Monday, August 5, 2013

A credible threat from al-Qaeda's frankenbombers worries officials. Embassies closed

London bombings, WWII. Source
The world is not a safe place. The world is not our home, thank goodness. But until it is time to go to our new home (New Jerusalem), Christians are enduring the same dangers as everyone else.

There is a credible threat from al-Qaeda which has officials worried. This time, they seem really worried and have a good reason to be concerned.

Chicago Tribune reports, "The al Qaeda threat that closed U.S. embassies in the Middle East on Sunday is the most serious in years and the "chatter" among suspected terrorists is reminiscent of what preceded the Sept. 11 attacks, a U.S. lawmaker who is briefed on intelligence said."
"What is your opinion about surgeries through which I can implant the bomb ... inside the operative's body?" one writer asked.

First, let's turn to prophecy. We read in the bible that we can know the end. We know what will happen and how history will turn out. That is what prophecy is, foretelling history in advance. That is because the author of history has revealed it to us.

We know who will be in power at a given time (Jesus as King, Prophet and Priest). We know how the geology of the earth will change (Temple Mount splits, islands flee away, etc). We know the economy, (no one will be poor, there will be 100% employment rate). We know the sun will go away and the glory of Jesus will be the light by which we live and thrive. We know the name of what will be the largest city on earth, "New Jerusalem". We know all that and much more.

Working backward a bit, we know what will precede those events. Wars, diseases, plagues, starvation, violence, weather, poverty...sin! The Tribulation AKA The Time of Jacob's Trouble.

Working backward from that a bit, we are in this time now. A time where grace has come, and salvation by Jesus is available, but a time of increasingly sinful acts that compete for the human's soul and combats His grace.
photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc

Since before the foundation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4) God has had a plan for His children. He set names in His Book of Life (Revelation 20:15) and set forth a stage upon which to carry out His plan, earth, heaven and the universe. (Genesis 1). He desired to display His glory, (Psalm 19:1; 8:1; 50:6; 89:5), to commune with man who He made in His image. Since the beginning, He has communicated with us! This communication is to show us who He is and how to glorify Him. It is to have us align with His holy will and through His will, He has brought many children home to be with Him. And the spectacular thing is that He told us what will happen, since the beginning. (Genesis 3:15).

Since Man's fall in Genesis 3, His intention has always been to bring all things to fulfillment.

"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it." (Isaiah 46:8–11)

So one could safely say that all known history since 'the beginning' has hurtled forward, propelled on a track toward a finish, a fulfillment, a conclusion. There is a vanishing point.

photo credit: gustaffo89 via photopin cc
I always like to ponder, "where are we on that track?" Now, it is a dangerous and silly thing to state for certain. It is a pointless thing to think one can know for sure. But we can know gradations of darkness and wavelengths of light. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5).

Prophecy has been defined as a "miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture." (Easton's Bible Dictionary )

We are not in the Tribulation now but we see it coming. There are a number of prophecies which are just about visible. Where are we on the track? Close, I think.

God may take a long time to set up and begin to fulfill His plan, but when He decides the time is right it all happens quickly. I look at Sodom. At dawn, the angels told Lot and his wife and daughters to get out of the city. By the time the sun had risen, Sodom was no more!

Landscape with Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Artist, Joachim Patinir, c.1520
"The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven." (Genesis 19:23-24).

The outcry against Sodom had grown and grown and grown over time. We know this because in Genesis 13:12-13 Abram and Lot separate and Lot chose all the Jordan Valley to settle in, but pitched his tent close to Sodom. He had the whole valley to pick from but he chose to dwell close to sin. We know ten years passed, because Genesis 16:3 says Abraham dwelled ten years in Canaan. Then He had Ishmael by Hagar and he was 86. Then in the next chapter Abram was 99. (Genesis 17:1).

Next we see that the angels went to Sodom and saw Lot sitting at the gate. This is a place where judicial decisions are rendered, men transact business, and they watch for spies, armies and visitors. It is a place of leisure but also of importance. The fact that Lot was there indicates that he had stature of some kind. The verse doesn't say for sure what his position was, but given his association with the well known and regarded Abraham, it is likely he was sitting there in some official capacity. (source). It takes time to grow to credibility and stature within a city. So, time has passed and Sodom's sin had grown. We also see that Lot was no longer living in a tent near the city but in a house IN the city. (Genesis 19:3).

