|Russia concerned over Iranian rocket launch|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 05 February 2008 19:30|
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov has expressed his concern over the recent test launch of Iran's Explorer-1 space rocket yesterday, citing fears that the same technology could be used to deliver a nuclear payload. Iran hopes to launch their first Iranian-made satellite into orbit next year using the rocket. The launch of the rocket was widely publicized in the Iranian press.
Quote: "According to Iranian state TV, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally called out the countdown before the rocket blasted off from a remote desert launchpad. The liftoff was accompanied by chants of "God is great" from officials gathered in the control room. The Iranian government gave few details of the rocket's capability, saying only that it had "reached space".
Iran already possesses medium range ballistic missiles such as the Shihab-3, which are capable of reaching Israel. Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology has long been a cause of concern for Western nations, especially to Israel, which President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for to be "wiped off the map". But the development of satellite-launching technology would give Iranian rockets the capability of reaching into Russia and Europe. Pentagon officials have said yesterday's launching of the Iranian rocket was unfortunate, and they would press for a missile shield to be set up as soon as possible in order to protect Western interests in the region.
Quote: ""As they (Iranians) advance in that program, Europe becomes more and more threatened by it," Pentagon Spokesman, Geoff Morrell, alleged on Tuesday. "And, to us, it makes all the more clear the need for a missile defense program to protect our allies in Europe, as well as ourselves." DPA quoted him as saying.
The Bible states that Iran, formerly known as Persia, will be one of the main players in a future invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38:5). But it has long been debated when the war of Ezekiel 38-39 will occur. We are told in Scripture that it will occur in the "latter days", at a time when Israel is "at rest" (Ezekiel 38:16, 11). Ezekiel goes on to describe the nation of Israel at the time of the invasion as a "land of unwalled villages", and having neither "bars nor gates". This may give us further clues as to when the war of Ezekiel 38-39 will take place. The phrase 'latter days' can include the time of the seven year tribulation period. When Daniel is called in to interpret the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel states that there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and has made known to the king what would come to pass "in the latter days", Daniel 2:28. Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream spans the entire history of the nation of Israel, and concludes with the Second Coming of the Messiah and the setting up of God's Kingdom on earth. Later on in the book, the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel to make him understand what will befall his people "in the latter days", Daniel 10:14. The angel's narration to Daniel again spans the entire history of the Jewish nation until the setting up of God's Kingdom. The book of Hosea, which is believed to predict the 2000 year exile of the nation of Israel (Hosea 6:2), also prophesies that the Jewish people shall return to the Lord in the "latter days"...
And we know that near the end of the time of Jacob's trouble, the nation of Israel will indeed look unto "Him whom they pierced", Zechariah 12:10. These verses in Hosea also mention David as their future ruler, which links the time of this prophecy to the Millennial Reign of Christ...
Just prior to his death, Moses prophesied that evil would befall the nation of Israel during the "latter days", because they would "do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger", Deuteronomy 31:29. And Jacob was to prophesy to his sons what would befall them in the "last days", Genesis 49:1, although somehow he didn't seem to get around to telling them. So the phrase 'latter days', along with a time of relative peace in the land, leads me to think that the war of Ezekiel 38-39 could happen during the first half of the tribulation period. For the phrase 'latter days' does seem to be specifically linked with the Jewish people and not with the Gentiles.
So as you can see, there is no doubt we are now living in the last days. The question is, where will you be at the "end of days", Daniel 12:13? With Christ in glory, or without Him in a lost eternity? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).