Israeli warplanes struck targets Wednesday outside Damascus, Syria. The reason for the attack is the fear that President Assad of Syria will lose control of his nation’s stockpiles of chemical and sophisticated weapons. Israeli fighter jets hit a truck convoy believed to be carrying antiaircraft weapons for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. The shipment was thought to have included Russian-made SA-17 missiles.
There is the heightened concern that Israel’s attack into Syrian territory could draw Iran into a conflict with Israel. Iran has stated that any foreign attack against Syria would be seen as an attack against Iran. In recent days, Israel warned that Assad is losing control over his chemical weapons and that military action might be taken. This has now taken place.
Iran has often threatened to destroy Israel, and Hezbollah is one of Iran’s chief proxies. Israel smothering off the supply of weapons to Hezbollah cripples Iran’s power in the region.
We continue to monitor the situation closely. Always remember the end-time prophecy that describes Israel and its power to hurt its enemies—we saw a small example of this on Wednesday:
Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? [Genesis 49:9].
We continue to wait and see what type of coalition Prime Minister Netanyahu will form.
Mr Netanyahu’s vote slipped from the previous election; the centrist Yesh Atid party led by Yair Lapid, gained a shocking 19 seats. Netanyahu, as head of the joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu party, garnered 31 seats in the election. Lapid has already signaled his desire to join a coalition led by Netanyahu, rejecting outright calls from the leftist Labor party to form a blocking opposition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that security would be the foremost consideration when forming the next government. “The Middle East doesn’t wait for election results and won’t stop while we form the government”, Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting. “I will seek to establish a government that is as broad as possible, primarily to address to the security threats”.
President Obama waited for almost a week before congratulating the Prime Minister on his victory. Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk told the Israeli media on that American President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu do indeed have chemistry, at the moment it is “bad chemistry.” Relations between the two leaders are bound to remain chilly.
And from the Magazine ISRAEL TODAY we read of a reported explosion at Iran’s Fordo nuclear site. This explosion has yet to be confirmed. Once again we are hearing of “rumors of war”—Matthew 24:6. We will continue to monitor this event closely. Below is the article dated Sunday, January 27, 2013 [ISRAEL TODAY]:
Reports are circulating that an important nuclear facility in Iran has been at least partially destroyed in a massive explosion. The news comes just days after an ex-Iranian diplomat who defected to the West warned that if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon, it would use that weapon against Israel.
The explosion reportedly took place at the Fordo nuclear facility near the city of Qom. Fordo is buried deep under a mountain, making it nearly immune to aerial assault, and therefore a perfect location for a significant portion of Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.
According to reports in the American news website WorldNetDaily, which cited a former Iranian defense official who fled to the West, the explosion caused a collapse of the elevators that descend nearly 300 feet into the mountain facility, trapping some 240 personnel inside.
Tehran is said to be blaming the explosion on sabotage. Both Israel and the US are known to have taken various measures against Iran’s defiant nuclear program over the past several years. Though Israel did not officially respond to speculation that it was behind the blast, Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter told Yediot Ahronot that “any explosion in Iran that doesn’t hurt people but hurts its assets is welcome.”
Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu was shocked at the results of the recent election, which gave it approximately 31 seats [votes are still being tallied]. In 2009, the two parties garnered 42 seats, their strength has diminished in the 120-seat Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem.
It is difficult for one party in Israel to get a parliamentary majority of more than 60 seats, so parties must rely on coalition-building. The question is how will Netanyahu coble together a coalition.
The Yesh Atid party, a new centrist party devoted to helping the middle class and halting military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox civilians, stunned the nation by placing second with at least 18 seats.
Danny Danon, a Likud party member expected to serve in the next Knesset, said domestic issues, played a large role in the campaign. The next government, he said, will reach out to Palestinians “but will also continue to make sure Israelis are strong and safe.” Israel doesn’t “want to see an al Qaeda state in our backyard,” Danon said.
