Posted in earthquake, israel, middle east, syria, tokyo tornado

News Roundup: Syria, Suez Canal attack, Tokyo tornado, Israel’s isolation, fallen culture, passive-aggressive granny

There is a lot going on in the world. Here is a news round up for you.

Something that had been feared for a while happening in the Strait of Hormuz has in fact happened in the Suez Canal. Both locations feature an important shipping area which are constricted to extremely narrow boundaries due to landmass.

At the Strait of Hormuz, on the north coast is Iran, and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Oman. At its narrowest, the strait is 21 nautical miles. Yet is an extremely important shipping area, and not incidentally, inside the Strait where the Persian Gulf opens a bit, is Bahrain, where the US docks the Firth Fleet.

It would be very easy to disrupt the world by either mining or terrorizing shipping in the Strait. Wikipedia says “It is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. About 20% of the world’s petroleum, and about 35% of the petroleum traded by sea, passes through the strait making it a highly important strategic location for international trade.”

If anyone got it into their head to do so (and I’m talking to you, Iran) to stop oil traffic, gas prices would spike to the point where no one would be able to afford it. The Marketplace reports, Blocking the Strait of Hormuz would affect gas prices immediately.

This same scenario exists in the Suez Canal. Wikipedia again, “The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows ship transport between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa.”

The Suez Canal is about 675 feet wide as of 2010. Seeing that the Suezmax width of a ship passing through is 164 feet, it stands to reason that anyone standing on the shoreline could easily reach a ship with any kind of artillery. And this weekend, that is just what someone did.

Egypt arrests three who machine-gunned ship in Suez Canal

AP archive photo of Suez Canal

“Egypt has arrested three people who opened machine gun fire on a ship passing through the Suez Canal, an army source said on Sunday, playing down what the waterway’s chief described as a terrorist attack. …During Saturday’s unsuccessful attack, the Panamanian-registered container ship COSCO ASIA came under fire in a northern section of the Suez Canal, a major global trade artery which is secured by the Egyptian armed forces.  “There was an attempt to disrupt security in an area called el-Qantara as they fired at a ship in an attempt to halt (traffic on) the waterway,” said the army source.”

My best advice is with the extreme brinksmanship and military threats igniting in the Middle East these days, to make sure your car is gassed up, not to let it go below half tank.

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The situation in Syria and the Obama’s reaction to it has been nothing short of embarrassing. Kurt Schlichter tweeted, “It’s like we gave control of foreign policy to a pony-tailed gender studies seminar TA.” Exactly.

Syria crisis: Obama turns decision on military action over to Congress
“Pulling back from the brink, a lonely President Barack Obama indicated last night that he would not order military strikes over Syria until he has received authorisation from the United States Congress – putting an unexpected brake on what had seemed like impending action.”

The French Government says it has evidence that the Syrian President’s regime (Bashar al Assad) perpetrated the attack, and will present that evidence to French lawmakers. Yet the rebels say that perpetrated the attack, in an oops moment when they ‘mishandled’ the weapons. Yeah. And the link goes to an Iranian paper. If you remember, Iran is propping up the Assad government so it is in their best interest to thrown suspicion on the people trying to bring down their puppet. The fog of war

Lebanon’s terrorist organization, Hezbollah is mobilizing ahead of potential US strike. The Arab League is pushing for intervention, and behind the scenes, Israel is too.

It must be said that gassing and killing thousands of your own citizens cannot go unpunished. Yet, there are indications that the rebels may be the ones behind the attack, doing this to incite the West into the fray. And if it was President Assad, then coming to the aid of the opposing forces means that we side with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda. None of these are palatable options.

And if we did strike Syria, could Syria strike back? This CNN analysis goes through the potential scenarios.

How vulnerable would Israel be if the West strikes Syria? Watching the Us uncertainty, Israel says,

‘We Can Only Rely on God and Our Troops’
“As Israeli leaders continue to react to American prevarication on Syria, one former IDF commander has summed up the general mood. “We have no one to rely upon except for God and our veteran troops,” said former IDF General Uzi Dayan, attacking US President Barack Obama’s decision to postpone action on Syria until an official approval from Congress. Dayan’s comments were featured on his Facebook page on Sunday, opening with a statement saying that the Israeli government should “continue with its sensible policies” of refraining from a Syrian intervention unless the conflict were to spill in Israel’s direction.”

The closing circle of Israel’s loneliness is becoming ever more apparent. And can Israel rely on God as long as Israel is out of right relationship with Him? He will not allow Israel to be obliterated (Zechariah 12:9) but He will allow punishment to rain upon Israel. Ezekiel 39:24-25 has the story-

“And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.”

Yet the LORD will rescue Israel and blessedly, “The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward.” (Ezekiel 29:22)

But that has not happened yet. Israel has a few things to go through until that day.

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EARTH CHANGES

Freak tornado ploughs through Tokyo suburb
http://player.ooyala.com/player.js?embedCode=F2djg0ZTrNKGzNk_yWW2kyk_prlE8fo3&video_pcode=RvbGU6Z74XE_a3bj4QwRGByhq9h2&width=560&height=315&deepLinkEmbedCode=F2djg0ZTrNKGzNk_yWW2kyk_prlE8fo3

“Several dozen people were injured when a tornado ripped through parts of eastern Japan on Monday, tearing off roofs and uprooting trees. Footage shot by public broadcaster NHK shows a number of homes destroyed, upturned cars, schools with shattered windows and a warehouse that had been lifted from its foundations and hurled into other buildings in Koshigaya, north of Tokyo.”

Reportedly, 66 people have been injured, as the news is still coming in. I wrote when the volcanic geyser broke through the ground at the end of a runway at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, that just because man has built a city does not mean it is then and forever immune to disasters. And here another example of this come today, with the tornado in Tokyo.

Here is a map showing worldwide distribution of tornadoes. Japan does have recurring tornadoes annually, but usually they are weak and short lasting.

Source, NOAA

There was a 6.5 earthquake this weekend in Indonesia. A 6.1 quake in Papua New Guinea. A damaging quake in China, though the magnitude was not so high (5.8) there was a lot of damage and three deaths.

Here is a Youtube with an Iranian scientist explaining that Tehran is smack dab in the middle of an active seismic zone and is at risk for a major quake.

In searching for confirmation that Guatemala’s volcano Fuego had erupted, I came across this news article from August 19, 2013 which I had missed. Japan’s Sakurajima erupted.

“Residents in a southern Japanese city were busy washing ash off the streets Monday after a nearby volcano spewed a record-high smoke plume into the sky. Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, experienced one of its most powerful eruptions in decades Sunday, sending an ash plume as high as three miles into the air. Visibility in the city of Kagoshima, where the volcano sits, deteriorated quickly as ash spread into populated portions of the city of 600,000 residents, according to the English-language NHK World website. NHK World said a pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving current of gas and rock, was observed along a one-kilometer (0.6-mile) swath on the southeast flank of the mountain.”

Volcano Fuego in Guatemala did indeed erupt today. This scientific article reports,

“A phase of increased lava flow activity occurred this morning at Fuego volcano, Guatemala, generating a series of pyroclastic flows that descended several ravines on different, but mostly the southwestern side of the volcano. An ash plume rising as a by-product of the pyroclastic flows was reported to about 12,000 ft (3.6 km) altitude.”

Impressive looking. I hope everyone was safe.

