Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gathering the Nations

1 This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 2 "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.'
6 "On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
[Zechariah 12:1-6]

I was reading through Debka.com the other day and came across an interesting article on how there is an armada of ships lining up off the coast of the Israeli/Lebanon border (see "Lebanese Security” Is the Pretext for the Naval Babel around Lebanon’s Shores). I have found Debka.com to be quite accurate and detailed in their coverage in the past; they seem to be well-connected to Middle East intelligence sources. That fact makes this article all the more interesting.

According to the article, there is a naval build-up off the coast of Lebanon that is “…the greatest sea and air armada Europe has ever assembled at any point on earth since WWII”. Hmm, funny that no other news source is reporting anything about this military build-up. All I hear in the mainstream news, and I monitor A LOT of it, is about Israeli troop withdrawals out of Lebanon, and how a couple thousand UNIFIL troops are slowly making their way down to southern Lebanon – all else is quiet and the press has moved on to reporting other issues of our day. Lebanon is almost completely off the public radar.

Continuing with the details in the Debka article, it states that the primary objective of the armada is to monitor the ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon after their 34-day battle this past summer. But common’ that can’t possibly be the objective because, as per the article, this naval armada includes:

“…France’s nuclear-powered 38,000-ton Charles De Gaulle carrier, 40 Rafale M fighter craft whose range is 3,340 km can take off at intervals of 30 seconds. The ship also carries three E-2C Hawkeye surveillance craft. The combat control center of the French carrier can handle 2,000 simultaneous targets. The carrier leads a task fore of 7 warships carrying 2,800 French Marines.

Charles De Gaulle is also a floating logistics center operating water desalination plants for 15,000 men and enough food to feed an army for 90 days. The USS Mount Whitney has the most sophisticated command and control suite in the world. Like the French Charles De Gaulle , it exercises command over a task force of 1,800 sailors, Marines, Air force medical and other personnel serving aboard the USS Barry, the USS Trenton , HSV Swift and USNS Kanawha .
Available to the fleet commander, US Vice Admiral J. “Boomer” Stufflebeem, formally titled commander of Joint Task Force Lebanon, is the uniquely advanced C41 command and intelligence system through which he can flash intelligence data to every American commander at any point between the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf and Iran. USS Mount Whitney communications are described as unsurpassed for the secure transmission of data from any point to any other point in the world through HF, UHF,VHF, SHF and EHF.
The third carrier joining the other two is the Italian aircraft-helicopter carrier Garibaldi , which has launch pads for vertical takeoff by 16 AV-8B Harrier fighter-bombers or 18 Sikorsky SH-3D Sea King sea-choppers (or Italian Augusta Bell AB212 helicopters), designed to attack submarines and missile ships. Military experts estimate that the Garibaldi currently carries 10 fighter planes and 6 helicopters.”

A military expert referenced by Debka estimates that this naval armada off the Lebanon shores is roughly 10 times the amount of support the UN troops (UNIFIL) monitoring the “ceasefire” need. This is especially true because the UN troops have an extremely limited mandate in monitoring the ceasefire – they are basically monitoring the rearming of Hezbollah and there’s nothing the UN troops are willing to do under the UN Security Resolution 1701 without the permission of the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government includes two Hezbollah MP’s and the government as a whole is much less popular than the Hezbollah terrorist regime, who are literally handing out fistfuls of rebuilding cash to the Lebanese citizens who had their homes destroyed by Israeli bombs. Hezbollah ( and its backers/suppliers in Syria and Iran) can do what it wants in southern Lebanon under the sleepy eye of the UNIFIL. The current number of UNIFIL troops actually on the ground in southern Lebanon is less than 3,800. The UN wasn’t quite able to pull together the 15,000 ground troops they promised under UN Security Resolution 1701, but then again I wouldn’t want to be one of those ground troops who are “sitting ducks” when the conflict resumes, plus there is an Al Qaeda chapter establishing itself in Lebanon, under Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri, that has threatened that UNIFIL troops are legitimate targets of attack.

With this temporary ceasefire (read: re-loading) the major countries of the world have been encouraged to restart the peace process and discuss Bush’s favourite “two state solution”. Too bad Hamas in the Gaza Stip can’t be convinced to recognize the nation of Israel – they can’t seem to get past the dream of obliterating Israel with a nuke. I’m always wary about ceasefires and peace agreements that involve Israel and its Arab and Persian neighbours. Peace agreements involving Israel remind me of 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4:

2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
[1 Thessalonians 5:2-4].


37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark [Matthew 24:37-38]

Are we soon headed into the Day of the Lord? Is God starting to bring the nations of the world together against Jerusalem, and the more encompassing Judah, at this time as stated in Zechariah 12? Well one thing is for sure: most people are completely asleep, unconcerned, and mesmerized by money, job, and family issues (and probably in that order). I think our society is perfectly described by Matthew 24:37-38. How I wish that 1 Thessalonians 5:4 described the readiness of the church today – but I’m afraid that day will come as a complete surprise to many brothers and sisters.

