Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum," Prophecy and Mosul/Nineveh

God said 'Jonah, arise and preach to Nineveh.' (Jonah 1:1-2)

Jonah outside Nineveh's gate. Rembrandt
We know the rest of the story. Initially Jonah refused, and ran in the other direction. He boarded a ship and sailed away. God sent a storm and overboard Jonah went. As Jonah contemplated his options on the way down to the bottom of the sea, he relented and acknowledged the sovereignty of God. He accepted the call to preach repentance to Nineveh. God had appointed a big fish and the fish swallowed Jonah and then spit him up back to where he began. Hoisting his toga, Jonah set off for Nineveh, heeding God's call.

It was 'an exceedingly great city' some three days' travel in breadth. Some historians calculate that as many as 250,000 lived in Nineveh. For several decades it was the largest city in the world. When Jonah preached, all the Ninevites repented, from the king on down to the lowliest peasant. All of them. It surely was a great move of God and a great shower of grace upon the many people of Nineveh.


Nineveh's Adad gate exterior entrance. Wiki CC
God's move was so powerful and so amazing that even till this day Eastern Orthodox churches of the Middle East commemorate the three days Jonah spent inside the fish during the "Fast of Nineveh". There are streets named after Jonah in the Middle East and monuments to him. There are even several places claiming to be his tomb. He is known to Muslims as Nabi Yunus, and Prophet Jonah is mentioned in the Q'uran. Therefore we see that God's move was SO GREAT that the vestigial memory of it rests in the hearts and minds of even the most blinded and spiritually distant from God.

Unfortunately, the Ninevites' repentant attitude was not permanent and Prophet Nahum records Nineveh's end. One hundred years later, they had gone back to their ways. Nahum says that it was a city full of blood, lies, and plunder. God said He would make an utter desolation of the city and He did.

The city was so obliterated by 400BC the city of Nineveh itself had passed into history. Even the very name was forgotten. The city was buried so well it was never re-discovered until 1842.
In 1842, French Consul General at Mosul, Paul-Émile Botta began to search the vast mounds that lay along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon II, which was largely explored for sculptures and other precious relics. Wikipedia

Today's Nineveh overlaps Mosul. Mosul is in Iraq, or what used to be Iraq, now that the ISIS group has taken over and established "The Islamic State". You might know that the goal of the Caliphate is to have 100% of all residents in it compliant to Allah. If someone is not a Muslim, they must pay jizya, a religious tax to the dhimmi (community). Or convert. Or die.

Nineveh's Mashki gate from the west. Wiki CC
The leaders of ISIS issued an ultimatum recently to that very effect. Before the war in Iraq in 2003, there were about 65,000 Christians living there. That is according to official records. However, spiritually, most of those are not Christians, because they adhere to an Eastern Orthodox religion, which is false. Personally I cannot say that the numbers were so large, but we do know that at out of 65,000 claiming Christianity, least some are true Christians.

Remember, Iraq is also home to Baghdad, AKA Babylon, the first city which Nimrod built and future history's (almost) the last city; a city which will be the prophetic focus of the Tribulation. It has been said that the bible could be subtitled "A Tale of Two Cities: Jerusalem and Babylon." What I'm saying is, the area has a long, loooong spiritual history. Moreover, and future history will dwindle down to events in this exact region.

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq about half the Christians left. After ISIS came, 10,000 more left. Suffice to say that life for a true Christian in this war-torn, spiritually hostile ground zero place would be hard. And this week, it just got harder.

Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum
Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul after Islamist militants threatened to kill them unless they converted to Islam or paid a "protection tax". A statement issued by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) was read out at the city's mosques. It called on Christians to comply by midday on Saturday or face death if they did not leave the northern city. Isis has control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and said last month it was creating an Islamic caliphate. The ultimatum cited a historic contract known as "dhimma," under which non-Muslims in Islamic societies who refuse to convert are offered protection if they pay a fee, called a "jizya". "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," the Isis statement said.

This is very similar to the upcoming ultimatum that the antichrist will issue. The antichrist will locate headquarters in Babylon. At the Tribulation, the antichrist will force all to worship him by accepting a mark on their hand or forehead. Or be excluded from the economy and unable to buy or sell, and then to be beheaded. (Revelation 13:16-17).

