Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Feb 26, 2007

Iran’s Train Is About To Wreck

Last week, the conflict over Iran's nuclear program dramatically worsened on several fronts. The International Atomic Energy Agency got the bad news train rolling when it reported that Iran had ignored a UN Security Council ultimatum to freeze its uranium enrichment program. The IAEA report said Iran was in the process of rapidly expanding its nuclear program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges.

There appears to be no indication that Iran is worried about the possibility of sanctions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country would proceed with its nuclear program, comparing its nuclear drive to a train that has no reverse gear or brakes. Ahmadinejad told a gathering of Islamic clerics, "We dismantled the rear gear and brakes of the train and threw them away some time ago."

Western leaders had hoped that outside pressure would turn Iranian’s against Ahmadinejad. Iran's divided leadership has infact closed ranks against its foreign critics. President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani accused the West of "bullying" Tehran through ultimatums and threats of new sanctions.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki went a step further by saying the United States was not in a position to take military action against his nation, and urged Washington and its allies to engage in dialogue. "We do not see America in a position to impose another crisis on its taxpayers inside America by starting another war in the region," said the foreign minister.

Vice President Dick Cheney has said "all options" were on the table if Tehran continues to defy UN demands to halt uranium enrichment.

President Bush would have to make any final decision, and it's not clear whether he is willing to challenge Iran with military force. Democrats are already giving him a hard time about Iraq. Any expansion into Iran would set off a riot in Congress. As mad as the Democrats might get, they don't have a large enough majority to stop the President. They’ve already failed to pass a non-binding resolution to express symbolic disapproval of Bush’s troop surge.

The President may have more problems with senior military commanders than with Congress. According to a report in the London Times, four or five generals and admirals would resign if Bush orders an attack on Iran. A source with close ties to British intelligence said, “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

There is much doubt about what America will do, but there is far less ambiguity over what steps Israel might take. We’ve already seen newspaper reports about Israel making secret plans for bombing runs against Iran. We now have more indication that Israel is getting ready for a strike.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran 's nuclear facilities. To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear program, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so, the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon.

"We are planning for every eventuality, and sorting out issues such as these are crucially important," said the official, who asked not to be named. "The only way to do this is to fly through US-controlled air space. If we don't sort these issues out now we could have a situation where American and Israeli war planes start shooting at each other."

An Isreali paper, Haaretz, reported on Sunday that the Gulf states of Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates have told the United States that they were willing to allow the Israeli air force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran. The paper also said NATO leaders are urging Turkey to open its airspace for an attack on Iran as well, and to also open its airports and borders in case of a ground attack.

Israel military planning is based on when Iran might be able to produce a nuclear bomb. The current rate of progress suggests that it may have enough fissile material for a nuclear warhead by 2009.

If the Israeli military strikes at Iran's nuclear facilities, it's very likely that counter strikes will be aimed at Israel. Iran has several long-range missiles. The Shahab-3 missiles can carry a large warhead and are believed to have a range of more than 1,200 miles, meaning that all of Israel and many US military bases in the Middle East are well within its range.

There is also the strong possibility that Lebanon will factor into this scenario. The conflict from last fall has already proven that it has become a launching pad for Iran's shorter-range missiles. If any war erupts between Israel and Iran, Hezbollah will side with its ally.

I believe an Israeli attack on Iran has the potential to totally transform the last-days landscape. Most of the key indicators have a strong connection to the fate of Israel. A major war would set a series of end-time events into motion. The average student of Bible prophecy might be shocked at how far the prophetic timeline had leaped forward.

-- Todd

Are You Watching?

Satan’s most damaging work in this last time is, I’m convinced, that of supernatural sleight-of-hand illusion --or, better stated, delusion. He is the master at diverting attention from the crucial matters that affect people and their relationship with God. Tragically, those who name the name of Christ are falling for the old Serpent’s chicanery.

A good friend who lives and works in the New York City area caused me to think of Todd’s consistent warning to God’s family not to be a part of the “think not generation.”

Jesus’ words on this are as follows:

“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Lk. 12:40).

My friend in Manhattan lamented the fact that real news is no longer presented on the front pages of the papers, but now takes a back seat to the sensational, outrageous, and shocking expose-type stories once reserved for the front pages of the tabloids.

He used, as example, the story of an infuriated, shaved-headed Britney Spears, who, my friend wrote, “…really looks terrifying on today's New York Daily News. The headline reads: ‘Britney's Fury!’” He said another headline–this one about Anna Nicole Smith, read: "And the body goes to. . ." --a take-off, of course, on the Oscars, and another of the sleight-of-hand-type material Satan uses to divert attention. And his tactics are devastatingly effective. I’ll let my friend’s own words in his email to me frame the message:

“Certainly, I wouldn't know where to get the headlines about the euro being accepted over the dollar, as was reported previously in Rapture Ready by Todd. Now that's news; it's also ominous. Who's talking about that? Few people are talking about the earthquakes we've had all over the world, the wild weather; the possibility of an asteroid striking the Earth within the next 20 or 30 years; [or] the strange changes in the behavior of animals--not to mention to two 'new' nuclear nations of North Korea and Iran. And, of course, no one-- I mean no one--is talking about or looking for the second coming of Christ, except for… [a few people like those of raptureready.com] Isn't that interesting!

Just as Jesus himself predicted: "… But of that day and hour no man knows; not even the angels in heaven but my Father only."

The language used in Scripture: "As a snare shall it come upon all those who dwell on the Earth"; "when they shall say 'peace and safety' then sudden destruction comes upon them as destruction from the Almighty; and they shall not escape"; and perhaps the saddest ones depicting the destruction of the unsaved: "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" and, "The wicked shall not understand, but the wise shall understand.’"

All of this is not to say we must be locked away in the gloom and doom of the terrible things going on all around us. Jesus came to give us life, and that more abundantly, the Scripture tells us. We are to be joyous in the Lord, knowing the brilliant, unfathomably magnificent future that awaits each and every child of the living God. For, the Apostle Paul tells us: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

But, there is another side of the being-a-Christian coin. And there is a deadly danger associated with failing to be aware of the exhortation by the Apostle Peter: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

The signs are everywhere that this generation stands very close to the end of the age upon God’s prophetic timeline. Let us be joyful as the children of God. Let us receive with our spiritual minds what God is telling us in these closing days, as we see the time of Christ’s coming approach.

“Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Lk. 12:37).

The Lord instructs: “And what I say unto you I say unto all, watch” (Mk. 13:37).