Prophecy Update Newsletter
April 10, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Syrian War Crimes, American Retaliation - By Matt Ward - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/04/09/syrian-war-crimes-american-retaliation/
Early last week, Bashir al-Assad, President of Syria, committed fresh war crimes against his own people. With a death toll now approaching 100 and with several hundred more seriously injured, the casualty rate is sure to rise even further due to the woefully inadequate medical facilities tasked with managing this incident.
Particularly shocking is the high number of children killed or injured in this atrocity. Many are so young they are still wearing diapers, with many babies killed while sleeping in their cots or beds. All display the tell-tale signs of death by chemical nerve agents.
Local hospitals have been completely overwhelmed by these attacks. Indeed, one local hospital was bombed as it was attempting to deal with the huge influx of casualties from the initial chemical attack, a further war crime for which Assad must be held accountable for sometime in the future account .
Doctors Without Borders, one of the first international aid agencies on the scene, reported that initial examinations indicated at least two different chemical agents were used in the deadly Khan Sheikhoun incident. As well as chlorine gas, another more deadly chemical agent has also been found, believed at this point to be sarin.
One eye witness, speaking to a reporter for London's Independent newspaper relayed that, "There were people shivering all around, suffocating, they had froth from the mouth."
Many of these people display the telltale signs of death by sarin gas. Sarin is a colorless and odorless nerve agent which causes convulsions, suffocation, vomiting, dilated pupils, coughing blood and foaming at the mouth if inhaled, and is deadly in highly concentrated enough volumes or after prolonged exposure. Many of the casualties had just such symptoms.
Horrifyingly, there is even footage, terrible to behold, of young children caught in the agonizing midst of these convulsions, all of which are now widely available on the Internet. Much of this footage has already been independently verified as genuine. They depict the death throes of little children, and they are haunting. They are barbaric and vicious.
Medical teams have also reported the smell of bleach at a couple of the hospitals used to treat casualties from this attack, suggesting chlorine gas exposure.
This is the worst single example of chemical weapons use since the beginning of the Syria Civil War in 2011, and has led to a fever pitch of condemnation against Syria, the Assad regime and Russia more generally. Russia is now forced into the humiliating and morally defunct position of making up abject lies in order to cover for the horrendous and dreadful atrocities of their Syrian proxy, Assad.
According to the Russians, these fatalities are the result of a Sunni weapons dump that was bombed by the Syrian regime. A laughable excuse if the consequences were not, nor the potential future ramifications, so deadly serious.
The United Nations themselves quickly concluded that the weapons used in this attack match those contained in the stockpiles of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, Equally, French investigators have concluded that the attack, "could not have been ordered and carried out by anyone but the Syrian government." 
If this attack was the work of Bashir al-Assad's regime, and all credible initial reports suggest that it was, then this would mark an escalation on the part of Assad.
Up to this point the use of chlorine gas, much to the shame of the international community has been a relatively frequent occurrence within Syria. There are regular reports of its use on the Syrian battlefield. However, chlorine gas is usually used as a weapon of terror, not of death.
This attack, however, is different. Whoever launched these strikes, and the only air force capable of doing so in Syria at this point is the Syria Air Force, meant for these people to die. It wasn't a show of force or intended as an instrument of terror; it was a deliberate calculated intention to cause mass murder.
More than any single event of recent times in the Syrian conflict does this episode demonstrate the totally discredited and utterly weak policies of the previous U.S. administration, previously "led" by Barack Obama.
It was not all that long ago, at the end of 2014, that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shook hands before the world's adoring press to celebrate the effective "liquidation" of Assad's chemical stock piles.
This despite the fact that just months previously it had been reported by the OPCW, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, that Assad had not destroyed all of his weapons, nor his weapons making facilities. 
Indeed, on May 3rd of that same year, the US military even reported how Assad had refused to hand over 27 tons of Sarin precursor chemicals. 
It was all an absurd pretense intended to create an appearance of success for Obama and his administration-all lies; which leads us to 2017, and the town of Khan Sheikhoun. This is the location of the latest example of Syrian government atrocities. It surely will not be the last. If the Syrian civil war has demonstrated anything, it is this: Assad feels he is able to use chemical weapons with almost complete impunity at this point, and that the West can no longer hold Russia to account for its actions. (All to the West's shame.)
