Watching For A Hook

The list of experts who teach that Russia, Iran and others will attack Israel in a future war called the Battle of Gog and Magog is impressive (Ezek. 38-39). So for the sake of brevity, I will simply state that God will put a hook in the jaws of Russia’s leader (Ezek. 38:4) and drag him and his allies into Israel in the latter days (Ezek. 38:16) and latter years (Ezek. 38:8). And I will make eight points about this in connection with current events.

First, Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities is not the Battle of Gog and Magog. But, if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, Russia and Iran have said they will counterattack and that could be the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Second, I agree with those who say Psa. 83 is a prayer about a war between Israel and her neighbors that will take place before the Battle of Gog and Magog. This war hasn’t happened, but events seem to indicate that it could happen soon. An Intifada has been raging in Jerusalem for more than two months; there is currently a temporary ceasefire between Israel and the PA, but Hamas is threatening to break it and no one expects it to hold.

Third, I agree with those who say Isa. 17 prophesies a war between Israel and Syria that will take place before the Battle of Gog and Magog. This hasn’t happened, but it is something else that could happen soon. The U.S. and several Arab allies have already attacked oil fields, refineries, Islamic State troops, other terrorists and weapons in Syria even though Russia, Iran and Syria warned us not to do it. In the past, Syria, Russia and Iran have threatened to attack Israel, if Syria is attacked. Israel has her troops on high alert and the IDF has just shot down a Syrian jet that supposedly strayed over Israeli territory.

Fourth, on Sept. 17, 2014, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, Yuvall Steinitz said Iran is nine to eighteen months away from developing a nuclear bomb and Iran already has missiles that can deliver one. He pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.” Nine to eighteen months will quickly come and go. Therefore, it is obvious that time is running out for Israel to act and for Russia, Iran and others to respond.

Fifth, on Sept. 18, 2014, the P5 +1 (the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) began what they call their final round of negotiations with Iran over the abandonment of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the two sides have agreed to resolve all of their differences by Nov. 24, 2014. So the P5 + 1 and Iran are now less than two months away from their self-imposed deadline, the talks are going nowhere and Iran says she will not give up her nuclear program. In addition to this, because of western sanctions on Russia over her actions in Ukraine, Russia has threatened to retaliate against the west by siding with Iran in these negotiations.

Sixth, in 2013, Israel included almost three billion dollars in her budget to finance a war with Iran. In 2014, Israel budgeted almost three billion dollars more for a war with Iran. In Sept. 2014, while preparing Israel’s budget for 2015, a problem arose. Israeli Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, did not want to raise taxes on the Israeli people, but Israeli Air Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, wanted more money to upgrade Israel’s Air Force and Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted more money to finance operations to deal with security threats against Israel. Some in the media took Mr. Netanyahu’s request for more money to mean that Israel will soon attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Could it happen in the next nine months?

Seventh, Russia’s economy is in trouble. Mr. Putin is still financing a covert war in Ukraine. Western nations have gradually upped sanctions on Russia and the sanctions are finally beginning to take hold. Russia threatened to cut off the flow of natural gas to the EU, but the loss of income could be devastating. The value of the Ruble has dropped 15% against the dollar this year and a recession is looming. Russia will soon have to change her ways, deal with a recession, or find a prey with silver and gold, cattle and goods.

Eighth, based on the Jewish Talmud (not the Bible) some say a Tetrad of blood moons are an omen of war for Israel. It is a debatable issue, but no one can deny that the first blood moon in the current Tetrad occurred on April 15, 2014 (the Feast of Passover), the next blood moon will occur on October 8, 2014 (the Feast of Tabernacles) and there will be two more in 2015.

Russia is still causing trouble in Ukraine; Pres. Obama is arming the so-called friendly rebels in Syria; the U.S. and several Arab allies are attacking the Islamic State in Syria; Israel’s war with Hamas is probably not over; so it is quite possible that within months God could set the hook on Russia. Time will tell.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Israel’s God Is God

With God’s help, I wrote these words around 1993: “Religion and ownership of the land (the Promised Land of Israel) are at the heart of the never-ending Arab-Israeli conflict. The two groups are diametrically opposed to each other because each group thinks it worships the only real God and each group thinks He gave the Promised Land to it. The conflict over this blessed place is theological and directly linked to the question, ‘Whose god is God and who worships the true God?’ The land issue can never be settled until the theological conflict over God’s identity is settled. The religion of the loser is dead” (“On The Brink,” copyright 1995, pp. 37-38).

