Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
A Thief in the Night - By Daniel Payne -
A thief in the night is not usually associated with making a delivery. Rather, a thief is usually associated with committing a theft-i.e., taking something away.
The Rapture of the Church is often thought of as the Lord Jesus suddenly appearing like a thief in the night to "steal" or "take" His bride home to be with Him in heaven.
He will catch the world completely off guard when He suddenly returns over earth to seize everyone-who truly believes in, repents, and accepts His sacrifice for their sins-up from the ground and into heaven.
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3).
Although the Lord Jesus made reference to it in the verse above, the event known as the Rapture of the Church was revealed as a "mystery" solved by the Apostle Paul in his letters written to the churches at Corinth and Thessalonica:
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Corinthians 15:51-52).
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Based on the verses just written in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul was most likely continuing with the theme of the Rapture of the Church still in view where 1 Thessalonians chapter five begins:
"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night" (I Thessalonians 5:1-2).
Although Paul begins a new subject-the Day of the Lord-he was likely illustrating to the Thessalonians what to watch for concerning their meeting with the Lord in the air at the Rapture.
Notice that Paul did not educate the Thessalonians on what to watch for during or at the end of the Tribulation-i.e., for the seven plus years after the beginning of the Day of the Lord.
Instead, Paul instructed the Thessalonians on what to watch for before the Day of the Lord begins.
Essentially, Paul told the Thessalonians that they had no need to be further educated about the times and seasons. At the time Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians, presentations of the many signs that will precipitate the Day of the Lord were-and still are-found in the Old Testament as well as the teachings of Christ, etc..
In addition, the Church will not be affected by the times and the seasons that will take place during the Tribulation as she will be taken to heaven at the Rapture just before the Day of the Lord begins.
According to Paul, the Thessalonians already knew about the Day of the Lord. They knew that the exact beginning was unknown and that it would catch the world at large completely by surprise.
The Thessalonian believers also had "no need" to be concerned about "the times and seasons" that take place during the Day of the Lord because they would not be present on earth when they take place.
However, they were told to watch-more on that later.
As Paul describes in his second letter to the Thessalonians, without a single member of the true Church left on earth after the Rapture, the greatest apostasy the world has ever committed will take place. At that time, the Antichrist will also be revealed.
The apostasy also means the "departure"-as apostasia is translated in the first seven English Bible translations-and may be a reference to the Rapture of the Church, as the context of "our gathering together unto Him" seems to indicate:
"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).
At that time, the Lord Jesus will most assuredly oversee the "delivery" of His Tribulation judgment-likely known to the Thessalonians as the time of Jacob's trouble and Daniel's 70th week-after He "takes" His bride home to heaven:
"...hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Revelation 6:16b-17).
"For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (I Thessalonians 5:3).
Sudden destruction will come upon them-the children of darkness-when the Day of the Lord overtakes them like a thief in the night. The Day of the Lord will not overtake believers at all because we are not in darkness; we are sons and daughters of the light:
"But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness" (I Thessalonians 5:4-5).
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (I John 1:7).
As true believers, we have already accepted the Lord's gift of salvation, and therefore we will not experience the Day of His wrath. God's Word could not be more clear on this point:
"And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10).
"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:9).
"Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth" (Revelation 3:10).
Paul exhorted the Thessalonians not to focus on looking for the judgment of the Tribulation but instead to focus on being ready for the Rapture.
The only negative for members of the Church corresponding to the return of Jesus is shame associated with not having confidence in living a life fully abiding in Him at the moment He returns:
"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" (I John 2:28).
That is how we "purify" ourselves with the hope of His return:
"Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (I John 3:2-3).
Imagine miraculously surviving the horrors of the Tribulation, and achieving victory through the power of Christ by not worshiping the beast or his image, and by not receiving the mark of the beast (Revelation 20:4), and yet being ashamed at His return-does that make any sense?
We-the Church-are told to "watch" for His coming by interpreting the many signs of the upcoming season that is surely about to begin:
"Then He spoke to them a parable: 'Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near'" (Luke 21:29-31).
"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).
"Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober" (I Thessalonians 5:6).
For a Thief in the night...
The Blessed Hope - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
The timing of the Rapture is easily one of the most confusing and divisive issues within the Body of the Christ, something I've always considered extremely interesting.
