Prophecy Update Newsletter
May 2, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Seven Major Prophetic Signs of The Second Coming: 2017 Part 1 - Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/seven-major-prophetic-signs-second-coming-2017/
15th Annual Update April 2017
Note: Jack's year end prophecy updates are one thing our readers have missed most. Since his last update in 2015 is now two years old, I started asking the Lord to send me someone to pick up where Jack left off. And He did! Our God is faithful, and He prompted Clark, one of our readers and an avid student of prophecy, to offer his input. Below you'll find Jack's original text with currents events added in from Clark. ~Samantha
[You can compare this with Jack's last update here: 7 Major Prophetic Signs of the Second Coming Jan 2015]
"Watching prophecy fulfilled in current events brings the Bible to life. It energizes our faith and demonstrates the nearness of End Times events. Few, if any, recent generations could sit with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other and see the fulfillment of prophecy. But for us, it's almost routine."
Jack wrote the comment above in one of his articles a few years ago, and what he described then still holds true today-only at an accelerated pace. Never before in history have all of the signs of the End Times been so obvious to believers. The simultaneous convergence of all the prophetic signs is viewed by many as an indicator the Second Coming is more imminent than ever before.
There are seven major prophetic signs of the Second Coming, and currently, all of them are in some stage of fulfillment. As in years past, we've kept Jack's list of the seven with their primary Biblical references and offer comments from current events. These comments are based on reports from a variety of international news services that have appeared in our daily "Prophecy In The Headlines" feature during the past year.
1. Israel Will Be In The Land ... Ezekiel 36:8-12, 37:21
Speaking to the Land God said,
"You, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.
And to the people He said,
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.
Although Ezekiel wrote these words while the Israelites were in Babylon, they were not fulfilled in the nation's return from exile there. Like Isaiah before him (Isaiah 11:11) Ezekiel was speaking of the second and final return, not the one after the Babylon captivity. We know this because in Ezekiel 36:12 the Lord said His people would possess the mountains of Israel, and they would never again deprive His people of their children. That means from the time this prophecy was fulfilled there would always be Jewish children born in Israel. And yet in the first century, the nation ceased to exist altogether. Therefore in 1948, when Israel took its place among the nations of the world again for the first time in nearly 2000 years, students of prophecy recognized the fulfillment of the primary sign that the end of the age was upon us.
After surviving all previous attacks on its sovereignty, the demand for Israel to retreat behind pre-1967 borders and divide its land with the Palestinians is still being promoted as the solution for peace. In 2016, at the end of President Obama's last term in office, Israel, the apple of God's eye, seemed to have its back against an international wall when the United States abstained from, rather than vetoed, a United Nations resolution condemning Israel. This, considered by many to be a back-stabbing event, followed the signing of the ill conceived 2015 Iran nuclear agreement (United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737) which included sanctions barring conventional arms purchases by the Islamist regime in Tehran that will be mostly lifted in 2020.
Iran is still openly calling for Israel to be wiped off the face of the Earth, and Hamas, Hezbollah, The Islamic State (ISIS ) and other related groups remain a constant threat to Israel's peace and security. Hamas claims to have rebuilt even more tunnels under the Southern border than were previously destroyed by Israel, and have announced the future deployment of drones from these tunnels once the new battle begins.
Hezbollah claims to have 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel along the Northern border with Lebanon. According to Israeli security officials, unlike Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a future war would include the Lebanese Armed Forces on Hezbollah's side. With the conditions for the Isaiah 17 war falling into place, It's more than likely that a large number of pre-trib believers see these things as another imminent sign and are praying "Come Lord Jesus."
Antisemitism is returning to a level not seen since WW2. In the United States, death threats are being made against Jews, and Jewish cemeteries are being vandalized. Several European countries have voted to recognize "The State Of Palestine," while the Israeli government is taking enormous flack for declaring Israel to be a Jewish nation-even though its charter already says it is. And its Muslim neighbors are enraged over rumors that Israel wants to make it possible for Jews to worship on the Temple Mount. Israel's enemies have even asserted the Jewish people have no historical ties to Jerusalem.
How much more of this can Israel be expected to take? What other legitimate country in the world is routinely subjected to such attacks? Little do Israel's enemies know that they are acting against the stated will of God, and the more pressure they apply against Israel, the sooner God Himself will intervene on behalf of His people. Speaking for Him, Ezekiel said, "I will display My glory among the nations and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I will lay upon them" (Ezekiel 39:21).
