Palestinian terrorists pioneered airline hijacking. Pictured is a El Al Boeing 707
similar to one which was hijacked en route from Tel Aviv to New York on
December 26, 1968.
More terror beheadings from ISIS. The Muslim terror group Hezbollah fires anti-tank missiles across the border into Israel killing two soldiers and wounding others. Recently terror perpetrated by Muslims struck the centre of the French capital Paris, the Jewish community was a prime target. Welcome to The Bible in the News, this is David Billington with you.
Palestinian Arab terrorists where foremost in the act of hijacking passenger airliners, suicide bombings and other heinous acts. The Muslim terror threat has definately shook the world and continues to do so. The rise of ISIS in the Middle East has gained world attention and condemnation from their shocking killings broadcast on social media. While Muslim terror may threaten world peace and destroy innocent lives, will the Muslims rise again to create another “caliphate” as ISIS aims or a great Muslim nation?
From the obscurity of the desert sands of Arabia the Saracen Muslim hordes crushed the Eastern Roman Empire and at one time the subsequent Muslim Ottoman Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf following the great Euphrates river up through modern day Iraq, Syria and then encompassing modern day Turkey and into Eastern Europe taking in Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia and more. Southward the great empire reached through Israel down into Arabia and Africa, taking in Egypt and at one time all of North Africa as well.
The rise of the Muslims through to the Ottoman empire is depicted symbolically by the 5th and 6th trumpets in Revelation 9. The rise of the Mohammedan Empire and its destruction of the the Eastern Roman Empire was clearly seen as a fulfillment of Revelation 9 by numerous students of Bible prophecy. We’re they right in their interpretation? The same students that saw this as a fulfillment, also saw the diminishing of this power before the events took place. Samuel Craddock in 1696 wrote about this in a book entitled, “A Brief and Plain Exposition and Paraphrase of the Whole Book of Revelation”. On page 171 commenting on the sixth vial he wrote:
“We may compare this with Chap. 9:13, which is a more clear and full Explication of it. Upon the great River Euphrates, this is, the people inhabiting thereabout, (as Isa. 8:7, the King of Assyria and his army is called the Waters of the River.) These are the Turks that possess that part of the world upon the River Euphrates, so that this Vial relates plainly to the sixth trumpet. The subjects of the other vials are not literal but mystical and metaphorical; And therefore Euphrates, in probability, is not to be understand literally here of that very river, but of the people about it. And the Water thereof was dried up, that is, the Turkish Empire was diminished and lessened, in order to the restoring the Jews; and if their restoring to their own land be intimated thereby, the overthrow of the Turks seems needful to remove impediments out of their way. And a more full conversion of the Gentiles probably will go along with the calling of the Jews.”
Events have now vindicated this view of prophecy, written in this case over 300 years ago, long before the diminishing of the Ottoman Empire and the return of the Jews to the land. The Euphratean Ottoman Empire has dried up and receded. This vast empire crumbled and finally collapsed during World War One, its demise making way for the British Mandate for Palestine, which included the promise of a National Home for the Jewish people. The historian Martin Gilbert, quoting the official British history of the time, in “Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century”, which unwittingly or perhaps knowingly used New Testament prophetical language when writing about these events.
“The last Turkish soldier was said to have left Jerusalem at about seven o’clock through the only gate on the eastern side of the city, St. Stephen’s Gate… Then, ‘as the Turkish flood finally ebbed away into the shadowy depths of the Valley of Jehoshaphat the townsfolk roused themselves from the lethargy into which hunger and the Turkish police had plunged them…” (pg. 51)
Revelation 16:12 "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”
Dr. John Thomas, a man who dedicated his life to the study of the Bible, commented upon this prophecy of the drying up of the Euphrates, in the fifth volume of Eureka an Exposition of the Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation) written in 1866. He wrote:
“Hence, the water of the Great River Euphrates, in like manner, represents the military power of the Ottoman empire; which is dissipated by a process of evaporation, or drying up; a gradual exhaustion, so as at last to leave the channel of the river in the heart of the Great City, empty; and devoid of all power to impede, or interfere with operations developing in the south eastern recesses of the empire.”
By “operations developing in the south” John Thomas is referring to the return of the Jews and the operations of Jesus Christ and those with him who are acting to deliver Israel and establish the Kingdom of God upon earth. This is logical. In order for the Jews to return and at length for the kingdom to be established, the military power of those peoples from the region of the Euphrates would have to be “devoid of all power to impede”, otherwise they would not allow the process of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel to continue.
While it may appear that the Mohammedan power is on the rise today, the opposite in fact is true. The Euphrates continues to dry up - or the military power of those nations in the Euphrates region.
At the time of the Six Day War in 1967, Israel faced formidable Arab armies well equipped with the latest Soviet weaponry. Israel had about 60,000 regular troops, 204,000 reservists, 800 tanks and 350 planes. Eqypt and Syria had a combined force of 250,000 regular troops, 170,000 reservists, 1800 tanks and 650 planes. In addition to this there was the army of Jordan with another 70,000 troops and 132 tanks. There was another 150 tanks enroute from Iraq and Algeria had more Russian jets on standby. In the Yom Kippur war of 1973 the situation was even more dire, with Israel’s 350,000 troops facing a combined Arab force of 1,700,000. Israel’s 2000 tanks faced a combined force of 6680 tanks. Israel’s 575 artillery pieces faced 3300 on the other side. Israel’s 360 planes faced an air force of 1600. Israel’s planes were in great danger from 2100 enemy surface to air missiles. Israel had 75. Israel had no SA-7 surface to air missiles, yet they faced 5000 from the combined enemy forces. In both cases it is a miracle the state of Israel survived.
Where are these forces today? Where is the Soviet backed force of Syria? The Syrian regime is fighting for it’s life. Egypt still has a large army supplied by the Americans, however they are fighting against Muslim extremists. Jordan is more worried about ISIS and it’s own Palestinian problem than Israel.
Today the greatest threats to Israel are Hezbollah in the north and the Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza region and the West Bank. These are not existential threats, but thorns in the side. They can certainly cause much pain for the Jewish state and have done so in the past. The Shite Hezbollah terror group has around 65,000 rockets and missiles. Hezbollah is a deadly force backed by the Iranians. Today there is a new trend and that may be changing. Hezbollah is locked in the civil war in Syria against the Sunni groups, fighting on behalf of the Assad regime. After this week’s border incident with Hezbollah, most commentators in Israel were unanimous in saying that the last thing Hezbollah wanted was a confrontation with Israel. An opinion piece on the YNET News site today said to leave Hezbollah alone and "Let Hezbollah and Islamic State destroy one another”. Time will tell exactly how this will unfold.
The recent dive in oil prices is having and will continue to have a drastic effect on the Muslim world. The Arab countries will not have the same money to throw around as they have had for decades, so long as that trend continues. Iran will not have so much money to hand over to Hezbollah.
The sixth vial contines to be poured out upon the river Euphrates and their military powers are being dried up to make way for the King of Israel. The Euphrates did not finish drying up with the end of the Ottoman power, those countries that took it’s place today continue to come under the scourge of the sixth vial. The purpose of this pouring out was make these peoples "devoid of all power to impede, or interfere” with God’s work in Israel. These events could lead to the situation described in Ezekiel 38, where we see Israel dwelling at peace, in security, having neither walls or gates. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ will take place either before or at the same time as this peace comes. "Even so come Lord Jesus". Thanks for listening, come back next week to www.bibleinthenews.com