It would seem to me that the issue of when He is coming is important only in understanding the signs of the times, but not terribly important in terms of salvation or issues of eternity, or even in terms of living a Spirit-filled life.
That being said, we ARE students of Bible prophecy; and the timing of the Rapture is extremely important to understanding the signs of the times.
There are three basic interpretations of the Rapture; pre-Tribulatonal, mid-tribulational and post-tribulational.
Pre-Trib holds to the view the Lord returns BEFORE the Tribulation. Mid-Trib teaches that the Rapture of the Church will occur in the middle of the 7 year tribulation period. It will occur sometime around the abomination of desolation when the anti-Christ goes into the rebuilt Jewish temple and there claim to be God.
The Post-Trib view teaches that as the Lord Jesus is returning back to earth, God's people will be 'caught up' or raptured at that point in time. They will return to earth with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each of these views can be supported, to some degree, by Scripture, but only one is correct. I believe it is the one with the fewest problems, which is a Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church.
One of the problems with a mid-Trib view is glaring; it denies the doctrine of imminency. Although the Scriptures teach a SECRET coming, (no man knoweth the day or hour) once the Tribulation begins, one just has to sit down with a calendar. It will be no surprise and it will come at a known time.
Another problem with the mid-Trib Rapture view is that its followers aren't looking for Christ, they are watching for the anti-Christ, from whom they derive their timetable.
By contrast, I am awaiting Jesus Christ. I never expect to know who the antichrist will be, and frankly, I don't really care. My purpose, to the degree I even discuss the antichrist in your Omega Letter, is to demonstrate how the world is preparing for his coming -- and to remind people that Jesus is coming FIRST!
The mid-Tribulation view is not widely followed for these reasons, among others.
The post-Tribulation view shares the same glaring problem as the mid-Tribbers; the denial of imminency. It will be even easier to pinpoint the return of Christ, given the Bible gives the exact number of days between the 'abomination of desolation' (Matthew 24:15; 2nd Thessalonians 2:4) and the return of the Messiah.
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." (Daniel 12:11)
Compare that to Jesus' Words;
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:36)
If the post-Trib view is correct, that secret is hidden only until the revelation of antichrist.
So it shares the same second flaw with the mid-Trib view; both of these interpretations make the coming of antichrist THE seminal event in prophecy. The 2nd Coming of Christ is of only secondary importance.
The post-Tribulation view also doesn't pass the logic test. The post-Trib interpretation is that Jesus Raptures the Church, who then return with Him at the Battle of Armageddon.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." (Revelation 19:14)
The 'fine linen, white and clean' are the garments of those Washed in the Blood of the Lamb.
To make the post-Trib scenario work, Jesus must leave heaven with 'ten thousands' of empty white horses. As He descends, God's people are Raptured, presumably translated FROM this earth to the back of a white horse that is on its way back -- TO this earth!
Scripture tells us that, as the return of the Lord for His Church draws near, it will be as in the days of Lot and Noah. Noah warned of impending judgment for 120 years without a single convert. Life went on as normal, until the floods came, and 'took them all away'. (Matthew 24:39)
Similarly, Lot lived in a big city, surrounded by immorality so repugnant to God that He decided to judge the wicked city with Divine judgment. Lot was secretly removed from the unsuspecting city before judgment was executed.
But to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, life went on as usual until the moment of judgment fell.
Consider the consequences of the Tribulation Period. Widespread death and destruction, the annihilation of 3/4's of the human race, miraculous judgments like the sea turned to blood and a ruined ecology, disease, famine, and catastrophe . . . hardly fits with the days of Lot OR Noah.
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:28-30)
The next problem with this view is what happens next. According to Scripture, the earth is repopulated during the Millennial Kingdom period.
If all God's people are raptured as the Lord Jesus returns that will leave only the wicked on earth when He returns. The wicked will be destroyed as they will NEVER inherit the kingdom of God.
So if the wicked are destroyed and God's people are all raptured then who will be left to enter into the 1000 year Kingdom?
It is for these reasons, and more, that I believe that the Dispensationalist, pre-Tribulationist view of the Rapture is the only one consistent with the teachings of the Scriptures.