In addition to the hostility against perceived Christians, the ISIS people also took a sledgehammer to "Jonah's tomb" in Mosul.

Shocking moment ISIS militants take sledgehammers to Mosul tomb of Prophet Jonah
Donning balaclavas and black coats, they swung sledgehammers into the tombs, causing pieces of dust and stone to fly through the air. One of the devastated tombstones belonged to the Prophet Jonah (Younis in Arabic) and was revered by Muslims and Christians alike, according to Iraqi authorities. Speaking of the latest attack, Ninevah official Zuhair Al-Chalabi, told IraqiNews.com: 'The elements of ISIS [have] controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis in Mosul since they invaded the city.'  
It should be noted that there are also alleged burial sites for Jonah in Hebron, Lebanon, and Galilee in addition to Mosul.

We should:

1. Pray for the true Christians in the Middle East. As Joel Rosenberg calls it, it is "the epicenter" because geologically the epicenter is the point on the earth above the center of the earthquake. It aptly describes Israel, Jerusalem, and the countries surrounding her. Geographically, God considers Israel the center of the world. (Ezekiel 5:5) as Rosenberg explains here. Spiritually, it all comes down to God and His people, and history's last events will be located in Jerusalem and surrounding environs.

From this moment forward, whenever you are reading this, life will only be harder for Christians there. Jews also. Every day will be harder than the day before it.

2. Pray for the rapture. (2 Timothy 4:8). It is spiritually all right to pray for a time of deliverance, in so doing, acknowledging your citizenship (heaven), identifying yourself with the promises of Jesus, and wanting to be where there is no more pain.

3. Be strong in the word. Persevere, and in so doing, being the Light of Hope within us. Let it shine, your patience, calm, and hope will be a balm to those around you.

4. Study scripture and memorize it. Even in America, the time is coming and might already be here when we will need to rely on memory for scripture- as possessing a bible may soon be not-possible. The noose is tightening daily. Apostasy is rising and as John MacArthur said, "Cultural Christianity is dying at warp speed." I'll do another blog post later today about that. Therefore we should be aware of what is happening in the world and in our nations, and in that way we can be responsible to our duties as Christians on behalf of the glory of God.

5. Always shine the glory back to Him, He is the originator of the world, the sustainer of the world, and the King, Lord, and Judge of the world, He deserves all glory and acknowledgement in all we say and do. At the very moment that attitude is becoming more rare, is when we need to display it the most.

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Further reading:

Topical Bible: Nineveh

16 comments:

  1. My earnest prayer is that I don't want persecution of that sort to arise here before I am able to help others being persecuted.

    At the point in my life I am at, and have been through my childhood, I've been totally dependent on others for aid and security. What a shame if I die having only drawn resources from others, and not contributed anything back. Lord, let me become financially successful, only because I want to have more capacity to serve you and do mighty works through your power (that feels awkward to say, but I refuse to let the charismaniacs destroy my ability to pray for God to strengthen me in His Name).

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    1. Charismaniacs? Never mind all that...You go, dude! That's one of the best prayers I've heard in a long time! All I can say is "Me too, me too! What *he* said, Lord!"

      Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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    2. Begin where you are with what God has already given you. Faithful in the small........

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    3. Charismatic, from the Greek word charisma, referring to certain of the gifts in 1 Cor 12.

      it can be stated that anyone who claims Christianity and who exercises one of the many gifts that God's Spirit can give can be said to be charismatic. Some Charismatics are saved, many are not. The ones who are saved are practicing error.

      Bible.org says, "In the middle of the 20th century a new variation of Christianity arose, called the charismatic movement, which emphasized practicing 'visible' gifts (speaking in tongues, healings, etc.). It also focused on a 'baptism of the Spirit' as an identifying sign of conversion. Although it started in mainline Protestant churches, the charismatic movement soon spread to others such as the Catholic Church. In recent times, many leaders in the Charismatic movement have been convinced that the manifestation of supernatural power (e.g. alleged healings, delivering a person from the influence of demons, etc.) can and must be an integral part of their evangelistic efforts."
      ---------------------

      African preacher Angus Buchan is one of these who evangelizes THROUGH manifestation of gifts. I wrote about him earlier when reviewing his movie 'Faith Like Potatoes" .

