Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
• Featured Article: Drone Strike's Possible Prophetic Purpose
• Soleimani: No Easy Solution - Hal Lindsey
• Understanding Iran's End Times Eschatology - The Mahdi & The Mosque
• Was Soleimani Found Wearing the Ring of Haman?
• Daily Jot: The Islamic Jesus
• Daily Devotion: What Is Life to the Fullest?
Drone Strike's Possible Prophetic Purpose - By Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/01/07/drone-strikes-possible-prophetic-purpose-terry-james/
President Trump ordering the takeout of Iran's top military strategist rocked the world Thursday January 2, 2020. The target, Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the division of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was responsible for militant and terrorist activities outside the country.
Reports say a drone strike obliterated two SUVs as they drove from the Baghdad International Airport. The man considered to be the most powerful and influential regime leader, second only to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and a reported seven other ranking officials in Iran's terrorist organizational structure, were killed.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox and Friends Friday morning that Soleimani was Khamenei's "right fist." He was all things military and terroristic rolled up into one, Pompeo said. "He was a bad guy."
US Senator Lindsey Graham said on the same program that Americans should understand that Soleimani wasn't killed because of past offenses, although many Americans were killed as a result of his terroristic planning over the years. He was taken out because of plans for future acts of murderous terrorism in Iraq and around the world. The intelligence indicated many such terrorist acts were being arranged by the Iranian master planner.
It is thought by some that Israeli Defense Force (IDF) planners were key in helping Soleimani's assassination. For this reason, Israel is on high alert for what the Iranians are doubtless preparing in retaliation. Regardless of Israel's involvement or lack thereof, the Jewish state is being blamed for the matter alongside the United States. Flags of both nations are being burned throughout Iran and other Middle Eastern countries sympathetic to Iranian militancy.
Democrats and mainstream media are faulting President Trump for the action, which they claim is bringing on a devastating war in the region. Fears of what taking out the key Iranian terrorist might cause are summarized in the following excerpt.
Though the U.S. intelligence community has not assessed that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program, there are long-standing reports that it may have stockpiles of chemical weapons, which it could load onto these weapons....
Non-kinetic alternatives, such as cyber attacks, could be another part of the equation.
If Iran were to pursue any of those options, it would almost certainly beget at least similar responses, though the United States has now shown a willingness to take increasingly disproportionate steps in its ostensible goal of deterring Iran. Major escalatory actions from either side also increasingly run the risk of drawing in other regional or even global actors who have a stake in the situation, such as Russia or China, in some way. There is also the danger that third parties could find themselves caught in the crossfire from future tit-for-tat military or terrorist attacks.
Iran also routinely threatens to blockade the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which it could do using a combination of ballistic and anti-ship cruise missiles, midget submarines, suicide drones, mines, swarming boat attacks, and more. This body of water links the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and that serves as a transshipment point for 20 percent of the world's oil and an equally significant portion of global natural gas. (Joseph Trevithick, "World Holds Its Breath after An American Strike in Iraq Kills Top Iranian Commander," https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/31702/world-holds-its-breath-after-an-american-)
From the standpoint of prophetic perspective, one has only to know of the Iranian regime's desire to keep things stirred in the Middle East. The Ayatollah is always focused on hatred for and revenge against Israel. America, as Israel's close ally and umbrella protector, is considered an even greater enemy because it holds the ultimate power to oppose the destruction the Iranian leadership wants to wreak upon all enemies.
The question to consider involves whether this action-killing the chief terror-master in Iran and perhaps the entire world-will cause Iran to push its vengeance to the brink. The brink in this case is an all-out attack on Israel, or American forces that remain in that theatre of possible war.
Mr. Trump, bold as always with his assessments, said that Iran hasn't won a war or lost a negotiation. By that, I take it that the president supposes that negotiations at this point are not in view and that they would lose a war should it start.
That is almost surely true. As powerful a force as Iran is in comparison to others of the region, it would be no match for the massive force the United States could bring down upon the regime. And, this is considering only the use of the most basic of modern, military weaponry, excluding that of the nuclear sort.
War with Israel, on the other hand, would be much more horrific if an all-out attack came from Iran. All bets would be off as to whether the ultimate weapons in Israel's arsenal would be used if pushed to that brink.
The one prospect that probes and pulses at the back of the mind is this: Will Iran's vengeful actions-which are certainly coming-be the catalyst for destruction of its nuclear laboratories? Is the strike that has so profoundly shaken the world at the very first of this New Year the act that will bring fulfillment of the prophecies of Jeremiah 49:34-39?