We long for the Rapture, but as the Scriptures tell us, our way of thinking and God's way of thinking and timing, are not necessarily the same. Just as all of the pieces of the puzzle seemed to be coming together, the European Union, starting with Brexit, is showing signs of breaking up. And with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, some see this as a possible second chance for the U.S. Others are calling this unexpected turn of events as a temporary reprieve from the economic and moral downward spiral over the last decade. Still others hold the opinion these upsets in the progress of the new world order agenda may very well turn out to be the events needed for the peace and security which must precede the fulfillment of all of the other prophetic events leading to the beginning of Daniel's 70th week. Only time will reveal God's plan, but we are commanded to be aware and be ready!
2. Jerusalem Will Be In Jewish Hands... Luke 21:24
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Jesus prophesied that the reunification of Jerusalem as a Jewish City would be a sign that foreign (gentile) influence over the Promised Land, and indeed the world, was coming to an end (Luke 21:24). Fulfillment of this prophecy began in 1967, when Jerusalem became an undivided Jewish city again, and scholars saw it as another major sign that the End of the Age had begun. The almost world wide effort to divide the city again is in essence a battle of wills. Nearly every Israeli leader has stood firmly on a pledge to keep Jerusalem united forever as Israel's capital, but the unbelieving leaders of the world are just as resolutely determined to see it divided with the Palestinians. At year end, a UN Security Council measure that would have required Israel to make East Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state came within one vote of passing. The Palestinian resolution might be resubmitted early in 2015 due to a change in the Security Council's make up effective January 1.
The Lord said that at the End of the Age He will make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling, an immovable rock for all nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves (Zechariah 12:2-3). This year much of the talk against Israel has been focused on Jerusalem with Hamas and ISIS loudly declaring the time has come to "liberate Jerusalem." American leaders have joined in, publicly calling East Jerusalem "occupied territory" and demanding that no more Jewish homes be built there. They have even spoken against construction in undisputed neighborhoods of Jerusalem, saying it's harmful to the peace process.
Whether the Trump administration makes good on its campaign promise to move the Embassy to Jerusalem or not, it seems likely peace will not be coming soon. The Bible tells us Jerusalem won't be free of Gentile "trampling" until the Lord returns. Daniel's prophecy that Gentile Dominion will not end until the Lord establishes His kingdom (Daniel 2:36-45), Zechariah's prophecy of half the city's inhabitants going into exile just before the Lord's return (Zech. 14:2), and John's observation in Rev. 11:1-2 of the Gentiles trampling the outer court of the Temple during the Great Tribulation all confirm this. But even so, the fact that Jerusalem is back in Jewish hands is another big sign that the End is coming soon.
3. A Muslim Coalition Armed And Led By Russia Will Attack The Holy Land... Ezek. 38:2-6
"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops-the many nations with you."
Numerous historical references make it plain that Magog stands for modern Russia, and the other countries named here form a coalition based on their common religion, Islam. Among them are Iran, several North African countries, Eastern European countries along the Danube, and the Turkic nations of Asia Minor. A quick look at a world map will reveal that these areas are home to some of the most radical Islamic groups. (For a detailed explanation of the modern nations to which these Biblical names refer, read "An In Depth Look At The Modern Equivalent To Biblical Names in Ezek.38")
Additionally, Iran's religious differences have not prevented Iran's sponsorship of Hamas with money, weapons, military equipment, and training, giving Iran proxy armies on both the northern (Hezbollah) and southern (Hamas) borders with Israel. Iran has also begun funneling arms into the West Bank with a goal of completely surrounding Israel with a strong, motivated, and well-equipped army.
Recent reports also reveal the US, Iraq, and Iran, are involved in an alliance against the Islamic State in Iraq with Iraq providing the manpower, the US contributing training, money, and weapons, and Iran assuming the leadership role.
It doesn't take much imagination to predict that this Iraq and Iranian alliance could easily be turned against Israel at the proper time. If so, then the US will have been complicit in helping the Muslim coalition fulfill Ezekiel's prophecy.
It's important to remember Ezekiel 38 calls for a sneak attack on Israel. Currently, that prerequisite is the major obstacle to an early fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy. It has to occur at a time when Israel is "a peaceful and unsuspecting people, living without walls or gates" (Ezekiel 38:11) . This is not the case today. By no standard of measure can Israel be described as living in peace. They are surrounded by enemies sworn to their destruction. They are under constant threat of attack and have had to build a giant wall along their border to protect themselves. However, if the Trump administration is successful in brokering a peace deal, could that lead to a feeling of peace and security? We'll see.
But Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 are yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies that, taken together, appear to involve all of Israel's next door neighbors in another attempt to wipe the Jewish nation off the map. The countries lined up against Israel in Psalm 83 inhabited the lands of Israel's current neighbors. Edom was in a land called the an-Nafud desert today. It stretches across Northern Saudi Arabia, southern Jordan, southern Israel, and into the Sinai Peninsula. Moab and Ammon were part of today's Jordan, represented by the Palestinians (the same process that led to the rebirth of Israel as the Jewish homeland also created Jordan as the Palestinian homeland). Today about one-third of the people living in Jordan identify themselves as Palestinians. Personally, I don't believe that Jordan will be officially involved. But I don't think the government will prevent their Palestinian population from joining the attack.
