“And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately” (Luke 21:9, words of Jesus Christ).
Not immediately, but within one generation as the Lord would later clarify.
“Then he added, ‘Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven’” (Luke 21:10-11).
Messiah Jesus revealed several riveting signs of the last days of the end times as recorded in Luke Chapter 21, with the longer text of what is called the Mount Olivet Discourse found in Matthew Chapters 24-25. Flashpoints such as: prevalence of false messiahs and prophets to deceive many (both spiritual and secular, i.e., national leaders); moral decline and intense persecution of Jews and Christians; rampant sin and hatred; partying like there was no tomorrow.
But also, “…the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Although Jesus did not mention a prominent end time development prophesied by Daniel—substantial increase in the speed and quantity of transportation and information world-wide (Daniel 12:4)—he did refer to Daniel’s prophetic warning of the sacrilegious object that Antichrist will erect in the Jewish temple (rebuilt during the Tribulation period … Matthew 24:15 & Daniel 9:27).
The (abundance of signs) analogy presented by Jesus was that of birth pains, beginning with the pre-Rapture Omega (last) generation and reaching the agonizing crescendo of contractions during the Tribulation. All in preparation for his physical return to earth which will generate the birth of a New World—the Millennial Reign of the Messiah … the very Son of God.
“Then he gave them this illustration: ‘Notice the fig tree or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place’” (Luke 21:29-32, emphasis added).
If (a big if because many, even including some believers, are inexplicably disinterested in the powerful prophetic signs being fulfilled in front of our 20th & 21st century eyes) people would only look at what’s happening in the world, matched with (the extraordinary unfolding of) Biblical prophecy; they would realize that “summer is near.”
And they would “know without being told.”
The reality in our generation: that summer is here.
Whether it is the signs of the times or times of the signs, to look objectively is to see and understand that the time is short.
Messiah Jesus left out what is undoubtedly the most significant and stunning last days prophecy of all. We’ll get to that shortly including the (proposed) reason.
First a glance at some remarkable but bone-chilling 20th & 21st century facts and figures regarding the earth-shattering happenings that Jesus did announce. Which provide dramatic documentation of the (one) generation timeframe when these birth pains would expand in frequency and severity; that’s what birth contractions progressively do.
Wars & Insurrections (Ethnic Rivalries)
Armed conflict (justified or not) including but not limited to matters of race, religion, nationality, secular ideals, political persuasions, economic disparity, and land disputes have plagued people from the beginning of the human saga. Who knows how many hundreds of millions have been killed in local, regional, national, and international wars?
Yet, not until the 20th century did Planet Earth experience one, then (incomprehensively) a second war that were truly global in severity and scope. With the ultimate irony that of World War I bearing the banner: The War To End All Wars. Ending in 1918, generationally there are still some people alive who were born during that war.
Even more tragically ironic is that World War II (just 21 years later) dwarfed the first world war in its bloodshed. Over four times the number of people (combined military and civilian) lost their lives in World War II … some 72 million than in World War I … 17 million.
Then on an equally unparalleled scale, the insidious initiation of mass killings (purges) in the 20th century in which tens of millions of Russians and Chinese were systematically slaughtered or starved by the dictatorial communist regimes of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
Several online sources provide the numbing statistics of displaced civilians, death, and destruction that have taken place in clashes raging all over the planet. With the larger national and international conflicts taking place in the 1st half of the 20th century and the startling number of ethnic and civil conflicts taking place in the last half of the 20th century into the 21st century. The sheer frequency of these armed struggles clearly confirms the words of Jesus regarding nation against nation and ethnic group against ethnic group in our generation (defined in Scripture as both 100 years and 70 years). As well as his birth pain and fig tree comparisons.
Worldwide Surge in ‘Great” Earthquakes Seen in Past 10 Years was the title of an article dated October 26, 2014 posted in the online website of Science News. Beginning with the enormous 9.0 quake that struck Indonesia in late December 2004, which, in turn, caused a massive tsunami that took the lives of about 250,000 people. I vividly recall watching hours of film footage and later on docudramas of this horrific disaster.
