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Middle East Update June 2013

June 27, 2013

Update May
Assad is determined to get Russian S-300 missiles, claiming that his government has already received the first batch, and now claims that the Arab world is ready to take on Israel. Israel, meanwhile, is determined to keep Syria S-300 missile free, and has declared that its entire air space will become a no fly zone. Russia will neither deny nor confirm if Syria already has the weapons, but does admit that they are planning to do so. The rhetoric is rapidly heating up.
Jerusalem Post Article
Voice of Russia Article

The Rant
2 Timothy 3:13 – “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

The Washington Times writes: “The thrill is evidently gone, replaced by the chilling and growing realization that things are rotten in the Obama Administration and in Washington, D.C.”
Here is a list of a few of the evils perpetrated against the people of the United States:
• Fort Hood shootings called workplace violence,
• Unilateral moratoriums on deepwater drilling despite a court ruling that the drill ban was unconstitutional,
• Illegally appointing people to vacant positions that did not become vacant during a Congressional recess.
• Failure to obtain Congressional approval for the intervention in Libya against Moammar Gaddafi,
• Supplying guns to Al-Qaeda in Benghazi through the CIA,
• Sales of guns by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to drug runners in Fast and Furious,
• Soliciting funds from insurance companies to bankroll the $1.5 billion shortfall in funds to implement Obamacare,
• IRS intimidation of Tea Party and other opponents of the Barky Insane O’Bummer administration,
• Deviously obtained warrants allowing Justice Department investigations of journalists!

The list just gets longer and longer and longer. The people who have perpetrated these evil deeds need to be adjudicated, removed, impeached, and incarcerated. But enough ranting for one day.

The War
Ezekiel 37:10 – “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them [the Jews], and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Isaiah 17:2 – “The cities of Aroer [An area which includes the Golan Heights] are forsaken; They will be for flocks to lie down in, And there will be no one to frighten them.”

Isaiah 17:14 – “At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they [Damascus] are no more. Such will be the portion of those who plunder us And the lot of those who pillage us.”

On May 21, 2013, Syria and Israeli troops exchanged fire, prompting the Israeli military chief, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz to issue a warning that Bashar Al Assad will bear the consequences if this should continue. While acknowledging that many of the incidents may have been simply spillover from the civil war in Syria, this particular incident has been deemed intentional.

The Huffington Post writes: “Israel is also concerned that Assad’s arsenal of advanced arms, including chemical weapons, anti-aircraft systems and sophisticated missiles, could be transferred to Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon or fall into the hands of radical rebel groups.”

In 1973, Syria also invaded the Golan Heights area which had been under Israeli control since the 1967, during the Yom Kippur War. They did so with the use of advanced Russian weapons and armaments. While Russia has placed on hold its intent to sell Syria the highly advanced S-300 missile system, these or similar weapons have been sold to Iran in past years and Iran is supplying weapons to the forces opposing Assad. These and other high-tech weaponry are being moved towards the Golan Heights area. Is Syria planning another takeover of the area, which would widen the conflict and begin WWIII? Time will tell.

Israel has already bombed Damascus to destroy weapons of mass destruction. Israel is already becoming that exceedingly great army that Ezekiel mentions. Will Israel reduce Damascus to a ruinous heap overnight in the near future? Time will tell.

A series of judgments are laid out in the second chapter of Zephaniah that starts in the West, proceeds to the East, then to the South, and lastly to the North: from Gaza to Moab and Ammon, to Ethiopia, and finally to Assyria.  Let’s take a closer look at who all these people mentioned in the verse below are today.

The Judgments and The People
Zephaniah 2:4-13Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites; For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: Ashdod and Ekron shall be rooted up.! O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, the coast shall be given to Judah for their shepherds and flocks . . . Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and Ammon as Gomorrah . . . and the remnant of my people shall possess them. The Ethiopians shall also be slain by my sword. Assyria will be destroyed and Nineveh will be made a desolation, a dry like a wilderness.

Cherethites [כְּרֵתִי Kĕrethim H3774] is synonym for the Philistines, or those living in the area of Gaza.  Gesenius proposed that it should be rendered: executioners and runners, what today we would call terrorists.

Ashkelon [אַשְׁקְלוֹן ‘Ashqĕlown H831] is a coastal city in Southern Israel along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  It is about thirty-one miles south of Tel Aviv, and 8.1 miles north of the Gaza Strip border.  Zephaniah tells us that Ashkelon will be laid waste, and this is approximately how far north the rockets have been landing that are being fired from Gaza.

Ashdod [אַשְׁדּוֹד ‘Ashdowd H795] is the fifth-largest city in Israel, located just 12 miles north of Ashkelon.  The city of Ekron [עֶקְרוֹן `Eqrown H6138] was where the Ark of the Covenant was carried by the Philistines carried before they sent it back to Israel (1 Samuel 5:10 and 1 Samuel 6:1-8).  Joshua tells us it was the northern border city of the Philistines and one of the five governmental centers of their leaders.