He cited the situation in Gaza, where militants fire missiles into Israel despite the country’s departure from that Palestinian territory.
How will the election results impact Netanyahu’s approach to the Iranian threat? Clearly the election results reveal a shift toward domestic issues. Much depends upon the coalition that is to be formed between the political parties in Israel. We hope to have an updated blog within the next few days regarding the Israel/Iran situation, and a deeper analysis of the coalition possibilities.
But there is no question Netanyahu was weakened by the election results.
Some of you may ask: How can you be so certain the Beast power is a European power? History answers that question for us. The books of Daniel and Revelation place a spotlight on a Roman political and religious system that would continue to rear its head throughout European history, right up to the return of Jesus Christ.
Let’s not forget the Roman Empire of Christ’s day was a European centered power, headquartered out of Rome, Italy. Geographically, the European Union today sits upon much of the same terrain where the old Roman Empire once thrived. The beast John saw in Revelation was a European Beast. It was a brutal, ruthless power that ruled large swaths of the European continent with an iron fist.
Prophecies in Daniel 2 can help us make sense of end time events. Here in this chapter are the series of great kingdoms that were to arise on the world scene leading up to the very end when Christ returns to this earth.
Daniel, interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a massive human image reveals that the first of these kingdoms spoken about was the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar himself (Daniel 2:28-38). It was to be followed by three other kingdoms (verses 39-40). Analyzing history with other prophecies, it is clear that these four kingdoms were, in sequence, the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greco-Macedonian and Roman empires.
Speaking of the fourth and final kingdom, the Roman Empire, Daniel said it would be “strong as iron, breaking in pieces and shattering everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others” (verse 40). Prophecy asserts that Rome becomes most aggressive, swallowing up the territories of Babylon, Persia and Greece, in a reign that lasts for hundreds of years.
In Daniel 7:4-7 the Bible compares the Babylonian Empire to a lion, the Persian Empire to a Bear, the Greek Empire to a four-headed leopard, and the Roman Empire to a beast described as “terrible” having iron teeth, breaking into pieces and devouring peoples and nations—see verse 7. This is speaking of the same Roman kingdom as we saw described in Daniel chapter 2. This beast is the power that will attack the United States before Christ returns.
Historians recognize that the Roman Empire, which began in 31 BC, has waxed strong and then faded through a succession of resurrections. It is interesting to note that for nearly 1000 years a political entity in Europe was actually called the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.Notice the definition of this Empire as found in the Encyclopedia Britannica:
HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE “…the varying complex of lands in western and central Europe ruled over first by Frankish and then by German kings for 10 centuries, from Charlemagne’s coronation in 800 until the renunciation of the imperial title in 1806”.
History reveals that various dictators in Europe revived that Empire. The resurrections were led by the following rulers: Justinian led the first revival of the Roman Empire in the sixth century; next was Charlamagne (crowned by the Pope in A.D. 800), Otto the Great (the German leader crowned in A.D. 962)—followed by the Hapsburg Dynasty of Charles V (the Austrian Emperor crowned in A.D. 1520)—then there was Napoleon’s reign (the French head crowned in A.D. 1805). And of course the most destructive revival led by Adolf Hitler. His Third Reich was to last a thousand years. It survived for only 12. These men all sought to unite Europe into one integrated Kingdom. Before Christ returns a final dictator will attempt the same ambition, and will succeed for a few short years in fulfilling the dream of a united European superstate.
Feet of Iron & Clay
Let us take a look at this final European “beast” empire, an “evil Empire” in more detail as depicted in Daniel 2, it is described as the feet of an image (with ten toes):
“Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay “ (Daniel 2:37-43). The various nations of Europe, with their different languages, cultures and bias’ depict a geopolitical Babylon.