An excerpt from that article reads: “The annual number of ‘great’ earthquakes nearly tripled over the last decade, providing a reminder to Americans that unruptured faults like those in the northwest United States might be due for a Big One.
“Between 2004 and 2014, 18 earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or more rattled subduction zones around the globe. That’s an increase of 265 percent over the average rate of the previous century, which saw 71 great quakes, according to a report to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America this week in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“…If we look at all earthquake magnitudes, the past 10 years is not unusual in terms of the rate of events, the rate increase are just seen for events with magnitudes larger than 7.5 or so, he said (referring to comments made by Thorne Lay, professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California … parenthesis mine).”
In a more contemporary context, just a few weeks ago there were three back-to-back-to-back powerful earthquakes of 7.0 or higher that jolted parts of New Zealand. Through various sources including the United States Geological Survey, op-ed author Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz wrote the following in a March 8, 2021 article posted in the online site of Israel 365 News:
“In the first 65 days of this year, 42 major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher, have shaken the planet. The year with the largest total was 2010, with 24 major earthquakes greater than or equal to 7.0. In 2011, a total of 207 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or higher shook the earth, culminating in a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that caused the catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactor and the concurrent 9.1 magnitude earthquake in Tohuka, Japan that killed over 20,000 people.”
After citing the recent cascade of earthquakes in and around Iceland (some 18,000 in one week including three Richter scale quakes of 7.3, 7.4, and 8.1), Berkowitz continues by comparing the first 65 days of some previous years to the 42 major tremors so far in 2021.
“…In the first 65 days of 1921, exactly one century ago, only seven major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher were recorded globally according the USGS Data Base. In the same period last year (2020) a total of 24 major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher were recorded around the globe. Back in 2019, just 20 major quakes had been reported up to March the 6th, just 50% of this year’s total… in 2015, just 18.”
Both in his article and in other articles I read online, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) pretty much dismisses these facts/figures as either cyclical or random.
I do not agree with that analysis. If for no other reason than the persistent increase of major quakes all over the world over a period of some 100 years, particularly in the last 20 years or so. That and the imposing evidence of a similar sliding scale surge in other natural disasters, e.g., tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions.
Again, quoting Messiah Jesus immediately after he warned of wars taking place on a global scale: “There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands…” (Luke 21:11). Great earthquakes are self-explanatory. Many lands clearly convey a global range.
In examining (what would be considered) major famines in the 20th & 21st centuries, I discovered that the number was considerable, as was the number of deaths from starvation. But not necessarily that many more than found in centuries going back hundreds of years. That and factoring in a greater world population in the last century or so.
What was both apparent and alarming (yet in keeping with Jesus’s forecast): The correlation or causative link between many of these 20th & 21st famines to war (both national and civil) and/or dictatorial oppression such as mentioned earlier regarding Russia and China. As opposed to many pre-20th century famines that were caused by the usual suspects (reasons)—drought, locusts, natural and weather-related disasters, and/or mismanagement of the land.
For example: What some consider to be the greatest famine of all time between 1959-1961 was caused by the inept yet ruthless agricultural system imposed by Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward policy. Estimates vary: 15 to 55 million deaths by starvation in what is simply called, The Great China Famine. Whatever the numbers, it devastated China, which for centuries has been no stranger to famines.
Another is the estimated 8 million famine deaths in the Soviet Union during the early 1930’s when Joseph Stalin ordered the government to seize grain for export (rather than to feed the people). It was simple, but cruel: he and his Soviet government needed cold cash for industrial purchases. Most of those who died were in the Ukraine; Stalin refused to provide any food aid to them.
There are other national or sectarian conflicts that led directly to massive famines and fatalities in the hundreds of thousands or millions. Such as the Second Congo War (Africa) of 1998-2004 in which some 2,700,000 people died of starvation and disease attributed to and caused by warring factions in the region.
The title of a recent article posted in the online site Global Citizen reads: War-Torn Yemen on Brink of ‘World’s Worst Famine in 100 years.’ It begins with, “There are 13 million people at risk of starvation.” While the number would be less than The Great China Famine, it nevertheless, is a monumental tragedy in the making if the civil war continues. Particularly if the Yemen rebels that Iran funds ousts the Yemenite government, supported by Saudi Arabia.