Some have tried to link the Hagrites to Egypt, saying they were the descendants of Hagar. Remember, she was the Egyptian slave woman Abraham and Sarah acquired there who became the mother of Ishmael (Genesis 16). Other scholars say the names "Hagrite" and "Ishmaelite" are synonymous. If so, this aligns them with the desert tribes of Ishmael rather than with Egypt and locates them in the desert east and south of Israel.
A victory by Israel would explain why these next door neighbors do not appear on Ezekiel's list of antagonists, although you'd expect them to be at or near the top. It would also explain how Israel could soon be living in a perceived state of safety as Ezekiel 38:11 requires. Other than the miraculous acceptance of a Trump-brokered peace deal there doesn't currently seem to be any other way for the Israelis to think they're living in peace with no threat on their borders. The resulting semblance of peace could be just enough to cause Israel to let down its guard, making it vulnerable to the Ezekiel 38:11 attack.
Another prerequisite for Ezekiel's battle is clearly being met. Until recently, Israel really hasn't had any wealth to speak of, but recent offshore oil and gas discoveries, said to be worth billions of dollars, could provide the wealth necessary to make Israel an attractive target for attack. This could fulfill the precondition of Ezekiel 38:13 that Russia will be looking for plunder. These discoveries could make enough natural gas available to supply Israel's needs for more than 100 years while turning the country from a net importer to a net exporter of natural gas. Russia is already looking for ways to get involved in bringing this gas to market, and according to Ezekiel they'll eventually go to war in what will turn out to be a failed attempt to do so by force.
The removal of the US as Israel's powerful ally is also necessary to pave the way for Ezekiel's battle. I believe this is still possible. Because of the political unrest and rising threat of a terrorist events in our homeland, our continuing economic struggles, and the nearness of the Rapture of the Church, Israel may no longer be assured that a US administration can or will follow through on its promise to "have Israel's back," regardless of what the rhetoric is at the moment.
When the time is right, having recently taken His church to Heaven, the Lord will use this battle to orchestrate His reconciliation with Israel, and on its heels the anti Christ will emerge with a peace plan that includes a Jewish Temple. So once this battle takes place, end times prophecy will really go on fast forward.
4. The Ancient Roman Empire Will Re-Emerge As A Political Force... Rev 17:9-10
"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while."
This one is a little obscure if you don't know your history. When John was writing this, about 95AD, there had been five great world powers; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. All had been conquered and absorbed. The current power was Rome, which was never really conquered and will re-emerge at the end of the age.
About 600 years earlier, the Prophet Daniel had spoken of a period of time theologians call Gentile Dominion that gives us added insight into Rev. 17:9-10. In Daniel 2:36-45 Gentile Dominion is symbolized by a giant statue that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had dreamed about. Egypt and Assyria had recently been defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel said the statue represented the four remaining Gentile kingdoms, which we know as Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In the dream, Babylon was the head of the statue and was made of gold. Persia was the chest and arms, made of silver. Greece was the belly and thighs of bronze, followed by the two appearances of Rome, two legs of iron (Biblical Rome) and two feet of iron mixed with clay (the revived Roman Empire). After that God would set up His own, eternal, kingdom.
There are some interesting details in the description of the two feet upon which the statue stands. Remember, they represent the end times version of the Roman Empire. Let's read it.
Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay (Daniel 2:41-43).
In the first place iron and clay don't mix. We can imagine sticky clay serving as glue that holds pieces of iron together, but the language describes a clay that's already baked, hard and brittle like shards of pottery.
You can't make random pieces of iron and pottery adhere, and according to Daniel 2:41-43 this will be the end times empire's insurmountable problem. Today the western leg is known as Europe while the Eastern leg consists of the Islamic nations of the Middle East. Although the world is currently focused on the economic challenges Europe faces, ultimately the number one issue of this end times empire will be that of integrating the vastly dissimilar cultures of the western and eastern legs. They are just too different to be blended and already the failure of the European social experiment called multi-culturalism has become evident. Throughout the end times the revived Roman Empire will be partly strong (eastern leg) and partly brittle (western leg) and will not adhere.
I'm convinced the aggressive and growing culture of the eastern leg (Islam) will overtake the dying culture of the west and become the dominant voice of Europe.
ISIS has threatened to spread its chaos worldwide in the coming years, and current growth trends show that Islam will be the dominant religion in the UK within 10 years.
France and Germany may be beyond the point of their own cultural ways because of the growth of Islam in their countries.
