An Intriguing Visit from Mars

 Jamma Mokhriby


On Aug. 27, 2003 exactly 30 days before the Jewish New Year began on the biblical feast day of Rosh Hashanah, the planet Mars will have passed so close to the earth that some astronomers predicted it might appear as large as earth's moon. Where Mars' maximum distance from the earth is 248.5 million miles away and its average is 142 million, it was only 34.6 million miles away on Aug. 27, ‘03.
Scientists have computed, by the movements of our solar system, that the last time Mars came so close to the earth would have been 60 thousand years ago. To the people of God who hold fast to the biblical age of creation now being at apx. 6,000 years, the Mars approach is an event which has never taken place in the history of creation. Honest scientists are now admitting that there is absolutely no possibility that the Earth and the existence of life on this planet came into existence in the time frame that evolutionary theoriests demand.
Just two of a vast number of undeniable proofs which refute the billions (or even millions) of years old earth theory are the calculable degradation of both the mass of our sun and the speed of the earth's revolutions. The incredible time factors put forth for the age of the earth and our solar system in order to accommodate evolutionary thought would have required an earth spin that would have thrown everything off of the planet, but this would only be a secondary problem since the size of our sun would have been so huge the earth would have only been a charred mass!
The flyby of Mars on Aug. 27th was very unique in a number of ways. First and foremost is that we are literally living in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ and Jesus Himself told us in Luke 21:11 that at the close of the age there will be "great signs from heaven."
We believe there are much greater signs from heaven in store for the immediate future, but the one and only time in mankind's history that the red planet Mars approached this close to the earth could very possibly qualify as a God-given portent of things to come.
Speaking of the stars and the planets, on the day they were created in Genesis 1:14-15 God declared that these celestial bodies would not only be used as lights and designators of time, but that He would also use them "for signs."
Celestial signs can proclaim wonderful glorious event such as the day Jesus was born under a new star in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:2), or an awesome and frightening event such as when the sun, moon and stars will be darkened at the sounding of the fourth trumpet during the final 7 years of this last generation (Rev. 8:12).
Then we have the planet Mars' association with the Anti-Christ and the revived Roman Empire prophesied of to appear in these last days in Daniel 9:26 & 2:40-43.
Mars was revered and named after the Roman god of war. The reddish hue produced by Mars; now known to be caused by an abundance of iron oxide, distinguished it as the planet of bloodshed to the ancient Romans.
The modern day European Union, which was established by the Treaty of Rome, is beyond question the fulfilment of the prophesied restoration of the Roman Empire. Its manifested spiritual roots go back even further to the time of the first worshipers of this celestial body in the ancient Babel of Gen. 11:1-9.
The efforts of the EU to establish a single global power is progressing at phenominal rate. Even the secular press point out the resemblance between the EU and ancient Babylon.
In a Colorado Springs Gazette article of Aug. 11, ‘03 which headlined, "As EU grows, so does cost of translating languages." The EU was referred to as, "the continental Tower of Babel." The article focused on the need for a common language to dominate the EU and how it has been ironic that English has emerged as the main working language among the 16,000 Eurocrats at the EU headquarters since the British are among the leading "Euroskeptics." The fact that English has edged out German, which is the mother tongue of nearly one quarter of the people of the EU and is spoken more than any other language, causes one to keep a close eye on London's future role in these last days.
Of added interest is that London was established by the Romans.
So mars comes full circle in its significance in these last days to the new Roman Empire...a celestial sign of great significance to two ancient cultures which are to arise and merge in these last days, Rome and Babylon.
The question remains, is this dramatic display of Mars just an astronomical happenstance with no special prophetic significance, or is this a sign from God attesting that in the months and years ahead war will overshadow the planet as never before?
The following are some significant current events which, when considered in the light of biblical prophecies we have expounded on in the past, leads us to seriously consider that God has arranged Mars' passing to be a warning for the days ahead.
The Scriptures foretell that a major expanding war will take place between Israel and her surrounding enemies before the Anti-Christ strengthens a 7 year covenant in the region. Along with Israel's so-called peace partners of Egypt and Jordan, Israel will fight and defeat Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians according to Psalm 83.
During this war we are told in Zechariah 9:5-7 that the king over the Philistines (the modern day Palestinians) will perish from Gaza. Yasser Arafat, the modern day king of the Philistines has been confined for almost 2 years in Ramallah by Israel and prohibited to leave his devastated compound. In the past Arafat was told he could leave Ramallah if he wished, but would not be allowed to return, so Arafat has sat tight. Although the prophecy of Zech. 9:5 has been on hold because of Arafat's confinement this confinement may soon be lifted.