(Houthis in Yemen–a Gulf State … The Biden Administration eliminated the terrorist status of these ruthless rebels)
Also, the imminent risk of over 1 million children in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan dying of starvation—famine induced by civil war in these nations.
“Then he added, ‘Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands…” (Luke 21:11).
As a reminder, Messiah Jesus’ disclosures are in answer to his disciples’ inquiry, “…When will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?” (Luke 21:7).
Like labor pains, they would intensify in frequency and/or severity, especially during the last (Omega) generation preceding the Rapture, continuing with the 7-year Great Tribulation. We have seen that advancing phenomena in wars, earthquakes, other natural disasters, and famines in the last hundred years or so.
Some online sites list the 10 or 20 greatest epidemics or pandemics of recorded history.
There are a few differences on these lists; however, the most devastating of the plagues are found in nearly all of them. The largest of which you probably have read or at least know about: The Bubonic Plague (Black Death) in Europe … 1346-1353. It is estimated that nearly ½ of Europe’s population died from this dreaded disease.
On the other hand, this was not a viral sickness; rather, it was bacterial in origin—carried by fleas that had been on rodents. Had the cause/origin been known at the time, it is likely that the death toll would have been much lower because of preventive measures that could have been taken. Chalk it up to superstitious medieval medicine and substandard technology at the time.
Beginning chronologically with a major epidemic in ancient China around 3,000 B.C., another pre-20th century epidemic was the Great Plague of London (1665-1666) in which some 100,000 people died. And the potent Smallpox that lasted from 1520 to 1600, taking an estimated 56 million lives.
Still, what is both startling and what we would expect (knowing the absolute reliability of Biblical prophecy … 100% accuracy) is that 8 of the 21 most deadly plagues to strike mankind have occurred in the 20th & 21st century.
Your reaction might be: That is logical due to the rapid population increase in the last hundred years or so? Which is an accurate observation. But so, too, is the offsetting factor that medical training, technology, and medicines (especially vaccines) have advanced exponentially in the last 100 years or so.
Chronologically, those plagues were:
American Polio Epidemic … 1916.
Spanish Flu … 1918-1920. Some 500 million—nearly 1/3 of earth’s population at the time infected, with some 50 million deaths.
Asian Flu … 1957-1958. Worldwide, 1.1 million deaths.
Aids Pandemic … 1981 to present. About 35 million dead.
Swine Flu Pandemic … 2009-2010. Killing primarily children and young adults.
West African Ebola Epidemic … 2014-2016. Not necessarily a high fatality count—11,325, but a dangerous deadly disease (high percentage of fatalities).
Zika Virus … 2015 to present.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) … 2019 and counting. Statistics as of March 27, 2021: Number of cases worldwide—126,834,725; deaths worldwide—2,781,928. Number of cases in the United States—29,925,133; deaths in the U.S.—543,933.
These and other signs that Jesus declared are unfolding in snowball (make that avalanche) style in the last ten decades or so. Yet, as indicated, he omitted what is arguably the single-most significant last days event of all time … to date.
(Avalanche on Mt. Everest)
Israel’s Rebirth as a Sovereign State Accompanied by the Return of Many Jews To Their Promised Land
In his panoramic litany of end-times events, why would Jesus exclude this monumental milestone prophecy divulged numerous times in the Old Testament?
Prophecies such as: “Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? Asks the Lord. No! I would never keep this nation from being born, says your God…. This is what the Lord says: ‘I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her… I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child” (Isaiah 66:9-13).
Also: “Therefore., prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:12-13).
In several Eye of Prophecy articles, I have written extensively about the modern-day miracle of Israel’s rebirth in 1948, followed by the end of Gentile domination (God’s way of disciplining his people to prepare them for the first arrival and soon-to-come return of Messiah Jesus) when the Jews (IDF) reclaimed Jerusalem and all Israel in the stunning Six-Day War of 1967.