Nevertheless, the prophecy clearly shows both divisions present until the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom, putting an end to Gentile Dominion forever, whether Islamic or not. (Daniel 2:44).
5. The World Will Embrace A Single Religion... Rev 13:8
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Islam is a major religious force in the world today and its goal is nothing less than world domination, by any means necessary. It's the world's fastest growing religion and is second only to Christianity in the number of adherents. Already nearly one out of every four inhabitants of the world is Muslim. I'm no prophet, but as I look into the future, it's much easier for me to see Islam riding its current wave of momentum to fill the void left by the departure of the Church than it is to imagine some watered down mix of apostate Christianity and New Age Mysticism doing so.
By now, most serious students of the end times are aware of Muslim prophecies of the one they call alMahdi and their striking resemblance to Christian prophecies of the anti-Christ. For example, both show a leader coming on the scene during a time of great turmoil on Earth. Both depict him as man of peace who will have a seven-year reign, head up a one world religion and one world government, and claim supernatural origins. Both prophecies culminate in a battle between good and evil that brings about Earth's final judgment. It's as if they're pointing to the same person. The difference is that in Islam he's a good guy, while the Bible calls him evil.
Take this charismatic political and religious leader with his supernatural power, add the widely held but incorrect belief that God and Allah are the same, and that Islam is a religion of peace, and then subtract the spirit of discernment that will disappear with the Church and you can see how this charismatic Islamic leader could unite a frightened world on the brink of disaster.
Part 2 - tomorrow
Israel celebrates its 69th anniversary of independence - http://www.debka.com/article/26036/Israel-celebrates-its-69th-anniversary-of-independence
Israelis can view the stealth F-35 bomber newly arrived from the US in the fly-past the Air Force stages the length and breadth of the country Tuesday to mark 69th Independence Day. It flies in formations with F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the veteran Hercules transport plane and its successor the new Samson. Training aircraft and the Saar and Yasur freight helicopters also performs. During the day, many IDF bases and facilities are open to the public. The traditional Young World Bible Quiz takes place in the afternoon. The award of the Israeli prize to honorees in various fields is the closing event of the day which is dedicated this year to 50 years of reunified Jerusalem.
Monday night, twelve citizens were honored by lighting torches at a ceremony on Mt Herzl at the beginning of Israel's 69th anniversary celebrations. .
Uri Malmalian, a retired former soccer champion.
Prof. Ahmed Eid, the head of the Department of General Surgery at Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus. Born in an Israeli Arab village in the Galilee, he studied in Jerusalem, where he lives, and performed the first kidney transplant in Israel.
Amnon Shashua, the founder of driverless-technology company Mobileye, which was recently sold to Intel for a record $15.3 billion.
Dina Simta, a 19-year-old member of the Bnei Menashe Jews of northern India, and a student at Jerusalem's School for the Blind.
Chana Henkin, who immigrated from the United Sates and founded a number of religious schools for women. Her son and his wife were killed in a Palestinian terror attack.
Yehoram Gaon, a long favorite Israeli singer, actor and comedian. His family's Jerusalem roots go back generations.
Yaki (Yaakov) Hetz, who fought in the battle for Ammunition Hill, one of Israel's most famous Six Day War battles, will light a torch in honor of IDF veterans and bereaved families.
The two American citizens taking part in the ceremony will light torches for the first time on behalf of the Jewish Diaspora. They are Rabbi Marvin Hier, who took part in US President Donald Trump's inauguration, and Michael Steinhardt, one of the founders of Taglit-Birthright organization.
On Independence Day, UNESCO okays resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem - By Raphael Ahren and Alexander Fulbright -
22 countries vote in favor of motion; 23 abstain, and 10 countries vote against; Israel envoy slams 'new low, even by UNESCO standards'
The United Nation's cultural body on Tuesday passed the latest in a series of resolutions that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem, in a move both forcefully condemned by Israel and touted as a diplomatic feat due to the growing number of countries that opposed it.
Submitted to UNESCO's Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, the resolution on "Occupied Palestine," which indicates that Israel has no legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem, was expected to pass, given the automatic anti-Israel majority in the 58-member body.
The vote, which coincided with Israel's Independence Day, passed with 22 countries in favor, 23 abstentions, 10 opposed, and the representatives of three countries absent.
The 10 countries that voted against the resolution were the US, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.
Its wording was slightly less harsh on Jerusalem than previous resolutions, in that it does affirm the importance of the city to the "three monotheistic religions."
In the moments after the vote passed, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, draped in a large Israeli flag, addressed the meeting.
"Even now, after this miserable vote, this blue and white flag is flying high above the Temple Mount and throughout Israel's eternal capital city, Jerusalem, waving in the wind, saying to all 'here we are, and we are here to stay,'" Shama-Hacohen said.