All this to say that during the whole time, Sodom had been growing in sin. There were outcries. Years passed. More outcries made. The outcries "had become great." (Genesis 19:13). Yet the people were oblivious at their looming vanishing point. They went on in their sins day after day and year after year, until suddenly, the city was flattened into ashes. In one moment!
God's Promises to Abram, James Tissot c.1896

It takes a long time for prophecy to build but when the wheels are set in motion, it happens fast. And there is 'no pause button', as Pastor JD Farag likes to say. Though Abram lobbied for Lot, he could not and did not dissuade the Angel from his plan to destroy Sodom.

Personally I believe we see so many of the almost-fulfilled prophecies that there is no pause button. That we passed the point of no return. There have been many times in the last decades where we approached the brink. The 1990 Oslo Accords was a major brink. September 11, 2001 was a major brink. The 2008 election, economic crash, and Japan tsunami were major brinks. The overthrow of Gaddafi and Mubarak were major brinks. But each time we've ratcheted back and things calmed down a bit. But the overall trajectory has been forward motion. Over the last two years especially, I believe it has gone even faster. This is my opinion.

Damascus is being destroyed as is Syria, the peace talks (covenant?) are gaining traction, the weather has been strange long enough so that many nations' grain reserves are low or nil, new diseases are popping up every day, Jerusalem is truly isolated diplomatically, Iran just about has the bomb, Russia is once again strong and pugnacious...

Could God pull back on all those and calm the tone and then ratchet it all back up in ten years? Sure. But will He? I personally believe no.

Now to the news which is causing concern, and I believe shows just how easy it would be to ignite it all. Just as sulfur rained down on Sodom one sunny morning, so could the terrorists' bombs ignite the final confrontations. Since 9/11, technology has advanced to incredible proportions. We have robot drones, Google street view, clear satellite photos, internet spying...and now this:

19 US posts to remain closed this week, as lawmakers say terror threat 'specific’ and ‘serious'
The State Department has announced that it will keep 19 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa closed throughout the week “out of an abundance of caution” in the wake of terror threats that shut them down. Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali and Port Louis have been instructed to close for normal operations from Monday through Saturday, department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. ...

Rooney suggested Sunday the travel warning will not be lifted soon. “If I had plans to travel to certain places in the Middle East, I would probably go ahead and cancel them,” he said. Rooney's comments followed Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press" that the threats are "very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11." He also described the threats as “the most serious … I've seen in a number of years.” ...

New York Republican Rep. Pete King, who leads the House Homeland Security subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, said the threat included dates but not locations of possible attacks. "The threat was specific as to how enormous it was going to be and also that certain dates were given," he said on ABC.

They seem very serious about this. More so than the run of the mill "oh no!"

ABC news reports, "The senior U.S. official said there is concern about devices that could be implanted inside the body of a terrorist. “We are concerned about surgically implanted devices,” they said. “These are guys who have developed the techniques to defeat our detection methods.” The official also said authorities were stunned that the group broke “operational security” — meaning they talked likely knowing it would be picked up by intercepts."

Implanted in the body?? There is no way to defeat that. This Slate report from July 7 of 2011 has more.

"By year's end, the SITE Intelligence Group had captured a detailed online exchange among al-Qaida followers. "What is your opinion about surgeries through which I can implant the bomb ... inside the operative's body?" one writer asked. Others advised him to stitch plastic or liquid explosives into the martyr's abdominal cavity."

This site reports even more specifics back from 2010.

"I am waiting for the interaction of the experienced brothers [doctors and scientists] to connect the two sciences together and produce a new kind of terrorism, Allah willing," he wrote, according to a translation by terror experts at the SITE Intelligence Group." (source).

It appears that the last few years the terrorists' focus on creating 'Frankenbombers' has been successful. Hence, the renewed concern and focus of the stated and credible threat today.

Given the size and magnitude of the threats, the new technology, and stunning confidence of the terrorists, and their satanic, singular intent to wreak havoc, it is going to happen. It is just a question of when.