Says the God of Israel: “I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land (these things began intensely in 1948 and continue strongly to this very day). They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God” (Amos 9:14-15, parenthesis mine).
The extensive prophecies of Israel’s restoration—including the return of the Jews to the Promised Land never thereafter to be removed from that land—is the very reason why Jesus did not mention it as one of the end-times signs. It was unnecessary. By that time, his disciples were sufficiently (some thoroughly) familiar with their Scriptures … the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets. They understood Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. Further validated by his spectacular resurrection from the grave after voluntarily surrendering his life as the once for all redemptive sacrifice, to all who would believe and receive him as their personal Savior.
Do you recall the question his disciples asked just before Jesus arose in the clouds to heaven … 40 days after his resurrection?
“…Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” (Acts 1:6).
They knew the Old Testament prophecies regarding Israel’s restoration—physical and spiritual—would be possible only by and through Jesus of Nazareth—their (our … all who believe in Him) Messiah. However, they did not know that Jesus would leave them so soon, nor could they (or anyone) know the length of his absence along with the seemingly interminable duration of a 2nd major exile of the Jewish people.
Or that the restoration of Israel would, indeed, be a miracle of miracles. Greater even than one that would/could involve a Messiah-led victory against the Roman Empire in the first century. It would be a truly remarkable rebirth of a dysfunctional if not defunct nation, a defeated scattered people, and a nearly dead language (Hebrew) all in an astonishingly short period of time—once God set the wheels in motion. It would be an unprecedented revival from the floods of global dispersion and the fires of Nazi death camps.
Just a few days before his crucifixion, Jesus had disclosed to his disciples that the rebuilt Temple would be demolished, which took place in A.D. 70, less than 40 years later.
After Jesus told them about the Temple’s destruction, his disciples asked him, “…Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).
Although they wanted to know when, his disciples did not need to be told (the fact of) that a crucial sign of the end times would be Israel’s restoration … from Roman dominion at the time of these questions to whatever the conditions of the world might be at the time of Messiah’s return. By reading the Scriptures, they and all believers since then would/should presume the prophetic fact that the Messiah (Jesus) would return to an intact Israeli nation, and rule and reign from her eternal capital, Jerusalem. But only after rescuing the Jews one last time from their enemies, then fully restoring and redeeming Israel for all time (Zechariah Chapters 12-14).
By no means does that diminish the magnificent miracle of Israel’s rebirth and the remarkable return to (against all odds) and natural birth of millions of Jews in Israel.
Rather, he provided details that they would not have known or even imagined, e.g., global wars, earthquakes. Not just ordinary but “great” earthquakes everywhere on earth, and other catastrophes increasing in number and size in the same fashion as a woman’s childbirth pains.
And in one generation’s time!
Israel’s Real Labor Pains Began After Her National Rebirth!
The labor pain analogy used by Jesus to describe the intensified calamities leading to the (soon-to-come) Rapture and reaching a climax during the Great Tribulation are some of the same birth pains God describes through Isaiah regarding Israel’s birth. The (big) difference is that Israel’s contractions began AFTER her birth virtually overnight on May 14, 1948. These troubles consist of four major (defensive) wars fought by Israel after her declaration of statehood, as well as persecution suffered at the hands of nearby nations and from within by the Palestinians. Such as mortars and missiles, suicide bombings, car-ramming attacks, gun, knife, and rock attacks in which thousands if Israelis have been murdered and maimed.
This is particularly true with Jesus’s prediction of kingdom against kingdom… literally ethnic group against ethnic group. In Israel’s case, the Palestinians in Gaza, and Judea/Samaria (West Bank) with their (real) agenda that of replacing the sovereign state Israel with a Palestinian State. Not a state alongside of Israel, which they have turned down at least four times.
Listen again to the words of the only true and living God regarding the Holy City of the Holy Land given to his people in perpetuity:
“Before the birth pains even begin, Jerusalem gives birth to a son. Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who has ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born. Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? Asks the Lord…” (Isaiah 66:7-9).