In my Nearing Midnight commentary of December 9, 2019, I wrote the following in summation of my article, "Gog's Persian Prophecy Partner":
A major part of all this that might be of interest to prophecy watchers, in my thinking, is whether the current and building resistance to the Muslim rulers of Iran will bring stepped up activity in fulfilling their nuclear ambitions... They will almost certainly not step up dismantling that program. Becoming a nuclear power, thus a hegemonic regional force, is, I believe, a supernaturally induced desire, placed there by the Prince of Persia, or that minion's superior, Lucifer, himself.
If the ayatollahs determine their own positions are threatened, might they go all out to complete getting the ultimate weaponry that they think will assure their continuing rulership?
It has long been my contention that something prevents the Gog-Magog force from storming toward Israel using nuclear weapons. At least, that's the way I read the Gog-Magog forces in regard to their weaponry.
It seems there are no nukes involved-at least, none used by these evil attackers. The Lord, Himself, seems to use something at least as horrific as nuclear weaponry in dealing with those attackers, but their forces seem to be conventional.
As President Trump often says: "Let's see what happens."
Soleimani: No Easy Solution - By Hal Lindsey -
For a minute, forget politics. That's not easy these days, but in this case it's important to try. People across the country tend to look at the US drone attack on Qasem Soleimani as if it were a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency. For a moment, forget who made the decision and just look at the decision.
We do not yet know the repercussions of Soleimani's death. But we can look at it in the context of history. We know Soleimani was a bad man. While doing The Hal Lindsey Report, I talked about him on several occasions. Iran is considered the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism. And Soleimani led their terrorist efforts.
He tortured and murdered his own people. He destabilized nations. He destabilized the Middle East. His actions led to civil war and severe famine in Yemen and in Syria. He propped up evil dictators and did his best to destroy emerging democracies. Hundreds and probably thousands of members of the US military were killed or injured due to his actions.
But will his death do more harm than his life? Regarding the future, we only know what God has chosen to show us in His word. When the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war begins against Israel, Iran will still be a nation with influence and power. That probably means that this will not provoke an all-out war with the United States. In other words, don't expect Iran to attack the US power grid or water supplies.
Sometimes leaders must choose between several bad alternatives. While running for office, politicians can tell us everything is clear, obvious, and easy. But actual leadership means making choices even when none of the alternatives are completely safe. I believe President Trump was in that position regarding the attack on Soleimani.
To kill him meant at least a temporary ratcheting up of Middle East tensions. And that's not good. It means reprisals against the United States or Israel. We don't know what form those reprisals may take. They could be face-saving token strikes. Or they could be severe.
But doing nothing would also have been risky. Through the decades of its existence, Israel has learned that they must deal with radical Muslims from a position of strength. And make no mistake, Iran is run by radical Muslims - terrorists. These are not the nice Muslim neighbors you may say "hello" to every morning on your way to work. Generally speaking, the Iranian people are not radical. But their leaders are. Any time you let those leaders get away with military escalation, it encourages them to do more.
We've seen it repeatedly. The Iran nuclear deal was supposed to turn the Iranians into friends. Instead, it seemed to encourage them to increase their exportation of terrorism. Iran has attacked and seized oil tankers, attacked Saudi oil fields, continued their nuclear and ballistic missile development, continued to ship massive numbers of missiles to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and Syria, and to Houthi terrorists in Yemen. And Soleimani stood at the center of all that.
Last summer, after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone, several news outlets reported that President Trump had ordered a retaliatory strike. Minutes before the operation was to begin, he reversed his decision. No American lives had been lost, so he chose not to kill Iranians in response.
But Iran seemed to take the President's restraint as a license to kill. In late December, a Shiite militia supported and directed by Iran, sent a barrage of 30 rockets into the K-1 Air Base in Iraq. It killed one American contractor and wounded several other Americans. The US retaliated with an attack on the militia involved. Iran then directed an attack and siege of the US embassy in Iraq. In other words, it was an attack on sovereign US soil.
American intelligence discovered that Soleimani and some of his cohorts had landed in Iraq, and they were planning a major attack on US forces. In 2015, the United Nations banned Soleimani from any travel outside of Iran. He regularly ignored the ban. To me, it's easy to believe that Soleimani was planning something deadly for Americans in Iraq because that's the kind of man he was and the kind of thing he did. If he wasn't up to no good, then what was he doing in Iraq?