In an Aug. 6, ‘03 Colo. Spgs. Gazette article which headlined, "Israel relaxes its control" it was reported that Israel has offered to allow Yasser Arafat to travel to visit the grave of his sister who died recently. The article stated that this offer opened "a crack in an iron ban that has kept [Arafat] confined to his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah."
Of greatest significance is not just that the travel ban has been offered to be lifted on Arafat, but that Israel has specifically offered to allow Arafat to go to his sister's grave which is located in Gaza City in the Gaza Strip according to a related Aug. 14, ‘03 Rocky Mountain News article which headlined, "Israel broadens pullout." One way or another, wheher by consent or force, the king of the Palestinians will arrive in Gaza.
We are persuaded by God's Word that it will be Yasser Arafat who will someday soon meet his prophesied end in Gaza.
Our next article deals with the prophecy found in Jeremiah 51:45 where God speaks of the day when the Jews will be able to leave Babylon (Iraq) before He brings destruction upon it. Until a New York Times article titled, "6 Iraqi Jews come back to Israel," which was reprinted in the July 28, ‘03 Colo. Spgs. Gazette, we did not possess the most up to date information on how many Jews still remained in Iraq.
According to this article, "...after the fall of Saddam, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society sent representatives to Iraq and located 34 Jews, almost all of them old, in poor health and living in a single Baghdad neighborhood, near a synagogue that rarely opened. Most decided to stay, at least for now. But six, all but one 70 or older, chose to leave."
So as of this last report in July only 28 Jews remained in all of Iraq and could possibly have left by now, or are preparing to leave at any moment.
Our final item deals with the prophesied defeat of Damascus (Syria) and Trye (Lebanon) in Zech. 9:1-4 as the Philistines (Palestinians) of Gaza watch their hopes of destroying Israel get crushed. Along with the terrorist organizations operating in league with the Palestinians now declaring that the mere 7 week old "Roadmap to Peace" is dead, a recent rocked attack against Israel from within Lebanon's borders is another dire indication that the point of no return for all-out war in the Middle East may soon be crossed.
The Colo. Spgs. Gazette article of Aug. 11, ‘03 which headlined, "Israel attacked from Lebanon" emphasized that although the attack was launched with consent from Lebanese soil, the main perpetrators were the Syrian-backed Hezbollah. It had been eight months since the Syrian/Lebanese axis launched an attack against Israel.
The article went on to report that, "...Israeli warplanes responded by attacking the Islamic militant group [in Lebanon]"... Israel's Deputy Defense Minister warned that, "If the situation continues, and the means we currently employ do not work, then the (Israeli Defense Forces) will do whatever must be done to protect the residents of the north"...Israel's UN ambassador sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan blaming Syria and Lebanon for Hezbollah's escalating attacks which has now included the firing of guns and shells at northern Israeli military posts and villages."
Prophetic signs of impending war for Israel from the Palestinians, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria causes us to look at the Mars advance as perhaps more than just an astronomical anomaly, but possibly a message from God. A message conveyed by the heavenly body men recognize as the representative of war and the message from Mars could be that war is near.
If this thought seems to demand too much attention from the Almighty God, we must remind ourselves that God is truly a micro-manager and macro-manager. We can even say a sub-atomic particle and infinite manager. God is always in control.
When gazing up at Mars we should let our eyes wander to the stars and realize that according to a July 26, ‘03 Colo. Spgs. Gazette article titled, "Stars in sky outnumber grains of sand on Earth" scientists involved in a project called, "Two-Degree Field Galaxy Red Shift Survey" have determined there are at east 70 sextillion - that's 7 with 22 zeros - stars in the known universe. That means there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand in every beach and desert on Earth.
Now before we too quickly dismiss that God would bother to orchestrate throughout the ages the closest approach of the planet men identify with war to coincide with a time when mankind might enter an unprecedented time of conflicts, then it would be best to review Psalm 147:4-5. There we are told of the 70 sextillion known stars "He {God] counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite."
With this in mind we should consider the words of the Psalmist in Psa. 8:3-5, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor."
The Lord of creation is concerned with every facet of the lives of men. Where as He named all the stars, He has visited men and even came and died on a cross for their sins.
One day He will call every believer in His Son Jesus Christ to join Him in the heavens at the event commonly referred to as the Rapture, and if Mars approach has been truly given by God as a sign of the end, then that day of earthly departure is nearer than most would dare to believe. We will not have to wait very long to find out.
Today is the day to come with faith to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. The blood Christ shed on the cross has made eternal redemption available and assured for all who put their belief in His atoning sacrifice. Don't put it off, time is short.