These words recently came to my mind when I read two articles. The first was a July 29, 2014 Bridges For Peace article titled “Fatah Threatens to ‘Turn Tel Aviv into a Ball of Fire.’” And the second was an August 1, 2014 Israel Today article titled “The God of the Armies of Israel.”

The Bridges For Peace article said PA President Mahmoud Abbas was touting the current conflict between Israel and Hamas as a religious “war for Allah.” Mr. Abbas quoted the Koran when he said, “Allah is competent to give them (the Palestinians) the victory” (Surah 22:39). Mr. Abbas added that, “Allah is with the resistance, both now and in the future.”

The Israel Today article said Israeli Col. Ofer Winter sent a letter to the troops he commands in the Givanti Infantry Brigade. Using words that come straight from the Bible, Col. Winter referred to God as the God of the armies of Israel (I Sam. 17:45). Col. Winter even wrote that Israel has been chosen to “spearhead in the fight against the ‘Gazan’ terrorist enemy that defies, blasphemes, and curses the God of the armies of Israel’” and the Bible calls Israel’s enemies God’s enemies (Psa. 83:2). Col. Winter closed his letter by saying, “The Lord, your God, who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and gives you victory.”

So the PA leader quoted the Koran, exalted Allah and said Allah was with the Palestinians. And the Israeli officer quoted the Bible, called Israel’s enemies God’s enemies and said God (Jehovah) was with Israel. It should be obvious that both leaders can’t be right. So whose god is God and who worships the true God?

Several other articles caught my attention along these lines. One concerned something Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General said, “It is plain to see that Israel’s use of force has been disproportionate, and that the Palestinian casualties have been excessive.” This UN official was saying the war is one-sided in favor of Israel. It was clear that large numbers of Palestinians were dying even though Israel dropped leaflets more than once warning them to leave; Israel texted people, called people, dropped warning bombs before real bombs exploded, etc. So Israel’s God was winning and the Palestinian god was losing. And the UN, EU, US and many others were trying to get Israel to let up.

Another article concerned a widely circulated headline in the July 18, 2014 Jewish Telegraph newspaper. In an unconfirmed report a Gazan terrorist was asked why Hamas couldn’t aim their rockets more accurately. The terrorist replied, “We do aim them, but their God changes their path in mid-air.” If the report is true, this terrorist recognized that Israel’s God (Jehovah) is more powerful than his god (Allah).

Another article concerned an Israeli soldier that tried to shoot down a terrorist missile twice with an Iron Dome anti-missile. Iron Dome missed both times, and on the third try it showed that a strong wind had pushed the terrorist missile off course. Israel Today reported that the soldier said, “I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.” Jehovah prevailed again.

There were several other reports of miracles, but I want to recall God’s covenant with Abraham. God said, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen. 17:7-8). It can be shown that Jehovah was talking about Israel when He said, “I will be their God” (Gen. 17:8-21; 28:13; 35:10-12).
Since 1948, Israel has won several wars against impossible odds. And it seems that her attackers and the world have never understood why. Many say Israel won because the U.S., England or France helped Israel or it was because of Israel’s technology, but Israel was often poorly equipped and greatly outnumbered.

God’s covenant to be Israel’s God is true. So is His promise to never stop watching over Israel (Psa. 121:1-8) and His promise that no weapon formed against Israel will prevail (Isa. 54:17). His identity and the futility of trusting in Allah can be seen in all of these wars. Hamas has met the only real God, but she doesn’t know it, the world doesn’t know it, and sadly, many Church leaders don’t know it. Until these groups realize that ISRAEL’S GOD IS GOD and He is keeping His EVERLASTING covenant to give Israel ALL of the Promised Land and TO BE THEIR GOD, there will be no peace on earth.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Biblical Prophecy ~ Part 3 ~ Israel the “Super Sign”

Much of the God’s Word contains prophetic teaching, in fact nearly 30% of Scripture is prophetic in nature. Of the hundreds of specific prophecies contained in Scripture many have been fulfilled and many are yet to be. In this part of our teaching on Biblical Prophecy we want to focus on Israel as a people and a Nation State. The Super Sign of the Last Days, is that Israel is once again a nation. The Jewish people are returning from exile. After nearly two thousand years of rejection, God is going to call them His people again (Hosea 1:9, Romans 9:25-26), but first He must deal with their transgression of the Law (Daniel 9:24).

