BIBLE REVEALS ANTICHRIST ORIGIN AND TIMING

Nelson does a great job of unpacking Scripture to reveal what the Bible shows us about end times events and what we are seeing and reading in the media of current events in the Middle East.

I doubt you will hear this message in your local church and the Bible tells us that much of the church will be asleep and even more tragic much of it will fall away and compromise with the world and its values. Hence, God brings on catastrophes to refine/test His church.

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested,” Revelation 2:10 (Church at Smyrna – persecuted church)

‘” I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” Revelation 3:1-3 (Church at Sardis- dead church)

LAST DAYS MIDDLE EAST WARS

 A new military incursion into Libya is part of a long-awaited dream by Turkish President Erdogan to return the Ottoman Caliphate, a global Islamic rule that subjugated Jews and Christians for six centuries. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Monday that Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have begun arriving in Libya. The SOHR reported that a commander of the Turkish-backed Syrian troops en route to Libya announced as their battle cry, “We will present our souls for the Ottoman Caliphate.”

The Ottoman Caliphate, known in the West as the Ottoman or Turkish Empire, was founded in the 13th Century and eventually controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. This control lasted for several hundred years and only truly ended after WWI when the empire was partitioned by the Allied Powers and the 101st and final Caliph, Sultan Abdulmecid II, was deposed and expelled.

At a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul last year, Erdogan called on all of the 57 Muslim member nations to join together against Israel to avenge the deaths of Palestinians killed while charging the southern border with Gaza.

Previously, in 2015, Erdogan gave a speech commemorating 562 years since the Turks captured Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) from European Christians in which he called for the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem. “Conquest is Mecca, conquest is Saladin, it’s to hoist the Islamic flag over Jerusalem again; conquest is the heritage of Mehmed II and conquest means forcing Turkey back on its feet,” Erdogan said in the speech in Istanbul.

Approximately 2,400 troops are already in Tripoli while another 1,700 are currently undergoing training in Turkey. Activists informed the SOHR that Turkey intends to send a total of 6,000 troops to Libya.

Turkey deploys 2,000 troops to Libya to Reestablish Muslim Caliphate with Jerusalem as Capital

At the same time as Erdogan is aggressively moving to reestablish a Sunni Ottoman Empire (Goat of Daniel 8), Iran (Ram of Daniel 8), Shia is equally aggressively trying to establish its dominance in the Middle East pushing into Iraq and with its proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, the PMF (Popular Mobilisation Forces) in Iraq, Houthi rebels in Yemen, and other small Shiite militias in Syria and other Middle Eastern Countries.

Scripture provides us with a picture of what is unfolding here: Daniel 8:4, tells us that initially the ram (Iran) will succeed in conquering east, west and north only to enrage the goat (Turkey) with its aspirations for a revived Ottoman Empire. The goat defeats/tramples the ram (Daniel 8:7). We then learn that because the revived Ottoman Empire/goat becomes too strong, it is broken up into four (EU or USA or Coalition as before?), “and out of one of them comes a little horn (Antichrist) which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land” (Daniel 8:9).

Christian should use these prophecies in evangelism. We know how “end times” event play out. There are far more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were of His first coming. Jesus admonished the Pharisees “for not knowing the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:44. I am sure He would likewise scold church leaders today for not warning His church of apostasy and coming escalating tribulation. Already, we see much of the church compromising with the world and discarding biblical truth on sexuality and marriage. Keep your eyes on the Middle East and you will see Biblical prophecy unfold.

WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS IN THE LAST DAYS

President Trump ordered a drone strike on Friday that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, a terrorist leader  It was in response to rioting mobs breaching the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Soleimani, tasked with all of Iran’s extraterritorial aggression, was credited with masterminding attacks that killed hundreds of Americans.

In response to the death of Qasem Soleimani, Mohsen Rezaei, a former leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard told a Tehran crowd that the Israeli city of Haifa and other “centers” like Tel Aviv could be targeted.

Soleimani’s daughter vows revenge: ‘US and Israel can expect a dark day’
Coffins of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and others are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners during a funeral procession in Tehran, Jan. 6, 2020

“Rest assured we will level to the ground Haifa and Israeli centres so that Israel will be wiped out,” he said. “The issue is very serious for the Iranian nation. You hit us and you should get hit. You attacked us and it is the Iranian nation’s right.