I don't know of any Americans who want war with Iran or more troops in the Middle East. I certainly do not. It's a lot easier to get into such wars than it is to get out. But that's part of the dilemma. Iran has missiles that can hit Israel and other parts of that region. They are fast developing the ability to strike Europe and will soon have missiles that can reach the United States. Meanwhile, their nuclear program marches forward. As technology makes the world smaller, it brings Iranian weapons of mass destruction closer to us every day.
This is exactly the situation prophesied in the Bible. Conflict in the Middle East will be like a tar baby to the nations of the world. Turmoil there will eventually engulf them all. Bringing a brief peace to the region will catapult the Antichrist from a regional leader to a global one. Much more could be said here. But the bottom line is that Bible prophecies written thousands of years ago are still proving true. And we are coming closer and closer to the return of Jesus.
Understanding Iran's End Times Eschatology - The Mahdi & The Mosque - By Michael Snyder /End Of The American Dream - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3751
For the first time ever, a blood red flag is being flown over the famous Jamkaran Mosque in the Iranian "holy city" of Qom. And as I will explain below, the fact that this mosque is directly associated with the Mahdi makes this symbolic gesture doubly significant.
The hoisting of this flag was broadcast on Iranian state television, and it was obviously intended to send a message to Shiites all over the globe. So precisely what was that message?
Well, we are being told that according to Shiite tradition a red flag represents both "blood spilled unjustly" and a call for revenge...
Red flags in Shiite tradition symbolise both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain.
It is the first time in history that the red flag has been hoisted on top of the Jamkaran mosque in the Iranian city and comes after warnings of harsh retaliation against the US.
Red flags have also been spotted flying at anti-U.S. demonstrations in Tehran over the past few days.
Clearly, the Iranians want blood. They will never, ever forgive us for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, and their faith requires that he be avenged.
There is also a message inscribed on the blood red flag that is now flying above the Jamkaran Mosque, and apparently it is a reference to the death of the grandson of Muhammad...
The flag, inscribed with the words "Those who want to avenge the blood of Hussein," was hoisted above the mosque's shrine for what local reports claimed was the first time in history, according to the Daily Mail.
The grandson of Muhammad, Hussein was decapitated in A.D. 680 during the Second Islamic Civil War, when Muslims were fighting over who was the proper successor to their prophet. The act was met with bloody retaliation from Muslims who considered Hussein's death unjust and sought to avenge him.
Obviously the Iranians are viewing this as something much bigger than simply extracting sufficient revenge for the death of a deeply loved national leader.
Rather, they seem to be using this moment as a call to wage jihad against all of the enemies of Shia Islam.
And as I mentioned above, the fact that this flag was raised over this particular mosque is a very big deal.
The Jamarkaran Mosque is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, and it is also associated with the future reappearance of the Mahdi. In fact, as the flag was being hoisted there was a direct reference to the Mahdi...
As the flag was raised in Qom, the mosque speakers called, 'O Allah, hasten your custodian reappearance,' a reference to the end-times reappearance of the Mahdi.
In Iran today, most of the national leaders believe that the 12th imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, was born in Iraq in 869 and never died. Just before judgement day, the Mahdi is supposed to reappear along with Jesus during a time of war and chaos "to bring peace to the world and establish Islam as the ruling faith across the globe".
It is also commonly believed that the Mahdi is coming very soon, and so that explains why so many top Iranians seem to relish the thought that war could be coming. They need war to come first in order for the Mahdi to appear, and since the Mahdi is supposed to return during the coming apocalyptic war and establish Shia Islam as the faith of the entire planet, they aren't exactly too concerned about the threats that President Trump is making.
It is so important to understand the mindset of these radical Shiites.
If they die as martyrs, they will be rewarded as such in the afterlife.
If they live through the coming holy war, they will get to see the coming of the Mahdi, and they will help to institute the global rule of Shia Islam.
So in either case, they believe that they can't lose.
At this point, what they want is blood. In fact, even the daughter of Qassem Soleimani is asking for vengeance. Just check out what she just asked Iranian President Hassan Rouhani...
'Who is going to avenge my father's blood?' One of the commander's daughters asked.
In response, Rouhani promised her that 'everyone will take revenge' and assured her as she wept, 'we will, we will avenge his blood, you don't worry.'
There is no question that Iran is going to strike back and the recent missile attacks on US bases is surely just the start of something bigger.
And it won't just be a one time deal. They are going to hit us repeatedly, and they have already identified 35 potential targets...
IRAN today pinpointed 35 "key US targets" for revenge after its top general was assassinated - with America expecting retaliation "within weeks".
Hours later, rockets were fired near the US Embassy in Baghdad and at an airbase housing American troops, according to reports.