"This biased and blatantly deceitful decision, and the attempts to dispute the connection between Israel and Jerusalem, will not change the simple fact that this city is the historic and eternal capital of the Jewish people," Danon said in a statement. "Israel will not stand silently by in the face of this shameful resolution."
In the lead up to Tuesday's vote, Israeli diplomats were busy trying to prevent an European-Arab agreement that would see the council's European members either vote in favor or abstain in exchange for a slightly softer text.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said to have made phone calls to European leaders in a bid to convince them to reject the resolution.
Earlier on Tuesday Netanyahu harshly criticized the UNESCO resolution for ignoring the Jewish people's millennia-long bond to Israel's capital city.
Speaking at the Bible Quiz held annually on Independence Day, Netanyahu said that despite the text of the resolution, Judaism has deeper roots in Jerusalem that any other religion.
"There is no other people in the world for whom Jerusalem is as holy and important as for the Jewish people, even though a meeting will take place at UNESCO today that will try to deny this historical truth," he said.
"We denounce UNESCO and uphold our truth, which is the truth," that "throughout Jewish history Jerusalem was the heart of the nation."
According to Israeli officials, Germany was a driving force behind a deal that would see all EU states abstain in exchange for the removal of the most incendiary anti-Israel passages. But on Monday, Italy announced that it would vote against the resolution, apparently ending the effort to forge a European consensus.
Jerusalem prefers to see Western countries vote against a harsher resolution, even if it passes, than a consensus in support of a milder text.
Tuesday's resolution, unlike previous resolutions, does not refer to the Temple Mount only as Haram al-Sharif, or to the Western Wall Plaza only as al-Burak plaza, the respective sites' Muslim names. In fact, these sites are not mentioned at all.
Furthermore, Resolution 201 EX/PX/DR.30.1 affirms "the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions." It also notes that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem, both of which are in the West Bank, "are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam" - though it calls them "Palestinian sites."
However, the current draft of the resolution still contains many red flags for Israel. For instance, Israel is referred to throughout the document as the "occupying power," indicating that it has no legal or historical ties to any part of Jerusalem.
Earlier this week, Israel officials acknowledged that the resolution that passed Tuesday is somewhat easier to stomach than previous versions, but emphatically urged Western countries to vote against it.
What is the likelihood of war as Israel marks 69 years of independence? - Yossi Melman -
It's business as usual for the group that was already digging tunnels into Israel 10 years before Hamas.
here's nothing new on Israel's northern border. Last Sunday, a senior officer in the IDF Northern Command briefed military correspondents on Hezbollah activity on Israel's Lebanese border. Conspiratorial theorists rushed immediately to reach their twisted notions.
They figured the briefing was being held due to the fierce power struggle that had once again flared up between Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon - with the backing of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - and Finance Minister Yair Lapid over the defense budget. As if this were just another one of the defense ministry's media spins aimed at reigniting Israelis' fear of immediate confrontation with Hezbollah, to enhance its demand for budget increase.
But the truth is actually surprisingly simple. The briefing had been scheduled two weeks previously and turned out to be a fairly routine rundown of information facilitated by the IDF Spokesman for senior officers from the various military corps and for military correspondents and commentators.
More importantly, the senior officer giving the briefing did not tell us anything we didn't already know.
He didn't speak of the dangers of an imminent war or of an eruption of violence on the northern border.
On the contrary, he stated that there was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about activity on the Lebanese side of the border.
It's true, he said, that over the last few weeks there had been a slight modification that could possibly indicate a more proactive and daring style on the part of Hezbollah fighters near the border fence. They don't try anymore to hide the fact that they are armed, which is in violation of the agreement reached at the conclusion of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
"Although this is not a new phenomenon," the officer admitted, "lately they have become more daring."
The officer also reiterated the fact that, contrary to claims made by residents of the Galilee, the IDF has not gathered any intel about tunnels that have been dug under Israeli territory.
Does Hezbollah dig tunnels? "It is likely that they are indeed engaged in such activity."
Let's not forget that Hezbollah predated Hamas by about ten years in what the IDF calls "underground mediation" - the warfare beneath the ground.
And neither is it breaking news that Hezbollah is continuously growing stronger.
From Israel's point of view, however, Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war has its pros and cons, both advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage is that the Lebanese Shi'ite organization is bleeding on the battlefields of Syria. Hundreds (maybe even a thousand) of its fighters have been killed and thousands injured.
On the other hand, however, Hezbollah has also acquired tremendous military and operational experience as a result of this fighting, and it now has a large number of trained warriors at the ready for a war against Israel if and when that time arrives.
