Articles of the Day 5/4/15: ‘Assad Doomed’ Redux

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’Isaiah 46:9-10

Inner Ring (Countries or terror groups that border Israel)

IDF Commander Fighting to Destroy Hamas Tunnels

“Southern Command head trying to stop rampant rebuilding but being blocked; ‘half of Gaza is rearming and digging tunnels.'”

Iranian Support for Palestinian Terrorism: Funds Transferred to Gazan Shaheeds’ Families by Palestinian Islamic Jihad-Affiliated Al-Ansar Charity Association (PDF)

Hizbullah in the crosshairs

“Through all this murk, Israel may be sending a signal: it is ready to strike Hizbullah, either because its presence on the Golan is becoming a greater threat or because Israel thinks Hizbullah is too stretched by its operations in Syria and Iraq to risk another big conflict with it. Although the Israeli government has little desire for a wide-scale military campaign so soon after the Gaza conflict of last summer, it appears more willing to risk one.

Many in the army think a showdown with Hizbullah is inevitable. Right now, the militia is embroiled in other wars and is suffering many casualties; it may have lost 1,000 fighters, some Lebanese sources reckon. In a few years’ time, Hizbullah’s battle-hardened fighters could be back home. In the meantime, Israel may be seeking shorter-term gains. If trouble on the Golan serves to present Hizbullah’s actions in Syria (and by extension Iran’s behaviour) as destabilising, it could strengthen Israel’s campaign to portray any nuclear deal with Iran as a menace to the region.”

Stabbing attack in Jerusalem: The terrorist was shot and neutralized

“Palestinian tried to stab a security guard in one of Jerusalem’s light-train stations; the security guard drew his gun swiftly and shot the terrorist’s leg; the attacker sustaines light to moderate injuries.”

Individual Palestinian attacks have increased in recent weeks. 

Israel to upgrade more Achzarit APCs

“The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is set to get another 100 Achzarit heavy armoured personnel carriers (APCs) with new engines.

The US Department of Defense announced on 29 April a Foreign Military Sales contract covering the supply of 100 unidentified engine assembly kits and 100 transmission upgrade kits “in support of efforts to repair and upgrade Israel’s Achzarit heavy armoured personnel carriers”.

Outer Ring (countries or terror groups that are close to but not bordering Israel)

ISIS militants execute 600 Yezidis northern Iraq

“Erbil, Kurdistan Region – On Friday the so-called Sharia Court of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) reportedly executed 600 hostages from the Yezidi community of Shingal (Sinjar) in the Talafar district in northern Iraq. The group piled the bodies into the well of Alo Antar on al-Ayyadiya highway, local sources reported.”

This is a war crime. Many of the Yezidi’s are Christians. But I guess since it is not Muslim victims and not the IDF doing it then it is not news. 

Warning Intelligence Update: Possible Upheaval in the Syrian Capital

“Key Takeaway: Major operations targeting entrenched anti-Assad forces in the outskirts of Damascus appear to be upcoming as Hezbollah and the Syrian regime prepare to target anti-Assad hold out positions in the capital and its countryside. In addition, indicators have emerged of a possible intervention by regional actors to assist in defeating Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This includes ongoing negotiations to deepen the cooperation between prominent hardline Islamist groups Jaysh al-Islam and Harakat Ahrar al-Sham, which would increase the effectiveness of anti-Assad forces regardless of direct regional intervention. Together these trends indicate that a major shakeup of the military situation in Damascus Province is likely in coming weeks.”

Assad loses battles as US, Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and UAE arm Al Qaeda’s Syrian branches

“For the first time in the nearly five-year Syrian war, opposition forces, such as the Army of Conquest and the Free Syrian Army, are receiving substantial quantities of heavy weapons from the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. The balance of strength in the Syrian war has accordingly shifted in favor of rebel forces which are are winning victories against Bashar Assad’s army. In the last two weeks, the rebels have captured Jisr al-Shughour, in the northern Idlib province, able to move into new positions directly opposite Assad’s Alawite stronghold of Latakia and the Homs plain. Rebels have also gained ground in southern Syria in the Quneitra region opposite the Israeli Golan.”

