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July 14, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Does BREXIT Pave the Way for Britain's Fulfillment as "Merchants of Tarshish" - By Bill Salus -
BREXIT, Britain's vote for departure from the EU on June 23, 2016, has caused some prophecy buffs to question their end times thinking about the "REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE" in Bible prophecy.
In the immediate aftermath of BREXIT, I authored an article to address this concern entitled, BREXIT: The Biblical Perspective for the UK, US and EU.
The article explained why Britain's exit from the EU has prophetic implications for Ezekiel 38 and why this exit is related to Ezekiel 38 instead of the Daniel 2 and 7 prophecies concerning the Roman Empire.
This article provides more detailed reasons as to why.
IS AMERICA IN EZEKIEL 38?
This commentary unpacks Ezekiel 38:13 to unmask the mysterious modern day identities of ancient Tarshish and their young lions, or "villages" in some translations. Additionally, it examines their specific roles within the prophecy.
If Tarshish is the UK and the young lions are partially represented by the USA, then the ramifications for the future of America are staggering!
Ezekiel 38 and 39 involves at least fourteen participants in the prophecy. They are;
1.) The Victor: God.
2.) The (intended) Victim: Israel.
3.) The Invaders: Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and Togarmah. (Refer to the Ezekiel 38 map image below to find out the modern day equivalents).
4.) The Protestors: Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish and their Young Lions.
The prophecy informs that, in the latter years the invaders will attack Israel to capture plunder and booty. They covet Israel's economic prosperity and conspire militarily to confiscate this livelihood as part of their spoils of war.
As the victor, the Lord prevents this from occurring by utilizing supernatural means to defeat these invaders.
Meanwhile, as the epic event unfolds, the protestors complain about the evil intentions of the invaders. Their protests are lodged in the questions in Ezekiel 38:13 quoted below.
Ultimately, after the invaders are conquered, Israel graduates from being the intended victim and instead becomes the resultant benefactor.
"Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, 'Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?" (Ezekiel 38:13)
The modern day equivalents of these protestors today are commonly understood and taught to be;
Dedan: Saudi Arabia and perhaps parts of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) Arab Gulf States.
Tarshish: Either the UK or Spain.
Young Lions: Either the colonies that came from the UK, namely North America, or the offshoots of Spain, mainly the Latin American countries.
Ezekiel 38:13 imparts several important clues to the reader. One of them is that the merchants (of Tarshish) are concerned about the motives of the invaders. They are not referred to as soldiers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, etc., but as merchants.
The Hebrew word used by Ezekiel is clearly talking about commerce. Being labeled as merchants in Ezekiel 38:13 insinuates that at least some of the protestors have commercial interests at stake within Israel at the time of the Magog invasion.
This is not a new phenomenon. According to Ezekiel 27:12, Tarshish has been conducting foreign trade in the Middle East for centuries.
These merchants appear distraught over the possibilities of the invaders seizing Israel's national assets. This raises the questions, "If they are concerned about protecting their foreign trade relations within Israel, why do they not appear to be fighting alongside the Jewish state in this conflict? Why don't they coalesce militarily to oppose the Magog coalition?"
In 1990, George H. Bush had no problem assembling an alliance of nations against Saddam Hussein's Iraq in Operation Desert Storm. That American led coalition was comprised of several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, who is represented as Dedan in Ezekiel 38:13. However, in the Ezekiel invasion, a Desert Storm scenario does not seem to be repeated.
This might mean that passive political leadership is in place, but more likely implies that the protestors lack military prowess at the time. Maybe, these abstaining countries are concerned that their forces won't match up against the invading armies. This is the possible conclusion that I favor.
Who was Tarshish?
According to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, Tarshish was Noah's great grandson through his son Japheth, who fathered Javan, who in turn fathered Tarshish.
And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. Of these were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Genesis 10:4-5, ASV)
Where was Tarshish?
The two most favored locations for Tarshish among historians, archaeologists and Bible teachers are Spain or Britain. My research leads me to conclude that Britain is the location of "Tarshish" and the North American countries most resemble their "young lions."
Tarshish settled in the isles or in some translations the coastlands. In addition to the verse above, the theme of Tarshish in connection with the isles shows up in Psalm 72:10, and Isaiah 23:6, 60:9, 66:19. A careful reading of these verses uncovers a clear connection between Tarshish and a geographical location associated with isles or coastlands. One example is below.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute: The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. (Psalm 72:10)
The isles alluded to could be the British Isles, which are a group of oversized islands off the northwestern coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles.
Many of the maps that display the location of ancient Tarshish locate it around or beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. The Strait of Gibraltar is the westernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea before it merges with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the water barrier that separates Southern Spain from Northern Morocco.
It is far to the west of Israel, which is also a point made in Psalm 48:7. The Psalm says, "As when You break the ships of Tarshish With an east wind." This implies that the ships are coming to the Middle East from the west, rather than the east.
