Monday, April 25, 2011

News From The Middle East

First we turn to Syria:

Syrian forces storm Damascus suburb

Syrian writers issued a declaration on Monday denouncing a bloody crackdown on protesters, a sign of outrage surging through the intellectual elite as violence has escalated dramatically in recent days.

Security forces and gunmen loyal to President Bashar Assad stormed the large Damascus suburb of Douma early on Monday, shooting at unarmed civilians and arresting residents, rights campaigners said.

Also Monday, a senior diplomat in Amman said Syria had closed all its land border crossings with Jordan, following the deployment of Syrian army tanks in Deraa. An official told Reuters the "timing is related to what appears to be a major security operation that is taking place right now".

At least 18 said killed as Syrian forces in tanks, APCs fire on protesters

Syrian President Bashar Assad's security forces opened fire on pro-democracy protesters across the country Monday, reportedly killing 13 in the coastal town of Jabla and another five in the southern town of Daraa.

Security forces backed by armored vehicles entered Daraa overnight and opened fire, a resident told Al Jazeera television Monday. Eight tanks were deployed in the old quarter of Daraa, a witness said, adding that several bodies were lying in the main street.

Despite Assad's caoncellation of decades-long emergency laws, his forces have continued to clash with protesters, killing more than 100 Syrians on Friday in the most brutal crackdown since the pro-democracy protests began some six weeks ago.

Syrian security forces detained dozens of opposition activists and protesters in raids on Sunday, yet another indication that Assad has little intent of relinquishing his authoritarian rule.

Assad is 'World's Most Dangerous Man'

Syrian President Bashar Assad is the world’s “most dangerous man,” according to Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Joel Brinkley, who added that the Obama government has “delusional views” of the dictato

Writing for Tribune Media Services, Brinkley said Assad overshadows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for being dangerous because the “duplicitous dictator…has duped presidents and prime ministers into believing he is their indispensable friend - even as he facilitates the killing of American troops, collects weapons of mass destruction and serves as the supply master for terrorist groups.”

[Assad] has been the best friend of Islamic extremists transiting into Iraq. They've crossed the Syrian border by the busload, in full view of U.S. spy satellites

“He sells missiles to Hizbullah, the terrorist group in southern Lebanon that is the avowed enemy of Israel and the United States.

“Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, actually lives in Damascus and does his murderous business openly from a storefront.

Persecution in the Middle East:

A Mideast Devoid of Christians

This is the goal of the Muslim world. In every Muslim nation there is an official systematic policy to destroy every Christian church, community, life in order to free themselves of the blight they see within their midst. This isn’t a new phenomena in these countries, they rid themselves of Jews decades ago.

This is the saddest Easter in the long epic of Arab Christianity: The cross is near extinction in the lands of it origin. The much-vaunted diversity of the Middle East is going to be reduced to the flat monotony of a single religion, Islam, and to a handful of languages.

The numbers are telling. Today there is only one Middle Eastern country where the number of Christians has grown: Israel. As documented in the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, the Christian community that numbered 34,000 people in 1949 is now 163,000-strong, and will reach 187,000 in 2020.

In the rest of the Middle East, the drive for Islamic purity is going to banish all traces of pre-Islamic pasts. This has affected not only Christians, but other non-Islamic communities too, such as the Zoroastrians and Baha’is in Iran (the late also found refuge in Israel, in Haifa.)

The silence of the global forums, the flawed conscience of human rights groups, the self-denial of the media and the Vatican’s appeasement is helping facilitate this Islamist campaign. According to a report on religious freedom compiled by the US Department of State, the number of Christians in Turkey declined from two million to 85,000; in Lebanon they have gone from 55% to 35% of the population; in Syria, from half the population they have been reduced to 4%; in Jordan, from 18% to 2%. In Iraq, they will be exterminated.

