Jan 19, 2009
Gaza Will Lead to Israel's Deal with the Devil
For nearly a month, Israel has launched a military campaign against Hamas fighters.
Acting out of pure frustration, the Israeli military sent in troops into the Gaza strip to try to put an end to the barrage of rockets and missiles being fired into its territory. The Israelis have certainly not acted in haste. They endured 6,000 projectile attacks over an eight-year period before taking action.
Israel's years of restraint have not helped it in the battle for world opinion. In many parts of the globe – particularly in the Arab nations - the Jewish state is being condemned as a bully picking on a weaker neighbor. Several nations have suspended diplomatic contacts with Israel over the Gaza operation.
Last week, the UN Human Rights Council voted to condemn Israel. The resolution called the offensive in the Gaza Strip a "grave" human rights violation against the Palestinians. It made no mention of Hamas or its violations of Israeli civilians' rights by firing rockets into Israel.
Thirty-three African, Asian, Arab, and Latin American countries voted for the resolution. Thirteen European states abstained, while Canada was the only country that voted against it.
During a visit to the Mikve Yisrael School in Holon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reacted to the vote by saying, "They have no right to reproach us and to try and tell us how to defend our citizens. I don't think our demands are exaggerated. We share the right of every state in the world to protect its citizens. We're not asking any other country's permission or approval in order to protect our residents."
Western nations show little concern that they have been pouring economic aid down a rat hole called Gaza. Billions of dollars have gone into this narrow strip of land and the funds have been squandered. If given a choice, Hamas would rather purchase a load of weapons than sacks of flour.
The responsibility for the images of dead or injured Gaza children rests solely at the feet of the Hamas leadership. They are the ones who decided to engage Israel with no provocation, and they are the ones who put their citizens in harm's way by firing rockets from residential areas.
Even though the most liberal reading of international law, totally justifies Israel’s action, it finds itself compelled to give into world opinion. This weekend Israel made yet another goodwill gesture by declaring a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza. Unless a way is found to totally disarm Hamas, I see zero chance that the peace will last for any significant time period.
The incoming Obama administration will certainly put all the more pressure on Israel to make peace with its hostile neighbors. Because America provides billions of dollars in aid to the region, the new president can apply huge leverage on Israel.
There has been some talk of international forces coming into Gaza to make sure Hamas doesn't smuggle in rockets and fire them at Israel. This same type of fix was key to resolving the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The southern end of Lebanon is now under the watch of UN forces.
The Bible strongly indicates that someday all of Israel will be under the care of an international force. The Antichrist will sign a peace agreement with Israel that will somehow give him total control of that nation.
From the day it was founded, Israel has maintained the policy that it alone will ensure its security needs. With Israel facing three other foes of far great capabilities, the idea of turning to an outside protector is probably looking very appealing at this stage.
Bible prophecy warns us that much larger conflicts between Israel and her Arab neighbors are soon coming down the road. If the folks at the UN are having fits over Gaza now, they will need to be hooked up to a heart defibrillator when they read the news of Damascus’ destruction (Isaiah 17:1) or a similar strike in Iran related to it nuclear program.
You can imagine the relief Israel will have when a man from Europe steps forward and offers to secure its borders. Of course, it will be a deal that Israel will greatly regret.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Dan. 9:27).
It pains me to see Israel in a state of constant frustration over enemies that seem to be demonically driven, but this is just one more indication that the time of the end is very near. All we can do is pray, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus."
Turkey Takes Prophetic Turn
Throw another morsel of intrigue onto the end-times stove of what’s cooking in the phenomenal progression of prophetic stage-setting this generation is witnessing. Turkey is this week’s food for thought while we consider where the world presently stands upon God’s prophetic timeline.
Interest in the nation Turkey among students of Bible prophecy emanates from the foretelling about the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. There, the prophet presents a list of the nations who will invade the Middle East region from the north of Jerusalem. This coalition intends to take spoil from that region, and particularly intends to obliterate the nation Israel, according to Ezekiel.