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CULTURE

It’s inevitable. Once the tapeworm of homosexuality is loosed from its bowel constraint, it will loose all other immoralities which had heretofore been relegated to the darkest of closets. (We have Doug Wills to thank for the vivid picture.) Here is proof: a call in opinion section of the Washington Post to legalize sex between teachers and students. I am not making this up.

This week we mourned the loss of innocence among America’s youth who viewed the lewd performance of formerly sweet Miley Cyrus and mourned more when America’s youth didn’t seem to know or understand what was so lewd about Miley Cyrus’s performance.

We have scandals at mega-churches, and lewdness at a school bus stop. I’m heartbroken over the lewdness to children. I’ve said many time I can’t wait for children to be in the Millennium kingdom so they can run and be free and safe and loved.

The 50 Shades of Gray (soft porn) movie has been cast . Gay marriages have been recognized by the IRS. As if the IRS needed any further reasons for us to dislike them. One town clerk in Pennsylvania has been handing out marriage licenses to seeking gay couples, despite the fact that gay marriage is illegal in PA. Now a court must decide if “the clerk has singlehandedly added Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that formally sanction same-sex marriages or whether he has been acting illegally and must be stopped.” How about firing the guy? He violated his oath, for goodness sakes. Meanwhile, The Atlantic offers a guide to gay wedded bliss.

In Asia, though, it seems that social media commentary has been squelched, so many on the peninsula wont’ even know of the cultural items happening nor can comment on them if they did.

SE Asia Governments Appear to Squelch Social Media Commentary 
“Warnings from authorities and new regulations in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam may have some users of social media thinking twice about what they post or even click “Like” on the popular Facebook site.  Thailand has 15 million Facebook users, more than one-fifth of the country’s population. And an estimated 40 percent of Vietnamese are now on the internet, with the surge in smartphones. Social media sites such as Facebook and Zing Me each have an estimated 12 million users in Vietnam.    Amid the surge in commentary on social media, governments in the region, according to Shawn Crispin, Southeast Asia representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, are seeking to emulate China’s success with controlling online discourse.”

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FUN

Here are 9 pictures of wonderfully vibrant paintings of artist, by finger
“When artist Iris Scott was finishing a painting one time, she saw a spot that needed to be touched up with yellow, but all her brushes were wet with different blues. She didn’t feel like cleaning any of them, so she just did the adjustment with her finger…and she discovered a new passion. Now, wearing latex gloves, she works exclusively with her fingers. Here are several of her vibrant paintings…”

IRIS SCOTT

Here is short and nice article about the Commemoration of Dorcas, Lydia, and Phoebe: Faithful Women

Mrs. Reformation is a blog entry about a book review on the wife of Martin Luther, Katherine Luther, who was a pretty neat person, too.

Nobody does guilt trips like Grandma

 

Posted in gog magog, israel, last days, psalm 83 war, syria

Will Israel enter the fray regarding Syria?

I am watching the Middle East situation carefully. I have some concerns regarding if the conflagration will widen, and if it does, whether some of the prophesied wars will begin. I don’t know if the time is now or not, but it seems to me that we have had so many near misses of late (in the last 4 years) and those near misses are coming faster and more frequently, that they seem like birth pangs to me, ready to break water and flood the world with Tribulation. That is my opinion. In any case, we know that the last days wars will happen and one of these days they will begin. I just happen to think it will be sooner rather than later.

In watching the news and reading the Old Testament prophets, I noticed something that Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman yesterday struck me. He said–

that Israel does not want to become embroiled in the Syrian conflict, but may have to hit back if it is struck. … Lieberman said that Israel does not want to enter the fray against Syria but added, “We may have no choice, but I hope that everyone knows how to read the map correctly and understand that Israel has no interest in entering the whirlpool of the Arab world.” “

What I believe he was referring to is that Israel is a tiny nation, completely surrounded by implacable enemies. If the situation goes south in Syria, well, Israel is to the south and undoubtedly Israel will receive either purposeful targeting or accidental blowback. Either way, the job of the Foreign Affairs Secretary is to protect the people.

However, when has that situation ever been different? Israel has always been surrounded by implacable enemies. We we do know how to read a map and we do know that at some point every single one of those enemies abutting the tiny nation of God’s people will attack. Many prophecy interpreters believe that battle is prophesied in Psalm 83.

Psalm 83 is an imprecatory psalm, imprecatory meaning calling a curse upon someone or on a nation. In Psalm 83 Asaph is calling for God to intervene against a coalition of nations which are colluding to attack Israel.

The reason some interpreters think this is an unfulfilled prayer is that the particular configuration of nations who are colluding and attacking have never joined up to attack Israel in history past. Though parts of the psalm have been fulfilled and now are history, the psalm has not seen fulfillment in the exactly as described. So they believe it is still future. Here are the first 8 verses to the Psalm:
A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

1 O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
3 They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
5 For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Asshur also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah

The nations named also in today’s modern language, are:

  • Edom & Moab, are southern and middle Jordan.
  • Ishmaelites, Hagrites, and Amalekites are descended from Hagar and Ishmael, and settled in southern Jordan and Saudi Arabia. (Map shows Amalekites being solely in Egypt, again, this is another interpretation)
  • Ammon is norther Jordan. Its capital today is still Ammon.
  • Gebal & Tyre are in Lebanon.
  • Philistia is Gaza.
  • Asshur is northern Iraq and western Syria (Assyria)

So in reading the map, we see that Asaph is pleading for deliverance from a coalition which intends to wipe Israel from the map.

Be advised that there is a lot of disagreement about the purpose of this psalm (imprecatory only? partially prophetic?) and its fulfillment’s timing, (past? present? or still far future?)

One thing I like to do is look at the bible’s end and work backward. We know that in the end, all nations will be against Israel. (Zechariah 12:3). Backing up some, we know that in Ezekiel 38-39 another, different coalition attacks Israel while Israel is dwelling securely. We know that battle is going to take place in the latter days because it says so in Ezekiel 38:16. Also, in Ezekiel 38:22 God says He will rain down sulfur on the hordes coming to attack Israel. This has never happened.

So the coalition named in Ezekiel’s attack are are non-abutting neighbors of Israel. Israel’s abutting neighbors are all named in the Psalm 83 prayer. It is thought that the victory given Israel over the Psalm 83 coalition nullifies them and takes them out of action. So when the second waves of attacks comes in Ezekiel’s coalition, it is subsequent to Psalm 83 because none of the nearer inner circle is named. Logic dictates they would be part of this attack if they could be. Others wonder about Israel dwelling securely, without bars or walls. What could make Israel lower their security vigilance? Perhaps the fulfillment of Psalm 83, where Israel vanquishes all her abutting enemies and is dwelling safely in the land? (Ezekiel 39:26)

If you think of satan’s attempts to get rid of Israel, as Israel being the bulls eye, and Psalm 83 being the first wave, then Ezekiel 39-39 being the widened wave of a larger and further-afield coalition of enemies, and then culminating in Armageddon with all the world coming against her, this seems to be the prevailing thought on the successive prophesied battles of the latter days.

Mr Lieberman is right. Anybody looking at a map can see that Israel is surrounded, small, and in all likelihood, going to be obliterated. However, that is not in God’s plan. As surprising as it is and as it will be to those who dwell on the earth, Israel is in fact an immovable rock, and those who try to dig her up or push her over will themselves be injured. (Zechariah 12:3).

If only Mr Lieberman knew that his nation has the only perfect and strong protector! What comfort that would be as all the missiles are aimed at her, as all the hordes storm the mountains like insects. As the bombs come down, the Lord will personally bat them away! (Ezekiel 39:3)

“The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.” (Ezekiel 38:20).

