats said Friday,” according to the Associated Press. “The International Atomic Energy Agency has found traces of uranium enriched up to 27 percent at Iran’s Fordo enrichment plant, the diplomats told The Associated Press. That is still substantially below the 90-percent level needed to make the fissile core of nuclear arms. But it is above Iran’s highest-known enrichment grade, which is close to 20 percent, and which already can be turned into weapons-grade material much more quickly than the Islamic Republic’s main stockpile, which can only be used for fuel at around 3.5 percent.”
Meanwhile, the nuclear talks held this week in Baghdad between Iran and six world powers went nowhere. The only thing agreed upon was to hold more talks. The next round is scheduled for June 18-19 in Moscow. This will give Russian Czar Vladimir Putin an opportunity to dramatically shape the future of the showdown between Iran and Israel. How will he use it? Putin is reportedly headed to Israel in June, though as far as I know the dates are not yet set. But clearly next month is going to be a critical moment in Russian-Iranian-Israeli relations. UPDATE (5/25): Russia’s Putin to visit Israel in June.
All this comes as Iran’s top military commander said his country was fully committed to completely destroying the State of Israel. “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel,” Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi , the Iranian military’s chief of staff, said in a speech to a defense gathering Sunday in Tehran.
Scary to think the world is coming to this. Although, the Bible clearly points to things getting worse.
2 Timothy 3 (New International Version)
2 Timothy 3
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
A Final Charge to Timothy
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Despite a long list of woes that include being labeled an anti-Semite, having a violent temper and allegedly breaking the teeth of the mother of his youngest child—Mel Gibson has a friend in Jesus—or, at least the actor who played him in 2004’s “Passion of the Christ.”
“Mel Gibson, he’s a horrible sinner, isn’t he?” Jim Caviezel asked members of the First Baptist Church of Orlando, FL during an appearance Saturday night. “Mel Gibson doesn’t need your judgment, he needs your prayers.”
Caviezel, 42, spoke at the 14,000-member church in a speech the local paper described as “giv(ing) witness to his faith, (urging) others to share it and to sell a new all-star audio production of the Bible that he has produced.”
The staunch Roman Catholic recalled when Gibson first offered him the role of Jesus, he warned that it could end his career.
“(Gibson) said, ‘You’ll never work in this town again,’” Caviezel explained. “I told him, ‘We all have to embrace our crosses.’”
During the 20-minute talk, Caviezel said he was “called” to be an actor, noting that it was no coincidence that “in my 33rd year, I was called to play Jesus.”
He even joked about his initials– J.C. –with Gibson during casting, which “freaked [the director] out a little.”
Caviezel said taking on the role of the Son of God limited his career, saying that he was “rejected in (his) own industry.”
“Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been,” Caviezel said. “Not much has changed in 2,000 years.”
But Caviezel has no regrets, saying “We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth,” and adding that he’ll get his reward in heaven.
As many San Francisco Giants followers learned yesterday, Brian Wilson, their famous, or infamous pitching closer, may not be able to play ball this year. Pending first, second, third, and possibly more medical opinions, he may have to have surgery for his arm. He has a great attitude, and will use his faith to weather this storm or others that may come across the horizon.
His condition is of importance to us for various reasons. Foremost because he is not ashamed to show his faith. That puts him in a category of the minority of famous folks.
Secondly, we live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are avid followers of the Giants.
So, let’s pray for this man, his team, his fellow teammates–that regardless of their physical condition, they will continue to exemplify that being a follower of Jesus is nothing to be ashamed of, and in fact is something that we all should show, daily.
Another interesting website regarding the rebuilding of Babylon. Important information in relation to Prophecy.
Also read the following by Joel C. Rosenberg.
IRAQ REBUILDING ITS MILITARY, EVEN AS THEY REBUILD BABYLON: Prophetic significance?