Call me completely nuts (if you haven’t written me off already), but I think the Day of the Lord is potentially shaping up in Lebanon today. There are already plenty of nations represented on the UNIFIL deployment and off the coast of Lebanon in a naval armada. Satan is the current ruler of this world, and it wouldn’t take much for all these nations to suddenly turn against (see Ezekiel 38:10) Jerusalem and Judah (i.e. Israel). Now would be an excellent time to read the chapters of Zechariah 12 and 14; Ezekiel 38 and 39; and Joel 1,2 and 3 (among others) to find out what the Day of the Lord will be.

Check out especially Joel 3,verse 4 : "Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done."
Joel 3 is an amazing prophesy! You'll find Tyre and Sidon mentioned frequently in today's news in reference to Hezbollah strongholds - they are still called Tyre and Sidon (there's no guesswork on who God is talking about)!
In our times, one of the verses I lean on very heavily, and one of my favourites, is: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." [Luke 21:36] Praise the Lord that we can be on the winning side of this inevitable, final conflict when it happens.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Religious War

Source: EllisSkolfield.com

A Hindu doctor friend who left northern India because of the violence there made the following observation, "When there is trouble anywhere in the world today, you will find Moslems on one side of it and they started it. Western leaders don’t understand Islam's goal for the past 1400 years. It has been to make peace with the infidels until Moslems are strong enough, then to fight against them."

Strange as it may seem, Sadaam’s secular regime was a buffer against the unification of Islam in the Middle East, but now, who is there to stop that happening? The United States could, but our leaders don’t recognize who our enemy really is. We keep hearing that we’re just fighting a few million radical Islamic terrorists, but it isn’t so. Our enemy is Islam itself. For details read Chapter 13 in "The False Prophet," downloadable free on this site.

In Islam there are only two houses, The Dar el Salaam (the house of peace) and the Dar el Harb (the house of war). If you are a Moslem you are in the Dar el Salaam, but if you’re of any other faith, you’re an infidel in the Dar el Harb and Islam is at war with you. That is why making a treaty with Iran is meaningless. Since we are all Infidels, as far as they are concerned, no treaty we sign with them is binding. For over 40 years, Israel has been signing treaties with the Palestinian Moslems; to date, they have not honored a single one. It isn’t that Moslems are worse than anyone else. They are doing their best to follow their bloody religion because they have been deluded by a false prophet. Since our leaders don’t really understand the problem and don't prepare us for the real battle, it's just as Scripture states . . .

1Corinthians 14:8 "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?",

During the 2nd Gulf War, Palestinians in Jordan were rioting in the streets and Mullahs all over the Middle East were preaching against the United States and inciting thousands of Jihadists to fight for Sadaam. Did they do so because of any great love for Iraq’s secular dictator? Of course not. Jihadists came into Iraq (and still do) because an Islamic state was being invaded by infidels. Middle Eastern Islam was just behaving Islamic.

Despite hand-wringing protests to the contrary, this is a religious war. The God of the Bible against Allah, but the whole Western Church is asleep. Forgetting Islam’s bloody history, we smilingly permit Moslem Mullahs to preach sedition against our democratic way of life and violence against anyone of a different faith. The God of the Bible and Allah are not the same being, nevertheless, some church leaders invite Islamic Mullahs to preach from their pulpits. We even have Moslem Mullahs as chaplains in our prisons. Regardless of where Moslems might live or any internal differences they might have between themselves, Few seem to realize that Islam is one entity with one book they consider holy, a Koran that teaches Moslems to bring the world into Islam by the power of the sword. To fight against, subjugate and even kill all who are determined to remain non-Moslem. We may not be at war with Islam, but Islam has been at war with the West since it’s inception.

The war in Iraq was barely over before fundamental Mullah’s from Iran goaded 1,000,000 or so Iraqi Shi’ites to demonstrate against the American forces who had just freed them from Sadaam’s brutal tyranny. And what was the stated purpose of those "spontaneous" gatherings? Fundamental Mullahs want Iraq to become an fundamental Islamic state like its neighbor Iran. Fundamental Islam hasn’t been weakened by freeing Iraqi’s people, it’s been strengthened. And this war cannot be won by force of arms. If we kill bin Laden, another bin Laden will arise, and another and another. The only way to win is to change the belief structure of those waging it. The gospel could do that, but with the church asleep, the gospel trumpet has indeed been giving an uncertain sound.

We are at the threshold of a final time of trial coming upon the earth. The final enemy of the Church and Israel (the Leopard-Bear-Lion Islamic beast) is clawing at the gates and we’re worried about gas prices, the economy, building a bigger church facility, buying a new car or whether we get to speak in tongues or not. Jesus’ beloved sheep have shepherds whose blindness is self-inflicted. They are preaching, "We’ll all be raptured out before the bad stuff happens," but it isn’t so. We will be taken to be with the Lord at the last trumpet of all time and "the day of the Lord" will be just like God said it would:

Amos 5:18-19 "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him."

Thank God that His Son Jesus will be here soon. It isn’t going to be easy for Jews and Christians between now and then. There is still an "hour of trial" to come, but the Lord can see us through it.

Isaiah 59:1 "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear."

Ellis Skolfield