JERUSALEM: RUMORS OF WAR
As threats of a U.S. war against Iraq heated up this week, the lone ally of America in the Middle East prepared for the worst. Israel, according to a report in World Tribune.com, “…has determined that Iraq is preparing a missile strike that could be launched at any time.”
This article continues, “The officials said Iraq could decide to preempt any U.S. attack on the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with a missile barrage against Israel. They said such an Iraqi attack could be aimed at foiling U.S. plans to use Jordan and the Gulf states as launching pads for a military campaign against Baghdad.”
Also, “Officials said authorities have tested masks for the protection of Israeli civilians against Iraqi chemical weapons attacks.” Similar frightening preparations were reported by the Jerusalem Post Internet Edition: “Fifteen thousand emergency personnel will be vaccinated against smallpox, security officials decided Wednesday, fearing that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could use the deadly virus as a biological weapon should the US attack Baghdad.”
News reports in the U.S. have mentioned that Israel is also now taking steps to prepare its citizenry for the real possibility of nuclear attack! All of these very ominous events were forewarned. The prophet Zechariah records that Jerusalem will eventually become the caldron of trouble that will bring all nations of the earth against it (chapter 12, verse 3). The good news is that very soon these troublesome times will end, and Jesus Christ will establish God’s righteous government on this earth–an earth now suffering from “wars and rumors of wars!”
FLOODING IN GERMANY
The unprecedented flooding in Germany has prompted STERN magazine to publish a remarkable editorial in this week’s issue. We are translating portions of this editorial, as follows:
“In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God let it rain for 40 days and 40 nights, to extinguish all life and all sins on earth. Only Noah and his arc survived the flood. Also, the flood catastrophe at the Elbe and Danube rivers seems to be a consequence of human sins: Through the unrestrained consuming of energy, we have accelerated the change of our climate. We have changed beautiful brooks… into threatening rivers. And, through construction in endangered regions, we have ignored the forces of nature in a criminal way… Let us not return to our daily affairs, but let us talk about the consequences… All of us will soon have to pay as dearly for the sins of the past , as the people in Bavaria and Saxony have already paid.”
We are soberly reminded of a warning in Revelation 11:18. We are told there that God “will destroy those who destroy the earth.” Rather than beautifying this planet, mankind has been guilty of polluting and destroying it. But, there will come a time of reckoning. The recent flooding in many parts of the world is just a prelude of what is soon going to occur in a much greater way.
TAKE-OVER OF IRAQI EMBASSY IN BERLIN
As USA Today reported on August 20, “masked German police commandos freed two senior diplomats from armed men who stormed the Iraqi embassy Tuesday, bringing a bloodless end to a five-hour hostage drama by a previously unknown group opposed to Saddam Hussein.” The newly-founded group, calling itself “the Democratic Iraqi Opposition of Germany,” stated that they had taken over the Embassy to bring attention to the need of liberation in Iraq.
The Embassy seizure came, “as Germany expresses opposition to any U.S.-led military action to remove Saddam… The German position has stoked a rare open spat between Washington and one of its chief European allies,” according to the newspaper.
The United States denied any prior knowledge of, or contacts or involvement with the seizure. The Bush administration declared that the siege did not help in the goal to overthrow Saddam.
In light of biblical prophecy, we can expect the friendship between the United States and Germany to cool off. The difference in positions as how to deal with Saddam could very well contribute to such an alienation.
RUSSIA IN THE NEWS
Yahoo! News reported on August 21, that the United States is concerned about Russia’s plan to build nuclear reactors in Iran and a proposed economic agreement with Iraq. Iran and Iraq are both part of what President Bush has termed the “axis of evil,” along with North Korea, because of their efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
Washington fears that by helping construct nuclear reactors in Iran, Moscow is helping Tehran develop nuclear arms. In addition, the United States expects Russia to continue to abide by United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Moscow, however, has taken the position that the proposed economic cooperation program with Baghdad, which is reportedly worth $40 billion, would not violate sanctions.
Biblical prophecy reveals that Russia will play an important role in future events — but not in the way, which many expect today. The Bible does not predict any major war between Russia and the United States prior to Christ’s return — but it does predict another war between Russia and continental Europe, following the establishment of some kind of a confederation between Europe and the Iraq.
The world was shocked this week to learn, what the Washington Post of August 21 described in this way: “A trove of videotapes unearthed in Afghanistan and spirited out recently by CNN confirms in graphic detail what U.S. intelligence officials have been saying over the last several years: that al Qaeda was learning how to make and use toxic chemical agents and that it has a disciplined, trained cadre of militants willing to kill, bomb and kidnap to meet its goals.”
The most graphic tape, according to the newspaper, “involves the apparent death of dogs inhaling a white vapor, which CNN commentators said they believe to be sarin or other poisonous gases.” This tape was so graphic that at least one local station in San Diego refused to air it. Many of those who did see it broke out in tears.
We must realize that we are living in a time, where Satan’s wrath is very great (Revelation 12:12). He is in the process of influencing people to develop a cruel, unloving, and hateful attitude unparalleled in the annals of mankind. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-3, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves…, proud, blasphemers…, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving…, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good…”
The coldness, brutality and cruelty portrayed in those tapes show without any doubt Satan’s influence and inspiration. To cause a dog to die in pain, and to laugh about it, as some of the al Qaeda observers were heard to do on the tape, portrays an ungodly spirit beyond belief. Indeed, perilous times have come upon us.