Bible prophecy expert Dr. Mark Hitchcock points out a possible connection between Tarshish and Britain in his book entitled, "The Late Great United States." Hitchcock states;
"Some archeologists believe that Tarshish was the ancient name of Britain. "Tarshish" can also mean "beyond Gibraltar" depending on your translation. Tarshish and her villages or young lions -- in other words Britain which then settled Canada and the United States and Australia."
Dr. J. R. Church, the founder of Prophecy in the News, says the following about Tarshish in his book called, "The Guardians of the Grail."
"An inscription discovered in 1780, on a cliff above Mt. Hope Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island, contained an engraving that read "Voyagers from Tarshish this stone proclaims." ... Believed to be inscribed around 533 B.C....Harvard University has found five locations within the United States where the merchants of Tarshish had colonies."
Another respected Bible prophecy experts that advocates this same connection is Dr. David Hocking, of Hope for Today Ministries. We shared a speaking platform together on July 3, 2011.
During that event, Dr. Hocking provided several sound biblical, historical and archaeological reasons that support America as the Young Lions of Tarshish. Dr. Hocking's conclusion that he gave at the event is quoted below.
"If you ask me today if the USA is in Bible prophecy, I would have to say on the basis of historical documentation and on the basis of the British museum and all of its records around Glastonbury that it begins with Great Britain (Tarshish), and undoubtedly as a seed-bearing people it refers to the USA as the "Young Lions."
What was Tarshish famous for?
Tarshish's claim to historical fame was primarily two-fold. First, they were known for their vast wealth and abundant mineral and metal resources. We glean this from historical accounts as well as several Scriptures.
One example is found in Ezekiel 27:12, which says, "Tarshish was your (Tyre) merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods."
This verse, written around 587 BC, acknowledged that "tin" was among the primary metals that came from Tarshish. Cornwall, a county on England's rugged southwestern tip, was the only major source of tin in Europe for the past 2,500 years.
In the 19th century there were approximately 400 mines in Cornwall employing 18,000 people. It is also true that the mountains of Wales, just north of Cornwall have been a source of all the minerals and metals listed above in Ezekiel 27:12.
Second, Tarshish gained renown for their extremely sturdy ships. These seaworthy vessels would take extended voyages to transport their exports and imports across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. These ships of Tarshish are alluded to at least nine times in the Bible.
The ships of Tarshish were carriers of your (Tyre's) merchandise. You were filled and very glorious in the midst of the seas. (Ezekiel 27:25)
What About Tarshish Today?
Ezekiel 38:8, 16 notifies that this is a prophecy that finds fulfillment in the last days. Ezekiel 38:13 places Tarshish in the epic event. Since these appear to be the last days, then it's safe to say that ancient Tarshish has a modern day equivalent.
This logical deduction applies geographically in the world, and geo-politically in the Middle East. Furthermore, Tarshish and their young lions have a relationship with Israel in this prophecy.
This beckons the questions, what nation or nations have played instrumental roles in modernity in the Mideast? What countries have been interacting with Israel the most since its rebirth in 1948?
This seemingly rules out Spain as Tarshish and the Latin American countries as the young lions. The Spanish Empire was a dominant world influence in between the late 15th century until the early 19th century.
During that time, Spain shared the global power struggle with the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the Middle East between 1517-1917. Today both empires have faded from their former glories and neither has much influence in the geo-political affairs of the Middle East in general and Israel specifically.
Around the end of the 18th century, the second rise of the British Empire began. At its height it was considered the largest empire in history. No other nation in history created as many colonies (young lions).
The empire grew so rapidly that it became characterized by the phrase, "the empire on which the sun never set." By 1922, the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world's population. Moreover, the empire covered more than 13,000,000 square miles, almost a quarter of the Earth's total land area.
The Ottoman Empire's control over the Middle East ended with its defeat in World War I. Subsequently, Britain and France took sovereignty over the territory. When Israel was rebirthed in 1948, it was Britain, rather than Spain, that controlled the subject territory, which at the time was called Palestine.
Presently, America, not Latin America, is playing a young lion's role in the Mideast. In 1979, the USA was instrumental in brokering a peace deal between Israel and Egypt with President Jimmy Carter, and again in 1994 with Israel and Jordan by President Bill Clinton.
It seems as though today, Britain, as Tarshish, is now playing a subservient role behind the young lions of America in important geo-political issues of interest to Israel. On the other hand, Spain and the Latin American countries are not involved much at all in Mideast matters.
I am convinced that the majority of biblical, historical, archaeological, geographical and geo-political arguments for the identity of Tarshish and their young lions favor Britain and America.
My conclusions are also based upon a thorough examination of several respectable commentaries that clumsily attempted to connect Tarshish to Spain. In my estimation, the arguments I uncovered in favor of Spain were easily refutable.
In the end analysis, BREXIT seemingly paves the way for the fulfillment Britain's role as the "Merchants of Tarshish" in Ezekiel 38:13. The UK is now free to act independently from all future EU governing decisions.