Unfortunately, we didn't have to wait long for the violence to begin. In fact, the Green Zone in Baghdad has been targeted by rockets for two days in a row...
At least three explosions were reported Sunday inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone -- which houses the U.S. Embassy, Balad Air Base and Iraqi government buildings -- in the second attack of its kind after the U.S.-led airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
A total of six Katyusha rockets -- three inside the Green Zone and three in the nearby Jadriya area -- hit Baghdad, according to a statement by Iraq's military, as Reuters reported.
Of course President Trump is not going to put up with this, and he has warned the Iranians that he has identified 52 Iranian targets that could potentially be hit...
Showing no signs of seeking to ease tensions raised by the strike he ordered that killed Soleimani and Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad airport on Friday, Trump issued a threat to Iran on Twitter. The strike has raised the specter of wider conflict in the Middle East.
Iran, Trump wrote, "is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets" in revenge for Soleimani's death. Trump said the United States has "targeted 52 Iranian sites" and that some were "at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD."
Following that tweet, many on the left harshly criticized Trump for potentially targeting cultural sites, but Trump subsequently doubled down on that threat...
"They're allowed to kill our people, they're allowed to torture and maim our people, they're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people and we're not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn't work that way," Trump told reporters.
"If they do anything there will be major retaliation."
Does anyone see a way that war with Iran can be avoided at this point?
Because I certainly don't.
The Trump administration and the Iranians will both keep escalating things until a full-blown cataclysmic war erupts in the Middle East, and it will be a war that will inevitably involve Israel as well. This Middle East war will greatly accelerate the development of "the perfect storm" that I keep talking about, and none of our lives will ever be the same again.
Those that think that this is a crisis that will blow over in a few days or a few weeks are not being rational.
The Iranians will never, ever, ever forgive what Trump has done, and Soleimani's successor is assuring everyone that we will soon "see the bodies of Americans all over the Middle East"...
Esmail Ghaani, the successor to slain Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, threatened the US Friday following his appointment to head the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm.
"Be patient, and you will see the bodies of Americans all over the Middle East," Ghaani said.
There is no stopping this now.
War is coming, and the death and destruction it will bring will shock the entire planet.
Was Soleimani Found Wearing the Ring of Haman? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Thereupon the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of the Yehudim." Esther 3:10 (The Israel Bible™)
Image circulating on line reportedly shows Iranian general Qassem Soleimani's severed hand following his death in a US airstrike in Baghdad, January 3, 2020.
On Friday, a US MQ9 Reaper drone fired four Hellfire missiles at the vehicle carrying Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Friday, leaving behind a pile of burning scrap metal.
Ten people were killed in the blast and Soleimani was ripped to pieces, leaving little behind to ascertain that the intended target was actually killed. With only scraps of bodies to work with, Soleimani's death was confirmed by the remains of his arm, still wearing a large red ring he never removed.
The New York Post asked jewelers about the ring.
"From the photo, it looks like it's a carnelian stone - it's not a ruby; it comes from Africa," Maykel Rieth, a professional gem cutter told the Post. "The ring is made out of silver. It could be white gold, but it looks like silver - and whoever made a stone like this is not going to put it in gold because it's not an expensive piece."
Islam forbids men from wearing gold rings. Mohammad's wore a silver ring set with a carnelian stone on his right hand as a commemoration of the removal of idols from the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 630 CE. To this day many Muslims do the same. The red carnelian, called Aqiq, is generally regarded to be the most important gemstone in Islam. Ironically, Ali, Mohammad's son-in-law, was said to have worn a carnelian to protect himself from enemies and misfortune. Muslim tradition states that the mountains in the world-to-come are formed entirely of Aqiq.
Sod 1820, a Hebrew language website reporting on current events from a Jewish mystical perspective, noted the significance of a ring presented to a prominent Biblical figure: Haman.
Thereupon the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of the Yehudim. Esther 3:10
Haman was, like Soleimani, an evil underling in the Persian Empire, both dedicated to killing Jews. Like Haman's evil actions resulted in the deaths of his ten sons, ten people were killed in the drone strike that eliminated Soleimani.
The comparison to Haman was noted by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Kohanim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who was asked if it is permissible to celebrate the death of Soleimani. The rabbi noted the verse in Proverbs advising against such celebrations.
If your enemy falls, do not exult; If he trips, let your heart not rejoice. Proverbs 24:17
"But there are enemies and there are Enemies," Rabbi Aviner said, referring to a section of the Talmud (Sanhedrin 39b and Megillah 10b) that related how God admonished the angels for joining in the celebrations of the Children of Israel upon seeing their tormentors, the Egyptians, drown in the Red Sea.