Once again, as in times past the diplomats of the world retreat to the safety of the United Nations Security Council so that they can discuss, condemn, threaten and cajole. All of it is pure hyperbole; exaggerated statements and claims that absolutely nobody takes literally, or seriously.
Yet despite this, there are indications that the current U.S. administration might be prepared to go this one alone. Unlike Barack Obama's infamous "red lines" for Syria, which were crisscrossed with impunity, President Donald Trump is likely to keep and act upon his own points of no return.
Assad is proving once again that the growing empowerment he now feels as a result of Russian support is emboldening him. Assad obviously sees no reason at all to make concessions to weakened opposition forces. His aim clearly is too crush them.
Describing the chemical attacks as "heinous," Trump went onto explain how the attack had, "crossed a lot of lines for me," and that it could not be tolerated. Although Trump was not specific about future U.S. strategy, the implications were clear.
Speaking from the Rose Garden, Trump explained how the attack had affected him profoundly:
Yesterday's chemical attack, and a chemical attack that was so horrific in Syria against innocent people, including women, small children and even beautiful little babies, their deaths were an affront to humanity. These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack and all other horrific attacks, for that matter. 
Ominously, when referring to the former Obama Administration's failed policy related to Syrian chemical weapons, Trump responded, "It is now my responsibility." He continued that this attack had, "...crossed many, many lines."
Vice President Mike Pence added that, "all options are on the table," when it comes to the U.S. government's response to Syria and Bashir al-Assad. 
U.S .Ambassador Nikki Haley went even further warning the UN Security Council emergency meeting that countries could be "compelled to act individually if the world body does not take collective action after a deadly poison gas attack in Syria." 
Yet the pertinent question at this point, strangely, is not really about how the West will react to this atrocity. Clearly, at this point something is going to happen.
Indeed, as I am writing this now, news reports are emerging of the beginnings of a large U.S. bombardment of Syrian military facilities by the United States. It would seem, according to initial reports that fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles have been fired from two warships - the USS Porter and USS Ross - both stationed in the Mediterranean Sea. The target seems to be the government controlled Shayrat airfield near the city of Homs.
President Trump has just stated that this strike targeted the airbase from where the initial chemical attack was launched early last week.
Syrian state TV described the attacks as "American aggression." Ominously, and suggesting there was little mutual agreement over this strike, Russia described this retaliation as one that further "damages U.S.-Russia ties."
The pertinent question right now is what exactly will Assad do in response to this Western action, and in view of Russia's response to this U.S. retaliation, will Vladimir Putin respond? It is clear that Assad has felt increasingly emboldened and even secure in Syria. 
This may be a signal that this sense of security is coming to an end.
If the United States embarks on further military action against Syria in the next few hours or days, the responses of both Assad and Russia are absolutely critical.
If Russia feels that the U.S. has over stepped the mark with this action what response would Russia sanction on the part of Assad as a form of reply? Or if Assad feels betrayed or abandoned by his Russian protectors, what might he do in response?
Might he decide to attempt to use his own "nuclear option," if he feels so threatened? Might he attempt to unite the Arab Muslim world behind him by attacking Israel? Desperate men will resort to desperate measures, and President Bashar al-Assad may soon, in the light of U.S. retaliation, become an increasingly desperate man.
The world has reached an absolutely critical point in this long and ongoing Syrian civil war.
There is now a genuine danger of it spilling over the country's borders. If cornered by the United States, a surprise attack against Israel, in a desperate attempt to distract attention away from his internal troubles, would effectively transform Assad into a hero across the Arab world, and at a stroke unite many of those Arab nations squarely behind him.
The great fear at this moment is that Assad, if he feels threatened, may try to inflame tensions between the Arab states and Israel by firing his arsenal of Scud-C missiles, each one tipped with chemical weaponry-at Israeli cities such as Haifa or Tel Aviv.
Any attack on Israel would inevitably wreak destruction across the region. Within the context of the ongoing Syrian civil war, and as the situation on the ground continues to develop, in the days and weeks ahead, it is not unrealistic to think that we could very well be on the brink of a huge lurch forward in Bible prophecy.