Soleimani’s killing has escalated the crisis between Tehran and Washington after months of back-and-forth attacks and threats that have put the wider Middle East on edge.

Iran has promised “harsh revenge” while Trump has vowed on Twitter that the U.S. will strike back at 52 targets “VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. ”

Iran said on Sunday it would no longer abide by any of the limits of its unraveling 2015 nuclear deal, abandoning the accord’s key provisions that block Tehran from having enough material to build an atomic weapon.

For the first time ever, a blood-red flag is being flown over the famous Jamkaran Mosque in the Iranian “holy city” of Qom. The fact that this mosque is directly associated with the Mahdi makes this symbolic gesture doubly significant. Red flags in Shiite tradition symbolise both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain. It is the first time in history that the red flag has been hoisted on top of the Jamkaran mosque in the Iranian city and comes after warnings of harsh retaliation against the US. Red flags have also been spotted flying at anti-U.S. demonstrations in Tehran over the past few days. Clearly, the Iranians want blood. They will never, ever forgive the killing of Qassem Soleimani, and their faith requires that he be avenged.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-times author, commented, “All the conditions exist for a no-holds-barred multinational conflict in the Middle East, precisely the type of conflict described by the prophets as preceding the Messiah,” Rabbi Winston said. “You can be sure that Iran is sharpening their swords right now. For peace to exist, both sides have to be afraid of war. You don’t have that here. Iran wants a war to bring a great fiery war to bring Mahdi and to get rid of the ‘Great Satan.’”

END TIMES PROPHECIES – WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS

Saudi oil facilities were attacked, in the latest oil-related skirmish in the Middle East — leading some observers to fear that this could escalate dangerously. Initially, Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed credit for the attack. Since then, the Trump administration accused Iran of conducting the attacks, and the Saudi government stated Iranian weapons were involved — all of which Tehran denies. This politically explosive blame game could end in war.

Image result for pictures of Saudi oil fields ablaze"
Saudi oil facilities ablaze due to drone strikes

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at odds for quite some time, but this latest saga in the ever-growing tension between the two has led me again to the passages of Ezekiel chapters 37, 38 and 39. There we find a 2,500-year-old prophecy that’s quite specific. Ezekiel tells us that there will be a coming war. On one side of that war is Persia. Students of history will remember that Persia is the ancient name for the land now occupied by modern-day Iran. On the other side of that conflict, where God Himself will intervene, is what is referred to as Sheba and Dedan, which is now ruled by – you guessed it – Saudi Arabia.

So as you can imagine, Biblical scholars around the world are paying close attention to this. Are we living in the days when those ancient prophecies from Ezekiel are about to be fulfilled? Current events certainly seem to be a pattern heading in that direction. We don’t need to fear, when it occurs prophecy is being fulfilled. Instead, we can look to these events as the reason to be hopeful. 

Oftentimes prophecy can seem confusing, unclear, and even scary. Yet there are moments when I see that what we were told thousands of years ago is aligning with events in the present day. I say I’m hopeful, not crippled by fear, because these moments serve as a reminder that God and His Word can indeed be trusted. And when I think about what the final days in this world mean for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m filled with joy at the thought of Jesus return to rule and reign with us at His side.

“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near,” Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Luke. So we do not fear that day. We look forward to the completion of our redemption with great anticipation. We pray as the early Church did, “Maranatha!” which means as a declaration, “The Lord is coming!” and also as a prayer, “Oh Lord, come!”

This article was based on an encouraging article by Ray Bentley of http://www.raybentley.com

TO JERUSALEM WE MARCH, MARTYRS BY THE MILLIONS!

END TIMES RHETORIC: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an address at the Jalazone Refugee Camp near Ramallah that the Palestinians cannot be removed from their homeland and that every building built by the Zionist occupation will be destroyed and thrown in the garbage bin of history. He also made the patently absurd, historically false claim that the Palestinians are “Canaanites who have lived in Palestine for 5,000 years. He rejected the conferences in Warsaw (Warsaw Middle East Summit) and Manama (Peace to Prosperity Conference) as unacceptable to the Palestinian people. He said that Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians, and the audience began to chant:

“To Jerusalem we march, martyrs by the millions!”

