The United States and Russia are forming two alliances, one in the North and one in the South. These alliances will eventually clash as the Bible predicts in Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11.
Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is Jonathan Bowen joining you.
The Middle East has been a hotbed of activity this past week.
· Putin made a trip to Iran to visit Ahmadinejad
· Olmert is leaving for Russia on Thursday to meet Putin
· Condoleezza Rice is currently in Bethlehem during her Middle East tour looking to promote a peace conference in November.
· Israel has been in the headlines as it is reported to have struck a Nuclear facility during last month’s secret bombing mission in Syria
But we begin with President George Bush’s press conference in Washington today where he stated,
I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon, and I know it is in the worlds interest to prevent them from doing so. I believe that if Iran had a nuclear weapon it would be a dangerous threat to world peace.
We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel!
So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”
This is a world leader clearly indicating that Iran, or Persia, as Ezekiel 38 describes them, is preparing for war with Israel, war that could spark a global conflict which he terms World War III.
Ezekiel 38 describes the Rosh, or Russia, confederate with Persia, or Iran, at the time of the end.
“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet.” (Ezekiel 38:5).
Not only this, but Ezekiel describes a period of preparation leading up to the conflict:
“Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” (Ezekiel 38:7)
Gesenius gives the meaning of the word “prepared” as to “establish, be ready, to be stable or secure, to be firmly established – to stand up”. This reminds us of image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2 when he saw an image “standing” at the latter day. This composite image includes “Persia”.
Russia is to “be a guard” unto the nations assembled to it. The word “guard” means “to be a watchman for, to keep at ones side”, or “to have custody over”. This is certainly the role Russia is pushing itself into. President Putin was the first Russian leader to visit Iran since Stalin after World War II. The International Herald reported on Tuesday, October 16,
“President Vladimir Putin of Russia told a meeting of five Caspian Sea nations in Iran on Tuesday that any use of military force in the region was unacceptable and in a declaration the countries agreed that none of them would allow their territories to be used as a base for launching military strikes against any of the others….. "Not only should we reject the use of force, but also the mention of force as a possibility," Putin said. "This is very important. We must not submit to other states in the case of aggression or some other kind of military action directed against one of the Caspian countries."
As far as acting like a guard goes, the article went on to state,
Russia has blocked a third set of sanctions against Iran at the United Nations that are intended to persuade the country to stop enrichment activities, which Western nations fear could lead to the development of nuclear weapons.
The new age of cooperation between the two nations is seen in statements by Ahmadinejad:
"On many issues we have reached final agreement, but we also need collective cooperation," said Ahmadinejad at the gathering. "The goal is to keep the sea clear of military competitions and keep foreigners out of the region."
Putin’s comments confirm a growing partnership with Iran:
He said, "Trade with Iran has been increasing continually and has already reached $2 billion.”
Putin said that Russia and Iran planned to cooperate on space, aviation and energy issues and suggested that the tensions with the West over Iran's nuclear program had provided Russia a unique role. "Russia is the only country that is helping Iran to realize its nuclear program in a peaceful way," he said.
It will be American military action in the Middle East that will eventually spark a crisis leading to Russia’s invasion of Israel. This is what Daniel the prophet predicts:
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. (Daniel 11:40)
Interestingly, Bush is reported to be sending a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf.
Around the corner, another hostile neighbor of Israel has been involved in nuclear activities. London’s Daily Telegraph reported on Monday, “Israel's air strike on Syria last month was directed at a nuclear reactor.” Although Syria flatly denies the facility was nuclear, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have supported the notion.
“The facility that the Israelis struck in Syria appears to have been much further from completion than the Osirak nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed in Iraq in 1981,” the article said.
This leaves the nuclear capabilities and facilities of Iran. Rumours of a pending US strike on Iran are rife throughout the media.
Back in Israel, Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert is preparing to leave for Russia on Thursday to meet Putin, who has just returned from Iran. Following a pattern of faithless, godless leaders Mr. Olmert is trying to win the favour of the Northern aggressor. It didn’t work when Israel tried this with Assyria, it didn’t work with Babylon and it won’t work with Russia. The Bible has clearly indicated the path down which the events will eventually proceed.
In his speech in the Knesset on Monday, Olmert suggested dividing Jerusalem and didn’t see the reason why it was united in 1967. While Olmert may wish to give up part of Jerusalem, those who have gone before him have paid the price for giving away what is not theirs to give:
Rabin lost his life.
Sharon had a stroke.
Barak’s offer was rejected by Arafat.
What will stop this Ahab from taking away the inheritance God has given? Consider the words of God to Solomon, “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:6)
Jerusalem is to be in Jewish hands at the time of the end. It will be one of the controversial cards that will draw the northern confederacy down. The prophets indicate what the situation will be:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1-2)
The captivity God will bring back into the Jerusalem is not the poor dispossessed arabs who fled in 1948 and 1967 expecting to see Israel “pushed into the sea”. The captivity is that of Judah, or the Jews who will inhabit Jerusalem.
When the Northern power does come down, “he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:44).
The nations of the world are accelerating toward a collision at the battle of Armageddon on the mountains of Israel. Our God has been gracious to give us the light of prophecy that we do well to take heed unto, for “it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”(Romans 13:11-12)
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