Though the exact timing of prophecies like Isaiah's "burden of Damascus" (Isaiah 17:1), and Ezekiel's war of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39), are openly and heavily speculated on by Bible prophecy watchers, it is becoming increasingly clear that events occurring right now in the Middle East are setting the scene for their ultimate fulfillment.
The Middle East is looking increasingly like a powder-keg. It looks to me like this powder-keg may soon start to go off.
"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28).
[  http://www.raptureready.com/2017/04/02/an-approaching-point-of-crisis-by-matt-ward/
Email contact: email@example.com
Is Chaos in Syria Fulfilling Bible Prophecy? - http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2017/april/is-chaos-in-syria-fulfilling-bible-prophecy
The Syrian conflict - and the U.S. decision to strike a base inside the embattled country - is leading to increased concerns about the future of the nation's civil war, the state of the humanitarian crisis and the best political path forward for diffusing the situation.
But in addition to the ongoing chatter about practical and logistical steps countries like America should take to remedy the crisis there has also been an intense theological debate brewing, with Christians debating whether the events unfolding on the ground in Syria could have some sort of connection to the Bible.
While some point to the current crisis as evidence of "prophecy" - a biblical prediction of an event that has yet to unfold - others decry this notion as irresponsible and wrong-headed. Let's start by examining arguments made by author Joel Rosenberg, who has has pointed to Old Testament scriptures like Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 to potentially assess the current events unfolding inside Syria.
"We're watching Damascus unravel...is that the prelude to the completion of those prophesies?" he rhetorically asked, pointing back to Isaiah and Jeremiah, which both say that the city will be "destroyed." "We don't know, but Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet...so the fact that it is coming apart is quite extraordinary."
Following Russia's air strikes targeting rebels in Syria in October 2015, questions began reemerging in evangelical circles about whether events surrounding the country's ongoing civil war, which began in 2011, were tied in any way to biblical prophecy.
Rosenberg published a blog post in the wake of the air strikes claiming that Russian president Vladimir Putin is "working hand-in- glove with Iran's government" in formulating operations in Syria. It came the same week as reports that Iran was waging a ground attack, while Russia was carrying out assaults from the air.
"The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that in the 'last days' of history, Russia and Iran will form a military alliance to attack Israel from the north," Rosenberg wrote. "Bible scholars refer to this eschatological conflict, described in Ezekiel 38-39, as the 'War of Gog & Magog.'" He added, "Are these sudden and dramatic moves by Moscow and Tehran...simply coincidental, or [do they] have prophetic implications?"
Rosenberg's question is at the center of the very debate surrounding Iran, Syria, and Russia and their perceived involvement in the end times-one that has attracted a great deal of attention both in Christian circles and in media over the years, as I covered in my book "Armageddon Code."
For those who believe Syria will play a role in eschatological (end times) scenarios, Isaiah 17:1-3 is paramount. It reads, "See, Damascus will cease from being a city; it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and no one shall make them afraid. e fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Aram; they shall be as the glory of the sons of Israel, says the Lord of Hosts."
The Syria example is perhaps a perfect paradigm to see how those with divergent theological viewpoints approach the same texts in very different ways. Consider that the first portion about a "ruinous heap" has some wondering if the present Syria crisis was prophesied in the Bible, but some scholars have countered that Damascus was already destroyed and that this verse refers to an attack by the Assyrians that unfolded in 732 BC (we'll get there in a second).
Specifically noting Isaiah 17:1-3 and Jeremiah 49:23-27, Rosenberg explained in a separate 2013 blog piece that-despite some experts referencing the Assyrian attack-Damascus's destruction has not yet happened. Jeremiah 49:23-27 pledges judgment upon Damascus, proclaiming that it has "become helpless" and that a fire will be kindled in its walls.
"These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth. It has been attacked, besieged, and conquered," Rosenberg wrote. "But Damascus has never been completely destroyed and left uninhabited."
But not everyone is on board with the claim that the Old Testament could be describing future-or even current-events that will befall Syria. "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff also spoke about supposed biblical prophecies associated with the end times back in 2013 on his radio show. A caller asked about claims that the Book of Isaiah details coming destruction for Damascus, a notion to which Hanegraaff pushed back.
