Are you watching the Middle East?

Just a quick hit today.

Are you watching the Middle East? With ISIS filling the news, it almost seems a stupid question, but not really. If anything, the more something fills our screens, the more we can begin to tune it out.

But have no doubts: Eventually the entire world will be focused on that area of the world. And not that ISIS is a small thing–hardly so–but there is so much more going on over there than that. For biblical prophecy to be fulfilled in the Middle East a great deal of change and reorganizing is required, and that is exactly what we see happening.

For instance, here’s part of a dispatch from the Middle East channel of Foreign Policy Magazine that I received today. Really grabbed my attention:

U.S. Claims Egypt and UAE Launched Airstrikes in Libya

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched secret airstrikes against Islamist militias in Libya twice over the past week according to senior U.S. officials, without consulting the United States. The officials said the UAE supplied warplanes, pilots, and refueling planes while Egypt provided bases from which the strikes were launched. Egypt has denied involvement and the UAE has not commented. The United States is concerned external involvement in Libya could escalate violence. Officials said Qatar has already been supplying weapons to Islamist militias. According to the United States, strikes targeted Islamist-held positions in Tripoli on August 18 and early Saturday. Nonetheless, Libya Dawn, an alliance of militias including Islamist groups and militias from Misrata seized Tripoli’s international airport on Saturday from rival Zintani militias. Following the move, the General National Congress, the Libyan parliament that was replaced in an election in June, reconvened and installed an Islamist-backed prime minister. On Monday, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, and Britain issued a joint statement denouncing outside interference and calling on all parties to accept a cease-fire and participate in the democratic process.

(And, FWIW: Foreign Policy Magazine isn’t one of those fly-by-night operations, by the way, that I see used by some for “news” these days (replace “news” with “agenda-driven/loose-minded interpretations of facts with pretend ‘facts’ thrown in”). Not saying it’s perfect, but when it comes to news sources, most folks could be a bit more discerning in their choices from what I can tell.)

The King of the South will come together. And to make that omelet will require a lot of broken eggs. If you don’t see some serious omelet-making in the Middle East right now, you aren’t even in the kitchen.

I think I saw a book somewhere once that explains a lot about what the Bible says about this sort of stuff in prophecy… Hmmmm… Where was that? In my local library? No, that wasn’t it. At Barnes & (Ig-)Noble? No, no — that wasn’t it, either…

Oh yeah! Free booklet–BAM!

Booklet - Middle East in Prophecy

Click and read! And, as Jesus Christ tells us to do: watch! And He doesn’t just mean the news–let’s watch ourselves. Watching as something comes to pass that God declared would come to pass does nothing for us if it does not stir us to seek that God all the more.

14 thoughts on “Are you watching the Middle East?

  1. Leaving aside the excellent main point: What’s so ignoble about Barnes & Noble – that is, beyond anything else in this present evil world? 😀 I presume you have a reason for joking about that, but anybody who can put together the NOOK I use (even in church services, both for note-taking and for Bible lookup) surely can’t be all bad. 😉

    Just curious.

  2. Good comments, and I should probably repent. (Thanks for the link to the NOOK booklet!) I remember the very first time I walked into a bookstore and saw whole aisles devoted to homosexual “studies” (and some other, similar-in-spirit subjects) it was in a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and for some reason I immediately thought less of the place. Gut reaction, though — no worse than any others (at least at this stage), and they are a frequent book shopping locale for me. (No NOOK, though. With a full function tablet in my possession, a reader seems a purchase I have a hard time justifying, even if it would be a better reading experience than reading off of my iPad.)

  3. Steve

    Watching events in the Middle East, absolutely. Egypt is showing an increasing interest about getting involved in regional politics. Not something to overlook. And I’ve also been keeping close tabs on events in the Ukraine. That situation is pushing Russia into a deeper relationship with China, and forcing a reluctant EU into greater integration. Things are moving….

  4. obeirne

    Am I watching the Middle East, Mr. Smith? Oh definitely – watching, watching, watching! The chant of the three Macbeth witches come to mind: ” Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and caludron bubble “. The only difference, Macbeth was fiction the Middle East turmoil is all too real!

  5. obeirne

    How pivotal will the Israeli/Gaza conflict be? It is amazing how many people in the West are sympathetic to Hamas and are hostile to Israel, despite the fact that in this recent outbreak of hostilities Hamas instigated the attacks and broke all the ceasefires. The Irish media, electronic and print, mostly liberal, if not actually left wing, has presented a slanted view on this war. They focus on Israel’s response to the unprovoked and unwarranted attacks on Israel through Hamas’ blindly launching up to four thousand rockets into Israel over the past 6 to 7 weeks. The claim by Hamas that Israel has inflicted almost two thousand deaths in Gaza has been accepted without any serious independent investigation being conducted. Certainly some UN appointed representatives in Gaza have asserted the figures to be accurate, but I have heard that these observors are partisan and are actually linked to Hamas. But the Western media as a whole, being like the Irish media is either liberal or left wing and liberal, is not objective and does not believe in presenting the truth and has not posed the relevant questions. This has created an anti Israel mindset in Ireland and in the West in general and Hamas, a murderous terrorist and anti democratic organization, is being viewed increasingly sympathetically and is garnering tangible support and pro-active support here and elsewhere. Hamas is winning the public relations battle big time.