If war were to break out, the IDF is aware that Hezbollah would try to replicate its successes from Syria and send a few hundred fighters to capture an Israeli rural community or conquer a mountaintop. Is this a military secret? No. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in so many words himself during one of his televised appearances.
So, for now, as the senior IDF officer said, "The situation on Israel's northern border is quiet and calm. Although this status could change at any moment, I am not of the opinion that Hezbollah will launch an offensive against us tomorrow morning."
Nearing Midnight: America's Schizophrenia - Terry James -
The United States is divided today as much as it was during the Civil War. We aren't shedding blood in furious, literal warfare, but the hatreds-the differences in thought-divide as surely as did the north-versus-south issues of the mid 1800s.
Our name "United " is no longer applicable in the truest sense. We are split in many ways, from political ideology with regard to constitutional authority, to worldview on geopolitics, socioeconomics, and religion. In terms of the discipline of human psychology, we are a schizophrenic country. We have severe split personality disorder, at the very least.
National schizophrenia continues to manifest in ways that indicate mental disorder within some factions of American society and culture. Anger, unfounded, i.e., unprovable as to reasons it is warranted, is growing. Denial of reality, in that much of the population refuses to accept the legitimacy of a constitutionally conducted presidential election, is a prime symptom of the nation's psychological illness.
Members among that faction talk openly in social media about actually wanting to see the newly elected president murdered. It's a psychological-even psychotic revisitation, some might say-of those long ago, southern-like sympathizers in the mold of John Wilkes Booth.
Their mindset is not unlike that of the dastardly assassin, who so resented President Lincoln after Lincoln's directing the winning of the Civil War to preserve the Union that he could abide nothing less than the sixteenth president's murder.
Voters have spoken within the rational, constitutional process. They put the current president in office. Mainstream media, entertainment media, higher educational institutions, and leftists of every stripe refuse to accept the legitimate election. They are observably driven to a form of madness. They are the ones who manifest the mental illness they accuse the new president of having.
We review just a few of the schizophrenic symptoms manifest in the U.S. It all stems from reprobate or upside-down thinking of which the apostle Paul warned in Romans chapter 1. It's what happens when any people move in a direction other than that which God prescribes.
* Muslims are called peaceful while Christians are called homophobic, islamophobic, etc.
* The liberal mindset is that we should do all for the children, yet they are responsible for 58 million being murdered n their mothers' wombs.
* This mindset calls homosexuality an acceptable alternate lifestyle, while God Word calls it abomination
* Marriage is between one man and one woman, and this culture now says it is legally a marriage between man and man and woman and woman.
* The mindset is to say "God Bless America," yet the government has kicked God out of public affairs in 1963 and since.
* Schizophrenia exists as Islamists commit heinous attacks out of hatred for anyone who doesn't see things their way (bow to Allah), yet the mindset is that we must have open arms and welcome people from those countries-without questioning and examining (vetting) them.
* Christians are called intolerant, yet the progressives won't tolerate the Christian worldview-they see it as intolerant and hateful.
* Men want to become women, women want to become men-now men want to be made into women who can have babies.
* Presidential administration always looks for a "motive" when it is obviously Islamists who murder. Never call them Islamic terrorists.
* Socialism is literally impoverishing all societies around the world and yet capitalism is called the system that demeans people-examples being Venezuela and other places of late...
* Israel has only a sliver of land and the Arab nations have vast lands, yet the world diplomatic community (and many among the ideological left in America) demands that the Jewish state divide its land and give it to make a Palestinian state-from people blood-vowed to kill all Jews.
The final bulleted point in this list is the most troubling. It holds the very fate of America within its grip, if one believes God's Word as given in Genesis chapter 12-and we do.
The schizophrenia is seen to be a perhaps unresolvable spiritual malady in this regard. America has for the last couple of decades-particularly over the past eight years-exhibited a split over support of Israel.
The former administration "put light" between the U.S. and Israel, something one of the Obama administration spokespersons vowed would happen as stated at the very outset. The Trump administration has vowed to do just the opposite. It has indeed to this point embraced the Jewish state and even is seriously considering moving the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Yet at the same time, the American government is again befriending Israel, there is a faction, made up of domestic terrorists, it seems, who are exhibiting psychotic hatred reminiscent of that found in the Germany of the 1930s.
NEW YORK - Antisemitic incidents in the United States surged by 34 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, and have jumped 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017, new data released by the Anti-Defamation League on Monday showed.
In its annual 'Audit of Antisemitic Incidents', the ADL reported that there has been a "massive increase" in the amount of harassment of American Jews, particularly since November, the month of the US presidential election.
The report stated that there was a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016, nearly 30% of which occurred in November and December. These incidents included 720 incidents of harassment and threats, 510 vandalism acts and 36 physical assault incidents.
