The Winds of War
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Welcome to the latest edition of the Rapture Report where we review critical news headlines and watch for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moving on to the headlines it is being reported today in the Jerusalem Post that US President George W. Bush is getting ready to sign a bill providing an extra $162B worth of war spending funds to continue with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plan is described as:
The package approved by Congress includes a doubling of GI Bill college benefits for troops and veterans. It also provides a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits and $2.7 billion in emergency flood relief for the Midwest. Bush was to sign the bill Monday morning in the Oval Office. The spending bill will bring to more than $650 billion the amount Congress has provided for the Iraq war since it started more than five years ago. For operations in Afghanistan, the total is nearly $200 billion, according to congressional officials.
The Jerusalem Post is also reporting today that the commander of US Naval forces in the Persian Gulf is quoted as saying that if Iran were to try to block the Straits of Hormuz, that it would essentially be an act of war. The article reports:
Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the US Navy's 5th Fleet, told journalists in Bahrain on Monday that "any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz is an act of war" and said the US would not allow it.
Some military analysts have said that one of the ways Iran could try to strike back at any attempt to harm their nuclear program would be to try to block the world supply of oil in an effort to cripple the West's economy and society. With recent reports in the past several months of small Iranian boats harassing the larger US Navy warships in the Persian Gulf, this is a scenario that could easily play out. However, it is noteworthy that Iran would also be shooting itself in the foot by not being able to sell it's oil or import gasoline. As a result I would tend to believe that any attempts to block the Straits of Hormuz will be meet with a strong and quick response by the international community. But of course that does remain to be seen.
Further, in another report YNetNews.com is reporting that:
Mohammad Hejazi, deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, said Monday his country will be the one to determine the gravity and scope of a military reaction if Iran is attacked. "The era of hit-and-run is over. Possible beginners of any threat against Iran should notice that Iran reserves the right to determine the scale and scope of response to any threat," Hejazi was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as saying during a ceremony of the Revolutionary Guards in the city of Isfahan.
The strong rhetoric coming out of Iran is particularly distrubing in that in recent weeks Israeli officials have also been reported to have made strong statements about possibily striking the Iranian nuclear facilities should the world continue in the diplomatic deadlock it is currently in place regarding the nuclear issue in Iran.
Finally, it is being reported by ABC News that Pentagon officials are warning today of a potential Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities. The report is stating that there are two red lines that could prompt a strike by Israel. The article reports:
The official identified two "red lines" that could trigger an Israeli offensive. The first is tied to when Iran's Natanz nuclear facility produces enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. According to the latest U.S. and Israeli intelligence assessments, that is likely to happen sometime in 2009, and could happen by the end of this year. "The red line is not when they get to that point, but before they get to that point," the official said. "We are in the window of vulnerability." The second red line is connected to when Iran acquires the SA-20 air defense system it is buying from Russia. The Israelis may want to strike before that system -- which would make an attack much more difficult -- is put in place.
From these articles it appears that the situation in the Middle East is definitely heading towards a climax after numerous years of diplomatic wrangling and that events very soon may in fact prepare the way for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. It was about 2,500 years ago the prophet Ezekiel told of a great end times war against Israel that would take place before the Tribulation period. This war would involve Israel and invaders from the North lead by what is know as modern day Russia and Iran. This end times invasion would result in the supernatural intervention of God and the utter defeat of the invading armies leaving 5/6ths of the armies dead on the mountains of Israel. The war would result in the spiritual awakening or rebirth of the Jewish people and ultimately lead to the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple.
With news headlines like these we need to remain sober and watching as the signs are pointing to the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ for his church in the event known as the Rapture. Friends, Jesus is coming soon!!!