Posted: April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Bible prophecy indicates that in the End Times, the nation we know today as the Republic of Iraq — known variously in Scripture as Babel, Babylon, Babylonia, Mesopotamia and Shinar — will emerge as the global center of wealth, power and terrible evil. Eventually Iraq will pose a direct and existential threat to the State of Israel, particularly during the Tribulation.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein and his regime in 2003, Iraq has not been a regional threat, much less a danger to Israel. Some have assumed, therefore, that Iraq would no longer play a major role in Middle Eastern or global affairs in the future. But such a conclusion would be a mistake. As I wrote about in my first non-fiction book, Epicenter, those who read, understand and believe Bible prophecy have been watching for Iraq to: 1) begin rebuilding its offensive military capability; 2) begin rebuilding its economy; 3) continue rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon into a major center of commerce and tourism.
Interestingly, all three developments are currently underway.
IRAQ IS REBUILDING ITS MILITARY
Now that the Iraqi government has forced the American military out of their country, they have embarked on a dramatic arms build-up, including the purchase of American weapons systems that could be used for offensive purposes in the future. Examples:
- The Iraqis are buying 140 state-of-the-art American M1A1 combat tanks. “The Government of Iraq has purchased 140 tanks from the United States, all of which have arrived in Iraq,” reports an Iraqi business website. “131 of those tanks are already in the possession of the Iraqi Army. The nine remaining tanks are in Iraq, but in U.S. possession.”
- The Iraqis are buying 36 advanced American F-16 fighter jets. “Israel is monitoring Iraq’s rearmament program, particularly Bahgdad’s acquisition of 36 Lockheed Martin F-16s, with some disquiet amid intelligence reports Iran is consolidating its influence in Iraq following the U.S. military withdrawal,” reports UPI. “Baghdad ordered the F-16 Block 52 multi-role Fighting Falcon jets — enough to equip the Iraqi air force’s first two fighter squadrons — in two 18-plane batches in 2011 at an estimated total cost of $7 billion.”
- In 2010, the Iraqis embarked on a $13 billion weapons spending spree. “Iraq is preparing to buy as much as $13 billion in American arms and military equipment, a huge order of tanks, ships and hardware that U.S. officials say shows Iraqi-U.S. military ties will be tight for years to come,” reported USA Today. “‘It helps to build their capabilities, first and foremost; and second, it builds our strategic relationship for the future,’ said Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, the ranking U.S. officer responsible for training and advising Iraq forces.”
IRAQ IS REBUILDING ITS ECONOMY
Now that the war of liberation is over and most of Iraq has been pacified and stabilized from the terrorist insurgency, Iraq’s economy is not only growing but is poised for hyper-growth. Analysts expect Iraq’s GDP to grow by more than 9% annually for the next few years, and expect Iraq’s oil production to nearly triple by 2017.
- “Iraq’s gross domestic product is expected to grow by an average rate of at least 9.4 percent annually between 2012 and 2016 as the oil-producing country benefits from larger windfalls in oil revenues, a senior central bank official said [in February],” reports Reuters. ”Iraq, which has the fourth-biggest oil reserves in the world, is currently producing around 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd). Iraq’s oil minister said last year he expected production to reach between 8-8.5 million bpd by 2017.”
- Some analysts within the Iraqi Planning Ministry believe Iraq could reach a 47% growth rate by 2017, once the oil starts flowing fast and furious.
- More and more major international companies are signing deals to do business in Iraq — see this intriguing list published by Reuters, published in December 2011.
- In 2011, ExxonMobil — the world’s largest oil company — signed a major deal to help develop the oil industry in Iraq’s northern region of Kurdistan. Despite the fact being mired in some political controversy, the deal is likely to be fully ratified in the not-too-distant future.
- Also in 2011, Royal Dutch Shell signed a $17 billion deal to help Iraq develop its enormous lucrative oil industry in its southern regions.
- In 2010, the Iraqi government ratified four other major oil deals.
IRAQ IS REBUILDING THE CITY OF BABYLON
Largely overlooked by Westerners is the fact that the government of Iraq is moving forward with plans to protect the archaeological remains of the ancient City of Babylon, in preparation for building a modern city of Babylon. As I wrote in 2009, the project — originally started by the late Saddam Hussein — is aimed eventually at attracting scores of “cultural tourists” from all over the world to see the glories of Mesopotamia’s most famous city. What’s more, the Obama Administration has actually helped contribute U.S. taxpayer dollars to “The Future of Babylon Project” through the State Department’s budget. Read more at the World Monuments Fund website for the rebuilding Babylong project.