It allows for a secret, signless, Rapture of the Church, as taught by Our Lord.
Now, what about the "Restrainer?" The word "Restrainer" doesn't even appear in the Bible, so what's the deal there?
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way." (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)
Let's take this verse one bite at a time. First, the "mystery of iniquity."
The word 'iniquity' is from the Greek word 'anomia' meaning, a violation of the law. It is related to 'anomos', a 'lawless person', 'a transgressor.'
It is rendered 'lawlessness' in some translations and means the same as unrighteousness. Sin, or 'iniquity' is the transgression of the law.
The Old English word "let" meant the opposite of what it means today. In modern English, to 'let' someone or something generally means 'to allow' someone or something. In 1611, 'let' meant 'to restrain'.
"Let" is translated from the Greek word "kataschesis" which means, "a holding, occupancy or possession'.
It isn't a completely archaic meaning. From time to time, you'll see an ad in a newspaper saying, "Room to Let." In essence, it is an offer to occupy or possess that room. Note also that Paul personifies the One Who "lets" referring to the Restrainer twice as "He."
So, added together, we find the following: Lawlessness is already at work, only He Who occupies will continue to occupy until He is "taken out of the way."
What is the identity of the 'He' in this passage? He restrains lawlessness by His 'occupation' -- and at some point, that occupying restraint is "taken out of the way."
That Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit is obvious from even a casual reading of this verse. There is only one 'Indwelling Restrainer" -- the Holy Spirit Who indwells every believer during the Church Age.
Jesus promised that the Comforter, or Holy Spirit, would indwell the Church until He returns for it.
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. . . . But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:18,26)
Paul says that FIRST, the Restrainer is 'taken out of the way' and "THEN shall that Wicked be revealed. . ." (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)
Nobody can be saved apart from the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures say He is 'taken out of the way' -- NOT removed from the earth.
THAT would be impossible. God is omnipresent -- if the Holy Spirit were 'removed' in the sense of not being here, then 'here' wouldn't be here, either. It isn't the Holy Spirit that is removed, it is the vessels He indwell.
Because it is the indwelt Church that restrains evil. The Holy Spirit of God doesn't restrain pornographers, abortionists, (name your favorite institutionalized sin here). The proof of that truth is found in the fact such things exist.
The Holy Spirit isn't picketing porno houses or abortion clinics -- that is the job of the indwelt Church. It won't be the lost who would recognize the antichrist from his doctrine -- it would be those indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, he won't be revealed as long as those who would recognize him continue to inhabit the earth.
There are those who are saved during the Tribulation, and that cannot happen apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit.
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1st Corinithians 1:18)
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1st Corinithians 2:14)
"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father SEALED." (John 6:27)
"In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:13)
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)
"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel." (Revelation 7:3-4)
The 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel are 'sealed' with the Holy Spirit -- indeed, the Lord Jesus devotes an entire chapter of His Revelation to the subject. That raises a question: If the indwelt and sealed Church were present, then why seal the 144,000 Jews as evangelists with the Holy Spirit?
The Church Age is over. Those indwelt of the Holy Spirit have been removed at the Rapture. Still, it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that one can either impart or receive the Gospel.
However, unlike in the Church Age, those who are saved during the Tribulation are not personally indwelt as in the Church Age and they CAN lose their salvation by accepting the Mark of the Beast.
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:" (Revelation 14:9-10)
The 144,000 Jewish evangelists sealed by the Holy Spirit of God have the same indwelling Spirit that we do during the Church Age -- and that is what empowers them.
The last bit of evidence that suggests the Church is not present during the Tribulation Period is the fact that the Great Commission is transferred from the Church to an angel.
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." (Revelation 14:6)
During the Church Age, the Church is empowered to preach the everlasting Gospel. But the only ones sharing the Gospel during the Tribulation are the 144,000 sealed of God and the angel of Revelation 14.
These cannot be the Church, or even surviving members of the Church. John says that ALL of them are Jewish. All of them are male. All of them are virgins. And ALL of them know a 'new song' that nobody else (including the Church) can learn. (Revelation 14:3-4)
So, the answer to the question of how people get saved during the Tribulation is that the Holy Spirit remains on the earth, but after the Church Age, indwells only the Chosen of the 12 Tribes, who then share the Gospel with the lost.