The story of Israel began in the book of Genesis. God makes a binding covenant with Abraham, who was to be the father of the Jewish nation. The provisions of that covenant are recorded in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God’s land covenant promise to Abraham is the linchpin of one of the most important of all Biblical prophecies. Israel’s eternal right of possession of the land God promised to Abraham. This covenant with Abraham is confirmed several times to his descendants in the Old Testament. When these descendants (after 400 years of bondage in Egypt) were about to enter the land promised to them, Moses told them of a coming time when their idolatry would cause them to be driven from the land that God was giving them. In Deuteronomy 4:27 we find recorded; “And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.”

The Jews subsequently were partially scattered by the Assyrians and Babylonians, and then after a time of exile God restored them to the land. However in 70 AD, as Jesus Himself prophesied, the temple was destroyed by the Roman armies of Titus, and the Jews were driven from Jerusalem. Israel, as a nation, began again to be scattered, and then during the Bar Kochba Revolt from 132 to 136 AD, Emperor Hadrian sent 12 of his 24 Legions to expel the Jews from Israel completely, and they were scattered like chaff in the wind to the four corners of the earth. Hadrian then renamed the occupied territory Palestine.

Yet in spite of all of this, God chose the Jews. He gave them a land; He made them an irrevocable promise, it is a binding covenant! Over the intervening centuries at various times small groups of Jews tried to return to Palestine. They returned in small numbers following various persecutions in the lands that they had been scattered to such as the Spanish expulsion of the Jews in 1492 when 800 to 1200 Jews returned to Palestine. Not until the late 1800s was there a truly united effort to reestablish a permanent community of Jews in the Holy Land as some began purchasing property there.

Beginning with the British Balfour Declaration in 1917 a multinational effort was begun to allow the Jews to return to Palestine. This effort intensified after the horrors of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany during World War II. By 1948 the Jewish population of Palestine numbered approximately 800,000.

In understanding Biblical Prophecy as it relates to the Last Days, one must realize that Israel is God’s time clock. Every prophecy relating to the end times require Israel to be back in their land, the land promised to them by God in His covenant with Abraham. The fulfillment of this prophecy truly began on May 14, 1948 with the rebirth of the Nation of Israel. In comprehending what an incredible act of God this was, we need to understand than never before in the history of the world had an ancient people retained their identity while scattered throughout the world, and then returned to their homeland to reestablish their national identity.

The most significant event since Israel’s independence in 1948 was their capture of Jerusalem and the West Bank at the culmination of the Six-Day War in 1967, when they were attacked by their Arab neighbors. Jerusalem is once again the Capitol of the nation of Israel. Not only have they restored the land itself but they have also resurrected their historic Hebrew language. No people have ever endured more suffering over the centuries than exiled Jews. The persecution they endured is unimaginable, in fact during the Holocaust alone they saw the extermination of one third of the worldwide Jewish population.

The re-gathering of the Jewish people in their homeland is necessary for the rest of the end time prophecies to be fulfilled. The events in the prophecies found in Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Psalm 83, Zechariah 12, Ezekiel 38 and 39, all hinge on Israel being in their homeland. And from Revelation 4:2 through Revelation 19, God is dealing with the nation of Israel to draw them to Himself while punishing the nations for the way they have treated His chosen people, Israel. The Tribulation begins with a peace treaty signed between Israel and the antichrist. Many other things such as a false peace, the rebuilding of the third Jewish temple, and a coming great persecution of the Jewish people under the antichrist have all been prophesied. It will all take place because God has said it.

This incredible rebirth of Israel as a nation is only the beginning, the most incredible in dramatic events of the end times concerning the world and Israel as a nation lie ahead. One only has to look at the news today to realize that the issue of who controls the Promised Land is still one of the most volatile subjects in international politics. Today Israel is surrounded by nations both near and far who have vowed to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

In Zechariah 12: 1-3 the Scripture reads, “The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of 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.”

Yet God will be Israel’s defender as we read in Zechariah 12: 8-10; “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

This is why as believers we need to understand the importance of Israel in these Last Days. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for God’s chosen people Israel because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

“Signs of the Times” Volcano’s, Earthquakes, Israel, Palestine, Russia, China… and More!

