The False Armageddon Scenario
Vol: 87 Issue: 13 Saturday, December 13, 2008
It is a reasonable supposition — one that I think finds considerable support in Scripture, that some kind of ‘false Armageddon’ scenario will precede the real McCoy.
Most of the Hebrew prophets hint at a period of peace and safety for Israel prior to the Gog-Magog invasion. The quest for peace is the story of the Jewish people, from Nebuchadnezzar to Theodor Hertzl.
”Shalom” — or ‘peace’– is how Jews greet and take their leave of one another. Jews don’t pray for victory over Jerusalem. Instead, they exhort one another, “Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim” – pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Type the word ‘peace’ into a Bible search program and scan the hits — you’ll discover the majority of them are in reference to Jewish longing for peace. Or in the context of the absence of peace.
In all her long history, Jerusalem has known little peace, and none since Israel’s restoration; what peace Jerusalem has known in modern times amounts to lulls between attacks.
“To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 13:16)
The greatest work published by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus was his, “The Wars of the Jews”. Flavius Josephus was a Levite Pharisee and commander of the Galilee region during the 66-70 Jewish Rebellion.
In 67, Josephus was cornered, with his men, in a cave where they agreed to a suicide pact. Josephus the last man standing. Josephus changed his mind.
He was captured by Vespasian, whom Josephus predicted would soon rule the world. When Nero committed suicide, Vespasian became emperor and he appointed Josephus his official historian.
Josephus published the “Wars of the Jews” in AD 78, “The Antiquities of the Jews” in AD 93, “Against Apion” (96-100) and his autobiography, “The Life of Josephus” around 100 AD.
The collected works of Josephus represent a secular history of the Jewish race from Adam to the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora. If there is a single theme one could pick out as central to all of these works, it is Israel’s relentless pursuit of peace. A theme confirmed by both the Prophets and the Scriptures.
“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11)
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1st Thessalonians 5:3)
The Bible, Jewish history and contemporary Jewish experience come together in a tragic ballad of unfulfilled promises of peace in three-part harmony.
Until one hits this discordant note, that is:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8)
And this one:
“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.” (Ezekiel 38:11)
The various players are already lined up exactly the way that the Bible foretells. Iran (Persia) continues in its nuclear build-up, making no bones about its intention to wipe Israel from the map in the process, practically begging for war with the Jewish State.
Iran’s co-religionists in the Arab world, despite their traditional hatred of the Persians, seem willing to put that behind them if it results in the destruction of Israel. The Russians seem relatively ambiguous about it all — they could be Israel’s allies or Israel’s enemy — but right now, the Arabs have all the oil.
That’s pretty much how Ezekiel described it, too. “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth. . .” (Ezekiel 38:4)
So it would appear that we are on the cusp of the Gog Magog War. Except for that one, CLANG!, that one little note of discord. The one about Israel ‘dwelling at peace’.
What about that?
The chief US delegate to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency Gregory L. Schulte, warned Syria this week that Damascus had until March to begin showing signs of cooperation over its nuclear plan or the country would face ‘punishment.’
The IAEA is examining uranium particles found in Syria containing features similar to what may be found in connection with a reactor site. Syria was also ‘requested’ to allow visits to locations containing the debris and any equipment removed from the site for the purpose of taking samples.
Schulte told London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat that “Syria must choose whether it plans to follow in Iran’s footsteps or to cooperate.”
Schulte dismissed Syria’s protests of innocence by pointing out that North Korea had not denied involvement in the construction of the alleged Syrian reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007.
Schulte refused to discuss the sanctions which would be imposed on Syria if it continued its policy, saying that the IAEA’s goal at this time is to convince Damascus to cooperate.
“No one is talking about sanctions today. The only thing we are talking about is a probe. The international agency is giving the Syrians an opportunity to cooperate, and they have an extension until the next meeting to cooperate.”
He added that this was not an official extension, but a date on which the nuclear watchdog would reexamine the Syrian nuclear issue, after the matter was discussed in the council’s latest meeting two weeks ago.
Despite his reservations, Schulte added that “Syria is engaging in a tactic used by Iran in recent years the failure to cooperate. This is not the road we want Syria to take. We hope Syria cooperates fully with the agency in regards to what happened in the Syrian desert. If they fail to cooperate, there will be consequences.”
In the natural, it is a toss-up whether it will be Iran or Syria who will start the next Middle East war. Ahmadinejad would like it to be Syria, giving his country the excuse to come into the war in Syria’s defense.
Assad has proximity, control of Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas all working on his side. Plus, Assad has a territorial excuse Ahmadinejad does not — the Golan Heights.
Currently, Syria has the most powerful chemical/biological arsenal in the region. But once he’s used them, he has to depend on Ahmadinejad’s threat to defend Syria with nukes to deter an Israeli nuclear counter-attack.
This perfectly sets the stage for the False Armageddon Scenario that brings the world to the brink — forcing the West to come together in a grand alliance under a single leader.
Any attack against the Jewish state involving chemical weapons — gas — will evoke a Israeli response I believe will shock and astonish the world.
It will preclude any Iranian response, most likely force the rest of the world to rethink its strategy and create a brand-new geopolitical reality overnight.
The prophet Isaiah called it “The Burden of Damascus.”
It begins, “Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” (Isaiah 17:1)
That this is a prophecy for the future, rather than a fulfilled prophecy from the past, is evidenced by the fact Damascus is the oldest continually-inhabited city in the world.
Damascus has never been destroyed — it’s never been ‘taken away from being a city’ or become ‘a ruinous heap’ — not even briefly.
Isaiah likens the destruction of Damascus to the shaking an olive tree, saying “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.”(17:6-7)
As to the UN, the IAEA, the US or anybody else, Isaiah issues this warning of woe:
“Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.” (17:12-13)
That is a pretty accurate picturing of the scene as I see it in the event of such a false Armageddon — the responsible nations of the world take a time-out to decide if they really want to take things to the next level. Which is something I highly doubt, if Iraq and Afghanistan are any indication of Western aversion to the casualties of war.
Isaiah’s scenario doesn’t allow time for Ahmadinejad or the Arab world to react — “behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not.” (Isaiah 17:14)
Note on Israel Tour:
I’m glad that Schulte gave Syria until March before starting the IAEA’s countdown — because our Israel tour is very nearly full. According to the tour company, we have but but two, possibly three slots remaining to be confirmed — and the tour is a go. We are so close that they’ve extended the deadline another few weeks until after Christmas.
(An Omega Letter Tour of the Holy Land — that’s a pretty cool Christmas present.)
If you can come, please do. Just go to the OL’s main website and look for the link on the top menu bar reading, “Tour Links Page” for all the information. We’ve got just another couple of weeks.
I hope you’ll join us.