Finally, since the Tribulation Period is also the conclusion of the Old Testament, believers during the Tribulation are dealt with in the same manner as with the Old Testament saints.
So, we in the Church Age watch for signs of the antichrist, because if the signs of the antichrist's revelation are there, then it means the Rapture is even closer. As to naming him, it is irrelevant.
We wouldn't know if we were right, even if we were. Unless every Scripture passage I've cited means something else than what it says.
If the Lord's intent was for the Church to be present for the Tribulation Period, then the signs of His return are of little value. We, (the Church) would recognize the antichrist for who he is.
When a world leader demands we all accept a mark in our right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell, that would be all the sign we'd need.
But Jesus addressed ALL the signs leading up to the Tribulation Period. Of them, He said,
"When these things BEGIN to come to pass (not AFTER all these things have been accomplished) then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
No other explanation makes sense.
Nearing Midnight: Turkey on End-Times Table - Terry James - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
A major leg of the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog coalition is coming into view. The Turkey leg is now, undeniably in the estimation of many students of prophecy, on the end-times table of Bible prophecy.
We are given the nations that will make up that attacking force by the prophet Ezekiel.
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 saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:2-6)
Modern-day Turkey covers most of the territory that made up ancient Togarmah. Ezekiel was told to prophesy that the house of Togarmah will be among the horde from the north of Jerusalem that will assault Israel near the time of Christ's return.
Many things have been written in recent months and years that analyze developments to Israel's north. It is as if those with spiritually attuned eyes and ears are being given a play-by-play unfolding of this coalition.
Russia is pared down from its configuration as the nucleus of the former Soviet Union. It more or less once again covers territory that it encompassed during the time of Ezekiel's giving the Gog-Magog prophecy. Meshech and Tubal comprised that territory. The "Gog" demonic spirit will, according to this prophecy, inhabit the chief prince, or leader of Russia. This leader is also destined to be the leader of the entire coalition.
Developments toward these prophesied have been nothing short of phenomenal as of late.
Russia, after falling apart as the USSR, is again a powerful force. It has inserted its influence, including a considerable military presence, into the region directly north of Israel.
Iran, which is the central-most territory today that once was called Persia, has joined Russia as a close ally-again, just to Israel's north. Russia's and Iran's military assets co-mingle in the region to influence Syria, another end-times player.
Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, as we've said many times, looks to be the prototype for the leader who will be Gog of the Gog-Magog force prophetically scheduled to invade toward Israel to the south.
The prophet Ezekiel was told to foretell that God, Himself, will put hooks into the Gog-leader's jaws and jerk him southward like a fisherman would set hooks into a big fish's mouth and reel him in.
There is good reason to believe, upon watching all that has been transpiring to Israel's north, that the "hooks" are about to be set. The evidence of this certain eventuality mounts. The latest evidence is that the third major leg of the three main Gog-Magog invasion force diabolists now seems to be solidly within the evil coalition.
The transformation of Turkey-ancient Togarmah-from being friend of America and the geopolitical west to being increasingly hostile is amazing to witness. Turkey is a NATO member that is rapidly changing allegiance from the western defense conglomerate to cozying up to Putin, Iran, and what seems to be the coalescing Gog-Magog force.
Turkey's leader, who recently has made moves within the nation's government that make him virtually a dictator, now almost daily expresses his hatred for Israel. This, when Turkey for decades, if not exactly in a warm, fuzzy, relationship with Israel, was nonetheless in a cordial, live-and-let-live relationship with the Jewish state.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently called Israel's actions against the violence in Gaza "inhumane" and referred to the Jewish state as "terrorist state and occupier," and to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as a "terrorist."
According to Turkey's Daily Sabah, Erdogan-speaking at a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party in the southern Adana province-said, "I do not need to tell the world how cruel the Israeli army is. We can see what this terror state is doing by looking at the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem."
The Turkish leader was referring to the actions taken by Israeli forces in answer to the largest uprising of Palestinians along the Israeli-Gaza border in recent years. The protesters were carrying out acts of violence, demanding a right of return for refugees to what is now Israel. More than 3,000 gathered at five locations along the fenced 40-mile frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest, it was reported.