BREXIT further implies that Ezekiel 38 is about to happen. I provide several reasons why the Revived Roman Empire of Daniel 2 and 7 follows after the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 in my related article called, BREXIT: The Biblical Perspective for the UK, US and EU.
If Britain and the USA are mentioned as mere protestors in Ezekiel 38:13, then this should trouble Americans. Why does the greatest superpower that ever existed seem to abstain from fighting alongside Israel at this critical point in its future? We are presently Israel's greatest ally!
The USA, in the past, has consistently voted pro-Israel in the United Nations, even when it was unpopular to do so. We provide Israel with state of the art weaponry and other forms of foreign aid.
As of June 15, 2015, Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $124.3 billion in bilateral assistance.
Why does the USA seem content to remain on the sidelines when Russia and its hordes invade Israel? Is it because America declines from superpower status between now and Ezekiel 38? Britain already has!
In only seventy years, between 1920 and 1990, in the midst of Israel's rebirthing process, Britain collapsed as a world superpower. Now the sun always sets on the British Empire. Today the UK only spans 94,058 square miles and has a population of only about 64 million.
It's easy to see why Britain, as Tarshish in the prophecy, would tremble at the thought of fighting against the Magog coalition. But what about the USA? Is America following in Britain's same failed footsteps?
Will America turn its back on God and Israel, like Britain did when it failed to enact the Balfour Declaration, which was drafted in 1917? Britain's failure to provide territory for a Jewish State at the time contributed to the extermination of approximately 6 million Jews in World War II!
Will America's decades long push to divide the land of Israel into two states have the same consequences? Is this type of anti-biblical geo-political behavior one of the reasons that America is portrayed as cowardly young lions in Ezekiel 38:13?
Joel 3:2 says that one of the reasons God judges the nations is for dividing his land. In modernity, America is at the forefront of attempting to divide God's land.
This article will hopefully encourage American readers to prepare for the strong possibility that their country is headed for a potentially steep and severe decline!
Israel Hits ISIS in Sinai as Ties with Egypt Intensify - By P. David Hornik - https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/2016/07/12/israel-hits-isis-in-sinai-as-ties-with-egypt-intensify/
"A former senior Israeli official," Bloomberg reports, "said his country has conducted numerous drone attacks on militants in Sinai in recent years with Egypt's blessing. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential military activity."
"Militants in Sinai" refers primarily to ISIS, which has a branch there called Sinai Province. The Sinai Peninsula is a part of Egypt that Israel, after wresting it from Egypt in the 1967 Six Day War, handed back as part of the 1981 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.
In light of the fact that, since Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power in 2013, Israel and Egypt have maintained tight security cooperation, such Israeli drone strikes come as no surprise. ISIS in Sinai has mounted dozens of attacks on Egyptian security personnel there, and threatens Israel as well.
Sisi, who in 2013 overthrew Egypt's short-lived Muslim Brotherhood government, has also moved aggressively against a Brotherhood offshoot, Hamas, in Gaza-again with Israeli cooperation.
But with a visit to Israel this week by Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, the Israeli-Egyptian relationship appears to have taken an important step beyond the security sphere. It was the first visit to Israel by an Egyptian foreign minister in nine years. By all accounts, Shoukry's talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were held in a good atmosphere and went well.
Aside from discussing and further enhancing the security cooperation-which Israel's deputy chief of staff told Bloomberg is at a "level...we've never experienced before"-what's in it for the two sides?
For Netanyahu, it has to do with fending off initiatives, or possible initiatives, to tackle the Palestinian issue without Israel's consent and with a likely pro-Palestinian bias.
One of those initiatives comes from France, which in June held an international conference on the Palestinian issue that Israel strongly opposed, and which neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives attended.
Considering France's longstanding pro-Palestinian bias, and President François Hollande's Socialist government's electoral dependence on France's Muslim population, Israel sees France's involvement as unwelcome and likely to lead to pro-Palestinian resolutions, potentially in the UN Security Council, and pressure on Israel.
And the other possible push to solve the Palestinian problem could, it is believed, come from President Barack Obama, especially in the last two months of his tenure.
Obama, too, is seen in Israel as partial to the Palestinians and also as having scores to settle with Netanyahu, particularly over his speech to Congress denouncing Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.
Israeli media are now rife with rumors of a possible upcoming meeting on the Palestinian issue between Netanyahu and Sisi in Egypt, or one between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas that would be hosted by Sisi in Egypt.
Netanyahu has long talked of a "regional peace initiative" involving Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Sunni Arab states that have tacit ties with Israel. With Egypt one of those states now putting the ties out in the open, hopes of such a scenario-one that would upend possible moves by Paris or Washington-have grown.
As for Egypt, along with Israel's security assistance and the potential prestige of assuming the role of regional peace facilitator, its eyes are on Israel's natural gas fields in the Mediterranean and the lifeline they represent.