During the first three months of 2017, another 541 incidents took place including 380 harassments and 161 bomb threats. In addition, the beginning of the year saw 155 vandalism acts - including three cemetery desecrations- and six physical assault incidents. Among the latest incident, included one last month, in which a New York rabbi received a threatening email, which read in part: "Things will start getting bloodier for the Jew boys, I know where you live."
According to the data, if antisemitic occurrences continue at this rate, 2017 could end with over 2,000 incidents. (Source: "US Antisemitic Incidents Jump 86% at Start of 2017," Danielle Ziri, Jerusalem Post, April 24, 2017)
For the moment, it seems that the current administration wants to apply healing balm to the rift with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his nation caused by the previous administration. But the American schizophrenia remains a most serious spiritual disease that grows within. Believers must continue praying as hundreds of thousands prayed leading up to the presidential election just past. It is the only Rx that will spare this nation the demise that the Lord says will befall all individuals and nations who choose to defy His divine order for mankind.
A Chronicle of Apathy - By Jan Markell - www.olivetreeviews.org
As I state in my book, Trapped in Hitler's Hell, quoting Dr. Natan Kellermann, there is something unprecedented about the European Holocaust. For the first time in the bloodstained history of the human race, a decision was birthed in a modern state, in the midst of a civilized continent, to track down, register, mark, isolate, dispossess, humiliate, concentrate, transport, and murder every single person of an ethnic group as defined by the perpetrators.
This was targeted at an ethnic group who so generously contributed to the culture of the world; to a people who have borne the brunt of enmity towards them because they dared to be different and dared to insist on their difference.
Six million Jews were killed in Europe and replaced with 20 million Muslims. They burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. They destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
In late April Benjamin Netanyahu made the accurate and stunning statement that the Allies knew all that was going on and did very little. He stated, "If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps -- and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps -- had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people."
He continued, "The powers knew, and they did not act. When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces, the powers knew and did not act."
Can you imagine? Talk about a chronicle of apathy.
He stated three causes for the organized slaughter -- widespread anti-Semitism, global indifference, and the weakness of the Jewish people in the Diaspora.
I have documented this in my DVD presentation, U.S. President & Israel: A Blessing or a Cursing? Entire books were written about the Roosevelt Administration and their apathy towards the suffering. FDR had been in office just one week when the first concentration camp was opened -- Dachau.
Yes, many U.S. Presidential administrations have made serious mistakes with their policy towards Israel and the Jews but none so grievous as FDR and his cronies who had hardened hearts beyond comprehension.
Find Jan's DVD "U.S. Presidents & Israel: A Blessing or a Cursing?" here for just $10 + S/H.
The idea of bombing the railroad tracks into the camps was brought to the attention of Roosevelt's State Department. Their response was this: "Such an operation would in any case be of such doubtful efficacy that it would not warrant the use of our resources."
Translate that: The Jews are not worth our time and resources. And yet 90% of Jews would vote for Franklin Roosevelt. Many came to him from Europe pleading the cause of European Jewry. He pretended as though he was very concerned, even while he was turning away 900 Jews on the ship the St. Louis, sending them back to the German and Polish ovens. Roosevelt ignored the cable from the St. Louis in 1939 even though the ship was so close that the passengers saw the lights of Miami.
Imagine their terror and consternation. The nation that welcomes millions of immigrants cared less that their destination, by default, would be a return to the gas chambers.
It is not an overstatement to say that the nation of Israel might not have been re-born had FDR been President in 1948. On the other hand, President Harry Truman cast the first U.N. vote for the right of the nation to be re-born out of the ashes of the Holocaust.
He also relaxed immigration laws to allow Jewish victims of WWII into the U.S. In 1946 he sent a delegation to tour the refugee camps in Europe and realized these Jews needed a home.
Netanyahu stated, "From a helpless people, we have turned into a robust nation. From a defenseless nation, we have turned into a powerful country that can defend itself with one of the strongest armies."
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.- Ezekiel 37:10
On December 17, 1942, the Allies issued a proclamation condemning the 'extermination' of the Jewish people in Europe and declared that they would punish the perpetrators. Why not go a step further and put an end to the carnage, or at least slow the destruction, by bombing the railroads into the camps??
The utter shock of senior Allied commanders who liberated camps at the end of the war may indicate that this understanding was somewhat limited. Gen. Eisenhower had his troops take pictures of the liberated camps admitting that few would believe the severity of the Holocaust without this evidence.
Mankind's sinful fallen nature prevented the rescue of up to four million Jews and many other non-Jews who were in the camps. World leaders looked the other way as early as 1942. They even knew about the gas being used in the gas chambers.
Today similar apathy exists concerning the slaughter of Christians around the world, particularly in the Middle East and parts of Africa. Not even our pulpits address this. It is a second holocaust that world leaders can't seem to be bothered with.
