Friday, June 13, 2014

Do the events of today in Iraq have prophetic import? Introduction to ISIS and prophecy

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

The suddenness with which the ISIS coalition has burst into the world stage is certainly startling. The swiftness with which the ISIS organization has made sweeping gains in Iraq is also startling. Any time there is dramatic movement in the Middle East, God's prophetic lands, it is wise to keep watch and also refer to prophecy.

Here are some resources for you to learn more about ancient Iraq. The resources are biblical and historical. Please stay away from conspiracy theorists and prophecy theorists who incorrectly meld blood moon theories and personal dreams and visions with bible prophecy that they rip from context and incorrectly interpret. It brings disrepute onto prophecy as a study topic to tweet, 'like,' blog, video, and otherwise promote such incorrect and unbiblical information.

Please also have a heart for the people there. The refugee situation from Syria is terrible, millions have been displaced. I read today that there are more Syrian children in Lebanon than there are Lebanese children. And more millions are fleeing Iraq- where will they go? Where can they be absorbed? Turkey and Jordan are filled to the brim with Syrians already. Most importantly, remember that these fleeing Iraqis don't know Jesus.

In 1903 W. Eugene Sallee gave a talk about the importance of missions to the Chinese. He demonstrated the need:

In his hand he held his watch. Looking at it constantly for one minute, and then looking at the audience, he said, “A million a month in China go down to their Christless graves, and every time the minute hand makes its circuit around the face of your watch, one thousand, three hundred and eighty-eight souls in China have gone into Eternity.”

How many Iraqis go to a Christless eternity every minute in the war-torn path of the rabid ISIS soldiers?

Here is a map of the lands in the news today. They are ALL in bible prophecy in the end times.

Babylon was 50 miles south of current day Baghdad, on the map above between and 'a' in Baghdad and the 'a' in Euphrates, at the bend in the river.

Ancient names for Iraq are Babylon, Shinar, Chaldea, and Mesopotamia. Smith's bible dictionary entry for Shinar states:

Shinar- (country of two rivers), the ancient name of the great alluvial tract through which the Tigris and Euphrates pass before reaching the sea --the tract known in later times as Chaldaea or Babylonia. It was a plain country, where brick had to be used for stone and slime for mortar. (Genesis 11:3) Among the cities were Babel (Babylon), Erech or Orech (Orchoe), Calneh or Calno (probably Niffer), and Accad, the site of which is unknown. It may be suspected that Shinar was the name by which the Hebrews originally knew the lower Mesopotamian country where they so long dwelt, and which Abraham brought with him from "Ur of the Chaldees."

Here is a short study of the Biblical History of the Land of Shinar from Keyway Bible Study.

Joel C. Rosenberg is a political Middle East expert AND a bible prophecy expert. He has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books about the various countries in the prophetic lands, which he calls 'the epicenter' because "current rumblings in the Middle East will change your future."

When the Syrian War broke out Rosenberg put together study notes from Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 because he had been asked so many times whether the civil war in and around Damascus was potentially part of prophecy coming to fulfillment. While he cautions that we can't know for sure when the prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the end of the end times will come to pass, (including Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Jeremiah 49, 50, 51, Ezekiel 38-39, Psalm 83, etc) he explains what these prophecies are in an easy-to-read, bullet point set of study notes that he graciously put online. The link below opens in .pdf. It is helpful to read it, very helpful.

NOTES ON THE FUTURE OF DAMASCUS ACCORDING TO BIBLE PROPHECY
Joel C. Rosenberg, updated September 2013

[I]t has been estimated that there are 135 prophecies in this first part of Daniel chapter 11 which have come to pass exactly as Daniel wrote them in history. ~S. Lewis Johnson
Daniel 11 may also be a good chapter to read in light of current geo-shifting events in the Middle East.

Here is a link to an exegesis of Daniel 11:1-45 (which is the whole chapter). At the link there is a transcript and another link to the audio of the sermon. I recommend listening while reading along. The sermon is titled "The Willful King". It is about the fourth and final world kingdom led by the antichrist. From Babylon, Iraq.