Although Egypt has discovered a natural gas field of its own, the largest in the Mediterranean, it needs time to develop it and meanwhile is suffering a severe energy crunch. Israel, for now, can supply what Egypt needs, and the two countries are negotiating a multibillion-dollar energy contract.
With Israel recently having signed a reconciliation agreement with Turkey, with Saudi Arabia reportedly having helped arrange the Egyptian foreign minister's visit, and with Israeli-Egyptian ties blooming, the larger picture that emerges is one where Israel's power in both the security and economic spheres is growing too great for regional countries to forgo the benefits.
Having common foes like Iran and ISIS has something to do with it; so does the Obama administration's empowerment of Iran and relative disinterest in traditional American allies. It doesn't necessarily mean Israeli-Palestinian peace is about to emerge, or that Arab states and their populations are about to warmly accept Israel. Caution is in order.
Still, the region is changing before our eyes in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, and that warrant -cautious-Israeli optimism.
Israel's new defense minister draws up plan to topple Hamas - http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/avigdor-liberman-hamas-idf-gaza-strip-mahmoud-abbas.html?utm_source=apple&utm_medium=applenews&utm_campaign=applenews
The first order that Avigdor Liberman gave when he entered the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv May 31, was to complete an operative plan to defeat Hamas in the Gaza Strip. According to one senior security source, Liberman expressed disbelief that no such Israel Defense Forces (IDF) plan was elaborated.
The policy advocated by his predecessor Moshe Ya'alon did not aim to defeat Hamas, overthrow its government or reoccupy Gaza. Instead, Ya'alon supported a policy of "containing" Gaza (adjusting to the existing reality), isolating Hamas and postponing the next conflict for as long as possible. All of this was based on the assumption that right now, there is no rational alternative to Hamas, and that Israel should not involve itself in changing the regime in any neighboring Arab state or entity. Liberman arrived with a very different approach, shaking up the entire system.
No, he doesn't think that Israel should conquer the Gaza Strip, summon former Fatah senior Mohammed Dahlan and install him in power over the local residents. Even he knows that these kinds of plans will eventually come crashing down, leaving more damage in their wake. The last time Israel attempted such a move, during the first Lebanon War (1982), it ended up mired in the bloody Lebanese swamp for almost 20 years, and with Hezbollah emerging as the most powerful political and military force in Lebanon.
Besides, while Dahlan may be considered ''close'' to Liberman (reportedly, Liberman met with Dahlan in Paris last January), he is unfit to govern in Gaza, or at least Liberman thinks so. Dahlan leads an easy life. He has all that he can want, he travels the world and he lives well. At this stage of his life, he lacks the constitution to throw himself into the sewer that is Gaza.
On the other hand, Liberman does believe that the Gaza Strip is ready to overthrow Hamas. The group's standing among the general population is being challenged, and quite a few of the local clans and tribes are already seeking an alternative. In the event that Hamas is deposed, the Egyptians could play a productive role by offering Gazans a change in policy. They could open the Rafah border crossing and provide aid, on condition that the people of Gaza install a saner leadership with no ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that Cairo deems beyond contempt.
Liberman believes that Hamas is the ultimate evil. As such, its regime must be brought down, and its growing stock of rockets, within touching distance of the southern city of Ashkelon, must be eliminated. Furthermore, the defense minister believes that if Israel doesn't do that now, within just a few years it will have another Hezbollah on its hands, this one along Israel's southern border. That is why Liberman has instructed the IDF to prepare an operational plan to defeat and overthrow Hamas in the next round of fighting.
Will that next round of fighting occur soon? It remains an open question. Right now, the stability of Netanyahu's government depends largely on the police inquiry/investigation into the prime minister's dealings. Liberman wants to serve at least one year as defense minister, since this will allow him to keep his promise. It is not at all clear if he has that year.
It has been a little more than five weeks since he assumed the position of Israel's defense minister, and Liberman is enjoying every moment of it. He never worked so intensely. He had it easy as foreign minister, with all sorts of little indulgences. In the other ministries, he was never known as someone who worked from dusk to dawn, and certainly not around the clock. His attention span is limited. He is not the kind of person who looks at things at the highest resolution, and prefers to leave the little details to his staff. He lets the chief of staff and the General Staff do their jobs, without involving himself in appointments, because he has no interest in the minor processes. He is focused on the directives involved in establishing overall policy.
Liberman is no longer willing to receive a presentation of all possible scenarios that the IDF provides before every operation. The outcome must always be the same: There should be just one possible result, under any and all circumstances, in any encounter, on any issue. As he tells it, the result must be decisive. Israel must not leave any conflict without a decisive, clear (winning) outcome.
One security source confided that Liberman is excited about the IDF's High Command and says that there hasn't been a General Staff like this in a very long time. His relationship with Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot is quite successful.