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove the Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening illustration of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to tolerance and diversity -- except when it applies to Jews and Christians.
I realize this era of history is now considered ancient history -- an era from long ago that has slipped from memory of many. Surely it could never happen again. Don't be so sure. Anti-Semitism never dies. Satan is obsessed with exterminating God's covenant people because they are the key to the last days and the last days spell Satan's doom.
I wrote the true story of Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman many years ago. It became a best-seller thanks to Tyndale House Publishers. It has an accompanying documentary DVD. Find them here and here. World Net Daily hopes to make it a made-for-theater motion picture based on this story in 2018 and is appealing for investors. They want to keep this history in the forefront. Will you keep this effort in prayer?
Author and columnist Jim Fletcher writes: "As a writer and researcher, I rarely use the word 'extraordinary,' and never as hyperbole. Yet the word perfectly describes a new resource that appeals to all age groups: 'Trapped in Hitler's Hell,' by Jan Markell and Anita Dittman. Both the book and companion DVD describe in rich detail what it was like to live under Hitler and his totalitarian regime. Anita's personal reflections, and Jan's storytelling abilities, make this an indispensable resource for any setting."
Below is the trailer to the DVD.
Trapped in Hitler's Hell
Find the book here and the DVD here.
Daily Jot: Congress, really? - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
President Donald Trump is not only fighting the radical and extreme left at every juncture of his presidency, he is fighting his own party, which controls congress. Case in point is the Congressional budget, which doesn't fund the border security expansion, does fund Planned Parenthood, and pushes the government to spending a trillion dollars. What gives? No wonder the radical left is rejoicing with the Republican budget. No wonder that Congress has one of the lowest public approval ratings in history. Does anyone in leadership there have any sense? Americans voted for less government, not increased government. The federal government doesn't need to be so big and irresponsible with our tax dollars.
Speaker Paul Ryan should be ashamed. Here he is running in his district on fiscal conservatism, yet he is advancing a big government, leftist and, quite frankly immoral, budget. There is no way that Planned Parenthood should receive one dollar of taxpayers' money. It is an abortion machine that ends the lives of hundreds of thousands of unborn each year. How can Paul Ryan or any other self-respecting elected leader justify the use of tax dollars to fund this organization of death? Draining the swamp should start right there in congress where the swamp creatures say one thing in their districts at home and do another once they get to the seat of power.
The Washington Post reports that Democrats believe they have set the stage to block Trump's agenda for years to come because Ryan and his henchmen worked with them on major concessions. In short, the Republicans are being out-played, out-smarted, and out-witted by their big government socialist Democrat rivals. The Post writes: "Democrats' lopsided victory on the five month deal, which is likely to be approved this week, means it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the GOP to exert its will in future budget negotiations, including when it comes to Trump's 2018 budget blueprint." The Post blames conservative members of Congress who wouldn't budge, forcing Ryan to work with the Democrats to avoid a government shutdown if a budget is not passed.
So the big-spending Democrats got their Christmas list filled and more with the Ryan cave-in. Trump will get the blame. And the very thing that Americans wanted out of the last election gets drowned in the rising swamp. See how difficult changing from radicalism to pragmatism is? Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said that his party had a strategy and it worked because Democrats and Republicans in Congress were closer to one another than Republicans were to Trump. Wow. Romans 16:18 says, "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." When you have a Congress full of people who are drunk on power and grafted to a political system, there is plenty of room for deception and destructive shenanigans,
Daily Devotion: A Life-and-Death Debate - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. -Jude 1:3
I have been preaching for a long time now. I have seen a lot of generations come and go, from the Boomers and the Busters to Generations X, Y, and Z. But one thing that hasn't changed over the years is my emphasis on the teaching of the Bible, and the preaching of the gospel. That never can change. It never will change. And it never must change.
The gospel "is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16), and the gospel is under attack like never before. While the church always has had its little disagreements and has debated different things, the attack that I'm talking about is not a disagreement about preferred styles of worship music, the order of prophetic events, or the never-ending debate about the sovereignty of God and the free will of man.
This is a life-and-death debate, because there are a growing number of people who call themselves evangelicals who are questioning whether Jesus Christ really is the only way to salvation. They are debating whether all Scripture is indeed inspired by God.
Some of them would encourage us to engage in a dialogue and not in bold and decisive preaching. And we even have some who are telling us the most important thing the church should be focusing on is global warming.
This is not the faith that "was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). This is not the faith we are called to earnestly contend for.
I am all for being contemporary. I am all for being relevant. But we must be truthful. We must be accurate. And, most importantly, we must be biblical.
Let's get our priorities straight. Let's get back to our primary message, or we will lose what little influence we have as a church today.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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