The prophet gave the following account of the nations involved, as God the Holy Spirit gave him the vision of that end-of-days assault.
“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” (Ezek. 38:4-6).
“Rosh” will be the nation of the leader”Gog,” around which these many peoples will coalesce. We believe that chief nation to be Russia, based upon much study that has been done on the ancient names involved in the prophecy. We have become relatively familiar with some of the other nations involved. For example, we know that modern Iran is the country that now occupies most of the geographic area of ancient Persia. The nation God’s prophet calls “Togarmah” is the one in view in today’s news headlines. It is this nation out of this coalition on which we will concentrate for now.
One prophecy writer frames Togarmah as follows:
“The Armenians of today call themselves the House of Togarmah. The Turks (but not the Kurds, who are the ancient Medes of Media-Persia fame) are also included” (Jack Kelly, "The End Times According To Ezekiel, Part 3," raptureready.com).
Modern Turkey is an important part of prophecy yet future, if majority scholarship is accurate. Turkey, as it relates to Israel then, must be considered of tremendous importance, when, as is currently the case, the two nations are in the news. The two nations have had a non-confrontational, even sometimes quite cordial relationship during recent years. The Turkish nation was heavily Muslim, but the regime was one strongly secular, not Islamic. Bible prophecy foretells that the two peoples will be in conflict so intensively that the anger will eventuate in Turkey (Togarmah) joining Russia (Rosh) in attacking Israel and trying to take over the Middle East.
The configuration of relations between Israel and Turkey didn’t fit the prophetic model until in recent months, when regime changes and secular vs. religious make-up of the governing of Turkey began drastically changing.
Israel’s assault on the Hamas terrorists who have for months been firing rockets into Israel--while Israel did nothing to retaliate until December 26, 2008--is eliciting ever-increasing verbal invective from the new Turkish leadership. The news article excerpt that follows somewhat puts the Turkey vs. Israel changes in perspective:
“A decade ago, Western and Israeli leaders could count on Turkey as an ally. A solid NATO member, Ankara took decisions based on pragmatic calculations of interest - and erred on the side of caution if at all. But under the rule of the Islamic conservative AKP, this has changed…The vehemence with which Turkish leaders attacked Israel, and their apparent willingness to convey Hamas' position to the United Nations, came as a surprise to many…[Prime] Minister Tayyip Erdogan's words - that Israel's actions will be punished by God and help lead it to self-destruction - are too significant to be taken lightly. Indeed, they are part of the trend of a Turkish government guided more by Islamic solidarity and anti-Western sentiment than by pragmatic calculations of interest. Indeed, Turkey's international behavior suggests that its attachment to the West is tenuous at best - and eroding” (Svante E. Cornell, "Turkey's drift away from the West," 1/15/09, Rapture Ready News).
There can be little doubt of the shift that is taking place in Turkey’s movement into the Russian geopolitical camp. The article continues to make the point of that shift:
“In August, when most of the West balked at Russia's invasion of Georgia, Erdogan rapidly tried to make himself a go-between. His initiative of a ‘Caucasus stability platform’ was met with disbelief in both Georgia and Azerbaijan, since it effectively promised to freeze all territorial disputes in the region, including legitimizing Russia's recent territorial grab in Georgia. More worrying was the composition of Erdogan's intended platform: the three Caucasian states, Turkey - and Russia” (ibid.).
The willingness of Turkey’s (Togarmah’s) leadership to place that state under Russian influence, while Russian leadership seems to be looking lustfully southward at the oil-rich lands surrounding Israel, must in my view be more than coincidence, in prophetic terms. The movement away from the West seems especially non-coincidental given the abrupt reversal the Turkish government has made in its dealings with Israel.
I believe that almost certainly we are witnessing, in Turkey’s re-positioning, one more of many instances of Bible prophecy stage-setting