"So, what you're saying is they're tying in the passages in Isaiah to what is currently happening in Syria...and this is just a classic example of newspaper eschatology and shame on the pastors that are doing this, because it either is a case of them not knowing the word of God, which seems unlikely to me, or simply wanting to invite sensationalism and sophistry," he responded. "If you look at what the Bible actually says, it is very clear that the fulfillment comes in the biblical text as well." And Hanegraaff wasn't done there.
"This whole notion is fulfilled in biblical history when the king of the Assyria captured and destroyed Damascus...if you look at Isaiah chapter 7, there's a permutation of this as well...you see the fulfillment in the very next chapter, Isaiah chapter 8," he continued.
Hanegraaff went on to say that some pastors' decisions to transport pieces of prophecy to the 21st century are irresponsible. He called the action "embarrassing" and said that those pastors and Bible experts who embrace the idea are "dragging Christ's name through the mud." He simply doesn't believe that, on these matters, the Bible's writers were looking so fervently into the future, and he contends that they were speaking about prophecy that would unfold in the immediate and that has already come to pass.
Rather than reading the Scriptures for what they are, he believes that some theologians are "reading into the Scriptures their own eschatological views."
Dr. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, also penned a 2013 article attempting to debunk claims that Damascus may play a role in the end times - and she said that the city has already been repeatedly conquered.
"Isaiah lived and wrote in the eighth century BCE [BC] and scholars think that the original prophecy referred to the conquest of Damascus by the Assyrians in 732 BCE [BC]," she wrote. "But that's not the only time Damascus has seen conflict."
Moss went on to list those who had conquered Damascus, including Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. She also explained that, in the 7th century, Damascus was in the middle of a Muslim siege led by General Khalid ibn al-Walid. Later the Turco-Mongol armies of Timur conquered it around the turn of the 15th century, killing the entire population and apparently erecting a tower built with severed heads.
In the end, the debate is fascinating, as both sides-comprised of individuals who agree on central Christian doctrine-couldn't disagree more about the alleged signs and symbols present within the Bible's complex text.
Should We Take Out Assad? - By Michael Brown - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1142
Secretary of State Tillerson says that Bashar Assad is guilty of using chemical weapons against his own people.
Former Congressman Ron Paul says there's no way Assad would do this at this point in time.
A report on Infowars claims that Syrian rebels are responsible for the attack. President Trump blames Obama's inaction for what happened in Syria. Senator McCain rips Trump.
Do we really know what's going on in Syria? And even if we did, should we try to remove Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad?
According to Rex Tillerson, "There is no doubt in our mind and the information we have supports that Syria, the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad are responsible for this attack and I think further it's very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime."
According to Ron Paul, "It doesn't make any sense for Assad under these conditions to all of a sudden use poison gasses," he continued. "I think there is a zero chance he would have done, you know, this deliberately."
According to Infowars, "the White Helmets, a al-Qaeda affiliated group funded by George Soros and the British government, reportedly staged the sarin attack on civilians in the Syrian city of Khan Shaykhun to lay blame on the Syrian government."
Obviously, the Trump administration has far more intel than any of us, and America has already launched its first attack on an airfield in Syria.
But our previous missteps in the Middle East call for caution. We should not act unilaterally until we have a long-term plan.
Think back to Iraq.
We may have had the best intentions in removing Saddam Hussein from power, and he was certainly guilty of horrific crimes.
But his removal created a vacuum of power in the region, contributing to the rise of ISIS and the terrible persecution of Christians (and others). What happens if we take out Assad?
Right-wing commentator Paul Joseph Watson expressed his concerns in one tweet: "Regime change in Syria = More dead children More terrorism More refugees ISIS taking the entire country Possible war with Russia. Disaster
The problem is that the sarin attack is so ghastly that it feels criminal not to act.
Who can forget the images of the gassed children? Who can forget the picture of the father holding his dead baby twins?
If war is hell, the war in Syria has been a special kind of hell, a literal inferno of suffering. Yet this latest attack has crossed yet another line.
But for that very reason, we must act cautiously and carefully, especially now that we have struck our first retaliatory blow.
Hundreds of thousands of lives have already been lost. Unspeakable atrocities have already been committed. People have been blown to bits, ripped apart, maimed, tortured, and more.
Children have lost their parents and parents have lost their children. Whole families have been destroyed in a single day.