Abbas continued, saying that the entire Palestinian nation will enter Jerusalem as millions of fighters, along with the Arab, Islamic, and Christian nations, and he said that he rejects the designation of Palestinian martyrs as terrorists. He added that the families of Palestinian martyrs, injured people, and prisoners will continue to receive salaries from the PA because they are the most sacred thing the Palestinians have.

Abbas should read what God has to say about Jerusalem and Israel:

“Comfort , yes, comfort My people!”says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare has ended. That her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for her sins.” Isaiah 40:1

“But you, Israel are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, and said to you are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away.” Isaiah 40:8-9

“Behold all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing , and those who strive with you shall perish.” Isaiah 40:11

LAST DAYS RUMOURS OF WARS

RUMORS OF WAR: Putin warns that Russia will target nations hosting US missiles

RUMORS OF WAR: Putin warns that Russia will target nations hosting US missiles

(ABC News) Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that if the United States deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will have to target the nations that would host them. The stern statement follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement over the weekend that he intends to opt out of a 1987 nuclear arms control pact over alleged Russian violations. Putin said he hoped the United States wouldn’t follow up by positioning intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Such a move would be a repeat of a Cold War showdown in the 1980s, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union both deployed intermediate-range missiles on the continent, the Russian leader said. “If they are deployed in Europe, we will naturally have to respond in kind,”

RUMORS OF WAR: Retired General warns “War with China likely in 15 years”

RUMORS OF WAR: Retired General warns “War with China likely in 15 years”

(Military Times) The former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe says it’s likely the United States will be at war with China in 15 years. Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said at a Warsaw security forum on Wednesday that European allies will have to do more to ensure their own defences against Russia as Americans focus more on the Pacific. Hodges said: “I think in 15 years — it’s not inevitable, but it is a very strong likelihood — that we will be at war with China. The United States does not have the capacity to do everything it has to do in Europe and in the Pacific to deal with the Chinese threat.”

Hodges, now with the Center for European Policy Analysis, was U.S. Army commander in Europe during 2014-17.

NATO shows military might in giant exercises… Largest since the Cold War

NATO shows military might in giant exercises… Largest since the Cold War

(Yahoo News) NATO began its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War in Norway on Thursday, proof of the US’ “rock-solid” commitment to the alliance’s collective defence, US Navy Admiral James Foggo said, as Moscow denounced the maneuvers as “anti-Russian”. Around 50,000 soldiers, 10,000 vehicles, 65 ships and 250 aircraft from 31 countries were taking part in Trident Juncture 18,

which is aimed at training the Atlantic Alliance to defend a member state after an aggression. The show of force comes amid recent concerns over US President Donald Trump’s commitment to NATO, in particular, the “Article 5” mutual defence clause which requires all member states to come to the aid of another member state

DEFENCE MINISTER: ISRAEL ON ITS WAY TO WAR

“We have examined all the options and Israel’s final resort is to strike at Hamas,” Defence Minister Liberman said.

This report by Jack Gold, World Israel News, on rumour of war with Israel fits what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse would be evident in the last days in the lead up to the last seven years prophesied by Daniel (70th week) and confirmed in Revelation.

“And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8

Egyptian mediation has failed and Israel is on its way to war. That was the message Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman delivered Monday to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

Israel has recently seen an increase in the intensity and the volume of violence and attacks emanating from Gaza, which culminated in Wednesday’s rocket attack on Israel which destroyed a home in Beersheba.

Defense Minister: Israel is on its way to war

Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman (C) arrives to a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset, on October 22, 2018.

Palestinian riots on Israel’s border with Gaza are not “popular protests” as Hamas depicts them but rather carefully orchestrated violence organised by the terror group, he said.

“Fifteen thousand people do not show up by foot at the border fence,”  Liberman said. “We have been talking since March 30 about the tens of millions [of shekels] Hamas has spent … They pay for every person killed $3,000, each seriously wounded $500, and a moderately injured [rioter receives] less than $200.”

No deal with Hamas

“When we talk about an arrangement and I’m expressing my opinion here – I do not believe in any arrangement with Hamas. It does not work, it has not worked in the past, it will not work in the future,” the defence minister stated.

Israel has “reached a situation where there is no alternative – anything other than the hardest, heaviest blow that we are capable of dealing Hamas in the Gaza Strip – will not help. We are in a state of ‘no choice,’” he added. “We have arrived at that point where we need to arrive at decisions, we have examined all the options.”

