Feb 15, 2008

The Middle East: Back To The Brink

By Michael G. Mickey

Matthew 24:6: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

As a result of the death of Hezbollah's second-in-command Imad Moughniyah, who was killed by a car bomb in Damascus recently, the troubled Middle East is back to the brink of war with Hezbollah's chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saying the terrorist organization is prepared for "open war" with Israel.

While Israel has officially denied any association with Moughniyah's death, it is presumed by Israel's enemies, as is always the case it seems, that no one other than Israel would have a motive to kill this terrorist madman. I, for one, would beg to differ.

Along with Israel, the United States had more than enough motive, itself engaged in a war on terrorism for some time now, to take Moughniyah out via the CIA or U.S. Special Forces for his role in the Marine barracks bombing that took place in Lebanon in 1983 leaving 300 dead, as well as an attack on the U.S. Embassy that same year that saw another 63 Americans killed.

Sure, Moughniyah was Israel's #1 most wanted terrorist but, if he wasn't pretty high on the United States' list of terrorists in need of elimination for lack of a better word, he certainly should've been.

Based on the content of a WorldNetDaily report, it seems that Moughniyah knew he was, in essence, living on borrowed time. He reportedly "lived a secretive life, routinely switching between locations in Syria, Lebanon and Iran." He is believed to have "undergone multiple plastic surgeries and changed identities numerous times."

A Time Magazine article implies that it isn't even beyond the realm of possibility to believe friends of his played a role in his death! Regardless, all of Israel's enemies in the Middle East are worked into a blood-thirsty feeding frenzy that threatens, yet again, to derail all efforts to bring peace to the region.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is taking his usual role in stirring up trouble at this moment of heightened tensions, doing everything within his power to inspire others to take the place of his friend Moughniyah. Proving that no one is so blind as the person who refuses to see, Ahmadinejad is quoted in a Ynetnews.com article as saying Moughniyah's assassination "casts more shame on the Zionists and their supporters", adding that the "'occupiers' of Jerusalem must know these crimes will not compensate for their humiliating defeat in Lebanon."

There are a million more Moughniyahs, according to Ahmadinejad, to be found who "possess the same courage and resolve to join the struggle against the occupiers, the terrorists [????] and the uncultured."

A prelude to Gog-Magog?

Ironically, as all of this unfolds, brother Jack Kelley of GraceThruFaith.com has been providing RaptureAlert.com's readers with a fascinating study of the book of Ezekiel that is ongoing as I write this commentary.

In Jack's fourth installment of the study, he touched on something that immediately came to mind when I read of these heightened tensions, most of which involves Israel's enemies residing in Damascus and Lebanon.

Jack, who I am in perfect agreement with on this topic, doesn't believe that current conditions in Israel are where they are prophesied to be immediately prior to the prophesied battle of Gog-Magog taking place as foretold in Ezekiel 38-39. Jack wrote, on that subject, the following and just this week:

From what we currently understand about End Times Prophecy, the two events most likely to create such a sudden change in the political climate are the destruction of Damascus, foretold in Isaiah 17 and the battle that's the subject of Psalm 83. No alliance against Israel such as the one described there has happened in history, and if the Lord grants the psalmist's request to destroy them, the Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese, and Syrians will all cease to be a threat when it's over. In its aftermath, Israel will be larger, stronger, and feel more secure than at any time in its modern history. Perhaps secure enough to let down their guard a little.

What next?

The Middle East is back to the brink of open war once again. What will happen next is anyone's guess but who knows? Most any day now, things could take a turn that could draw more attention to God's prophetic Word than ever before, providing those of us watching for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ one more clear indicator of just how accurate the prophetic Word of God is, one more chance for the Church to reach out to a lost and dying world (through Bible prophecy no less) to prove to those whose eyes are capable of being opened that the Word of God is history written in advance!

If we, the Church, should be presented with an opportunity like that this side of the Rapture of the Church, we need to be prepared to make the case that if Bible prophecy has proven to be correct concerning the destruction of Damascus, for example, the serious nature of every person's need to come to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior this side of eternity needs to given equal weight as even the horrors of the destruction of Damascus from the face of the earth could never compare with the eternal horror of even one soul being subjected to being cast into the lake of fire.

Lastly, let us pray, particularly if we are approaching a moment when anything the magnitude of Psalm 83 or Isaiah 17:1 is approaching fulfillment, that the Lord will be merciful upon all those He is willing to according to His perfect will.

The end times drama continues...