One of several examples of Israel’s labor pains after the fact of birth is that the very day following declaration of statehood, Israel was attacked by five Arab nations—Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. Which is why the rebirth of Israel as a sovereign state in 1948 is the single most significant sign … fulfilled prophecy of what (I passionately believe and have written about often) is the last generation spoken of by Jesus—the one with all the birth pains!
See Eye of Prophecy article: Reexamination of Messiah’s Imminent Return & The Omega Generation (posted January 2021).
What also makes Israel’s rebirth as a nation and return of the Jews to their Promised Land the centerpiece of the generational birth pains disclosed by Messiah Jesus is the ongoing obsession of virtually the entire world with this tiny nation of less than ten million Israeli citizens (7.8 million Jews and almost 2 million Arab Israelis). Plus, another 4 million or so Palestinians who don’t want to be citizens of a Jewish State.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions (1-16-18). In italics:
Obsession: “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often-unreasonable idea or feeling” (Webster’s Dictionary).
The persistent unreasonable idea or feeling harbored by Israel’s enemies and even by her (few and far between) friends is whether Israel and especially Israel’s capital Jerusalem truly belongs to the Jews. Or are the Jews “occupying” Jerusalem and other parts of Israel?
Obsessive: “excessive often to an abnormal degree … need for quick solutions.” The entire planet is demanding urgent resolution to Israel’s problems, even though the core of these issues is at least three thousand years in the making.
Compulsion: “an irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act.” The compulsive agenda of many world leaders is to impulsively (bordering on the irrational) fix Israel. Their faulty premise: If they can fix Israel and solve Jerusalem’s status, then the entire Middle East can be fixed in some fashion or another.
As the first Eye of Prophecy article for a new year, there is no more fitting topic than the world’s fanatical focus on the tiny state of Israel, smaller in population than many cities on earth. It is political, racial, religious, and social OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder) on steroids and on a truly global scale. Since her rebirth as a sovereign state in 1948, no nation on earth has received more world-wide attention as has Israel. It is mind-boggling. We only need to look at the United Nations—to which virtually every nation on earth belongs— to confirm that this obsession is not an exaggeration.
Then later in the article:
There is a remarkable phenomenon underway whereby some national leaders are developing friendly ties with Israel, even though most of their people still harbor anti-Semitic feelings against Jews….
This ambivalent, puzzling disposition of nations toward Israel is exactly what Scripture said would happen, especially when the Gog/Magog coalition invades Israel. This massive campaign led by Russia, Iran, and Turkey (all three of which have a military presence in Syria right next door to Israel) will occur not long after the Rapture.
Says the Sovereign Lord to Gog/Magog, “…At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme. You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence!” (Ezekiel 38:10-11).
The clear concept conveyed in this passage is that Israel will be at a level of peace not thought possible by Israelis or the rest of the world. Obviously, it will be a false sense of security.
Hardly a day goes by without some news about Israel, whether internally such as the recent Israeli election or externally concerning any number of nations, some of which are Arab countries that have recently in unprecedented fashion agreed to diplomatic and trade interactions with Israel. And, of course the three most prominent anti-Israel nations of the Gog/Magog coalition: Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
Although there have been many official and unofficial exchanges between Israel and several other nations, I’ll close this week’s article with a brief example of recent episodes involving Israel and each of these three nations. This to further confirm the amazing accuracy of Biblical prophecies regarding the world’s preoccupation (good, bad, and neutral) with Israel and the Jews. Each example is somewhat typical of how Russia, Iran, and Turkey currently interact with or react to Israel. It reflects their national mindset that will continue after the Rapture, but with the malevolent twist (development) of an all-out alliance between these three countries culminating in their surprise Gog/Magog invasion of Israel.
As indicated earlier in this article and in some prior Eye of Prophecy, each of these nations are to varying degrees entrenched in Syria, bordering Israel on the north.
Moreover, it was not that long ago that Russia, Iran, and Turkey were at odds each with the other. Although they continue to have disagreements (mostly concerning who would/should be the dominant foreign power in Syria), their mutual ties continue to develop. With, according to Scripture, their ominous goal that of conquering the State of Israel.