In a security Cabinet meeting July 3, bellicose right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett attacked one of the generals who briefed the ministers by subjecting him to an endless barrage of questions. Suddenly Liberman interrupted the discussion and instructed the general to stop answering Bennett. According to one security source speaking on condition of anonymity, Liberman said to Bennett, "Wait until he's finished speaking and then ask your questions." Though the education minister still insisted on quizzing the general, he didn't get any more answers. After that heated meeting, Liberman received several enthusiastic reactions from his generals. "We've been waiting a long time for someone to put Bennett in his place," said one general to Liberman.
When it comes to Judea and Samaria, Liberman's position is different from that of the defense establishment. Given this, he is expected to get into quite a few conflicts with the General Staff and the Shin Bet. For one thing, Liberman believes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is Israel's worst enemy and that Israel should strive to end his rule. He considers Abbas' diplomatic offensive against Israel to be particularly serious, in fact, no less serious than a military offensive.
Here, too, Liberman doesn't really know what "the day after Abbas" will look like.
Like many others in the security establishment, he believes that there is no single successor to fulfill all of Abbas' three roles: head of Fatah, head of the PLO and head of the Palestinian Authority. These three positions will most likely be divided among three claimants to the succession, and the West Bank government will be less centralized. Be that as it may, he does not believe that there will be chaos. He rejects warnings of those prophets of rage, who claim that Israel will be forced to run the Palestinians' day-to-day life and tend to matters such as health, welfare, infrastructures, education, etc. According to Liberman, there is absolutely no basis for that prognosis.
Israel's defense establishment has already identified quite a few senior Palestinian officials, who could fill Abbas' positions. The names of people like Yasser Arafat's nephew Nasser al-Qudwa or head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj have been bandied about in various scenarios.
Liberman believes that Abbas has completed his historic role and that it is now time for him to go. There is no chance of reaching any type of arrangement with him. If he didn't say "yes" to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's exaggerated plans in 2008 (according to Liberman), he will certainly be incapable of saying yes to anything else. For that reason alone, Liberman thinks, Abbas' continued presence (or attempts to negotiate with him) is nothing but a hindrance.
The World is Facing the Final War of Gog and Magog Says Rabbinic Scholar - By Rivkah Lambert Adler - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/71855/end-days-rabbi-claims-irans-aspirations-will-bring-gog-magog/?utm_source=Breaking+Israel+News&utm_campaign=bc946ee205-BIN_morning_7_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b6d3627f72-bc946ee205-86588445#Ygox243SrJZhi8hX.97
"Son of man set thy face toward Gog of the land of Magog the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal and prophesy against him." Ezekiel 38:2 (The Israel Bible™)
Rabbinic scholar Rabbi Mendel Kessin, best known for connecting current events to the End of Days, has come out with a new proclamation that the final war of Gog and Magog is on its way.
Rabbi Kessin has spoken with Breaking Israel News about the connection between blood moons and the Messiah and also about the Divine messages encoded in the Zika virus. Now, he is eager to spread his message about the upcoming war of redemption between Israel and Iran.
On July 9, Rabbi Kessin gave a lecture in Lakewood, New Jersey, devoted to the war of Gog and Magog. In the lecture, Rabbi Kessin enumerated the "many signs and indicators that the Moshiach (Messiah) is near."
Among them, he included the founding of the State of Israel, the fact that today, Hebrew is "a living, resurrected language" that was dead for 2,000 years and the ingathering of the exiles as God promised Moses in Deuteronomy 30:1-5.
...then Hashem thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither Hashem thy God hath scattered thee. Deuteronomy 30:3
Although there are still Jews living outside of Israel, Rabbi Kessin emphasized that there are no nations in the world today that have the political will to stop Jews from moving to Israel if they want to do so.
Adding to the list of signs that connect current events to the imminence of the Messiah's appearance, Rabbi Kessin mentioned the Internet. "A messianic figure can easily get on the Internet and communicate globally," he said.
Other indicators that we are getting close include the fact that we recently completed the blood moon tetrad, that we are in the year after a shmittah year and that many believe that this is also a Jubilee year.
"Clearly there are many, many signs that indicate that we are really approaching an end of time. And we are really in the end of time, the travails that go on at the end of time," Rabbi Kessin concluded.
The most notable of the travails associated with the End of Days is the War of Gog and Magog. Described in Ezekiel chapter 38, Kessin explained that Gog and Magog exists when evil realizes its power is ending and tries to reassert itself by attempting to destroy the good that exists in the world.
Acknowledging that "the War of Gog and Magog is critical for the Messianic process itself," Kessin claimed that God divided the War of Gog and Magog into three parts in order to reduce the brutality of the losses.
Specifically, he taught that the War of Gog and Magog started with WWI, in which hundreds of Jewish communities in Europe were destroyed. The second stage of Gog and Magog was WWII when Hitler "was obsessed with the destruction of the Jews.That's messianic."
However, there was a critical element of Gog and Magog that was missing during these first two stages. That element is the presence of Moshiach ben Yosef (Messiah, son of Joseph).