So that brings us back to the vanishing point track line. Where are we on the track? Given all that we see happening, and given that the outcry today is so very great as it was in Lot's time, (Genesis 18:20-21, 19:13), is the Day near? It could well be. Just remember, that it begins suddenly.

If the Day is not today, my faith will not be shaken. I have a kingdom perspective. What this means that the time counts as nothing. I am an eternal person and I know my eternity is with Jesus. Eternity is a long time. Another year, or five years or ten years before He comes is a vapor compared to that. (Or I might die tomorrow, for I know not what tomorrow holds, Proverbs 27:1).

If indeed the time is near, (and it is, James 5:8), then the question becomes, "Am I ready?" Am I ready to be taken bodily up to heaven to be with Jesus?" What will make you ready is that you recognize you are a sinner, and that your sins disqualify you from being with God in heaven. Since everyone sins, everyone is disqualified. Jesus came to earth to live the perfect life as the Spotless Lamb (1 Peter 1:19) and then to shed His blood to cover our sins. He did this on the cross where He absorbed all Gods wrath for sin. God His Father, pleased with His Son's sacrifice, accepted it, exhausted His wrath, and raised Jesus from the dead. Now all one needs to do is believe the aforementioned, repent of your sins and believe on the name of Jesus for eternal life.

"because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9).

"They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." (Acts 16:31)

"but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (Romans 4:24)

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Please consider these things. The time is near.

2 comments:

  1. I think many Christians from the United States, especially those of conservative evangelical or fundamentalist backgrounds, may be surprised as to who the enemy could be vis-a-vis the end times evil power.

    For example, those who follow end times events know the oracle against Damascus. One popular interpretation is that Syria attacks Israel in a Psalm 83 or Ezekiel type of prophetic war and then is annihilated by a nuclear strike from Israel.

    There is another credible scenario in my mind. Love of money is the root of all evil, and energy and the monetary system itself is at stake right now in geopolitics. A vast oversimplification of the problem is as follows, The US wants to build Nabucco pipeline across Turkey to wrestle away the political power that Russia currently holds over Europe due to its gas pipeline almost monopoly into Europe. Russia has so far outmaneuvered the US by purchasing all the new gas finds in Turkmenistan, thus depriving Nabucco of the source gas it needs to be economically viable. Nabucco was supposed to extend East all the way across the Caspian sea in parallel to the BTC oil pipeline, and then go West through Turkey and to Italy where it would feed Europe, undercutting the Russian gas supply lines through Ukraine. However, Russia and China each purchased about half of Turkmenistan's gas output at high prices, guaranteeing that the gas would flow East, not West. The US desperately needs this political power over Europe in order to maintain the US dollar as a world reserve currency, especially in the years to come as our prolific spending only expands.

    Qatar, now the wealthiest GDP/person has seen an opening to double its already humongous profits by building a pipeline through Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and you may have guessed it, as the new feeder pipeline into Nabucco. In the military circles that I am attached, I hear the Nabucco talk as though it is a certainty, when in the current circumstance there is no gas. As of today, Nabucco is certian not to be completed.

    So what is the US military thinking?

    Syria has very modern anti-ship missiles and the extremely dangerous S-300 Russian built anti-aircraft system. Imagine if Assad sinks one or unbelievably, two capital aircraft carriers.

    It might not be Israel that destroys Damascus in some sort of Samsonesque Godly retribution on people that are touching the apple of God's eye. It is possible that the US will provoke a war with Syria, and then might be shocked when Assad effectively fights back. It might be the US military exercising a nuclear retaliatory strike for losing a couple of priceless aircraft carriers. The newly empty Syria will be a perfect place to put the Qatar/Nabucco gas pipeline to maintain the US empire. The motivation might be greed and conquering rather than direct Devine retribution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I agree. All we know for sure is that it will happen (Isaiah 17:1) and that it will be fast. (Isaiah 17:14). We do not know how or who.

      Delete

The Gospel in one minute- a humbling reminder

Dr Steven J. Lawson hosts a Men's Bible Study each week, as well as preaches and teaches elsewhere (i.e. Expositor.fm and The Master'...