Hamas has called for war on Israel, and Hamas means what it says, he noted, and “therefore, we need to reach clear conclusions, and beyond the conclusions we need actions.”

The Security Cabinet met Wednesday night to consider its response to a rocket attack from Gaza. Its discussion was not made public.

ISLAM’S WAR TO DESTROY ISRAEL IS UNDERWAY

A top Palestinian official declared that Islam’s religious war to destroy Israel’s “culture of Satan” has begun.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash stated on official Palestinian TV that “Jerusalem is the arena of conflict between us and the colonialist project [Israel]… Jerusalem’s [Al-Aqsa] Mosque is the head of the conflict and the starting point of the historic battle between Islam and its enemies.”

Al-Habbash characterised the fight as a war between “Islamic culture in all its splendour” and “the culture of Satan, oppression and aggression.”

However, God has said, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness (reeling) to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who heave it away will surely be cut to pieces, though all the nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Zechariah 12:2,3

 

IS IRAN (ANCIENT PERSIA) THE TWO HORNED RAM OF DANIEL 8?

Gabriel himself told Daniel that the vision concerned the end times. He did not say that part of the vision was historical and part of it was future. He simply said that the vision concerned the time of the end and then repeated it.

“Son of man (Daniel), understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” (Daniel 8:17).

Behold, I (Gabriel) am going to let you (Daniel) know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.” (Daniel 8:19).

Then in Daniel 8:20 “The ram which you (Daniel) saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia.”

There is no doubt that the modern nation of Iran geographical encompasses the three ancient peoples mentioned in Daniel – Medes, Elam and Persians. 

Image result for book Iran;s Great Invasion by Mark Davidson

Mark Davidson in his book Iran’s Great Invasion suggests the two horns are represented by the two power bases existing in Iran today: the Ayatollah is the supreme leader, the political power but the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is the military power.

Daniel describes the second horn growing up later and stronger which describes the IRGC precisely e.g. former President Ahmadinejad awarded two-thirds of the cabinet positions to former IRGC commanders.

Daniel tells us that the ram will run out (invade): north, west and south and it even tells us the starting point Susa on the border of Iran and Iraq.

WEST – Syria: Already, we know that Iran has military in Syria -The Islamic Republic of Iran has conducted an extensive, expensive, and integrated effort to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power as long as possible while setting conditions to retain its ability to use Syrian territory and assets to pursue its regional interests should Assad fall. The deployment of IRGC Ground Forces to conflict abroad is a notable expansion of Iran’s willingness and ability to project military force beyond its borders.

WEST – LebanonThe Shiite militia known as Hezbollah was created by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be an Iranian proxy, nominally “resisting” Israel, but in fact resisting the normal governance of Lebanon by its people. After more than 30 years, Hezbollah is still in Lebanon, sacrificing lives, resisting democracy, dictating foreign policy and corrupting the true Lebanese Armed Forces. Since the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah has rearmed dramatically, with an estimated 150,000 missiles, including short-range Katyusha-type rockets and thousands of medium-range missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv. In November of last year, the Saudi-supported prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, in a broadcast from Riyadh announced his resignation, blaming Iran’s “grip” on his country via Shiite movement Hezbollah.

WEST – Iraq Iran has effectively won the struggle to dominate the future of Iraq. It has done so against the formidable Shi’ite Arab populace, and after nearly a month of raw pressure, manipulations, special operations, threats and cajoling. The Iraqi election of May 12, 2018 — the catalyst for the Iranian intervention — was but the harbinger of a greater threat looming. Thus — even as the final election results are still being challenged, calculated, manipulated, and abused — the key outcome is clear: The future government in Baghdad will be dominated by pro-Iran Shi’ites.

WEST – Israel: 

Hamas’ new leader, Yehiyeh Sinwar,  in the Gaza Strip said Monday his group has repaired relations with Iran after a five-year rift and is using its newfound financial and military aid to gear up for new hostilities with Israel.

“Today, the relationship with Iran is excellent, or very excellent,” Sinwar said. He added that the Islamic Republic is “the largest backer financially and militarily” to Hamas’ military wing.

The announcement  came as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was visiting Israel. At a meeting with the U.N. chief, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained about what he called rising anti-Israel activity by Iran and its allies in the region.