While acknowledging that things can change, depending on the actions of the Jewish people, Rabbi Kessin said he believes that the third stage of Gog and Magog, the one that will finally reveal a messianic figure, is a war between Iran and Israel.
"Iran wants to become the nation in the Middle East. They certainly want to destroy Israel and rid the Middle East of the Jewish people.
"[Iran swears] they're going to kill the Jews with nuclear weapons. That is the final Gog [and] Magog war. In other words, I believe that Iran will be Gog from the Land of Magog."
And what will Israel do during the war? According to Kessin, Israel will be killing Arabs in self-defense. He also predicted that Israel "will evict all the Israeli Arabs... and that's going to drive the world crazy. And that clearly qualifies for the Gog and Magog war."
War Is Coming and The Global Financial Situation Is a Lot Worse Than You May Think - By Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/war-is-coming-and-the-global-financial-situation-is-a-lot-worse-than-you-may-think
On the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016. The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump's choice of running mate, the stock market in the U.S. keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift's love life. But underneath the surface, it is a very different story. As you will see below, the conditions for a "perfect storm" are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.
Let's start with China. On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling. In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling. We aren't hearing much about it in the U.S. media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People's Liberation Army "to prepare for combat" with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea...
"Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly ordered the People's Liberation Army to prepare for combat," reports Arirang.com. "U.S.-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made."
A U.S. aircraft carrier and fighter jets were already sent to the region in anticipation of the ruling, with the Chinese Navy also carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.
Last October, China said it was "not frightened" to fight a war with the U.S. following an incident where the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.
Meanwhile, the relationship between the United States and Russia continues to go from bad to worse. The installation of a missile defense system in Romania is just the latest incident that has the Russians absolutely steaming, and during a public appearance on June 17th Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to get western reporters to understand that the world is being pulled toward war...
"We know year by year what's going to happen, and they know that we know. It's only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger - this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don't know how to get through to you anymore."
And of course the Russians have been feverishly updating and modernizing their military in preparation for a potential future conflict with the United States. Just today we learned that the Russians are working to develop a hypersonic strategic bomber that is going to have the capability of striking targets with nuclear warheads from outer space.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not feel a similar sense of urgency. The size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by about 95 percent since the peak of the Cold War, and many of our installations are still actually using rotary phones and the kind of 8 inch floppy disks for computers that were widely used back in the 1970s.
But I don't expect war with China or Russia to erupt by the end of 2016. Of much more immediate concern is what is going on in the Middle East. The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, but it is Israel that could soon be the center of attention.
Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration wanted to revive the peace process in the Middle East before Obama left office, and that a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and set the parameters for a Palestinian state was still definitely on the table...
The White House is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior U.S. officials.
And just this week, the Washington Post reported that there were renewed "rumblings" about just such a resolution...
Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year's end that would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of a Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the U.N. Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.
For years, Barack Obama has stressed the need for a Palestinian state, and now that his second term is drawing to a close he certainly realizes that this is his last chance to take action at the United Nations. If he is going to pull the trigger and support a UN resolution formally establishing a Palestinian state, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November. So over the coming months we will be watching these developments very carefully.
And it is interesting to note that there is an organization called "Americans For Peace Now" that is collecting signatures and strongly urging Obama to support a UN resolution of this nature. The following comes from their official website...
Now is the time for real leadership that can revive and re-accredit the two-state solution as President Obama enters his final months in office. And he can do this - he can lay the groundwork for a two-state agreement in the future by supporting an Israeli-Palestinian two-state resolution in the United Nations Security Council.
Such a resolution would restore U.S. leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It would preserve the now-foundering two-state outcome. And it would be a gift to the next president, leaving her or him constructive options for consequential actions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, in place of the ever-worsening, politically stalemated status quo there is today.
Sadly, a UN resolution that divides the land of Israel and that formally establishes a Palestinian state would not bring lasting peace. Instead, it would be the biggest mistake of the Obama era, and it would set the stage for a major war between Israel and her neighbors. This is something that I discussed during a recent televised appearance down at Morningside that you can watch right here...
At the same time all of this is going on, the global economic crisis continues to escalate. Even though U.S. financial markets are in great shape at the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the world.
Just look at the country that is hosting the Olympics this summer. Brazil is mired in the worst economic downturn that it has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Rio de Janeiro's governor has declared "a state of financial emergency".
Next door, the Venezuelan economy has completely collapsed, and some people have become so desperate that they are actually hunting cats, dogs and pigeons for food.
Elsewhere, China is experiencing the worst economic downturn that they have seen in decades, the Japanese are still trying to find the end of their "lost decade", and the banking crisis in Europe is getting worse with each passing month.
In quite a few articles recently, I have discussed the ongoing implosion of the biggest and most important bank in Germany. But I am certainly not the only one warning about this. In one of his recent articles, Simon Black also commented on the turmoil at "the most dangerous bank in Europe"...
Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.
Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.