In 2011, I noted that the New York Times had published an intriguing article on Iraqi efforts to preserve, protect, restore and then rebuild the ancient city of Babylon and make it a draw for tourists, with U.S. taxpayer assistance. The Times reports that a modern Babylon museum will open later this month. Times’ reporter Steven Lee Myers also posted a fascinating four minute video walking through some of the rebuilt ruins of Babylon, and explaining Iraqi efforts to protect and restore numerous Biblical sites.
“The Babylon project is Iraq’s biggest and most ambitious by far, a reflection of the ancient city’s fame and its resonance in Iraq’s modern political and cultural heritage,” the Times reported, noting that “in November, the State Department announced a new $2 million grant to begin work to preserve the site’s most impressive surviving ruins. They include the foundation of the Ishtar Gate, built in the sixth century B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar’s father, Nabopolassar, and adorned with brick reliefs of the Babylonian gods Marduk and Adad.”
“The American reconstruction team has refurbished a modern museum on the site, as well as a model of the Ishtar Gate that for decades served as a visitors’ entrance. Inside the museum is one of the site’s most valuable relics: a glazed brick relief of a lion, one of 120 that once lined the processional way into the city. The museum, with three galleries, is scheduled to open this month, receiving its first visitors since 2003. And with new security installed, talks are under way to return ancient Babylonian artifacts from the National Museum in Baghdad. The fate of Babylon is already being disputed by Iraqi leaders, with antiquities officials clashing with local authorities over when to open it to visitors and how to exploit the site for tourism that, for the most part, remains a goal more than a reality. Even now they are clashing over whether the admission fee should go to the antiquities board or the provincial government.”
(Photo by New York Times: Iraqi women walking through the city of Babylon that is currently being rebuilt.)
Very interesting article in relation to Prophecy.
As I have stated in the past about prophecy and events that are occurring in the present, being aware is not to scare us, but to prepare us. Joel Rosenberg is a trusted source for keeping us updated on current events and biblical background.
Click on map to enlarge. Notice importance of world events as they relate to this map.
kept us reminded of that wonderful personal relationship
we can have with our Lord by just talking to Him.
Prayer Changes Things!
He knows what’s going on.
He just wants us to talk to Him about it.
He wants to talk to us, too.
He wants to know we care enough to stop what we’re doing
and offer up our concern to Him.
Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
The debate seems increasingly to be over “when,” not “if” Israel will launch preemptive strikes against Iran. A story in a major British newspaper today reports the Obama administration realizes that economic sanctions aren’t working well enough to stop Iran from vigorously pursuing nuclear weapons, and thus makes an Israeli war with Iran all the more likely. According to the story, some experts believe that the Israelis won’t strike in the April to June window suggested by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, but might wait until the fall during the height of the U.S. presidential elections. “Earlier this month, the US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, told the Washington Post that he thought the window for an Israeli attack on Iran is between April and June,” the story noted. “But other official analysts working on Iran have identified what one described as a ‘sweet spot,’ where the mix of diplomacy, political timetables and practical issues come together to suggest that if Israel launches a unilateral assault it is more likely in September or October, although they describe that as a ‘best guess.’” Expect more speculation — and even disinformation — to keep the “experts” guessing. Should Israel strike, it will be hard, fast and without notice.
THE EVIL ASSAD REGIME MUST BE BROUGHT DOWN AND BROUGHT TO JUSTICE, OR FACE JUDGMENT: Time is running out according to Bible prophecy
By Joel Rosenberg
Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
The butchery of the Assad regime is horrifying to behold. More than 6,000 Syrians have been brutally murdered by the thugs in Damascus. The evil Assad government must be brought down and brought to justice, or face judgment.
Bible prophecy tells us in Isaiah 17:1-3 and Jeremiah 49:23-27 that Damascus will be destroyed as a city in the last days. Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly when or how this will happen, but I believe that day is steadily approaching. Indeed, it may not be far off. I’m currently writing a political thriller called The Damascus Countdown about how this could play out.