Israeli troops finally had to use force in order to stop the enraged attackers. Reportedly, 17 protesters were killed and more than 1,400 were injured.
Netanyahu, in answer to Erdogan's accusations against Israel's actions to put down the violent demonstrators, said: "I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from the leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us."
Along with Israel, itself, being prime indicator of just how near might be the Gog-magog attack are these swiftly moving developments to her north. The end-times table is indeed in process of being set!
Analysis: Israeli Airstrike in Syria Response To New Iranian Threat - By Yaakov Lappin -
The recent missile strike on a military airbase deep in the central Syrian desert looks like the latest installment in a long-standing Israeli campaign to police its red lines against highly dangerous developments to its north.
Usually, such strikes are driven by incoming intelligence of threatening activity underway in Syria--activity that breaches Jerusalem's ban on Iran from constructing military bases in Syria, from setting up weapons factories there and from using Syria as a transit zone for the trafficking of advanced arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Iran is keen to cash in on its heavy investment and bloody involvement on behalf of the survival of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. That means attempting to expand the Iranian military presence on Syrian soil. Israel is determined to stop this at all costs.
By chance or not, the strike also comes amid fallout from the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons against rebel-held areas over the weekend, leading to warnings from President Donald Trump of likely military strikes in retaliation.
Nevertheless, the precise reason that triggered the latest strike remains unknown and can probably only be found in classified intelligence reports.
What is clear, however, is that over the past several years, Israel has reportedly carried out a series of strikes targeting the Iranian-led axis in Syria. If left unchecked, Iran would flood Syria with Shi'a militia groups and terrorist organizations, arm them with rockets and missiles, and set up terrorist cells. It would convert southern Syria into a new launch pad for attacks against Israel.
Iran's Quds Force, the elite overseas unit, and Hezbollah use Syria to manufacture and smuggle precision-guided ballistic missiles, heavy rockets, advanced surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-sea missiles. Israel has reportedly disrupted these activities on a regular basis.
Lebanon is already a well-established Iranian rocket base, filled to the brim with 120,000 rockets embedded in 200 Shi'a Lebanese villages. All of these projectiles are pointed at Israel. Under Iran's plans, Syria, too, would become a major threat.
The military base reportedly struck in the latest attack, known as "T4," has a history. In early February, Israeli fighter jets destroyed an Iranian drone control cabin that was stationed there, after Iranian operators sitting in it flew a drone into Israeli airspace. It's likely that the Iranian operators were killed in that attack.
According to reports that emerged on Monday, Iranian military personnel were killed in Monday's strike as well. That would seem to indicate that whatever was going on at the T4 airbase--hundreds of kilometers from the Israeli border--constituted a serious security threat to Israel, and that Iran has again tested the waters, seeing how far it can go in building up its military presence before provoking an Israeli response.
This dangerous pattern looks set to continue. Each incident represents a potential escalation point that can spiral into a wider conflict between Israel and the radical Shi'a axis that is taking over much of the Middle East.
The Russian Complication
What makes this situation more tense is the fact that Russia acts as the air force of the Shi'a axis in Syria. Russian airpower helped turn the tide of the war in Assad's favor, a fact that has probably given the Syrian dictator the confidence to unleash the horrors of chemical warfare on Sunni areas and make a mockery of the international community in the process.
Russia has, through its waves of airstrikes in Syria, gained a warm-water port at Syria's Tartus naval base, and it has an airbase at Hmeimim on the Syrian coastline. It has moved advanced air-defense batteries to Syria. Moscow has used its intervention to position itself as a superpower actor in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the United States has decreased its influence in Syria to a bare minimum.
Israel seeks no conflict with Russia, but is unwilling to ignore the activities of Moscow's allies--something Israel has communicated to Russia repeatedly.
The Russians have so far been able to help de-escalate the situation by convincing their radical and dubious allies to tone down their responses to Israel's self-defense actions. The Iranian axis may not have needed much convincing; it remains fundamentally deterred by Israel's vast firepower and intelligence capabilities.
Iran is keen on consolidating its control of Syria at this stage, rather than opening a new active front against Israel right now, which would risk its entire Syrian project. But if it succeeds in its goal of converting Syria into a new base of hostility towards Israel, there can be no doubt that sooner or later, it would activate this front.