But of course Deutsche Bank isn't getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media right now because of the stunning meltdown of banks in Italy, Spain and Greece. Here is more from Simon Black...
Italian banks are sitting on over 360 billion euros in bad loans right now and are in desperate need of a massive bailout.
IMF calculations show that Italian banks' capital levels are among the lowest in the world, just ahead of Bangladesh.
And this doesn't even scratch the surface of problems in other banking jurisdictions.
Spanish banks have been scrambling to raise billions in capital to cover persistent losses that still haven't healed from the last crisis.
In Greece, over 35% of all loans in the banking system are classified as "non-performing".
Even though U.S. stocks are doing well for the moment, the truth is that trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been lost globally since this time last year. If you are not familiar with what has been going on around the rest of the planet, this may come as a surprise to you. During my recent appearance at Morningside, I shared some very startling charts which show how dramatically global markets have shifted over the past 12 months. You can view the segment in which I shared these charts right here...
I would really like it if the rest of 2016 was as quiet and peaceful as the past couple of days have been.
Unfortunately, I don't believe that is going to be the case at all.
The storm clouds are rising and the conditions for a "perfect storm" are brewing. Sadly, most people are not going to understand what is happening until it is far too late.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Winning A Stephanos - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." Revelation 4:4. What a glorious sight that will be. The Rapture will have just happened and we will be in the presence of God Almighty. Our human minds have no possible way of grasping what it will be like as we stand (or fall down in worship) in the presence of our Lord. Around the throne we will see twenty-four elders who have crowns of gold on their heads. There are two Greek words that are translated crowns and the one used here is "stephanos". This crown is not a king's crown, but a crown that is awarded, as in a prize at the end of a race. The elders are representative of people who serve God, and the crowns they are wearing are the "stephanos" that have been won.
The New Testament makes it clear that salvation is a free gift and there is nothing we can do to earn salvation. Once a person accepts Christ's free gift a change should be evident in the life of the new Christian; there should be a desire to serve Jesus. We are truly saved by grace through faith alone, but James says "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26. It's the works we do in service to Jesus that will earn our stephanos... our crowns. These works won't make us more saved than we were before we did them, but when standing before the Bema Seat after the Rapture and my works for Christ are judged, I want a crown to place at the feet of my Redeemer. The blood of Jesus paid the price for the entry fee to enter the race and the competition is not against other Christians. The prize is given as a reward for your own effort in the race. Crowns can be lost, but salvation is sealed.
Most of the congregations to whom Paul wrote were facing struggles and he encouraged them to come away from the world and live to glorify Christ. There was no letter more filled with admonitions of turning from worldly ways than his first letter to the Corinthians. This congregation was corrupt, but Paul didn't say they were lost. He encouraged them to get back on the right track and talked about running the race to win an incorruptible crown. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." 1 Corinthians 9:24-25. Athletes train in order to run the best race they can, but their reward for winning is something that will not last. On the other hand, there is an incorruptible crown of victory for the Christian who trains for a life which honors Christ. The race begins when we accept Christ for salvation. After that we need to study our Bible and learn what God sees as sin. We will face many obstacles in our walk with Christ, but through prayer and determination we will overcome. "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway." 1 Corinthians 9:27. Study God's word, pray, and live to show others that Christ lives in you.
Paul is an example of a man who was dramatically changed by Jesus Christ. His desire was to spread the Gospel and win souls for Christ. He loved the people he met and brought to salvation through Christ. "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved." Philippians 4:1. Paul didn't just bring them to Christ then abandon them. He prayed for them and wrote letters of encouragement. He found great joy in salvation of others. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. Brothers and sisters, take joy in each soul who has come to Christ because of your example. Encourage them as they learn to walk in the Christian way. Help them to stand fast in the Lord by also standing fast yourself.
When Paul knew that he would soon be beheaded because of his faith in Jesus, he could look back on many hardships. He suffered beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonment, rejection, and much more. Did he feel sorry for himself? No. In what was his last letter he told Timothy "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Paul wasn't bragging but was being honest. He knew, and we should know, that we are righteous only because of our faith in Jesus Christ. This crown isn't awarded because you've lived a perfect life, there is no way possible for anyone to do that. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. Then, if you truly seek His righteousness instead of your own glory, you will yearn for His appearing. "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
Although Paul wrote about crowns he isn't the only one to do so. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12. Temptations will come. Every Christian will face any number of temptations in this life, but there's always a way out. James even said "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." James 1:2-3. If we turn to God in prayer when temptation comes our way, He will show us how to turn away from it. Overcome the temptations you face in order to receive the crown of life. Temptations are no surprise to Jesus. "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:18. When He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, but answered each challenge of the enemy by quoting Scripture, and He is our example. When John was in exile at Patmos, Jesus dictated seven letters and one was directed to the ekklēsia in Smyrna. This letter told of the persecution that would come and Jesus said He knows their works, tribulation, and poverty. These persecuted Christians, represented in the letter to Smyrna, would face many temptations to deny Christ, but Jesus said "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10. Many Christians today are being severely persecuted because of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In many countries our brothers and sisters are being brutally murdered or put in prison and tortured. The temptation to deny Christ may be strong, but a crown is waiting for those who are faithful.
