(Erbil, Iraq) — Greetings from Iraq. I’ve been here for the last few days doing some final research for the Inside The Revolution documentary film we’re working on. More on that in a future post. First, I need to note that it’s been a dramatic few days here in the epicenter, especially for those interested in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39.
Consider the following:
1. “LIVING SECURELY IN THE LAND” — As I wrote about several days ago, there are intriguing implications of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza for the fulfillment of major Bible prophecies. This war could lead to: A) the toppling of Hamas in favor of a moderate leadership in Gaza (possible, but doubtful at this stage); or B) a cease fire between Israel and a weakened Hamas that truly holds for the next several years, and provides Israeli citizens on the southern border a real measure of safety and security (still too early to say, but increasingly possible given the events of the last 23 days and the last 48 hours). If either of these events happen, then a major precondition of Ezekiel 38-39 could come to pass in the not-too-distant future. The prophecy requires that: A) Israel is reborn as a nation (which happened in 1948); B) Jews are returning to the Holy Land after centuries of exile (this has been happening since the end of the 19th century); and C) Israelis are finally “living securely in the land” — meaning Israelis may not have true, lasting formal peace with all of its neighbors, but Israeli citizens feel more safe and more comfortable and relaxed than ever before. Most Israelis actually already feel this way today, except for those along the Gaza border. Despite all the wars and rumors of wars in the region, the vast majority of Israelis are going to the malls, going to the movies, going to the beaches, going about their daily lives feeling that the Jewish State is more stable and secure today than at any time in the past sixty years. If Israelis in the south begin to feel this level of security, too, things could get quite interesting from the perspective of Bible prophecy.
2. ISRAEL MAKES ENORMOUS AND “HISTORIC” DISCOVERY OF NATURAL GAS OFF HAIFA — Ezekiel 38-39 has another precondition that has to happen before the “War of Gog and Magog” can begin — Israel must be notably prosperous. In my first non-fiction book, Epicenter, I noted that Israel is already far more prosperous than her immediate neighbors, the Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Syrians and the Lebanese. But I speculated that it was possible that the Israel will get far more prosperous to fully satisfy this prophetic precondition. I further noted that based on a series of Bible prophecies, Israel will make major discoveries of petroleum in “the last days” (something that was a fictional part of The Last Jihad series, as well). Consider, then, this remarkable story on today’s Jerusalem Post website: “Three massive gas reservoirs have been discovered 80 kilometers off the Haifa coast, at the Tamar prospect, Noble Energy Inc. announced on Sunday….Speaking on Army Radio Sunday morning, an exhilarated Yitzhak Tshuva, owner of the Delek Group Ltd, one of the owners of the well, called the discovery ‘one of the biggest in the world,’ promising that the find would present a historic land mark in the economic independence of Israel. ”I have no doubt that this is a holiday for the State of Israel. We will no longer be dependent [on foreign sources] for our gas, and will even export. We are dealing with inconceivably huge quantities; Israel now has a solution for the future generations,’ Tshuva added. An ecstatic Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said before the weekly cabinet meeting that the discovery was a ‘historic’ one and could ‘change the face of Israeli industry.’….Following the announcement of the discover, shares of Delek Drilling jumped up 80%, while shares of Isramco Negev 2 skyrocketed by an unprecedented 120 percent. The rest of the Tel Aviv stock market also saw huge gains, with the TA-Index 100 climbing nearly 4 percent.” It’s too soon to draw any conclusions, but I do think this is a story worth watching closely.
- UPDATE — Jerusalem Post: Israeli gas find may meet demand for 15 years
- UPDATE — Reuters: Large quantities of natural gas found off Haifa coast; More than 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered at well off of Israel’s Mediterranean coast. ‘This appears to be the largest discovery in the company’s history,’ says Noble Energy president
- UPDATE — Haaretz: Israeli gas stocks explode skywards
3. RUSSIA IS BUILDING ALLIANCES WITH IRAN, LIBYA, SYRIA AND LEBANON, AS HATRED OF ISRAEL GROWS — The prophecies found in Ezekiel 38-39 further tell us that Russia (Magog), Iran (Persia), Libya (Put), and Turkey (Gomer) will all form alliances together, before eventually trying to attack Israel from the North. To come from the North, they need to come through Syria and Lebanon, which means either Syria and Lebanon are active members of the coalition against Israel, or they have been overrun by military forces of the Russian-Iranian alliance. Again, I describe all this in detail in Epicenter, but it’s worth considering the following headlines in recent days:
- Russia to complete Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant in 2009
- Iran president says Israeli leaders face ‘doomed end’
- Iran’s Ahmadinejad demands trial of Israeli leaders for “war crimes”
- High-level Iranian cleric calls for shooting Israeli Foreign Minister
- Russia plans navy bases in Libya, Syria
- Russian navy eyes Tartous, Syria as base for Black Sea Fleet
- Russia’s Gazprom increases oil holdings in Libya
- Recent Attempts to Form Strategic Regional Bloc: Syria, Turkey and Iran
- Turkey wants Israel barred from the U.N.
- Osama Bin Laden urges Jihad against Israel
- Anti-Israel mood prevails at summit
For me, it still remains too early to draw any definitive conclusions about what all this means. But it is worth noting that clearly several of the key countries that Ezekiel says will form alliances together — and against Israel — are, in fact, currently forming closer and closer ties, even as a wave of profound anti-Israel sentiment is rising throughout the region.
** Despite the ceasefire, Hamas has fired more than 15 rockets at Israel. The Joshua Fund remains committed to continuing our efforts to bless the Israelis in Sderot and the southern tier through a number of relief projects. If you would like to make a secure, tax deductible donation on-line to The Joshua Fund — or learn more about what we are doing and why — please click here **