These events put Russia's project in Syria at risk, and this poses a complication. Any full-scale conflict that erupts would place the Assad regime in existential threat, and Russia could see its investment go down the drain.
Statements released by Moscow on Monday indicate Russian displeasure at Israel's alleged actions.
Yet Israel has responded that it will not blink when it comes to defending its security.
It's also hard to ignore the fact that the alleged Israeli strike came hours after a horrendous chemical massacre was carried out, once again, by the Assad regime against a rebel-held area.
Scenes of men, women and children murdered through the use chemical-weapons agents have once again flooded the world, with an ally of Iran and Russia--the Assad regime--again committing a ghastly crime against humanity.
As a result, it cannot be ruled out that the latest attack also served as an Israeli signal of intolerance to the usage of chemical weapons in the region.
Whatever triggered the strike, one thing seems certain: Iran will continue to test Israel's lines, and Israel will continue to enforce them.
Daily Jot: The choice - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
I was helping a friend of mine yesterday with a project at his house. He had Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Mark Levine on the internet radio (yes, it was a long project). I hadn't listened to these commentators for a long time. While all three were talking about different topics in their respective programs, it occurred to me that our American republic is in extreme danger by the very people who we elect, those who are major contributors to the campaigns of the people we elect, and the apathy among the public who elect these people. While most would say this an obvious observation, and it may be, there is no safe harbor in either political party, and humankind is drifting farther from the Creator every second.
Think about the endless wars our country has been in. Has there been a time of peace in your lifetime? The blood of our sons and daughters is spilled overseas everyday, and has been for decades. Is war so profitable that it is worth investing the lives of our children year after year, decade after decade? It appears so. These profiteers wrap their marketing in the cloak of patriotism and our youth are inspired by the call to duty, but where is the real threat? From Vietnam to Grenada to Kosovo to the Middle East's various hotspots, is there ever a victory? Do we ever reap the dividends of peace from the seeds of violence? Who is profiting so much on the bodies of our children that this never-ending cycle cannot be broken?
Here at home, we have allowed the progression of apathy to determine our future. We have been lied to, manipulated, deceived and shook down by politicians who line their pockets with our hard-earned money and clothe themselves in power. This has reached such a critical mass that draining the swamp of such cunning dwellers is nearly impossible. We have before us a media that is communist, a political party that is communist, another political party that is no less than socialist, a legal system that is corrupt to the point that people are not equal as the scale of justice is watched from beneath the blind. We are spied on. We are no longer free to speak what's on our minds because we are judged harshly.
This can be overwhelming. We as a people need to make a choice. To me, the choice is Christ. If we choose him and walk in his ways and truly make disciples, we have participated in allowing the Lord to use us to change things for good. Yes, there is a conspiracy. The conspirator is the devil. His plan is to steal, kill and destroy, and he uses those who open themselves to him. The answer is Christ. The Messiah is the only choice to overcome evil. We are the good warriors. We have the holy calling. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." We can choose to stand in power the Lord has given us and turn things around a heart at a time.
Daily Devotion: Just Doing Our Duty - By Greg Laurie -
"So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" -Luke 17:10
Have you ever seen a bumper sticker with the words God is my copilot? The truth is that God doesn't want to be your copilot; He doesn't even want you in the cockpit.
Some people envision God as their copilot, as their wingman or close buddy. While it is true that God will be your friend, He wants to be so much more than that. You see, He is the Potter, and you are the clay. He is the Shepherd, and you are the sheep. He is the Master, and you are the servant.
We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body" (NLT).
We need to always remember that everything belongs to God. Our possessions belong to God, our family belongs to God, and our future belongs to God. It all belongs to Him.
Our objective in life is not to find out how God can bless our dreams and ambitions-although that isn't always being taught in our churches today. Rather, our objective is to find God's plan and then align ourselves with it.
Maybe you're thinking, "God doesn't care about dreams. God doesn't care about my ambitions." God does care. But our goal should be to do what God wants us to do. And ultimately we will realize that God's plans for us are better than our plans for ourselves.
Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to known God. That is what it means to be a servant. And that is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"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
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516