The world scene is in a tailspin, politically and economically.  This is a must read!  The peace process and other impending events in the Middle East are consistently top new headlines as we "near midnight".  This won't be about the rapture (which I believe is close), nor will I be writing about our current President's socialist agenda or the depressing economic situation.  Rather, I'll be focusing on the most significant global issue we face today (in my humble opinion).  I'm speaking of the myriad of threats from radical Muslim groups in recent weeks, and their intentions to attack Israel on an unprecedented level.

Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda receive the most media attention, and are Islamic terrorist groups that receive military and political backing from Iran, Syria, Jordan and private benefactors from other Arab states.  Together they have been planning a significant assault on Israel.  In just the past couple of months, these radical groups have been stockpiling weapons, preparing military arsenals, recruiting thousands of suicide wannabes and amassing troops along the northern border with Lebanon, including Palestinian sites in Gaza.  Who are these groups?  Below is a listing of well organized terrorist groups focused on the destruction of Israel.

Hezbollah (literally means "Party of God") is a radical Shiite (Shia) Islamic terrorist organization based in Lebanon and funded by Iran.

Islamic Jihad (literally means "Islamic Holy War") is a radical Lebanese Islamic Shiite organization formed in Lebanon in the 1980s as a "war name" for Hezbollah, conducting terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and kidnappings.  In recent years the organization has been closely tied to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard.  The organization may recruit one million suicide bombers by 2012, and 10 million by 2016.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is a small Palestinian militant terrorist organization.  The group is currently based in Damascus, Syria.  Financed by Syria and Iran, the organization was created by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1970s to fight for the sovereignty of Palestine and the destruction of Israel.  With close ties to Hezbollah, the group operates primarily in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with operations in Lebanon, Iran and Jordan.  The group targets Israel, and is known to be actively recruiting suicide bombers and volunteers.

Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) is a Palestinian Islamic militant terrorist group.  Founded in 1961 with Syrian backing, the organization began in Tunisia then moved to Iraq where Saddam Hussein funded the group until 2003.  The PLF is currently based in Lebanon, and is thought to have several hundred members though largely inactive since 2007.  The group has conducted bombings, hijackings, kidnappings, murders and other terrorist activities, and is known for launching aerial attacks on Israeli targets from Lebanon.

Hamas (Muslim acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a extremist Sunni Islamic terrorist organization based in Gaza (Palestine) and Syria.

Fatah (literally means "conquest by means of jihad / Islamic holy war") is a Palestinian Islamic terrorist "liberation" organization dedicated to an "armed struggle" against Israel.

al-Qaeda (literally means "The Base") is an international Sunni Islamic terrorist network organized by Osama bin Laden.

Don't be fooled by the mainstream media.  Peace isn't around the corner.  These terrorist groups desire that Israel be wiped off the map today.  And they are stopping at nothing to do so. 
They also want to stop any peace process that involves Israel.  In the past few months there has been a progressive increase of reports from intelligence, military and media sources that radical Islamic factions are planning a major attack on Israel.  While we hear of leaders in America, Europe and even Russia desiring to lead the way to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is we aren't told what's really going on.  Here's what you should know:

Israel handed over Gaza to the Palestinians in August 2005.  Since then Gaza has become riddled with weapons tunnels running under the Gaza-Sinai border.  Recent intelligence suggests there are more than 1000 of these tunnels.  Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) regularly bomb these tunnels used by Islamic militants to smuggle weapons used to commit terror acts against Israeli civilians and soldiers.  Rockets and other armaments are smuggled into Gaza through these tunnels.  Hamas militants attacked Israel from Gaza on August 2, launching rockets at towns inside Israel near the Red Sea.  Those attacks revealed the rockets were Iranian-made.  Since July, Hamas leaders have been claiming they plan to liberate Gaza and the West Bank (of the Jordan River), and will never accept peace talks with Israel.  Deception seems to be the tactic of choice, as Egyptian leaders are reporting that Hamas is considering a peace deal with Israel.  Out of the same mouth Hamas opposed the Palestinian Authority's reconciliation talks with Israel on September 2 in Washington, and continue threatening full-scale war in the near future.  Israel has said that any aggression will be met with a swift response. 

Israeli media reports have indicated that Israel expects another attack soon, possibly resulting in a regional war.  What's shocking is that hundreds of millions of "aid" dollars from the U.S. and Europe are still being sent into Gaza for Palestinian "humanitarian assistance."  The truth is U
.S. tax dollars meant for "humanitarian" purposes are inadvertently helping Hamas rebuild their terrorist networks.  Nice feeling, huh?  Other Intelligence reports have stated that leaders of terrorist networks and surrogates from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority recently spent several days in Damascus (capital of Syria) on strategic planning for war with Israel.

  Also in early August, Lebanese Army troops and Hezbollah militants opened fire on Israeli soldiers along their shared Northern Galilee border, not far from the Golan Heights along the Syrian border.  That nearly led Israel into launching a large military operation against Lebanon. 
Intelligence data indicated the attack was planned by Iran in hopes of leading Israel into another war with Lebanon, taking the world's "eyes" off of their nuclear program.  The majority of the Lebanese military are Shiite Muslims with close ties to Hezbollah.  What's unbelievable is that the U.S. has given some $750 million to the Lebanese Army since 2005 under the false notion their military is "pro-Western."  This has led to U.S. tax dollars indirectly funding Hezbollah.  Not only is that nonsensical, but a few months ago Iran began aggressively funding and supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon, all in preparation for war against Israel.

Israeli intelligence has been reporting an extensive Lebanese troop build up along their border in recent weeks. 
U.S. intelligence says Iran is pushing hard for Hezbollah to attack IsraelMilitary sources indicate Hezbollah appears to be preparing for a "major" attack on Israel this year.  Intelligence leaks from Lebanon indicate that Hezbollah intends to wreak havoc on Israel's cities, sending in hundreds of suicide bombers.  This is to be coordinated with a massive assault of rockets and a military offensive.

Iran's provocative leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, along with his arrogant attitude toward the U.S. and Israel, desires to be a nuclear-weapons state despite his claims to the contrary.  There have been a number of reports that indicate Iran could test at nuclear bomb in a few months.  Iran only needs a single nuclear weapon to destroy Israel, and the United States.  For example, a nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack could collapse the national electric grid and other critical infrastructures that sustain the lives of 310 million Americans.  Iranian leaders threaten EMP attacks and appears to practice EMP missile strikes.  Last year, Iran orbited a small satellite along a trajectory that could have placed an EMP field over the entire contiguous United States if the satellite were a small nuclear or "super-EMP" weapon.  The U.S. had better hope Iran does not get a nuclear bomb.  There is no question that Iran is sponsoring and planning war with Israel.  Millions of dollars in military aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon has all but proven that.

  False peace?  September 2 peace talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
have been met with criticism.  The Arab League's chief Amr Moussa said he had little hope continued talks between Israel and the Palestinians would be successful.  A number of prophecy commentators do not believe Abbas desires to see a peace deal.  His roots are in the same camps as the Islamic terrorist organizations which seek the destruction of Israel.  The talks are intended to last one year, addressing concerns such as Israeli settlements in new territory, the division of Jerusalem and other demands. 

Israeli settlements in the W
est Bank (west bank of the Jordan River next to the eastern part of Palestinian territory) have outraged the Palestinians.  Netanyahu placed a 10-month partial freeze in settlement construction to boost prospects for peace talks.  What's interesting is Netanyahu has said he will not renew the partial freeze, but will limit construction for the time being.  Abbas has threatened to pull out of peace talks with Israel if the settlement freeze is not extended indefinitely.  Abbas has also publicly stated that he won't make even one concession or compromise in direct peace negotiations with Israel.  What's true about Abbas is he is two-faced.

Prior to the September 2 meeting, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel was ready to cede parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in the framework of a peace deal.  That was a shocker, and is the opposite of
Netanyahu's statement last May, when he announced "we will never divide Jerusalem."  Israel captured the eastern part of the city from Jordan in the Six Day War in 1967 and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally.   Abbas said he will not allow Israel to maintain control over a "united" Jerusalem as part of any peace deal.  The Palestinians claim Jerusalem is their rightful capital, and they want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they hope to set up in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  This appears to have been the plan of Obama all along...brokering a deal that gives the Palestinians statehood with a divided Jerusalem as their capital.  The European Union (EU) has been pursuing a similar peace deal.  Yet, Netanyahu has not publicly confirmed Ehud Barak's claim on dividing Jerusalem.  Other reports from Israel suggest Israel fears they will be forced to accept multinational forces in a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as their capital.  Something is amiss, don't you think?

The Ground Zero dilemma further indicates that the Muslim world does indeed adore our President.  Recently the Pakistani Minister of State for Industries Ayatullah Durrani said he wanted the U.S. President to offer Eid (special occasion) prayers at Ground Zero in New York and become the "Amir-ul-Momineen" or Caliph of Muslims.  Durrani, a former member of the Pakistan Ideological Council, contended that the Muslim world is in "dire need" of a Caliph, and occupying this distinguished slot would provide the U.S. President "exemplary titles" like "Mullah Barack Hussain Obama" or "Allama Obama".   Durrani also said the Eid-ul-Fitr festival, observed on September 11, would have been a "golden opportunity" for Obama to offer Eid prayers and declare himself the leader of all Muslims.

Is the U.S. President a Christian, a Muslim, or neither?  Any notion that the U.S. President is a Christian is like implying Billy Graham is an atheist.  With the help of secular media, Obama keeps trying to persuade the American public he is a Christian.  However, a true Christian would never suggest we all worship the same God with different names.  At his September 10 press conference Obama stated, "...and I think it is absolutely important now for the overwhelming majority of the American people to hang on to that thing that is best in us, a belief in religious tolerance ... and I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation."  Sorry Obama, but we are one nation under the God of the Bible, not some other name from some other faith.

With all the controversy over the building of a mosque (Islamic center) at Ground Zero, what's troubling is the hypocrisy surrounding the permitting process by the Port Authority.  A Greek Orthodox church that was severely damaged at Ground Zero, which also owns the land it stands on, has been trying for several years to rebuild.  The Port Authority has refused to even meet with church parishioners.  Yet, the Port Authority has no problem pushing through a request to build a mosque.  This the local governments are Muslim-biased?  You'd be right.

5.  We know from Scripture that God promised Israel the land they posses today, and that includes Jerusalem.  Dividing Jerusalem will bring about the judgment of God.  We know from Bible prophecy that any handover of Jerusalem (the city and sanctuary) in the last days would be a product of false peace.  Daniel says that the Antichrist will work out some kind of temporary accommodation over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount that will allow the Jews access to the Temple Mount, but the agreement will only last three and one half years.  In the meantime, whatever peace deal is attempted now is likely a precursor to that event.

In Daniel 9:27, various translations proclaim the Antichrist will "make a firm covenant" or will "confirm the covenant" regarding the peace of Jerusalem, implying it will be a done deal.  By the time the Antichrist comes on the world scene, there could have been an agreement already in place, but it may have been temporarily broken by war or politics.  Another possibility is that the current peace process simply fails, including further attempts by the EU
or others, allowing the Antichrist to be the one to make it happen.  There are a number of Bible prophecy teachers who suggest the Church will be raptured before any peace agreement is reached.  An in-depth study of this topic will reveal the Antichrist forges this peace deal for other purposes, including the rebuilding of the temple where he'll proclaim he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). 

Note there are other prophecies in Scripture that are likely to be fulfilled before this peace deal is legitimized.  Some scholars suggest the Gog and Magog war against Israel as described in Ezekiel 38-39, the Psalm 83 war, and the destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17 could be just around the corner.  I agree.  There can be no question we are witnessing prophecy unfold before our eyes.  Are you ready to meet Jesus?

What can we expect in the Middle East in the near future?  Personally, I'm anticipating Israel is going to be attacked or provoked into war within the next few months, or maybe as early as this fall.  Who knows?  Chatter collected from intelligence and military sources indicate a major confrontation is about to take place.  Movement of troops and weapons
along Israel's border with Lebanon suggests military action is highly probable.  I recommend checking the following websites for up-to-date news:, and

  On a final note, I thought the subject of the "mark of the beast" would be appropriate.  Technology is increasing a such a rapid pace, particularly with microchips and satellite tracking, the internet has become a playground for conspiracy theorists and others who think they know what the "mark" will be.  When considering the Bible's description of the Antichrist's use of a mark to control the masses during the tribulation period, we can look to the latest technology and discover a likely scenario for how the mark will be applied.  In my last update, I asked readers to consider what the mark will be.  Most replies were a microchip under the skin.  While that seems reasonable, the Bible indicates otherwise.  Go to and discover what the Bible has to say about the mark, what it is, how it may be applied, and what happens to those to accept it.

I welcome your comments.

Keep looking up,

Tim Osterholm


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