      Charismatics are also known as 'continuationists" because they maintain that the visible spiritual gifts have continued since Apostolic times. Others, like me, are cessationists, because we maintain the bible shows the visible gifts ceased before the bible was completed

      A Charismatic, or an extreme charismatic dubbed a charismaniac, is one who uses experience to determine truth. As in "This happened to me, therefore it must be true." The problem with determining truth this way, is that first, our flesh lies to us, and second, *I* can't determine if what happened to you is true, because it happened outside the bible. And if I can't verify your truth then you can't verify mine, and so all truths are accepted. In this way, biblical standards are done away with.

      John MacArthur described Charismania this way, when he wrote his book "Charismatic Chaos in the 1990s,

      "Fantastic encounters with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are claimed as commonplace. Personal message from God are routine. Healings of all kinds are claimed. Miracles occur; everything from puppies being raised from the dead, washing machines being healed, empty gas tanks and teeth are filled. Not with the same thing. People are slain and the Holy Spirit - people go to Heaven, go to Hell, come back."

      "There are some today who even say that the Church can't do effective evangelism without such phenomena, without such signs and wonders and miracles. The Gospel, they say, is weak without signs and wonders. And this is the emphasis, by the way, of what is called the Third Wave."
      --------------

      That third wave has become a tsunami in the second decade of the new Mihlennium of the 2000s. Orthodox Christianity is now the minority. An example of that tsunami wave is that Charismania is flourishing in Africa and India. Zambian pastor Conrad Mwebe often writes and preaches against charismania, you can read some of his essays here, he wrote this one a few days ago

      Charismatic teaching is breeding spiritual havoc
      http://www.conradmbewe.com/2014/06/charismatic-teaching-is-breeding.html

      brick by brick biblical takedown of the Charismatic movement, last October's Strange Fire conference

      https://www.tmstrangefire.org/media#.U9Tc5LEtzZc

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  2. Good words on most things; (until mentioning rapture); imho rapture happens as Jesus descends at next/2nd Coming at end of tribulation. Pre-tribulation doctrine has been a big reason church is in apostasy.

    Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
    not in context but a promise.?

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    1. Thanks for reading! I appreciate it.

      I am not saying this in any way but truthfully, but your 'humble opinion' counts for nothing in a biblical discussion. It's best to use scripture if you're talking about something from the bible.

      The apostasy that is rising so fast is not because of a biblically certain, though non-salvation oriented doctrine. Not with all the false teachers, watered down doctrine, and tickled ears, and much more. We won't go through the Tribulation, the rapture will happen first.

      The church is not appointed to wrath. 1 Thess 5:9

      God is going to keep us from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world Rev 3:10

      At the end of the Tribulation Jesus is Coming to earth WITH His saints, in the rapture we go UP to Jesus. The two events are separate and distinct, happening at different times during the prophetic plan. Here is an essay with scriptures for you to explain the difference

      http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Rapture-Second-Coming.html

      As for the Luke 10:19 verse, here is a sermon that will in all probability answer your question mark about it
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/42-137/the-joys-of-a-true-disciple

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    2. "Pre-tribulation doctrine has been a big reason church is in apostasy."
      * * *
      Oh, please...don't even go there. This sounds a lot like what a man named Stan Johnson preaches at the Prophecy Club (don't even get me started on that guy...E would end up having to boot me for sure).

      You know, it occurs to me that one could just as easily claim that the end-time apostasy might have something to do with the Rambo-esque, self-glorifying reliance on the flesh that the post-trib bravado spawns, feeds and caters to. ("C'mon Satan...let's rock and roll!")

      I'm not saying it is...I'm just saying.

      The Holy Spirit has had to take me to the woodshed more than once for getting snarky with post-tribbers, and so I try to avoid getting tangled up in those arguments. Or starting them. I learned the hard way that it's more important to be ready than right.

      Speaking of which...if yer saved, yer goin', and if yer not, yer not. And *then*, it saddens me to say, some of these swaggering hard cases who don't have the simple, child-like faith to take God at His Word will get their big chance to find out how tough they really are.

      And I strongly suspect that when the Restrainer is removed and the proverbial stuff hits the proverbial fan, those hard cases will quickly discover they're not nearly as tough as they thought they were.

      Could we be wrong about the pre-trib Rapture? Yeah, sure.

