Sooner or later the Middle East will explode as mentioned so many times over the past several months. There is just too much build-up and too much rhetoric directed towards conflict. Additionally, we know from biblical prophecy that the Middle East will erupt in extreme violence.
I believe that things will begin with either the Iran-Israeli situation, or the Hezbollah/Syria/Lebanon axis beginning the conflict.
Recently, it appears that the Hezbollah/Syria/Lebanon situation is more imminent. We also know that Damascus will be completely destroyed along the way and it will cease to exist as a city.
One ongoing situation that has my interest comes from Syria. It is well known that Syria has chemical and gas tipped missiles. We also know that Israel has stated that they will view any such attacks on Israeli cities in the same way that they would view nuclear attacks, and they will respond as such. This has my attention, as it seems the most likely scenario leading to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 and also set the stage for the "Gog-MaGog invasion" of Ezekiel 38-39.
With that as a backdrop, I find this article very interesting:
"Is Israel really a target for chemical warfare?"
"The gas mask distribution is part of a feeding frenzy that has taken hold of the Israeli home front in the last two years. This doesn't only stem from Israel being caught with its pants down in the Second Lebanon War, but also from an understanding that in any future confrontation the enemy will focus most of its pressure on Israel's civilian population."
"The fears over Israel's civilians are not only related to the possibility of a conflagration over Iran's nuclear program. In recent weeks, tensions have been rising between Israel and Syria and Hezbollah, with fears that Iran would attempt to push the region into a conflict, thus diverting the world's attention from its nuclear program and postponing any planned tough sanctions."
"So does all of this actually have anything to do with chemical weapons and gas masks? In a roundabout way, yes. Syria is stockpiling large amounts of chemical warheads. Just a few years ago, Russian scientists reported they had developed the ability to install such warheads on rockets like those in the hands of Hezbollah. Even now, the presence of chemical weapons in Lebanon is still uncertain. But the (imaginary) scenario in which a guerilla organization, not just a nation state, has chemical weapon capability would shift the balance of deterrence between the sides."
"Can Israel be certain that it will be able to dissuade Hezbollah before the group uses chemical weapons? And in the event of war, does Israel have an effective response to the launch of such weapons? These are the tough - and worrying - questions."
At the risk of stating the obvious: If Syria (or Hezbollah) uses any chemical or gas tipped missiles, its going to ignite the entire region.
In the next article we can see how serious this situation is:
"Israel simulation prepares for two-front war with Hamas and Hizbullah"
"Officials said the Israel Army has been conducting exercises in preparation for a two-front war. They said the military envisions fighting along the southern Israeli frontier with the Gaza Strip as well as with Lebanon and Syria."
"On Feb. 25, the military concluded a command exercise that simulated a two-front war with Hamas and Hizbullah. The exercise included a scenario of massive missile and rocket strikes on Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported."
"Military intelligence has warned the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of the prospect of war in 2010. Officials said the intelligence assessment said Iran could order a war by Hamas and Hizbullah in an effort to divert Western attention from its campaign to halt Teheran's nuclear program."
"A wind of tension is blowing again in the north of the country," chief armored officer Brig. Gen. Agai Yehezkel said. "Despite the fact that the challenge might be more difficult than during Operation Cast Lead [Hamas war], we are prepared for it."
"Officials said the next war would require a rapid Israeli ground advance into the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. They said this would require the integration of air, infantry and armored forces, with support from the navy in coastal operations. Some of these goals were said to have been achieved in the 22-day war with Hamas in 2009."
"Mideast war in 'very' near future"
"US to Lebanon: Stop Hizballah arms smuggling, or face Israeli wrath"
It seems almost universally agreed that the next conflict in the Middle East will not be contained to a small area. Syria and Hezbollah have already stated that they will target all Israeli cities. Israel has stated that if "attacked" (most likely from a missile attack) they will not confine their response to southern Lebanon, as they will hold "Damascus" directly responsible.
It looks like the era of small skirmishes confined to a local area such as Gaza, or southern Lebanon are a thing of the past. The next conflict will be much wider in scope and magnitude and involve multiple regions - by definition.
Exactly as biblical prophecy would predict.
The question is - how much of this will the Church witness before the "gathering up" of the saints? I believe its quite possible that we will be here to see the conflict begin, and we may be here to see the destruction of Damascus. But as stated so many times, it is VERY hard to see a scenario in which the Church is here to witness the invasion of Gog-MaGog and God's direct intervention.
If we are here to witness the destruction of Damascus - we need to be prepared. We need to be prepared because once that happens, Gog-MaGog will occur in short order - as part of the subsequent events in the region.
That would leave a very brief opportunity for the Church to witness like never before - using biblical prophecy and its fulfillment as a witnessing tool. Recall the mood of the country after 9-11; churches were packed for several weeks. I believe the same would happen after witnessing something so epic as the world's oldest existing city being completely destroyed. If we are here for this event, then proof of biblical prophecy fulfillment would be almost impossible to deny.
We may have an opportunity to serve God in a big way - via witnessing through proof of God's prophetic words - and it may come as early as this summer.
Jesus told us about these events in advance:
"So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time." (Mark 13:23).
Lets be prepared. It is coming and coming soon.