Big mistake arming these people. When Assad falls and these Muslims return home, what happens?

Here are all of the problems with the reeling Syrian army

“The Syrian Army is facing its most serious challenges since the start of the Syrian Civil War. Fatigued, over-stretched, and losing the support of its base constituency, the Syrian Army is conceivably nearing the point of collapse. Major rebel offenses have taken control of the strategic cities of Idlib and Jisr al-Shegour in the north. Meanwhile, a second rebel offensive in the south has been steadily working its way towards Damascus, the capital.”

Despite Iranian-Hezbollah support, ‘in the long run it is hard to see how Assad can survive

“The momentum is definitely going against Assad and in the long run it is hard to see how he can survive, Tel Aviv University expert says.”

We have heard this before.

Senegal pledges 2,100 troops to aid effort in Yemen

“DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Senegal is sending 2,100 troops to help back the military intervention led by Saudi Arabia that is underway in Yemen, becoming the first sub-Saharan African country to contribute soldiers to the effort, the country’s foreign minister said Monday.”

Not that Senegal is a military juggernaut but I think the new Saudi leader is displaying a great ability to muster a potent a broad coalition. 

Heavy airstrikes target Yemen’s airports

“Heavy airstrikes hit several airports across Yemen, as a Saudi-led military coalition continued to target the country’s Shiite rebels and their allied forces.”

Saudi-led troops launch ‘limited’ ground deployment in Yemen

“ADEN, Yemen (AFP) — The Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen sent a “limited” force to the city of Aden Sunday, Yemeni sources said, in what would be its first ground deployment inside the country.”

Why the Iranian Purchase of the S-300 Should Worry the Gulf States

“A forward deployment of powerful Russian long range air defence missiles to Iran’s arsenal could prove intolerable for GCC neighbours and escalate an already tense regional standoff.”

Prophecy

The Gog and Magog War: Catching Fire

“Vic Batista: We read about this leader Gog coming from Rosh. Maybe we can use Google Earth, for people who like to use technology, where they can search and zoom in and find that country? No luck, though, right? The names Ezekiel gives us for the invading countries are little bit different today.

Nathan Jones: Yes, exactly, Ezekiel lived about 600 years before Jesus first came, so around 600 or so BC. It was 600 years before Jesus came. Ezekiel used the names of the countries in his time period. For example, Rosh is the ancient name for the ancient Scythians, or the Russians, as we know them today. Meshach and Tubal were areas of what is today Turkey, and we read Beth-togarmah as well. Magog is all the ‘Stan nations like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Put is Libya. Persia is Iran. So, we’ve got these old national names, but when you translate them, we can know what the modern nations are.”

No Rapture In The Gospels?

“Q. I pray for the pretrib rapture but prepare for the prewrath rapture. But recently, I just came across an understanding that I hadn’t seen before. The mystery of the harpazo hadn’t been given to the church until about 55 AD by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. Matthew 24 was a description of Jesus’s Second Coming written many years before Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. So Paul describing what was to happen in the twinkling of an eye as a mystery suggests this was never taught before, even by Jesus. I’m encouraged about the pretrib harpazo. What’s your take on this?

A. I’ve been saying for years that Jesus never gave a clear teaching on the rapture, and that the Church is never mentioned once in Matt. 24. We “see” the rapture in places like John 11:25 and John 14:2-3 because we already know about it.

It was given to Paul to present the doctrine of the rapture of the Church on earth for the first time. He did so in 1 Cor. 15:51-53 and 1 Thes. 4:16-17, written at least 20 years after the cross.”