Not that Israel won’t be harmed at all during the Tribulation, she will, (Zechariah 14:2) but the Lord God Almighty will not let His people nor His designated land be overrun or destroyed at the hands of the Gentiles. He keeps His promises. Though we do see by the map that tiny Israel is beleaguered, beset, and besmirched, she will prevail in the end. That is because God always prevails in the end.

“And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” (Ezekiel 39:7)

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further reading


Fears of a Larger War in the Middle East
Will the phrase “Guns of August” one day refer not only to the prelude to World War I in 1914 but also to the prelude to a Middle East war in 2013?  That is the ominous question posed by Roger Boyes, the diplomatic editor of the Times of London and a foreign correspondent for the past 35 years.  “The direction of events in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Iran should keep us awake at night. History is taking a dangerous turn,” he writes. “The region certainly cannot sustain two wars — Syria’s bloody insurgency and a near-civil war in Egypt — without wrecking established peace treaties and the normal mechanisms for defusing conflict.”

Posted in israel, peace process

Referendum on peace agreement just might pass?

Secretary of State Kerry doggedly worked until the Israel-Palestinian peace talks revived. They have been dead for four years and not much progress was made in the Bush years prior to that. The last time there was any real progress at all was Bill Clinton forming the Oslo Accords in 1990.

This piece below was in the United Kingdom’s paper The Guardian. There does seem to be a different tone about this round of peace talks, something that has been going on since 1967 after the Six Day’s War. And let us not forget that one month after Israel declared herself a nation in 1948 war broke out from the surrounding Palestinians. Peace is ever-elusive, and due to the bible we know why. Isaac and Ishmael and the one above the other.

But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”(Genesis 21:9-13)

This time things are a bit different. Israel is militarily and financially surrounded and isolated. “The European Union has moved to cut off all Israeli entities that operate in the disputed areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem” reported Russia Today. Financially, this has dramatic impact.

Also, Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would put any agreement to a popular referendum for the people to decide. The people are weary and the leaders are worried about the tight isolation they are currently enduring. Of course, America has abandoned Israel and that makes a difference too. Israel cannot count on even one ally at this moment. This has changed their perspective and they may be more willing to “talk.”

We Christians watch anything related to Israel, because that is where the Lord said He would move most dramatically. (Zechariah 2:8, Ezra 6:12). The Tribulation will be kicked off with the covenant being confirmed between Israel and “the many.” (Dan 9:27). So “suddenly” revived peace talks have me total attention! Here is the Guardian essay on the peace talks-

Why I’m (somewhat) optimistic about the latest Israel-Palestine peace talks
One would have to be a fool to ever express optimism about the potential for a diplomatic breakthrough between Israelis and Palestinians. There have been so many pitfalls and missed opportunities over the years it’s hard to gets one’s hopes up about the launching of a new round of peace talks in Washington DC this week between Israelis and Palestinians.

Well I guess I’m a fool because I think there is genuine reason for optimism about these talks. Now to be sure I am setting the bar low (I might be a fool, but I’m not crazy). The gaps between the two sides are significant; the challenge in separating Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank to create a viable two-state solution is supremely difficult; resolving issues like the final status of Jerusalem and, to a lesser extent, the right of return for Palestinians will create a furious pushback from the extremists on both sides who are sternly opposed to any compromise. Nonetheless, there are very good reasons to believe this time – and these talks – will be different.

Israelis strongly support a two-state solution. This is not a new development, but the very fact that two-thirds of Israelis (and a slightly smaller percentage of Israeli Jews) continue to support the idea of a Palestinian state that conforms to the 1967 borders is of enormous importance.

But that so many Israelis are comfortable with the idea of a Palestinian state (something that would have been unimaginable before Oslo in the early 1990s) provides the political opening for an Israeli government to make a deal that turns the idea of two-states into reality.

If these talks fall through – no matter which side is to blame – Israel’s diplomatic and economic isolation will only get worse. Not only will the outside pressure on Israel grow, but Israelis themselves may begin finding themselves stigmatized and constrained by the actions of their government. That alone could very well shift the current cost-benefit analysis on swapping land for peace. In short, Israelis may come to realize, as they did with Camp David and with Oslo and, to a lesser extent, with the pullout from Gaza and with the withdrawal from South Lebanon, that the status quo cannot be maintained.

Influential blogger Dahlia Scheindlin in Israel wrote:

Referendum on peace agreement just might pass
“So as a public service, it is worth reminding everyone that surveys consistently show that a majority of the Israeli public favors a two-state solution. In a June survey for the Truman Institute at Hebrew University, 58 percent of Jews supported the two-state solution, and 62 percent of all Israelis including Arab respondents.”

Would a referendum vote by the Israeli people be the reference in Daniel 9:27 of the covenant “confirmed by the many”? I believe the language of the verse in English and in Hebrew supports this possibility. But as always, it is hard to tell. Prophecy is always clear after the fact and only rarely clearly  understood prior or during. In any case, the broad strokes are there, any ‘sudden’ movement in Israel regarding land for peace hearkens to the Lord’s future judgment on them because “they have divided My land” as He said in Joel 3:2. So we know by looking at the end, that land has been divided and will continue to be divided and the Lord does not like that nor does He want that.

Ultimately it would be good to pray for the leaders on both sides that they would do that the LORD wants, and even though we know that they won’t, we still “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” The John MacArthur Bible Commentary says of this verse, that this city’s name means peace and it is the residency of the God of peace, but has been fought over more times than any other city on earth. Peace will not come to Jerusalem until the Prince of Peace comes to rule personally, (Zech 14:9, 11) so this is a prophetic prayer.

“For there thrones were set for judgment, The thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. “May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces.” (Psalm 122:5-7)

Posted in charismatic, iran, israel, peace talks

Iran: Armageddon at hand, prepare for war; plus other interesting links

Some interesting links for you.

False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church, A Conference Message by Mark Dever. Mark Dever diagnoses the problem of false conversions in the church and prescribes biblical solutions in his message from Together for the Gospel 2012.This link leads to an audio message.

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Reaction is growing to John MacArthur’s upcoming Strange Fire conference. The conference’s purpose is stated as follows:

“The Lord calls His people to honor Him, to treat Him as holy. Leviticus 10 pictures the consequences of not doing so—of offering to Him strange fire. For the last hundred years, the charismatic movement has been offering a strange fire of sorts to the third Person of the Godhead—the Holy Spirit. And evangelical churches have chosen to be silent or indifferent on the matter. This hasn’t served the church or the Spirit of the church with honor. So what should be our response? Strange Fire is a conference that will set forth what the Bible really says about the Holy Spirit, and how that squares with the charismatic movement. We’re going to address in a biblical, straightforward manner what many today see as a peripheral issue. On the contrary, your view of the Holy Spirit influences your relationship with God, your personal holiness, and your commitment to the church and evangelism.”

The Charismatics do not like this. Dr Michael Brown wrote two articles published in Charisma Magazine responding to the conference’s purpose, here, and calling MacArthur out.

John MacArthur, Strange Fire and Blasphemy of the Spirit

and here

An Appeal to John MacArthur to Embrace God’s True Fire

Fred Butler wrote this on behalf of Dr MacArthur:

A Mess in the Maternity Ward?

Annnnd … Dr Brown responded. Again.