Should the exodus of Christians from Bethlehem continue in the next two or three decades, there may be no clergy left to conduct religious services in Jesus’ birthplace. In Iran, Christians have become virtually non-existent since 1979, when Khomeini ordered the immediate closure of all Christian schools. In Gaza, the 3,000 who remain are subjected to persecution. In Sudan, Christians in the South are forced into slavery.

Has a new computer virus weapon been unleashed?

After Stuxnet: Iran says it's discovered 2nd cyber attack

TEHRAN - Iran has been targeted by a second computer virus in a "cyber war" waged by its enemies, its commander of civil defense said on Monday.

Gholamreza Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the new virus, called "Stars", was being investigated by experts.

"The particular characteristics of the Stars virus have been discovered," Jalali said. "The virus is congruous and harmonious with the [computer] system and in the initial phase it does minor damage and might be mistaken for some executive files of government organizations."

Iran says targeted by second computer virus

Iran has been targeted by a second computer virus in a "cyber war" waged by its enemies, its commander of civil defence said on Monday.

Gholamreza Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the new virus, called "Stars", was being investigated by experts.

Some defense analysts say the main target was more likely to be Iran's uranium enrichment program. Enrichment creates fuel for nuclear power plants or, if pursued to a much higher degree, can provide material for an atomic bomb.

Back to Israel:

PA will defer UN statehood bid if 'serious talks begin'

Abed Rabbo says PA is determined to achieve statehood but will delay UN plan if negotiations based on '67 borders start before September

The Palestinian leadership will defer its plan to seek a declaration of statehood in the United Nations this September if "real and serious" negotiations begin before that point, PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Abed Rabbo told London-based Al-Hayyat on Monday.

Describing what the Palestinian Authority would find acceptable in negotiations, he said they must be based on benchmarks set by the Quartet, notably, being based on pre-1967 lines with minimal land exchanges without any population transfer.

Rabbo added that if the United Nations does confer statehood on a Palestinian state, that one of its first moves would be to ask the international community to force Israel to withdraw its military forces from Palestinian territories.

Speculating on the level of support the Palestinians can expect to receive in their planned statehood bid, he told Al-Hayyat that "the vast majority of influential countries, including European countries, will recognize the state of Palestine," predicting near unanimous support.

Palestinian police open fire on pilgrims visiting Joseph's Tomb

A group of Breslov Hassidim's regular twilight visit to Palestinian controlled Joseph's Tomb in Nablus came to a tragically violent end Sunday: According to one of the Breslovers, Palestinian police officers fired at the convoy as they were on their way in to the Tomb.The fire continued as they drove out, killing Ben-Yosef Livnat, a 24 year-old father of four from Jerusalem and the nephew of Minister Limor Livnat, and injuring five others.

The Palestinians and the IDF are investigating the incident but it seems unlikely that pilgrims on the way to kiss the Tomb of one of Judaism's most revered figures would be armed - especially since the visit was a regular occurrence and they apparently had no trouble previously in making the pilgrimage. Apparently, the pilgrims did not "register" with the Palestinians their intent to visit the Tomb, but even if they did not follow the rules, was this any reason to shoot them?

One therefore must come to the inescapable conclusion that this was a deliberate Palestinian provocation.

Just one more piece of evidence of how serious they are at reaching a peace agreement.


Elizabeth said...

This is a bit off topic but are any of you being relentlessly attacked by the enemy? He has been coming at me almost non-stop for several months now. I know his time is short and in the very near future, I'll never have to deal with such attacks again but in the meantime, I struggle wtih them. He is constantly telling me that I'm not saved which makes me think "is that Satan tormenting me or the Holy Spirit trying to convict me?" Can anyone else relate to this?

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I just finished reading
a wonderful book called Saved Without
a Doubt by John MacArthur. It was a
wonderful, reassuring book to read
and refer back to when those doubts
attack you. Amazon carries it in
paperback. John MacArthur is not an
easy believeism kind of pastor and his
information is all highly documented
with Scripture.