"My handiwork has drowned in the sea and you are singing a song?" God said.
"This is correct, and yet the Children of Israel did sing!" Rabbi Aviner noted. "How so? This is because we are not angels."
Rabbi Aviner cited As the Admor of Pisetzna, Rabbi Kalman Kalonymus Shapira, known as the Psetzna Rebbe, who wrote Aish Kodesh (holy fire) in the midst of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during the Holocaust. Rabbi Aviner noted the significant differences that permit humans to celebrate at such times when it is forbidden for angels.
"Was an angel ever hit?" Rabbi Aviner asked. "Was an angel ever murdered? Was an angel ever humiliated? We were! The angels did not suffer as we did in Egypt, so they could not sing. But we did suffer - suffered immensely - and therefore during the Exodus from Egypt, Moshe sang. And Miriam and the women also went out with singing and dancing after the Splitting of the Red Sea and the drowning of the Egyptians."
Rabbi Aviner noted that it is therefore permitted to celebrate at the demise of Soleimani and other such evil men. The rabbi concluded by citing another verse in Proverbs.
When the wicked perish there are shouts of joy. Proverbs 11:10
Rabbi Aviner concluded by blessing the Jewish people.
"May we be comforted by the building of Jerusalem."
Daily Jot: The Islamic Jesus - Bill Wilson -
Islam believes in "Jesus, the Son of Mary." There is an entire chapter of the Qur'an devoted to Mary. The Islamic name for Jesus is Isa, but the Qur'an interchanges the names in various verses. There are three main concepts that Muslims are taught about Jesus. First, Jesus is the Son of Mary, but not the son of Allah. Second, Jesus never died on the cross, but was delivered from his death by Allah and Jesus ascended to heaven in similar fashion as did Elijah. Third, Jesus will return in the "Last Days" to proclaim Islam as the one true religion; require conversion to Islam or death; and he will live out his life on earth, marry, have children and die as a human on earth. But the story has even more twists...
The Qur'an in Sura 4:171 says, "Allah is only one Allah; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector." Sura 17:11 says, "Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His kingdom." There are many other verses in the Qur'an that deny Allah had a son. The Bible, however, says in 1 John 2:20"...no lie has its origin in the truth. Who is a liar at all, if not the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? Such a person is an anti-Christ --he is denying the Father and the Son. Everyone who denies the Son is also without the Father, but the person who acknowledges the Son has the Father as well..."
The Qur'an's account of Mary is very similar to that of the Bible's with subtle, but significant differences. "She (Mary/Marium) said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!"... And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel, And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Tavrat (Muslim Torah) and the Injeel (Muslim Gospel) (Sura 3:047-48)." As we review the Bible, we find that the not so subtle difference is Jesus is not just the creation of Allah, but rather the Son of God.
Luke 1:30-35, "The angel (Gabriel) said to her, "Don't be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, bring forth a son, and call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called Son of the Highest: and the Lord God will give him the throne of his forefather David; and he reign over the House of Jacob forever-and of his Kingdom there will be no end." "How can this be," asked Mary of the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the highest will overshadow you; Therefore the holy child born to you will be called the Son of God." In the next Jot we will explore Islam's account of the Crucifixion and the Return of Jesus.
Daily Devotion: What Is Life to the Fullest? - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.-Psalm 36:9
W. M. Lewis said, "The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it."
I think we all really want life to the fullest. We want more than mere existence; we want life that is worth living.
When I was seventeen, I went on a diligent search in my life. My mom had married and divorced seven times. She was a big drinker, a big partier. And this got me searching for the meaning of life at a very early age.
When I looked at the adult world I was exposed to, I found nothing in it that I wanted. I couldn't think of any person that I really had that much admiration for, and I thought there had to be more to life. So I began my search.
Interestingly, I was attracted to things that were good. I was looking for something wholesome, something solid and stable. I came to faith on my high school campus after I saw a group of Christians having a Bible study. These Christians were living life to its fullest, and it radiated from them. So I decided I wanted some of that.
Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 NKJV). The abundant life is not necessarily a long life, though it may be. We will live as long as God wants us to live. Nor is it necessarily a life free of sorrow, heartache, or tragedy. Even Christians experience all of that.
The abundant life is one in which we are content in the knowledge that God's grace is more than sufficient for our needs. It's the knowledge that nothing can suppress it and that God's favor for us is unending. That is the abundant life as presented by Jesus.
FROM THE HEART
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