Time to Talk, Not Fight: A Response to John MacArthur’s Ministry

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Proclaiming the Gospel has a great blog essay titled-

Christians are Exhorted to Judge
“Many Christians are unaware of their responsibility to judge and test all things. Paul exhorted: “I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9-10). Christians need to take judgment seriously in this life because of the great responsibility that awaits us in the future.”

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Iran: Armageddon at hand, prepare for war
“Iran is again asserting that Armageddon is at hand and that the Islamic regime’s followers, indeed all of Islam, must prepare for a monumental change in the world. Officials of the Islamic regime last month held their annual conference on the Mahdism Doctrine to prepare for the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam, Mahdi. … Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, said at the conference that, “I hope (Iran’s) Islamic Revolution is that of the righteous government before the coming,” according to Fars News Agency, the regime’s media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards. “Righteous government” is a key to Mahdi’s return, the Shiites believe.”

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Mideast peace talks to begin this week. But why did Israel approve release of 104 terrorists?
“But why are they beginning with the Israelis agreeing to release 104 convicted Palestinian terrorists? Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to agree to the talks unless Israel made a big concession. Abbas pressed hard for the release of convicted terrorists as one of those concessions. But why? Do you convince your interlocutors — or the rest of the world — that you really want peace by insisting on the release of Arabs who have murdered Israelis? Hardly. That said, it’s bad enough that Abbas insisted on such a thing, but why exactly did the Israeli government say yes?”

Posted in gog magog, iran, israel, military strategy, psalm 83 war

Was Israel’s Latest ‘Air’ Attack on Syria from a Submarine? This would be a game changer

Was Israel’s Latest ‘Air’ Attack on Syria from a Submarine?
“An attack two weeks ago that destroyed an advanced Russian missile shipment delivered to Syria’s Assad regime should also serve as a warning to Iran – and to those complacent Western diplomats who have (dangerously in my view) reconciled themselves to the idea of allowing Iran to go nuclear and then trying to contain it. For it seems that the July 5 attack on an arms depot near the Syrian naval base of Latakia, which has been attributed to Israel, came not from the air (as CNN and the New York Times reported last weekend) but from under the water.”

“Many Western officials who have apparently concluded that Israel could only destroy Iran’s nuclear program from the air – and that Israel does not have the capability to carry out such long-range air strikes in a decisive way – should take note. In recent years, Israel has greatly advanced its sea-based capabilities, and the geographical range of operations that Israel can mount from the sea, I am reliably told, now spans the entire globe. Israeli submarines are no longer confining themselves to the Mediterranean.”

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Hmmm. If that is true, then look at this.

Iran’s nuclear program has several locations as seen on the map below. I added Qom to the map below. Since the map below was formulated in 2009, it has been discovered that an underground secret facility exists in Qom. Bushehr is a main facility. Look where it is. Easily reachable by sea, if Israel can get a sub around the Strait of Hormuz. Bushehr is ON the sea.

Source

 You see how Bushehr is right ON the water. Click to enlarge.

Bushehr to Qom is 700 miles, reachable by sub missile. Every Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) has intercontinental range. The Russian Navy patrols the Black sea by sub and surface ships but I suppose if Israel wanted to they may be able to get a sub in the Black Sea and attack Iran from the North. The Black Sea is the body of water yo see on the above map north of Tehran.

Either way, it was a big AHA! moment when the news reported that the Syrian attack on the Russian missile cache was performed by sea. Stay tuned…

Posted in eschatology, israel, jews, replacement theology, temple

Messianic return from Jewish point of view

A Haaretz (Israel daily newspaper) article today. It is interesting to read of Messianic prophecy from the point of view of a person who does not believe the New Testament, but should have a better grasp of eschatology than is evidenced in this article. It is rife with errors but also contains some truth.

Why do many Christians believe Jesus will appear after Jews rebuild the temple?
“These are the same Zionist evangelicals who oppose any peace agreement in which Israel will cede parts of the homeland, and who customarily make donations to various right-wing associations in Israel. For them, Israeli sovereignty over the Holy Land is fraught with redemptive meaning. Only the continuing and eternal covenant between the Jewish people and its God in heaven can lend a messianic significance to its deeds on earth.”

“It was such a frame of mind that prompted the well-known evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell to assert, back in 1988, that “the most important date we should remember [since the Ascension] is May 14, 1948.” The reason is because, in his view, the creation of the State of Israel “is the greatest single sign indicating the imminent return of Jesus Christ.”

“But there’s a snag. Two months ago we celebrated the 65th anniversary of Israel’s creation, and for some reason Jesus has not yet appeared.”

Oh, but He will. They should know better than anyone about the Lord’s plans mean nothing in man’s scale of time. He sent the Jews into a 70 year exile. They wandered 40 years in the desert. A Jubilee Year comes around once every 50. They spent 400 years waiting for a prophet to speak (Malachi to John the Baptist). The Egyptian captivity was 400 years. And they scoff at 65?

Yes, they scoff.

The article calls the 15-million seller book The Late great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey (an eschatological view of the run up to the Tribulation and the last 7 years of punishment upon the Jews) as a “mythical best seller.” The article repeats the old chestnut that John Darby started the notion of the rapture, even though Paul taught it and the earliest church fathers believed it.

The article goes on,

“The relationship between Christian evangelicals and Temple activists is warmer today than ever. It is a strange alliance, in which each side is using the other to further its own redemptive goals, knowing full well that the other has a completely alternative, indeed opposite, picture of the way redemption will look.”

Why can’t they see the clear and plain truth in the bible? That the rapture will sweep the church from the earth and that those who remain will be left to deal with God’s anger on His unbelieving people, the Jews? Because they can’t. Paul explained it all in Romans 11. Opening that wonderful chapter, Paul said,

“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” (Romans 11:1-2)

That should silence the replacement theologians who said that the Jews are done and the church is all that God cares about now. Paul goes on to explain the program and plan of God in the Age of Grace that we are in now:

“What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”” (Romans 11:7-8).

The Jews rejected Jesus when He appeared. Originally the Jews were supposed to be the Light to the world and instruct the Gentiles about God. But they clung to the law, turned insular, and then used the law for their own gain, coasting on the covenant promise and failing to share the Light with the pagans.

Jesus charged them: “You that make your boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonor you God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you.” (Romans 2:23-24).

“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, see, we turn to the Gentiles. For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 13:45-47)

Paul explains that the Gentiles are grafted in so as to make Israel jealous.

“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.” (Romans 11:11).

Paul says it again, explaining the ‘mystery of Israel’s salvation’.

“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:d a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” Romans 11:25).

They have been partially hardened. The most difficult mission group to reach is the Jew, because they have been made hard of heart and blind so that they cannot see. That is why we wind up with articles that state the redemption plan between the Jew and the Christian are opposite. They aren’t , but the hardened Jew see it that way.

All Israel will be saved. Jesus preserves a remnant throughout the Tribulation. He uses the Jew once again as His light to bring salvation, supernaturally sealing 144,000 Jews to witness for Him, 12,000 from each tribe. (Revelation 7:6-8).

He will punish His people, that is what the Tribulation is all about. It is called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Yet in the end, all Israel will be saved! (Isaiah 53)

“I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (Ezekiel 39:29)

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10)

The LORD is grace and mercy. He loves His people. Punishes for idolatry, yes. He does this because He is holy. Even though punishment tough, He will not break His promise to His covenant people the Israelites. He will be as overjoyed as anyone on earth or in heaven when His people cry out to Him as Messiah.