Paula said...


Salvation hinges on knowing the right Jesus and trusting Him for the right reason. The right Jesus is God in the flesh who died for us and rose again. The right reason is to be reconciled to God-- not just to escape hell.

So if you trust the right Jesus alone, by faith alone, for the purpose of being reconciled to God, then you are saved. Period.

Please see this page and the links at the end for more assurance. :-)

Anonymous said...

Scott, my comments keep disappearing!


Trying again...

My comment disappeared, I'll try again as "anon" because sometimes Blogger doesn't like "name/url".

Elizabeth, please see this page and the links at the end. Salvation is by knowing the right Jesus for the right reason. The right Jesus is God in the flesh who died for us and rose again. The right reason is to be reconciled to God, not merely to escape hell. If you trust this Jesus alone to save you and do so to be reconciled with God, then you are saved, period.

Alice said...

Elizabeth, I've heard great things about the book Kem recommends, too. I hope to read it this summer (if we're still here ;)).

That said, just a few short months ago (starting before Christmas and lasting into February) I knew several Christians who felt they were under a spiritual attack. One of them was our pastor. Thankfully, things have settled down now, but odd things were happening at that time. I believe, like you said, that satan knows his time is short and he's trying to mess with the believers while he can...

Reading and praying Ephesians 6 and knowing that I have on the armor of God always helps me when I feel under attack. God bless you!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

just remember you are saved because you bellieve upon christ and it is his blood that has washed us clean! Thank you Jesus! what a mighty God we serve! -ally

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paula said...

Ah, the problem seems to be links.

Elizabeth, please see www. and the links at the end. Salvation is by knowing the right Jesus for the right reason. The right Jesus is God in the flesh who died for us and rose again. The right reason is to be reconciled to God, not merely to escape hell. If you trust this Jesus alone to save you and do so to be reconciled with God, then you are saved, period.

Scott said...

Let me check the spam again - sometimes a bunch of comments will get diverted to Spam, and I haven't checked it lately. Will do so now.

Scott said...

Yep - several comments had been sent to spam - very sorry...I need to check that more often!

Paula said...

No prob, Scott... you can delete the duplicates. It seems that if I code a link with proper html it deems it spam. Does Blogger let you set the threshhold for number of links in a post?

Scott said...

Not sure - I'll check though - thanks for your patience!

James said...

Elizabeth, Kem, Alice:

I too have felt under attack for sometime now. I have had several back surgeries in the last 7 months and i know that when I feel physically challenged satan hits me with everything he can. he waits to attack then because he wants to inflict the most doubt. he tries to get me to doubt my salvation all the time. what a coward he is. On Easter Sunday, our pastor was speaking about our resurrected bodies once the Rapture occurs. He talked about how peace will come upon us and that one of the biggest things that we experience here on earth by satan,which is his manipulation of the truth, will never be allowed again. I am so looking forward to that day. God bless you.

Scott said...

James - I know that whenever I do a prophecy series or a bible study or anything related - we always notice an increase in spiritual attacks. I don't think Satan wants the message of the Coming of Jesus spread around.

Dylan said...

Scott-Seems alot is happening every day. I believe we are in the end times. And yesterday, about the island that could cause a tsunami, we were thinking of the same island. Anyways, it seems today was an eventful day. By the way, I haven't heard much on Fukushima, what's the sit rep there?

Expected Imminently said...


Satan is the accuser of the Brethren; so when he tells us how bad we are – he’s right, so that’s the moment to loudly Praise the Lord for His free gift of Salvation and for good measure -1John1:9.

Ephesians 2:2 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
3 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We can agree, yes, we ARE sinners, that's why Jesus gave His life for us, that if we only believe/faith in Him to save us from sin giving us Eternal Life, then we ARE saved. Believe/faith is the ONLY condition for Salvation! Yes, and it is that easy, not at all complicated as some would have us think.