Since it seems to have become our custom, we will begin our update again this week with the weather.

Weather

For the first time in several weeks Washington DC and the East Coast were not affected by extreme winter weather. However hail, heavy rain, strong winds and flash floods pummeled parts of the South and the Midwest. As I noted last week these storms were predicted, but thankfully there were no deaths and very few injuries reported. Tornadoes touched down in Missouri and Texas, and large hail fell in Texas and Arkansas. The National Weather Service had been very concerned about the magnitude and intensity of the storms, but the threat did not evolve catastrophically.

By the way, Secretary of State John Kerry canceled his planned trip to Israel this past Tuesday saying the framework for peace negotiations had hit an impasse and were at risk of failing. Whew…. Relief from pressure on Israel to divide the land and storms in the US that did not reach their anticipated intensity. Are these related? In light of historical evidence it is something to consider. We’ll get back to Kerry, Israel and the Palestinians in a bit.

In Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 we find the record of Jesus Christ’s Olivet discourse to His disciples where He prophesied of the events that were to take place before His second coming. We find written in Matthew 24:6-8: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Obviously we are aware of ongoing wars and conflicts in nearly every part of the earth, and there are reports of food shortages and famine in many countries due to weather events and/or conflicts. And in just the last couple of weeks we have been made aware of a significant Ebola outbreak in a few West African countries. This coupled with various influenza outbreaks in China and the Far East and resurgence of polio and other viruses around the world including the United States, pestilence seems to be on the rise as well.

In fact pestilence is affecting more than the human population. There have been reports of large numbers of fish dying in lakes, streams and oceans around the world; birds both wild and domestic have seen large instances of “die off” in various parts of the world; and in the US alone it is estimated that over 40% of the nation’s swine have been lost due to a new viral disease.

So then, that brings us back to the weather and natural events. This past week we have seen a number of earthquakes around the world many ranging between 4.0 and 8.0 on the Richter scale. In fact there are some interesting numbers out of Oklahoma. From 1975 until 2008 the state of Oklahoma recorded less than six earthquakes a year. From the period between 2008 and 2012 Oklahoma recorded 278 earthquakes that registered 3.0 or greater, and in 2013 there were 222 earthquakes which registered 3.0 or greater. And now in 2014 in less than four months state of Oklahoma has registered 253 such tremors.

These numbers and percentages of increase are reflected in most states in the US, and in fact a similar percentage of increase in frequency is reported in every country and every continent around the world. And, that being the case, this increase certainly cannot be blamed on “fracking” alone, because this practice is not in use in every oil-producing country, and certainly isn’t in use in countries that do not produce oil.

And since we’re looking at seismic activity, the Earth’s crust, and natural disasters; last week seven volcanoes in six different countries began erupting within hours of each other. Volcanoes in Japan, Mexico, Vanuatu, Guatemala, Italy, and Indonesia (Mount Sinabung and Mount Merapi) all began belching lava and ash. Ash clouds from 4 to 6 miles high were reported over these volcanoes, and in some cases interrupted airline flight patterns. So many volcanoes throwing so much gas, ash and particulates into the air can have an effect on climate, this is a scientific fact. I’m not saying that these volcanoes herald the start of a new ice age but the planet certainly seems to be getting a bit more active of late.

Continued large eruptions put a huge amount of particulate matter into the atmosphere, and these particles reflect sunlight away from earth and when there is enough of them the temperatures can drop. Aside from the devastating effects the lava and ash can have on the lives of those living near to them, due to crop and property losses, and other economic factors, the global impact can be enormous. These losses can lead to many hardships including hunger and famine as is evidenced after the Tambora eruption of 1815, and the Icelandic eruption of Eyjafjallojkull in 2010.

These earthquake and volcanic spasms of the earth continue to come without warning, but at the same time these spasms should be a wakeup call to all of us that we are indeed living in perilous times, and as Christ foretold; “all these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Israel and Palestine

Well now, as I mentioned before John Kerry postponed his latest trip to the Middle East. The Secretary of State said that the United States was evaluating whether to continue its role in Middle East peace talks after claiming that both the Palestinians and Israelis had taken steps that were not helpful to the negotiations. Kerry said that it was “reality check time” because there was a limit to the amount of time United States could spend on the peace process. Saying it was important to keep the peace process moving, but that “in the end, it is up to the parties,” Kerry said; “This is not an open-ended effort, it never has been. It is reality check time, and we intend to evaluate precisely what the next steps will be.”