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.” (Zechariah 14:9)

Posted in israel, kerry, peace talks, prophecy, tribulation

After four years, the Israel-Palestinian peace talks resume. How does this fit in prophecy?

Here is some news just out-

Kerry: Direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to resume next week in Washington
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday in a press conference in Amman that direct Israeli-Palestinian talks are due to begin next week in Washington. The announcement comes after Kerry had traveled to the region six times within four months and spent countless hours in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “We have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” he told reporters in Jordan. “The agreement is still in the process of being formalized.”

According to Wikipedia, there are numerous issues to resolve before a lasting peace can be reached, including the following:

  • Borders and division of the land;
  • Strong emotions relating to the conflict on both sides;
  • Palestinian concerns over Israeli settlements in the West Bank;
  • Status of Jerusalem;
  • Israeli security concerns over terrorism, safe borders, incitements, violence;
  • Right of return of Palestinian refugees living in the Palestinian diaspora.

Prophetically we know several things. Overall, we know that there will be no lasting peace until Messiah comes. (Isaiah 2:3-5).

  • The world will be against Israel in the final days. (Zechariah 12:2-3)
  • The LORD will allow the nations to invade and (mostly) defeat Israel (Zechariah 14:2, Rev 11:2)
  • They have divided His land, angering the LORD (Joel 3:2)
  • He will save a remnant, all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25-26)
  • While they are saying peace and safety sudden destruction will come upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Here is the biggie:

A covenant will be confirmed. A pact. A treaty.

“And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:27)

Othe translations say-

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” (KJV)
“He will make a firm covenant with many for one week” (Holman Standard)
“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.'” (NIV)

This indicates that some kind of treaty or pact is already in existence and will be confirmed among the many, rather than a new one being created or formulated at the time.

This covenant satisfies Israel. We know this because firstly, they participate in its confirming, and secondly, they are allowed to begin sacrificing at the temple again. All seems well for three and a half years, until the antichrist reveals himself by stepping into the temple. He declares himself God and commands all worship must focus on him. Until then, we do not know who the antichrist is, although he does participate in the original confirming of the covenant three and a half years earlier. (2 Thessalonians 3:6).

It is this moment which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:15-17, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand-Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: …”

Any time many nations are involved in forming a treaty or pact with Israel, it is time to heighten attention to the prophetic words of His prophets. It is time to pray for Israel even more fervently. It is time to pray for the pagans and Gentiles who live in that region with vigor. It is time to pray for the Christians witnessing to Messiah in the Land that they would be the Light so many will be saved and thus escape the horrors to soon come. It is time to strengthen our own faith and straighten our own walk, so that we may be ready for the trumpet call to stand unashamed before Him in glory.

Seeing the scaffolding having been erected for the Tribulation we know that soon the rapture call will occur, because the Bride will be called home before the judgments begin. So look to the Middle East with the political doings, and look up. Is our Redemption drawing nigh? I believe so, every day brings us closer. With the resumption of peace talks, the inching forward just took a giant leap.
____________________

Further reading:

All about the Tribulation: explained

The Times of Israel reviews “Damascus Countdown” & hopes it doesn’t come true.

Posted in baltic dry index, economic depression, economy, israel, russia

Economic downturn, depression, tomato, tomato. Developing a Depression mindset

I haven’t done an essay on the economy in a while. I’ve been watching…observing….mulling. What is happening to us in America (and all over the world) is really interesting.

For those of us who know the world is not our home, we are told many times in scripture not to cling to it. (Galatians 6:14, 1 Timothy 6:7) and not to conform to it (Romans 12:2). After all, satan rules it, (2 Corinthians 4:4) the world is enemy territory, (Ephesians 6:10-18) and our vaporous life will soon leave it. (James 4:14).

However, we still have to live here until the rapture or death. So we are of the world but we are not in it. (John 17:14–19). No we are not holograms, lol, but we are islands of holiness dwelling in the midst of a pool of sin.

I know my treasure is in heaven but I still make great efforts to be a good steward of what the Lord has given me in terms of goods and money. (2 Thessalonians 3:10, Philippians 2:4). And as long as I am being faithful to manage the goods and money then I will have more time and money and blessings to enable me to be a good steward also of the gifts of grace He gave. (1 Peter 4:10).

I’ve always been frugal, it is in my nature. Excessive spending is not in me. Buying things that are not practical is not in me. Even if someone gave me $30 to spend on anything I wanted, I’d use it to pay a bill or groceries. About the only spending I engage in that doesn’t directly go to keeping me alive, clothed and in a home with 4 walls are books. I have little money but what I have I like to use for other people.

Because of reading the bible, I know that as time goes on the economy will get worse and worse. Oh, sure, any economy has cycles of ups and downs, but over the long haul the general trend is down. How do I know this? The world is dying. It is cursed. All relationships, projects, economies, and governments are drenched with this curse. None are righteous. (Romans 5:12-21, 1 John 2:17; Matthew 24:35).

This downward trend accelerated dramatically after the presidential election of 2008, a process that began right before the November election in Sept-Oct. In effect, the global economy crashed on or about October 1, 2008, and has never recovered. Though economists continue to call what is happening a ‘recession’ or even insultingly, a ‘recovery,’ I call it what it is, a Depression.

I always thought that with my natural tendency to frugality and a long life of having done without that I’d transition to any economic depression rather easily. I was wrong.

There is a huge difference between frugality as a choice and developing a Depression mindset due to necessity.

What happens to a person who dwells in a long-term state of want, need, constriction, frustration, and fear? To the unsaved, it causes a severely de-stabilizing effect. They want and need something but know not what it is (what they are looking for is peace with God through reconciliation with His Son). That is why they had previously sought to fill that hole where peace goes with the things of this world. When the things of this world are no longer available to them because of drought-like economic conditions, they panic because even the false, temporary pseudo-peace they gained from the things of this world are now unattainable. There are two responses to that panic: turning to God and find that peace, or turning to self and go deeper into the dark hole of unfulfillment. They wonder, is this life just a long, heartbreaking quest for the unattainable? An economic depression brings that hidden question closer to the surface.

The psyche changes during prolonged periods of want and scarcity. This means that societal structure changes too, because the family structure changes. From “Digital History: The Depression” we read:

The Depression had a powerful impact on families. It forced couples to delay marriage and drove the birthrate below the replacement level for the first time in American history. The divorce rate fell, for the simple fact that many couples could not afford to maintain separate households or to pay legal fees. Still, rates of desertion soared. By 1940, there were 1.5 million married women living apart from their husbands. More than 200,000 vagrant children wandered the country as a result of the break-up of their families.

The Depression inflicted a heavy psychological toll on jobless men. With no wages to punctuate their ability, many men lost power as primary decision makers. Large numbers of men lost self-respect, became immobilized and stopped looking for work, while others turned to alcohol or became self-destructive or abusive to their families.

In contrast to men, many women saw their status rise during the Depression. To supplement the family income, married women entered the work force in large numbers. Although most women worked in menial occupations, the fact that they were employed and bringing home paychecks elevated their position within the family and gave them a say in family decisions.

That aforementioned ‘say in the family decisions’ plays into satan’s hands. Men and women were cursed in Genesis 3:16 at the Fall. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Women’s tendency from that time on will was to usurp the headship of the husband (Ephesians 5:23) and the tendency of the husband has been either be to capitulate, or to become a dictator.