In his meeting with Guterres, Netanyahu alleged Iran is building sites in Syria and Lebanon to produce “precision-guided missiles” to be used against Israel.

Israel and Iran are bitter enemies, and Israel has recently expressed concern that Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah are seeking a permanent military presence in Syria near the Israeli border. Both Hezbollah fighters and Iran have backed Assad’s forces in the Syrian war.

Iran is busy turning Syria into a base of military entrenchment, and it wants to use Syria and Lebanon as war-fronts against its declared goal to eradicate Israel,” Netanyahu said. “This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the U.N. should not accept.”

SOUTH – Saudi Arabia: The “Cold War” between Middle East rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran has been heating up.

The Sunni-Shiite divide between Saudi Arabia and Tehran is a crucial factor in conflicts between the two countries.

Religious tensions have heightened since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that brought the majority Shiites to power in Baghdad instead of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime.

Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shiite power, have a long-standing rivalry based as much in geo-strategic interests as religious differences. Facing off across the Gulf, the two energy-rich powers have for decades stood on opposing sides of conflicts in the Middle East.

The Iranian revolution of 1979 and the advent of the Islamic Republic — with its fiercely anti-American slant — were perceived as a double threat to the conservative Sunni monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, allied with the United States.

Saudi Arabia was a key financial backer of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980-1988 war with Iran. With Iraq weakened following the 1991 Gulf War, Saudi Arabia and Iran became “the two main regional powers,” said Clement Therme, a researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The latest round of tensions began when Riyadh and Tehran broke off diplomatic relations in January 2016, after Iranians stormed Saudi Arabia’s embassy and consulate in response to the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

On the first weekend of November, the animosity reached new heights, Saudi Arabia said its air defences near Riyadh intercepted and destroyed a missile fired from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iran-backed Shiite rebels.

The Bible is primarily a book of prophecy with a major emphasis on Jesus first and especially His second coming. It tells us the events that will happen next.
Iran’s (the ram) time centre stage is brief.
The male goat that overcomes the ram is believed to be Turkey (Sunni) who is seeking to reestablish its former position as leader of the Muslims, with a revived Ottoman Empire. Suggest you read the article in Abaka News by Edmond Y Azaian entitled Erdogan’s Ottoman Ambitions Are for Real

My next post will include a video of Joel Richardson on the final Gog/Magog war.

“Then he (male goat with one notable horn) came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.” Daniel 8:6-7

IN THE LAST DAYS – RUMOURS OF WARS

The Swedes have issued a civil defence pamphlet to each of its 4.8 million households, titled ‘Om krisen eller kriget kommer’ (‘If crisis or war comes’).

In recent years Sweden has decided to double its defence budget, rising from 53 billion kronor (AU$9.8 billion) to around 115 billion kronor (AU$17.5 billion) by 2035.

Image result for picture of the restored Swedish garrison on the Island of Gotland

In January, it reintroduced conscription and in September last year, amidst its largest military exercise in 23 years, Sweden restored the garrison on the Baltic island of Gotland.

Ms Nyh Radebo, a defence ministry spokeswoman, said the return to conscription was prompted by ‘the security change in our neighbourhood’.

The Russian illegal annexation of Crimea, the conflict in Ukraine and the increased military activity in our neighbourhood are some of the reasons.’

Towns have been instructed to dust off their civil defence documents and inspect and upgrade the old cold war bunkers.

Denmark and Sweden have agreed to boost defence ties to fight Russian cyber-attacks, and negotiations have been conducted to purchase the Patriot missile system from the United States.

‘…What was unthinkable five years ago is no longer unthinkable’ said Martin Kragh, from the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

The civil defence pamphlet is unequivocal in its instruction to the Swedes.

If we are attacked’, it says, ‘we will never give up. All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false.

The issuing of such a pamphlet is a measure the Swedes haven’t felt necessary since the darkest days of the Cold War. Throughout the 20th and 21st Century, they’ve stuck firmly by their policy of ‘armed neutrality’, avoiding involvement in any serious military conflict since 1814. Internationally, their defence posture has been benign. They possess no nuclear weapons and they have disavowed chemical and biological warfare.

The most dangerous mission Swedish troops have been involved in has been keeping the peace. And yet, this latest rumour of war, made ever ominous by the conduct of their neighbour, Russia, has forced a rethink about the unimaginable by senior government and defence planners.