In the meantime, followers of Jesus Christ around the world must be praying and working for the spiritual and political liberation of the Syrian people. We need to be praying and working to strengthen the persecuted Church in Syria, and to help believers there spread of the Gospel to every person in that precious country. Make no mistake: God loves the people of Syria. The Apostle Paul came to faith in Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Believers were first called “Christians” in Antioch, Syria. And our God and Father wants every Syrian to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. We need to act now and share the good news with Syria before judgment comes. For God is not going to allow this current evil to go unchecked much longer. In Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord told us that those who bless the children of Israel will be blessed, and those who cursed them will be cursed. The Syrian government faces judgment for killing its own citizens, but also for killing so many Jews and Israelis over the years, and cursing the State of Israel on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, since we don’t know when the judgment of Syria’s government will happen, the U.S. government — and our allies — can and must take decisive steps to stand with and for the people of Syria against the Assad regime. This past week, 58 foreign policy experts urged President Obama to take strong, specific action. Among their recommendations:
- Immediately establish safe zones within Syrian territory, as well as no-go zones for the Assad regime’s military and security forces, around Homs, Idlib, and other threatened areas, in order to protect Syrian civilians. To the extent possible, the United States should work with like-minded countries like Turkey and members of the Arab League in these efforts.
- Establish contacts with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and, in conjunction with allies in the Middle East and Europe, provide a full range of direct assistance, including self-defense aid to the FSA.
- Improve U.S. coordination with political opposition groups and provide them with secure communications technologies and other assistance that will help to improve their ability to prepare for a post-Assad Syria.
- Work with Congress to impose crippling U.S. and multilateral sanctions on the Syrian government, especially on Syria’s energy, banking, and shipping sectors.
The experts noted: “For eleven months now, the Syrian people have been dying on a daily basis at the hands of their government as they seek to topple the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad. As the recent events in the city of Homs—in which hundreds of Syrians have been killed in a matter of days—have shown, Assad will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on power. Given the United Nations Security Council’s recent failure to act, we believe that the United States cannot continue to defer its strategic and moral responsibilities in Syria to regional actors such as the Arab League, or to wait for consent from the Assad regime’s protectors, Russia and China. We therefore urge you to take immediate steps to decisively halt the Assad regime’s atrocities against Syrian civilians, and to hasten the emergence of a post-Assad government in Syria. Syria’s future is not purely a humanitarian concern. The Assad regime poses a grave threat to national security interests of the United States. The Syrian government, which has been on the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list since 1979, maintains a strategic partnership with the terror-sponsoring government of Iran, as well as with Hamas and Hezbollah. For years, it facilitated the entry of foreign fighters into Iraq who killed American troops. For years, it secretly pursued a nuclear program with North Korea’s assistance. And for decades, it has closely cooperated with Iran and other agents of violence and instability to menace America’s allies and partners throughout the Middle East….The Syrian people are asking for international assistance. It is apparent that American leadership is required to ensure the quickest end to the Assad regime’s brutal reign, and to clearly show the Syrian people that, as you said on February 4, 2012, the people of the free world stand with them as they seek to realize their aspirations.”
I agree. Time is running out, according to Bible prophecy. Now is the time for the free world to speak out, and act decisively. Now is also the time for followers of Jesus Christ to do our part.
Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad has put it at odds with other countries in the Arab world.
Russia drew a lot of flack from Arab countries and the West when it vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at pressuring Assad to stop his crackdown on protesters. That has some analysts in Russia doubting whether the Kremlin really has a cogent strategy for the Middle East.
The dilemma for Russia policy in the Arab world can be illustrated by two very different events that took place this week.
On Tuesday, crowds of Assad supporters in Damascus greeted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the country’s foreign intelligence chief, Mikhail Fradkov.
Lavrov said Russia was willing to serve as a mediator in the conflict, although Assad’s forces continued their assault on the opposition. Meanwhile, a very different scenario was playing out in New York.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, appeared at a hastily called news conference to deny rumors that he had threatened the prime minister of Qatar. The rumors, which were widely circulated in the Arab media, said Churkin had warned the Qatari leader that Russia would “wipe Qatar off the map.”