Last week, the NY Times reported that a similar gender gap in jobs during this ‘downturn’ is occurring and I noticed a similarity to the changes in family structure in the First Great Depression. One year after it began in 2008, women held 49.99 percent of all jobs. Even today, women are getting jobs at a much faster rate than men, though jobs overall are still scarce. Economists insist that the “start of the recovery” was June 2009. This statistic notes: “Women gained back nearly 90 percent of the jobs they lost in the recession and men gained back 64 percent, from the start of the recovery to June 2013.” So over the last four years women have gained back an economic power and men have remained stagnant.

As we saw in the first Great Depression, when men don’t have a job for a long time it changes the mental mindset, it changes the family dynamic, and this changes the societal structure. (Because the family, based on marriage, is the basic unit of society).

That is the second major cultural shift when a society enters long period of want. Marital roles are upended. The first was the stress on a person who wonders where the next meal is coming from and begins to panic.

For the Christian who truly relies on Jesus for all things to be added to them, hopefully you are not panicking. He said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The ‘these things’ are mentioned in previous verses: food, water/beverages, and clothes. In other words, the necessities of life. The passage says ‘do not worry.’

I admit that is easier said than done. I rely on the Lord a great deal and worry only minimally. This is because He has never failed to provide for me. But also I do not have children. I know that if I did, my worries over providing for them would make relying peacefully on the provision of Jesus a challenge.

However the mindset of properly stewarding my resources does take effort, if not stress. I plan, think, budget, and look ahead constantly to ensure that what I have goes a long way. I put pout of my mind the things I don’t have and can’t afford. I constantly review my week to see that I am attaining a good balance between stewardship of the things the Lord has provided for myself and making sure that I am cheerfully ministering in love, whether I tithe, give, spend time, or work for someone else.

Mary Owlsey recalled life during the First Great Depression:

I knew one family there in Oklahoma City, a man and woman and seven children lived in a hole in the ground. You’d be surprised how nice it was, how nice they kept it. They had chairs and tables and beds back in that hole. And they had the dirt all braced upon there, just like a cave

Las Vegas hole dwellers, Source

Pauline Kael a well-known film critic, was a college student at the University of California at Berkeley during the Depression.

“When I attended Berkeley in 1936, so many of the kids had actually lost their fathers. They had wandered off in disgrace because they couldn’t support their families. Other fathers had killed themselves so the family could have the insurance. Families had totally broken down. Each father took it as his personal failure. These middle class men apparently had no social sense of what was going on, so they killed themselves.It was still the Depression. There were kids who didn’t have a place to sleep, huddling under bridges on the campus, I had a scholarship, but there were times when I didn’t have food.” (Source)”

David Blankenhorn wrote in his book, Fatherless America,

The United States is becoming an increasingly fatherless society. A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with his or her father. Today, an American child can reasonably expect not to. Fatherlessness is now approaching a rough parity with fatherhood as a defining feature of American childhood.”

The Washington Times reported in their article from a few months ago, “Fathers Disappear from households across America,” that 1 in 3 kids in America live in a household without a father.

source

Psychology Today published an article in 2010 called “The Psychic Toll of the Great Recession“.
“There is little doubt that financial struggles and uncertainty take a significant toll on people. They must confront the daily stress that comes from being unable to make ends meet with few prospects for the immediate future. This stress isn’t just psychological, but can also exact real physical costs in terms of poor sleep and diet, increased illness and injury, and, even worse, alcohol and drug abuse as a means of coping with the stress.”

“With each day of unemployment, people’s belief in themselves atrophies, causing them to question how capable they are of surmounting this immense hurdle. Their faith in the ability of the economy to recover is also shaken. And, of course, their trust in our government is lost as well. The result is a crisis of confidence.”

And there you have it. The LORD shakes them so that the only place they have to go is looking up. And as for us believers, we must, I repeat, must display the confidence we possess in the Lord. Faith in Jesus means knowing He will take care of His own, in every way. As people increasingly develop a Depression mindset, and it wears on them and they begin to panic, how much of a balm can we be to them in our placid trust of a wondrous Jesus who provides for His children?e The purpose, I am convinced, for this current, and last, time of sever restriction and privation before the rapture is to strip people away from their comforts. They are of the world, but let us give them a glimpse of the better world, the world of Jesus and His kingdom.

After the rapture the constrictions and privation in place now will blossom into pure hell. People will work all day just to procure a loaf of bread.

Bread line during First Great Depression, NYC

They will be so desperate for faith in something, anyone, that they will believe the lie of the antichrist when the LORD sends the delusion. Oh, please develop your Depression mindset now, and fast. It is one of trust in the Lord for His provision, reliance on the Holy Spirit to enable us to properly shepherd the provisions He does send, and an attitude of peace and calm in the midst of economic turmoil. How that will stand out to the lost person will be like a floodlight into the eyes of an alligator hiding in the muddy waters.

Lo, the lilies of the field!
Reginald Heber, hymn

Lo, the lilies of the field!
How their leaves instruction yield!
Hark to nature’s lesson given
By the blessed birds of heaven!
Every bush and tufted tree
Warbles trust and piety:—
Mortals, banish doubt and sorrow,
God provideth for the morrow.

One there lives, whose guardian eye
Guides our earthly destiny;
One there lives, who, Lord of all,
Keeps His children lest they fall:
Pass we, then, in love and praise,
Trusting Him through all our days,
Free from doubt and faithless sorrow,—
God provideth for the morrow.

———————–

Further reading:

Bountiful Baskets, affordable produce of great quality

Detroit files for bankruptcy protection

Russian economy becomes biggest in Europe

The One Bubble you may not have heard Pop (Baltic Dry Index)

Europe raises pressure on Israel (boycott)

Posted in borders, european union, israel, peace and security

(UPDATED) EU Redraws Israel Borders to 1949 Lines

Update at bottom.

The title above is from Israel National News this evening. The recent re-attention to Israel by the US in its attempts to re-start the peace talks, Israel’s hints to engage in a military option very soon regarding Iran, and this bold and highly non-biblical, non-God approved move to re-draw Israel’s lines heats the prophetic landscape up to a very prophetic degree.

For the first time, the EU formally forbids trade with bodies located beyond 1949 Armistice lines, including Golan

“The European Union has issued orders forbidding its member states from cooperating, transferring funds, giving scholarships or research grants to bodies in Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem , and even the Golan Heights, Haaretz wrote Tuesday. The new instruction, promulgated by the European Commission, which is the operative arm of the EU, sets parameters for cooperation between the EU and its members states, on the one hand, and Israeli governmental and private elements on the other. The instructions are for the years 2014 – 2020 and will go into force on Friday, July 18. The decision also states that any future agreement signed with Israel must include a section that says the “settlements” are not part of sovereign Israel and therefore not included in the agreement. A senior source in the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the new EU decision is dramatic, and can be called “a true earthquake.”

I agree, it is huge.

How dare they say what Israel’s sovereign borders are! Israel is its own nation, and sets its own borders. Going even higher, the LORD takes a personal and intimate interest in His nation and His Land.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Israel responded:

Israel Condemns EU Move to Limit Funds Beyond 1967 Border
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would accept “no external dictates” on its borders after a European Union decision to restrict subsidies to organizations operating beyond its 1967 borders. “I would expect that anyone for whom stability and peace in the region is really important to find time to discuss this issue after resolving more urgent problems such as the civil war in Syria and Iran’s race to achieve nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said in a text message.”