Still Undecided About The Rapture

“Q. One day I believe the pretrib rapture argument is sound, the next day I don’t. So, let’s get down to the basics. What difference does it make what I believe about the timing of the rapture? I know it’s going to happen but scripture, as I read it, does not define for certain its timing. If I don’t believe in the pretrib rapture and it happens that way, does that disqualify me from being raptured with those who believe it? Does my doubt about the timing make me unworthy to escape that what is coming upon the whole world?

A. Your opinion about the timing of the rapture will not determine whether you go or not. The only qualification for inclusion in the rapture is to be born again. However, the Bible only teaches one rapture position, and the closer you cling to a strict literal interpretation of Scripture the more obvious it will become to you that the Bible is pre-trib. Here are a couple of links to help you.

http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/defending-the-pre-trib-rapture-again/

http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/matt-24-pre-trib-rapture/”

Must We Believe In A Literal 2nd Coming?

“Q. Re: 2 John 1:7. It is apparent if you read this literally it means any one who denies either the incarnation or the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a deceiver who has the spirit of the antichrist instead of the Holy Spirit. No confusion on that. My question is where does this leave those who deny a literal physical second coming.

A. Here’s 2 John 1:7.

“I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

By most accounts, there are more prophecies relating to the Lord’s second coming than to His first. However, there is nothing in the Bible that requires a person to believe in a literal physical 2nd coming as a condition for salvation such as there is in regard to his 1st coming (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

Personally, I don’t see why a born again believer would deny a literal second coming because that’s when the fulfillment of all the Lord’s promises to us will take place (John 14:2-3). If a person claims to be a believer but is not born again, his or her destiny will be the same as a non-believer’s because without being born again no one can enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).”

Are People Leaving Christianity In Droves?

“Q. I read an article, in which the following was written: “People are leaving Christianity in droves. About 106 million Christians are expected to switch affiliation from 2010 to 2050 while only about 40 million people are expected to enter Christianity. The religiously unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics) are expected to see the largest net gains from switching, adding more than 61 million followers”. What do you think of reports like this?

A. I read the same article, but I don’t believe any born again believer can abandon the faith. Jesus said He would lose none of those the Father gives Him (John 6:38-40), and Paul said when we become believers God Himself assumes responsibility for making us stand firm in Christ. He set His mark of ownership on us and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come (2 Cor. 1:21-22). Therefore, true believers cannot fall away.

The fact is, there is no way for any earthly organization to tabulate the number of born again believers there are. Only God knows that number, and He has known it from the beginning of time. What we’re really learning from articles like this is that many “Christians in name only” are no longer maintaining the illusion of being believers. 2 Thes. 2:3 tells us this is a sign the the end of the age is near.

Finally, I believe as you do that the year 2050 will probably find us somewhere in the early stages of the Millennium.”

Meanwhile…

‘As great as hosting the Olympics’: Utah’s faith leaders prepare for world religions parliament

Islam and the Omaha Tri-Faith Initiative

“Currently underway in the Heartland of America is an experiment in interfaith dialogue and coexistence: the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska. The goal of the Tri-Faith Initiative is to have a synagogue, a mosque, and a church located on a common piece of land, each with its own separate building; the Tri-Faith hopes to later add a fourth building as a shared Tri-Faith Center. The location for this venture is 35 acres in the Sterling Ridge development in Omaha.”

Beware of attempts to merge faiths. We do not worship the same God. There is only one God, Jesus Christ is his son. Only through him can you be with the Father. Islam is evil, born of Satan. Islam seeks to dominate all other religions. This is nothing short of an attempt to pervert Christianity. Weak believers will fall for this. Don’t be one of them.  

US, Israel, Greece end joint sea-air maneuver

“The US Sixth Fleet and the Israeli and Greek air forces Sunday wound up a joint war game lasting two weeks opposite Greece. It focused on intensified military cooperation, on the one hand, and enhancing each force’s individual capabilities, on the other. Following Moscow’s promise of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran, the Israeli air crews practiced maneuvers with F-16 warplanes. Also taking part in the exercise were Israeli Navy missile ships.”

Greece owns and operates the S-300 air defense system

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