The description of Iron and Clay is apt, as Europe is known for its ethnic, national and cultural diversity. Remember, researchers Pan and Pfeil (2004) count 87 distinct “peoples of Europe”. The 27 member nations of the European Union (EU), recognize 23 official languages within that confederation. There will be a future unified Beast system, but this multicultural Beast of the end-time will struggle to survive; cultural and ethnic differences will prove to be too complicated. This is not to say the European Union is the Beast, but out of this Union will come a cabal of certain nations making up the Beast power of the future.
European history is filled with war, bloodshed, demagoguery and religious conflict, an endless striving among nations—that pattern repeats just before Christ returns. That is why watching Europe is absolutely crucial. A particular country in Europe will be dominant… that nation is Germany. Not only is Germany at the geographical center of Europe, it is the economic engine that drives the European economy—a union of nations that boasts to be the largest trading bloc in the world—the European Union.
We continue to WATCH Europe.
It is a profitable exercise to look at History if we want to better understand Prophecy.
Today I remind you that Europe’s history is one of bloodshed, and war after war. Though Europe has witnessed relative peace for the past 60 years, the pattern of war will again reemerge on the European continent.
Europe as a continent has seen more wars fought on its soil than the continents of Asia, Africa and the Americas combined. Recorded history tells us that the last century was the bloodiest years the world has ever seen. The two great wars; World War I and World war 2 began on the continent of Europe. 15 million died in World War 1, and conservative estimates place the death toll of World War 2 at 55 million. Most of these deaths took place on European terrain.
In the 1930s and 40s ethnic hatred reached heights never before seen in Europe. In 1933 nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Nazi Germany during World War 2. The “killing factories” -–the death camps that systematically murdered Jews, Poles, Russians, Gypsies, Slavs, Belarusians, Ukrainians and many others, including the physically disabled, were situated in Europe. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
Don’t assume that in the 2nd world war the death toll was made up of mostly soldiers. Timothy Snyder writes in his insightful book BLOODLANDS, that millions of civilians died in Europe: “In the middle of Europe Nazi & Soviet regimes murdered some 14 million people…Yet not a single one of the 14 million was a soldier on active duty. Most were women, children, and the aged; none were bearing weapons; many had been stripped of their possessions, including their clothes”. (Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; see Preface) The “Bloodlands”, where many of these innocents died, extended from central Poland to western Russia, through the Ukraine and on into the Baltic States. More than half died from starvation, denied food by Russians and Germans soldiers.
Why is Europe so vulnerable to war? You must appreciate that Europe is unique in its varied mix of peoples who identify passionately with distinct nations. Pan and Pfeil count 87 distinct “peoples of Europe”. These various ethnic groups each have their different cultures, sensitivities and hatreds. No wonder war routinely erupts on the European continent; ethnic hostility, more often than not, leads to violence.
Many believe that another World War is not likely…that we have learned our lesson from the past. But such thinking is naïve. Mankind rarely learns from History, quite the opposite, people and nations make the same mistakes over and over again. The European Union was formed to lend stability to war prone Europe. It is believed that if the nations of Europe are melded together in a political and fiscal union then the nations of Europe will be much less likely to fight against each other, and peace will settle upon the continent of Europe. There will be peace, but that peace will be a short-lived illusion.
Prophecy reveals that the BLOODLANDS of Europe will be saturated with blood once more. America and Britain and the Northwestern democracies of Europe will suffer horribly in the years ahead of us. The whole world will be dragged into a devastating war. Revelation 17:12-13 reveals that ten leaders will give their power and backing to an end time European dictator called the Beast: …the ten horns which you saw are ten kings…these are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast (dictator). Verse 14, “These [the 10 allied rulers or leaders] will make war with the Lamb [Jesus Christ], and the Lamb will overcome them…”. We will see that this final empire, characterized as a European beast, exists at the time of Jesus Christ’s return and is destroyed by Him.
Germany has always played a major role in Europe and will play an active role in this Beast system. George Santayana, who, in his book, Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” German aggression will once again take its toll on the world at large, and the nations will be engulfed in the Great Tribulation because of it.