“There was nothing, not even any hints of any threats, intimidation, rudeness from me or from the prime minister of Qatar, for that matter,” Churkin said.
Russia’s relations with Qatar have been strained since December, when customs officials in Doha allegedly manhandled Russia’s ambassador to that country.
Although Churkin denied using any bullying tactics, he added something that sounded vaguely like a warning.
“Apparently somebody is trying very hard in order to drive a wedge between Russia and the Arab world. If it’s somebody who is really coming from the Arab world, I think there is a very good Russian saying, which they, I think, should keep in mind: ‘Don’t spit into a well. You may well need it for a drink of water,’ ” he said.
At this point, it’s unclear who needs whom.
Analyst Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Moscow Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, says Russia doesn’t really need Syria as a trading partner. He says Russia’s support for Syria is part of a pragmatic effort to contain Islamic extremism by balancing opposing factions.
“Russians understand there are no nondictatorship regimes in the Middle East. There is no chance for democracy of the Western style in the Middle East. And we try to make balance,” Satanovsky says.
But other analysts say Russia needs to be careful of its image in the Arab world.
Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, points out that Russia’s stand on Syria puts it at odds with important members of the Arab League, such as Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia has enormous leverage on the global oil market. Saudi Arabia has resources that could be used to minimize Russia’s control of parts of its own country,” Trenin says. He means the North Caucasus, the region that includes volatile areas such as Chechnya.
Trenin says that what Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, tried to do in Damascus this week should have been done months ago, when the Arab Spring protests first erupted.
“If Russia wanted to uphold its prestige as an important player, it needed to engage more fully in looking for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict,” he says.
Both analysts say one of Russia’s main concerns is keeping a lid on Islamic radicalism, the kind that is spreading in the Muslim parts of Russia’s own territory.
Satanovsky says Russian policy seeks to play off the Islamic fundamentalist regimes of the Arab world against Iran.
In putting such strong and public support behind the Syrian regime, though, Russia has put itself at a pivot point in the major struggles of the Arab World.
It’s not clear whether it has a strategy to affect the balance there.
(click to enlarge)
A riveting and timely survey of things to come!
Widespread revolutions in multiple Arab nations. New powers rising to challenge entrenched despots and ruling bodies. Bitter new conflicts further enflaming the many already in place. And a pall of uncertainty over how it will all play out.
Indeed the Middle East is burning.
How can we make sense of it all?
At first glance the many hotspots may seem without a pattern, without rhyme or reason. But Bible prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock takes a look at Scripture and helps paint a clear picture of what’s taking place, giving insight on current events in Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Syria, and more.
(Sharon’s note:) To read an excerpt from this book, click on the link below. I think you will find it very interesting, as we relate it to our study of prophecy.
- Studying Biblical Prophecy (sharinhislove.wordpress.com)
- “IMPLOSION” SIMULCAST SET FOR JUNE 16TH: Please sign up today (flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com)
Does Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu think the West is taking decisive action to stop Iran from getting the Bomb, or does he think the West is fiddling while Tel Aviv runs the rising risk of burning? That’s the Big Question as tensions continue to mount in the epicenter this week. Iran is making new threats to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil shipments, just days after test-firing missiles over the Strait. The U.S., Britain and France are sending additional naval forces into the Gulf. The European Union is taking new steps to impose an oil embargo on Iran. The U.S. is taking steps to sanction Iran’s third largest bank, though dragging its feet on actually sanctioning Iran’s Central Bank. Adding to the regional tensions, Russia is lashing out at the EU and selling $550 million worth of arms to one of Iran’s key regional allies. Will such Western moves be enough to stop Iran from building an arsenal of nuclear weapons? Personally, I’m not convinced. Such moves would have been good a few years ago. Now they strike me as too little too late, especially after the Obama White House disastrous decision recently to cancel joint military exercises with Israel for fear of being “too provocative” towards Iran. But it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what Netanyahu thinks. If he decides the West isn’t doing enough and Iran is going to get the Bomb, then he is going to hit Iran hard, soon, and without warning.