We are declared JUSTIFIED in an INSTANT of time by God.
Father now sees us clothed in the righteousness of Christ imputed onto us. It’s an exchange; Jesus has debited our UN-righteousness and credited it to His account as He has credited His Righteousness to our account. PAID IN FULL (New lamps for old.)

Then begins the process of SANCTIFICATION for the remainder of our lives being changed slowly, slowly into His likeness until when we see Him, face to face, we shall be like Him. Salvation is Past – Justified; Present – Sanctified and Glorified - Future.

With total respect, I am advising you to keep clear of ‘Lordship Salvation’ via the heresy of John MacArthur which is a Salvation by faith AND by WORKS through the back door. That means the Character of God is slandered and you will never know for sure if you are ‘in’ or ‘out’ of salvation. They agree Salvation is by FAITH, but if they decide you are not faithful and obedient to God (works) then they falsely judge that person not genuinely saved in the first place – a false conversion. Not only is that UN-Biblical, this is a cruel lie, the ONLY judgment we are called to judge is false TEACHERS Matt 7.

If you die while ‘out’ of Salvation you are deemed by Lordship Salvation to be lost forever and you can NEVER have the assurance of Salvation. JMac said he is 99% sure he is saved. That means he believes man can do something (works) to both gain, or loose, Salvation.

1Peter1:5 Who are KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

God bless you Elizabeth.
Your sister in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

Thank you for so clearly stating this- the assurance of one's salvation through Christ's death on the cross and our belief in Him. Obedience and works are the expression of one's walk with Him, but not what our salvation is dependent on. -- I have wrestled with this issue, raised in a church that taught that you could lose your salvation. I married and changed churches. I met with one of the pastors in the new church and we discussed this issues. As my eyes were opened to the assurance of my salvation through scripture and prayer, I became fully free in my faith. A hugh weight had been lifted.
Blessings to you,

Scott said...

There are some interesting updates on the nuclear situation - I believe this is far worse than what is being reported - I hope to get to it this week - but right now I'm working on another Soros piece.

Sharon - I agree with Sue 100%. Also, one of my favorite reads is "How Good Is Good Enough" By Andy Stanley. Its a very short book and a brief read but it is incredibly insightful and it reveals the "problems" with works-based salvation. I HIGHLY recommend this little book...

Plus, one thing I love about Hal Lindsey is his embrace of grace and salvation. Hal likes to say something like this "everytime you introduce any form of works (to salvation), you diminish what was done on the cross, and we must NEVER diminish what Jesus did on the cross".....AMEN.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello dear Scott

I am checking this before my first cuppa; I thought I may have thrown myself into the L.S. battle and I wasn't looking forward to it. It so often results in my having to 'come apart'from 'another gospel'and has caused me so much grief....

Thank you for your testimony! Too many believers are infected with this doubt without ever understnding why, or knowing the name of the false doctrine L.S.
Praise the Lord for your new Pastor.

God bless you both.

Scott said...

Its all good :)
You need to start getting ready for the Royal Wedding:)

Expected Imminently said...


Would you believe peeps are camping out on the pavement already! Including U.S. and Canadians.

Please remember to pray for all the tourists, as we are on Amber alert for a terrorist threat via the I.R.A. Those bombs are never 'selective' of their victims.

Because it is on my youngest Grand-daughter's 2nd birthday, we are going to our Caravan in Wales. With me out of the way, it will make it easier on the rest of the family; less chance of
embarrassment for them.

In the past year I have only seen her briefly, by accident, twice and her gorgeous 5 yr old brother. Thankfully I have had a few hugs from the 12 yr old, I saw her out with her other grandparents last week, it was such a treat to have that cuddle.

I am SO looking forward to the fall of all things Emergent; the sooner that 'ship' sinks, the sooner I may get my family back from their clutches. If not, at least we shall all be together again at the Rapture.

Keep looking up!