  6. Robert Petry

    Been watching since 1956 when I first heard the World Tomorrow over Radio Luxembourg. Isn’t it interesting that this is occurring in the same area that the four beasts of Daniel occupied? Seems as if something is again arising? Wasn’t ancient Assyria right in the area? Yep. Why, what is the chance that Bible prophecy actually works? You don’t really think it could be valid…Oops.

  7. John from Australia

    I will be watching the Middle East more closely after 2020. But for now my focus is on the Dow Jones.

    The 2020 date is dependent on when the high in the Dow Jones occurs. 2020 or whatever year, being the end of a great recession to more than rival the Hoover recession of 1929-1933.

    Then there will other things to watch more closely. Some suggested typology/historical rhymes from the 1930s:

    New regime in Germany – Nazis come to power in 1933.

    New work – 1933/34 beginning of radio program; 1934 beginning of magazine.

    (The breakup of America and China in the great recession, or its aftermath?).

  8. Robert Petry

    John from Australia,
    There is a chronology in the Scriptures about the time we are now in. So, what is this external time frame you are talking about? Can you support it?

  9. John from Australia

    Hi Mr Petry,

    Ron Dart in his messages on prophecy use to like using this verse:

    Isa 41:22 Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

    If I may use the stockmarket analogy:

    The present bull market that began in 2009 has been described as the most unloved bull market in history. The bears, who did not see it coming and still can’t grasp its reality, have over the last five and half years or so been calling its end prematurely, but the sharemarket keeps going up and up.

    Secular history (the “former things”) suggest that certain things must occur before this bull-market comes to the end. Some people are going to be surprised at how high US stocks and the US dollar are going to go before it is all over.

    In the same way secular history suggests that certain things must occur – complementing the Bible – before WW3 (the great tribulation) starts.

    You ask “So, what is this external time frame you are talking about? Can you support it?”

    I may not be able to support it but I can argue it.

    I have a chart (and a small explanation on how it was constructed), among other things, entitled “The Anglo-American Hegemonic Cycle” with the subheading “Cycles of War and Prosperity”. While it is very broad and amateurish it captures, at least from my perspective, the former things and hopefully, things to come. The chart begins with the end of the first recession after the American War of Independence. (It was going to be a book but I don’t have the time and I now don’t have the inclination to put it together – which is a shame as there is only so much that a chart can capture).

    BTW, my speculation is that the Millennium proper will not begin (Ezekiel 43:1-7a) until around 2031/32 give or take a couple of years.

    I want to see the kingdom of God come as much as anyone, especially to see the Millennial temple – hopefully I am not in the second resurrection and miss it – but I don’t want to be like the “bears” who have gotten it wrong these last five years or so, and suggest that the end is coming prematurely.

    (PS: I would also like to see how close my 3D model of Ezekiel’s Temple comes to the reality – not even close, I would say).

  10. Robert Petry

    John from Australia,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I see what you are saying, and I agree completely with the verse Ron Dart quoted. One thing I would suggest though is this. Is not that verse referring to things before that are in the history of ancient Israel? And, not modern secular history?

    In fact, looking at it under that idea, and including the former prophets, which most overlook thinking they are only history, one can come up with a very accurate time frame for events in this era.

    For instance, what the world calls the “Arab Spring” is mentioned in Scripture, and indicates the year of its beginning. And, that’s when it began. The expansion going on in the Middle East is also indicated, even to the year it was to begin and when it is to end. The problem is, virtually no one wants to give it a serious look to help verify it.

    I also agree with your inference on the year 2031/32. With one exception. From a Biblical calculation vs using the stock market & secular history idea, it very well would have to be 2032/33, which is very close.

    So far, the framework fits very well, on a year to year basis which I believe can be supported. Trouble is prophecy and potential dates aren’t too well received.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  11. Robert Petry

    Just a quick correction to my last post.

    … 2031/32. With one exception, April 2031 to April, 2032, from a Biblical calculation.

  12. Howdy, fellows! I haven’t been paying much attention, and I apologize for leaving you in the queue so long. I have allowed these last few posts to each other concerning your speculations, but I don’t plan on allowing any further on the topic. No disrespect is intended; it’s just that my blog is not intended as an “open forum” of any sort for such exchanges (there are such places out there, of course), so I hope there is no surprise or offense. Thanks (and thanks, in particular, Mr. Petry, for your private e-mail and respectful deference).

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