A Cloudy Day
Vol: 113 Issue: 23 Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The chaos continues to rage across the Middle East again this morning. Today’s hot spot is still Libya, where more than one thousand demonstrators have been killed so far.
First, some background: Gadhafi (there are about thirty-two ways to spell his name – I like this one) has lost the eastern half of the country to demonstrators now unafraid to display the flag of the old monarchy publicly.
Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa (by area) and ranks seventeenth largest in the world. It is the tenth richest oil producing nation in the world.
All three were occupied by Italy until the end of World War II, when they were taken over by the French. The French granted independence to the Kingdom of Libya under King Idris. On September 1, 1969 King Idris was overthrown by Gadhafi.
As to Gadhafi, he ranks number four on the list of the longest serving non-royal leaders in history — ahead of Stalin, ahead of Suharto, ahead of Tito, even ahead of Spanish fascist Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
Gadhafi imported mercenaries from all over the region in the wake of the desertions and defection of many of his high-ranking military officers and pilots who refused to fire on civilians.
“The Dubai-based al-Arabiya network says some of the guerrillas were Francophone mercenaries recruited by one of the sons of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Qatar-based al-Jazeera detailed pamphlets circulated to mercenary recruits from Guinea and Nigeria, offering them $2,000 per day to crack down on the Libyan uprising. And, as further reports of defections from the Libyan military filter in, the cornered Gaddafi regime may turn more and more to hired guns from abroad. On television channels and Twitter, frantic rumors circulated about Gaddafi preparing for a mercenary-backed counteroffensive against his opponents.”
Gadhafi gave a long, rambling speech yesterday, the gist of which is that he will not step down. He threatened to burn the country down with him, starting with the oilfields.
He said he would defy the US, superpowers, ”men with turbans and long beards” and anyone else who tried to end his revolution.
‘Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of a revolution,” he shrieked. ”Muammar Gaddafi has no official position to resign from. He is the leader of the revolution forever. This is my country, my country.”
”I am a fighter, a revolutionary from the tents … I will die a martyr at the end.”
Yup. Nutty as pan full of baklava.
“For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. (Ezekiel 30:3-5)
There is a principle in Bible prophecy called ‘dual-fulfillment’. As my colleague Jack Kelly explains at his excellent website, GracethruFaith, dual fulfillment means what it sounds like it means.
“The Abomination of Desolation occurred in 168 BC, not 70 AD, and the Seleucid (Greek) Emperor Antiochus Epiphanes was in charge. It is a model of what will happen again, but that doesn’t mean life on Earth will be like it was in 168 BC. It simply means that the event itself will be recognized because of its similarity to its first occurrence. That’s the purpose of dual fulfillment. The first fulfillment is always incomplete and confirms the fact that another fulfillment is coming. The first fulfillment is called a partial fulfillment for that reason. There are a dozen or more prophecies that either have already had dual fulfillments or will have.”
Many of Ezekiel’s prophecies were fulfilled in his lifetime, many others only partially fulfilled. Some won’t find fulfillment until the Tribulation (Ezekiel 38) and still others not until well into the Millennial Kingdom (Ezekiel 39, Revelation 20:8).
The prophet describes it as a ‘cloudy day’ and ‘during the time of the heathen’ but describes a cascading collapse.
It begins in Egypt, followed by Libya, Lidya (Cyrenaica, Fezzan) Chub and all the mingled peoples, men of the land in league (mercenaries) and ‘they also that uphold Egypt’ (Muslim Brotherhood?).
Ezekiel 31 promises to bring “the Assyrian” (Syria, Assad?) down with Egypt;
“And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.”
“Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:” (Ezekiel 31:12-13)
The paradigm shift taking place across the Middle East is taking place within a context and a framework.
The context is that the leaders across the Middle East have gotten too cozy with the United States or Israel — or both. The framework is revolution aimed at restoring the Islamic caliphate.
The timing is the last days of the heathen.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habbakuk 2:3)
It would appear that the waiting is almost over. Maranatha!