Currently, the temperament of each country and their leaders (Vladimir Putin of Russia; Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran; Recep Erdogan of Turkey) toward Israel is that of: (1) Bilateral relations and ostensible friendship … Russia. (2) Incessant hatred and threats … Iran. (3) Wavering between antagonism and agreeable … Turkey.
Iran & Israel
On March 16, 2021, Iranian Major General Mohammed Bagheri issued another in a long line of genocidal threats against Israel, with some of those past tirades mouthed by the Ayatollah, himself.
Said Bagheri: “Before entering the second step of the Islamic Revolution, the capacities for the annihilation of the Zionist regime and, by God’s grace, the elimination of the fake, child-murdering and odious regime from the political geography of the region have been prepared.”
Iranian leaders make no pretense about their loathing for the State of Israel. This hatred is the epitome of irrational Antisemitism.
Iranian leaders rarely need a reason to threaten Israel. It’s what they do and who/what they are: a radical rogue Islamic nation that funds terrorism and terrorizes its own people. More likely that not Bagheri was responding to a statement made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a few weeks earlier during Israeli celebration of Purim—Israel’s ancient deliverance from and victory over the wicked Persian official Haman and those who sought to kill all the Jews.
Said Netanyahu, “On the eve of Purim, I would like to say to those who seek our lives, Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian villain tried to destroy the Jewish people and just as he failed then, so, too, you will fail today. We will not allow your extremist and aggressive regime to attain nuclear weapons.”
(Major General Mohammad Bagheri & Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran)
Turkey and Israel
Since Turkey’s Recep Erdogan became Prime Minister (2003) then President of Turkey (2014), Israel’s relationship with this country has covered the ambivalent scale of hot, cold, and lukewarm. Nonetheless, Erdogan’s overall attitude is one of hostility toward Israel. That and increasing boldness in his plans for Turkish influence to escalate in Israel, especially Jerusalem.
The following is an excerpt from an article written by veteran Israeli journalist Nadav Shragai, originally appearing in the online news source Israel Hayom. Then reposted in Jewish News Syndicate on March 1, 2021:
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to change the name of the Directorate of Religious Affairs to the “Directorate of Jerusalem and Umrah Affairs” isn’t about semantics but substance. Erdogan views himself as a successor to the line of Ottoman sultans. He wants to restore the empire of old and sees himself as responsible for Jerusalem from the Islamic perspective.
“In his own eyes, Erdogan is the successor to Salah al-Din (Saladin) and Suleiman the Magnificent. Hence, Erdogan has adhered to the dream of a Muslim caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital…
“From Erdogan’s point of view, Jerusalem is ‘under occupation,’ is of utmost importance after Mecca and Medina, and should be part of the ‘Umrah’ (the ‘regular’ Muslim pilgrimage throughout the year, unlike the Hajj). True to this worldview, as early as 2017 the Turkish president called for ‘conquering’ the city through a mass infusion of Muslim tourists to Israel. ‘We must visit Al-Aqsa much more,’ he said at the time.
“Erdogan believes that Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is a historic accident. All his moves relating to Jerusalem, including the aforementioned name change, are geared towards amending it…”
See Eye of Prophecy, The Myth of Al-Aqsa Mosque (posted 4-16-16).
Russia & Israel
As contained and explained in several Eye of Prophecy articles, Russia will spearhead the malicious Gog/Magog alliance. Which makes the current relationship between Russia (President Putin) and Israel (Prime Minister Netanyahu) even more intriguing. Obviously, the majority of what Putin does for or with Israel is self-serving; but the fact remains that the two leaders get along quite well, having held several meetings in the past four years or so.
Although Russia and Iran both support the Syrian government and are allies of sorts, Russia permits Israel (with an occasional objection or two) to conduct airstrikes in Syria against Iranian and Syrian forces, including Iran’s proxy … Hezbollah. This to prevent a buildup of armaments (especially sophisticated guided missiles) aimed at Israel.
This cordial diplomatic arrangement between Russia and Israel includes even some smaller incidents such as Russia’s recent agreement that its troops would conduct searches in Syria for the remains of famed Israeli spy Eli Cohen—who was killed in the 1960’s near or in Damascus. Moreover, the Russians were pressing the Assad regime to provide more information as to the location of Cohen’s remains.