In that context, it’s worth noting a speech Netanyahu gave Tuesday warning his nation that the world has not internalized the lessons of the Holocaust. ”Speaking at the Knesset just days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), Netanyahu reasoned that the Jewish people must not put their fate in the hands of the international community,” reported the Jerusalem Post. “Posing a rhetorical question, Netanyahu asked, ‘How does the world react to the calls for genocide against the Jews today? Seventy years after the shoa [Holocaust], Iran is calling for us to be wiped off the map, Hezbollah is calling for our extinction, as are many in Hamas….The Jerusalem Mufti [Sheikh Muhammad Hussein] called on Sunday for Jews to be killed wherever they are…echoing his predecessor Haj Amin Al Husseini, who actively helped Hitler and Eichman,’ he said. ‘I do not hear the international community condemning this. I hear them condemning buildings in the West Bank. But I don’t hear them condemning this incitement,’ said Netanyahu.”
Could Netanyahu be signaling that his patience — and that of the Israeli government and military – is running out?
Worth noting: “Two Iranian lawmakers on Monday stepped up threats their country would close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s crude flows, in retaliation for oil sanctions on Tehran,” reports Haaretz. “The warnings came as EU nations agreed in Brussels on an oil embargo against Iran as part of sanctions over the country’s controversial nuclear program. The measure includes an immediate embargo on new contracts for Iranian crude and petroleum products while existing ones will be allowed to run until July. Iran has repeatedly warned it would choke off the strait if sanctions affect its oil sales, and two lawmakers ratcheted up the rhetoric on Monday….For its part, the United States has enacted, but not yet put into force, sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank and, by extension, the country’s ability to be paid for its oil. Some 80 percent of Iran’s oil revenue comes from exports and any measures or sanctions taken that affect its ability to export oil could hit hard at its economy. With about 4 million barrels per day, Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC.”
by Joel Rosenberg
The White House has made two new and serious mistakes on Iran in recent days:
- The Obama administration has just canceled joint military exercises with the Israelis.
- The Obama administration has both denied killing a top-ranking Iranian nuclear scientist and condemned the scientist’s assassination.
Given that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Iran could have the Bomb by the end of 2012, the U.S. should intensifying pressure on the evil regime in Tehran. This would include dramatically escalating covert ops inside Iran, and making preparations for possible air strikes if there are no other alternatives to neutralizing the Iran threat. Instead, the senior team at the White House just blinked — twice — showing weakness instead of resolve. They have also made it more likely, not less, that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu may conclude this year that he has no other choice but to launch a massive first strike against Iran. Thus: “The United States has stepped up contingency planning in case Israel launches a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. According to the report, U.S. defense officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to carry out such a strike.” At the moment, Army General Martin Dempsey, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is heading to Israel for talks about Iran.
Meanwhile, “Israeli Cabinet Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Sunday he was disappointed that the U.S. has not expanded sanctions to further damage Iran’s central bank and its energy industry. He also suggested that the Obama administration hasn’t been as forceful as Britain and France in imposing sanctions. ‘In the United States, the Senate passed a resolution, by a majority of 100-to-1, to impose these sanctions, and in the U.S. administration there is hesitation for fear of oil prices rising this year, out of election-year considerations,’ Ya’alon told Israel Radio, according to Haaretz newspaper. ‘In that regard, this is certainly a disappointment, for now.’”
This is exactly why I’m saying we’d better keep praying for peace, while preparing ourselves for war.
The study of prophecy is not to Scare us,
but to Prepare us.
Studying Biblical Prophecy has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. My first exposure to the subject was from a book entitled “The Bible and Tomorrow’s News”.
Studying prophecy can bring confusion and fear to a lot of people. I think that is because it is hard to understand.
We are attempting to wade into the study of prophecy a little at a time on our blog. We think it will be interesting for our readers to understand the basics as you follow each day’s news and how they are related.
The study can also be a source of encouragement and inspiration. As we understand the relationship of knowledge of the scriptures and motivate our call to share the gospel, it will strengthen all of us.
I have included direct links below to the categories on our blog that will help us as we study.
We encourage comments and discussion of this wealth of knowledge that God has given us in His word.
Sharon & Erick