I wrote last week that a senior Palestinian official had admitted that the only reason the Palestinians had entered into the negotiations for peace was to secure the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners (most of whom are terrorists). This statement set off a chain of events which has led to this impasse. After hearing the comments of Palestinian official, Israel decided not to release the final 26 prisoners they were scheduled to release as a condition for these ongoing talks. Following that Mohammed Abbas signed 14 UN conventions including the Geneva Convention and has positioned the Palestinians to sign up to 25 more in an effort to move Palestine closer toward Statehood recognition by the UN.

Additionally Abbas has made new demands on the Israelis including;

  • Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
  • The release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners.
  • Israel must release three senior-level prisoners: Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Sa’adat and Fuad Shobaki.
  • Israel must cease settlement construction.
  • The PA is to be given sovereignty over Area C in the West Bank (the area Knesset Member Naftali Bennett wants to annex)
  • Israeli military operations must stop in PA-controlled territories and “reunion” permits are to be issued for 15,000 Palestinians.
  • The border crossings must be reopened and the blockade on the Gaza Strip lifted.
  • The Palestinian gunmen who were deported to the Gaza Strip and Europe after they sought shelter in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem must be allowed to return to the West Bank.

The Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said Wednesday the Palestinians may seek to join the International Criminal Court and more U.N. agencies if there is no progress in peace talks with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised retaliatory measures on Sunday after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made the unilateral moves towards statehood (moves which the PA agreed it would not make while the “Peace” talks continued). While not immediately specifying what action he would take, he said Israel remained willing to press on with U.S.-brokered peace talks, but not “at any price”.

Also in Israel, the IDF struck militant targets in the Gaza Strip this past weekend after Palestinians renewed rocket fire into Israel.

Syria

Israeli security source confirms Assad regime recently used chemical weapon. According to Israeli security assessments, Syrian government forces used non-lethal substance on March 27 against rebel fighters near Damascus. Despite the assertion by the security source that the chemical is nonlethal, some reports suggested that four people were killed in the March 27 attack. The “Syria Deeply” website cited the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a group of Syrian-American doctors and surgeons traveling in and out of Syria, as condemning what it described as a “poisonous gas attack” in Harasta.

Saudi Arabia

After President Obama’s visit with the Saudi King last week sources inside (Sunni) Saudi Arabia say it is apparent to them that the Obama administration has sided with (Shiite Iran). The Obama administrations interference in the Middle East has brought an end to Sunni controlled governments in Egypt and Libya while doing very little to end the Shiite regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria. Interestingly neither Obama and the US delegation nor the Saudis brought up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the talks. It is widely understood that the Saudis have adopted the idea that the enemy (Israel) of my enemy (Iran) is my friend. The Saudis are indeed as concerned that Iran may achieve nuclear capabilities as Israel is.

Russia

Meanwhile Vladimir Putin continues to take advantage of every foreign policy failure of the Obama administration. He has opened doors for communications with the Saudis, the Egyptians, and Palestinians, while maintaining his relationships with Syria and Iran.
The Russian takeover of Crimea and it’s continued presence along Ukrainian border have fostered rebellion among Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine which I believe will eventually lead to Russian takeover. Ukrainian troops have dug in at border in a stare down with Russian troops. Braced against the driving snow, fresh-faced newly conscripted Ukrainian soldiers stare over the border with Russia, waiting to attempt to fend off an invasion from Russian troops amassed on the other side.

China

As China continues to exert pressure on its neighbors in the South China Sea by claiming more and more territory, the US State Department issued a statement warning China not to attempt annexations such as that done by Russia with Crimea.
One day after China brought US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on board its first aircraft carrier as the first foreign visitor, its defense minister warned that no one, not even the United States, could contain its military ambitions. Gen. Chang Wanquan said; “With the latest developments in China, it can never be contained,” and that the US is “a country of worldwide influence, and the Pacific Ocean is huge enough to hold both China and the US for common development and also huge enough to hold the other Asia-Pacific countries.”

Again, the Obama administration has weakened the United States in influence economically, politically, and militarily throughout the world. This my friends is another “sign of the times” (see our Blog post “Biblical Prophecy; what is still to come? ~ Part 1”).

Keep your Eyes on Israel, and keep looking for the return of our Lord because; Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome