Radical Islamic terror struck the United States very close to our longtime television studio on December 2 as the radicalized American born Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani born wife Tashfeen Malik, brazenly attacked what was labeled as a training event and “holiday party” for workers of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Tragically, 14 people were killed and 21 people were wounded in what authorities are considering a terrorist attack. This attack took place six miles from the television studio where The King Is Coming Telecast was filmed for over 20 years, and only one mile from the hotel where I stayed whenever I was recording at our studio in California! This attack has indeed brought the menace of terrorism very near to us here at World Prophetic Ministry. Authorities have been able to determine a timeline of events that reveals the callous, premeditated, nature of this attack. In the early morning hours of Wednesday December 2, Farook and his wife, dropped off their 6 month old daughter with relatives, claiming they had a doctor’s appointment. Farook worked as a San Bernardino County health inspector.
In a shocking development, a European Parliament report recently discovered by The Daily Mail UK indicates that ISIS has recruited experts with chemistry, physics and computer science degrees to wage war with weapons of mass destruction against the West. The terror organization, according to the briefing document, “may be planning to try to use internationally banned weapons of mass destruction in future attacks.” The document, which was compiled in the aftermath of the deadly attacks on Paris, claimed that ISIS has already smuggled WMD material into Europe. This intelligence was also echoed by the Israeli government who noted that ISIS is armed with weapons forbidden by the Geneva Convention, according to The Jewish Press. This news, while shocking, should not surprise anyone familiar with the gruesome tactics ISIS has repeatedly displayed. Roughly one year ago, the Kurdistan Regional Security Council in Iraq claimed ISIS had deployed weaponized chlorine gas in attacks on Kurdish forces and civilians. Frighteningly, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Regiment, warned, “It is very evident that ISIS is putting much time and effort into training its jihadis in the use of chlorine as a terror weapon and in particular in IEDs (improvised explosive devices).” A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity has recently told the BBC, as much as we would like to believe this threat may be far removed from us, there is a growing belief within the U.S. government that the ISIS terrorist group is making and using crude chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. has identified at least four occasions on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border where ISIS has used mustard agents, the official said. Likewise, in recent days, the BBC’s Ian Pannell, working from the Turkey-Syria border, has seen additional new evidence of chemical attacks being carried out in Syria – potentially both by the Syrian regime, ISIS, and other rebels. With such weaponizing of chemical agents becoming increasingly prolific on the battle field many believe it is only a matter of time until the same chemicals show up in terror attacks directed against civilian targets. Some Bible teachers believe that the plagues, boils, sores, and other horrible maladies mentioned in Bible prophecy may be the result of chemical weapons (Zechariah 14:12; Revelation 18:4). Similarly, it can also be easily understood that if anyone inside Syria, be it the Syrian regime, ISIS, or any other rebel group, were to attack Israel with chemical weapons, Israel would certainly respond militarily; likely with nuclear weapons, that would bring about the complete destruction of the city of Damascus which could be seen as a fulfillment of Isaiah 17:114. While such scenarios cannot be assuredly stated, the similarities are certainly striking. In the meantime we must pray for a peaceful de-escalation to the situation. — PNL
PRAY: Pray that ISIS would not be able to carry out any terror attacks using chemical weapons. Pray also that the use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian conflict would cease. Pray that the Lord would protect the countless number of civilians caught in the midst of this on-going Middle East power struggle.
For at least the second time in recent history Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he is seriously considering the option of deploying a limited use of nuclear weapons. The most recent account of Putin’s consideration of the nuclear weapon was apparently just about two years ago. The U.S. news source military.com reported that Russia would have activated its nuclear arsenal if necessary when its troops secured the Crimean peninsula and carried out a referendum on the strategic peninsula’s secession from Ukraine. Now, Putin has announced that, if necessary, Russian cruise missiles could be fitted with nuclear warheads and used to combat terrorists in Syria the Russian government-funded news agency RT reports. RT adds, in a meeting with the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Putin said Russia’s missiles “have proved modern and highly effective” and could be transformed into nuclear weapons, but added he hopes the situation will not come to that. With such options as nuclear strikes against terrorists being casually mentioned by powerful world leaders, one cannot help but recall the numerous passages in the Bible that seem to describe events shockingly similar to that of a nuclear attack. Consider a passage in the Book of Revelation that seems to describe the effects of a nuclear explosion, “the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together” (Revelation 6:14). This could be descriptive of the vacuum created by a nuclear explosion that is immediately filled by the atmosphere literally rolling back in on itself with a tremendous rush of air. Similarly, Isaiah predicted a time when “all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” (Isaiah 34:4). Likewise, Isaiah also foresaw a time when the earth would be “utterly broken down… dissolved … [and] moved exceedingly” (Isaiah 24:19). Such a description could very well result from a nuclear attack. Likewise, the Apostle John spoke of a time when 1/3 of the earth’s water supply would be poisoned leading to the deaths of many people (Revelation 8:10-11). Therefore, such a threat as Mr. Putin has once again raised, should not be taken lightly. We must continue to pray for wisdom and discretion for all involved in the tenuous situation in the Middle East. — PNL
PRAY: Pray that this latest mention of nuclear strikes by the President of Russia would prove to be only boisterous saber-rattling. Pray also that ISIS would be defeated quickly, and finally, before they can cause even more havoc on the rest of the world.
It should come as no surprise to learn that terrorist groups are now widely utilizing the speed and connectivity of the internet to reach and recruit new members. A recent investigation by authors Jessica Stern and J. M. Berger has concluded that “as part of its quest to terrorize the world, ISIS has mastered an arena no other terrorist group has conquered before — the burgeoning world of social media.” As Stern and Berger noted, earlier terror groups like al Qaeda have not been as successful in advancing their twisted propaganda to a mass audience. NBC News has reported that a growing number of young Westerners are believed to have been duped and radicalized online, including Chicago-area teen Mohammed Hamza Khan and his 15-year-old brother and 17-year-old sister. Likewise, teens from Denver to Chicago have left their otherwise comfortable American lives in the hope of joining the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. While their motivations may vary there is one common denominator; most were recruited online. This is a disturbing trend that is in keeping with the overall changing nature of terrorism. Once understood to be limited to those of a particular nationality, religious, or political affiliation, global terrorism has rapidly evolved into a multifaceted dilemma. For example, the New York Times recently reported that foreigners make up half of ISIS’ fighting force, and an estimated 4,000 are from Western countries. While social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter try to combat these terrorist accounts by attempting to shut them down, they have unfortunately varying degrees of success in keeping such accounts deactivated. It is the very nature of the ease of accessibility associated with the internet that makes it attractive to terrorist groups. Interestingly, such increase in the use of technology for evil purposes should not surprise us. Many prophecy teachers point to the Book of Daniel for insight into our rapidly changing world. In one verse, the Lord told Daniel to seal up the words of his prophecy “even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4). Thus, as we increase the sheer amount of knowledge available at the fingertips of everyone through their computers, we are witnessing what could have been described in the Bible over 2,000 years ago! We can readily observe that knowledge has certainly risen by leaps and bounds with the invention of the internet, just as the ability to misuse such technology has risen. People ask me all the time if this passage means we should avoid using computers and I always say “No.” Computers are a wonderful aspect of technology that the Lord has blessed us with so that we can use them – as we would any other tool – for His glory. As with any device, such as radio or television, there are excessive examples of abuse but the good can certainly outweigh the bad if we are careful and purposeful. As with any new technology we must pray for the wisdom to use it, and control its use in our homes, wisely. — PNL
PRAY: Pray that the efforts of terrorist groups to utilize the internet to recruit new members would be frustrated and would not prove to be effective. Pray for wisdom for parents and grandparents to oversee what their children are experiencing online and pray for discernment for others who can help counteract the message terrorist groups are spreading.