Peter wrote encouraging words to the elders. He had no false pride and knew that he was a man just like those to whom he wrote. Peter is famous for his rash opinions and actions during the time he followed Jesus and he also saw the miraculous things He had done. Time had mellowed Peter and he was no longer jumping out of boats to walk on water. He had come to the point in his life that he was able to pass on the wisdom he had gained through his devotion to serving Jesus. Just as Jesus had encouraged Peter to feed the flock, Peter now encouraged the elders to do likewise. "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Peter 5:2-4. This crown will be awarded to those faithful shepherds who nurture their congregations. False teachers who twist Scripture will not receive this reward, but those who feed the flock nourishing food stand and firm on God's word will receive this stephanos of glory.
It isn't too late to earn crowns. This may not be important to you right now, but one day very soon Christians will be called Home. We will hear a voice like a trumpet calling us Home in the Rapture. After that our works will be judged and crowns presented for those things we did for Christ. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:11-13. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ it will be our works that are judged. The works we did in order to make ourselves look good will burn up, but even the most menial task done with no thought for our own glory but for Christ's glory will be rewarded.
Jesus Christ will call us Home soon and we will stand before God's throne along with the twenty-four elders. "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:10-11. On that day you will want a crown to cast before Him. Now is the time to start working to earn one or more. There is no reason to only strive for one crown. Jesus wants to award these crowns so don't use false humility to say you're not worthy to receive one. Live to serve Christ and you might be pleasantly surprised as to the crowns you've won.
Jesus said "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11. Time is running out. Start today to win a stephanos.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Free speech and global warming - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
In August of 2012, former Vice President Al Gore said that global warming has reached such a height that "it's like a nature hike through the book of Revelations." Al Gore the prophet is no more accurate than Al Gore the global warming alarmist. It is the book of Revelation, which has nothing to do with long term weather patterns, but with God's judgment on earth. Trouble is, Gore, the current "president" and his assumed successor Hillary Clinton want to ban speech that is in opposition to global warming, which is now called "climate change." The Democratic Party platform currently calls for prosecuting companies who mislead the public "on the scientific reality of climate change."
Notwithstanding, the scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU), the official source of global warming/climate change data, fabricated the data. It is a lie perpetuated by politicians. The UK Telegraph, once an advocate of global warming, had a turnabout in 2008. Environmentalist reporter James Delingpole blew the whistle on scientists after he obtained 1079 emails and 72 documents from the CRU. He wrote in 2009 that scientists were practicing "Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organized resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more."
Also in December of 2008 some 650 scientists refuted Gore's concept of global warming. Nobel Prize winner for physics Ivar Giaever said, "I am a skeptic. . . Global warming has become a new religion." One of the UN's own IPCC scientists from Japan, Dr. Kiminori Itoh, said in the report that global warming fears are "the worst scientific scandal in the history...When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists." Environmental scientist Delgado Domingos of Portugal says, "The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle."
Genesis 1:28 defines man's role in the environment, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion . . . over every living thing that moves upon the earth." And after the great flood of Noah's time, God promised in Genesis 8:22, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Only God the Creator has power to destroy earth. Man is its steward. And we should not be deceived by men who are using fear of the earth's destruction to create a new religion, a new social order.
Daily Devotion: America's Great Awakenings - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. -Psalm 77:11
Jonathan Edwards said, "It has been found by experience, that the tidings of remarkable effects of the power and grace of God in any place, tend greatly to awaken and engage the minds of persons, in other places." Stories of revival often spark other revivals.
We have had four Great Awakenings in America. The first, from about 1740 to 1742, was led by men such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield. Around fifty thousand people were added to the churches of New England during the First Great Awakening, which was significant for a population of about 300,000 at that time.
The Second Great Awakening, from the 1790s to around 1840, was led by many, including Charles Finney. This was during the days of the Wild West, when camp meetings were held in tents with sawdust floors, and itinerant preachers shared the gospel. Thousands and thousands of Americans came to faith during this time.
America's Third Great Awakening, from 1857 to 1859, had a unique beginning. A forty-eight-year-old businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting in New York City. Though small, it exploded after the stock market crashed, and within six months, ten thousand New Yorkers were gathering daily for prayer. Around one million people came to believe in Jesus during the Third Great Awakening.
That brings us to the Fourth Great Awakening and the last one in American history. I was privileged to have a front-row seat for it. I am talking, of course, about the Jesus Movement. I came to Christ in 1970 and found myself in the middle of a full-blown spiritual awakening.
Could it ever happen again? Could we have another Jesus Movement? Or, are the best days of America behind us? God wants to send revival. But He wants us to participate in the process.
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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