The peace-loving have been butchered side by side with the terrorists, and really bad guys are present on all sides of the battle.
In short, while the sarin attack crossed a definite line, other lines have been crossed time and again (do you remember President Obama's red line?).
And so, we must act, but we must act prudently. The most recent atrocity, as appalling as it is, cannot force our hand.
What then do we do?
First, if we are not 100 percent sure that the Assad regime is responsible for the chemical attack, we must continue gathering information, even after our first strikes.
The lasting controversy over WMD's in Iraq serves as a cautionary warning.
Second, we must think through the long-term regional implications of whatever actions we take, lest our actions lead to even greater suffering and instability.
Third, we must do what we can to support the best players in this bloody drama (if such players exist) while doing our best to protect and aid the innocent, like Syrian Christians who have been caught in the crossfire.
Fourth, we must pray for God's kingdom to come to Syria, in the words of the Lord's prayer. Only divine intervention can bring real healing to that ravaged nation.
Rephidim, Amalek then: Bir Gafgafa, ISIS now - http://www.debka.com/article/26005/Rephidim-Amalek-then-Bir-Gafgafa-ISIS-now
They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" The Lord said to Moses, take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord. Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword. (Exodus 17)
About 3,200 years later, Moses would not have recognized Rephidim. In 1967 it was called Bir Gafgafa and was the site of the Egyptian Air Force's biggest air facility in Sinai, known as "Egyptian Air Force Base 244."
From there, Egyptian ruler Gemal Abdul Nasser declared that year: "If Rabin wants war, let's go!"
And so when the Israeli Air Force preemptively wiped out Nasser's air force on the ground at the outset of the Six-Day war, Bir Gafgafa was hit first. Rephidim was next transformed into Baha 3, the main Israeli Air Force operations base in Sinai during the War of Attribution and the Yom Kippur war. It was supported 8 kilometers away by a radar and electronic warfare station.
But then, Rephidim aka Bir Gafgafa stepped back into history in its next reincarnation as the very first base from which Israeli withdrew in late 1979 after Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David peace accords, Israel's first peace pact with an Arab nation.
Another 37 years went by and in 2017 Rephidim now serves another Egyptian President, Abdul-Fatteh El-Sisi, for his life-and-death struggle with the Islamic State's Sinai affiliate.
The Egyptian Air Force is in the course of transforming the small air field there into the largest air base in Egypt, this time with Israel's concurrence. The base is being tailored to serve a wide variety of warplanes, attack helicopters and UAVs, with long runways, hangars and storage depots for bombs, missiles and fuel.
The Egyptian have built an enormous hangar 70x57meters for housing long-range Wing Loong UAVs purchased from China, which are 9 meters long with a 14-meter wing spread. The Wing Loongs are also being deployed at the Uthman Air base in the Western Desert just 68km from the Libyan border.
The huge base will also have a large civilian passenger terminal at its northeastern end to serve the large army contingents deployed in Sinai. Today the 2nd and 3rd Armies are waging war against terror in Sinai supported by Border Guard units which are undertaking special training in anti-terror warfare.
Rephidim is today hemmed in by packs of the new Amalek, the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis which has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi El-Sisi and is battling Egypt under his direction. The base is accessible only by air or convoys escorted by armored vehicles.
But El-Sisi has big plans for defeating them, debkafile's military sources report. Bir Gafgafa's mission is to provide the Egyptian forces fighting in Sinai with a shield, as well as securing the Suez, one of the world's most important waterways, against ISIS attack.
It will also serve as a hub for coordinating air operations over Sinai and the Libyan border. It is vitally important to prevent the jihadist networks based in ungoverned Libya and the lawless heartland of the Sinai Peninsula from reaching Egypt's main cities.
The importance of this mission was demonstrated this week. On April 9, President El-Sisi reported that three gangs of terrorists had infiltrated the country from Libya and sent two suicide bombers to blow up two Coptic churches celebrating Palm Sunday, taking the lives of 45 people and injuring 150.
The jihadist menace points more than one way. The next day, Israel closed the Taba crossing into Egyptian Sinai to Israeli holidaymakers bound for the beach resorts, after its security services had received intelligence of an imminent ISIS death-cum-abduction attack afoot for the 10,000 Israeli trippers.