Moab, and Ammon, or the Children of Lot, are today’s Palestinians and Jordanians.  Ethiopia is the land south of Israel, and could include Algeria, Tunisia, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia.  Assyria today could include Syria and Jordan as well as Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.

Update June
Syria
Syria says it will not hand over Assad’s power during the Geneva talks.  It will, however step up its attacks against rebel strongholds north of the capital Damascus, and the rebel forces say they will step up their attacks against Aleppo.  Both sides are intensifying operations as an eleven nation group begins to discuss how to coordinate aid to those who wish to oust President Bashar Al Assad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered Russian replacements for the Austrian peacekeeping force that wants to withdraw from the Golan.  He wants his troops to be a barrier to Israeli troops should they take any anti-Assad military intervention.  The United Nations has rejected this offer.  The Americans, not to be outdone by Russia, have also sent a large military force to the region that is positioned on Jordan’s Syrian border.

Iran
Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new President, has been called a “moderate” and a “reformist.”  However, he may be another avid Twelver – one who believes in the imminent return of the Hidden Mahdi – and is attributing his victory to the favor of the Mahdi.  He is certainly a faithful follower of the Ayatollah Khamenei and undoubtedly agrees with Iran’s actions, from its nuclear activity to arming terrorists and its terrorist activities, all of which are decided by the Ayatollah’s council.  Rouhani has firmly stated that he hopes the country can reach a new agreement with the West over its nuclear program, but ruled out a halt to its controversial uranium enrichment program.

Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, states that the diplomatic process is nearing its end, and the election of Hasan Rouhani does not justify any further Western patience.

Israel
Exactly seven months after the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense the Israeli Defense Forces have pounded targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the six rockets launched from the Gaza strip into southern Israel.  Israeli  military personnel claim its aircraft struck two weapons storage facilities and a rocket launch site.  Former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman says “Israel will have to seriously consider the option of conquering all of Gaza and really cleaning it out.”  An IDF spokesman said: “The IDF will not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens, and our soldiers will continue to act against anyone who engages in terror against the state of Israel. The Hamas terror organization is held responsible.”

Update: June 28
Russia has removed the last of its military personnel from Syria, including those stationed at its naval base in Tartus, military officials said.  Russia has withdrawn all its military personnel from Syria and left its strategic Tartus naval center empty, because of the escalating security threat, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. The business daily cited an anonymous source in the Russian defense ministry saying that there are no non-diplomatic Russian military or civilian personnel left in Syria.

A high Iranian politician believes the Syrian revolution could be the catalyst for sparking a worldwide conflagration that will usher in an era of Muslim domination of the world.  “One can smell from the crisis in Syria the coming … of the end of times and the coming of the last Islamic messiah,” said Ruhollah Hosseinian

Conclusion
Evil people continue to grow more and more evil. Today’s happenings in the Golan Heights area closely mirrors the happenings of 1973. The last war took six days. Scripture tells us that the next war will happen overnight. And it will occur in the areas of the Golan Heights and Damascus. Is this what we see happening before are very eyes today? Is WWIII just around the corner?

The Israelis have already made several sorties into Syria to take out weapons factories and storage sites. They have warned Iran numerous times that red lines have been crossed.  Israelis are now at a breaking point with Gaza.  A series of judgments are laid out in the second chapter of Zephaniah that proceeds from Gaza to Moab and Ammon, to Ethiopia, and finally to Assyria.  Are the prophecies in Zephaniah about to be fulfilled?  Time will tell.

Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The stage is being set. Each day is one day closer to our Lord’s return.  Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon.  Get busy reaching the lost.

Related Links May
Washington Times Scandal Article
Examiner Scandal Article
Huffington Post Golan Heights Article
Russian Times Golan Heights Article
Joel Rosenberg Syria Blog
Times of Israel Golan Heights Article

Related Links June
Fox News Syria Article 1
Fox News Syria Article 2
Military.com Golan Article
 NY Times Golan Article 1
NY Times Golan Article 2
Debka Golan Article 1
Debka Golan Article 2
Rosenberg Rouhani Article 1
Rosenberg Rouhani Article 2
WND Rouhani Article
Telegraph UK Rouhani Article
Times of Israel Rouhani Article
Haaretz Rocket Attack Article
National Post Rocket Attack Article
BBC Rocket Attack Article
Times of Israel Rocket Attack Article
Jerusalem Chronicle Rocket Attack Article
Jerusalem Connection Rocket Attack Article

Update:
Jewish Press Russia Leaves Syria Article
UPI Russia Leaves Syria Article
WND Mahdi Article

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