      Maybe the Church really *is* spiritual Israel, and will be here for the Time of Jacob's Trouble.

      Maybe God really *is* a big fat liar and a welcher Whose promises aren't worth the parchment they were written on.

      Maybe the Book of Revelation really *is* just a bunch of scary allegory.

      Maybe the Church really *is* slam in the middle of the Lord's response to His disciples' questions about the future of Israel in Matthew 24.

      Maybe the 10 Virgins of Matthew 25 really *are* the Church, half of whom get turned away from 'their' wedding...somehow.

      Maybe there really *won't* be any natural-bodied believers in the Millennial Kingdom, thus explaining away the infamous Post-Tribber's Dilemma of having no sheep and the Sheep and Goat Judgment of Matthew 25. (Hey, I'm not making this up--I've actually talked to post-tribbers who believe that.)

      I will say one thing, however. At least I have more respect for an honest post-tribber who studies the Word and has come to their own conclusions and is willing to stand up for what they believe--even if I think they're wrong--than I do for spineless nitwits who say stuff like "Well, I'm preparing for post-trib, but hoping for pre-trib...heh heh heh." Like they're on their way to the betting window to put money on a horse.

      I'm not a betting man; but if I were, I'd sell everything I own and put my money on the unfathomable depth of His love, the uncompromising sanctity of His holiness, the exacting perfection of His justice, the overflowing abundance of His grace, and the rock-solid certainty of His promises.

      And no amount of slippery post-trib palaver will ever change that, no matter how many Scriptures are twisted around it.

      Thanks for putting up with me.

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    3. ...And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.…

      Rev 20:4-5
      Sorry, no time BEFORE the FIRST resurrection for a "rapture" !

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    4. Here is a link to an essay explaining about the first and second resurrections. There will be a rapture and it will occur before the Tribulation begins. The Tribulation is a time for wrath to be unleashed on the unbelieving world and the Bride is not appointed to wrath (Rev 3:10, 1 Thess 1:10). God turns His attention to the Jews and the unbelievers. The rapture closes the Age of Grace and resumes the prophetic clock, stopped 7 years short of the prophetic 490 years as per the decree of Daniel

      Resurrections:
      http://www.gotquestions.org/resurrection-first-second.html

      Decree of Daniel and prophetic clock:
      http://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-sevens.html

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  3. http://conflictantiquities.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/syria-iraq-mosul-nineveh-tomb-prophet-jonah-destruction-claim-false/

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  4. I think it helps the conversation to include at least one sentence summary for people so they can decide of they want to visit your link, don't you, Anonymous? Perhaps next time you can share what the link is about, or what made you post it, so we can continue the conversation. Sending just a link means more than likely I will simply delete it instead of allowing it through. If you don't have the time or energy to offer at least a bit of context, I will more than likely have the the time AND the inclination to press 'delete'.

    That said, I posted the comment so I could specifically say that.

    For those who are curious, the link is to a blog claiming that the ISIS soldiers did *not* destroy Jonah's tomb but destroyed SOME tombs. I'd like to say that I made a special note in the blog essay that there are several supposed tombs sprinkled around the Middle East alleging that Jonah is inside.

    In the piece shared by the above anonymous, the claim is that the 'tomb of Jonah' is very much intact, because according to an update the blog post reports,

    "Update (11th July 2014): The original source of the above photo is the Blackfive military blog: soldiers from the 2nd Military Transition Team of the U.S. Army and the 2nd Division of the Iraqi Army visited the Tomb of Jonah in Mosul, Iraq, 'to replace the long lost whale tooth [replica]‘ on the 30th of November 2008. This conclusively proves that the video does not show Islamic State destruction of the Tomb of Prophet Jonah.]"

    The. Whale. Tooth. Replica. sigh.

    The blog is run by an adjunct professor in Rome specializing in the trade in illicit antiquities and the destruction of community and cultural property. I found the explanations in it to be convoluted, difficult to follow and less than credible.

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  5. Just popped by the article again and as I read the headline, "The Mosul Ultimatum" really sounds like a Joel Rosenberg thriller. I doubt he'll take it, though; he seems to prefer writing about events before they happen xD

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  6. .....immediately AFTER the tribulation.....is what my Bible says.

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    1. can you be a bit more specific with your comment, Anonymous? I think we might have lost the context. Thanks

      Delete

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