Three Snippets - By Daymond Duck - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/04/09/three-snippets/
This is a quick report on three subjects that have caught my attention lately.
First, Israel and Syria will get into a war at the end of the age. Damascus, Syria will be destroyed in one night and Israel will suffer great damage in the north (Isaiah 17).
In late March 2017, Israel struck Hezbollah and Iranian targets inside Syria four times in one week.
Syria responded with a message through Russia that basically said if Israel attacks Syrian territory again, Syria will launch SCUD missiles into Israeli territory.
Many prophecy teachers believe this war (and perhaps a Psa. 83 war) is closely associated with the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39).
The battle of Gog and Magog will take place in the latter days and latter years (at the very end of the age).
Second, a March 26, 2017 article by Dave Hodges titled "Who Will Go to a FEMA Camp?" caught my attention.
Mr. Hodges pointed out that globalists are afraid of those that criticize the New World Order (World Government). They believe that critics can sway elections and that makes them dangerous (for example the 2016 defeat of Mrs. Clinton).
According to Mr. Hodges, globalists are willing to do whatever it takes to silence their critics.
They are calling reports that go against their globalist agenda "fake news" and working to silence their critics.
They may be able to do that in a matter of months and the public will no longer get the truth.
As far as I am concerned, the U.S. has already reached the point where major newspapers, TV networks and radio stations are no longer reporting the truth.
The truth and what is good for the U.S. is less important to them than whether a person has a "D" or an "R" after his or her name.
Anyway, after the globalists have silenced their critics, Mr. Hodges believes they will start using FEMA Camps, depopulation procedures and war-if necessary, to firmly establish their coveted one world government.
That sounds like the Antichrist because he will go forth conquering and to conquer those that oppose him (Rev. 6:1-2).
Third, I am like a broken record, but I believe the gathering of many nations in the mountains of Babylon (Iraq) to destroy the whole land is a sign that the Tribulation period is near (Isaiah. 13:1-6).
I believe ISIS will be defeated and the Kurds (ancient Medes) will destroy the rebuilt city of Babylon at the end of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:17; Jer. 50:30, 25; 51:6, 11).
Anyway, President Trump is now on the scene threatening to destroy ISIS.
The ISIS leaders in Iraq are surrounded in the large city of Mosul. They will probably be defeated in the next few weeks or months and the destruction in the ancient Land of Babylon (Iraq) is great.
The ISIS leaders in the Syrian stronghold of Raqqa are surrounded by about 50,000 troops (roughly two-thirds are Kurds and one-third are Syrians and others).
The U.S. is pouring massive amounts of weapons and material into the mountains of Iraq that are passed on to the Kurds and their allies in Syria.
The U.S. is giving the Kurds and their allies air cover, and the U.S. is protecting the Kurds while they are fighting ISIS.
The bottom line is this: The U.S. is transforming the Kurds into a very powerful, well-armed military that can quickly double its size and be a major factor in the Middle East following the defeat of Russia, Iran, Turkey and others in the battle of Gog and Magog.
It is not hard for me to believe that they will have the capacity to destroy Babylon in one hour by the end of the Tribulation period.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
As the Day Approaches - By Hal Lindsey -
Just over two years ago, the Barna Group polled Americans about the end times. They found that 41 percent agree with the sentence, "The world is currently living in the 'end times' as described by prophecies in the Bible."
This is more than a vague awareness that things are off-track; more than an ill-defined sense of looming apocalypse. This is a specific belief that the events of our time match the Bible's description of the end time.
2 Peter 3:10-13 says, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." (NASB)
Peter asked, "What sort of people ought you to be?" The King James Version translates it, "What manner of persons ought ye to be?" (KJV)
Through Peter, the Holy Spirit tells the reader that the things of this world we get hung up on - money, houses, cars and other luxuries - will not last. He's telling us to take the long view of history. Look at the big picture. See your life in context - not just the context of tomorrow or next week, but of eternity.
Peter asked, "Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be?" Those words were hardly on the page when he began giving the answer. "In holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God." (2 Peter 3:11-12 NASB)
Forty-one percent believe we are in the end times as described in the Bible. So why don't they live "in holy conduct and godliness?" Forty-one percent is not a majority, but it is such a large minority that mainstream advertisers would never want to offend it. The celebration of evil that permeates American entertainment would not hold - at least not in the mainstream.
