The Devil is in the Details
Vol: 9 Issue: 29 Saturday, June 29, 2002
Iraq and Saudi Arabia are preparing to reopen their joint border which has been closed for 12 years. The United Nations has approved the reopening of a first border crossing at Arar.
Western diplomats said the reopening of the border would lead to the revival of the Iraqi-Saudi oil pipeline, also closed since 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saudi Arabia and Iraq have improved relations over the last year.
Riyad is considering signing an accord with Iraq for a free trade zone. It opposes a US military attack on Saddam. After all, as Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz pointed out on Saturday, “Iraq does not represent any threat to the [Saudi] kingdom.”
The fact that Iraq represents a threat to America is immaterial at best, part of secret Saudi policy at worst.
In any case, it grows increasingly likely that Persian Gulf War Part Two, should it occur, is likely to be a lot longer and more costly than the first one.
On September 12, King Abdullah of Jordan told a television interview that the strikes on New York and Washington was the ‘beginning of World War Three’.
Given the instability in South Asia, Chinese belligerence, fresh clashes between the Koreas, the Persian Gulf region, the Arab-Israeli conflict, economic chaos in South America, — oh, let’s not forget the war on terror that adds another 40 possible belligerent countries — and Abdullah seems to be the only world leader to see the handwriting on the wall.
Yesterday, America bustled about, preparing for a Fourth of July celebration that will undoubtedly be especially poignant this year. While we were getting ready to celebrate our independence, it is threatened in a manner not yet fully comprehended by the average American.
Syria has launched plans to begin the production of the Scud D medium-range missile. While Damascus is providing some cooperation in the war on terror, it is on a selective basis. Senior Pentagon officials say Syria has increased strategic cooperation with Iraq and continues to develop medium-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
Iran continues to smuggle al-Qaeda terrorists into both Syria and Lebanon.
“It is correct that Iran has served as a haven for some terrorists leaving Afghanistan,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. “And it is also true that it has permitted transit of terrorists and supporters of terrorists through Iran to the south. It is also true that Iran has been involved in working with Syria and moving materials and people down into Damascus and then down through the Beirut road, through the Bekaa Valley and involved with terrorist activities in Lebanon and Israel.”
Tehran is also sending some of these al-Qaeda operatives into Turkey with orders to coordinated domestic insurgency activities as part of an effort to destablize the government there.
Turkey is only Islamic state to be a part of NATO and is the only Islamic state to enter into mutual defense agreements with Israel.
The terror network is also moving operatives across northern Iraq as a land route to move west into Syria. Hundreds more are harbored by Saddam in Kurdish areas of Iraq, where they are been sheltered, trained and exfiltrated for eventual new operations against Western targets.
In Asia, China developed countermeasures says a Chinese technical journal Taiyuan Huoli Yu Zhihui Kongzhi, that can render the US Patriot missile system ineffective.
China has been able to learn the exact characteristics of the Patriot during the 1990’s. Armed with that knowledge, it was only a matter of time.
The Bible speaks of the four spheres of global influence in the last days. The Bible divides them as ‘kingdoms’ by region. The kings of the East, according to John, will field an army of two hundred million men. [According to the KGB-CIA World Factbook, they can do that now].
Of the king of the south, Daniel says, “And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.” [Daniel 11:14]
Daniel also speaks of the king of the north. Although some commentators say these events took place at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, there is what is called the ‘law of dual reference’, and Daniel clearly places the timeframe for these kingdoms — at the ‘time of the end’:
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” [Daniel 11:40]
The other global sphere of influence isn’t the king of west. Any references to the west appear to be directed toward Europe.
The fourth sphere of global influence in the last days is the Gog-Magog alliance of Ezekiel 38-39. While it has been in development over the past decade, that development is currently stalled as a consequence of the Russian war against Chechnya.
Recent conciliatory moves towards the Chechens by Russian president Vladimir Putin, however, suggest that is a situation that could change quickly, if other events make it necessary.
Follow The Trends
The difficulty with Bible prophecy is that when one attempts to delve too deeply into details and make predictions based on his own understanding of current events, those predictions often fail, or appear to fail, because other necessary events have not yet taken place.
A good example of this was during the Nazi era, when many identified Hitler as antichrist and Mussolini as the Roman False Prophet and the Holocaust as antichrist’s war against the Jews. There were a lot of similarities, but there was no state of Israel.
But Hitler did set in motion events that resulted in the rebirth of the State of Israel, which set the stage for the fulfillment of Bible prophecies that many of that day believed had failed with Hitler’s suicide. Detractors had a field day making sport of the Bible prophecy nuts.
The point is this. There is much truth to the saying, ‘the devil is in the details.’ Detailed predictions can fail, rendering your testimony worthless. The trends are what prove the accuracy of Bible prophecy.
The Bible says the Arab-Israeli conflict will ultimately be resolved by a leader of the Revived Roman Empire. Europe is far better positioned among the Arab states than the US. The trends suggest it will eventually step in, as it has indicated it wants to, as the principle peace broker for the region.
But right now America holds that position. That doesn’t mean the prophecy that the antichrist will be a leader of the Roman Empire who will confirm a seven year peace covenant has failed. The trends still point to Europe as the eventual successor to America’s failed fifty-year effort to bring peace.
For our witness to be credible, it must be true. The Bible gives an overview that fits every existing political, economic, social and spiritual trend now in evidence on the planet.
Our mission is to provide Christians with intelligence information and how it relates to Bible prophecy, so they can use that information as a witnessing tool. In keeping with that mission, it seems right to issue an occasional exhortation.
We don’t believe we are right on every detail. Occasionally, we are, but that is because we pay attention to the trends.
Peter addresses the consequences of putting the understanding of current events above the reading of Scripture.
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” [2Peter 3:3-4]
The principle guide to understanding the signs of the times is the Bible, not the newspaper. The headlines confirm Scripture, not the other way around.
It is an important distinction we need to remain mindful of if we hope to be effective laborers for Christ – for the fields are indeed ‘white with harvest’. May God make us effective witnesses!
But remember. The devil is in the details.