In Jeremiah 50:23 God called Babylon "The hammer of the whole earth ..." Yet God is the hammer that will finally bring Babylon down - to judgment. Is the beginning of that prophesied end time judgment happening in Iraq today? Time will tell. Sadly, many there need to repent before it comes. Please pray. Meanwhile I agree with what Joel C. Rosenberg said of prophecy:

"That said, my goal is to help make people aware of what the Bible says about the future of various countries and cities, help them understand Bible prophecy, answer their questions, and encourage them to seriously consider whether they want to follow Christ or not. And for Christians, I want to encourage them to know the power of God’s Word, and encourage them to obey Jesus when He commanded us to love our neighbors and love our enemies" said Joel C. Rosenberg

S. Lewis Johnson ended his exposition of Daniel 11 this way:

"The prophecy ends on the note of the sovereignty of God and the sovereign victory of God through the second coming of the Messiah who will establishes kingdom at that time. Let me close with a word of prayer.

[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these unfoldings of the prophetic word and we pray that Thou will give us enlightenment, enable us Lord also to recognize the trends and signs of the things that are happening in our society today, and Lord we pray that in our own personal life, we may be driven to a closer and deeper walk with Thee and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ whom to know is life eternal."


9 comments :

  1. I just found this post by googling and have never visited your blog before. Thank you for your careful efforts at accuracy and your heart for the unsaved people living in the horror that is the Middle East. I look forward to digging into the resources you have linked. -Kathleen B

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    1. Thank you Kathleen B! I appreciate your visit. I write another one today focusing a bit on the Kurds. The Prince of Peace is surely grieved as hell enlarges its mouth to receive so many

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  2. I'm Iraqi and Christian have you read news recently about Iraqi Christians being brutally killed and kicked. Out of their homes by the devil Isis? Us Christians are natives of Iraq and we are Assyrians and Chaldeans

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    1. I have read several things. First, I have read that ISIS is murdering or exiling the people who live there who are of Eastern Orthodox faith. Eastern Orthodox is a version of Catholicism, and because they do not believe in Jesus alone through faith alone, they are not true Christian. Not that I don't mourn their deaths, it's actually WORSE, because when they are killed, anyone in that denomination who didn't believe in Jesus alone would not be going to heaven. And of those who chose to leave, it is heartbreaking to lose everything they have, and their earthly belongings ARE all they have, and to not have Jesus to get them through it is also worse for them.

      Second, I am reading a LOT of news coming out of the Middle East. There are many claims. There are photos purporting to be of recently killed children, or babies with guns aimed at their head. Many of those photos have been found to be real photos, but not of the events they allege. They are old photos, or from Syria, or have a different context than was stated in the news.

      The internet makes it easier to obtain news...and it makes it easier to fake the news, too. I read, I fact check, and I wait. The fog of war makes validation difficult, so I believe it's best to watch, wait and pray.

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    2. Referring to the majority's beliefs as a whole based on what they practice is permitted. To refer to who is going to heaven and who isn't could be crossing the line. For only Jesus himself knows a man's heart. This could be discouraging to those we are trying to reach and turn to Jesus. As if it isn't enough to see people slaughtered and families demolished. We should be focusing on the ones still alive.

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  3. I'll be following now. Great, up-to-date information. I'm studying the end times prophecies in relation to the current events and the history of the Middle East. I appreciate every bit of material I can get hold of. It's an exhausting search to put it all together.

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  4. was reading some atricle the al-nusra front is already on the door step of israeli parts of the golan heights parts, to my understanding all this islamic millitants have an ultimate goal of obliterating israel from the world map, does this necessarily mean we arealredy living in the end times prophesies

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    1. Hi anonymous, yes and no. The end times began at Pentecost when the church began. (Hebrews 1:2, James 5:3, 1 Peter 1:20...etc). It has been this whole time.

      But as for the prophecies specifically related to the Tribulation period in Revelation, NO. That time is known as The Day of the LORD. The sign for that will be the rapture, which will happen prior to what we call The Tribulation and what is titled formally, the Time of Jacob's Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7)

      http://www.gotquestions.org/Great-Tribulation.html

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