(Photo of Eli Cohen)
This situation came on the coattails of a Russian-arranged prisoner exchange to secure the rescue and return of a young Israeli woman captured in Syria after she crossed the Israeli/Syrian border.
Or Russia’s assistance in locating and returning the remains of a slain IDF solder, Zechariah Baumel, held in Syria since 1982.
*Note: Israeli Jews place a great deal of importance (value) on proper burial of their own in the land of Israel—much like Joseph wanted his remains to be transferred from Egypt to Israel for a permanent burial site—especially those killed in battle or in the line of duty. On more than one occasion, Israel has traded live enemy prisoners (many of them) for just one Israeli soldier, alive or dead.
Strange, but true stories, regarding two nations that will one day (not long from now) become bitter enemies, when Russia along with Iran, Turkey, and lesser nations furiously attack Israel.
Things to Ponder
Returning to the arrogant Iranian general’s boast with a question: Which God is he referring to when he said, “by God’s grace…”?
Obvious Answer: the Muslim god, Allah. Although even Muslims will sometimes substitute Allah with God, as will journalists when reporting someone who has mentioned the name Allah.
The main point: The Islamic god (in the Arab’s original pantheon of gods before Muhammed selected the moon-god Allah to imitate the Biblical monotheistic God of the Jews and Christians) certainly is not the God of the Bible. Among other names, He refers to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Not of Ishmael nor Mohammed.
The God of the Bible states unequivocally that He is the One true and living God. There are no other gods, except those devised by people.
Here’s a quote from Iran’s so-called Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in direct response to the quotation that I cited earlier from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (concerning Purim and Iran). From an article posted in United With Israel on 2-24-21 written by Aryeh Savir.
Said Khamenei: “That clown of the global Zionism (Netanyahu) is saying that he will not allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons; however, it should be said that if the Islamic Republic had decided to attain (an) atomic bomb, the Zionists and powers bigger than them could not have been able to prevent it.”
On the authority of the true and living God and His Word, the Bible: There is a power bigger than the powers which are bigger than Israel (such as the United States). One that is immensely (universally) bigger than the USA, the European Union, Russia, Turkey, and especially big-headed Iran.
When Iran—along with its partners in crime—attack Israel, they will learn first-hand which God IS God. They will see up close and personal that Israel won’t need to lift a finger to defend herself. The God of Israel, Himself, will crush the Gog/Magog armies.
Listen to the astonishing details and stunning results as God speaks to Gog and his confederation through Ezekiel:
“…When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! …all the people on earth—will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth…. Your men will turn their swords against each other (Russians will turn on Iranians who will turn on the Turks, who will turn on the Russians … because each country will want to be in charge of the others). I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur! In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:18-23, parenthesis mine, italics for emphasis).
Then in the next chapter: “You will fall in the open fields, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 39:5). And the verse before that:
Followed with: “And I will make a vast graveyard for Gog and his hordes in the Valley of the Travelers, east of the Dead Sea… It will take seven months for the people of Israel to bury the bodies and cleanse the land. Everyone in Israel will help, for it will be a glorious victory for Israel when I demonstrate my glory on that day, says the Sovereign Lord.
“After seven months, teams of men will be appointed to search the land for skeletons to bury, so the land will be made clean again. Whenever bones are found, a marker will be set up so the burial crews will take them to be buried in the Valley of Gog’s Hordes” (Ezekiel 39:11-15).
This time it will be the Israelis looking for the remains of Russians (Iranians, Turks, and others).
Only there will be no exchange of prisoners!
Then, a few years later, near the end of the seven-year Tribulation, God’s Son Messiah Jesus will soundly defeat Antichrist and all the nations aligned with this evil man.
The staggering result:
“…Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19:20-21).
During the Millennium and throughout Eternity, this Psalmist prayer will be realized globally on a spectacular scale.
“May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world” (Psalm 67:2-4, parenthesis mine).
“And I heard a voice from the altar saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God the Almighty, your judgments are true and just’” (Revelation 16:7).