“The European Commission, the union’s executive arm, said it will soon publish “guidelines” making good on a December pledge to deny EU funding to Israeli organizations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. “All Israeli entities whose place of establishment is within the green line will be considered eligible,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels today. The green line refers to Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The guidelines will cover central EU funding and won’t affect contracts between individual European governments and Israel, Kocijancic said. She said the result could be funding restrictions in “a very small number of cases.”

‘Disconnected Europe’

“Israeli captured the three areas during the 1967 Middle East War with its Arab neighbors. It has since withdrawn troops and evacuated settlements in Gaza and annexed the Golan in a move that has not been recognized internationally. Israel says the fate of settlements in the West Bank must be resolved in peace negotiations.”

“The EU decision shows “once again how disconnected Europe is, and why it can’t play a real partnership role in negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians, Minister of Regional Development Silvan Shalom said today on Army Radio. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, welcomed what she called a “significant move.” “The EU has moved from the level of statements, declarations and denunciations to effective policy decisions and concrete steps which constitute a qualitative shift that will have positive impact on the chances of peace,” she said. The decision comes before a visit to the region this week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is trying to revive peace talks that have been suspended since 2010.”

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isolating Israel…it’s prophesied. Though the fulfillment will occur at Armageddon, the unbroken line of prophetic history hurtling us down the timeline to that moment is speeding ever closer.

“The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. “On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.” (Zechariah 12:1-3)

Netanyahu’s quote about stability and peace… yes…it’s all about peace and security.

“While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

—————————–

UPDATE

War drums beating again. We’ve had a little ‘time off’ from the near misses, brinksmanship and vitriolic rhetoric, but now it’s back. This time with action, not just words. It is widely believed that Israel is behind the strike on Syria’s Russian-anti ship missiles

U.S. Officials: Israel Behind Recent Syria Airstrike
“A series of explosions last week at a critical Syrian port was the result of airstrikes by Israeli warplanes, multiple U.S. officials told CNN on Friday. Regional media widely reported the predawn explosions at Latakia on July 5, but no one had officially claimed responsibility. Three U.S. officials told CNN the target of the airstrikes were Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles that Israel believes posed a threat to its naval forces. The officials declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the information. So far, the Israeli government has also declined to comment to CNN. The Syrian rebels said on Tuesday that “foreign forces” had destroyed advanced Russian anti-ship missiles in Latakia, hinting that Israel may have been behind the attack.”

But then later the US said for sure that Israel did the deed.

Russia did not take that lightly, or even lying down. “coincidentally” Russia just ordered 160,000 troops to combat readiness in a “surprise drill” and said to be ready by July 13.

‘Russia stages large-scale military drills’
“Russia has staged large-scale military exercises in the country’s Eastern military district aimed at enhancing the defense capabilities of its armed forces, Defense Ministry says. The drills, which are the largest surprise check of combat readiness of the Russian military in the post-Soviet period, started on Saturday. The surprise training exercise involves over 80,000 troops, some 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and helicopters 70 warships and will continue until July 20. “The main goal of the drills is to check the readiness of units to carry out their missions, and to assess the quality of their training and technical preparedness,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. On Friday, during a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu Russian, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an unexpected military drill, urging all forces to enter a state of full combat readiness on the night of July 13.”

Remember, there is a prophecy regarding a yet-unfulfilled battle of Psalm 83 involving a surprise attack on Israel by all of Israel’s abutting neighbors (which Israel wins, claiming the lands). There is also prophesied a surprise attack led by Russia along with Turkey and Israel’s further neighbors that is also yet unfulfilled (Ezekiel 38-39). Both of those are widely believed to be end of last days prophecies or prophecies to be fulfilled during the Tribulation. No one is quite sure of the order, as in which comes first or maybe they are nearly simultaneous, but many believe that Psalm 83 would be fulfilled first because Israel is said to be dwelling in the center of the Land in Ezekiel 37:12 and had accumulated much goods. Israel is prophesied to in the Psalm 83 battle and it is supposed that she spreads out and occupies her abutting, by then defeated neighbors. None of these neighbors make another murmur, and are not listed in the Gog-Magog coalition, so it seems that they would be set aside or nullified first. Many believe that a defeat in Psalm 83 does the trick.

Isaiah 17:1 and onward prophesies the complete destruction of Damascus, Syria and its environs. This also has never been fulfilled.

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:6)

Posted in anti-semitism, israel, jerusalem, prophecy

Jerusalem! part 2, The Nation. "Israel to define itself as ‘national state of Jewish people’ "

Jerusalem! Introduction

Jerusalem! Part 1, The Land 

Jerusalem! Part 3, Its Glorious Spiritual Future

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jerusalem! It is the eternal city, (Psalm 46:4, Revelation 3:12) God’s city where He has set His name, (1 Kings 11:36, 2 Chronicles 12:13) and is the city in which Immanuel (Matthew 1:23) will dwell in all His glory, (Zechariah 8:3) calling it Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There.(Ezekiel 48:35). It is the nickname He uses when he calls His people. (Zechariah 3:2). It is a place that it figures solely as the most important land, city, and people in the history of the earth. All of history is dwindling down to one focal point: Jerusalem. So let’s take a look at this incredible place.

God chose a people and a land to bring unto Himself. These are the Israelites and His land is Israel. Its city is Jerusalem. He made this promise to Abram in Genesis 12. God was actually delivering three distinct promises to Abram, later re-named Abraham. God made a land promise, a national promise, and a spiritual promise. In part 1 we looked at the land promise. Here is the verse–

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Is Israel a great nation? Well, yes. It has developed some of the world’s most wonderful technology. It has changed an arid place into a garden, and now most of the world’s fruit is exported from there. It is a military nation, strong and mighty. It is a tiny nation, having given away land during successive political parliaments. It is only the size of Massachusetts, but it is incredible in that it simply did not exist for 1900 years and then one day it did!

NatGeo

However as much as Christians bless the nation, and pray for its deliverance, we have to be realistic. This is from a sermon titled “The Cleansing of Israel,” delivered by John MacArthur in 1977. Not much has changed since then-

“Israel is not a religious nation. I would have to say that I doubt whether been in a more irreligious nation in my life than Israel. It’s an irreligious nation. Their god is the god of armies, the god of strength, the god of surprise, the god of might, the god of racial identity, which is the big thing, but not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

Jerusalem is referred to as Salem in Genesis 14:18, when Abram honored Melchizedek, King of Salem and priest of the God Most High (unusual that this one is King AND Priest, something banned later in Israel’s history. Priests always came from the tribe of Levi and Kings from the tribe of Judah).

 The meeting of Abraham with Melchizedek

Ezekiel 21:25-27 prophesied the end of the kings and there has been no king rightfully officiating over Israel since King Jehoiachin in about 600BC, shortly after Ezekiel’s pronouncement. There has been no priest in Israel since the last High Priest serving when the Roman army came and overthrew the Temple in 70AD since Phannias ben Samuel and he wasn’t even from a priestly family, he was just a revolutionary. he died during the Roman overthrow.

There is still no king or priest over Israel today. And of course, no prophet since John The Baptist and then Jesus prophesied there. There was not even any nation Israel between 70Ad and 1948. By this standard, the Israel of today is merely a political entity, led by a Prime Minister, a President, and a Parliament (Knesset).

Even during the period between May 1948 and June 1967, Jerusalem was not in Israel’s hands. They won East Jerusalem back during the Six Day War of June 1967, wresting it from the Jordanians who were occupying it. Later that month the Israeli Knesset declared Jerusalem unified. On July 30, 1980, the Knesset passed a law declaring the City of Jerusalem to be ‘eternal and indivisible.’” The United Nations promptly condemned the action.

