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Ipswich Christadelphians

"Prove all things, hold fast what is good" 1Th 5:21

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We live in troubled times. Day-by-day, World tensions increase over the conflict between Israel and her neighbours and the fear that Iran will finally arm herself with nuclear weapons. Along with Israel’s threat to take direct action to halt Iran’s presumed race to build a nuclear warhead aimed at them, Canada has increased diplomatic pressure on Iran by announcing it is closing its embassy in Tehran. It called the Islamic regime "the greatest threat to security and peace in the world."  Threat to world security; does this really mean that the world as we know it is to descend into anarchy and chaos? This is very doubtful, if you believe what the Scriptures say about the future- that the world will be filled with the Glory of God (Numbers 14:21). But what of each person’s individual peace and safety? What does the future hold for you and for me? We are told in Matthew 24:21 and Mark 13:19 of a gathering storm, and that just before Jesus returns there will be days of “great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time – no nor ever shall be”. So, if we wish to be safe in those days which are evidently just around the corner, we need to listen to, believe, repent, and obey the Gospel, putting on Christ in baptism that we may become his brothers and sisters and as such look forward to, rather than fear his return to judge the world (2 Cor 5:10).

Today’s world could not be more indicative of the great tribulation mentioned in Matthew and Mark. There are demonstrations in many countries over a film deemed offensive to Muslims. Meanwhile, as Israel and the U.S. bicker over possible military action against Iran, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister warned that a strike against Iran would ‘set off deep shocks’ in the Middle East and beyond. Russia’s two main allies there, Iran and Syria are both under threat of attack. Russia having backed Syria to the hilt at the United Nations has now warned Israel not to strike at its other ally, Iran. 
 
Israel’s Fate decided in the next 50 days?

The time of opportunity is very limited, for once Iran is able to produce nuclear weapons – all bets are off and Israel would never be safe again. Tzachi Hanegbi a confidant of Israel’s Prime Minister, said this week that he believed the fate of Israel’s conflict with Iran will be decided within the next 50 days.

An Iran armed with nuclear weapons would cause a domino effect, where Iran’s neighbours and enemies also rush to produce them, in particular, Iran's arch-religious rival- the Saudis. The Israelis know that many in the Sunni Arab world would be enormously relieved if they did what the Americans are dithering over. The Sunni Arab consensus: Bombing Iran might be bad; allowing Khamenei to have a nuke would be worse.

Bluff and Double bluff

The war of threats and possible bluff goes on as it becomes more and more obvious that taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities completely at one go would be impossible with conventional weapons. So now we have suggestions that the United States will supply Israel with Bunker Buster bombs that can penetrate through up to 60 feet (almost 20 meters) of reinforced concrete.

In exchange for such weapons, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would agree to hold off on an independent attack until after the U.S. elections, as President Obama fears that a war could spoil his chances of being re-elected. Israel, on the other hand, fears that Obama's re-election could weaken America’s resolve and allow Iran to acquire the weapon it needs for killing millions of Israelis.

Also a suggestion has resurfaced that Israel might attack Iran by using electromagnetic impulses (EMP) that could cripple the country by shutting down its electronics and sending the Islamic Republic “back to the Stone Age,”.

This is what a US Strike could look like

Now with the Election looming the US appear to be backing off, and Senior officials in the Obama Administration recently sent a message to Tehran, suggesting that the U.S. does not intend to join Israel's side if it decides to attack the Iranian nuclear installations on its own. So, will Israel attack Iran alone and will Iran or Israel become consumed in all out war which would destroy one or both of them? –Its hard to imagine that Israel would take such a risk. The ‘Business Insider Military and Defense’ website reported that the US Centre For Strategic & International Studies considered that there would be a fierce response from Iran following a US strike. It would require at least 16 fighters and 10 bombers and Iran would most likely retaliate with a massive missile salvo directed about the entire region. When that happens a full Ballistic Missile War could ensue with untold US space, air, sea, and land elements coming into play.

A horrendous scenario, from which the world the world would probably not recover; made much more terrible if Israel were to attack Iran on their own. Men’s hearts may fail fear for the future but Students of the Bible are quite sure that such a total Doomsday Scenario will not occur. Israel and Iran will both be in at the finish and will still be powerful nations, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.

Surprisingly, it would seem also that Israel will then enjoy a peace it does not have at the moment.

The future for Israel and Iran

Ezekiel 38 makes the future clear for them both....it commences with a command from the LORD to prophesy against their enemies of which Iran is among the most ferocious!

1 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3 "and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

Gog is the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal answering to Russia, Moscow or Muscovy, and Tobolsk: all now in the Russian empire.( Concise Bible Dictionary) -- Ezekiel 38:15-16 says that they are in the "uttermost parts of the north" and that they come against Israel.

The armies which come with Russia will include Iran (Persia)

5 "Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

6 "Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you. (Gomer is the name for Germany and France and Torgamah is Turkey)

This diverse band of nations will be gathered under the guardianship of Russia to attack Israel. The next verse describes accurately her history...and verse 11 indicates that Israel will be enjoying a rare time of peace

8 "After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.

9 "You (Gog) will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you."

10 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:

11 "You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages (Israel at peace); I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’ —

12 "to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.

Gog will be opposed weakly by a coalition of nations who recognise their true motive.

13 "Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’"’ ( Sheba and Dedan refer to countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen and Saudi Arabia respectively. Tarshish, referring primarily to the United Kingdom (UK).)

14 ¶ "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?

15 "Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.

16 "You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."

1 ¶ "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal;

2 "and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel.

3 "Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand.

4 "You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

5 "You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken," says the Lord GOD.

This will be the end of all those who oppose God and His special Nation Israel, who He speaks of in the Prophets....

De 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

Zec 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you (Jerusalem): for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

And it will be the beginning of the Return of Christ to rule the world in Righteousness. Today’s world tumult shows that his return is near and it is time to (Acts 2:38&40)”Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..... Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” 



Acknowledgements: businessinsider.com; hindustantimes.com

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