But even Christians can lose the ability to blush. The world is falling into a pit of violent debauchery, and a large percentage of people who believe Jesus is coming soon, are following the world down.
We desperately need another Great Awakening in the United States. That doesn't just mean sinners being saved. An awakening includes reformation and revival. Christians, including the clergy, need to renew their love for God and His word - to love Him more than money, prestige, or comfort.
Hebrews gives us a great picture of how to live our lives, and then says that it is especially true for those who live in the end times. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:23-25 NKJV)
Two years ago, 41% of Americans said they could "see the Day approaching." So why aren't the 41% holding fast the confession of their hope without wavering? Why aren't we stirring up love and good works in one another? Why do so many forsake the assembling together of those with like faith?
I've spent much of my life pointing out just how near we are to "the Day." It's heartening that so many Americans now agree with that basic message. I pray that this glorious belief will begin to manifest itself in our attitudes and actions. When that happens, we will see miracles!
Daily Jot: Trump move in Syria stirs prophetic clock - www.dailyjot.com
President Donald Trump flexed US muscle last week by bombing a Syrian airfield in retaliation of Syria using chemical weapons on its own people. Trump said, "On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror." Trump sent a strong message that the US is no longer a nation to turn a blind eye to unjust human suffering. He also may have moved the prophetic clock ahead.
Russia and Iran have issued a joint statement threatening military action with any further provocations of Syria. The statement read: "What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well." This is not only Russia, but also Iran, with whom the ex "president" signed a nuclear treaty that essentially enabled the terrorist sponsoring nation to produce nuclear weapons in the future. Syria is a vassal state of Iran. It has a protection agreement with Iran. Russia has deep trade and political relations with both Syria and Iran and supplies weapons to both.
It has been speculated for decades that Russia is part of the Biblical end time battle found in Ezekiel 38 and 39, but there is no mention of the country in scripture. Ezekiel 38:2-3 says, "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus says the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." This prophecy contains only current Islamic-Arab nations as located on modern maps: Magog (Turkey), Meshek (Turkey), Tubal (Turkey), Gomer (Turkey), Togarmah (Turkey), Persia (Iran), Ethiopia/Cush (Sudan), Libya/Put (Libya), Sheba (Egypt and Saudi Arabia), and Dedan (Saudi Arabia).
Neither the US nor Russia are mentioned in these scriptures. We know, however, that both the US and Russia have been key players in the unfolding of prophecy toward Israel during modern history. America traditionally has been a supporter of Israel (with exception of the immediate-past two presidents) and Russia has traditionally supported the enemies of Israel. Israel praised Trump's actions against Syria, which drew a response from Russia's Vladimir Putin that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should refrain from making unfounded accusations. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry of a key player in the Ezekiel prophecy, Turkey, confirmed that sarin gas was used on Syrian citizens. Indeed, a stirring of prophetic end time players.
Daily Devotion: Easter Brings Hope - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." -John 11:25
Easter is not about brightly colored eggs, wearing pastels, or enjoying a big meal, although it could include these. Easter is about the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For some, Easter will be a great day, spent surrounded by family and friends. But for others, it will be a sad day, because Easter is a reminder of a loved one who has died and is now desperately missed.
Death seems so cruel, so harsh, and so final. That is what the disciples were feeling when they saw their Lord, whom they had left everything to follow, hanging on the cross. They were devastated. Death had crushed them. But if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.
They would have remembered Jesus standing at the tomb of His close friend Lazarus. They would have remembered that Jesus did something completely unexpected: He wept (see John 11:35). Jesus wept, because He knew that death was not part of God's original plan. Humanity was not meant to grow old, to suffer with disease, or to die. But because of the sin of Adam and Eve, sin entered the human race, and death followed with it. And death spread to all of us. Jesus wept, because it broke His heart.
But standing there at Lazarus' tomb, Jesus also delivered these hope-filled words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25). Death is not the end. And the Resurrection of Jesus Christ proves it.
If you have put your faith in Christ, then Easter means that you will live forever in the presence of God. Easter brings hope to the person who has been devastated by death.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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