There is still contention today. For example, what are the city’s borders? You can search for that answer online and you’ll come up with millions of maps with dotted lines, position papers, and news articles, but no borders.

Why won’t the world declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel? No country in the world has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Many do not recognize it as a city that is even belonging to Israel! When others proclaim that Jerusalem shall be their capital, not a murmur is heard from the world.

Why won’t America declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel? We won’t even place an embassy there. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. It was passed for the purposes of initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999. This law was never enacted, due to opposition from Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. (source). The US position is aligned with the United Nations- to ‘internationalize” Jerusalem, make it be an international city.

Source Times of Israel

Why are there maps emerging one after one that not only fail to draw correct boundaries to Israel, but fail to list it in any way as even existing? This has happened over and over, including just a few days ago. Times of Israel reports, “Official UN workers in Lebanon posed with a map in which Israel did not exist, and the entire area from the Jordan to the sea was titled ”Arab Palestine.” At the launch of German-funded projects in Lebanon earlier in May, Ann Dismorr, director of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) affairs in Lebanon, held the map, which mentioned Jordan, Syria and the other neighboring countries by name — but neglected to name Israel.”

Why does the world insist on calling Israel a state, and not a nation? Or a nation and not a state? Or a nation-state? The roots of the political conflict with Jerusalem and Israel lay in the fact that the Arab world refuses to declare it a national state for the Jewish people. Israel is set to define itself, “Israel’s new government plans to pass a controversial new law defining the country as a “national state of the Jewish people” despite the presence of 1.5 million Arabs within its borders. It will be enshrined in Israel’s Basic Law – the country’s equivalent of a constitution – and lay down that The State of Israel is the National State of the Jewish People,” as the UK Telegraph reports. 

Think about it. Since 1990 there have been 34 new countries to enter the world stage. A bunch of them came about as the Soviet Union dissolved. One of them was Armenia. The rest are listed below. The most recent is Sudan splitting into (Islamic) north Sudan and (Christian) South Sudan. (source)

March 21, 1990 – Namibia became independent of South Africa.
May 22, 1990 – North and South Yemen merged to form a unified Yemen.
October 3, 1990 – East Germany and West Germany merged to form a unified Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
September 17, 1991 – The Marshall Islands was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.
September 17, 1991 – Micronesia, previously known as the Caroline Islands, became independent from the United States.
January 1, 1993 – The Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent nations when Czechoslovakia dissolved.
May 25, 1993 – Eritrea was a part of Ethiopia but seceded and gained independence.
October 1, 1994 – Palau was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.
May 20, 2002 – East Timor (Timor-Leste) declared independence from Portugal in 1975 but did not became independent from Indonesia until 2002.
June 3, 2006 – Montenegro was part of Serbia and Montenegro (also known as Yugoslavia) but gained independence after a referendum.
June 5, 2006 – Serbia became its own entity after Montenegro split.
February 17, 2008 – Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.
July 9, 2011 – South Sudan peacefully seceded from Sudan following a January 2011 referendum. Sudan itself was the first to recognize South Sudan and did so one day early, on July 8, 2011.

Have there been successive UN Resolutions condemning their actions? Declaring where they may or may not build apartments? Fighting over which city is allowed to be their capital? Talks and endless talks over unifying territory, or splitting territory? Other nations managing as guardian large swathes of certain other nation’s’ lands? Wars? Of course not.

Only Israel sparks such attention, focus, and hatred.

Though there was a push several years ago for the vaunted ‘two-state solution’ to end the armed conflict over Israel, it subsided in 2008. I watched for years but we heard crickets on the Palestinian-Israeli peace plan. Until now. All of a sudden it revived big time. Secretary of State has rushed to Israel and environs to re-start the talks.

Yesterday the Guardian UK reported, “The British foreign secretary, William Hague, has warned of the risks of failure of the US-sponsored mission to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, suggesting that it was the last attempt possible at reaching a two-state solution to the conflict and there was no realistic “plan B”. Hague spoke in Jerusalem shortly before US secretary of state John Kerry departed at the end of his fourth visit to the area, saying the time was approaching when “hard decisions” needed to be made.”

This current iteration of the two state solution talks is like a cat. A cat will doze for hours, slumbering quietly in the sun. Little snuffles emit from its nose, convincing you it is asleep. Then all of a sudden for no reason it will jump up and RUN LIKE A MANIAC INTO THE NEXT ROOM! It’s like it all of a sudden says “I need to be in there, right now.” That is what the US Secretary of State is like. For at least five years, not a word was said about the Israeli peace talks. Now it is hectic activity as if we’re approaching a cliff. And maybe we are.

The upshot is that Israel, and Jerusalem, is a political entity. It surely is a great nation, but it is without paying homage to her God. God is still with her, and will protect her to the end. She will be ravaged, for it has been the times of the Gentiles since the failure of the last king. Only gentile Kings ruled Israel, such as Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, etc. Even now she is without a king, only a Prime Minister.

These are the questions. This is today’s Jerusalem, today’s Israel, a politically buffeted nation without a king or a priest or world regard. The world is against it.

Anti-Semitism widespread among European Muslims
“Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World has always been problematic. After all, a 2008 Pew Research Center study shows that almost 100 percent of people in the Arab countries surrounding Israel hold anti-Semitic views. But what is even more problematic is how this anti-Semitism among Muslims has spread to the Western World, especially to children and teenagers. Anti-Semitism is rapidly spreading and becoming mainstream among young Muslims in Europe …”

Source

Last week a Italian journalist Giulio Meotti asked in an Op-Ed,

How Did 150,000,000 Europeans Come to Hate Israel?
The Jewish religion is under attack in Europe”, declared the Conference of European Rabbis president Pinchas Goldschmidt. Many polls (such as the study on behalf of the German Social Democratic Friedrich Ebert Foundation) bring an iconic number measuring the disaster: 150,000,000 Europeans have a delegitimizing and demonizing view of the State of Israel and its citizens. For a large sector of Europe, the cities, skyscrapers, hospitals, cinemas, and schools on that tiny sliver of land named “Israel” are merely real estate that will be restored to Islam once this malefic Jewish form is swept away. This is a popular mobilization against Israel in the “Raus mit Uns” spirit. 150,000,000 Western citizens believe that Zionism is a misconceived project to be brought to an end as soon as possible.”

He ended his piece this way, “Europe’s public opinion has been persuaded to believe that Israel is a state that ought to be dismantled forthwith. Europe’s population count today is 730,000, 000 citizens. What would happen if the anti-Semitic worm infected the mind of all of them? Can Israel really remain immune from that eruption of psychotic anti-Jewish illness?”

Yes. and No. Political Israel’s days are numbered. The world is coming against it as Zechariah showed in the prophecy. The psychotic illness that is Israel hate is satan’s contribution to his plan to thwart God’ The world will gather against Israel and surround Jerusalem. In this regard, the Italian journalist’s questions is consistent with prophecy.

““Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

“And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.” (Revelation 12:13)

“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. ” (Zechariah 14:2).

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.” (Luke 21:20).

Things do not look good for the nation Israel and the city Jerusalem. And they aren’t. But the Lord will come and save His nation, His people, and His city. The third part of the series on Jerusalem will look at its glorious future! And it IS glorious! They will go through a dark time, but then things become very bright, as bright as the glory of the LORD himself!

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